Where my makeup journey started…


Visiting my grandma’s house as a child, I would always sneak into her bedroom to stare at her wall filled with pictures of a family who existed before I did. My adolescent mother was a natural beauty, but the look captured in her blue eyes revealed she was completely unaware of this fact.  She was perched on a horse with long, straight, dark, and parted-down-the-middle hair.  A trademark look of a child born in the 60’s.  I imagined  what it would be like to meet the woman staring back at me from the beneath the glass.  Somehow travel back into time to know her as Brenda, and not as my mother.  I always thought this would help me understand life from her perspective.  I would then wander over to the framed portraits of my grandparents.  It was hard to wrap my young mind around the concept that this was the same man sitting in the recliner eating Werther’s Originals, and the same woman filling the house with the smell of  homemade biscuits.  Ben, my grandpa was so handsome in is uniform, giving Don Draper a run for his money.  Even in still photos, men exuded such honor back then.  My grandmother, aptly named Bonnie,  looked like a doll in her pictures.  Her hair was meticulously  styled and always complimented by the perfect lipstick.  It was an era in which people took such pride in the way they looked; probably to distract from the headlines of the time.  While I do appreciate the freedom women of my generation have to wear sweats and ponytails to the grocery store, I daydream about days filled with such glamour.

As a very awkward and lanky pre-teen, I recall watching my mom in awe as she curled her eyelashes with a strange contraption.  Then she so effortlessly applied the classic pink tube Maybelline mascara to her lashes.  I was an inquisitive child,  and often asked why her mouth hung open so funny while she did this.  I now do the same.  I remember thinking how great her eyelids were, how high her eyebrows arched, how beautiful she was, and how I hoped to be half as pretty as her someday.  These are also the years that our family faced many hardships.  I was a sponge who soaked up a lot of sadness.  However, it’s been said that in all darkness there is light.  I believe this is where my love affair with makeup began.   If I could find just find beauty in something, even as small a notion as painting up my face to feel pretty, then all was right in my little world.  I don’t think I was even allowed to wear makeup yet, but I always snuck into my mom’s makeup drawer in the bathroom.  I would try to remember every detail of how she applied her makeup, and do my (not so) best to recreate it on myself.  One day in sixth grade, I got brave and found old crusty tube of tacky coral lipstick at the back of this glorious drawer.  I hid it in my backpack, took it to school, and put it on in the girls’ bathroom just before the bell rang.  I wore it proudly!  Judging by the looks on my classmates’ faces,  there was probably a reason the lipstick was at the back of the drawer.  Apparently, it didn’t look as fabulous as I thought it did.  Even Piccasso had to start somwhere.

Me with my mom.  My makeup inspiration.  She’s still this beautiful 🙂

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12 Responses to “Where my makeup journey started…”


  1. 1 Mary b October 16, 2010 at 1:12 am

    Oh yea y’all totally look alike! Y’all are both gorgeous!! And you are so adorable!!

    Thank god for her for being ur inspiration cause you are truly magical i’n the makeup and hair world! Maybe someday I could get you to do my hair and makeup one day!!

    Your awesome Ashley and thank you for sharing : )

  2. 2 Selena October 16, 2010 at 1:19 am

    Awww…nice blog! I really enjoyed reading about where it all began. I can definitely see a resemblance between you and your mom. I’m sure she’d be proud to know she was the inspiration for your love of make up/career path. Thanks Ash (and Brenda)! 😉

  3. 3 SarahLee23 October 16, 2010 at 1:32 am

    What a great story, and fun makeup memories you have. I used to “sneak” makeup on in middle school when I wasn’t allowed to wear it. I’d come home and wash it off, only for my mom to always know when I wore it. Clearly I didn’t wash the mascara off too well. 😉

    You’re gorgeous, just like your mom, Ashley! I hope you recognize your own beauty just the same!

    Hugs,
    Sarah

  4. 4 Stephanie October 16, 2010 at 1:40 am

    Wow you at present look like your mom in that picture! Nice blog I believe our passions and likes come from watching our parents and grandparents.

  5. 5 carol boyd October 16, 2010 at 2:01 am

    Oh My you are cute and your mom is beautiful. Thanks for sharing you are awesome an gorgeous just like your mom.

  6. 6 Rebecca October 16, 2010 at 4:15 am

    That is such a great story Ashley. Thanks for sharing that with us. I could imagine you when you were that small. Your mother is very pretty in that photo and you are so adorable in that gorgeous dress. You haven’t really changed since then 🙂

  7. 7 MotherFan October 16, 2010 at 4:19 am

    Very nice story, Ashley. It made me feel old when you were talking about your mom being born in the “olden days of the 60’s.” Like, wth? Hey, that’s *me* she’s talking about there, and my own mom was born in 1928! LOL

    But then I realized that even if your mom were born in 1960, she is still only 50 years old, and she must have had you relatively young (no older than 22), so okay. You just happen to have a very young (and beautiful, prolly still) mom, and yes, as other comments here have pointed out, you do look a lot like her.

    Did it freak you out to think you are about the same age now that your mom is in that picture? I only ask because I just recently did the same thing — took a trip down memory lane and dredged up an old picture of my mom and me that is similar to your picture — and voila, all of a sudden both your blog and Kate’s blog about how time flies come together for one very reflective and insightful blogging day. 🙂

    PS — I hope you can tell us about your dad some day, for better or for worse. None of our business, of course, but inquiring minds still want to know these things. It’s only human.

    PPS — This blog made me think of what my own nine year-old daughter might be blogging about 20 years from now. She’ll probably talk about the good old days when she would apply make up on her mom (me) for fun because, at the ripe old age of nine, she was already way better, and more experienced, at doing it that I was. LOL

    PPPS — Make up is not allowed at my daughter’s Catholic school, which goes to the eighth grade, so okay. I’m covered for at least a little bit longer. Also, not to send anybody at a make-up blogging site into shock, but I’ve only left the house once in my life with make-up on, and that was when I was a bridesmaid at my sister’s wedding. Somebody else over-applied the make-up on me, and I unfortunately looked like a clown! 🙂

  8. 8 MotherFan October 16, 2010 at 8:03 am

    You shouldn’t sell your blue sky painting, Ashley! You should give it to your mother or grandmother or keep it for yourself or your daughter.

    Or… just for good luck you could always just give it away to the first person who asks (or has already asked?) you for it, on a whim. You know. And even pay for delivery. Just a suggestion. 🙂

  9. 9 ashes2lashes October 16, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    thanks everyone for the positive feedback! it’s always such a vulnerable feeling to share writing with others, especially when it’s as personal as this. Maybe one day I’ll cross off another thing on my bucket list and write a book! Athough, I can never get further than writing a few paragraphs like above.

  10. 10 ASingleRose October 17, 2010 at 4:09 am

    You look exactly like your mother does in that picture, so there should be no doubts as to how beautiful you are 🙂

  11. 11 Regine November 15, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    I’m late on reading this entry, but I still think it’s worth commenting on.

    I know it’s already been said several times, but I definitely see the resemblance between you and your mom – especially in your eyes. Thank you for sharing with us. You don’t, and didn’t, owe it to anyone to share this, but you did. Again, thanks. Keep using your inspiration and finding new ones in all your creative outlets. 🙂

  12. 12 kiri November 27, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    Aww that picture of you and your mom and my sister is like is that kelly and her mom? I’m like no that’s kellys makeup artist. But that pic is super adorable.


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