Jewish Journal

Post-Traumatic Makeup Counter Disorder

by Mihal Levy

January 27, 2010 | 2:38 pm

What is it with the carts in the mall that want me to try their dead sea products, hair-straightening irons and switch my cell phone provider over to theirs?  How come I can get their attention, but I am not worthy of the new fragrance spritz in the cosmetic section of a department store?  And why is it that I have to wait for almost twenty minutes at the Mac counter to pay for the eyeshadow that I chose myself and found boxed behind the register?  If I could just ring it up myself - i wouldnt need them at all in the first place. 

You would think I have other things to worry about.  Not that I truly do care in the first place…that much.  Why does it get me every time when I am ignored at the makeup counter? (Which is not often, since it is pretty rare that I go to one.)  I guess it could be worse - I could get stopped by the Proactive cart - acne care products endorsed by Jessica Simpson.

Usually when I hear someone speak of Mac, I think of the computers first and not a trendy makeup counter with sales personnel (both male and female) clad in all black with rainbow-hued eyelids.  When I think Mac, I think of rainbow colored iPods, not eyelids.  But i guess it does get to me now and again when I’m not worthy (or so they make me feel) of girly pleasures (not that Macs also known as Apple are un-girly, but I spend more time using my iPhone and MacBook, then the times I do shop for, put on and remove makeup altogether). 

The scary-looking-peacock-eyelid-goth salesgirl finally rang me up as if she were doing me a favor.  I didn’t need the eyeshadow thaaat bad.  I debated putting it back to spite her, but figured the other two I had at home were so old they probably wouldn’t look pretty under a microscope.

I can’t even remember the last time I bought makeup.  What I do remember, however, was that it was a traumatic experience.  I remember running over (not literally) to the mall for some tinted moisturizer.  You slap it on and go…literally (the perfect makeup regimen for me).  No need for all those layers that I read about in fashion and beauty magazines that tell me that for a natural look I need base, powder and all the stuff that goes on before it and after it.  Who has the time or patience?  Not I.  Anyway…back to the trauma of the tinted moisturizer….

I headed straight to the makeup counter with my son…once again helping myself, I headed directly to the boxed product on the shelf, grabbed one and waited at the register to pay.  The next thing I know, I was sitting on a stool by the makeup counter with an impatient son (for good reason), getting a tinted moisturizer color check.  (How she talked me into it, I will never know?  I thought that if I caved, maybe it would send a message to all other makeup counters everywhere to stop ignoring me.  (As you can see from the Mac eyeshadow purchase, it didn’t help.)  So, I sat on the stool and told her it was ok, and that I know that color works for me because I have used it for years.  (I’m not big on makeup…or change.)  Next thing I know she is using a cotton swab that reeks of lavender to remove the makeup I am already wearing, but I wasn’t wearing any.  To make matters worse, I am allergic to lavender.  I stopped her and jumped off the stool hoping that my cheek wouldn’t swell into the size of a bowling ball.  She still went down her list of recommendations for me.  I told her I just needed to pay and probably take a Benadryl or two.  She wasn’t happy, but my son was.  I would have been happier if my cheek didn’t start to swell.  (Two Benadryls later - I was fine.)

Then there was another time that I tried getting a “makeover” at the Mac counter to surprise my husband.  When he took one look at the “new me,” he laughed which was appropriate since I looked like a clown (clowns scare me, but they make him laugh).

I can’t seem to win.  I guess I am not lucky when it comes to makeup counters and it is probably even better that they won’t help me. 

So maybe it’s best that I avoid makeup counters all together in the near future, or at least until they have self-checkout lines like the ones in the grocery store…until then I will just be hanging out at the other Mac store.

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Mihal Levy used to collect degrees as a hobby.  After receiving her B.S. and M.S. degrees, she worked as a psychotherapist and research scientist before continuing her hobby of...

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