Marriage is all about working together as a unit, with one person pulling more weight when the other is weak. This is certainly the case in the home of Des and Mona Monahan of Waterford, Ireland.
Both Des and Mona are in their eighties, and Mona’s eyesight is not what it used to be. In fact, she’s almost entirely blind in her left eye already, and combined with her shaking hands, she finds it nearly impossible to maintain her appearance in the style she’s accustomed to.
“We don’t know when Mona will lose her sight completely but we didn’t want to wait around for it to happen,” Des explained.
When Mona decided to have her makeup professionally done for an upcoming party, the couple went to a local department store called Debenham’s in Waterford, Ireland where they met Makeup Artist Rosie O’Driscoll.
Rosie did a beautiful makeup look for Mona, and Des was so pleased to see Mona smiling and feeling beautiful that he decided it was time for him to learn how to help his wife. Asking Rosie if he could have a try, he gently took the makeup brush from her hand and tentatively gave the application a go.
“Des took the brushes from my hand and wanted to have a try. If you see the way he holds the brushes — he’s a natural,” said Rosie.
Encouraged, Des started taking lessons from Rosie and practicing his new craft on Mona every day. Under Rosie’s tutelage, Des mastered the application of all of the essential products, including lipstick, bronzer, blush, mascara, and eyebrows.
“Des took the brushes and said ‘that’s easy, I can to do that,’ said Rosie. “They are such a lovely couple and Des loved learning how to help Mona from the very beginning. It was obvious Mona was losing her sight and he wanted to help her in any way he could.”
“Rosie has been a great friend to us and we go in daily to see her and so I can get more tips,” said Des.
The feeling is quite mutual, and Rosie says she has now been to the Monahan’s home for tea, and they often drop into the shop to say hello to their new friend. Their love of makeup brought them together, but now it’s their friendship that endures.
“We have such a laugh when they come onto the counter at Benefit but we are friends outside of Debenhams too,” Rosie says.
A year ago, Des had never even picked up a tube of lipstick in his life. Now, he’s practically a master makeup artist with only one “client.” Mona has been thrilled to have her own private beautician in residence, stating that it’s “very relaxing” when Des applies her makeup each morning.
“Des uses eyeliners and lipsticks I wouldn’t be able to use myself. I struggle to see the colours of different shades now. But thanks to Des I now know my makeup will always look great,” she says.
For his part, Des thinks he’s just doing what any good husband and partner would do, and for the record — he thinks she’s just as beautiful now as she was the day they married fifty-four years ago.
“She hasn’t changed a bit, really.”
Rosie says that once the Monahan’s story came out, she’s seen an influx in seniors coming into the store, looking for tips on looking their best.
“We’ve had so many older people come into see us at the Benefit counter since Des started. Benefit make-up is for people of any age, this story gets the message across that no matter your age it’s always important to look and feel nice. Des and Mona are madly in love with each other and it’s amazing to help share their story.”
Des and Mona are the living embodiment of marital vows, and this small but important act of love and kindness is the hallmark of true partnership. Being married is about love, yes, but it’s also about supporting your partner in any way you can— even if it means applying their mascara.
If you agree, please share this beautiful example of “relationship goals!”
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