Reflecting On Reflections

A few weeks ago I rushed out on the way to work. I was running late and didn’t have time for makeup. At the time my workplace still required masks around others unless I was in my office. No one would see my face, I figured. The KN94 mask would cover the dark circles under my eyes from staying up too late to watch TV. I didn’t factor in Zoom meetings where I’d have my camera on. It was like sitting in front of a mirror for an hour.

I also didn’t account for Facebook memories which highlighted a photo from December 2011. In the photo I sat beside Sean at a friend’s birthday party. The golden hour light lit up our smiles. I wasn’t wearing any makeup, but I liked the way I looked.

It was such a stark contrast to how I looked and felt on that Monday.


I didn’t wear makeup on a daily basis until a few years after moving to Ithaca, an area that has as many cloudy days as Seattle. I don’t know if it was lack of sun, lack of sleep as a mother of two small children, or just age, but I started to feel like just moisturizer with SPF wasn’t enough. I began using the products my sister hooked me up with a few months after we moved. Since I couldn’t rely on her to do my makeup for special events, she gave me what I needed and added in a lesson. I got into the habit of a simple makeup routine and I liked the way I looked after applying some bronzer, blush and mascara.

A conversation came back to me later that day. In my twenties, I flippantly said I didn’t wear makeup because I didn’t need it. My tía Luisa heard me and kindly pointed out that my comment was rude and could be hurtful. Did I think she needed makeup, she asked? Of course not.

I’m not even sure I need makeup now, but I like it. And that’s enough.


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