About five years ago I noticed that the shallow lines on my forehead had started to morph into wandering rivers. Since I wear my hair very short, there wasn’t really any way to cover them up and I complained to my husband that I was starting to look old. “How old do you think you look?” he asked. “Around fifty,”…
“Oh no!” I cried from the bathroom. “Honey, what’s wrong? Are you okay?” My husband ran into the room, wondering, I’m sure, what kind of tragedy could have transpired with only me, the sink, and the toilet in the room. “I’ve made a terrible mistake,” I said, looking at him forlornly. “What???” he asked. “I used my night cream instead…
When it comes to cosmetics, I am pretty brand loyal. If I find something I like, I will usually stick with it until something drastic happens like they stop making it or they discover that it can make you cross-eyed, or turn your skin green, or make you grow facial hair… none of which is a particularly good look for me. Of course the worst thing is when a brand you love, a brand you have come to depend on every single day, a brand you have recommended to all your friends, does the unthinkable.
They change the formula.
This is what happened to my mascara.
As much as you can love a cosmetic, I LOVED my mascara. It was the perfect combination of lengthener and volumizer and left my somewhat skimpy lashes looking feathery and gorgeous. While skin perfection and weight management had always eluded me, I knew I had at least won the eyelash lottery with the help of this mascara.
But then the day came when I realized the tube was empty and I had to buy a new one. I knew the second I pulled out the brush that they had messed with it. The liquid was thinner, it went on lighter, and it failed to either lengthen or volumize my lashes.
Thinking it might be one, lone, bad mascara, I threw it out and bought another one. But the next one was exactly the same. I was beyond upset. The cosmetic company had broken the cardinal rule of beauty product protocol: They reformulated the product and made it worse. They had, in a sense, New Coked my mascara.
Back at the drug store, I stood in the cosmetic aisle at the drug store, wondering if there was any other mascara that could ever make me as happy as my old mascara had. As I perused the racks, my eyes suddenly came to rest on something I had never considered before.
There, in a plastic case, were the prettiest pair of eyelashes I had ever seen. They were, of course, false eyelashes. They looked just like my own eyelashes used to look back when I still cosmetically innocent and believed in Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and my mascara manufacturer. I had never used false eyelashes before, but I thought they might be the answer to my mascara dilemma.
There, in a plastic case, were the prettiest pair of eyelashes I had ever seen. They were, of course, false eyelashes. They looked just like my own eyelashes used to look back when I still cosmetically innocent and believed in Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and my mascara manufacturer.
I immediately bought them and raced home to try them on. While I’m sure they are pretty easy to get on once you have mastered the process, it’s definitely a challenge for a novice false-eyelasher. After struggling with them for twenty minutes, I finally got them in place. Although they looked right, they felt funny, and I wasn’t sure if I just wasn’t used to the feel of false eyelashes or if I had done something wrong. Still, I thought they looked pretty real and very glamorous.
“What do you think?” I asked my husband as I batted my long and lustrous new eyelashes at him.
“What’s wrong with your eyes?” he asked.
“I’m showing you my new eyelashes!” I explained, batting them some more. He leaned closer and peered at my face.
“They look fake,” he declared.
“They are fake. But don’t they look good?”
“Why would you wear fake eyelashes?” he asked shaking his head. “It would be like if I wore a fake mustache.”
“Well, I think they look great!” I protested. Frustrated with his lack of eyelash appreciation, I decided to go run some errands and take my new false eyelashes out for a spin.
Not wanting to overwhelm too many people with the fabulousness of my new eyelashes, I decided to hit up the dry cleaners first. I stood at the counter waiting to get the attention of the store employee who was busy writing up another order.
“Hi,” she said, finally looking up from the order slip. “Can I help you?” She suddenly screamed and then, reached out, and slapped me across the face.
I grabbed my cheek in shock and stepped back as she came running around the counter and stomped on the floor.
“Yyyou hit me!” I stammered. “Why did you do that?”
“No! No! I wasn’t hitting you,” she explained breathlessly. “I was getting something off your face. You had a HUGE SPIDER on your face!” She pointed to the floor where the alleged spider had been summarily stomped and destroyed.
I looked down, and peered at the dead thing on the floor. Then I bent over and picked up what was left of what I had immediately determined to be one of my false eyelashes.
“It’s not a spider.” I said holding out the dead eyelashes in the palm of my hand for her to see. “It’s my eyelashes.”
She blinked in confusion. “Eyelashes?”
“Yes,” I said sadly. “False eyelashes.”
“Oh, wow. I’m really sorry,” she groaned, glancing down at my dead false eyelashes. “Now you just have eyelashes for one eye.”
“What are your going to do?” she asked.
I shrugged. “I guess I could use it as a mustache.”