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.