All Made Up…even when there's no place to go
Girls' Life magazine|August/September 2020
Many girls packed away their blush during quarantine –some for good. But for Vanessa Tropona, her happy place is still her beauty bag.
By Vanessa Tropona

I’ll never forget the first time I put on mascara: twisting the cap around, pumping the wand like I’d seen in the movies, carefully wiping the excess at the top of the tube and examining the bristles like I’d discovered something magical. I started coating my lashes with fast strokes and didn’t stop until I heard the honk of the car horn outside. My ride was waiting.

I stepped back, looked in the mirror and—for the first time in my 12-year-old life— I absolutely loved the color of my eyes. They were brighter, more sparkly—not just hazel but emerald and gold and gorgeous. I was in awe of myself. And I was in awe of the pink tube (and its iconic green cap) that I held in my hand.

In that moment—that instantly empowering reaction to my reflection—I developed a love and appreciation for makeup that started with mascara but quickly grew to include anything you could find at a cosmetics counter.

Ten years later, I’m just as obsessed. But now, with many girls staying makeup-free, my decision to wear a face full of products is seen as suspect. Waste of time! Waste of money! With outings limited, masks still a thing and Zoom’s “makeup” filter just a click away, who exactly am I getting all gussied up for? The answer is simple: Me.

First Blush

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