Beauty, Borrowed

I am in love with your lashes. Once upon a week in eighth grade, I did some very scary things with a silver contraption in order to have lashes like yours. Self-improvement, even then.

Now I am older, wiser. (Kind of.) I know enough to know I really have no business clamping, squeezing, INSERT ANY OF THE ACTION VERBS, within six centimeters of anything so precious as an eye.

These days, my beauty routine begins with a blob of Crest toothpaste and ends with a quick swish of mouthwash. Up, down, side to side. What’s in the middle? Two minutes of dentist-recommended tooth brushing. Two minutes of eternity. (Not to be dramatic.)

On this particular morning, I passed the time by thinking about beauty routines. (And, if you must know: by counting all ten splotches of toothpaste on the mirror above the sink. Time to clean.)

I’m wondering if you have one. A beauty routine. I’m wondering if it’s one of those little things that helps you feel pretty.

I’m also wondering if you’ve already read this article. If you liked it as much as I did.

What does beauty look like, in your neck of the woods? I suppose that’s what I really want to know.

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I’m wondering if it really has very little to do with the stuff crammed into your medicine cabinet. (Jammed into your purse.)

For me…beauty is an otherwise lumpy loaf of bread. It’s a good morning’s work. A still-warm oven. A cool gust out of nowhere. A very large leaf.

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It’s being honest when it’s hard. It’s recognizing that it doesn’t all need to be quite so hard, all the time.

It’s a ribbon of salted caramel. A really rich stew. A ripple of everything serene and soothing and send-it-all-my-way.

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It’s the extra silvery strands in my mother’s hair. It’s an unfinished poem, a dog-eared book. A note, sticky-taped to the fridge. (It’s a piece of clear tape, never ever coming off.) It’s a watercolor, still wet.

It’s something handwritten, something handpicked. (It’s something hand delivered, if you play your cards right.)

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It’s the way my friend Marian moves in heels, a dress. It’s the way this lady I don’t know makes a list.

It’s the way a boy’s voice rumbles around right inside you, before taking root somewhere above your rib cage. It’s the way your laughter tastes someone else’s mouth.

It’s a checklist for fall. A soup you really, really want.

And it’s these words, NOT SAID BY THE BARISTA: Heycan I get you another cup? 

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