I paid someone to do this to me

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I paid someone to do this to me

So yesterday I went to Bare Escentuals for a makeover. Unlike other BE artist events that I attended, they had a great “beauty profile” for everyone to indicate their preferences for face, eye, and lip. This looked incredibly promising! I indicated that I wanted a more dramatic eye look. (Their choices were “natural”, “soft”, or “dramatic”. Nothing in between. No numerical-indicator type of thing, which might have been a further aid.) I wrote alongside the eye-look preference answer: “...more along the lines of an 8, not with the drama turned up to 11.” I was hoping to get some greens, some blues, some golds…anything other than the standard brown/plum/pink fallback combinations the BE MUAs seem to use so much.

I've said before, whenever I go to get a makeover, I want to learn a specific thing: suggestions for how to use new colors, or how to properly apply blush, or how to quickly and easily contour my face. Otherwise, you may not come out of it having a good experience, because the artists are busy, will just give you a makeover that's pretty much in line with the latest kit they're trying to move, and you won't be able to re-create the look AND you'll have bought the kit. At previous BE makeovers, the SA or artist did teach me the technique I wanted to learn, as well as doing the rest of the makeover.

This...was a product-pushing session. That's all it was.

The boutique was thronged. Getting from station to station was an exerise in dodging elbows, avoiding treading on bags, and apologizing to others who were also going through the same slow-motion mayhem waltz. The prep person was polite, and was determined to sell me the skincare products...but was pretty vague about explaining the actual benefits. They used all the right buzzwords, but no information was being exchanged. (And believe me, I was listening.) I used the cleanser, I used the moisturizer, I avoided using the primer which breaks me out, and I went to the next station. Actually, I went to the next waiting area...but with these kinds of crowds, a bit of waiting is to be expected.

Once I sat down with the artist, she asked me which foundation color I used and which finish I preferred. I'd been matched to one of the newer BE shades some time back, but don't use BE's foundation...but at least I had that information for the artist. (I'm more than satisfied with my works-much-better-for-me/costs-much-less foundation and concealer from Meow Cosmetics; but I'm not about to get into that debate in the middle of a makeover. I'm just there to learn what I wanted to learn, get the products I came to get, and get out more or less intact.) She set to work applying the concealer (bisque) and the foundation, and some gold shimmer powder which I was semi-interested in. (Yet this was not given to me To Buy. Funny how I only just now remembered that.) Then came the eye primer and shadow. The shadow was one of those ittybitty quads, the containers of which I personally do not like; and I already owned three of the four colors; but I figured, what the heck, let's see what she does. I took a look after she applied the base color and the first bit of the crease color, and it looked a little dark; but she said she was going to blend and soften it more. I did ask about blush, because I always have problems applying that. She appears to have applied it too low - it wasn't on the apples of my cheeks, it was below them, which seems just a little bit weird. I loved the lip color, could have done without the gloss (I loathe the texture and consistency of most lip glosses because they feel too greasy-thick-slick), and liked the buxom she used. She applied mascara and then some other whiteish stuff that was supposed to plump the lashes and make the mascara waterproof. The artist finished up the eye makeup, let me see, and I commented that it was a bit darker than I'd prefer. The other person said, "Well, most people see your makeup from about five feet away, so you want it darker." Then she lead me around the store, trying to get me to buy this and that, and I kept putting things back or saying, "No, I don't want that." (The four-color quad they used on my eyes: no. I own three of the colors and hate those little containers, so why would I want to buy that quad? The glosses: no. I had mentioned how I disliked the glosses because of the texture, but I guess she just didn't register that bit.) The one thing that I did specifically mention I wanted - the Buxom Rock Stars - was the one item I had to grab off the shelf myself.

Some points that I found odd:

  1. Putting the blush below my cheekbones. Now, I will be the first to admit that I have a rather subtle bone structure. It isn't just my cheeks that are round, my entire face is round. But putting my blush so far off the mark that it completely misses my cheekbones? I can barely apply blush competently, and I can do a better job. (Seriously, folks - it was -=under=- my cheekbones.)
  2. I noted that mascara had to be waterproof. To make the mascara waterproof, they applied that second product. Now why, in the name of all that is holy and much that is not, would I pay for and use two separate products if I can use one and get the desired results?
  3. The comment about wanting my eyeshadow darker because most people see my makeup from about five feet away: Really? If I'm talking to someone, they're likely going to be a bit closer to me than five feet. And if they're further than five feet away, either they're coming toward me or I really don't care what they think of my makeup because I won't know them anyway.
  4. Picking up all kinds of other products and seeing if I'll buy them, but forgetting the one item that I specifically called out - twice. Isn't it your job to sell me things? And won't your job be easier if you sell me things that I've already indicated I want to buy? Have you never heard the phrase "work smarter"? That one was an utter gimme, and you missed the pickup.

I had already been to the other places I wanted to go, so after my makeover I headed straight out to catch the bus to home. Miscellaneous: BE MUA reinterprets Cirque du Soleil...badlyIt wasn't until I got home and went to take photos of my makeover-face that I noticed the misapplication on my left eye.

Oh, wait, sorry. Make that "the massive misapplication". I know my eyes are uneven, a bit more so that many others'. Making the application on both eyes look utterly balanced isn't all that easy. But this was...well. There was a great big swath of Ta-Dah applied to the left side of my nose. This was way beyond the "inner vee." It looked like the MUA had tried to do a riff on Cirque du Soleil. Add the dark color all over the lid - not just in the crease, but ALL OVER THE ENTIRE LID LASH TO CREASE - and...seriously. What?

For some stupid-ass reason, I didn't put my foot down and not get the Beyond Gorgeous kit, even though it didn't have any colors that I wanted and it did have two things which I very specifically did not want: the Volumizing Mascara (I don't love the brush, it doesn't apply or define nearly as well) and the lip gloss (I hate the BE lip glosses. They feel like I've smeared petroleum jelly on my lips.) And to make things -=even better=-, the lip stick - French Pastry, which was one of the two products I wanted to purchase - fell out of the tube when I opened it. Now I have to make the 45-minute trek back out to the mall to exchange it for a lipstick that isn't ready to fall apart.

But looking at the bright side, since I'll be there anyway, I can return that thricedamned kit.

Makeovers are always kind of a dice-roll. If you just go in there to let the artist do their thing, you run the rather high risk of not being satisfied with the results. You might not be given enough information to re-create the look if you do like it. And if you go to something like a national artist event or a brand's makeover-cum-celebration, there will be a huge crowd, hassled artists, and flusteredly busy sales associates. I've found that I'm far happier with any makeover if I go intending to learn at least one trick, tip, or technique...and if I don't let them make me too orange. Their nicely extensive "beauty profile" questionnaire that I filled out before my makeover gave me some hope that I'd get an experience that, while it would push their "hot" products, would come closer to satisfying me. This was most definitely not the case. After this experience, I think that I'll just avoid any future "artist events" and go for makeovers on my own time, NOT around major product launches or within three months of a major commercially-tied holiday.

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