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Don't Make Me Over (MAC guy who doesn't know how to do makeup)

Jun 25, 2010

Whenever the seasons change I get antsy.  I can't explain it, but I know I love new things, whether it be a new outfit or a new tube of lip gloss.  But what I usually crave is a new hairdo.  This year, when summer came early and the heat began to settle in, I wanted not only a new hairdo but a new look altogether.

It started with hair -- I dyed it pomegranate as I usually do in the spring, but that wasn't enough, so I got brave, bought some bleach, and put in my own highlights.  (I knew I'd done a good job when the lady in the dressing room at LOFT told me she loved my hair color.  Or maybe she was complimenting me in hopes I'd buy more clothes?)  Despite the gooooooooorgeous color, it wasn't enough, and split ends were popping up everywhere.  I had been going to Bubbles for haircuts since I moved here, ending the relationship with my Atlanta stylist of 10 years, and I was so far unhappy with the results.  So one Saturday after getting out of the shower I thought, If Bubbles can do a mediocre job on my hair then so can I!  So, yes, I picked up my $7 Conair scissors and cut my own hair.  *KIDS (AND ADULTS): DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!*

At first it looked okay.  My hair is wavy so I could get away with it.  But after a week of trying to style it normally, I needed professional help.  Morgan suggested Bang, and it's about three blocks from my apartment so it's really convenient.  They were able to fit me in with Carol, who looked at my hair and started laughing. 

"That bad?" I said, slouching in the chair.

"Um,  you have a tail," said Carol. 

Okay, so no more cutting my own hair, got it.

Carol asked me to trust her, which I did because it's just hair and what do I really care?  I adopted this attitude when I was 19 and watched "Felicity" and therefore believed when you go to college you should cut off all your hair.  One day I went to the salon for a trim and left with a bob. 

"You knoooooow," the stylist -- not my normal one -- had drawled, "if we cut off 10 inches you can donate this to cancer kids." 

"Okay!" I agreed enthusiastically.  My sister was getting married four months later and my mother was absolutely mortified when I walked in the door with no hair.  (At least I didn't outshine the bride, right?)

Which reminds me, the last time I attempted cutting my own hair before a wedding was disastrous.  I just needed a bang trim, but I cut it way too quickly.  Yet another time I definitely did NOT outshine the bride.  She still won't let me live that down.

So anyway, I trusted Carol because her hair was cute and she smiled a lot. I even trusted her when she cut six inches off the top layer to give me volume.  Still getting used to that. But the result was edgy yet classy, and I'm liking it for now, although my hair does look much thinner.  I can afford it though, I've got a ton of hair.

The other part of the makeover was makeup, for after I put in highlights I took a picture of them to see what they really looked like, but instead of noticing the highlights I noticed the horrid dark circles under my eyes and the fine lines creeping up around them.  Plus I was pale as a corpse.  I've finally reached the age where I don't care too much about being tan and have rather decided to embrace my, er, porcelain skin (that sounds prettier) and fend off looming age spots. 

I asked around and the consensus was I should try MAC.  My first mistake was going to the closest location, which is in Chinatown.  I approached the counter and a lady with gorgeous eye makeup said she'd be with me in 20 minutes, so I perused shoes for a little while until she called me back.  She sat me down then disappeared, and then Studderer came over to me.  Studderer was flamboyantly gay, so just try to imagine a skinny gay guy trying to talk like he's fabulous but not succeeding because he can't get out his words.  My second mistake was letting him come anywhere near my face.

"I need a new look," I told him.  "I don't want foundation because I hate the way it looks and feels.  I do want you to do up my eyes, but I need something that is work appropriate.  I have a hooded eye so I need some tips on how to make my eyes pop."

"No p-p-p-p-p-problem!" he said, spitting on my face.  The first thing he did: applied gobs of concealer.  Okay, I thought. Concealer is probably a valid thing I need.  But gobs?  He put so much on that he couldn't spread it over just my eyes, so he spread it over my nose and all the way to my hairline. 

"Um, is it supposed to look like that?" I asked him.  I looked like an albino raccoon.

"It takes a few minutes to sink into your pores," he replied.  "This is the only way to make you look lu-lu-lu-lu-lu-lu-luminous." 

Third mistake: don't trust a guy who thinks makeup should sink into your pores.  Gross.

Next he applied some yogurt to my lids.  No no, seriously, this is what he told me.  "I'm putting yogurt on your lids."  Turns out it was the color eye shadow he was using. 

"Trust me," he said assuredly.  "I do lots of drag queens, this is going to look great."  Fourth mistake...yeah, you get it. 

Then a swipe of some dark purple above that, and voila!  I was...finished?

"Is this it?" I asked, confused.

"Well what else do you want me to do?"

"Um, eyeliner?  Mascara?  Blush?"

"Okaaaaaaaaaaay," he said, like I was weird.

So he added liner and mascara.  I checked it out in the mirror.  He waited impatiently for my response.

"Sorry, but I wouldn't go out of the house like this.  You basically did the opposite of what I asked for."

"No, I did exactly what you wanted.  This is just the only way to make you lu-lu-lu-lu-lu..."

"Um, no.  This is not luminous at all."

Exasperated, he turned on his heel and disappeared for a few minutes.  I sat there unsure of what I was supposed to do.  Could I at least have a tissue to take off the makeup?

Then the original girl came over.  I could tell she was annoyed.  She handed me a wipe and said we were starting over.  After I cleaned my face she put on the palest, most neutral eye shadow then asked me how I liked it.

"Well, my eyes definitely don't pop, so..."

"Well what do you want?!" she said, equally as exasperated as Studderer.

I was really at a loss.  I didn't think I was being that difficult.  But I was at the mercy of the makeup artists.  So I said, "I want to look like you!"

That changed things, shwew.  She ended up giving me a terrific new look, using the same shadow that Lady Gaga does.  Apparently I got the last one at that store.  At that point I didn't care about Lady Gaga because I hadn't seen the Lady Gaga Glee episode yet.  Now I suddenly lurv her. 

Hair color/makeup makeover (before the haircut)

Hopefully this makeover will last me until at least September, but don't be surprised if I end up a strawberry blonde by the end of July.


  1. you're lucky you got the shadow. it's sold out everywhere here in NY; all the teenage girls want to be Gaga.

  2. I love MAC. I went through this right before my wedding, as I definitely needed a make-up makeover! I first chose a girl whose make-up I loved, then scheduled an appointment with her on a weekday when I assumed she would have the time to work on me. And I told her exactly what you did, "I want to look like you." And that's what she did. She did half my face, then let me do the other half, so I could do it myself on my wedding day. I still don't do it as perfectly as that day, but am very happy with my new make-up, and, even more importantly, the ability to do it all by myself!