Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Saturday night drag

When my best friend was married five years ago I made an appointment with a Clinique technician to learn the basics about makeup.  Previously there were always plenty of women in my dormitory who were more than happy to doll me up but I figured that it was time to be an adult and do my own makeup.  The technician was one of those immaculately put together women but she knew what she was working with and helped me to sort out daytime and evening looks that could be achieved in under ten minutes.  The bride, a former pageant queen, approved of my evening look with only a minor adjustment of adding more eyeliner. 

I more or less kept that look for the past few years, pulling out the same "spring wedding" eye palette for evening affairs though the lip color has changed with the times.  This weekend, in anticipation of another big wedding event, I made an appointment with the Clinique counter in Times Square and came out with a rather different look. 

I rarely use foundation but the woman insisted that anyone over 20 should wear it.  She applied an undercoat (to smooth), a liquid coat (to attain an even complexion) and a powder coat (a finish layer).  Looking at my reflection, SB remarked that I looked ill and he was right; any semblance of a healthy glow was replaced by a homogeneous, pale and painted look much like when you Gesso a canvas.  Then came a very thorough application of eye makeup.  At this point I had been sitting in the makeup chair for forty minutes and looked like a drag queen.  My eyes were two dark blobs in a sea of black and purple and my face was getting cracks where I was frowning at my reflection.  I decided to end the session before the blush and lip work began.  The technician tried to sell me the three types of foundation and several tins of eye makeup but her work wasn't a ringing endorsement.  I ended up taking home some greenish-brown eyeliner because I wanted her to have some profit for the time she spent spackling me.  I wonder if she was just that bad or she was trying to use as many products as possible in hopes of lots of sales.

In the meantime I have two more weeks to figure out a new evening look.  Sometimes I wish things were as easy for women as they are for men, who only have to change out their ties every few years.  SB's body has barely changed in fifteen years and he can still wear the same slate grey suit that was made for him when he graduated from university.

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