Tuesday, January 26, 2010
A Tale of Two Mascarae
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.