Monday, May 30, 2011

On Beauty

A professional makeup artist recently told me: “every woman asks me how to do smoky eyes. I think smoky eyes have a time and place, but I think playing up a natural, glowy look is a lot harder but looks more beautiful. Most women don’t realize that.”

And so it is with most things beautiful.

We identify something in its simplified state, and then exhaust our resources trying to amplify its appeal. In doing so, we cheapen it. Things like the subtlety of the Tuscan landscape, when replicated in our own American homes, become a movie-set version that exploits the allure and guts the real beauty. The tranquility of the Caribbean beach is disrupted when mimicked in bright turquoise bathrooms and stenciled seashells. And the female form and face becomes a sort of Frankenstein version of itself when too much of it is augmented.

The beauty is often in the quiet honesty of simplicity, and we would better appreciate the beautiful things in our lives if we learn to tame our temptation to intensify their every detail, and let things speak for themselves more articulately.

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