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 one of my iThings.

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 disappointed 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 the memory of those nights when I drove home from grad school. At 7PM, I would tune the radio to WGBH and, after a day that felt like it would never end, instantly feel 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 have developed allergies to your old favorites.
  • Your skin, which once tolerated daily scrubs or any cleanser/toner, has suddenly become sensitive, or you've developed a permanent flush on cheeks, nose, chin. 
  • You find the almost-incomprehensible stew of ingredients impossible to decipher (Are parabens really bad? Should I avoid gluten in skincare and makeup? Is this product toxic or is it a victim of scare tactics? )
  • An eye makeup item you've repurchased many times over the years now makes your eyes itchy, watery, red, and on fire.
  • Your lips always feel flaky or cracked no matter how you nurture them. Lipstick and/or gloss and/or balms just seems to make things worse.
  • That sweet sprinkling of freckles that used to emerge when the summer sun kissed your skin not only stopped fading in winter but seemed to multiply ... and merge into brown splotches.
  • As you were using your normal eye crease brush to contour the eye socket, 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 has lost its glow and now looks uneven, dull, splotchy, or one-dimensional.
  • The outer third of your eyebrows has thinned considerably. Or you've noticed diffuse hair loss in eyelashes, brows, and hair.
  • You thought that looking into x10 magnifying mirror was a good idea!
  • Your oily skin, which protected you from wrinkling, has left you with Frankenpores. (See x10 mirror above.)
  • You have 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 have begun to show your age; they are not as full, skin looks tissue thin or crinkly, or you saw your first sign of the dreaded "liver spot."
  • You wonder if your best interests are 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. Everyday Beauty also implies your best everyday look. It does not necessarily mean picture-perfect, pampered, or every hair in place.