I recently heard a program discussing makeup and cosmetics. Being confined to the inside of a vehicle on a recent anniversary/business trip to California, we read a lot of books, listened to audiobooks and tuned in to satellite radio entertainment — where we heard mention of the average annual cost of women’s makeup. The numbers seemed ridiculously high, and I had to pull out my phone to see what Google had to say — because apparently in today’s world Google is smarter than Webster’s.

I don’t wear a lot of makeup — OK, to be honest, my whole makeup bag consists of a tube of mascara, an eyeliner pencil, a handful of bobby pins and a pocketknife. So imagine my surprise when article after article popped up listing the amount the average woman in the U.S. spends to be between $225,360 and $300,000 on makeup in her lifetime!

Even if you take the lower of those two numbers, that breaks down to $3,756 a year — or $313 a month! Women in New York supposedly spend the most at $11 per day on makeup, while women in Montana spend the least at only $3.50. Several of the articles also mentioned that the average trip through the makeup isle rings in at $43 — and who said you couldn’t buy beauty?

That next morning in the hotel, I dumped out the few meager items in my makeup bag, looking for more bobby pins — a search that most women know all too well. I grew up sharing a bathroom with two sisters, and you’d have thought we would have had bobby pins to spare — but they disappear with such rapid and frequent occurrence that would nearly make one believe they were raptured. For it’s not as if they just get lost and then eventually reappear — no, they disappear never to be seen again.

Perhaps bobby pins become reincarnated into those odd herbal pills that no one can remember buying that fill up the medicine cabinet and the pony fasteners become that shelf of strange smelling lotions that no one wants to use. I checked each crease of my little makeup bag for stray bobby pins, finding just enough to finish putting my hair up.

I’d barely finished, when my small eyeliner pencil went rolling across the vanity. I sandwiched it with my hip before it could hit the floor. I am all for natural beauty (a.k.a. too lazy to actually buy or apply) — but a little mascara and eyeliner never hurt anyone. I was thinking that perhaps it wouldn’t hurt to wear a little more makeup — it was our anniversary trip after all. Maybe my husband would like it if I spent a little more time getting pretty, and didn’t rely on dirt to shade my eyelids and mud to rouge my cheeks.

Since my makeup case literally has no makeup other than eyeliner and mascara, I didn’t have a lot to work with — but I did have a little time. My husband was around the corner, on the phone with Les Schwab looking to find a replacement wheel for one of our old semi trucks.

“Is that aluminum?” I heard him ask, as I carefully drew a charcoal black line across my eyelid.

“I don’t want a steel one,” he laughed. “See if you can find me an aluminum one — I wanna put as much lipstick on that old pig as possible!”

I finished the rest of eyeliner to even out my other eye, but as I put the pencil back in my bag, I decided I am totally fine being a mud and mascara kind of girl.

Brianna Walker occasionally writes about the Farmer’s Fate for the Blue Mountain Eagle.

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