Skepticism

Free Department Store Makeovers

I had an hour to kill today so I went into a large department store on Oxford Street (shopping capital of the UK), and was accosted by a young woman offering me a “free makeover”. Obviously they’re not entirely free, the cost is having to listen to inane sales blather about how their mascara eliminates free radicals, or something.

However, I am a total sucker for makeovers, and am also a bit of a sucker for makeup. I have a lot of it, I wear a lot of it. Not, though, caked on. I don’t mind it being obvious if I’m wearing slap, but I don’t like looking like a clown. The free makeovers you get in department stores are usually quite subtle, as the salespeople/artists are trained in techniques. I’ve had Dior, Bobbi Brown, Benefit, Lancome, Estee Lauder etc work on my face, and the results are always very nice. My own makeup bag is a mixture of high-quality stuff (for example cheap eyeshadow tends not to contain much actual colour pigment, so doesn’t go far or last long on the eye), and cheap brands where it makes not one whit of difference which factory it came out of (eyeliner being a good example).

The girl who worked on me today was very enthusiastic, and the makeup brand (a new one which shall go un-named) seemed professional enough, but after a few minutes I could tell something was slightly off. Her patter consisted of “and this is the highlighting powder which is really nice and…ummm, yeah it’s nice”. Trained, she was not. And then, dear reader, she proceeded to apply the following, thickly, to my poor face:

A layer of ‘nourishing preparation serum’
A layer of pancake-thick foundation
A layer of regular powder
A layer of ‘skin highlighting’ powder
More blush than a room of embarassed perverts
Dark purple eyeshadow
Dark brown eyeliner
Dark pink lip liner
Bright pink lip gloss. It has a mirror on the bottle and little LEDs in the brush for applying in dark bars.
‘Eye-defining’ highlighter
‘Lip-defining’ highlighter
A layer of ‘makeup sealing’ powder

I realised about halfway through that she was applying every single product in their range.

She gave me a mirror. I looked…like what I’ve always imagined the phrase “a painted whore” pertains to.

I bought the lipgloss. 

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16 Comments

  1. @kittynh: I know!! It’s really great. And it’s really nice gloss too, not sticky or too thick. Let me know what colour you like and I’ll grab one for you (they had about six colours ranging from light pink through red to dark brown).

    I forgot to add to the list, she put a weird wax coating on my eyebrows “to make them stay in shape”. I’ve never suffered from wandering eyebrows, they usually stay above my eyes.

  2. Lip gloss with mirror and lights so you can apply it in dark bars…can it drive you home from the bar when you’re so drunk you can’t apply it to the correct facial feature (on yourself or anyone else)?

  3. Oh,

    “Painted whores” aren’t all bad.

    The only bad thing is their thought process when they look in the mirror and say; “Yeah, it’s not Halloween but this looks great anyway!”

    Looking forward to the pics,

    rod

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