Beauty School - Beauty Addict

Friday, May 12, 2006

Beauty School

On my way into the office today I saw a man who I very nearly mistook for an overgrown schoolboy. He was dressed in a light blue polo shirt, grey lightweight wool flat-front pants, and an ugly black belt. All he needed was the little St.AS logo on the polo shirt and he could have been a student at my elementary school - I recall that the boys' "summer uniform" allowed them to jettison their oxford shirt and ties, and wear polos instead.

It started me thinking about those school days - the uniforms, the nuns, the school rules. We weren't allowed to wear makeup or nail polish, even in the 8th grade, much to the chagrin of all of us who wanted to (1) impress each other and (2) impress the still-immature boys in our class.

The first girl to wear contraband to school - it was pink nail polish and brown eyeliner, if I recall correctly - was named Janine. She was daring. We all sat and whispered as Sister Peggy, shaking with both fury and old age, retrieved a small jar of nail polish remover from one of the cabinets, the kind you dip your finger in and twist to remove the polish. She made Janine take off her nail polish in front of the class. Janine could not care less. The boys were annoyed about the fumes but had nothing to say about the makeup or polish.

They never did catch her for the eyeliner, though. It was skillfully applied, and while the nuns squinted at her and could tell something was different, I don't think they were able to put their finger on it, having never worn eyeliner themselves, most likely.

After this display of nonchalant bravery by our classmate, many of us started sneaking makeup, too. Most of us were not caught. It was the beginning of a new era, one of clear mascara, tinted lip balm, maybe a little blush. It felt liberating and "grown-up."

Did you wear makeup to school as a girl? Who was the first girl in your class to do it? Was it you? Everyone I know has a great story about makeup in school, especially if it was verboten. Post your stories in the comments!

photo of Jared Leto swiped from Isn't it perfect for this post? The eyeliner, the little boy look, the priest attire!