Can't make (this) up

Part1. Before makeup.

A few weeks ago, I walked into one of the big department stores in Melbourne (Myer) and lined up at the MAC Cosmetics counter for advice. I was looking for some light foundation. I had my double pram with me though only with Liv in it (Mia was having a Daddy-day).

Now Livvy has some sort of a mummy-store-sensor. She is a perfectly angelic baby (coos even) when I'm shopping groceries, or visiting the doctor or sitting in a café. But the moment I enter a shoe/ clothing/ jewellery store, my normally happy, placid baby becomes this infuriated, red-faced ball of screams. And right at the moment the MAC salesgirl approached me, Livvy began roaring.

A rather distracted me -- in between attempts at trying to stuff the dummy in Liv's mouth, untwisting her from the pram seat belt and unclenching her little fist to get my hair out of it -- told the girl what I wanted. "I'd like a light foundation please, nothing too heavy because I perspire on my face and nothing too obvious because I don't like the caked-up look and get very self-conscious," I said, congratulating myself on my honesty. As I finished speaking, there was this sudden, intense silence. Mostly because the dummy was in but also, I sensed without looking up, from the salesgirl.

I looked up... and into a 20-something face that might have been pretty if you could only excavate it from the layers of makeup. There was the smoothed-with-a-sponge foundation, shimmer on the cheekbones, three different shades of eye-shadow, highlighter on the brow bone, careful flourishes of an eyebrow pencil, a rather thick pair of fake lashes that had at least two layers of waterproof, double-the-volume mascara (with curved brush), some sort of bronzer under the chin and cheekbones, blush and some diamond-shine-type-wet-lippy gloss*.

I didn't even get the chance for a mental uh-oh.

"Ah, let me see," she smiled, skimming over my face expertly and then skimming over the rows of foundation thoughtfully. She gave a light, decisive nod like she knew what she was doing and turned towards me. One hand gracefully indicating the foundations, the other artfully placed on the hollow at the base of her fucking neck, she smiled and asked, "So did you want the foundation for the spots on your face, your dark circles or the wrinkles around your mouth?"

I hoped Livvy would yell, she didn't and all I did was mumble "I'll come back later" and ran away.

* I now own a MAC concealer for the spots, dark circles and wrinkles, a foundation for evening out the skin tone and a powder to make sure all hidden bits stay that way. I went back later when there were other salesgirls on duty. I didn't comment on their makeup.

Part 2. After the makeup.

We were taking a family picture with Partner, self and the two girls playing on the lounge room rug. I had tried out my new makeup, downloaded a self-timer app on the phone and we were generally having fun. Some time later, Partner was sitting with the laptop and going through pictures. I was picking up random things off the floor, Mia was still adding to that pile and Livvy was carefully taking notes on how-to-do-things-when-I-grow-up-like-my-sister.

"This picture," Partner said randomly, "You look so made up in it." I dropped everything and looked over his shoulder at the picture.

"What do you mean...made up?" I asked, mortified that I was looking plastic, guilty I had overspent on cosmetics I now wouldn't ever use and horrified with images of the made-up-MAC-bitch flashing before my eyes.

"Look," he said, leaning closer for a better look, "The dark circles are gone, there are no spots and your skin is glowing!" he exclaimed. (Exclaimed!)

There was a sudden, intense silence. Partially because iTunes couldn't find the next track in the library and mostly from me. I think Partner sensed it because he suddenly looked up at my face.

"What? What! What did I say?" he asked.
"Are you saying I look nice?" I asked.
"Er, yes? No?" he asked.
"Silly Daddy," Mia said.

And to think all this while I've been proud of the fact that I do the "natural" look. :/
This is all I have to say:



Jhoomur aka JB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pallavi Sharma said...

Spots, dark circles, and wrinkles. Now where have I seen those? Right, in the mirror! Add to that, pockmarks, because I inherited my dad's habit of popping those zits the moment they are conceived. I've never had a clear skin since I was 12 years old. It took me 20 years to acknowledge take myself to a dermatologist for regular treatment. I guess better that, than being condescended to by a makeup sales girl. Sigh!

Pallavi Sharma said...

"acknowledge that, and..." I meant

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