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uncompromisingly yours...

Dear Cosmetic Producers

Even though I don’t wear make-up, or haven’t applied eyeliner for quite some time, I live with someone who does…do their face. The process of applying the perfectly even layer of base, puffs of eye shadow that does not swallow or smoke the eyes out, mascara, eyeliner, lipstick and gloss and finally a dash of rouge to the cheeks, takes as long as it would take me to wash, dry, comb and style my hair if my whole body was covered in the stuff. The endless rows of little bottles and tubes remind me of all those sauces you bought but didn’t like, never used but couldn’t toss out because maybe one day…They remain forever in the background, audience to the only two you’ve ever used and will likely ever use.

Not being any type of authority on the elaborate ritual of “doing ones face” or “plastering on the mask”, but the process of applying these products seem to have remained relatively similar from the days I sat next to the basin watching my mom mold her face into a likeness that all the people she didn’t know and most certainly didn’t want to sexual appease, would deem pretty, might I say classy, the male equivalent of say, a regular yolk who remembers to tuck in his shirt. My second point of criticism is the cost of these ‘make-me-look-unnaturally-natural-prettifying-tubes’. For what one could classify a basic kit of 'the good stuff', you look at forking out around $500. The stuff does however go onto your face so one would presume that ‘the good stuff' is all they have on offer. The type of stuff that won’t actually make ‘it’ worse. You are however trying to mask, on a semi-permanent basis, that which you and every beauty magazine already considers a bit of a bland and compromised canvas. Therefore if the horrendous amounts of bunnies and other soft furry laboratory specimens that paid the ultimate price, sacrificing their cuddly little faces, were in fact maimed beyond recognition for a product that never entered into the ‘good-stuff’ realm, it would really not be that much of a loss to the cosmetic companies. You would simply have to purchase and apply their products more permanent-permanently than semi-permanently. It might very well turn out to be a vicious cycle where the more make-up you use the uglier you become so you start using more make-up because your face is just getting worse and worse, ad infinitum. This however, I admit, steers us a bit too far onto the shaky bridge of cynicism. This cynicism was not born from a dislike of what women look like with makeup on. The contrary. It is the utter time consumption that drove me to once again provide Science some solid solutions. From a perspective of its sub ulterior functionality, one also has to sadly accept that this ritual of beautifying is a slow but dedicated process of inwardly guiding the person to feel as good as they think they look.

This protracted practice of choosing the perfect shade, opening the bottle, squeezing the tube, selecting the right brush, distorting the face into exactly the right shape to tighten the sailcloth, has evolved into a type of kinetic meditation few would be able to replace with process devoid of opening tubes and exploring the absence of your painting skills. One might further conclude that reaching for a tube of lipstick is not that different from reaching for an Adrenalin shot or a trusted rabbit’s foot. If the process of applying makeup has in fact become this uncompromisingly affixed to its liminal values, the developers who employ my suggested device should not have too hard of a time replacing it with some functionality in the accompanying app. In “The Fifth Element” Mila Jovovich’s character Lila briefly places what looks like a 3D viewer over her eyes and flicks a switch. In an instant she’s given a perfect application of eye shadow, eyeliner and mascara. Seconds later she returns to eating her chicken, paying almost as little attention to a look, that would take hours to perfect using thee top of the range good stuff, as Cosmetic company tech developers did to this brilliant little filmic gimmick. The question begged is how on God’s gorgeous earth has no one cosmetic company lined up a whole herd of bunnies to test out an all-in-one method or device of applying makeup this quick and flawlessly. So yes, sure. Why would pharmaceutical companies not all put their heads together and make one pill that keeps you healthy, making all other medicine obsolete? Probably for the same reason that it would simply be bad business to create a device that could replace that brave crowded row of money making ‘the-good-stuff' tubes. It’s not inconceivable to imagine a type of mechanical face mask that would actually administer the right amount of the right product in the right quantities to the right regions of the face. This does however still seem a bit futuristic. However willing women are to fork out wads of greenery to look great, it would not make the right size of financial splash in the plebeian market from where every and all producers make most of their money. So here is a simple solution. The cosmetic companies could have people sit for facial fittings or scans from which they can create permanent personalized neutral facial graphs. They could use these graphs to reproduce cheap latex molds that can be lined in the inside with the base, eye shadow, lip stick and what ever other kind of substance in whichever other facial region. The consumer can choose a range of different matching pallets and looks they can combine in these reproduced mask. It would off course be ideal if these customized mask have a film covering which, once removed, contains the ‘new face' on the inside. The mask is then placed on the face, rubbed with a damp cloth to release it from the mold and all that remains is to gently blend it into the facial tissue with a brush. If this is still too much of a stretch, it could just be individual patches that you apply to the various regions, although this also starts appearing to be a time consuming process. Therefore dear science, make the bold shift and liberate the time consuming beautification process from the interdependent internal ritual to which it has become a slavish subordinate underling. If you feel that the suggested device and process robs women from the tradition of displaying an elaborate collection of branded products which enables them to reproduce any look they happened to have caught a glimpse of somewhere, you better start developing a pill that makes men sprout long luxurious hair all over their bodies, because God only knows, we have the time to groom them.

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