Friday 26 June 2015

Task 10: Have a freebie make-up session in a department store

This particular task might seem a rather trivial and self-indulgent one to some, but for me it's definitely a one for the Facing Fears section. In glossy department stores I’ve spent more years than I care to remember head down avoiding eye contact with make-up consultants when walking through the beauty sections. Those perfectly made-up faces, flawless complexions, immaculately painted nails, beautifully styled hair – quite terrifying!  And I’d imagine sitting at a counter having my make-up done whilst hundreds of women (also with perfectly made-up faces etc) were walking past and thinking to themselves 'That poor make-up consultant - she's got a job on her hands there'. But at the same time, my mini phobia has resulted in total ignorance on my part about products and techniques that might be best suited to my maturing years. Hence having a freebie make-up session in a department store seemed a task well worth adding to my list. 

A couple of weeks ago, I was thinking ahead to our forthcoming weekend in New York and had another of my light bulb moments - Bloomingdales is located just a few blocks from the hotel we were due to stay at, so perhaps I could make Task 10 even more challenging for myself and have that make-up session in one of the glossiest department stores in the Western world......?

I identified three strategies to help me complete the task:
  1. Head for Bobbi Brown counter (Bobbi Brown's philosophy of ‘be who you are’ sounded good)
  2. Book appointment in advance (chance to pre-select understanding make-up artist)
  3. Ask Lucy to accompany me to appointment (to act as my protector and stop me from running away)
 And so it was that on 21 June at 2.30pm Lucy and I arrived at the Bobbi Brown section in Bloomingdales. We were late, it was 32 degrees outside and my appearance was glowing to say the least.  But once sitting at the counter in the expert hands of my very welcoming make-up artist, Alison Tam, I began to calm down. I allowed Lucy to take a photo of me without my make-up on (unbelievable) and I very quickly forgot about the people walking past me (NB did they all have perfectly made up faces? I haven't a clue!)

When Alison had completed her work, she gave me a mirror to show me the results and I was actually able to scrutinize my reflection without flinching. I especially loved her very skilful use of eye-liner and the light as a feather foundation (effective but subtle - or ‘pretty powerful’ as Bobbi Brown would say). 

During the make-up lesson I was given loads of make-up tips and ideas without any pressure whatsoever to buy anything. But if there’s one key message I took away from my session, it's that good quality make-up brushes are worth their weight in gold, and so I did splash out on one (along with that fab foundation and eye-liner of course). And now I’m not only the enthusiastic user of a new make-up range, but also potentially a more confident customer at make-up counters in smart department stores. So Fenwicks beauty department in Tunbridge Wells, be warned, I may yet pay you a visit!

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