So today I was ushering with Mtastic at our favorite volunteer usher-y theater, and naturally, I was ludicrously early. My favorite Dumpling Truck was selling my favorite dumplings outside, so that took up a good 20 minutes of ecstasy time. Then I decided to dispose of the remaining 25 minutes in a little store I’m going to call Sephora. Because that is its name.
For those of you who have never heard of Sephora, it is where people who like expensive cosmetics but can in no way afford expensive cosmetics go to dabble in, you guessed it, expensive cosmetics. All the products, none of the pressure of your average department store makeup counters, Sephora took the Bath and Body Works business model, where there is Always A Tester Available and made it possible to try on, remove, reapply, wipe off and re-do every kind of make-up they sell.
My first experience with make-up came during a sleepover. A friend’s mom either had enough compromising pictures of a Mary Kay rep to get us a massive caboodle of free samples, or someone was a rep themselves. Anyway, we stayed up late and once we’d eaten everything and mixed all the sodas together to make suicides, we began applying makeup to one another.
Let’s just say that drunk motor-skills-deficient toddlers could have given us some pointers on how to apply evenly, select colors, and make clean lines.
Subsequent improvements came entirely from high school theater departments, where the verb most often used was "slather"
I briefly went through a Corporate Make-up phase when I discovered eyeslipsface.com, but it passed as soon as it was summer and cheap make-up tended to sweat directly off again.
My main problem, I think, is that I don’t have faith to know that whatever it looks like along the way, when it’s done it will look fine. This is also why I can’t cook. Even if the solution is just stirring, or another shade of top eyeshadow, I assume it’s ruined and get take out. Or wash my mascara off. Whichevs.
So, anyway, I’m browsing around Sephora. I’m usually pretty safe with mascara as it doesn’t involve putting anything actually on my face, and there’s only really the one color. I daub some on. So far so good. They provide disposable applicators for everything in case you don’t actually want to share eye brushes with every Joan in Manhattan, which I definitely noticed after I did my first eye.
I dabbled in some foundation-type things, as the aftereffects of two all nighters in a 5 day period hadn’t quite worn off yet. They’ve made foundation weird. Involved some suspicious brushes I don’t really approve of. Hard to go wrong with peach…*sigh* make that ivory… matte finish cream, so I moved on to the pretty stuff.
Which is where I always get in trouble. Because I’m drawn to the bright pink sparkly stuff like a moth to Lady Gaga, but what actually looks good on me has yet to be determined because the first thing I put on is bright and sparkly and has to be removed immediately and so I never figure out what I should actually be doing to my face in the rare event that I want to look made-up.
A couple of very tightly wound stiletto-sirens were totally trying to intimidate me away from the Dior lip stuff, but I sniffed right back at them and grabbed something named after a Vegas leotard. It looked awful. I mean, I liked the pink, but I could tell it looked awful. I tried to add lip gloss. It looked worse. I looked like something was either growing on or trying to escape from my lip. I settled for a sparkly lip gloss that I promptly ate off anyway.
The last straw was some eye shadow. I’d told myself I was going to leave well enough alone with the mascara. But I had to pick up something iridescent and fuschia. At first it went on kind of like bright eye liner. Then I sneezed. And then I was David Bowie mid-seizure. I went to wipe it off, and managed to use the one side of my tissue that had touched the mascara brush. So then I was David Bowie in a dark phase.
I switched to an actual make-up remover-soaked wedge thing and managed to spatter hot pink eye shadow all over my cheeks and down my spotless white blouse. AND I had taken off half my eye liner.
AND the only station at which I chose to work was the ONE STATION that didn’t have tissues, so I had to squint and scuttle my way across the store to a different brightly-lit mirror station. There was no way to be more conspicuous. Unless I’d started dancing to the "Bad Romance" that was perpetually blaring from the speakers. It’s like a Pavlovian response. I hear Gaga, ergo, I can be just like Gaga. Starting with the eyeshadow that probably glows in the dark.
Anyway, the moral of the story is, I was not made to wear make-up. Ever.