The timing of the new musical War Paint — coming to Broadway this March and starring Patti LuPone, 67, and Christine Ebersole, 63 — could not be better.
The stage production is based on the delicious 2003 dual biography of the same name, which author Lindy Woodhead subtitled Madame Helena Rubinstein and Miss Elizabeth Arden — Their Lives, Their Times, Their Rivalry.
Both the play and the book reenact the legendary antagonism between two beauty titans who made makeup a power tool for women the world over. "There are no ugly women," Rubinstein famously remarked, "only lazy ones." Arden was a bit more reserved: "Every woman," she proclaimed, "has the right to be beautiful."
If the play ends anything like the book did, audiences may leave the theater conflicted: Did the two makeup mavens liberate women or enslave them?
Knowing that background, can you imagine how loudly Rubinstein and Arden might have gasped at our current "no-makeup" trend? With everyone from Adele to Hillary Clinton having chosen to appear barefaced in public (or merely on social media) in 2016, here's my take on the new maquillage-free movement.
It needn't be all or nothing. Let's get realistic because makeup sure has. Thanks to new technology, do-good ingredients, sheer textures and natural colors, makeup is now able to create a fresh and healthy look — one that enhances our features but camouflages discolorations without looking "painted on."
The whims of the wearer should decide the issue here. Some days a touch of beauty balm (BB) cream and tinted lip balm supply enough oomph, with no one the wiser. Other days we might ramp up the drama and definition with a red lip or a smoky lined eye. With the menu of makeup options this varied, why not try one?
Thank you for not sharing! "Nothing" comes between you and your selfie, you say? Then why am I able to detect the telltale traces of your cosmetic surgery, Botox, fillers and hair coloring?