Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Cosmetic Counter Horror Show.

       Last week was my birthday.  You know what I got for it?  A day of solitude in the city.  It was awesome.  I actually dressed up, left Brooklyn, and spent the day shopping, eating and getting my makeup done.

     My stance on makeup has always been- well, I don't have one.  I put on makeup once, before I leave the house.  I don't bring it with me.  I don't touch it up.  The one application is the only love my face gets.  I always thought this was a fair approach.  I mean, I'd probably look better with more on, but this way at least everybody knows that I can't look much worse.

     My usual trip to the makeup counter involves me walking up to it, specifically asking for what I need, paying, and walking away.  On my birthday, I thought I would be a little daring, and actually see what the experts would recommend.  I walked up, told Miss Lancome that I needed some advice, and took a seat in her chair.
     Oh, wow!  You got a pretty one!  Says one of her cloaked Lancome sisters, as she walks by.
     That was weird.  Okay, moving on.

     First things first.
     Are you dehydrated?
     Well, let's see.  I had two glasses of wine for dinner last night, probably consumed one glass of water in the last twelve hours, and my apartment is as hot as the Sahara in June.  Also, I had four cups of coffee this morning.
     Maybe, a little.
     She puts some cream on my face.  Honestly, it's the most amazing thing I've ever felt.  I look in the mirror.  I'm glowing.  I need this.
     Wow, this stuff is amazing.  I definitely want it.  How much is it?

     One hundred and forty dollars.

     Blank stare.  Did you say one hundred and forty dollars?
     Yes, It's the best.  And it will last you four months.
     Four months, really? Great.  I'm pretty sure that all of the collective face lotion I have bought over the last five years wouldn't add up to one hundred and forty dollars.
     Oh, forget it.  I can't afford that.
     No!  You're worth it!  You should splurge!
     I'm not saying I'm not worth it.  I'm pretty sure I'm even worth that $300 serum that claims I'll look younger in seven days if I use it.  I actually believe I will look younger in seven days if I use that shit.  But that doesn't mean I can afford it.
     No thanks.  Maybe next time.

     Okay.  Lotion done.  Now onto foundation- which I have never used, ever.  I am pretty reluctant to slather this stuff all over my face.
     It feels unnatural because you've never worn makeup before!  You have to get used to it.  I felt the same way the first time I really applied my makeup.  It didn't feel right. 
     Well,  maybe you should have heeded some of that intuition.  It looks like Lucien applied your foundation with one of his gummy spoons.  But, to each her own.  On with the pitch.
     She begins to use a paintbrush to apply a layer of foundation over my face.  Not bad. My skin actually does look pretty great, and it doesn't feel too weird.

     Wow!  She's gorgeous!  Look at that skin!
     Okay.  I'm starting to get a little uncomfortable.  Another cloaked Lancome lady has stopped to examine my beautiful, flawless skin.  I wasn't born yesterday, ladies.  This barrage of compliments is not going to make me buy more shit.  Anyway, onto the eyes.

     I pull out the dress I just bought for my sister's upcoming wedding.   
     I want something for my eyes that will go well with this.
     Great.  She goes back to her utility belt and pulls out some brushes.  A flat of eyeshadow appears before us.
     Look down.
     Now to the side.
     Now up.
     Very good- to the side again.
     I can't see it yet, but I can tell I'm never going to be able to recreate this, just by manner of all of the work it's taking.  Here comes the hand mirror.  Holy crap.  What has this woman done to me?
     Oh, no.  Too much.
     No!  It looks sultry.  It's a smokey eye.  It's very this season.  It's subtle.
     It looks like someone subtly punched me in the face.  Sorry, no.  I hate it.
     Her face begins to sour.  It actually looks like it's beginning to hurt her to execute a smile.  Another cloaked commentator approaches.
     Look at those gorgeous eyes!

     Oh, sweet Jesus, enough already!  I get it.  I'm gorgeous.  I'm amazing.  No one has ever seen such a perfect specimen as myself.  How is my face not plastered all over one of these giant posters- strategically placed all over the cosmetics section- of the biggest Macy's in America?  I mean really ladies- no offense- but  now it's just getting ridiculous. 

     Two pairs of  slightly shocked, definitely disgusted, subtly smokey eyes just stood there- staring at me.  I believe I rendered them speechless.  The air was thick with perfume and discomfort.

     I'm ready to... pay.

     The barrage of compliments worked after all.  They pushed me over the edge, and I left with everything... except the cream.
     I wasn't born yesterday.


  1. I was really upset when Sephora sent me a sample of moisturizer that my skin loved only to find it's about $20/oz... If only we were rich!

    PS, if you learned to use Pinterest, you would find a few tips on doing that smoky eye thing... though mostly I end up looking like a cheap hooker anyways.

  2. Sounds like being a girl sucks! Allow me to write a similar passage on the Men's counter at certain stores...

    Me: Hey, how many blades does this fancy razor have?
    Clerk: 4
    Me: Sweet, I'll take a five pack.
    Clerk: That'll be $19.99
    Me: UGH! Being a man is expensive!
    Clerk: If women only knew what we spend and put ourselves through to make them happy.

    Aaaaaaand scene.