Beauty School Dropout by Deb Jenny

I long ago recognized that I am the ultimate beauty school dropout. And I’ve made peace with this. I do what little I must to get by, and don’t lose too much sleep over it. Although lost sleep could be at the root of my beauty faux pas…

I’ve long recognized that we all come to the table with our pluses and minuses. Back when our oldest child was ready for elementary school, it was the trend to hold back children so they had the advantage of that extra year of physical and mental maturation. At the time we thought it crazy that we actually had to contemplate holding our kindergarten-ready child back a year because everyone else was. Fact was, our son was ready for it. So despite his shortcomings—he was small for his age, he was young for his age—we decided that he needed the challenge of school and would be far too bored without it. Unfortunately, this meant that his peers would be driving well before him. And that they would most likely have the physical advantage over him in sports.

But I realized when my babysitter’s mom told me that her daughter was so upset because she was “too tall” for her age that we are what we are. When I was her age I thought I was too average. Others think they’re too short. No one is ever quite satisfied with the status quo. So you do what you can with what you’ve got, and hope for the best (and throw in the occasional beauty products as a talisman against too much fugliness).

Anyhow, while I was not so lucky in the fat ass department, I was more lucky in the complexion department. Which meant I’ve been fortunate to avoid “necessity make-up” over the years: make-up has often been optional for me, for better or worse. In fact, it wasn’t until my book came out and I started having to show up in public places on a regular basis that I realized I had to do something about this. I was downright stunned to see what magic that Mac cosmetics associate (the one with about ten piercings in her face) worked on my face. I wasn’t used to anything on me, yet all of a sudden she’d presented me with a daily 20-minute face-presentation regimen. Damn. It was so simple when all I did was wash my face in the morning.

I went through a month or two when I stuck to it. I had to, between the signings, the TV appearances, the speaking engagements. I just realized I looked pretty pathetic without it—like the before picture. Which is I guess the whole point of those before and after pictures. I was the damned poster child for the before picture. I just hadn’t known it.

Well, summer’s here. Less to do with the book. Kids are home, thus less running around. Pool days here and there. Make up? Hell no! Nowadays, my biggest beauty aid? A good night’s sleep. Not that I ever actually get a good night’s sleep. Case in point last night, 3:30 a.m. our crazy dingo dog who’s deathly afraid of thunderstorms awoke to one seriously ominous storm. She actually hurdled the 4-foot tall gate in the mudroom (switching on the light in the process) in her haste to flee her loneliness and seek out her human counterparts. Meantime, the Labrador? My son says she’s like the prisoner who takes advantage of the power outage to launch a food fight. Yes, while the crazy one was freaking out over weather, the food-driven one was ravaging the trash can, littering my house with very messy garbage. Needless to say, I didn’t get back to sleep last night.

So my beauty goal for this summer is sleep. A little here, a little there. Avoiding make-up as much as possible. Maybe throw in yoga for peace of mind. And happiness, because nothing makes you look as good as a burden-free face with a warming smile. Aside from that, no huge plans. Just enough to get by.

So what’s your beauty secret?

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((¸¸. ·´ .. ·´Deb Jenny -:¦:-
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If I don’t reply, don’t worry. I’m just away from internet access and will do so as soon as I can!

15 Replies to “Beauty School Dropout by Deb Jenny”

  1. I am low maintenance like you, Jenny. When I need makeup (for an event only – never for day to day), I buy ‘samples’ – single use packs because I know I won’t use it again for months. Seriously. The last time I wore makeup was my nephew’s bar mitzvah last June. LAST June – as in a year ago. Thanks to the no kids thing, I do get lots of sleep and am blessed with a good complexion also, otherwise I’m not sure what I’d do other than smile a lot (see Gail’s post from yesterday).

    Hope you’re having a great holiday!

  2. What is MAC? Just kidding. I know because that is where the whole eyebrow adventure started just because I wanted to become higher maintenance. Low maintenance is so much….easier. ha! Enjoy the pool.

  3. I usually only use makkeup when I go to work but on the weekends I am really casual.

    My beauty secret is using body lotion with a hint of simmer in it to give me that nice glow but at the same time keeping my skin soft and smooth for the summer.

  4. hi guys! have a free minute of internet access so wanted to pop over to say thanks for commenting in my absence! I’ve missed the Ball chatter–head home in a day!
    p.s. Joanne–JUNE? Wow. You ARE low maintenance. Honestly, when it comes to a lot of things I”m not so low maintenance though (ask my husband how much luggage I hauled along!)

  5. Sleep? Man, I could use some of that. My beauty regimen usually involves anything I can grab at Walgreens. My big splurge is Burt’s Bees raisin tinted chap stick. I agree that smiling and sex are also good for the ol’ complexion.

  6. Hi Kalynne,

    MAC is a brand of makeup favored by TV types – They have great brushes, fabulous products. There may be a MAC store in your nearest high-end mall.

    You can see products at

    If you appear on TV regularly, you can get a PRO card which will give you a nice discount.



  7. I love a good moisturizer. That’s my everyday thing- that and some Mac lip gloss and mascara and I’m good to go 99% of the time. I have freakishly pale eyelashes- so they need a bit of something.

  8. Well, having spent 2 weeks amidst the most beautiful people–Italians–I fear I am going to have to step up my beauty regimen after all. Once you’re up against that Mediterranean pulchritude you can’t help but feel compelled to do something–anything!–to pale a little less in comparison LOL

  9. Mine is Physician’s Formula under-eye concealer, which says a lot about my sleeping habits right now! I had dog-related wakefulness last night, too…

  10. Sleep…yep, this is an area in which I could improve. I am also most often low maintenance, but a bit of good make-up and I can transform myself within 5-10 minutes. Never quite get rid of the circles under my eyes though…

  11. I was a teenage model. LOL NO kidding, so I was a makeup queen. Now I’m a slouchy casual mom and I don’t look like Christy Brinkley who didn’t seem to age at all! So Elizabeth Arden is my friend- and her compact makeup is my BEST friend- smooths out all the imperfections and makes me look at least two years younger–till it starts collecting in the cracks. I have noticed my lipstick doing that as well, which is well, gross. Oh and boy I could write an ode to sleep. We have a secret plot that when the current animals run their course and fade out in a graceful and natural fashion we won’t replace them. THEN we will get some sleep because truly, critters are nocturnal!

    OH but I will say that i kicked all the cats out of the bedroom and that was like —magic.

    And speaking of magic, without lipstick I’m a ghost. With lipstick, I’m Lana Turner. YAY for Lipstick!

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