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And Then I Learned About Makeup

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As it turns out, makeup application has changed since I was a nine-year-old attendee of my second-ever slumber party. Anointing the lips with mauve, smearing cheeks with hot pink, and using artistic grace to apply rose, gold, emerald and fuchsia in nonrainbow order — as I did to Courtney, the only girl brave enough to let me have a go at her with a brush — is decidedly not in style anymore.

Then again, Court’s reaction of abject disgust implies perhaps that wasn’t en vogue then, either. I wonder if she penned a memo to the class of 2000, letting them know there was no reason to allow me near their rouge, as after that incident, I was never asked by anyone to do their makeup. Not even their nail polish.

So when Megan took me to Sephora — fine, dragged me to Sephora — I was a bit dubious about my ability to be able to pick out makeup, let alone get it on my face without poking my own eyelashes into my eyes. We pounced on the first employee we came across.

Very sweet girl with ’50s-style cat-eyes: “What are you looking for today?”
Me, with confidence: “Makeup.”
Sweet girl: “Um, yes. What kind?”
Me, sans confidence: “The…makeup-y kind?”

The problem with trying to explain what I needed was, well … I had no idea exactly what it was I needed. And I don’t think the lovely ladies of Sephora were prepared for a thirty-year-old with no concept of cosmetology. Eventually, we did manage to impart the fact that I required a significant amount of assistance. How? I kept reaching for the glitter.

Her helpfulness level increased by leaps and bounds after that.

Eyeshadow. Eyeliner. Powder. Lipstick. Primer. Mascara. The word lashline was used quite a bit, and I was too embarrassed to admit I had no idea what or where that was. We kept bounding from section to section, brand names being tossed out as though they were college roommates, Megan smiling encouragingly and giving me helpful tips such as, “Do not share eye makeup brushes!” when I attempted to use the same mascara brush as her.

I left with over a hundred dollars’ worth of makeup (which amounts to not enough to line the bottom of a zebra-print Sephora bag) and a deep desire for a time machine to tell Alicia of the past to stop skipping the beauty tips section of Teen, Seventeen, Glamour, Cosmo, O and Vanity Fair. Where is Dr. Who and his time traveling Tardis when you need him?

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