Pacific Daily News
by Sheila Baker Shedd
Appearances count -- and for a lot more than we think. Putting our best face forward is probably one of the easiest ways to help motivate and manufacture self-esteem for most women.
Lately, I've noticed a lot of Internet debate over makeup. Even the New York Times got into the fray last year, as did Reddit users. Some people declared makeup is a "betrayal" because it hides a woman's true self. Others argue that makeup empowers women and helps them with their self-esteem.
Makeup has become status quo in the public realm. Wearing makeup increases a woman's likability and perception of competence in the workplace. We can run around the house all day without a lick of makeup, but run to the store for bread or milk and before we descend from the car, most of us girls will be pulling out the lipstick, if nothing else.
Makeup is a fashion necessity. While some may consider it prissy, it all boils down to taking care of yourself -- feeling good about yourself and loving yourself. It's not just for the way you look, but how you feel about being able to control how you project yourself to the world -- especially a male-dominated world.
Makeup and time management are important for the busy woman. One of the latest timesavers I recently discovered are eyelash extensions in lieu of mascara. My best friend convinced me to try them after she had them done, and I must say, I was impressed. I called for an appointment immediately.
Eyelash extensions are no longer for the red carpet and celebrities. Right away, I loved how the extensions provided by my long-time friend, Skye, owner of Entre Nous Salon, gave my eyes an instant lift, with no needles or injections. And that's not to mention how they cut down on the time it took to complete my daily beauty regimen.
If applied correctly, the extensions shouldn't hurt. They last two to five weeks. They do take some getting used to. If you're going to take the plunge -- it does take considerable time and financial investment -- here's what you should know:
• Shower before your appointment, or at least cleanse your lashes to remove any dirt, makeup and oil.
• Extensions should be bonded with a medical-grade adhesive formulated to be applied to lashes, not skin, and should only be applied and removed by a certified lash professional.
• Don't shower, work out, go in a sauna or otherwise get your extensions wet for at least 24 hours after the service is done.
• Don't use an eyelash curler on extensions. If you want a curlier lash, ask the professional.
• Be careful of the type of mascara you use.
• And definitely do not try to pull the lashes off yourself. Go back to the salon and have it done right.
I don't think that makeup and beauty treatments are about vanity, nor do I think that makeup diminishes the power of women. On the contrary, I firmly believe in the power of looking good. Cleopatra's legacy is proof enough.
Cleopatra, who hailed from the very country that invented the eyeliner, ruled a kingdom. Many consider her to be the first feminist, and her legacy is testimony to the fact that a woman can be beautiful, smart, empowered -- and wear a ton of eye makeup.
But unless you rule a kingdom, don't overdo it. Keep it simple and you will feel great about yourself, and ready for the world!
Yes, there's pressure placed on women -- and all of us -- to look a certain way. But, that's the world we live in. Beauty is more than skin deep and it's truly in the eye of the beholder.
Feel empowered ladies. Look good and be happy!
Sheila Baker Shedd is a mom, wife, daughter, friend, professional, island girl and everywoman.