Wednesday, March 14, 2012

makeover REVEAL!

Such a barrage of comments on my plans to visit the make up counter! Had I known my grooming habits were such a fascinating topic, I'd have mentioned them sooner.

After dropping Jax off at his groomer, I drove in the direction of the mall. I don't shop at the mall, so I had to find a map to locate the Sephora store. Dodging the mallwalkers (and there were many, which surprised me, it was a beautiful day outside!), I passed through 2/3 of the building and found the Sephora store, nearly empty on a Tuesday morning. I approached the two clerks stocking a display and said, "Hi," in a loud voice.

Me, before I left the house. (With sober face, Blackbird.)

"Can we help you find something?" one asked.

"Well, I hear you can help people like me," I began by way of explanation. She kindly guided me by my elbow to a stool by a mirror and make up counter and began peppering me with questions while scrutinizing my pores. Suddenly I felt red and hairy and greasy and blotchy and all the other adjectives that describe an ugly face.

Next thing I knew, "Kate" was called over to advise me on skin care and clean me up. Reader, Kate was the most delightful girl, serious with bangs and full of encouraging comments. She's the roommate you dream of having in college--the type that will make you hit the books all week long but go to parties on the weekend. I desperately wanted to ask Kate if she needed a new BFF, but she distracted me with skin care products--serums and creams and I was under her spell as she brushed clarifying agents across my face, smoothing me into an object of beauty.

Too soon she finished up and called "Kari" back over. Reader, Kari was a younger Carrie Bradshaw with green nail polish, from the way she talked right down to her petite frame and long ringlets. At one point she actually jumped up and down in her excitement about something. I'd placed my face in the most skillful hands around.

These gals wore tool belts filled with make up brushes. I kid you not. They were equipped to deal with any make up/skin disaster. I had come to the right place. Returning with a basket full of products, Kari picked up where Kate left off, buffing and polishing my skin into a creamy texture. The whole time she worked, Kari explained what, why, how and when--I got a thorough education on application techniques and the importance of good brushes.

Armed with a single case of eyeshadow colors, Kari demonstrated how to vamp up my "daytime look" to a "nighttime look." (She kindly called it "date night," and I did not correct her assumption that my date nights involved a bowling alley twice a month.) She smudged and highlighted and blotted me a bit more.

I felt like I was on What Not to Wear as she swiveled my stool back to her and back to the mirror. The final look was definitely more polished and pulled together than I've ever looked in my life.

Kate returned to admire Kari's work and reiterated the importance of good brushes and proper skin care. We chatted a bit while Kari gathered up the various potions I'd agreed to purchase. After spending a mind-blowing amount of money on products and tools, I made up for 2 decades of not coloring my hair. The entire experience took an hour, though I suspect I got red-carpet treatment because it was Tuesday morning and the store was empty. I drove to my hair appointment checking out my face every few miles. My cheeks shimmered. My complexion looked flawless. My eyes smoked and my lips shone.

The first thing Kristy said when she saw me was, "You're wearing make up! It looks so pretty!"
After I explained my recent mission (now accomplished!), Kristy told me that good make up costs a LOT, but it's worth it. She shared her experiences with drugstore cosmetics and how there was really no comparison. I had NO idea. She also stressed the importance of good brushes. How did I miss all of this information? One truly wonders.

Then Kristy performed her magic with scissors and sent me on my way. Jax and I returned home looking sleek and sexy.

Team Testosterone arrived a couple hours later and immediately noticed my face. The verdict was "You look different. In a good way. Like, younger." (Mr. T, who now gets a raise in his allowance.) "You're wearing make up! You look sort of ... goth. But pretty." (Mr. B, who got grilled on what "goth" means.)

Last night at Cubbies my leaders looked at me differently, too. Embarrassed to admit to wearing make up, I fessed up only to the new hair cut. They gave me a stamp of approval.

But now I'm boring you with details, aren't I? You really just want to see a picture.


That, friends, is "date night" me. And I shall leave you with these thoughts:
1. There is much to recommend quality make up. My morning makeover didn't come off my face until 10:00 that night when I washed it off with soap.
2. I feel quite prepared after a practice run today for tomorrow and Friday's book events.
3. I did not buy several things, including an eyebrow pencil. I didn't really see a marked difference in my face when Kari used it. I also skipped lipstick, though I bought a coral-colored gloss that smells nice, and concealer, since the other stuff I bought covers me pretty flawlessly.
4. I totally expected my credit card company to call after I went to Sephora. Seriously.


  1. LMAO, you definitely don't look Goth (snicker). You look fantastic! Good for you :-)

  2. It's funny how a little primping can bring out the inner vavavoom! You're beautiful in both pictures though, just depends on what you're going for...awesome kick butt mama or polished sophisticated's all good, it's all you! (and no, you don't look like Tammy Fay)

  3. I completely understand why people would elect NOT to wear makeup, but to pretend that they don't look prettier wearing it is nonsense. Learning what products work for you and how to apply them gives you the option of looking beautiful-made-up when you decide to, and beautiful-natural when you don't want to bother (and not because you're afraid of looking clownish because you don't know how to apply it). And hey--don't reject the idea of eyebrows! Great eyebrows can make your whole face look finished.

    Didn't you find that a little special attention from the lovely cosmetic-store ladies is good for the ego? Good makeup is spendy but lasts a very long time and looks so much nicer than drugstore stuff. Knock 'em dead at your next event ! (Not literally, of course.) You're adorable.

  4. Big sigh! It's not to get a little pampering and then to know you can actually do it again yourself after you leave the store.

    You look fantastic-- And happy-- that's the most important cosmetic.

    Loved how you told this story-- A tool belt of brushes. Amazing.

    xo jj

  5. Your "date-night" look is very nice, and will be great for the book-related stuff. And the bowling alley too, I'm sure. :-)

    I was taught about the brush thing at a tender age (no idea anymore WHO told me), and the brush I use for face power is actually a sable hair artists brush. They are incredibly expensive, but since I've now used this one for over 20 years, I guess it was a worthwhile investment. They are also SO much softer than any make-up brushes I've seen.

  6. You look great in both photos. Even though I am definitely not a make-up person I still used to enjoy getting made up at the mall. Those girls LOVE what they do for the most part. I have Chanel brushes from 10 years ago that are still like new, but then that could be because I seldom use them. To me makeup is fun but not a must do can't go outside without it thing.

  7. You look fabulous!

    And totally sober. (wink)

  8. Oh gosh, there are absolutely no brushes involved in my makeup routine, except for mascara, so now I'm wondering just how wrong I have it.

    You look fabulous!!!

  9. Woot!

    I am making more of an effort with makeup, though I still frequently run off to work without any at all. I have SUN DAMAGE, as knowledgeable people have informed me, and if I cover it up just a little it makes a world of difference. SIGH. That's what you get for surfing tour teens away on a tropical island: Skin that's ten years older than the rest of ya. In a way, I like my 'old' face. Those dark spots and wrinkles were TOTALLY worth it and remind me of fabulousness. Your 'Before' face, I am sure, can remind you of many good things!

  10. Lovely!

    I am so glad - and envious - of your fabulous Sephora experience. We all need some girly attention like that every now and then. I am so happy your first excursion into Beautyland was wonderful! I am traveling to Illinois next week and I know there is a Sephora in the town I will be visiting so I might have to see if I can luck into the same princess treatment. :)

  11. It makes me want to go plop my behind at the Sephora counter. You're glowing!

  12. you look very nice.
    it always feels good to have someone else work on me. I haven't had that in almost 5 years. 1 or the other of the daughters will trim my hair, but that is below my shoulders.

  13. I think you look great in both pictures! Your descriptions reminds me of the scene in The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy gets to the Emerald City and gets a makeover.

  14. You look lovely.

    And even the expensive stuff slides off my face, which is why I just stopped bothering. I really think it's me.

  15. Never use an eyebrow pencil--use an eyeshadow powder (MAC makes great ones) and a (good) eyebrow brush. Yes, the brushes matter!

    You look great in both pics, but you definitely look more polished in the second photo.

  16. Beautiful!
    Though I think you looked pretty impressive in the first pic without makeup also! I don't wear a lot of makeup myself, usually just eye stuff, but recently bought some pricey moisturizer that makes me feel good even if others have no idea that I'm wearing something expensive.

  17. You look wonderful, but I have to be honest: I think you look as good (I could argue even better!) in the first photo. But I'm all about natural health shining through.

    That said, I love going into Sephora (I think it's been three times in my life now). If you'd lend me your credit card, I'd drive to Minneapolis tomorrow and put the magnetic stripe through some serious stress at a Sephora there. Once, I bought a cream at a Sephora, and half an hour later, I went back and returned it...the cost just made me worried for the future of my marriage.

    So I thank you for the vicarious make-over. I'd do it myself in a second!

  18. Pretty! Good make-up = You, only better. There are actually some good drugstore products, and those can be mixed in with the high-end goodies. Quality brushes are a worthwhile investment.


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