Monday, March 17, 2014

Natural Beauty

Mommy fashion, week four: makeup! Now, I am not a big make up person - partly because I object to being held to a false standard (I'm not even painting my imperfect face in order to emulate natural perfection - no, I'm competing with Photoshop. I think not. /end soapbox) and also because we're gluten free and gluten is in a lot of cosmetics (why?) But even if you're not gf and enjoy wearing make up for your own personal reasons, as a mommy (especially as a new mommy, or the mommy of a little girl) less is more. Your eyes and brows and lashes are lovely the way God made them, and instituting farewell-and-greeting kisses with your husband will redden your lips (s'true!) --- but if you insist on creating some sort of smoothing glow, then a Sparkle Bar from Lush is perfect (don't be turned off by the price - I've been using those two regularly for almost three years). Brooklyn is learning to give kisses - which makes me wary of putting anything on my skin, because I know it will end up in her mouth, but Lush lists their ingredients and are a Good company, to boot. So a swipe to each cheekbone with one of these brings a lift to a tired face, and doesn't take time away from more important things.

Going for walks outside with Brooklyn, and thinking about make up, and seeing the number of people who've given up Pinterest for Lent... has gotten me thinking about natural beauty. No, not the "you're beautiful just the way you are" mantra that gets thrown at us in between the ads that tell us we're not --- the dissatisfaction with how we are (however we are) that causes us to spend hours looking at pictures of Perfect People.

When we need inspiration, we should look to God's creation. We cannot envy the talent of the Creator (because we could never attain His perfection or attention to detail), and every inspiration we draw from it and apply in our homes will remind us of the One who gave us the idea in the first place.

For example, why is a dismal greyish brown the neutral we always turn to? "Because it goes with everything." Go outside - what two colors do you see the most of (sans Winter - unless that's your favorite season)? Green and blue. All of the brown in nature is painted over with the new life of green - buds, sprouts, shoots, leaflets, moss --- even pollen and duckweed are green. It's a calming color --- and in the right shade, it goes with everything! Paint, plants, or pillows - the color of new life is an uplifting reminder.

The houses you see on Pinterest and in magazines are just that - houses. They're not homes (especially if you have kids). And if you succeed, by tooth and nail and constant nagging, in recreating one of those houses, you'll lose your home in the process.

There's beauty in nature - emulate it. There's order in nature - nothing wrong with that, either. But there's also the organically unexpected - the vine twisting around the tree, the messy birds' nest nestled among the dogwood blossoms, the lichen overtaking the rock. So embrace life as it happens and know that sometimes couch cushions that are good for fort-building are more important than neatly arranged uncrushed ones.

After completing a couple of projects that I can't tell you about yet, I was itching to start a new design - and I found the perfect inspiration on a recent walk. Can't go wrong with green plant fiber (cotton/linen blend) --- also, my garter stitch isn't perfectly even, and neither are those reeds!

Finally, when all else fails to lift your mood and alleviate your guilt or your envy... let the sun shine in.

How can you focus more on God-created beauty than man-created beauty? (Man-created beauty is excellent in its place - as long as we don't start worshiping the created rather than the Creator)
Please check out this post from last week - last chance to be entered in a giveaway, and a chance to raise awareness about a good cause!

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