If you would like to read a very meaningful and thought-provoking post full of deep heartfelt angst and pain. Please go visit Tiff today.
Seriously… I am warning you. She posted an excellent screed on man’s inhumanity to man. You ought to read it.
Plus… meaningful. Not shallow. In no way set at the mall.
OK, well you’re still here, so I am going to go ahead with the post that I was planning on posting today – even though it is set at the mall, and is, in fact, shallow and silly and probably contributing to the ongoing decay of society.
As part of my niece’s 13th birthday package (we usually “do things” with her for her birthday rather than buying a present), the SB and I took her and her 13 year old friend to the mall yesterday. Her mom came along too, for moral support.
While at the mall, watching the two of them wander google-eyed through all those horrific stores that I would not otherwise wish to enter even if I were a corpse (Hollister, anyone?), we came to the center of the mall, where there was a giant sort of arena set up… full of people sitting at little mirrored table having other people poke at their faces with pointy sticks and puffy sticks and all manner of various kinds of sticks.
And there was a line.
So, naturally, we went over to see what the line was about.
Turns out, the L’oreal company was at the mall giving out free products and doing 5 minute makeovers – all in return for just sharing your precious marketing and demographic information with them.
If you think this was something that two 13 year old girls would be interested in… then you obviously do not live under a rock and can see where we are heading with this.
So we got in line. The SB, bless him, very sensibly went to the Seattle’s Best Coffee and told us he’d meet us there when we were done.
So we got in line, a surprisingly fast moving line. Gave up our information, which hopefully will stay with the fine people at L’Oreal, and not be sold to every advertising company this side of the Mississippi.
We went to their little “pick your look” computer… picked some looks, and, after a brief wait, got called to the makeover tables.
This started with a skin-care consultation, which doubled as a “let us get your face cleaned up because you can’t have a makeover if you have all that other make-up on”
We watched two women walk out when they realized that they would have to be – gasp! – makeupless in the middle of the mall for a few minutes between station 1 and station 2. I was OK with that – meant less time in line for us.
The skin-care thing was fine, they didn’t actually do anything to me, because I do not wear make-up – oh… yeah… did I mention that I do not wear make-up? What was I doing here?
But, they also made you shove your face into this HORRIBLE lighted mirror that MAGNIFIED your face about a MILLION TIMES and then also had wonderous special lights that made your dry skin glow bright white and showed all the sun damage and other various horrible skin conditions that no one really wants to encounter on a sunday afternoon trip to the mall.
That mirror very nearly had me crying out and trying to buy everything the woman recommended on the spot! Handily for me, the people working the event did not actually seem interested in selling anything – they were, in fact, oddly enough, just recommending you go to the store somewhere and buy it. It was a no-pressure sales job. Odd at a marketing event, but there you are. Unfortunately, they kind of lost their chance there… because after a while the horror kind of wore off and I was thinking… nah - I can stick with my plain old cheap Neutrogena… I don’t need to buy a $25 microdermabrasion kit.
So – note to any L’oreal marketers whose (oh my god, I am sorry) job it is to search blogs for mentions of their name – try to sell people while they are at the thing at the mall… you gotta strike while the iron is hot!!
So from the horror mirror fun house part, we went over to the makeup part.
I showed the lady the picture I had picked. Attempted to make some small talk, but this poor lady was clearly all out of that, me probably being her 500th mini-makeover by then (guessing) So I sat there and let her smear stuff on my face.
While I remembered why it is I do not wear makeup.
I hate that feeling of crap all over my face.
And yet, I managed to sit there, and allow her to continue smearing stuff on my face in various colors.
Actually, she did a really excellent job.
I acknowledge that makeup, properly applied, can make people look much better than no makeup. I looked quite nice. I did not, however, look so much nicer that I felt it was worth having to walk around every day with goop all over me.
My sister also had a makeover that looked remarkably like the makeup she’d come in with. The girls had makeovers which were very tastefully done – a little lip gloss, some blush, a touch of mascara… they are 13, after all. At least the fine people at L’Oreal did not try to sell these little girls 5 gallons of trollop-paint. I appreciate that.
So we were done and all went off to finish our malling activities.
In about 10 minutes, I started to feel like my lips were stuck together with Elmer’s glue, and my eyelashes started trying to poke my eyeballs out with their hard and pointy mascara treatment, and my face started to feel like I had a layer of, well, I don’t know what, but something not good, all over it.
I put up with this for a couple more stores.
When we got to the Seattle’s Best Coffee some time later, I immediately made a bee-line for the napkins and got the lip stuff off. That helped, and made it so I could get through the rest of the trip.
My sister, who would not be caught dead outside the house without make-up, thought this was all quite amusing.
Having worn makeup when I was a teen (rather a lot of it, actually, with the black eyeliner and the vampire pale skin), I knew better than to try and remove any of the rest of it before I got home, but by golly, I was counting down the minutes until I could get home to my bathroom sink and a lovely hot washcloth.
Which did, eventually, happen. And I got the goo off my face, and I felt much better, and, with a reminder of why it is that I stopped wearing makeup all those years ago, I vowed that it would be at least another 11 years (which was the last time I had been made-up – for my wedding) before I went through that again.
These are the things one does in order to be “the cool aunt”