Monday, June 21, 2010


When I was small, about 6, I had a makeup bag.

I remember it blue... mainly because Grover and the Cookie Monster were blue, and the fabric it was made out of had Sesame Street characters all over it.

The first thing that comes to mind, as I recall this old friend, is the way it smelled. I loved the smell. Of course, now I realise that it was the distinct aroma of makeup way past it's use by date, but still it permiates lovely to my nostalgia.

If you had opened my make up bag, and reached inside it, you would have removed your hand all covered over in a pinky-brown film... the sides were coated with it, evidence of missing lids.

Had you been brave enough to use the products in there, you would have had choices between blue and green purlescent eyeshaddows (so beautiful), mini, tester sized lipsticks in coral, (so cute!) purple eyeliner and orange blush. You could have used gluggy nail polish, liquid eyeliner with a brush missing half its bristles, or pressed powder to your face using pads with six different shades clearly visible.

I know now that it was where mum put all her old makeup instead of throwing it out, but I didn't care. I had my own 'war paint'... just like my mummy.

I can only imagine what my mother thought when I came down all "pretty" from my bedroom. I can't remember if she would tell me I was beautiful, or if she said nothing. I know she never told me to wash it off. Mum never curbed my creativity. Never stopped me from being a girly... I was very rarely girly in anything else. I hated to wear pink, loathed having my hair brushed, and could play as hard and rough as a boy.

But I loved my makeup bag.

I am not clear on what happened to the tote full of girlish ideas of pretty. I think it was one of the things that "went missing" when we moved interstate.

Strangely, even now that I have fresh makeup in a glass jar; stuff that smells of new attractiveness and glides on effortlessly, I find I still miss the shades from my girlishness. There is no distinct smell that greets me as I draw it from its place in my bathroom.

No longer do I paint and powder and pretend When I am Big. Now, I conceal and curl and contour, trying to recapture lost youth; a way to find and reclaim the girl with her unchallenged conviction that she is beautiful.


Join me in my meanderings into nostalgia...
What from your childhood do you look back on fondly?

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