Beauty Confessions

By: Ilana Schwartz   mom in curlers

Courtesy of:
It’s 9:30 am. I’m in line for my second coffee of the day, behind her. She’s got on some trendy, black yoga gear from head to toe. She’s wearing mascara and lip gloss. Her hair is shiny and it smells good.

I’m in flab squeezing jeans that make my upper body look like a muffin top. I’m wearing mascara too, but it’s from yesterday. It’s under my eyes now, deepening the dark circle effect. I haven’t washed my hair and I feel the urge to scratch my scalp, but maybe it’s because I’m thinking about my daughters play date last week. (“It’s so nice to finally be lice free,” chirped mom, upon pick-up.) I’m not sure if I’ve got on a bra.

Some days, I want to be that mom. You know the one – good hair, great clothes, and a nice bag. But other days I’m happy, even smug, that I’m not. After all, I spend most of my time with people who would never notice that I am in need of an eyebrow wax. (I’m referring to my kids, but I’m pretty sure my husband would never notice either.)

When I do clean up though, my lip gloss, earrings and clean shirt evoke the same question. “Mommy, why do you look pretty? Are you going to a meeting?” Sadly, they’re often right.

Without fail, anytime I leave the house looking really awful, I regret it. There was the time I ran into an old boyfriend after throwing a coat over my pyjamas to pick up bagels with my daughter. It seemed like a great idea at the time – an early morning adventure. My daughter had unbrushed hair, mismatched socks and a nightgown, topped off with a sparkly tiara and rubber boots. Adorable. I had run a brush through my curly, fully dry hair and my face was splotchy from a drugstore facial. I was also 4 months pregnant. Not a good look.

So I try to get it together, not just because I may run into an ex, but so I can hold my head high at such exciting venues as the grocery store, the library and the gas station. I do feel better with brushed teeth and clean hair and perhaps those around me appreciate it too. I’ve even been known to wear stretchy yoga gear on occasion. After all, there are reflective surfaces everywhere, and I’d like to walk by them without startling myself.

Ilana Schwartz is a stay- at-home mom and freelance writer living in Toronto. She has fond recollections of showering in the morning before work.


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