Letters of Life

Low Maintenance

Vanity! All is vanity!

Fact: I took less than 30 minutes to empty a bookcase.
Fact: It took three hours to empty all the contents in and on my dressing table into a packing box.

Sorting the contents of a bookcase is easy-peasy. Either I think the book is worth keeping (here it comes, the trashy titles), or it’s tossed.

Some titles that survived this round: Apart from the books by The Inklings (CS Lewis, Tolkien, Dorothy Sayers. . . I know, but I have to include Sayers cuz The Inklings *needs* a woman’s presence, and Sayers deserves membership in that tweedy boys’ club) are unread autobiographies and my Edith Wharton collection. Unfortunately, Nick Hornby did not make the cut. His last outing, Slam, was slammed by my inner critic.

On to the interesting item: My dressing table.
Here’s an abbreviated inventory of my makeup collection, and these are just the ones with pigmented colour.

Eyeliners: 12 (after discarding, oh, two.)
One never knows when the silver eye liner will come in handy for a night on the town. And the gold one? That’s for when I want to look like Blake Lively from the hit TV series Gossip Girl.

There’s this glittery green one with a great name: Green Insomniak. I think I got that for the name itself. And of course, there are the navys, blacks, even white. But white is more for a vibrant, full-on summer look.

Lipsticks: 10 (after discarding three).
Half are sheer lipsticks and glosses, which are always easier to apply when the stoplight suddenly turns green and one has to resume driving and make a right turn or similar. Stoplights are long, but not when one is swirling on lipcolour.

Then there are the accessories: Different brushes for eye shadows (like laundry, you gotta have separate tools for lights and darks), brushes for applying powder blush, concealer, loose face powder, an eyelash curler (definitely underutilized), and various sponges.

Notice the omissions of eye shadow (far too many), creams, lotions, and of late, serums. That last is definitely a sign of something.

I also had to sort through necklaces, a basketful of bracelets, chests of earrings–candy cane danglers for Christmas, feathery ones for when I want to channel Gisele, gobs of rhinestones–and rainbow-hued hair ties, pins, combs, and tortoise-shell barrettes.

Lastly, for the sake of time, odd Ziploc bags of foreign currencies. One never knows when one is going to Uruguay again and needs the random coins. Aside from the usual baht, ringgit, Aussie, HongKong, US coin and pound Sterling, there’s loads of Indonesian rupiah from my last all-girl trip to Jakarta last year, Vietnamese dong from occasional jaunts to Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi (two of my favourite cities in Asia), and of course, Canadian dollars. These I put away fondly. I need to get a small chest of drawers to compartmentalize these odd notes from wherever.

Of course, I can always survive on, say, a solitary black eyeliner, one palette of eye shadow, several lip glosses, and so on….I could even stick with one bottle of French perfume instead of three. But life would be too one-dimensional without all that drugstore variety and costume jewellery on my vanity. And I definitely *need* that Green Insomniak.

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2 Responses »

  1. SO! interesting! to know wads hidden in your dressing table heehee…so nw u know u need a bigger one than this old one…

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