Comfortable in Your Skin


Quick, what’s the one thing you’d change about your body?

That was the question a young filmmaker from the Jubilee Project asked. The adults? They wanted better skin, smaller ears.

One woman asked plaintively, “Just one?”

The children? They wanted a shark’s mouth, a cheetah’s legs, a mermaid’s tail.

What if it didn’t have to be quick? Everything moves more slowly in the South; so with all that time to consider, what do Southern women want to change?

I talked with two of Charleston’s top makeover experts – the lead aesthetician at Cos Bar, and a makeup artist at Blue Mercury – about what it is that women my age want to change.

And the answer is that most of us want to change our skin: it’s dry, it’s lost elasticity, our neck is sagging, our décolleté is a mess.

“They want to take care of wrinkles, anti-aging, more firm. They don’t want a knife or needles. They want less invasive, but want more results,” says Jamie Biering of the Cos Bar.

Of course, not all women of a certain age have eschewed surgery.

“Some women come in to preserve plastic surgery” says Sara Nicole Massraf of Blue Mercury. “We sell them creams to make their injectables last, makeup to cover suture marks.”

She adds that mature women can get in a makeup rut and can be hard to convince to change routines.

But, according to Massraf, most Southern women don’t have to be convinced to have a routine, even if it is outdated.

“In the South, we’re the glamour culture, the pageant culture, the cheerleader culture. Our culture is slow and easy; we take the time to look good – like lipstick instead of just a dash of gloss – and we take the time for beauty sleep,” Massraf says. “The ladies of the South have the luxury of time to invest in themselves.”

I too want to look younger, firmer. But is it wrong that I also want a mermaid’s tail or cheetah’s legs?

mermaid tail

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