This past weekend, I was on a shopping trip with my mother – a girl’s day out, starting with lunch and ending with makeovers. I was in the market for a new eyeshadow pallet, as the one I purchased last year was getting a bit worn out.
I am a fickle pickle with eyeshadow pallets – they can’t be too big, or too small, Goldilocks. I need one with just the right shades and options. I was using a Bobbi Brown pallet from last year with six shades (four matte, two metallic) but found the combination to fall flat.
After hearing good things from a makeup-loving friend, I wanted to try Estee Lauder’s Amber Alloy tri-color palette. With good knowledge of my skin tone and makeup habits, I was confident that the taupey-mauvey shades would accent my blue eyes. Upon visiting the Estee Lauder counter, I asked the makeup artist about the product.
Problem #1 – the artist had no idea what I was on about. “What did I want to know…?” she asked, with a confused and mildly annoyed look on her face. When buying makeup, I want to know about the product. What is it made for? Why should I buy it? Does it have long-term staying power? Is it light shimmer, or high metallic? Is it made for layering or blending? She had few answers, so I simply asked if she would show me how to use it.
Problem #2 – her idea of makeup was wildly different from mine. I wanted soft, natural accentuation of my own beauty. She was wearing bubblegum pink lipstick and foundation two shades too orange for an Oompa Loompa. Alas, the fun continued. She worked through an entire eye look, talking me through each step.
Problem #3 – my mother. She knows best – unfortunately – and her face during the entire makeover was not unlike Queen Victoria’s face in every photograph ever taken of her. About half way through, she silently walked off, returning a few moments later. I knew this was a disastrous interaction. When the artist was finished, she unconfidently said, “well, those are the colors… maybe we should try something else.”
To put it lightly it was not a good look. I am baffled as to how an artist could make neutral, flattering tones look so unnatural. My mother, ever the lifesaver, said she wanted to show me something, and we would see how the colors wore on me. Then, she unceremoniously shoved me into a chair at Bobbi Brown.
Francisco at Bobbi Brown took one look at me and laughed. Then, he took off the many shades of greige/brown that the other artist had applied and laughed more. “You know its bad when you look prettier without the makeup than with it,” he chirped.
Lesson #1 – Listen to your mother.
Lesson #2 – Don’t run away from something that is working. Bobbi Brown’s makeup philosophy is extremely similar to my own, and their products have pretty-much-never-ever-in-five-years failed me. Their artists are very kind and understand the look I was going for. Francisco showed me their Hot Nudes palette, taught me about each color and shade, showed me how to use them, and then gave me a complete makeover.
Lesson #3 – Good makeup is in the hands of the artist. The Amber Alloy palette was a great product with truly flattering colors. I may pick it up when my new Bobbi one gets low. The horrible application, however, swayed me from making the purchase – and steered me right into the arms of Francisco at Bobbi Brown.
I am absolutely loving the Hot Nudes palette, and would highly recommend it. While I still love Estee Lauder’s product line, I think I’ll stay BB-faithful for a while longer.
In other news this week…
What I’m Reading… The Apothecary’s Daughter by Julie Klassen
While picking up a book at the library, I saw the cover for this book and thought it would be a lighthearted, fun read – and it is! A bit Jane Austen-esque, the book follows Lillian Haswell from small village life, to big London life, to small village drama. Its very good for lazy afternoons while hiding from the outside heat. Buy it here.
What I’m Overbuying… Fortnum & Mason Tea
Okay, overbuying is a bit dramatic. I am merely planning ahead… I’ve ordered around 400 tea bags to be sent to the Englishman’s mother’s house for when we visit in August. While perusing the Fortnum and Mason website, I found that they sell their teas in standard tea bags – the best news I’ve gotten in a while! I have the loose tea, but at 6 a.m. I am not thrilled to be funneling it into a tea bag. This way, I can have my tea and drink it, too.
What I’m Smelling… Jo Malone Fragrances
For summer, I’m layering my signature scent – English Pear and Freesia – with Orange Blossom, for a lighter, more floral aroma. It is so light, fresh, and crisp. By layering, I don’t have to give up my favorite scent, but can still change with the season.