September 4, 2009

The Painted Lady


Last night, I went to the mall to buy some new makeup. Before I even reached the department store counter, a woman in a white lab coat accosted me with a perfume sample and a special offer.

"You can get all of this for free," she said, pointing to an assortment of vials and tubes on the display counter, "With any qualifying purchase of $22.50 or more."

I stopped in my tracks.

I was fairly certain that I would never use any of the objects displayed in the clear Plexiglas case, but the thought of taking the mysterious items home and storing them under my bathroom sink for half a decade strangely appealed to me.


"You've got two minutes," I told the faux doctor.

The woman quickly got to work, eyeballing me and trying to decide what type of foundation best complemented an albino wearing a sweatshirt and Crocs.

The woman spent the next several minutes dabbing, wiping, brushing, blending, concealing, smoothing and evening out my skin tone with a small paintbrush.

By the time the woman finished, I was exhausted...and slightly itchy.

The woman handed me a mirror and invited me to take a peek. I was relieved to see that her labor was not in vain. The person staring back at me looked as though she had been dipped in cocoa powder and rolled in a fine layer of breadcrumbs.

"Gorgeous!" I shouted triumphantly and jumped out of the chair. "Thank you so much!"

"Where are you going?" the woman asked as I picked up my purse and began moving quickly in the direction of the nearest store exit.

I didn't have time to answer her. A face that colorful and textured shouldn't be wasted at the mall. It belongs out on the town.

****
I've had some really great experiences at mall makeup counters. Needless to say, yesterday was not one of them. Anyone leave the makeup counter looking worse than when you showed up?

*****
I promise that the pageant winner will be announced soon. It's taking me longer than expected to tabulate the votes...and remember my PollDaddy password :)

36 comments

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, the mall makeup makeover! I once had the pleasure of being made up by a "senior esthetician" visiting for the day, and left with enough lipstick outside my lip area to approximate the joker. Which she INSISTED was the new look for Fall. I think they were just deprived of those scary doll heads on which to apply makeup as children.
-Jen

Michelle said...

I am an Independent Beauty Consultant with Mary Kay Cosmetics but when I was a teenager I bought certain products from the drug store but some from Clinique. The price is what always got me there and the drug store is so hit or miss. You buy something, you hate it, you are out of luck. I love being able to try everything before I buy it. I do agree that the mall makeup people can be too pushy!

Meagan and John said...

hahaha, this was always my fear when I sold mary kay, that I would make the person look worse cause I literally knew nothing about makeup and what looks good with what

JP said...

I'm more albino than anyone, including children and infatcs. When toddlers tan better than you, it's stange.

I love when make up counters plaster so much "Brownzer" on you you leave with your face a loverly sun kissed gold, yet your arms and legs and neck are still egg shell white! Such fun!

Christa said...

I am actually very very good at putting makeup on other people, and myself...even though I only wear it about 3 times a year. I haven't worn makeup regularly ever since I got fat (translation: had kids). But after this baby I intend on loosing 70 or so lbs and wearing makeup several days a week...not everyday, HELLO I'll have 3 kids 2 and under!
I think prom was when I realized I was good at makeup. Alot of my friends went to Merle Norman for make-overs, they had their moms do it, they went to the mall, or they did it themselves. They all had either really white faces because they forgot to get new foundation after tanning for 2 months, or the had really dark faces because they went to Merle Norman or the mall. Oh and those who went to the mall, looked 10 years older because their makeup was an inch thick.
My mom sells Mary Kay, and LOOOOOOVE the mineral powder, it's effortless and you don't look "fake."

The Crazy Suburban Mom said...

That was hysterical! Loved every word :) And I hate perfume snipers. I want to bring my own can of ...well, something noxious and keep it in my purse to spray them back. Im think either a cheap perfume from CVS that they would hate or maybe butter flavored PAM.

But I hate when they come at me with the sprayer.

Tracy

A Musing Mom (Taylorclan6) said...

Two words that strike terror into my heart - Mary Kay.

One more word that describes what I looked like - hooker.

christine said...

I like the butter Pam idea. If my purse wasn't full already I might have started toting that around too. Just in case.

LMP said...

I am so scared of the makeup counter. I avoid going into major department stores through the mall entrance so I can avoid the department entirely. That doesn't mean I haven't been lured in by the excitement of free products that I save to use later but never touch. They last time I let someone 'make me over' I carefully explained how I wear more of a natural look with earth tones. I left with my lids caked in bright blue eye shadow and very tips of my eyelashes in blue mascara...the sky is blue so I guess that is considered an earth tone. Never again!

Too Many Hats said...

Those mall make-up counters scare me. I'm not much of a mall person to begin with, so throw in women, or more likely barely out of their teens girls, spritzing me, and I freak.

The Jongejans said...

So, I'm a transplant to the south from the west. I usually wear my make-up more "natural" looking. Nothing against "Southern Women" because some of them can be really sweet - but trust me - there is no such thing as a "natural looking Southerner" So, it came as no surprise to me the last time I went to the mall and the makeup lady said "Oh Hooonee, You Really Need My Hey-lp!" I said, "Ummmm....I need to find the bathroom....Now!" and ran away. Call me chicken if you'd like, but I don't think my fragile ego would have survived her version of "help"

The Jongejans said...

I totally just re-read my comment and have to apologize for the extensive use of "quotation marks" lol

Amanda said...

Love it!! Best ever for me was the strange rash that appeared after a philosophy face wash demo.... When I went to the drugstore for some Benadryl, the pharmacist actually said "Oh my God!! What happened to your face?"

Viv said...

Heh, I just posted about the fun I had at the make up counter last weekend. I knew that it wasn't just me when my son said, "I like it when you do your own make up, you don't look as bad."

Kirsten and Sean said...

ha ha Love it :) I'm a cosmetologist, so it always makes me laugh when they take me over and try to sell me make-up or prove to me that they know how to do it...but I've noticed taking a year in school to learn and practice the art makes a HUGE difference then, what, a half hour movie presentation? ha ha But last week I DID have to go get some foundation and wanted to try a different brand...so I went and it took the girl nearly five tries to get my correct color (which ended up being the first one I picked...) and then she doused me with bronzer. So my face looked BEAUTIFULLY tanned...and my arms still were pasty white. Thanks.

Jo's girl said...

oh man those make up ladies despite being "so intelligent" and "all knowing" are just plan scary.
their Idea of a make over, apart from including every product they sell they still only manage to do 1 side of your face.
yes, the last time I got suckered, some psycho thought doing only half of a woman's face would cut down on people "getting away with a free make-over" or would entice me to buy all the crap she used on half of my face. what ever! I promptly whipped it all off and bought nothing. mainly because I not only looked like a prostitute but a really inept one.

if street walkers are in the habit of coming in for a touch up then I guess that strategy would apply.

I was unaware that hookers started wearing sweat shirts and baggy jeans with flip flops and touted around their 2 children. if that's the case then I guess I could see the confusion. -never again.

Renny said...

Ugh, mall makeup counters are the devil. Having studied the art of makeup (for onstage and off) those women really don't know what they're talking about most the time. They attack you with those brushes until you look as painted as them... sad. I prefer going to Mary Kay parties to get a free facial (they have that great facial scrub they use) and not buy anything. At least my face is clean and soft that way! My word verfication is trognish, which is how I have felt after any mall makeover I have endured. The most scarring being when I went with a friend on her 13th birthday and the lady at the counter made me feel incredibly ugly by complimenting my friend's face to no end, and then turning around and telling me all the things I could do to help mine.

Heather said...

In high school, the JC Penny make up lady told me I had "prominent eyes". First thought it was a compliment. Then she said, "no, it means you have bug eyes"... not sure what to think about that, but I've asked all of my friends and I'm pretty sure that I don't have bug eyes.

Lisa and company said...

where are the pictures of the makeover???

Anonymous said...

The makeup ladies NEVER bother me. I may actually stand there, browsing their counter for a few minutes, and they don't even try. Kind of like survey people on street corners. I may be there loitering, but they don't approach. I'm not sure why, since my family and friends always tend to get accosted, but I'm unscathed.

The perfume ladies, however, won't leave me alone. Even when I (honestly) tell them that I'm allergic and start coughing my lungs out.

Sarah@Neoteric.Traditional said...

HAHA! So funny!
My one and only experience with store applied make-up resulted in Oompa-Loompa orange!

Hope said...

I hate how they talk down to you, and insult you as they try to make it sound as though they're simply trying to learn more about you. Example: "So...who DOES pluck your eyebrows?" or "Have you ever considered using a pore minimizer?"
See? Disguised as innocent curiosity and simple small-talk is an insult full of disgust and snobbery...
P.S. BOTH OF THOSE COMMENTS WERE ACTUALLY MADE TO ME.

Steph said...

During a break at a conference, I visited the Bare Escentuals store at a nearby mall for a makeup application. I was going to nice dinner with colleagues and wanted evening appropriate makeup.

This genius apparently intrepreted that as "lady of the evening." Throughout the makeover, she kept saying, "Ohhhhh, you look soooooooo pretty" over and over again.

I looked like a geisha and returned to my hotel room instead of the conference so that I could fix the damage.

Megan B said...

You are not alone. I made my mistake at the Clinique counter when I said "surprise me" to the gothic teenager manning the display. The green and yellow eye shadow made me look like I had just gone ten rounds in the ring.

Megan B said...

Yeah, and as for my last Mary Kay makeover (and I DO mean my VERY last....) all i have to say is "do people ever really choose those colors?"

Carson Clan said...

Oh, when I was in high school and still very fragile in the self esteem department, my friends and I went for makeovers at the Clinique counter. My makeover started like this:

Clinique lady: "Oh dear, what to do about these large pores?"
Me: "What are pores?"

She then proceeded to point out in detail the ridiculously large pores I had yet to notice on my acne pockmarked face... I'm still emotionally scarred about the whole experience. Just yesterday I received in the mail our family portraits and the first thing I noticed about my own face was... yep, the pores. Darn you Clinique lady!!!

annie valentine said...

And to think I was considering getting one of these on the day we get family pictures in two weeks. You wise, wise girl, you have touched my life and saved me from certain Christmas card doom.

Breezi said...

I am the queen of BAD mall make-overs. For some reason the only ladies in white lab coats that follow me around are the cute little Asian ladies. They always want to 'fix me up', So being the chubby happy girl, wanting to look just a little bit cuter... I always agree. I have never left a Clinique counter looking any less beautiful than Mi-Mi on the Drew Carrey show. Thank Heaven for bright blue eye shadow.

marybt said...

I rarely wear foundation because, quite frankly, I don't really need it. (I know. YOu're jealous. :p )

But we were getting our portrait taken for the church directory last Tuesday. So I went to the Clinique counter and told the girl in the white lab coat that I wanted, "something that is light just to make my skin look nice and smooth." She took that to mean, "I would like make up caked onto my face so that it looks dry and crusty and does not match my neck. Much like yours. Oh yeah, and if you could get me a garish magenta blush, that would be fantastic."

marla said...

i love this.

makeovers are always interesting... it's just like getting your hair done in small town in utah...
hilarious.
i love going to the MAC makeup counter in the city -i got a gay guy once and he went to town. it was sooo entertaining. not sure i loved the makeup but it was worth it.

Kira said...

FABULOUS!!! It took me filling up an ENTIRE bathroom drawer of the freebies and moving it 6 times to get over the allure.

Anonymous said...

two things...
1) jongejans, i'm a southerner and i do not --neither does my mother -- wear any foundation or eyeshadow and you need to realize that your statement was rude and it is completely based on your own prejudice opinions. i started living in hawaii 6 years ago and i can tell you that the ladies who come over here on vacation from utah and california are covered from scalp to throat in a thick, sticky film of foundation that has the "melted" look, not to mention hair so stiff with spray and mousse that it holds its rock hard shape after a dip in the ocean.
2) jana, my experience with make-up counters where i walked out looking worse than when i went in...i went into sephora to test out some new lotions and between the door and the display, i found myself sitting at the demonstration table being shown the newest anastasia brow powders...which i would never use. the so-called specialist managed to turn my normal arched brows into two mossy upside-down semi-circles. i later called her manager and told him that she had just succeeded in showing me how not to do my brows and that she would be better off at a job applying makeup to birthday party clowns.

The Jongejans said...

Hello Anon #3 - Pleased to meet you. I have not yet met a "natural Looking Southerner" as I stated below. I live in a very small town in SE Georgia - would you mind coming down here and sharing your perspective on make-up? Some of my very good friends (I'm CERTAINLY NOT PREJUDICE AT ALL) could really use your advice. Upside down woolly caterpillars and all :)

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