For the first time in my career, I no longer regularly wear makeup to work. It’s a pandemic thing, I guess. After months of working remotely from home or wearing a mask when I’m out, there just doesn’t seem like there’s much point in spending time juggling products and picking today’s lipstick shade.

Now, instead of applying mascara and a little color to my cheeks in the morning before going in to school, I check my temperature and complete my daily health survey. It takes about the same amount of time really.

I’ve read a little bit about the impact of the pandemic on the hair industry and witnessed my friends’ changing hair colors. Among other things, many more (wo)men have begun to embrace their natural hair color, be it grey or otherwise. I just had my second haircut since January and bucked that trend, going with my amazing stylist Melinda’s request to lighten up a few locks around my face basically blending the grey from root to end. No need to cover it. You know how I am about hiding things – not very good.

Honestly, I like these silver strands I’m growing. They’re kind of like the tinsel from your Christmas Tree, circa 1972. The texture can be kind of whacky, but there are products for that which don’t require maintenance at 6-8 week intervals. With less frequent visits to the salon, it seems that people are wearing their hair longer, too. I’m on that train for sure, having used the time in quarantine to bite the bullet to finally grow out my bangs. Long hair can be a lot, but I appreciate the ease of pulling it off my face. My bare, naked face, that is.

My make up habits have evolved over the years from my beginnings in the late 70s. (Note to self: The 70s were quite the influence in my life!) As most my age did, I began my painted life with Bonne Bell Lipsmackers. We all had them, along with Tickle deodorant. The more flush girls, or the ones who brazenly stole them from the drugstore a town over, had an array of flavors that was dizzying.

I graduated from sticky lips to darkened eyes. First, just the lashes with mascara, but soon enough with hot match-softened Maybelline eye liner. In black, of course. I had abandoned lip gloss by this point, not enjoying the feel of it on my mouth. I didn’t pick up lipstick even casually until I was about 18, when I became convinced that grown women needed to own red lipstick. I still kind of believe that. Unlike many young women,  I never dabbled with skin coverage products like foundation or base. It seemed contrary to me. Skin, like each of us, should breathe.

Since having my kids, my makeup routine is pretty basic – mascara, maybe some powder or cheek color, lipstick. Events and occasions call for eye shadow or liner – in a much softer shade than in my student years. I try never to leave the house without either mascara or lip color at a minimum. Or, I should say, I used to try. Before Covid. Now, I grab a mask, keys and phone when I walk out the door, leaving the zipper pouch of pretty lipsticks untouched. Sigh.

Because of the tendency of my eyeglasses to fog up when wearing a mask, I’ve been more inclined to wear contact lenses these days. Couple that fact with the attention to one’s eyes that mask wearing causes, and it would seem that wearing eye makeup would still be a thing. I guess I’ve just fallen out of the habit. I’m not alone either.

Eyebrows seem to be having a real moment and personally, I’m a little overwhelmed by the amount of grooming that goes into maintaining or creating the perfect brow, but, I guess if we keep the focus above the mask, we can avoid looking at what is under the mask. Please tell me you also find your chin erupting in mascne. If you’re looking for some help with blemishes which are occurring, check out this article.

Has Covid impacted your beauty routine? One day, when mask wearing once again is relegated to costume parties and Halloween, what habits do you hope to resume and which do you think you have you given up on permanently?