The day my Nonna’s collection of beauty secrets came into my possession was a day of reality check of my look. I was in the middle of a busy schedule at work and remember how much I wanted to be over with all the noise and piles of paper and people coming by with endless questions. I just wanted to hold the little hand written priceless gift, and sneak away from my watchful boss.
As I was on my way home, sitting in a taxi half absent minded, memories like ocean waves started rolling in my head. I recalled a beautiful early evening in the back yard of our country house in Italy. A young girl, I was swinging in the air, and all my senses were filled with the sweet intoxicating fragrance of roses, sage, calendula and lavender. The sun, quickly departing from the horizon, was throwing a soft glow from behind the olive trees, like a Renaissance painter who had found the perfect color combination to express the magic of light. In the midst of my floating between the ethereal world of imagination and abundance of nature, I spotted my nonna, sitting like a giant bunny in the garden, snipping leaves and herbs for the “beauty potions” she made and sold cheaply to the women in our village. She had a balm for every beauty whim and wish that a woman could come up wit, and she was an expert, because there was always a visitor in the house.
The taxi driver announced that we’ve arrived, and all of a sudden I felt some pressure crawling into my heart. Truth be told, I dreaded the moment of re-assessing my look, and that moment was right there, like a brick wall, and there was no place in the whole world to go hide in, and not a thing to do, other than dealing with the reality. Now!
With a deep sigh, I reached for the magnifying mirror. Now, from my friends Anna and Lizetta with whom I drink espresso once a week, I know that the magnifying mirror is a woman’s worst nightmare. I held the mirror and said: “Mirror mirror in my hand, show me how much I need to spend. Because it all comes to that in the end.” I looked in the mirror and, Mamma mia, a giant bulging creature, strangely familiar though, was staring at me with the look of judge that was about to say, “Qn the count of not looking at your best, we find your reflection Guilty with a capital G!”
Yes, it was time for action. “I’ll open the book I thought, and whatever recipe I see first would be the right one for the moment.”
“Wait, child, wait, I heard Nonna’s voice in my heart. First you need to relax. How about some soft music and a fragrant candle? And crack open the window. Then get a blanket.”
Done! I was ready. I held the book close to my heart and closed my eyes. At once I became the earth and the sky and all the flowers and herbs and all the golden sunsets. Oh, and my Nonna’s smile.
I’m sharing with you the mask I found when I opened her book.
1 egg yolk (ha ha ha) but it’s true!
¼ teaspoon organic olive oil
¼ teaspoon lemon juice or any other fruit will do
Wash face but do not dry. Apply the mask abundantly keeping away from the eyes and upper lip. Relax down on the couch and listen to some soft music. Do not talk on the phone and do not watch a comedy on tv with this mask on. Keep for 20 min. then wash the face with cold water. Use a soft wet cloth to take off the mask completely.
Then look in the mirror!