I have a…thing coming up that requires that I be coiffed and groomed. Those are not skills I possess. I mean, I shower and all but I am more wash n go than Barbie.
I decided that it was time to invest in some makeup that is designed to look good under lights and on film. And, I do mean invest. Those few small bottles cost more than the groceries for the week. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Not only is the world of the fancy makeup a foreign one to me, I am actually afraid of it. I couldn’t fathom walking into the store without prior knowledge. I needed a Rosetta Stone class of sorts so that I could at least speak a few words of beauty. So, as with all burning questions in the social media age, I started my query on Facebook.
My friends came through with lots of suggestions. Many of them even called makeup “fun.” Who are these women?:)
So yesterday, I steeled myself and walked, head held low, into Sephora, the land of all that is beauty. I immediately felt like an intruder, unwelcome. Even the men had on more makeup than me. I walked through the aisles of sparkles and spackles until I found the product I had decided upon.
And then I was a bit stuck. There were 25(!) shades to choose from. And I was starting from scratch. I looked around for an open assistant, but they were all occupied, many helping girls the age of my students.
And then one approached me. She smiled. Was friendly. Was well-groomed but not perfect. I liked her. She led me over to a station where they use a small computer/camera to take a picture of your skin for color matching purposes. I found this oddly comforting; it reminded me of buying paint at Home Depot, a familiar endeavor.
Once matched, I collected my product and inquired about application techniques. Bless this woman, she wasn’t trying to sell. She actually encouraged me to try hand application first and return for a brush if I felt like I needed it. Unfortunately (to my wallet at least), I decided that I needed it after hearing the pros and cons.
And then stupid me inquired about concealer. Which led to another tub of goo and yet another brush. By this point, I had a small basket of product. I no longer looked like a tourist. But I still felt like one.
When the cashier asked if I had a loyalty card, I actually laughed and explained a bit about my general beauty attitude and my discomfort in the store. A male employee (with the best eyebrows I’ve ever seen) smiled and quipped, “That’s how I feel in the gym which is why I’m so skinny.”
I could have kissed him.
Not only did he relate, but the example he gave was where I feel most at home. We joked for a minute about him helping me with makeup and me helping him with pull ups.
We all feel that way sometimes, like interlopers. Pariahs on the outskirts of the group. But that separation and discomfort is in our heads, not reality. We all have areas where we are more comfortable and we can use those times to reach out to those who appear to be struggling.
I wished him luck on his workouts and exchanged a spirited fist bump before leaving the store. This time, with my head held high.
Related: Say Stress to the Dress