Lain's Log

No makeup!?! - You kiddin' me??

April 25/11

I've always heard that when you undergo surgery, the doctors insist,
NO MAKEUP!! Gak. But I never thought it would actually happen to ME!!
Anyone who knows me, (or has just met me or even seen a photograph), can pretty much realize how much I adore makeup! Don't leave home without it!

This is how I USUALLY like to look!

What makes me laugh (sort of), is this. On the one day you're going to FEEL as horrible as you've ever felt in your life, they want you to LOOK your worst too! Really reminds me of that line in the movie The Big Chill when they're all discussing funerals and Jeff Goldblum quips, "Amazing tradition. They throw a great party for you on the one day they know you can't come."

And you can't beat the irony of the Look Good, Feel Better public service program that teaches beauty techniques to cancer patients. I realize this is a non-medical program, but at the moment, as the surgery day approaches, I feel they should change the name to "Look Like Crap, Feel Worse!" That'll sell! Bigtime!

So, what is the reason for the no-makeup rule? I thought it must all have to do with hygiene and sanitary precautions. But what about patients who don't take a shower before arrival or who are rushed into surgery after a car crash? Wouldn't THEY be "less sanitary" than someone who just showered and scrubbed, but has a little base on? Come on!

My Mother-in-law, (who has been through her share of surgery), told me she believes the rule is to allow a doctor to see the true colour of your skin, so they'll know you're not going downhill. - But - what if you wear NO base and just some mascara? That would make no difference at ALL to skin colour!

Finally, I heard one option that makes sense to me. Someone on the Internet posted it's because the doctors have to put a tube down your throat so you can breathe and they need to tape it to your face. With makeup on, they say the tape won't stick! OK. Well, in this continuing debate, I counteract with - what about people who are naturally sweaty or have oily skin? Do the docs have to wipe them down with alcohol to make sure the tape sticks? Maybe they DO? I don't know!

I finally emailed my lifelong friend, Karen, who is a physician in Michigan. She called me to give me the scoop. In her incredible layman's terms, she said, (re: the doctors), "They've gotta be able to see the actual colour of your face, to know how you are under the anaesthetic! They absolutely can't have you there with makeup on, plus it does actually harbour bacteria. They want your skin as clean as possible, so don't wear any makeup to the O.R. - please! It's only one day!"

So - my mother-in-law wins the prize for the correct guess!

Well, whatever the proper reasons, you can bet I'll be using all the "tricks!" At least I can curl my eyelashes! - and brush my eyebrows into place, and wash, condition, blowdry, set and style my hair so it's shiny, clean and looks half-decent. Then, naturally, I'll wear big movie star sunglasses until "showtime."

Then, when the glasses come off, the doctors and nurses will get one look and either think they have the wrong patient, or run for the hills, leaving me all alone on the table - with no makeup!

My husband says not to worry because they'll be too busy staring at my boobs! (thanks for your input Sam!)

I think I'd better call Dana Joon, my fabulous makeup artist at Global TV and ask her to get over to the hospital pronto and stand by for emergency duty! (she even made me look good for the camera after I cried for an hour the day my cat died!)

However things turn out, I'll get back to you when I'm home from surgery, after which I will get a trowel and pile on some base, concealer, powder, blush, eyeshadow, lipliner, lipstick, mascara and eyeliner. THEN, maybe I will actually look GOOD, feel BETTER! (Vanity schmanity! I just don't enjoy looking like the Bride of Frankenstein! Scary).

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