When I was a kid, my mother had a makeup routine consisting of four items. She could do it in under five minutes, usually in the car on the way to church (which, if you have ever driven on a road in Maine, should tell you something about the steadiness of her hands). Pat on foundation. Flick on mascara. Powder on blush. Swipe on lipstick. What I learned from watching that was that makeup wasn’t supposed to make you look like a different person – it was supposed to make you look a little more like you, a little more bright and polished (and like you’d had a full night’s sleep, which, having three children, my mother usually lacked).

I used to play with her old theater makeup and sample-sized lipsticks during dress-up time, of course, but when I got old enough to start wearing makeup, I just … didn’t. I’ve never really worn makeup, for three reasons: One, I’m lazy, and will do anything for an extra five minutes of sleep in the morning. Two, I have sensitive skin (you know how sensitive we millennials can be), and slapping foundation on it every day would be a recipe for disaster. And three, so far everything I’ve ever tried has made me feel painted like a fancy clown. Even putting on mascara – the most basic makeup – makes me feel a little silly. I keep thinking of the scene in “Spinal Tap” with the all-black album cover. (“It’s like, how much more black can your eyelashes be, and the answer is … none, Victoria. None … more black.”)

A few weeks ago, I took a few timid steps into the beauty aisle, and immediately panicked. Toner? Primer? Highlighter? Were these cosmetics or office supplies? I asked my sister for assistance – she’s 18 and, therefore, the absolute height of being effortlessly cool. She told me to comb my eyebrows. I didn’t ask her any more questions after that.

But then. But then, dear reader. I saw it in the Target. Liquid glitter eyeshadow.

I was drawn to it, because when I see sparkly things, I transform into a were-magpie and immediately feel the urge to take the sparkly thing home to my nest. The shade was called “Polished Pin Up,”  two things that I am definitely not. But it was champagne colored, and I think that’s why I picked it up. I’m glad to be sober now, and proud of it (it’s hard work), but one of the many things I miss about alcohol is the fun, giggly, grown-up fancy feeling of having a glass of bubbly. Perhaps, my subconscious thought, this would recapture some of that feeling, but in a healthy and appropriate way.

It may have looked champagne colored in the bottle, but it went on like gold leaf. And instead of feeling like a fancy clown, I just felt like me, but more glittery, and more glittery is the way I like to be. I’ve been wearing it every day.

There are certainly some people who think that glittery gold eyeshadow is a bit too loud of a look for everyday wear. (My grandmother, may she rest in peace, would have been one of them.) That’s fine with me. I’ve spent most of my life being told I’m too loud and too much. I don’t have the time or the patience to spend half an hour putting on makeup that is made to look like I’m not wearing makeup at all. (I admire women who do. They must be good at other things that involve patience, like yoga and knitting and getting cats to sit on your lap.) No amount of shading and blending and contouring is going to disguise the fact that I have two chins and zero cheekbones. If I put in effort, you’re going to know about it.

It does take about 30 seconds out of my morning, but so does making a cup of coffee, and both are good motivators for getting out of bed and both, in the long run, improve the quality of my day more than the extra 30 seconds of sleep. Every time I check the rearview mirror while driving, I am greeted by the shining visage of a fairy princess, and it definitely serves makeup’s purpose of making me look more awake. (Nobody is going to notice the bags under my eyes while they are blinded by what’s on top of them!) The only downside is that everything I own is now covered in a thin layer of perma-sparkle. And honestly, for a girl like me, that’s not a downside at all.

Victoria Hugo-Vidal is a Maine millennial. She can be contacted at:

[email protected]

Twitter: mainemillennial

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