Monday, August 29, 2005

Just Because She Wears a Uniform...

I went to purchase makeup at a department store this weekend (the company will remain unnamed) and had an interesting experience. I asked for a shade of blush, and the associate happily applied it to my face, including my eyes. She informed me while she did that you had to be a little experimental when it came to makeup. I let it go, although she had the condescention to instruct me as if I was some doe-eyed sixteen year old. In order to make sure she knew she wasn't dealing with just any acne-faced kid, I let her know that I was a fan of the lipstick-as-rouge trick. If it seems that my tone is rambling, it is because even now I am so angry that I can't really think straight. Her next words went right through me.

"Oh, don't ever do that. It's not a good idea," she replied, adding a finger wag.

This serves to illustrate two very important points. The first is, you should never assume to know more about makeup than the person you are serving, just because you are wearing a company-issued uniform. The second is that you shouldn't ever discourage a woman from being experimental with her makeup, unless it's bad for her skin. For example, if she's pulling on her eyelids to apply her eyeliner, warn her about the wrinkle risk! But if you're taking to an absolute genius such as myself, you should step aside and let the pros do what they will. That sounded awfully magnanimous - but seriously, honey, don't do that again, or you just might get slapped because you had the pluck to question me.

In defense of my makeup technique, I'm not the first person to try it, and I certainly won't be the last. Let me direct you to Stila, where they have their very own - gasp! - lipstick and blush combo. So it looks like I wasn't too far off after all. The beauty of lipstick-as-blush is that it lasts a lot longer than powder blush. Of course, there are trade-offs; lipstick is a lot less forgiving, so you better hope you like where you put it, or you're going to have to redo your entire face. Still, don't be afraid to try it if it works well for you. You have to do what you like for your face.

And I suppose that's what chafed me the most about important-looking-uniform lady. Everyone does something different, so you should not judge until you try it. The flipside of this point is you don't have to listen to people because they shovel some false authority of you. What kind of qualification does makeup jockey have, anyway? Probably no more than you or me. Do your own thing and don't be ashamed!