Saturday, March 02, 2013

An attitude makeover

Links in this post are Amazon affiliate links to the products, more in case you are curious to find out about them. I have made less than $20 from my Amazon links so it's not a big income stream for me.

Because of my skincare product obsession, I recently hit the spending threshold to  a Sephora V.I.B. (Very Important Beauty Insider).  This means that I got a few promotional coupons. One was for a free makeover (which means that I didn't have to spend the $50 minimum to get it).  I went in with the look I already do for myself and asked to try something different.  I had the most fun experience talking to Leslie, the consultant doing the makeover, about the products I use and her recommendations for me. It was nice that she didn't just suggest that I change everything, that she actually liked the foundation I was already using for me and didn't even take it off.

I usually do a very natural, doesn't-look-like-it's-makeup makeup.  I wear foundation, but not much, concealer, light blush, nude eyeshadow, and Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey.  Sometimes I curl my eyelashes.  Sometimes I do a darker lip.

What I don't usually do is think of myself as the kind of person who cares about things like makeup, even though as I talked to Leslie, I realized I really do. There is a part of me that thinks that thinking too much about this kind of thing is silly, or vain, or something. But I got my first Seventeen magazines when I was 12, and I asked for makeup brushes that year for Christmas. I loved to play with makeup when I was younger, and since it was the 80s, I did the rainbow-colored eyeshadows and all the rest.  I wanted to be an artist, and having fun with my look was just part of that.  I also had big hair, wore fun and funky clothes, and enjoyed it all. I am not sure where I picked up this "beauty-is-vanity" vibe, but it wasn't my family, because they tolerated it all quite well. My in-laws don't care about appearance at all and really do think all that is silly, to the point of looking unkempt (my husband once mistook his father, who wandered up to him at an event, for a homeless man). Maybe I got it through osmosis from my husband, although if so I don't think he ever meant to make me feel that way. He, on the other hand, has started to care much more about appearance and grooming since we got together, so maybe there was a pull-to-the-middle phenomenon going on.   I'm not sure, but I do seem to keep needing to give myself permission to dare to try to stand out instead of melting into the background.  Anyway, enough philosophizing. Back to the makeup.

Leslie put me in a a gorgeous plum eyeshadow duo from Hourglass, a very smoky look near the lashes and 
Benefit High Beam in the inner corner of my eye and on the brow bone. She also used a waterproof eyeliner in plum. She said that she did this to bring out my "unique eye color" (sort of a green/gold). She used a Smashbox blush with a little shimmer.  After lining my lips with a nude pencil, she applied an intuitive lip gloss that was supposed to turn the best color for me, and it turned the exact shade I had been wearing when I entered the store. I asked about illuminators and she dotted NARS Copacabana along my cheekbones.

It was all so much fun. I left feeling great. Interestingly, I didn't buy the eyeshadow but I did get a NARS blush in Desire after confirming that it would work on me, and the concealer brush that magically erased my dark circles, and a Benefit kit that contained both a tiny version of High Beam and a little Benetint, which I've been wanting to try. (Fun fact, did you know it was invented when a stripper wanted a product to enhance her "lady parts?" (I'm not sure if the consultant meant above-or-below-the-belt lady parts, I was afraid to ask. Maybe both.) But I was interested in trying it as a cheek color. On my face.) And I ended up buying an eyeshadow palette today that lets me do a softer version of the look I tried last night.

I think even more than the makeup, what felt good was the individual attention and the sense that there were a lot of things to celebrate about my looks. In my ordinary life, I don't get compliments about my eye color or how great my skin is.  I tend to get down on myself because of my weight -- I have been losing but I'm still far from where I want to be -- and lately I also have been obsessing about getting and looking older. I'm never happy about my clothes, or at least the way they look on me. I sometimes feel like no one really sees or notices me.

I may have gone a little overboard to the point where I broke the spirit (frivolous purchases) of my Lenten resolutions if not the letter (I didn't use credit cards).  But I gave myself a much-needed attitude makeover.  If I could just figure out how to do that without spending money, I would be all set.

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"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07