Monday, November 26, 2012

Make up for a dead mother / Et olla daam...


I know, makeup for dead people is not a very conversational topic. I used to think it's somehow unnecessary, too morbid, an old people theme or as such. And it's always too hard to talk about death. If it touches you the by closest, the hardest it becomes.

About a month ago my mother was accidentally found dead at her home. That explains pretty well the long silence here.

You may consider makeup is the least to consider in that situation. Well, it's not.

At some point, being responsible for arranging the funeral, you have to choose what clothes the deceased (saying 'the corpse' feels somehow too rough!) would wear and in what colours he/she would be.. Especially, when she is frayed: I mean, as cut up and sewn back together again. 

And being ladies as we are, at such case we of course need to think of the jewellery and makeup too, at an instant. There is not too much room to think in advance, in my case we only had a few minutes, probably less than a lady would spend putting her look together.

Well again, my mother was very much of a lady. She was 65 plus, but still dyed her hair blonde, had Gelish done on her nails regularly, pedicures, hair dyes and blowdries. Somehow, for old ladies blowdries last for a week or so, mine looses it's oomph on the second day.

For the jewellery, we chose pearl earrings and a pearl ring that were the last gift from my (also deceased fnow) father. We also chose her wedding ring and a heritage ruby ring from my grandmom, but we were told by the funeral attendants to keep those as family heirlooms. I think it was a good decision.

Anyway, there still had to be some makeup done. You may know or you may not, but dead people may require a lot of makeup. In some countries, there are special makeup artists for them :S I only found that out later, googling. It's found to be a perspective job, as people are getting older and it has been said that the business is blooming.

I wish a very good nerve to those who have chosen that path, as I have never ever touched a dead thing (not even a hamster!) and I intend to keep it that way. At first, I was thinking that I must do her final (ouch!) makeup myself, but my hubs quickly convinced me out of it.

It was not such a good idea, as I wouldn't  have had a good chance anyway, You know, you can’t use the same products as for alive people, because those made for the living are designed to work with the heat from the body. For cold skin the makeup needs to be non-thermogenic.

It would have caused too much of a trauma for myself, besides the special makeup used on the deceased people ...

My mother had an eye surgery a few years ago, so she didn't wear any eye makeup, that could have irritated her eyes more. But she always wore a bright lipstick in bright pink or fuchsia colour and it went for her marilyn-blond-hair-light-skin-colouring so well. So I just took the lipstick (it was something from Maybelline!) she wore last out of her purse and gave it to the funeral attendants.

It turned out to be a mistake. As we got to oversee the body before the funeral, the lipstick instantly looked too dark and severe. I told that to the funeral guy, so he put on his rubber gloves, got out a lip brush and the lipstick and started to do it all over again.  With not much luck, because it didn't stuck to the cold body, still he smeared it on somehow. He also gave me a tip: it's always the upper lip that has to be painted more, as it brightens the face lying in the coffin. Ouch.

By the way, I chose some high heeled shoes to wear for the funeral. Turned out, it was not such a good decision, because during the night before the funeral I had forgot how to walk in high heels, in spite of doing that for more than fifteen years :(  Yes, that statement is for real :S A bit of shaky leg and stumbling occurred.

I think it was excusable. It's a good thing my hair were still at their place, but my hands were so much swollen up from the nerves I decidedly couldn't wear any of the rings, including the heritage ring.

In honour, I will not have some pictures of the event or the main heroine of the event posted. You'll just have to use your imagination and I hope you don't have to deal with any of this in (near) future.

I am very well aware that some people will find this post obscene, inappropriate and such.

Have you ever had to bury some close relative of yours? If so, did you have to think of the makeup details also? Have you a makeup kit laid out, in case you yourself should have a sudden death?

Yours Truly,
Tolmu Rull

For my lovely Estonian ladies:

Uh-oh, no kuidas ma ütlen... Kuu aega tagasi pidin matma oma ema. Ah et mis see ilusse või ilublogimisse puutub? No puutub ikka küll, sest ka surnud tahavad olla ilusad. Või meie tahaks, et nad oleks ilusad... Meil vennaga oli isegi väike vaidlusepoeg, et kas on vaja matusekorraldajale ema huulepulk anda või mitte. Minu argument oli see, et ükski tõeline daam ei lähe viimast teekonda astuma ilma kõrge kontsaga kingade ja huulepulgata ja nii saigi tehtud. Onju? 

Doris Kareva on minu emotsioonid nii suurepäraselt sõnastanud.

Et olla daam, ma kannan kõrgeid kingi

Kord nädalas üks daam teeb maniküüri.
Kord aastas on ta enda vastu aus.
Sa elad minus, kuid ei maksa üüri.
Siinkohal tuleb teha mõtlik paus.

Daam kasutab vaid valgeid taskurätte.
Täis saladusi on ta buduaar.
Siin avaned, kuid end ei anna kätte.
Me vahel pole muud kui vikerkaar.

Üks daam ei kerja. Tal on kõike küllalt,
ka siis, kui tahaks valust oiata.
Et olla daam, ma vaikima pean üllalt.
Kui plahvatan, siis ette hoiatan.

Siiralt teie,
Tolmu Rull


  1. Really sorry for your mother. Hold on!

  2. Tunnen kaasa kogu Su perele! :(

  3. Kaastunne. Kuid postitus, vaatamata kõigele, on hea.

  4. oh dear.. sorry for your loss, but I get your point with this post.. I don't know how the ritual is there in Estonia, nor do I ever want to know.. but I guess a "final prep" is ok..

  5. i'm so-so sorry for your loss, i cannot imagine what you must be going through.

    i think you made the right decision posting this, because death is inevitable and must be dealt with - and to be fair, who wouldn't want to look great on her last journey, right? :)

  6. I´m really sorry for your loss. Good you kept the rings, nice to have some memories.
    After highschool I applied for becoming a funeral master, but (luckily) didn´t get the job. So I have heard about make-up for deceased people.

  7. Ma tean, et see on hilja, ehk isegi kuidagi sobimatu siinkohal nii hilja kaastunnet avaldada, aga minu siiras kaastunne sulle ja teie perele!