Monday, February 6, 2012

The Truth About Concealer

Yesterday, I was at the store when I remembered that I needed some new makeup. A new lipstick, eye liner, and foundation/powder. First of all, what a can of worms that opened! Why can't buying makeup be quick, cheap and easy? I decided to switch back to brown eyeliner and ended up needing eye-shadow and mascara to match. Then spent 10 minutes trying to decide on a shade of lipstick that would be close to my usual so my husband would like it but different enough to make me feel striking and extravagant when I wore it. Finally, after buying all new detail makeup I was ready to grab my usual foundation and powder. Imagine my dismay when I discovered Kroger didn't have it, and didn't have great sales. After 10 more minutes, I finally  opted for a powder/foundation combo and decided to buy a (cheaper than foundation) stick of concealer for the harder to cover spots like under my eyes and around my chin. 

My poor boys thought I was down right insubordinate at this point. "Mom, cupcake, cupcake" Micah kept demanding, as the whole purpose of running to the store in the first place was to buy the boys consolation cupcakes for not being allowed to stay at the Men's Superbowl Party at church "Mom, why can't I stay at the men's party and have cake? I'm a men, and I like football!" Owen declared with a pout as we drove home from church. By the time we got home and I finally got the boys their cupcake Micah had been hysterical for 5 minutes. 

So this morning rolls around and I get to use my new makeup. What is it about new makeup that is so exciting, and refreshing (and addicting, did you notice I needed 4 items and left with 6, 3 of which I didn't intend on buying in the first place)? I usually drag my feet or skip makeup all together, but not today, I couldn't wait to get in the bathroom and beautify myself today! 

My first step was to apply the concealer and I realized that this is probably only the second time in my whole makeup-applying lifetime that I've purchased/used concealer. I went to work, gingerly applying a dab of concealer here, and a dab there. I targeted my eyes and chin first but then when I rubbed it in I realized there were a few blemishes, and then scars from previous blemishes, and when those were concealed I found freckles on my nose I didn't like, and is that an age spot in the middle of my forehead?   

By the time I was done, I realized I would have been better off starting with a solid foundation from the beginning.  Not only did it use more product (often applying two or three coats) and take more time to fix everything, I realized that it kept revealing more faults in my complexion. Hiding or concealing one, made another jump out at me like a bulls eye or Target symbol on my face. 

This same concept applies to my Christian Walk.  Many times I'll find myself with a weak foundation, my prayer life might be rock solid but my devotion time will be suffering and my heart gripping onto pain, anger, or jealousy. Perhaps I'm reading my Bible daily, and my heart is loving graciously, but my prayer life is suffering greatly, unsure, unwilling for whatever reason to give it to God in prayer. When these times arise, and we all know that they do, I can almost see myself standing in front of a hypothetical mirror with a hypothetical stick of concealer. Overcompensating in one area or another, trying as hard as I can to hide each resulting issue from my husband, my kids, my friends, my readers, and if I'm painfully honest, my Lord. 

On the other hand, if my heart is clean, my prayer life and devotion time are all in line, in other words, my foundation is solid, then everything else sort of just falls into place. I'm more tolerant with my children, more productive, more approachable, my flaws are less apparent, my sinful tendencies easier to resist, and I'm fit and ready to be used by the Lord.

How easy it is to chose the cheaper concealer route, to push off devotion time, or prayer, or even a confession until later, assuming it wont cause any harm, but how quickly they get forgotten. Later never comes, and one issue snowballs into another, leaving blemishes, targets, all over our best intentions. Concealing each resulting issue one at a time, painfully revealing more sin, and more heartache, more frustrations that need to be dealt with. How much smarter it is to start with a solid foundation from the beginning, to take the time necessary each day to invest in our spiritual life with prayer, devotions, and by protecting our hearts. 

Today, I chose foundation, and I pray the Lord will continue to use this example as a reminder to me when I'm tempted to cheat and push my time with Him aside for other things. I pray that using concealer everyday on my face (until it is gone, or I can justify spending even more money on makeup to replace it with foundation), will help me to form long term habits of maintaining a strong foundation on my Christian Walk. 

What have you been using? 

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