The Masquerade – Subtitled: The unmasking of beauty masks during Lockdown

Tonight I decided I needed to work on ‘my fabulous.’

Since #masks is trending, I used a beauty mask gifted to me by the lovely Gabriella for Christmas 2019, which I have been meaning to use one evening ever since. It was touted as a ‘de-stressing mud mask for a revived healthy-looking complexion.’

This is what I thought I looked like:

This is what I actually looked like:

Not my best look!

Now my devilish clever plan had been to apply the mask, then wait out the 10-15 minutes finishing off my emails. But I really didn’t think it through properly. It’s all very well playing spa girl, massaging in the green mud (a delightfully creamy substance), being careful to avoid the eyes, admiring my peppermint complexion, and frightening my family, (Okay they actually just laughed, and The Maestro merely glanced at me, and  commented drily, ‘Now really! Was ist hier los?’ The Mad Lab thumped her tail patronizingly at my vain attempts at vanity. Thank God the Cat was outside hunting pigeons (her only use) because I didn’t need her sneering derision as well.) But when I got to my laptop, I realised that neither Spa Girl nor Jim Carrey need glasses to see. And I couldn’t put my specs on while the mask was still wet.

The Mask: 1; Aging Matron: 0

Undeterred, I used the time to send photographs of myself to the family WhatsApp group to see whether I could at least frighten my sister and my sons who have left home (and I wonder why!). This is what I got back:

The Mask: 2; Failed Scary Monster Mom: 0

As the substance dried and tightened on my visage, leaving me looking like a chalky green clown, with huge lips, I realized a second thing made impossible by this so-called ‘de-stressing’ (more like ‘distressing’) concoction: you’re not supposed to speak with a mask on. For FIFTEEN minutes! Now, anyone who knows me, knows how difficult that is – well-nigh impossible. I did survive of course, albeit peering myopically at my screen while using my ventriloquist skills to mutter at whoever was listening (no one, as usual.)

Sadly, I looked no different after removal of the ogre-gunk. I was expecting more of a facelift – I mean, doesn’t ‘de-stressing’ imply uplifting something? But not even my spirits were lifted and I remain the same old witch as usual. So much for fabulous!

My only consolation is the third thing I realized:

Even though I wanted to look Vogue-cover vibrant, it doesn’t matter because even if I did, in Lockdown:

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No one could see! Saved by the COVID mask, a covert way to hide one’s blemishes! And the irony? The only part visible above this mask?..my eyes, which were never part of my beauty treatment at all!

Perhaps I should be working on my inner-beauty instead – sadly there is no ‘de-stressing mud mask’ for that!

“There is a face beneath this mask, but it isn’t me. I’m no more that face than I am the muscles beneath it, or the bones beneath that.”
― Steve Moore, V for Vendetta