Never Leave Home Without Your Eyebrows

“Never leave home without your eyebrows” was one of the Mom-isms I learned at an early age from my mother.  Most moms struggle with their adolescent daughters about the make-up issue when girls, starting in middle school, think they are old enough to wear make-up to school. Their mothers don’t, and the battle begins.  Girls leave home with innocent faces freshly scrubbed, only to arrive at their first class with a face found on a streetwalker.  They smuggle cosmetics onto school premises and share with each other, and are only caught when one day they arrive home, forgetting to scrub the evidence from their once cherubic features.

But that wasn’t the case in my house.  My mother was always a fashion plate when I was growing up.  I don’t know how any normal woman can look as beautiful as my mom did in the kitchen, first thing in the morning.  Obviously, she was from another planet, and I was too thick to figure it out.  We were both redheads with fair complexions and eyebrows so light, you could hardly tell we had any.  My mother would draw mine in and brush the pencil marks with her eyebrow brush.  Then she’d take me to the mirror, and with her hands on my shoulders, she would turn me to face it and say, “Now, doesn’t that look so much better?  Without your eyebrows, it looks like you don’t have any expression.”

As I got a little older, she expected me to come to the breakfast table with my eyebrows already on.  She also told me a little pale lipstick wouldn’t hurt either.  Make-up wasn’t something I was particularly interested in, but I went along with it because it was obviously important to my mother, as if teaching her daughter how to look put-together was an important part of being a good mother.

My daughter would have loved to have grown up under the direction of my mother.  The Lord doesn’t usually make mistakes, but I have to tell you, He got it all wrong this time.  My mother was the mother my daughter was meant to have.  My daughter was one of the most fashionable girls in school, and I can’t take any credit for it.  I think she was fashionable in spite of me.  But I still don’t walk out of the house without my eyebrows and a dab of lipstick.  My mother did her job well.

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About Coming East

I am a writer, wife, mother, and grandmother who thinks you're never too old until you're dead. My inspiration is Grandma Moses who became a successful artist in her late 70's. If I don't do something pretty soon, though, I'll have to find someone older for inspiration.
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30 Responses to Never Leave Home Without Your Eyebrows

  1. Yen says:

    Your mom indeed looks fabulous, Susan. The title surely caught my interest. I, for one, don’t bother with the eyebrows but I love make-up {except for the eyebrow part}. She sure taught you well as you always look elegant and put-together in the pictures you post.:)

  2. Big Al says:

    Reason #41 on the list of 100 reasons why it’s better to be a guy. To wit: we never worry about what our eyebrows look like.

  3. Hehe, your title cracked me up although I couldn’t quite work out the application, it just sounded very painful. I can’t believe your mum encouraged you into makeup. For my group of friends, when we were growing up, we weren’t usually allowed near the stuff until we turned 16. I was 17 when I first wore makeup because my 16 year old friend supplied me! I’ve never talked makeup or anything with my mum. 🙂

  4. pattisj says:

    My mom never wore make-up, until she attended a Mary Kay party at my house. She was amazed at what a little make-up could do, and I think she even bought some.

  5. Ah, great post! Loved the photo of you and your Mom. I’m a minimalist when it comes to make-up too even though I loved playing around with it all when I was in junior high school — oh yeah, the blue eyeshadow and white (!!!) lipstick! My friends and I thought we were being so ‘mod’ back then. Now I don’t leave the house without my eyebrows since mine are starting to disappear!! :-O

  6. judithhb says:

    Oh I do agree Susan. My mother never wore make up but it was she who introduced me to both cosmetics and hair colour. Sadly for my sisters she didn’t let them in on the secrets. To this day I never go out without my face made up and they never use make up. And my daughter doesn’t either but my niece does. This niece observed when she was about 10 years old, that they had given us the wrong daughters. Mine even sews the way her other aunt does.

    • Coming East says:

      I wonder what life would be like if the right mothers got the right daughters. Must be a reason we’re so mismatched. Or maybe there’s some wisdom in it that we fail to grasp?

  7. Huffygirl says:

    I’m with Bella and you Susan – I guess you could say I’m a minimalist too. I slap on the basic makeup but I’ve never been much in the eyebrow category – eyebrow pencil and eyeliner always seem to look so fake and overdone on me. Good thing your mom never saw how I look when I leave the house.

  8. My mother has never been much for makeup… maybe a little powder and blush. I remember very well my father frequently glancing at her in the car and saying, “you need some lipstick!” Anyway, the other thing my mother never had was bad, pale skin. That was my inheritance from other genes, so I learned makeup early. Early enough that my seventh grade teacher noticed the pink and blue eyeshadow I thought looked so natural. But nobody made me stop wearing it. Including my mother. Guess she got the bigger picture. Seems your mom did, too. Lovely memory – and lovely old photo!

  9. Margie says:

    It is interesting how parents can get the wrong kids. I have a grand daughter who is a pink girly girl. She is being raised by a stay at home dad who is domestically challenged and a mom (one of my daughters) who goes to work in blue jeans and no make up. I have another daughter who is a pink girly girl, with no instruction nor encouragement on my part!

  10. winsomebella says:

    I’m like you– can we call ourselves minimalists?

  11. adela says:

    Mom is a natural beauty. I’m sure she’s worn Make-up, but she’s the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met. My sister Deanna was the go-to girl for make-up advice. I’ve got the same disappearing eyebrows you have. This morning before yoga, I put on my eyebrows and a little LipSense. Yes, I really do feel better and ready to face the world, even if it’s just for Down Dog and Tree pose. (I would love to re-post your post on Once a Little Girl. I have a section for Once a Little Girl Friends. Your post is a perfect fit.) Are you willing?

    • Coming East says:

      Wow, Adela! I would love that. Your blog is outstanding because of your incredible writing. I would be honored to have one of my posts show up there. Thank you! And I loved your description of your pre-yoga ritual because it’s my ritual, too, except for the lipsence. I’ve never heard of that.

      • adela says:

        Please send me a copy of your post by e-mail. I’ll include a link to your blog and announce my “new friend” on BlogHer, SheWrites, and Twitter/Facebook. I hope you gain some more traffic. Here is the link to LipSense: http://lipsense.com/. I found out about it while I was on vacation in Sedona. It’s a little bit stingy at first, after that, no chapped lips either. (Since you’re a redhead, too, you probably have the same sensitive skin I have.)

        I’m excited about re-posting!

      • Coming East says:

        Okay. I’ll see if I can figure that out.

  12. What a great memory of your mother! Mine was always well put together also. Even in her senior years, she would wear a suit, hose and heels (with matching bag), and a treasure chest of jewels to go to the grocery store or take the car for inspection. For her, every hour out of bed was a “dress to impress” occasion.
    Nothing in life happens without a reason. Your mother may have taught you all of the motherly make-up lessons knowing it would skip a generation and you would need to pass it on to your daughter.

    • Coming East says:

      I love that vision of your mother, Carol. Is it too late for me to start? Thanks for your view about my daughter. It’s actually my daughter who gives me pointers on how to dress and fix my make-up.

  13. Wow–lipstick and eyebrows for the breakfast table! I was too much of a tomboy way back then, but got very girly later. My mother told me not to wear blue eye shadow on my wedding day. She was right. I was wrong.
    I now carry nine lipsticks in my bag, fifteen various travel makeup samples from Sephora, and am trying Latisse and Lumigan for my eyebrows!

    • Coming East says:

      Your bag must be very heavy, HG! I have two shades of lipstick, both by Mary Kay, that I’ve worn for years. Dusty Rose and Apricot Glaze. Sometimes I even remember to put them in my purse before leaving the house.

      • adela says:

        I’m a tomboy at heart. Once I asked Deanna how she stays so beautiful all day long. With a look of disgust, she said, “Re-Apply.” Most days, I forget to look in the mirror after that first application. LipSense lasts all day! (So do eyebrows)

      • Coming East says:

        Deanna’s comment cracked me up! You and I sound so alike, Adela.

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