Friday, December 21, 2007

Someone else's lips

We made it to California yesterday after a VERY early flight (and no sleep Wednesday night due to Upstairs deciding to have a screaming, beating each other fight at 2 AM). Most of the day was spent tooling around the East Bay with QIR. We went to Costco and IKEA and the fabric store (no luck yet) and Trader Joe's and a variety of other places, but didn't have much success finding the gifts or other things we need. So today Dan and I BARTed over to the city to try our luck on the shortest day of the year.

I'm still looking for some pants to bring to Italy that are not jeans. They'd preferably be some sort of cargo pants, maybe olive green or a brown, with material that is comfortable and not too thin (gotta stay warm). The China pants were perfect (green cargo pants) and I am still bemoaning their demise. Today I tried Ross, Marshalls, Old Navy, H&M, and had absolutely no luck. Dan found a great thin weather-resistant jacket and some chinos, so he's happy, but I still don't have any damn pants. We were also shopping for other people and had no luck finding a particular gift that a particular relative of mine wanted after trying many many stores. Eventually I gave in and went to a Very Expensive Store to buy the exact product (rather than going with something similar and less expensive). Oh, well.

We also went to the big fancy fabric store in SF called Britex looking for bmaid dress fabric, and after searching all 3 floors of amazing textiles we found the perfect fabric - for only $35/yard. Ugh. I'm going to bring my sisters in there when we come down to the city on Sunday to do Extended Family Giftmas to see what they think.

One store I'd wanted to go into for a while but had been a little afraid of was Sephora. I haven't regularly worn makeup since high school, and I have absolutely no idea how to go about doing foundation or concealer or whatever needs doing to make my skin look all nice in photographs/for wedding. I was told to go into Sephora, explain my issues, and ask for some assistance. So I finally went in there and tried it. The first person who was helping me directed me to a particular line and then sat me down on a stool to put some on my face (to see what I thought). I want to look like me in my pictures, not like I'm wearing a mask, but I'd also like my skin to look nice. The girl seemed like she knew what she was talking about, and I thought the stuff she put on me was OK. Then she got called away to another part of the store and told this makeup artist guy to come over and finish the consultation.

Of course, as soon as I said the word "wedding" and "photos" this guy got a malicious half smile and wiped off the stuff the first girl had put on me, then ran all over the store grabbing products and smearing them on my skin. He was just as frustrated as I've been with the weird dry patches on either side of my mouth (they've been there for a few months and I can't figure out how to make them stop peeling). He suggested a variety of product options (many of which I've already tried) and finally asked if I'd tried Crisco. Or butter. Um, no.

He plastered and applied and troweled, telling me to pay someone to fix my eyebrows and only managed to poke me in the eye once. There were products and products and maybe some more products, eye shadows and liners and mascaras and then he started in on my lips, drawing waaaaay outside my lipline and then drawing some more, filling in with some kind of sticky goo that smelled like banana (bleah). When he was finally finished, the malicious half smile had turned into a malicious full smile, and I looked in the mirror to see someone who was not me.

The worst part was definitely the lips. Not only were they not actually my lips, the color he had used (some sort of weird nude tone) made them look like a butthole - you know, that old-school look with the liner darker than the inside. I called Dan and told him to meet me at the Shoe Pavilion, warning him that I didn't look like myself. When he saw me, he looked a little startled. Hell, when *I* saw me, I looked a little startled. I didn't look like me. I didn't even look pretty. I mostly looked like a drag queen with someone else's lips. We walked to Chinatown to eat lunch and on the way I stopped in to a $tarbucks and spent a few minutes washing my face off with paper towels and water (sadly, there was no soap). I considered asking Dan to take a photo of me in all my bizarre glory but ultimately decided that nobody needed to see me looking like that. I left the mascara alone, since I didn't need it running all over the place, but I managed to get most of the other products off my eyes and face and put my lips back to (mostly) normal. When I walked out, I mostly looked like me wearing mascara, which is far better than the look I had when I left Sephora. I guess I'll figure out the foundation thing on my own and there's no way in hell I'm drawing on new lips when I do wedding makeup.


Monkey McWearingChaps said...

Don't bother with MAC...they'll go even more apeshit on you than at Sephora.

Having seen you in person...I think you have a yellow undertone to your skin which is difficult to match vis-a-vis foundation. I go to a desi/ethnic specific makeup company but I know a LOT of people also like Prescriptives. My impression is that they will also mix the foundation for you very specifically matched to your skin. OTOH, they are expensive.

Do any of your sisters or friends know much about makeup AND your personal aesthetic? I'd offer up Bunsen as an aesthetician but she's all the way out on Lakeshore Drive. Crap, I'd even give you my own makeup but you're a much lighter shade of yella so none of it would look proper on you except some of my lipsticks. But wait! I do have a lot of different soft blushes, some very expensive (NARS Orgasm, a recent Tarte purchase)

You want the soft and natural look, natural glow just highlighting your best features, right?

I'd try a LORAC or Benetint lip stain after exfoliating your lips. Clear gloss on top.

Foundation that matches your skin.

Tarte blush in Blushing Bride or some such.

A dark brown eyeliner...Laura Mercier Cake eyeliner is brilliant but there is a learning curve for application. You're much better off getting someone to do it for you if you don't have a steady hand.

Some false eyelashes in dark brown with mascara.

The thing is your makeup bill is going to climb if you go for nice products. If you come across shades that you like in lipsticks/blushes, let me know and I'll hunt in my cache and mail them to you. Just return them after the wedding (don't worry, I'll disinfect them).

the slackmistress said...

The problem with makeup is that going in and saying "I'm getting married, will you do my makeup?" is akin to walking into a hair salon and saying "I want a haircut." Without giving specifics - and with makeup, pictures are best - or else they go with what "everyone else" wants/has or sometimes even worse - what their specific taste is. And that's specifically what you don't want.

Obviously you definitely want to do run-throughs before you get married (and take photos to see what the makeup will look like in pictures. But cut out pictures from magazines, celebrities, what have you - MAC has not-trowled-on bridal looks like this:

and all of their bridal looks can be found might be a jumping-off point.

the slackmistress said...

Oops, I had o take the HTML out of the last both so there's words missing, but hopefully you'll get the point. :)

Yank In Texas said...

YIkes. Never mention wedding if you can. Rule of thumb. Say I've got a party coming up and I want to look pretty in photos. Natural but me, only better. I've had good luck with Clinique. I went in for one of their consultation thingies and the lady I got did such a good job. I really liked it.
As for pants, I so wish I could help. Is there a Steve and Barry's anywhere? They have cheap, decent stuff. Maybe a sporting goods store. I hate pants shopping. I feel you pain.

Monkey McWearingChaps said...

If you are still around-the limited had tons of pants exactly like what you are looking for. I think many were on sale, as well.