Sunday, January 23, 2011

Cinq choses essentielles

Or "Five Things I Cannot Leave Home Without."

Having been tagged by Une femme d'un certain age with this key question, I spent yesterday actually focusing on what I did need, away from my home. I am afraid some of my list will duplicate that of Deja Pseu's list.

#1 Mascara. When I am at home all day, I rarely put it on. But one of my early lessons in being an adult femme was to wear mascara whenever I go out the front door.

Currently, I wear Maybellines's Colossal Blast in Waterproof Black. I have always worn black mascara (black, very black, blackest black) because my lashes are naturally so dark brown, brown is a waste of time. Blue mascara is my change-of-pace color. For me, mascara is either the finishing touch to a more made-up face or the only thing (almost) I wear. A kind of essential polish that helps me face the big ol' outer world, even when I can't or don't take the time to even put on foundation.

#2 Lipstick: Red. This is a definite adult choice I have developed in the last decade, although I have always loved red lipstick. I probably have about ten different variations and brands, from French and American drugstore brands through Chanel.

While I read a lot about how red is too harsh for older ladies and a softer rose is better, I cannot move away. I have soft red lipstick... and brighter red lipstick. And brownish-red lipstick. And blue-red lipstick. LOVE it. Like all good beauty advice, I have adapted it to myself and plan to wear red until I am in my coffin... oh, and even then.

For me, it is a constant reminder of the glamour of the 1930s and 1940s movies I loved as a young girl developing my own unique style.

#3 Glasses. Yes, any longer leaving the house without my glasses is a bad idea. I have readers, not prescription lenses, but I cannot function at the grocery store, the restaurant, or anywhere else where reading up close is necessary. Since I do wear readers just for close reading (meaning my arms aren't long enough any more) I like to switch it up. When I do need full-time lenses, I'll have a good idea what to wear.

#4 Notebook & pen. I have always carried journals or notebooks and pens. An all-purpose list/observation/memory book. Right now I am using Moleskine notebooks (small, hard-cover, lined) and the same pens I've used for years. One of my favorite writers on writing, Natalie Goldberg, talks about finding your instruments: I did.

#5. Ring. I bought this at the National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh, when I first visited that city en route to a conference at University of St. Andrews. It is a very fine moonstone set in gold. I love the blue shimmer of the stone when the light hits it just right.

I have to say, #6 would be either my phone or my watch (I am still a wristwatch girl, despite the phone) but I do occasionally leave the house without either one, sometimes deliberately and sometimes forgetfully... and no one suffers.

A word about my purse as well. About five years ago I discovered the perfect purse for me: Longchamp Roseau series. I am not a purse gal, but this series... suffice it to say I have a medium red one, medium black one, and a small brown one. And each one will last me a lifetime and be incredibly useful. My only remaining desire: a medium one in saddle tan. Oh, yeah.


  1. Great list! That ring is lovely, and I envy your commitment to red lipstick. Thanks for taking up the challenge.

  2. I have always wondered what a moonstone looks like and now I know. Beautiful in it's simplicity.


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