Saturday, October 17, 2009



Everyone one of us will have that aha moment when we realize that no matter what we do or what we are willing to pay or how much we wish it, some things just ain't (yes, I have used the forbidden word) reversible. Like when you're 52, you're 52. A--HA! It doesn't matter that your mind lives in denial and you're willing to spend whatever it costs (well, excluding investing in surgical procedures and anything involving needles with puff-it-up or plump-it-out or freeze-in-place capabilities) or you've blown out a zillion wish candles--my point again. Time waits for no man--or woman.


You would think that life experience coupled with two years of hot flashes peppered with a fair amount of hormonally-induced emotional outbursts at inopportune times would have prepared me for the changes that seemingly overnight have taken place to my face. But it hasn't. That occasional glimpse as I walk by a mirror in a public place reminding me that I ain't no spring chicken any more still surprises me.

I have arrived though.

Last night's experience of being stark naked--not literally--what a god-awful thought--but make-up free under bright lights in a public place surrounded by young people has finally done it. If acceptance is a twelve-step program, I am now on number 13. How lucky for me.

I don't really care how many times the young MAC artist told me differently. I probably should have been in the Clinique chair to begin with. Notice the close proximity behind Aunt Marie.


Whatever was I thinking. And who's idea was it to go to my first ever makeover with 30-year-olds? Yes, Aunt Marie was there, but her skin is amazing and she wasn't having an identity crisis.

The whining must stop and the show must begin. Too bad for me.

Oh, and one more thing. I will offer very important advice throughout this post just because I am older and wiser. Those tidbits will be in red for obvious reasons.

Emily was just full of astute observations and sage advice after the fact. So, if you are inclined to go for a makeover with a young person with flawless skin--which I strongly discourage--please require them to share this information on the front end. Trust me on this one.

My makeup artist would not allow me to photograph her, only her necklace. so that leaves the description up to me. Two words: Tammy Faye. I know, Edie, you love it or you don't. I don't.


While I was getting my face scrubbed would have been a good time for Emily to share her sage advice: Always choose a makeup artist that sports a look you would like to have.


Hello! I didn't know that. I honestly would have chosen hers if she had told me in advance. She did not play fair, and that is all I'm going to say. And I will have to post the following photo out of order to make my point.


The second bit of advice that Emily and everybody else seemed to have after the fact was to communicate clearly what you want. Hello again. Don't you go for a makeover because you don't have a clue what you want? I have watched countless episodes of What Not to Wear, and Carmindy always takes control. I was trusting the expert when I said, "You decide what will work."

Perhaps if she asked me what I did for a living or how many grandchildren I had or where I shop or what I do in my spare time, the barn may have been painted differently. But she didn't. I was assured though that she was a soccer mom and her son was a very good student. She must have been judged by her appearance in the past to share such information. I wasn't judging.


Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Marie was really bonding with her artist, and Kelly was snapping photos and waiting patiently while hers waited on customers.



It physically pains me to post this next photo. I realize that I wasn't quite finished yet, but the camera does not lie. And I'm too poor now to buy Photoshop.


And my good friend, Emily, does not lie either. I believe her exact quote was "I like the top of your eyes." What are good friends for anyway?


The artist suggested that I fluff my hair.


No amount of fluffing was going to help.
I looked like Tammy Faye without the lashes. Lashes were out of the budget. I know that because I asked just to be polite and to make conversation with my artist who buys them by the case. She must get a discount.


Really, I tried to like the new look, but when I got up to view the others' progress, something happened inside. It was not just the realization that I was older and more wrinkly than the rest, but nobody else had been made up to look like a pentecostal preacher's wife--even though one was at least the preacher's wife part.



Although, at one point, Kelly did look like a battered wife. She learned that eye makeup is to be applied first so that you can clean up the overdusting. Yes, I made up that word, and she did not want me taking this picture.


And the end results were pretty amazing for Tammy's friend and relatives. Some were more comfortable in front of a camera than others.




Aren't those eyes amazing?

kelly's eyes

We are just about at the climax of this story. It was about this time that something started to happen to me. It wasn't just the hot flash or the low blood sugar or the trauma of being naked in the department store. This uninvited and unwanted wave of utter disappointment in the finished product just came over me, and it made me cry--I mean literally. My makeup artist left to no doubt spend time with her well-adjusted soccer playing son, and I was left feeling abandoned and wishing that I was not going to be the one to prove that MAC was waterproof.

Not that I really wanted to be able to repeat the look at home, but I wanted to buy something. Confusion and a whole host of other feelings hit me like tomatoes being thrown at a performer. Only I wasn't performing. I just wanted to look my personal best, and I was certain that this was not it. Or was it.

It's pretty sad when the MAC makeup artist asks to hug you . . .


and counsel you . . .


. . . while your friend dances to cheer you up.
How sweet. How humiliating.
How so much a part of this hormonal time of life.


By some miracle, I was able to dry my tears and allow her to do her magic. She wiped and swiped and concealed, and in the end restored my spirit and emptied my pocketbook.





Our department store visit ended with a visit to the Chanel counter where we met Jeffrey who allowed us to take his photo. We promised to go back for another makeover with him in a few weeks. He shared a few of his tricks with us and promised to have even more after his conference next week. We think he used to smoke something funny, but that is another story for another day. He even allowed us to take some final shots under his lighted umbrella. We felt like models as Kelly kept reminding us to smile with our eyes!






Surely, this post will get the Edie award.
That's all I can hope for.



Kelly said...

Nice...Sure was an exciting trip!

edie said...

Awww you sweet little Ms. Denise,
First I must tell you that I don't what you're looking at in the mirror but what I see is beautiful, very fit, confident woman whom I can only hope to emulate. You are without a doubt the youngest looking 52 yo I know (no offense to all other 52 year olds) and you have inspired me in so many ways, that I won't even attempt to count them.

Second, the MAC counter can be an overwhelming experience even to the seasoned pro. Everytime I go there I follow Emily's advice and find the girl whose makeup I most want to copy (minus the Tammy Faye eyelashes) and even then, sometimes I don't like their color choices or the way they apply the stuff. I love that she gave you hugs and redid it for you. Most of them really want you to love what you're getting---and they tend to go the extra mile.

You are one of those lucky people who doesn't even need a lot of help. That said, you girls LOOK MAH-velous! I'm so jealous I didn't jump in the car with you.

And Marie!!! What a beautiful transformation. Kelly's eye are to die for and that darn Emily is so cute!

You know what I love most? That we have each other, to share our projects, our makeup tips and our hearts with. It's a beautiful thing to make ourselves vulnerable to each other----to share our fears, our insecurities. I love you all and feel privileged to call you friends!

Tammy Faye's fiercest competition,
Ms. Edie
I think I'm gonna go freshen up my eyemakeup!
Did you try the perfume?

edie said...

Now I'm crying....

Emily Lawrence Bray said...

we are fearfully and wonderfully made!

Kelly said...

We did try the perfume and passed! HA! He did give us samples so we could decide over time!

Melissa Stover said...

i think you look great and young! i'm scared to go for a makeover.

becca said...

i know it can be a bit overwhelming, but it was pretty. i love the color! just try it yourself with a bit less liner. wish i had been there to see! becca

becca said...

now i know why you were up at six am posting grade cards. did you sleep at all? becca

Renee said...

My beautiful sister chick... you are beautiful. No arguing! Not only are you a real babe on the outside, everyone needs to get to know what an incredible woman you are on the inside. Sending love and hugs to you, my sweet friend. And heh, I would jump up and dance for you anytime too. That's what friends are for, making us laugh no matter...just like you gave me hearty belly laughs this week with your remarks on my facebook and blog. Eric was laughing with me when I read them to him...teehee Hugs, hugs and more hugs. Love you!

Mimi said...

I think you look beautiful, But I too have had a MAC makeover, I felt the same way, WAY TO MUCH EYE LINER!!!!! But everyone else thought I looked great, so I guess I just didn't like it!!! But I think you look fabulous!!!!!What a fun time you and your friends had though!!!!
a lady is never to old to play with Make-up!!!!

Is Eight Enough? said...


As usual I loved your wonderful story telling! You do not need a makeover!! I was just talking about your beautiful, young, face the other day! If I look like you when I am your age I will be thrilled.

I did one of those once and it was gross!! LOL!! They thought they knew what I needed and honestly, it was way over the top. And of course, I was suckered to spend money.

So the good thing is you can't mess with real beauty, and that is certainly you!!

Love ya!


Angela said...

Came across your blog while blog-hopping when I'm supposed to be preparing for a big event tomorrow. Procrastination is good, yes? No? =^) You have me laughing so hard! MAC make-up artists. Their either good or bad. No in-between, really. But, for the record, you look amazing. Truth.

The Macchio Family said...

thank you for sharing this... it made me laugh out loud... you are so funny... and truly a beautiful lady... I can tell you are blessed with some great/fun ladies around you... this story lifted my spirit this New Years Eve... ! ~ kim

Struggler said...

Thanks so much for sharing; makeovers can be such scary things. I think you look very lovely, but I don't know your usual look and preferred style. Hopefully you'll be able to adapt things a bit to something you're comfortable with. Well done for getting out there and seeing what you could learn!!

Robyn said...

I felt like I was right there with you as one of your friends! You look like a gorgeous and FUN bunch! And PISHHHHHHH, you no way no how resemble 52! AMAZING!