Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Losing Beauty

Music is one of the ways in which I fill my life with beauty. I believe music helps keep me young and happy because it can be so many things: a mood booster, a panacea, stimulation, motivation to exercise, my own private recording studio in the shower and car (surely no one can see me singing Tainted Love in the car), and as background for deep relaxation. I have also noticed that it is impossible to be unhappy while singing. Try it!

I like almost all musical genres, and I especially used to enjoy the varied programming of WGBH in Boston--particularly the evening jazz and blues programs. But with advances in technology over the past decade, as well as the fact that I moved from city to suburbs and could no longer get a clear signal to one of my favorite stations, I drifted away from radio and listened instead to music on my iPod.

Today I am working at home. On a whim, I tuned the radio to WGBH, thinking I  might enjoy some classical music while I worked. 9AM rolled around and news was still broadcasting. Then 10AM and 11AM passed and all I heard was more of the same: news and talk. So I checked WGBH programming online and was shocked to discover that in the last year, the station had become pure talk radio for 36 hours of a 40-hour work week.All classical music had moved to a different station, which has a much smaller radio tower, thus more static and interference.

So today I feel sad about the passing of a a small but reliable part of my life I once found beautiful, something I assumed would always be there. And I am especially grateful for those nights when I drove home from grad school, tuned the car radio to WGBH at 7PM and, after a day that felt like it would never end, instantly be calmed by the bright, lilting intro to the Eric in the Evening program's opening theme song (Tommy Flannagan's Peace) as I drove across the Charles River on congested city streets with Boston's lights illuminating the silvery-grey still waters. Goodbye.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What is Everyday Beauty?

Does any of the following sound like you?

  • One day you realized that the tried-and-true cosmetics you'd relied on for the last n years were no longer working—maybe a reformulation was making you look or feel worse. Or maybe you suddenly, mysteriously developed allergies to your old favorites.
  • Your skin, which once tolerated daily scrubs or any old cleanser/toner had suddenly become sensitive, or you've developed a permanent flush on cheeks, nose, chin. 
  • You found the almost-incomprehensible stew of ingredients impossible to decipher (are parabens bad? should I avoid gluten? is this stuff even healthy? )
  • Eye makeup you'd worn for years (not the same item, obviously, but a repeat purchase over the years) now made your eyes itchy, watery, red, and on fire.
  • Your lips always felt flaky or cracked no matter what you did to treat them. Lipstick and/or gloss and/or balms just seemed to make things worse.
  • Those sweet little freckles that used to emerge when the summer sun kissed your skin not only stopped fading in winter but seemed to multiply ... and merge!
  • You used your normal eye crease brush to apply contouring to the eye socket, and one day you noticed that the skin did not spring back the way it used to. In fact, you could pinch and lift it away from the crease.
  • You skin tone began to look uneven, dull, splotchy, or one-dimensional.
  • The outer third of your eyebrows thinned considerably, or you lost volume in your eyelashes and/or hair--maybe in patches of maybe the loss was more diffuse.
  • You thought that looking into x10 magnifying mirror was a good idea!
  • Your oily skin, which had protected you from wrinkling, finally betrayed you and left you with Frankenpores. (See x10 mirror above)
  • You lost confidence about which skincare products to use, especially given that advertising targets (and shows images of) women who don't need those products yet.
  • Your hands began showing your age; they were not as full, skin appeared tissue thin, or you saw your first sign of the dreaded "liver spot."
  • You began to wonder if your best interests were being represented by the cosmetics industry.

If you've thought about, or observed, even one point from the above list, then I hope you find what you're looking for on this blog, as I explore what looks good now and, more importantly, what feels good now, and what you can feel good about using.

This blog is called Everyday Beauty, not because I find beauty ordinary but because I believe that beauty—in all its forms—is something we can and should welcome and embrace every day. Beauty is found in all living creatures. It is ageless, timeless, and never need stop. It certainly does not need to be saved for special occasions. Everyday Beauty also implies your best everyday look. It does not necessarily mean picture-perfect, pampered, or every hair in place.

If you like what you read here and are interested in more dynamic interaction, please join us at the Everyday Beauty forum.  
(Note: Because of the huge increase in penis-peddling spammers on forums, I have turned off automatic registration and I manually check all IP addresses. So there could be a small delay--but I almost always approve registrants within 12 hours.)