Thursday, January 19, 2012

My Experience with Mary Kay

So. Last night, in the grand tradition of treatin' myself for my birthday, I had a Mary Kay consultant come to my house and show me some foundation. The whole line to get to this point was arduous and fraught with issues--I had an appointment scheduled, then my daughter got sick and I had to cancel, then I got sick, then the consultant went to Atlanta, then I went to Gatlinburg, then....FINALLY, all of the ducks got in a row to where I could do this thing. And it was about damn time. I was almost totally out of the True Match foundation I was using, having to resort to doing an odd, gyrating dance to get the last bit out of the bottle in order to do my face this past week. Being from the South however, ya'll know there was no way I was goin' out of the house with no make-up on. This is the road, surely traveled, to wearing Eeyore pajama pants to the grocery store. HELLS TO THE NO. So gyration it was.

And I have to say here just want a complete darling my consultant was during all this. I had originally contacted her to get some of the Ultimate Mascara that I had heard so much about, and once we started having issues with scheduling, she dropped the stuff off with a friend of mine, no questions asked, along with a bunch of samples and catalogs to get me started. Plus she was super friendly and made the process so easy. Love her.

Anyway, so we scheduled for my birthday. We decided she would come to my house. Now, I'll just say (in the spirit of total honesty) that this caused me a bit of anxiety, as with a toddler in the house during the day, I never quite know what I will be walking into when I return from work. It could be relatively straight and nice looking, sure. Or I could have a pile of baking soda on the floor reminiscent of a scene from Scarface. You never know. I had this fleeting thought, just for a bit, that perhaps my children and husband (who was home before me) would think, "Golly gee. I love my mom. Perhaps I'll clean the whole living room to pristine nature before she returns home from work since it is her birthday and I desire nothing more than her happiness on this, the most special of days." And, of course, I was wildly wrong. When I walked in the door, the kids had sort-of, kind-of straightened up Alice's toys in the living room, but there was a pile of shoes in the area around the door, and an even more tenuous pile of jackets/backpacks/lunchboxes laying on the living room furniture. And there sat my lovely children in the middle of it, playing on their iPods and threatening each other with bodily harm. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM.

So I ran about, hanging up jackets. I went to a little side table we have that at this point is just a repository for Diet Coke bottles and books and thought that I would dust it and get rid of the strange assortment of books. There was a copy of Sartre's No Exit on there, along with a Spanish/English dictionary, some Raymond Carver short stories, and I believe, a history book about presidents. What would the Mary Kay lady, who had been so wonderful to me, think of us upon seeing this collection of tomes? I'll tell you what I would think: PRETENTIOUS, BILINGUAL JERKS. These are the things I worry about, folks. So I reach for the Sartre, and guess what? It is fused to the table. With what, I have no idea. There is a 2 year old afoot. It could have been anything: juice, a forgotten half-chewed fruit roll-up, HUMAN NOSE DRIPPINGS. Anyway, I just left it, hoped no one would look at the table, and made some of that Harry and David cream cheese dip that you make with the relish so that my kids and husband would hopefully be pacified while I got prettied (which, if you haven't tried, is kind of like crack but creamier). By that time, the consultants had arrived. And I had realized that in my rush, I had neglected to pick up the pair of Green Lantern boy's underwear inexplicably laying on the bottom of our entertainment center. F-U-C-K.

And I hope they didn't notice that I live with a bunch of wild animals, because I enjoyed the absolute HELL out of the time they were there. First, they took off all my make-up, and I used the Mary Kay products for cleansing and microdermabrasion. Again, total honesty here: I suck at any kind of skincare routine, even though it was on my 30 b4 30 list. SUCK. Skin care routines and me are like math and me. Sure, I get why it is important. Sure, I can get by. But for some reason, there is a block in my mind about actually doing it with any consistency. But by the time that I was done, my face felt so wonderfully soft and cool and just...nice, I started wondering if Mary Kay could be my skin care rehab. Maybe? The set they sell together is $90, and although I would have loved to go all in on that, I have a few products in my bathroom (a bottle of Cetaphil that isn't even half used, for instance) that I should get through first, and well, there's that whole "feeding my kids" that I should consider as well. But really, next month I am thinking about purchasing it. Especially since I am at an advanced age now. This is something about the Mary Kay experience that I didn't think I would like (washing my face in front of strangers), but I have to say, the products were pretty daggone good and the consultants gave me some tips that I had not considered before. I recommend doing a facial with them, even if it takes you out of your comfort zone a bit.

And then we get to the main event, at least for me, which was foundation. This is where I can't gush enough. I have a horrible time with foundation--HORRIBLE. I have very pale skin, but I have some red undertones, so a foundation that matches my neck might be much too light for the rest of my face. When I was younger, I used Prescriptives foundation that I adored and that really was the only brand that could truly match my problematic skin. But I have used three different formulas, and each time, the color or kind I used was discontinued promptly after I started loving it. I have also used MAC with some degree of love, but the last bottle I bought seemed to change colors on me in the middle of the day and the salesperson I bought it from was a touch rude and the whole thing left a bad taste in my mouth (especially for the $40 I paid for it). Strangely, L'Oreal True Match is my go-to foundation, at least lately, but I find myself buying two different shades and mixing them, and for the amount of time and money that takes, I could get a prestige brand that I like more.

I tried to explain this to the consultant, so she started with at least five different shades, doing stripe tests on my cheek. She put me in different light, moving around the sticky table from above (GASP) to see how each worked. Then we got the shade down to two choices and we did half my face in each. And we let it set for a while, while I looked through other make-up choices. Then, finally, the three of us made an executive decision. I ended up getting a 5 in color! A five! Usually, a make-up artist just puts me in whatever is the lightest (usually a 1 or a 0) and goes from there. However, with Mary Kay, the gradation is pretty small within a certain tone (there are three tones), just varying slightly on tint. This makes it much easier to get that perfect shade. I felt so confident with my choice. No make-up artist has EVER taken that much time with me to pick a shade and I have never felt so sure that I was getting exactly what I needed.

The formula for the make-up is pretty rad. I'll admit that it took me a bit to get used to this morning when I was putting it on, mostly because I used True Match before that. True Match is a thin foundation, more like a veil of cover more than anything. The TimeWise Luminous Wear Mary Kay foundation is much creamier. I know this isn't likely, but you put it on and feel like you are doing something good for your skin, not just covering it up. It is a bit thicker too, more of a cover than the True Match. But the finish is luminous, and when I got it all applied the way I like, I could still see my freckles. I feel like I could up it a bit too, for more of a nighttime, DONE look. I am VERY happy with it.

I tried the other make-up too. I feel pretty confident that I'll stick with Nars Orgasm for blush, since I'm nearly married to it in a non-legally binding way, so I can't tell you much about the blush. It looked nice when I put it on, I'll say that. But I am partial to Orgasm (aren't we all?). The mineral eye shadows were perfectly lovely, and I liked them much more than the mineral shadows I've used before. Application was easy and not messy which is my numero uno complaint about any mineral product. Plus, the price ($6.50 per pop) is pretty nice and allows you to customize several different looks without a whole lotta cash. My consultant gave me one of the shadows as a gift, it being my birthday and all. Once I run out of the Benefit cream shadows I am using now, I plan to try some of the other colors. I liked that one of the consultants told me she used the shade I chose (the Honey Spice) as a highlighter both above and below her eyes and on her nose. She said this looks great in photos, and I plan to utilize this trip when I attend a wedding next week.

And since this is getting long, I'll add succinctly, the Ultimate Mascara comes really close to laying-in-bed-naked-with-a-chocolate-truffle-and-Liev Schrieber-levels of awesome. Reminds me a lot of Dior Show, although the brush is smaller and dare I say it, more manageable. Love it, love the price, and this might go on my list of things I will carry with me when I kill over from the horrible disease given to me from drinking my daily bottle (or 2...) of Diet Coke.

After the consultants left, my husband and I were making dinner together and he asked me why I had had the consultant over. He said it didn't seem like something I would normally do. I admitted that it put me out of my comfort zone a bit. I can be a bit standoffish in real life, believe it or not, especially if I don't know someone that well. Initiating any kind of contact that would put a stranger in my house, touching my skin, is not like me at all. But I did like it. A lot. And really, this is the happiest I have felt with my makeup in a long time. So here I am, getting old and trying new things.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to try to figure out how my 8 year old son has not figured out that it is not ok to leave his underwear on the living room furniture.


  1. Oh man, are you going to make me try Mary Kay again? I have been lucky with two free tubes of the near-HG mascara, but am iffy with my Almay foundation. Glad it was successful for you!

  2. Oh and I wanted to comment on the last post about returning but Blogger didn't like me. It's the thought that counts? :(

  3. You know, I am going to turn into a total Mary Kay fangirl. I did my whole face, save my Nars cheeks, in it today. I definitely would recommend the foundation. As we move into summer, I might use something a little lighter, but right now, I'm digging the weight/feel of it and really, the luminous wear finish saves me a step of having to to find something slightly sparkly but not too much for day. It even looks good close up, which is not something I can say about a lot of foundation I have tried. BUT...I will preface that I have weird skin, so you know, it might not be OHMYGOD magical on everyone.