In the Dark

Last week, I found out that my foundation color was discontinued.

If you’re a girl, you feel my pain. If you’re a boy…think about if your favorite sneakers were discontinued. Or your favorite…basketball? I don’t know what gets discontinued for boys.

So I found myself in Sephora, shoulders slumped, facing the task of finding a foundation that I would feel confident wearing, but not spending so much that I would have to eat ramen noodles until my next payday.

The struggle is real.

A black apron-clad saleswoman with perfect, alabaster skin and striking red lips approached me and offered to help. She handed me off to Tad, a makeup artist (that’s not his real name, but in my memory, he looked like a Tad).

For the next 15 minutes, Tad talked and dabbed and smeared and talked.

“This foundation brush is vegan and made of high-grade ultra-soft taklon bristles,” he said. I think taklon means unicorn hair, because that thing felt magical on my skin.

“This is our veil mineral primer,” he said, dabbing an oil into the creases on my forehead.

“I’m using the vanish foundation on you,” he said, swiping the brush across my forehead, applying some extra to a new scar that I feel especially sensitive about.

Tad opened a pallet of three powders and dipped his brush in.

“This one mimics low lighting,” he said.

Veil. Vanish. Low lighting.

Apparently, I can only be pretty if you can’t see me.

A veil must cover my face. Make it vanish. Shroud it in darkness.

Is it any wonder I stare at myself every morning in the bathroom mirror, obsessing over each scar, wrinkle and blemish?

That we, as a society, feel like we must hide any imperfection?

Look, I like wearing makeup. I like how it makes me look. I bought the damn vanish foundation.

But I’m tired of being told it would be better to disappear. I’m sick of believing the lies that to be attractive I must hide everything that is me.

I want to highlight, not veil.

Even out, not vanish.

Shine, not hide in the dark.

And I want you to know that you don’t need to hide either.

You’re beautiful. Even when your foundation gets discontinued.

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