No magical fix found in new bag of tricks

Sunday, November 14, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 7:10 a.m. CDT, Saturday, July 12, 2008

A few weeks ago I wrote about how a friend and I have started purging the unused, worn-out and excess stuff around our houses. So far, we have purged our closets, my pantry and her makeup. The point was to downsize and only keep things we really needed, liked or still fit.

We decided that because I threw out most of her cosmetics (I wasn’t brave enough to purge my own), we would have a makeover and let the experts tell us what we needed.

My friend scheduled dual appointments in St. Louis. We both agreed to go to the appointment with naked faces. I will admit we both looked a little scary, and I wouldn’t look at her when we talked during the ride. Apparently she was as embarrassed as I, because when we walked into the store, the first thing she did was tell a sales clerk that she didn’t always look like this — she was here for a makeover.

When we arrived at the cosmetic counter, the two “artists” had not yet arrived. The counter manager was visibly peeved, but she held herself in check and started to “moisturize” my friend.

“My face is starting to itch!” my friend said, eyes wide with fright. “I forgot to tell you that I’m allergic to several lines of cosmetics. Take it off, please!”

I watched as the clerk grabbed a bottle of something and a cotton ball and began to dab at my friend’s face.

“Here let me have that!” my friend growled as she took the cotton ball and rubbed her face in big sweeping circles.

Five minutes later, the itching had stopped, but my friend’s face was bright red and a little puffy from the reaction and rubbing. The clerk was almost in tears, and the artists had still not arrived.

I thought the makeover was off, but after the clerk apologized for the 100th time, my friend agreed to go on.

The clerk started on my face (she said I didn’t need moisturizer) by using a concealer on my problem spots. Apparently I have a bunch of them, because when I looked in the mirror, most of my face was concealed. As she began to apply the base, the two artists arrived. They both looked like high school students, but I will admit that their makeup was flawless.

My artist kept complimenting the clerk on her choices so far, and the clerk responded by glaring. My face was now the color of butter and a little too yellow for me. That changed quickly when the artist reached for the clicker. This little gadget looks like a ball-point pen, but when you push the button on the bottom, a cream-like substance oozes out the top around a small brush. Talking as she went, the artist smeared the stuff under my eyes, on my nose and around my mouth. Now my face had areas that were highlighted in white. I looked like a clown in waiting.

I decided to stop looking in the mirror. Rattling on as she worked, the artist applied powder, then blush (two colors). She moved on to my eyes where she swept the area with color. I got a little nervous when she chose a reddish shadow and then a dark brown. She lined my lid with a navy-blue pencil and finished the area with blue mascara. She penciled in my eyebrows with gray, and after she lined my lips with a burgundy pencil and applied a peach-colored lipstick, she announced that I was finished. I wasn’t looking at this point, but I swear I could hear Barnum and Bailey playing in the background.

“Not bad,” I heard myself say.

Actually, it looked about the same as my everyday makeup, only it takes 10 minutes.

I looked over at my friend and she looked amazing. She was telling her artist that she would never remember where all the stuff was to be applied unless she had a map. The artist agreed to make one.

We left the store with two bags filled with new cosmetics, although not nearly as many as the artists had hoped.

That was two weeks ago. I still haven’t had the heart to purge my old makeup. Besides, I’m still using them. Somehow red and brown eye shadow doesn’t look right in Columbia.

If you have a comment or want some makeup at a discount, please e-mail me at

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