By Joan Spitz
Aging, arguably can present itself as the showdown between our mortality and the acceptance of it. We look at our life lessons reflected in mirrors showing the crevasse of time etched in wrinkles on our face or scars from childhood falls on our elbows. Some see these reminders as unsightly others a comfort that the trials of time have brought us hopefully to a place of peace and acceptance. Examining the past can be a sordid business and digging up triumphs rather than mistakes may be a more productive meditation while sipping morning coffee.
Make No mistake, a successful happy life is a battle and as we live at times, “You gotta fight for your right to party”- Beastie Boys, as it is not easy watching our bodies change. The downward pull of aging is a slippery slope, that potential for a free-fall of self-doubt fed by poor diet, lack of sleep, stress and past misfortunes. It is a fight to remain youth minded within the wisdom of age as the latest fashionable, homogeneous style trends may not be fitting for us. A Life makeover is not a one size fits all proposition, for some retail therapy and a new hairdo helps, for others three months on the Appalachian Trail is the answer. Let’s explore the makeover thing.
Catching the eye of Train Wreck Cosmetics is makeup artist Kendra Bevill with 25 years of makeup experience in television, film and weddings shows us how to cheat time or prepare for a life change with her aesthetics talent while motivating her fans with improved diet, exercise and self-care. She loves makeup, but there is more to her mission. Glancing overtop funky glasses, carefully accessorized outfit, hair and makeup creations bring on the curiosity as her ability to repurpose makeup brushes into magic wands with a flick of the wrist is mesmerizing. Abra Kadabra, ta daaaa!! Cruising over her clients portraits taken by Leticia Andrade, it appears their team objective is not to hide aging or mask the elegance of a young bride with the latest fad colors but rather to embrace each client as an individual with texture and color reflecting the occasion and personality.
Kendra is interested in what happens after the makeup is applied to the person within. “Sometimes my clients cry when they see the transformation and she jokingly tells them “If you ruin your makeup crying right now I wont have time to do it over” as they prepare for an important event. She has the ability to stir something inside of her client that they may not have known to be there. A little nudge in the right direction to think that maybe the most amazing part of their life is yet to come and whatever it is that may be getting in the way, be it low self esteem, fear, inability to forgive or any other road block that the small details of makeup application may be just the thing to lift the barrier so a better life experience can be explored.
Her talent is evidenced in her clients transformation through the attention to the finite and the bigger portrait of the whole person, head-to-toe, not just the face. To love the work is one thing, but to truly care about a clientele may be the secret to her success. Let’s face it, people have a tendency to look and feel better exploring the possibility that our self-care has more impact on our lives than we think for young and old.
Aging takes on many forms as some choose to pull the silver locks into a ponytail and write a best seller quite possibly by the jump start of a makeover. Others may find a new way to think about their reflection in the mirror by something a grandchild says or even suffering great loss inducing a personal turn-a-round they may or may not be aware of.
Kendra has a magic touch with all ages but the aging process as it pertains to self-esteem and reconciling past with present can be as important as the end result. To embrace our bodies as they move through the passing of time, from weddings and baby showers to hospital visits and funerals, the maturing woman is beautiful in a bathrobe, slippers and mud mask. The ability to embrace her past and face the future with grace and dignity as her ability to climb steps and put up with bullshit is increasingly more difficult creating an aura of unwillingness to acquiesce to situations previously compromised into disaster. The survival of our failures and our triumphs and joys if approached right are an opportunity to improve, a lesson for any age.
The relevant poem by Dylan Thomas suggests that we “do not go gentle into that good night, old age should burn and rave until close of day”, as the youth obsessed culture betrays our aging with a message that older people have little to offer. People like Kendra jump start possibility thinking by presenting an alternative way to survey ones sense of self, but the rest is up to the individual to “rage, rage against the dying of the light”-Dylan Thomas. Rage on beauty queen because you are already lovely before makeup application.
Let’s talk what happens after the jump-start of someone’s self-worth. Most life changes and goal setting worthy of a try are not easy. It is a battle fought and lost in grocery stores by choosing healthy foods, speaking up in boardrooms for a well researched idea, or finding a new crowd to entrust you life. Put your face on, not with makeup but with your moxy girlfriend. There is a lot available to improve your self-reflection and by extension how you feel but the rest is up to you. Embrace the gentle shove whatever it may be, a makeover, a book, falling in love, letting go.
Kendra reports experiencing a gentle bump in the right direction by watching the TV show “Forks Over Knives” and decided to become a vegetarian. After this life change, she reports “improvement in fatigue level and her skin is better”. There you have it folks in a vegetarian nutshell, beauty help may occur with what we choose to put into our bodies, not what we put on our face but each have the potential to influence the other. Your doctor is a good place to start with the diet and exercise decisions, everyone is different in that regard.
We are bio-emotional beings which impact us in profound ways from eating habits to emotional stability. Sad? Eat chips and dip. Afraid? Eat very little and watch your metabolism slow down and the corticosteroids betray you, the dynamic duo of life violation. Angry? Go for the mania induced carb consumption with all its side dishes of sugar, grief and inability to move on. Pass the wrinkle cream because our bio-emotional beings betray us.
We come from different cultures, families, genetics and experiences. There is more to it then a box of cream or the latest lipstick color and just saying no to cookies. This life balance is what Train Wreck Cosmetics calls holding yourself “DEAR”, D-diet, E-emotional, A-activity, R-rest which parallels the adage, eat right, exercise get plenty of rest but adds an emotional component of which makeovers are explored. Each category has different meaning to each of us, but there is an innate truth that if we do not honor each of those areas in our lives, we will ultimately see the result in either reluctance to do the activities we use to love or find our closets no longer befitting of our current life choices lacking exercise and desire to put our best foot forward. For our friends with makeup brushes , like Kendra Bevill, we thank you for the gentle nudge in the right direction as the rest of it is up to us to explore the best path.