Here’s the thing about make-up: it is “made up,” if you will. Products designed and created to cover up our flaws, to create a persona more unnatural than ourselves while simultaneously trying to make us look natural, and to encourage us to spend more money in pursuit of the elusive Fountain of Youth.
But, hey, I am okay with that. I attempt to look my best and I like a good challenge. Game on.
Some of us are admittedly better at “making up” our false face into something magical, a piece of art, a thing of utter beauty. I, however, fall into the category of admittedly being NOT so good at selecting and then applying the products I purchase. I falter. Which is how and why I found myself meandering naively into one of the largest and most popular cosmetic retail chains at the mall on a mild midweek afternoon.
I needed a perk, a pick-me-up – a new foundation, to be exact – and I allowed myself to be taken through the painstaking process of selecting the correct shade for my skin tone. However, while still in the comfort of my own home, I tried to make the selection online, but the trial and error seemed daunting, so I went right to the source.
The sales associate could not have been more patient…and enthused for me, as if she was silently cheering me on in my quest.
I chose one of their name brand foundations because honestly, I liked the price point. I am practical that way. Plus, if I selected inaccurately, I was not spending a small fortune on yet another ‘miss.’
Once the sales associate and I started experimenting with shades, I discovered the lightness, the mere weight of the product suited me. She gently instructed me how to apply it (more of a dab, dab, dab than a swirl), and I was off, dabbing away to perfection in the middle of the store.
Unfortunately, this cosmetic experiment solidified what I already know: I am pasty white in the winter, and I have more fine lines on my face than I care to count. No product could hide the deep crevices surrounding my mouth and inlaid in my forehead from years of worry.
While the initial shade she selected was a good match, we collectively decided I needed a bit darker hue, not only to cover the spots that show I am aging like a fine wine but also, so I resemble someone who is indeed alive with vim and vigor, not someone suffering from seasonal affective disorder.
Once we accomplished that feat, I was bold, brave, and brazen, daring to push my luck by going for a new shade of lipstick…23 sample attempts later, I left with a shade I still think is too bright for my skin tone, but my patience was thinning, and I truly believed I was never going to get this small, simple task right. Plus, the hundreds of shades came in a variety of forms: lip gloss, lip gel, lip cream, and yes, even good-old-fashioned lipstick. My parting thought was I can always dab, dab, dab to mute the color more to my liking. 😊
While I still search for the Fountain of Youth and the correct cosmetics to make me look “put together,” you might catch me around town or glimpse me in the local market with my new fresh face transformed for this brief moment in time.
Still flawed and searching,