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The liberatory power of makeup

Lisa Eldridge’s first book, ‘Face Paint: The Story of Makeup’ is a reminder of human social obligations; of wanting to belong and feel accepted



This book review/feature was first published for The Hans India

"Makeup, as we know it, has only been commercially available in the last 100 years, but applying decoration to the face and body may be one of the oldest global social practices.”
London-based makeup artiste, Lisa Eldridge has added another shade to her palette of achievements with her first book, ‘Face Paint: The Story of Makeup’.

In ‘Face Paint’, the red carpet specialist with over 20 years of experience in the industry reveals the history of makeup, from Egyptian ages through the Victorian age and the golden era of Hollywood, and surveys the science of cosmetics for what lies ahead in it. She narrates a story tracing the origins of makeup to its development over centuries citing anthropological, psychological, evolutionary and sexual significances as she uncovers the answer …

Feature :: Does Anyone Like Growing Up?


This is in response to Sunaina’s tweet: Does anyone like growing up?

It’s so strange. We are growing older by the second, but really… who is growing up?

I did something a few days ago.

Something I never thought I would do.

I changed my website’s presentation.

Why is this a big deal? But, it is.

They told me: It looks grownup-ish.

And I… Well… That was all the validation I needed.

When I first bought the domain almost eight years ago, it took me weeks to design it – yeah, I did it all myself. A basic Blogger template, customised and personalised to represent me as a writer. It took me multiple calls to the GoDaddy’s support team, to figure out how to convert the blogspot link to a secure link. They couldn’t help with the favicon, but somehow, I figured it out. By the way, that little white ‘a’, over a pure red background, is still holding on its own. Apart from the obvious things in making this website such as, colours; labels; font face, size, and type; the most important part of it was my header. 

My iconic header. 

An image in black and white – almost a line diagram. A woman. With long flowy hair. Sitting in a high-backed chair. Holding a mug of coffee in one hand and a cigarette in the other – in my mind, an epitome of an artiste’s image – surrounded by the vapours and smoke from the jewels that make one a writer.

I put it behind my website’s purple title.

On top of the image, I wrote in grey: I write. You read. Enjoy!

And, it worked.

It was all I needed. People joined my ‘Followers’ (that was what it was called back in the day on Blogger.) I built a small reading community for my writings. Many of these people are now very close friends of mine. Some of them outgrew writing for their own blogs, but they’ll come and read whatever I post. 

I knew it was time to change it. But, did I want to grow up? Redesigning the website’s appearance meant I would have to remove that header. I didn’t find a similar (forget same) image in high resolution anywhere on the internet. And, besides… Can I really replace something like that?

No.

I’d rather go for a completely new look.

Deciding that doesn’t guarantee I’d do it. That’s a choice for grownups.

So, here I am. In my 30’s. A grown-ass woman. Fighting to stay juvenile on her website.

As fate would have it, my impulsiveness paid off (this can happen sometimes… so don’t worry about being impulsive). And, that night I clicked on ‘change design’ and just like that – the header was gone.

I realise now that I should have at least taken a screenshot of the older design, to save a memory. This is a negative consequence of that impulsive nature, about which we just spoke. No planning, means regrets later.

Find your balance. Don’t listen to me. Be impulsive. Be a planner. Be both. Be nothing.

I’m going off-track.

So, header. Gone.

New look. On.

I grew up.

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Welcome to my world of writing. If you enjoy grown-up rants, subscribe!

I can’t bring the ‘Followers’ list back. But I’m on all the social media thingies.

Let’s connect there.

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Asra Ghouse

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