The Elusive Search for Beauty

“Wow, your eyes look awesome; what kind of mascara is that?” I asked my nephew’s girlfriend. I was visiting my sister in Dallas, and we were both transfixed by the young woman’s eyes.

“I can’t remember the name of it,” she mused, “but I bought it at the drugstore. It’s plumping mascara. You just brush it on, wait a few minutes, and then your eyelashes plump up.”Connie Dunn

The next day my sister and I went to the nearest pharmacy to hunt for this miraculous mascara. We read the packages carefully; the products contained polymers, fibers, and lash extenders.

We discovered plumping mascaras, extending mascaras, some with a jumbo brush, others with a comb brush that would eliminate clumps. The different mascaras promised to separate, extend, or plump one’s natural lashes.

Some of them promised to increase your lashes by 7X, 8X, 12X, even 15X. We were mesmerized by the possibilities. They offered such properties as waterproof, flakeproof, smudgeproof, and hypoallergenic. They came in brown, brownish black, blackest black, and even purple or green.

Which one should we choose? The selection was mind boggling. The dispensers were elegant, bright, colorful, and eye-catching, enticing us to purchase. The wands were displayed to show us the unique brush characteristics of each. Would the wafting of these magic wands create a magical transformation?

We certainly hoped so.

We finally chose two brands which we hoped would satisfy all our desires, and took them to the counter to purchase. After returning to my sister’s house, we eagerly tore open the cardboard packages, trying one brand on the left eye, and the other brand on the right eye.

Gazing in the bathroom mirror, we were disappointed. No stupendous transformation had occurred. The glamorous faces we had expected to see did not stare back at us in the mirror. We didn’t look younger, prettier, or more alluring. Facing my sister, I said, “We should have bought a different brand.”

I wondered, what is it as women that we hope to gain by finding the perfect mascara—is it beauty, worth, esteem, youthfulness, sex appeal, or value as a woman?

As women we spend so much money on hair products, make-up, and clothes in a desperate attempt to make ourselves attractive.

As further evidence of the futility of finding the ideal beauty product, when I arrived in Kansas City, proudly fluttering my newly lacquered lashes, my husband didn’t even notice!

Now, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t wear make-up, or that we shouldn’t try to look our best.

Is there something more important that we should be worrying about, especially as Christian women? The Bible offers some hints in the book of Colossians.

“Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.

“Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony” (Colossians 3:1-2, 12, 14 NLT).

So it seems after my disappointing search for the perfect mascara, perhaps I would have been wiser to spend time clothing myself with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. I should have been more

Jesus loves us with or without make-up. He sees our internal beauty and loves us for WHO we are.

©2015 Connie Dunn
Connie Dunn’s personal life experiences provide a rich fodder for her writing: she has experienced the pain of divorce, the trials and joys of single parenting, the challenge and joy of remarriage, the chaos of blended families, the loss and freedom of becoming an empty nester, the shock of corporate downsizing, and the ache of helping aging parents. She lives with her husband and her cat in the Kansas City area. Her writing credits include devotionals and short stories in several anthologies. You can visit her author page at: