Monday, October 17, 2011

Double-Extended Lash-Boosting Mascara

Makeup disturbs me on several levels. There’s the “I’m slathering myself with pig-fat” level, closely followed by the infinitely less practical and more angsty “Do you know who I am underneath the makeup?” level. But it’s neither the germ-o-phobe nor the teenager in me that is the most disturbed, but the writer.

Allow me to back up.

Occasionally I find myself in need of certain products that will make me incandescently beautiful such as mascara. The last Sunday of my American convalescence was one such time, and I found myself in Target’s girl section where everything shimmers and the floors radiate with a pink estrogen glow. Or maybe that’s just the lip gloss cabinet. Either way, it’s a little eerie, so I try to dash through.

Luckily, I’m not all that picky about my mascara. Because I’m cheap and makeup is brutally expensive, it’s usually a simple process of finding the cheapest brand (L’Oreal, $5.84) and slouching off to look at notebooks and pens. I had already half-pulled my $5.84 choice off its little metal hook when I spotted the one next to it. “Bold-looking volume,” it claimed intriguingly. And that’s when I made a fatal error:

I hesitated.

Make-up quiz for the guys: When I say "Fabulash" I am
a.) applying makeup b.) drunk
The $5.84 went back on its hanger and I looked to the one on its other side. “Dramatic-looking volume,” it announced. I glanced back at “Bold-looking volume” and then back to my original pick—“Voluminous Million Lashes.” Thoroughly bamboozled, I did a quick scan and discovered I could also buy mascara with a “Lash Boosting Power System” that acted as an “Eye Illuminator.” And, if I was willing to up my price by a few measly dollars, I could have “Lash-boosting serum” mascara, or “double-extended lash-boosting” mascara or what was advertised as a “Telescopic Explosion.”

I tried for a moment to visualize an explosion anywhere near my eye in a positive light and failed. This is about the time I pulled out my notebook and sidled over to the CoverGirl display. They offered a dazzling display of yellow, orange, pink, and purple tubes each labeled “lashblast______” with each tube offering to fill in the blank with “length, volume, luxe, and fusion” respectively. In case you’re curious, “luxe” means “shimmer” and “fusion” refers to the combination of both length and volume—in one mascara! Can you believe they sell it separately, too? What a steal!

I took copious notes and moved on to Revlon. There, I was offered CustomEyes, FabuLashes, and Grow Luscious Plumping—with or without something mysteriously referred to as a “double twist.”

Rimmel tempted me with SexyCurves—magically guaranteed to make my lashes exactly 70% curlier than before with its triple plump brush and a particle accelerator. No, wait—actually it’s a volume accelerator, but I’m sure it’s equally scientific. From there I could choose between megalash, megavolume, megaplump, and megaprotein. No joke: megaprotein.

I laughed out loud. You can’t make this stuff up.

And that’s when it hit me. Yes, yes you can make this stuff up and someone did.

English majors, harken to me for I have the horrifying answer to the question that has haunted you for years. “What are you going to do with that degree?”

All in all it's just a brick in the--or something.
I repeat: horrifying.

I suggest, “I’m going to work for Revlon” instead of “I’ll be one of 6 poor underpaid saps who spends eight traumatizing hours every day pondering every possible way to combine the words “luscious,” “volume,” “plump,” “fabulous,” “length,” “lash,” and “eye” into one God-awful word that means even less than the dollar amount on my paycheck.”

Or maybe stick with grad school.

But that’s years away and almost as intangible as the possibility that I might one day be mature enough to select lipstick for myself. But when that day of grad school and maturity comes around, be assured that I will make an earnestly-deliberated decision between Sassy Mauve, Berry Haute, Va Va Violet, and Pink Pout Matte for my back-up color. I’d love to choose Fire and Ice for my primary lipstick, but behind that name is an English major, writing minor who desperately snuck a Robert Frost reference past her supervisors in an attempt to make the next seven hours of that day bearable.

Too heavy. And my face isn’t good with such dark colors. I think a Kiss Me Coral goes a little better with my skin tone, don’t you?

End note:
On Saturday I ran out of the house all gussied up for a wedding (more on that later, and oh yes, I just successfully used the phrasal verb “gussied up”). Unfortunately, my going-out-of-the-house checklist failed me. Cell phone? Keys? Wallet? Cleats? Both shin-guards? Earrings? Mascara?

Whoops. Luckily, I was able to sample some mascara in the underground shops on the way to the subway, so little Korean children did not shriek when they saw my face (no more than usual, anyway). But it did remind me of something I wrote, and thus, this slightly dated post.

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