Monday, October 15, 2012
Until very recently, all of the makeup I owned was purchased for my high school prom, Class of 2004. I take that back—there was one set of eye shadow that my grandmother gave me after cleaning out her bathroom drawers.
As you may have gathered, I hardly ever wear makeup. It’s not that I have naturally radiant skin or a point to make about the true nature of beauty; I just really enjoy waking up about thirty minutes before I leave for work.
I’m also a little too unrefined for cosmetics, in the same way that my hands are not a safe place for nail polish for longer than an hour. Occasions for wearing makeup—weddings, graduations, etc.—typically start out as a lot of fun. The preparation is fun. Arriving and being pretty and excited is fun for about ten minutes. But then life continues to happen, and I remember that thanks to beauty I can’t scratch my chin or blink too much or eat or drink or cry or sweat or touch anything.
You can only run away for so long, though. Last month I was in a play, and live theater requires cosmetic enhancement unless your role is “very pale and somewhat flat person.” Small community theater also requires doing your own makeup, which is where the real problems start.
The other major factor in my cosmeticsless existence is a practically nonexistent understanding of how the stuff works. In a desperate attempt to learn what I missed in middle school, I threw myself on the mercy of the people at the Clinique counter in the mall.
I started by forgetting the common-sense rule of picking an associate whose look you would like to match. It’s like remembering to take cooking lessons only from people whose recipes you actually enjoy. This error made it difficult to explain what I wanted.
After using up my weekly allotment of the word “subtle,” I risked trying some other descriptions…
…but the terminology was too much for me.
In the end, though, Ms. Clinique did figure out some things to sell me that worked for the theater and also made me feel extremely fancy.
The best part is, with a few simple tools, I can recreate the look myself anytime I want.