Over the past few years, women without makeup — sans fards, as French ELLE puts it — have become worthy of media (and online) celebration. As highlarious gossip blogger Michael K of Dlisted explained in an April post, “It seems like every month some magazine is stripping the coats of lacquer off of the faces of celebrities and semi-celebrities to show regular women that these famous hos look just like you in their natural states …”
This bores me. In sans fards magazine shoots, expert photography, lighting and Photoshop make normally beautiful people look beautiful in a slightly different way. So what? In regular life, it doesn’t matter to me if you wear a year’s worth of makeup at once or nothing at all. I personally walk around my neighborhood most days wearing sweaty gym clothes and no makeup. Of course, I do that because I believe my neighborhood is a magic zone of invisibility and that I can only be seen by other humans when I travel to different neighborhoods. Once I leave my block, Coco Chanel’s policy — quoted by Annette Tapert in her article “Always Dress to Impress” in last weekend’s Wall Street Journal — comes into play:
“I can’t understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little, if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that’s the day she has a date with destiny and it’s best to be as pretty as possible for destiny.”
When I went to an out-of-neighborhood doctor’s appointment yesterday, I didn’t dry my hair or put on any jewelry, but I did apply eyeliner and lipstick to be polite. Also, I’ve had some encounters with harsh doctors, and as Susan Fales-Hill said in Annette Tapert’s article, “…Do not give people the opportunity to dismiss you or mistreat you by looking less than your best.” On my way to the appointment, I remembered Michael K and his “SANS FARDS” (always all caps) posts. In the April post I quoted above, he wrote about actress Zooey Deschanel’s SANS FARDS shoot for People magazine:
The SANS FARDS portrait everyone is talking about is Zooey Deschanel’s, because most of us didn’t think it was possible for her to remove the doll lashes or scrub away the pink rouge that is splattered on her cheeks to look like somebody pinched her for being so adorkable. Zooey kind of looks like she just got up from her 4th hangover nap of the day.
Ha! I don’t think wearing eyeliner and lipstick is truly SANS FARDS, but some of the SANS FARDS magazine shoots/funny posts include that much, so I took a selfie for Instagram in Michael K’s honor.
Leaving the neighborhood sans bijoux, as I did, felt weirder than the makeup/hair situation. I don’t wear jewelry at home — taking it off lessens wear and tear — but I always remember the time I went to visit my late business partner in her Diamond District showroom with nary a jewel on my person. She said, “Why do you come to see me dressed like a pauper?” She was right. I could have missed my date with destiny in the form of a new customer. And I really did meet my favorite goldsmith thanks to a conversation started by my attention-getting Xenobia ring. See? My fingers were dressed to impress at the right time! But because I was going to a doctor for the diagnosis of a weird finger bump, I gave all my fingers the day off.
I was hoping the weird bump on my right pinkie was removable like this weird bump, but it turned out to be from arthritis. WTF! I didn’t have pretty hands in the first place, and this is definitely not going to improve them. Also, it makes me feel old. Thanks a lot, finger! You bastard. That said, the doctor wasn’t impressed by the size of my bump — I’m just supposed to keep an eye on it and alert him if it gets gigantic. He seemed more interested in my lace-patterned Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips, which were applied by celebrity manicurist Tracylee Percival.
You’d think with all the nice manicures and jewelry I give them, my fingers wouldn’t be mean to me like this. Alas, as Shakespeare didn’t say, “How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless finger.” SMH. On the other hand (so to speak), as my father pointed out, when I drink tea, my pinkie will automatically stick out in a pseudo-elegant way. There’s always a bright side.
Your pinky finger is an ungrateful bitch.
I can confirm your no frills approach to yesterday’s outfit and makeup routine. But, you still looked great. Natural beauty.
I love Monica Bellucci.
She’s great…remember her in white latex in one of The Matrix movies? http://wendybrandes.com/blog/2008/02/my-latest-ode-to-latex-love/
Hope your bump isnt painful at least! I have a small bump on my right hand pointer finger for the last few years right at the base of my nail that I never ask the doctor about (I always forget) that kind of freaks me out. When I used to substitute teach, a little kid asked me what it was and I told them to mind their own business (in the nicest way possible). I didn’t realize Michael K has that tagged so far back, it took me back to an Amy Winehouse post and it made me sad shes gone!
OMG, kids are sooooo nosy. They always comment on my lipstick!
sulky kitten says
The lens would shatter if I attempted an “au natural” pose. You look so pretty and aged about 30. You really do get the best manicures.
I heart you.
Couture Carrie says
Absolutely amazing mani and ring!
déjà pseu says
I think your lipstick-and-liner seulment look is GREAT. You have a very Bardot sex kitten thing going on there.
Alice Olive says
I completely agree about politeness and commanding a little respect…
Meanwhile, I like Chuck Close for sans fards. I am always struck by his portrait of Kate Moss in the Surrey hotel. A large and vivid reminder that pores very much exist. Nevertheless, it’s a mesmerizing image.
Susan Partlan says
You look adorkable in that photo. Make-up rules!
That's Not My Age says
Oh I walk round the neighborhood SANS FARDS & dressed like a tramp (hobo not hooker). I find this look works better in summer with sunglasses.
Hi my dear! wow, I love this picture you, very cute indeed! xx
Megan Mae says
Yowch, at the arthritis. I wish I could show you a picture of my great-aunt’s hands and say – “It could be a lot worse!” The fingers on my own right hand already ‘curl’ slightly due to arthritis and tendon damage. And it’s been that way since I was about 16/17.
I think you always look fabulous, Wendy. I wish I could have as beautiful skin as you have!
Wow! Those nails are totally cute!!