Long Live Mauve

It took me the better part of three years to figure out that mauve was not a color for the ages. 

“You think we should carpet the entire house in mauve rugs,” my mom asked me, incredulously.

“Yeah,” I said. 

“Honey, mauve isn’t a color that will last,” she said. 

“Huh, you’ll see,” I said, rolling my eyes. We had a lamp that was mauve, and a matching lampshade, and it was clearly the most fashionable item in the living room. How could such a stunning color ever go out of style? 

It did, and the only person who would see the error of their ways was me. It was one of the first times I had to grasp the concept of fads and transient fashion sense, and it had seemed to me that colors, like numbers, or people, were something that couldn’t fade in and out like hair scrunchies and patterned sweaters. 

I would repeat this mistake again with the color “forest green,” and then again with things like “bodysuits,” “spaghetti-strap dresses,” and “glitter gel.” I have what you might call, “difficulty with impermanence.”

But because fashion goes in cycles, leotards are back in, and it reminds me that I might have the chance to do all of middle school over again, except without the unflattering haircut and crushing insecurity. 

In seventh grade, my mom threw a “makeup party” for me and my only three friends, to teach us how not to look like hookers. To this day, this is the single reason I know how to do a smoky eye/apply eye shadow at all. I took great pride in putting some shimmer on my lids before school every day, until I got lazy and stopped doing it about halfway through the year. Getting up in the morning was enough work. 

By high school, I had rebelled against it so much that my choir director lied to me in order to get me to put on more stage makeup before a competition.

“It’s good for your skin,” she said to me, heavily sighing. 

“No it’s not,” I said.

“It is actually,” she said, using a tone that implied I would have to put more foundation on, no matter what came next. “The more you use it, the more your face gets used to it, and it stops breaking out as much.”

I didn’t believe her. I rolled my eyes, but I dug into the communal box of mix-and-match concealer. 

“I’m never going to wear makeup,” I seethed to my only two friends. 

Last night, on the questionnaire for my complimentary Sephora makeover next week, it asked me why I wanted a consultation. I figured they didn’t need the backstory on how I dried out all three of my eyeliners by not capping them completely this week, so I wrote about how I need to find a concealer that blends in with my skin better than the one I have. Which is true, so even though I still prefer not to wear any makeup if I can help it, this also means I went from knowing things to not knowing things, to knowing less things with more gravity. I may as well buy some mauve eyeshadow while I’m there.