Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Tale of Two Mascarae

Confession: I haven’t worn mascara on a regular basis since, say, 1989. Could that really be 20 years?

When I followed Janet Sartin’s skin care program, which I did, in its entirety, from 1984-89 (when I lived in Ottawa, Montreal, and Toronto) and 1995-96 (when I worked in NYC), I wore not only mascara but eye pencil because they complemented the “dual performance” veil-like foundation-y potion that was part of the regimen.*

But as I grew up (ahem), I turned away from mascara because I found it too aging or messy or smudgy. I have very long lashes that are tipped blonde, and they tend to function as a paintbrush. **

Because my lashes are tipped blonde, though, I’ve sometimes felt that a little bit of dark color might not be a bad thing. However, experiments with expensive department store mascaras, including Bobbi Brown, my usual go-to maquillage guru, ultimately produced a slept-in dark eye circle effect. Not so professional or pretty.

In December I performed in a musical, which meant, much to my horror, that I had to don a full face of makeup. If I were shopping for every day, I’d go to some makeup counter with a properly seductive name to outfit myself, but this makeup was for four perfs—not worth a three digit investment.

So off I went to my local apothecary (let’s have a little romance, ok?) and bought two mascarae (isn’t that the Latin plural? And what's that song again?  "You say mascaras, I say mascarae").

One mascara was Maybelline Volume Express, which was waterproof. The other was Cover Girl Professional All-in One, which was smudgeproof, and shares a name with my computer printer. (My computer ink does not smudge, so that was a good omen.)

On dress rehearsal night I asked a seasoned actress which was better: waterproof or smudgeproof. She recommended the latter, so I tried it. At intermission I was furiously washing away the under-eye smudges.

For Act 2 and for each subsequent perf. I wore the waterproof. It stayed exactly where it should: on my lashes.

And I’ve even been wearing a dash on my upper lashes these days—not enough to look “made up” but enough to give definition.

Epilogue: Although I had moaned about buying TWO mascarae, they still added up to about a quarter to half of what a department store would have charged. So there’s no need to lash myself.

* I wore this product to protect my skin from city pollution.

** I did not use Irving Penn’s “Mascara Wars” image in this post. It’s appropriate in theme, and beautifully executed, but I thought it looked too painful.


materfamilias said...

If only you were reviewing blue mascara . . . the opportunity to pun would have been yours (muscari/mascari) . . .

materfamilias said...

and btw, the plural for mascara would be mascarae, no? ("a" singular feminine, "ae" plural feminine) -- it's the "us" singular masculine that becomes "i" in its plural form . . .

Miss Cavendish said...

Oh %#@*!!!! I've forgotten my Latin! I'm going to correct my horrid declension immediately and nobody but the two of us will ever know!

K.Line said...

You two are hilarious!

And I love the last sentence of this post. No lashing required.

I'm in the camp of occasional mascara wearer since 1989. I do really like it, but it's way too much effort.

Thumbelina Fashionista said...

I, too, hate mascara as it tends to go everywhere. I used to do the waterproof thing but as my lashes are really thin and fragile, it had a tendency to break them. *UGH* I will have to try this new Maybelline brand. I do desperately need some help in the eyelash dept.

Angie Muresan said...

I wear mascara and lipgloss every day, whether or not I go anywhere. But I admire those gorgeous women who don't, and wish to be like them.

Anonymous said...

You must try bliss kiss me mascara, it creates little tubes around your lashes...no smudges. Only kind I'll use, and I'm a down to earth gal from OR.