Tag Archives: makeup

Lessons in Lipstick

I’m not a beauty blogger, but if you read this blog regularly, you know that I love makeup. You probably also know that I watch General Hospital daily. One day recently, these two loves collided when I saw the perfect lipstick color on my favorite soap. If you’re familiar with the show, it was the day that Samantha and Jason were getting married (again, shortly after they divorced).

Soap weddings are always beautiful and there’s usually some unexpected drama. I couldn’t tell you anything about this particular soap wedding once Samantha (Kelly Monaco) made her entrance wearing that lipstick. From that point on, I was focused on finding out the brand and name of the color. The first step was getting a picture. Just look at this…


The next step was heading to the makeup counter so that a professional could lead me to this perfection. I could save some money and take my chances on my own untrained eye at the discount make up counter, but I needed this lipstick shade, so nothing less than an expert would do. I knew from experience that as soon as I showed her this picture, she’d pull out the perfect match and I’d be on my way in minutes. As it turns out, “expert” may have been a stretch. My experience bordered more on “employed” in the cosmetic industry rather than any form of expertise.

After I showed her this picture, the first color she swiped across the back of my hand was a fluorescent flamingo pink that would have shown up to any destination five minutes before me. I told her that it was much too bright. “Bright?” was her surprised response. She clearly didn’t agree. It was going to get worse. After my hand was covered in pink after pink, I showed her the picture again. Maybe she’d forgotten what it looked like.

We progressed to purples that Prince himself would declare as too much. She walked away for a moment to help another customer which gave me a chance to clean off the back of my hand and reflect on what was happening. I could look at this from one of two perspectives: either I’m not expressing my needs properly or she’s a flaming idiot. I chose to believe that I was the problem.

When she returned, I showed her the picture again. I pointed out that to me it looks like a darker shade than she has shown me up to this point, more red than pink, and not so bright (kinda like her). Next thing I know, the back of my hand is striped in brown shades then, in a complete 180 degree turn, she pulls out a nude color. It disappeared on the back of my hand, because it was nude!

Once again, she had to walk away. I should have taken that opportunity to leave, but instead I leaned over the counter, pulled out a dark red, handed it to her and said “I’ll take this one.” In this comparison photo, I can see that it’s not quite the same color, thanks to my lack of ability to distinguish the difference in colors any further than the original box of 8 crayons I received in kindergarten. Yet still, I came a lot closer than the “expert” on the other side of the counter.


Maybe my mother was right when she said “if you want something done right, do it yourself.”

Let’s Make Up

[Please read this in the spirit it was written.  This is about me and my issues with makeup.]

For me, putting on makeup is part of getting dressed. I would no sooner leave the house with a naked face than I would a naked body (you’re welcome!). I wear makeup for the same reasons I wear clothes… to hide what I don’t want you to see and enhance what I do. It takes me from “OMG! Are you ok?” to normal in less than five minutes.

makeup, no makeup

More and more, I see women in professional settings, dressed appropriately but with absolutely no makeup whatsoever. I don’t know why, but I’m SO distracted by it. If I were at a presentation being led by a woman not wearing makeup, I wouldn’t hear a word she says. I’d be wondering why she isn’t wearing makeup. Did she forget? Was she running late and decided to skip it? Remember, for me, this is the equivalent of seeing someone naked in public. Of course I’m distracted!

There’s a blond-eyelashed, no-makeup-wearing woman that I see on occasion. We’re not acquainted. I just see her in passing sometimes. But every time I see her, I imagine the same scenario… I tear away my clothes to reveal my SUPER MAKEUP GIRL costume. I reach into my holster and whip out my cosmetic brush. It whirls around in cartoonish circles until the perfect woman emerges. Ok, that might be a stretch, but she at least emerges with a face on!

I have friends who don’t wear makeup and of course, there’s nothing wrong with that. I truly admire their confidence. I’m used to seeing their bare faces, but to be honest, sometimes, I still get distracted while talking to them. “She’d look so fantastic if she’d let me do her eyebrows and put some mascara on her. And oh, with some eyeliner, those eyes…” And then I realize, this must be what it’s like to be a man. Not listening to a word a woman is saying because I’m thinking of things I want to do to her!

There are any number of reasons that women choose not to wear makeup. Some are told they don’t need it. When a man tells a woman that she doesn’t need makeup, she might hear “You’re pretty without it.” What I hear is, “You were wearing makeup when we met, when I asked you out and while we were dating. But now, I don’t want other men looking at you. So I want you to look tired, defeated and like you’ve given up.”  For the record, no man has ever told me that I don’t need makeup!

One morning, my routine got out of whack and I went to work with no mascara on. I consider myself to be confident, but that day, I learned that a little bit of  my self-confidence comes in the form of mascara. I avoided eye contact with everyone and hid behind my glasses (which I only need for distance). It’s hard to read a computer screen all day while wearing your driving glasses!

nomascara, nomakeup
Don’t look at me!

I’m sure my productivity was low that day. But, it was the right thing to do, for the greater good. Ever since then, there has been an emergency mascara in my purse!

So, I won’t be participating in your #nomakeup challenges. If going makeup free is the new trend, then call me that old-fashioned chick who still wears it. I’ll gladly support your choice to forgo makeup… once I get over the fact that I’ve seen you naked!