Reappraise your beauty regimes to rekindle your sparkle.
As a child I used to love sitting on my mother’s bed watching her perform her ritualistic beauty routine. I found it mesmerising, especially the part where she applied her lipstick. I always sensed she was much happier afterwards.
By the time I was 13, I’d established my own beauty ritual and was casually conscious of an underlying sense of satisfaction and harmony when it was completed. It is only very recently, however, that I have spent time considering the deeper philosophical connection between women and their cosmetic routines. But what have cosmetics got to do with philosophy, I hear you ask? Bear with me and I’ll attempt to explain. The word ‘cosmetic’ comes from the Greek word kosmos, meaning ‘order’. For the Ancient Greeks, the creation of the world (or universe) was the creation of order (kosmos) out of chaos (kaos). This is in line with modern physics, which measures the existence of the universe in terms of ectropy (the organising force behind molecular, energetic and systemic or der) and entropy (that which breaks systems down into disorder or chaos).
Although in modern English we refer to the universe as the cosmos, by general definition a cosmos is a harmonious system, one whose fundamental beauty lies in orderliness. Returning to our earlier question: when we seek to enhance and make the most of our individual ‘beauty’ here on earth, we are in fact pursuing an ancient art that is literally cosmetic - one that brings ourselves in line with the cosmos by maximising our small part in its order and beauty.
Viewing our beauty routine as a means of reconnecting to a greater ‘cosmic’ beauty and harmony can really help to strengthen its benefit. Even more power can be gained from just a few conscious additions, such as lighting a candle before you start, playing some healing music and taking a couple of minutes to connect with your breath. (I like to focus on the ‘breath of peace’, where you follow the breath in, aware of the gap before you exhale, and again aware of the gap before you inhale; it has a rhythm of four, which is deeply relaxing to the nervous system).
Take a bath, scrub your body, even apply your make-up with this awareness and then observe how you feel, how your day unfolds, how people react to you and you to them. You’ll never view your ‘cosmetic’ routine in the same way again.