Praise Narcissus! It's day five of five, the last day in which I must avoid a mirror. The time has gone by pretty fast, and with only one or two hiccups. On day one I cheated and used my compact mirror to touch up my make-up but besides that, I've only caught my reflection a few times in a set of glass doors. I've seen my photos, and well, all I have to say is that it was hilarious to see them on the homepage of HuffPost Style next to the small heads of Natalie Portman and Blake Lively. So here we are, the final day, the final outfit, the final outcome.
And what do you know, it's my birthday. Yahoo! Normally I would wear something special, like a new shirt. Fancy me! But without a mirror, I didn't want to risk anything. I went with black heels, black jeans, black shirt, holiday scarf, straight hair, no make-up. It seems to be the proven no-mirror theory for success.
Theory, interesting. Now I don't remember much from high school chemistry, but the scientific method stuck with me. (And now that Pluto's not even in the picture anymore and arsenic can be a building block, I'm glad I didn't bother to retain anything else.) Anyway, after the five day experiment without a mirror, it's time to report my conclusions.
My twenty-eight years on Earth have suggested that mirrors are more primary to my day-to-day experience than secondary. I start my day with the mirror in the bathroom. I get dressed in front of the mirror in my kitchen (this is NYC people, my bedroom is smaller than your car). I look at the mirror every time I wash my hands. I use the mirror at my desk to check out my hair and make-up. And I end the day washing my face, in front of the mirror.
With that urge suppressed, or rather, forbidden, things changed. My outfits were simplified--the fewer clothes the better. Dresses were the easiest, and I've got to get more of them in my life. My hair was straightened which took the guess-work out of a wash-n-go curly-hair day. It took more time to blow dry and flat-iron, but the result was a sure thing. Make-up was on an as-needed basis. I think that was the hardest part. You know how they say to brush your teeth with the opposite hand to increase brain power? Try putting on eye-brow powder without a mirror; your brain and your sense of humor will thank you.
I'm not going to use the mirror any less now that I'm released from HuffPost's assignment. In fact, I look forward to having all reflective surfaces back at my disposal. I also can't say that inner beauty shined through, or that I didn't struggle every few hours with the obvious question, "how do I look?" But I can say this.
The beginning of the week was tough and I cheated. But once I realized that people would tell me when things weren't so pretty (I had a co-worker lick her finger and wipe eyeliner off my cheek), I was able to relax. "C'est la vie", or as the kids over-use these days, "it is what it is", became my motto. And that's the biggest lesson here for me: There's gonna be dirt on your face and if you're lucky, someone will wipe it off.
Now somebody pass me some birthday cake and a mirror!