Friday, April 29, 2005

not made-up make-up

putting makeup on after work in the bathroom. conversation between Weenie Assistant (WA) and Super-Successful Woman (SSW).

SSW sighs as she messily scrawls eyeliner onto her eyelid.

SSW: jesus, i'm 32 years old and i can't apply make up. pitiful.

she's right. she can't apply make up. the line she attempts to draw is about a 1/2 an inch from her lash line and reminiscent of a kindergartener who raided her mother's cosmetics drawer.

WA is silent for a few seconds. she's in awe. she is guilty of being jealous of this woman. this woman is important. she does important things. meets important people. gets important things done that inform important people about important events. she wears important well-tailored suits and important pointed leather shoes that click when she walks, announcing the arrrival of her importance. she wears "higher purpose" like a perfume - dabbed judiciously behind her ears, inconspicously, so as not to offend.

WA does not feel important at her job. she knows that this is not her future, that her dreams and goals lie (or lay? oh, screw it.) beyond this fortress of cubicles. in some circles, she might even be considered a SSW, but here, she is definitely a weenie assistant.

WA wonders...

if she is more shocked because she just found out that SSW is only 2 years older than WA and so super-successful she wants to vomit? or because SSW, in her well-tailored suit and pointy leather pumps, is helpless when it comes to make-up application? something that weenie assistant excels at.

SSW: i didn't learn how to put on make up until i was 30, and i suck at it.

WA, not unself-consciously, curls her eyelashes. crimp, crimp.

WA was caught stealing make up from her mother at age 3 and was ecstatic when she snagged a signed copy of kevyn aucoin's book, "making faces." at age 3, SSW was probably in French class reading Camus.

WA: well, i'm not so sure that's a bad thing.

you're fucking brilliant, woman! who cares about makeup?!?! i wish i were a brilliant, super-successful (albeit pale) woman, and not some weenie assistant who is super-adept at eyelash curling.

SSW: ha. yeah. i guess i didn't waste my youth on it. but jesus, i can't believe i'm 32 years old and i still have acne. what the hell is this? (she dots her zits with concealer.)

WA: yeah, i didn't have acne until i was 22. then my face exploded. all that oil, at least we won't have wrinkles.

SSW: that's what my dermatologist tells me.

the conversation turns to botox...

WA: it's weird. i can't imagine injecting myself with botulism...

SSW: i know, freezing my face...come back to us in 10 years though, and we might change our minds.

WA: yeah. probably. ya know, C. (another brilliant, though much older, super-successful woman who works at our very important, very serious company) had it done. botox. she was in here talking about it with a bunch of other women the other day. i asked her if she thought it was worth it because it runs about $800 a session, and she looked at me with not-too-much-of a facial expression and screamed, "IS IT WORTH IT THAT EVERY TIME I LOOK IN THE MIRROR I DON'T HATE MYSELF?!"

SSW: (from inside the bathroom stall.) Whoa.

WA: i know. well, I guess it works.

SSW: Therapy works too.

ha. dammit. she's not only smart. she's witty too.

WA: well, have a good nite.

SSW: (exiting the loo) you too.

and the weenie assistant departed the bathroom in her click-less dansko clogs, leaving the super-successful woman behind to wrestle with her concealer.

gee, she thought, i hope she remembers to blend.


indulge your own inner weenie assistant -

i met an old friend of mine's new boyfriend, C, last nite. he just happens to be a make-up artist at a music television station. i cornered him and made him tell me his favorite products. best thing is, most of 'em are cheap! here you go :

he said the only things you need to spend serious cash on are foundation and powder.

foundation: MAC Face + Body (you can only get it at MAC stores, not dept. stores), Chanel Teinte Fluide

powder: Giorgio Armani, MAC Invisible Powder

eyeshadow - MAC, Chanel

mascara - he says everyone should always wear black (i have a hard time wearing black w/ no other eye makeupcuz i think it looks to harsh, but he insists i should. i'll have to try it. i'll end up looking like bambi) he uses Max Factor Stretch + Strengthen on the lashes (wiggle the brush at the base of the lashes, and then brush it all the way thru the tips), then use Cover Girl Fantastic Lash on the tips. swears i'll "look like i'm wearing fake lashes." wait, do i WANT to look like i'm wearing fake lashes? what the hey, outta my way, Beyonce!

blush - C said the only 2 blushes you'll ever need are Nars Orgasm and Nars Deep Throat (who needs blush? just saying them makes me color!) Recommends Scott Barnes blush too (avail at Sephora)

Lipstick - MAC

Lipgloss - MAC, Stila, or L'oreal

Face - Clinique 7 Day Scrub, Roc Facial Cleanser, Oil of Olay Face Lotion (w/ SPF)


Anonymous said...

I have to hand it to you: you are a good enough writer that you make compelling prose of this trivial and (if I may say) vapid subject matter. Being nothing like you (neither young, female, or remotely hopeful that my appearance can be improved), I shouldn't really care about this stuff at all. Yet I read it (and your other posts), comment on it (this once), and come back for more.

margrocks said...

why thank you for your compliments, mr. anonymous.

i agree, it can be rather vapid and trivial. i think that's what makes it even more frustrating; that many of us women folk allow our self-worth to be determined by our mastery (or not) of its rituals and adherence to its standards.

keep reading!

Anonymous said...

why is applying makeup well vapid and trivial? isn't it like becoming expert at any other skilled craft? growing a plant from a cutting, getting a wonton edge to stick together, putting in tight braids? come on, I bet even Schweitzer had one little thing he did really well besides massive humanitarian efforts and that little thing was a wonder to behold.