A mother’s final, best lesson: Part 5

Glitter and Gloss

Today, Crabby Old Lady's complaint lies with the corporate manufacturers and purveyors of cosmetics.

There was a time, prehistoric to be sure, when Crabby and her contemporaries believed just the right shade of makeup, blusher, eye shadow, lipstick or the perfect combination thereof would render them irresistible to men. Many hours were spent experimenting with new colors and new application techniques, and when a member of the opposite sex did succumb to Crabby or one of her friends, some overly gullible portion of their brains believed it would not have happened without Luscious Mauve Raspberry No. 2.

Crabby came to her senses a long time ago about the effectiveness of faultlessly applied facial cosmetics in attracting the opposite sex and in any event, she is no longer out there trolling for men (though she is not numb to the idea). She just wants to tone down the blotchiness and age spots on her face so she feels presentable in public.

In a practical sense, this is not difficult. Foundation, a little powder, some subtlely tinted blusher and lip gloss would do the trick with little effort. What makes it nearly impossible, however, is that the cosmetics industry manufactures products entirely for teenagers intent on being noticed in a darkened nightclub.

Blusher now comes only with embedded sparklies. Eye shadow is available mostly in shades of iridescent turquoise. Mascara is made only in the jettest of jet black heavy with fibers for that wide-eyed Betty Boop look.

Take a glance at that last photo on the right up there in the banner. Now Crabby Old Lady asks you: Sparklies? Iridescence? Nuit Noir around the eyes? Crabby doesn’t think so. At her age, less is more and after 45 or 50, all women are looking to minimize, not enhance.

But Max, Estee, Christian, Elizabeth, Helena, Germaine, Pierre and all the rest who served her so well in her youth have forsaken Crabby in her dotage. Where is the foundation that covers nature's errors but doesn't cake in the lines? Eye shadow in matte colors of brown and gray without sparklies? Blusher and lip gloss that are brighter than Crabby's skin color, but not by much, and certainly not iridescent?

They aren’t in any department, drug or cosmetic specialty store that Crabby patronizes where row upon row of Radical Red prevails. In case you cosmetic manufacturers and marketers out there don’t believe there is profit in addressing an aging population, let Crabby enlighten you. In the U.S. alone:

  • There are 39 million female baby boomers, the youngest of whom turn 40 this year.
  • There are more than 56 million women older than 45.
  • Within five years, according to the Census Bureau, one-sixth of the population will be women age 50 and older.

How can it make economic sense to ignore more than half the adult female population of an entire country?

Crabby isn’t asking for the elimination of Golden Glitter Gloss. It’s actually quite cute used in its proper age range. All Crabby is asking for is equal representation at the cosmetics counter, a choice of more than one color for the over-18 crowd. Oh - and one other thing: could you ditch those 19-year old customer care girls? The ones who think iridescent purple eyeshadow is just the thing for Crabby?

UPDATE: See Radiant Elder Women - 9 February 2006



I didn't know you were so funny. One word, Well, two .
Bobby Brown. The absolute best cosmetics I've ever used. You actually can look normal, as if you had a good night's sleep.

Welp, this is one area where as a member of the older set of the opposite sex, I don't have any direct experience. The personal cosmetics industry for men, though there were some whimpers of the fashion world, mere forays of marketing machine that were mostly stillborn, such as David Bowie and Jude Law, never took off for us real manly men. Pity. I could use a sensible touch of highlight to the craggy lines, maybe something to emphasize for haggarded effect the five-o'clock shawdow, and for sure my bald-pate, often sweaty-shiney, could use some toning down. I wouldn't want the irridescent sprinkles or glitter dust motiffs either, though . . .

Right on! and add to that, clothes and shoes that fit a less-than-Barbie-perfect bodies without the polyester and clingies!

PS. I've become a regular fan of your amusing, touching and timely blog in a few short weeks :-)

Hiya Ronni, I think you are right, there is not much subdued make-up around. You might check out 'Bourjois'.They have nice pastel colours. I miss you on fotolog, btw. greetz, Mo :-)

How about some beauty tips from Audrey Hepburn

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)