Concealer. It's one of the best man-made inventions for vanity. And I've always had great skills when it comes to covering up blemishes. This fact dates all the way back to the 7th grade when my friend Shelly Mills got a hickey from Jake Drew. (These are made-up names because I'm pretty sure that Shelly and I exchanged BFF necklaces after I swore that I would never tell. Hey, a promise is a promise. Especially when "Best Friends Forever" jewelry is involved.) Standing in the bathroom stall of our elementary school, I used careful brush strokes to cover up the black-and-blue spot that took residence on Shelly's neck. My work was good. Actually, quite masterful for a 13-year-old girl who didn't understand why anyone would let a boy suck on her neck! But hey, who am I to judge? Shelly checked out my cover-up techniques in the bathroom mirror. She was pleased and smiled with approval. And then we headed out for recess while her secret stayed within the tan and yellow walls of that poorly lit, concrete lavatory.
Not so long ago, I battled my own blemish. And this wasn't a blemish that could be hidden with a beautiful scarf wrapped around my neck. This blemish was occupying space on my face! After years of nearly flawless skin, the eczema that once cursed my face reminded me that even tetracycline couldn't send it to its grave forever. My eczema was back! And it was pesky! I'm somewhat of a purist when it comes to pills. I prefer not to take them. I didn't want to use medicine to battle my blemish, so I opted for a natural approach. I tried all of the appropriate topical ointments... hydrocortisone cream, organic and natural this-and-that treatments, acne masks and serums for sensitive skin. At times, it appeared I was winning the battle. But then, that damn blemish would reappear with a vengeance! I needed a stronger remedy. I asked my brother, who is a doctor, for some medicine. He told me to stop wearing makeup and let my face "breath." I didn't like his answer. So I sought out a different doctor. My father. He wrote me a prescription for my "face invader." As the days passed, I could see my blemish slowly disappear. I was winning the battle. But it must be noted that through it all, my trusted concealer was always within reach.
Depending on who you ask or what article you read, there are a few factors that contribute to blemishes. Among them... medications, your beauty routine, hormones, diet, bacteria on your cell phone and some will even debate that stress exacerbates an ugly flair up. In my "self-diagnosed-PhD-state", I decided that STRESS was making my face ugly! And it was the most frustrating reason for stress. The culprit? A guy. The kind of guy you think about day and night. The one who makes you feel like you're the most incredible person he's ever met... right up until you're not sure how he feels anymore. One month, you get "Good Morning" and "Good Night" text messages every day, coupled with "Hi" and "Thinking of you" reminders around lunchtime. And then, those simple reminders simply disappear. It causes the worst feelings. Uncertainty. Insecurity. Sadness. Worry. And usually tears. But always, stress and anxiety. You wonder... Why the sudden change? What did I do wrong? Does he still have feelings for me? And then you say to yourself... My heart was fooled again! And while your mind races with negative thoughts, you no longer act like the confident woman he first met. The blemishes of your personality reveal themselves. We all have them. They're not pretty. And they're difficult to conceal when they are triggered.
Blemishes. Sometimes they are more than skin deep. Maybe they're personality flaws. Or painful secrets that we keep. Or maybe these blemishes are choices from that past that we are not proud of. We can try to cover them up. But should we? Some of us choose to heal organically. While others opt for some form of medical therapy. And sometimes, we continue to reach for our concealer and do whatever it takes to hide the blemish. Concealer. It's a temporary fix. And sometimes that's okay. There's nothing wrong with a temporary fix to get you through a rough patch. But as soon as the concealer comes off, the blemish is revealed. And there is truth behind the theory that when you let a blemish breath, it has the ability to heal.
The Cover Up Playlist: