According to some brazen statistic, 40% of what I earn yearly goes towards my “beauty” regimen. Damn that statistic. It must be true, and it’s such a shame. A crying shame. The older a woman gets, the more products she uses to prep herself for the day.
I know I had this conversation before with one of my girlfriends – It was running through my mind while I was rubbing — or “sampling” — tinted moisturizers on the curve of my hand at the Clinique counter. The salesgirl, a fetching brunette with a disarming retail-smile (I think she uses a fantastic cosmetic whitener on those chops), was torn between assisting with my panicked anti-aging regimen and “helping out” another customer sitting in The Chair who was holding a mirror very closely to her face.
Yeah, I said it.
The Chair is the makeup counter equivalent of a public execution. Once the salesgirls have seduced you and glued you to The Chair, the death of the remnants of your esteem and natural visage begins. While in The Chair, you can be assured that you will be told repeatedly of all of your skin’s shortcomings. It will either be too lined, too uneven-toned, too oily, too dry, too open-pored, too tight, too baggy, too saggy and/or too irritated (note that it will probably be too irritated because you will have been “sampling” all kinds of stuff just to try and figure out what exactly’s right for you). If it’s a combination of any or all of the above, God help you and your wallet because if there’s not an all-in-one solution for sale there, you’re going to be loaded with all of the bottles of skincare gunk you may or may not really need.
Anyway, the young lady condemned to The Chair at the Clinique counter must’ve been so convinced her skin was…well…something out-of-sorts. What, I don’t know exactly. She was barely in her 20’s and fresh-faced, but no doubt the salesgirl had connived her into believing there was really something wrong. She had the mirror up so close to her face, I wouldn’t haven been surprised if her face actually looked like the surface of hell. She kept that mirror up even when the salesgirl came over to help me with my selection. When the salesgirl went to aid the hyper Lancome lady for a minute, I sidled up to the girl in The Chair and softly told her she looked gorgeous and that if she kept buying cosmetics, she’d wind up spending three times as much in her 40’s, like me, just to undo the damage. I couldn’t elaborate any further because the salesgirl was by her side in a flash, as if her anti-sale radar went off the moment I started talking to the young lady in The Chair. The salesgirl wound up selling the victim of The Chair anti-aging “coverage.” (Are you kidding me?)
I walked out of the store with exactly what I came for, tinted moisturizer, and that was it. When I got home, I tried it out then promptly tossed the tube into one of my two huge cosmetic cases along with my 2 brands of line-minimizing concealer, 3 variations of highlighters (2 liquid and 1 powder), 1 container of tone-perfecting foundation, 4 types of mascara ranging from vampy black to lash-lengthening brown, several pairs of Tweezerman tweezers, 3-4 nubs of eyeliner, 1 hydrating face balm, 1 eyelash curler, 2 fair-skinned bronzers, 1 tube of primer (one face primer, one eyelid primer), 3 day moisturizers, 2 night moisturizers, 1 BB cream (still trying to figure that one out), 1 eye cream, 30 or so makeup samples of stuff I’ll never use because mail-in cosmetic companies think I’m black, and some other stuff I’m still trying to figure out how to use correctly.
Like I’ve bought into the hype that the latest IS the “new” anti-aging product. Pshaw. As if.
Well, at least you’ll never catch me in The Chair.