Friday, December 5, 2008

Pretty Please

I had to buy some new make-up the other day. For the record, I am not one of those girly-girls who have vats and boxes full of cosmetics hidden under the sink, in vanity drawers or in closets. I have a make-up bag that consists of the following: mascara, blush, lipstick and tweezers. O.K. that's not exactly true. I do have a second small bag of "dress-up" cosmetics. My every-day routine is spiced up considerably with sheer foundation, neutral colored eye-shadow and eye-liner. The only thing I own multiples of is lipstick. Much of the multi-lipstick colors are left overs from my working days. I suspect that according to any lip color guru these tubes are far beyond their expected lip-stick lives. Alas. Should I ever drop dead at some future cocktail party of unknown causes, please do ask the coroner to check for death-by-expired-lipstick.

I needed some new mascara so I went shopping. I, of course, put on "dress-up" make-up before attending to this errand. Why? Because I am intimidated by cosmetic sales people. They always look so shiny and twinkly and they spend more than my own personal make-up application limit of 3.5 minutes on their own faces. They know all the newest products, they use them, they live them, they ARE them. I have, at one time or another, actually had to wipe purse lint off of my blush tube. I could be condemned to make-up hell for this in their universe. They treat cosmetics like manna from heaven. I treat cosmetics like they are something that keep me from looking like death warmed over.

As you approach the counter they always peer (leer?) at you like you are some foreign species. A foreign species that is a treasure trove of potential cosmetic needs. Your skin quality is immediately critiqued and your application techniques are second guessed. You can actually see them mentally running through their own product catalog, as well as all other product lines, for items that you would absolutely have to have in order to be presentable. They want to fix you. They want to age-defy you. I just want new mascara. Do I want a complete make-over so I can see what my face would look like in it's ultimate, beautified, age-defying state? No. Why? Because every time I have had a make-over I end up looking way, way closer to "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?" than is desirable.

In the end, I honestly believe that the "dress-up" make-up helped make the situation more bearable for both me and the sales person. She believed that I actually took 10 minutes to apply the requisite facial shield every day. This fit in to her world view and I was only happy to have made her more comfortable. In return, I was only advised on a select few new items and the only advice administered was that a little more cream-type blush would help make me look more dewy. I guess you can't err on the side of too much dewiness.

It was all very civilized. I raptly listened to her spiel. I reverently and lovingly fondled a couple of new eye-shadow colors because it seemed the right thing to do. I looked at the 17 million new kinds of mascara - - new wand types, new formulas for longer, lusher lashes. I bought the same mascara I have used for the past five years. It only took 15 minutes. I was happy.


K said...

In the spring when I was newly un-pregnant and visiting my folks, my sister and I slipped out to do some cosmetics shopping. We both had some credit left over at Neiman's from our weddings (hers, 5 years ago, mine 10) and we decided we should finish it up in the cosmetics department.

What a shock. I personally had no idea that it was even possible to spend $200 on five pieces of make-up. The make-up I got was great and I do use it -- when I think about it.

The weirdest thing is that the lady from the Dallas Neiman's calls me personally every two weeks to tell me about the latest deal. Seriously. No amount of telling her I live in VIRGINIA prevents her from continuing to call.

Chris said...

"Baby Jane," or maybe "17th Century French Hooker."
That's a good look for you... Thank goodness I'm male.