Beauty/Dress, Everyone Else

My mother once said to me "When it comes to your stomach, trust yourself. When it comes to beauty/dress, trust everyone else." Following this advice, of course, necessitates throwing yourself out of your comfort zone. I have no problem doing this, and recently realized that superficial boundary-pushing was only indulging my dreadful self-image. To jump start the long weekend of sleeping, eating, and sleeping at my parents,' I thus treated myself to just a small spoonful of makeover magic at Sephora last week. It was high time I threw myself at the mercy of a seasoned makeup artist and trust someone other than myself, which frankly, has not been very fruitful of late anyway.

I was lucky enough to encounter a particularly nice, normal, and knowledgeable Sales Associate who wore decent makeup herself and seemed to pick up on what I was shooting for - natural and sophisticated makeup that brightens up my face without necessarily highlighting a single feature. Two products that I felt particularly in need of were tinted moisturizer and bronzer. So the SA, somewhat of a makeup shrink, encouraged me to explore a little on my own before getting to work.

This is when I discovered that I am a complete and total idiot. I am also aging faster than I thought, for I am also truly delusional and have incredibly poor eyesight. In fact, I should never be allowed to put myself together again. It's a miracle that so far I have looked rather decent in life. Otherwise, things were really on a downward spiral.

The revelation began when I picked out a tinted moisturizer from Laura Mercier that was oh, about 3 shades too dark for me. When I told the SA I had chosen Sand, she looked at me like I was an alien. She actually raised one eyebrow and was about to say something before shaking her head, sprinting to the LM counter, and returning with Fawn. Not surprisingly, her choice was the perfect one. This tinted moisturizer gave an even, sheer coverage without looking like makeup in the least. I desperately want it, but am not sure if the $42 price tag, although worth every penny, is something that I would continue to replace later on.

My next big mistake - blush. I know this is something you can play with, but if you have followed this blog at all, you might know that I appreciate makeup, particularly blush, for "darker" skin tones. I still do, but I have realized that I don't need it. Someone explain to me why I ever thought I needed a different version of NARS' Orgasm? Tell me why I perused hard-to-find makeup shelves of Black Radiance, Black Opal, and Iman? I may seriously have lost it, and I blame everyone for not pointing it out (however, your silence might indicate that I was not looking like a drag queen, so thank goodness for that). The Orgasm/Laguna blush/bronzer ($37) gave a truly natural flush with just the right amount of contouring. Who knew? Clearly, not I.

The final touches included Smashbox Eye Shadow Trio in Smashbox.com ($28), Givenchy mascara (what is the point of that weapon of torture if you have to use a hygeinic mascara wand to test it???), and for the lips, my own choices of Laura Mercier Lip Colour - Shimmer lipstick in Fresh Brown (an all-purpose bronzey pink, $22) topped with a coat of ck Calvin Klein Delicious Pout Flavored Lip Gloss in Pastel Gold ($13, and a brilliant golden copper shade).

The verdict - truly fabulous. The amount of mascara was a bit much for me, but I can't say it looked bad. I should add that the SA barely used eye liner - just a light smidgen at the corner of my eyes, but more on that coming up. I'm truly shocked that this group of products worked so well on me (minus the lip stuff - I generally don't have a problem in that area). It's also a major relief that instead of emphasizing some of my rather sharpish features, I can get away with just brightening up my face overall and look infinitely better. Most importantly, I needed the perspective of an outsider to establish some beauty trust.

Makeup is fun, and for me it has always been more about indulging my inner 6-yr old, ready with a box of Crayolas and a smile, more than anything else. But I must say, getting a little help in an area that is ultimately meant to enhance your features, polish you up a bit, and just make you feel good did not hurt. The 6-yr old in me gave a confident nod of approval well beyond her years, and reminded me that I'm at least wise enough to remember my mother's words (sometimes), toss them up with a trustworthy SA's skills (do keep in mind that finding a good person to help is also key), and still maintain her sense of self.

Seriously, who needs a therapist???


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