Saturday, August 3, 2013

She Ate My Heart


______Story time!

______So last week, I purchased my very first fancy-schmancy tube of red lipstick.  I entered Sephora with the undertaking to find it, but after walking through the large glass doors, my determined face quickly diminished into one forged from concentrating eyes and a horribly scrunched up nose.  Two steps in the store and I was already at a loss at where to begin.  The hot white lights and gleaming white floor were blinding to my search, and I sunk forward like a willow tree after a heavy rainfall, my eyes wide beneath my hair.

______I was lost.  So terribly, terribly lost.


______A lady must have noticed me standing there because she dashed up to me rather enthusiastically, her heels clicking as she neared.  She skidded to a halt before me. “Hi there!" she said.  "Do you need help with anything?”

______I regarded her hesitantly.  The lady was peppy and pretty, as most makeup store ladies are, and I managed to sputter a quick, “Oh, no thank you—I think I’ve got it for now!” before she could begin her spiel about sales and offers and the like.  I knew she could see the perplexed look on my face, so I quickly skittered off, away from her line of vision.  I shifted my attention to a random counter of lipsticks and started lining color swatches up my hand, feeling marginally paranoid and perhaps even a tad frightened.  I could feel the lady watching from afar.  Her glances seared into me like hot needles every time her eyes glazed across the store and across me.

______After my hand was covered up to my wrist in color and my lips were splotched with nuances of red stain, I not only looked like I was covered in the blood of my enemies that I had slain and devoured, but also probably resembled a five-year old who ravaged her mother’s makeup drawer.  The lady's burning eyes were burning more now.

______Okay, I get it! was all I could think.  You win. I submit.

______I peeked over at the lady and she gazed back at me.  A smile twitched at the corner of her lips.  I looked and felt a little pathetic.  I wiped as much of the red from my lips as I could, and I’m more than certain there was some on my cheek that I’d missed as well.

______I uneasily walked toward the lady, who was now beaming at me.  Laughing hesitantly, I began, “Yeah, so I haven’t ever really bought any red lipstick before… and I think I need some help, it’s like my first time… My first red lipstick that I'm buying, my first time, one...”  Reflecting on that now, I'm pretty sure I could have worded what I was trying to say better.  Continuing on, I asked, “Can you help me find one? Does that—can you? I’m so new at this lipstick world thing.”  

______I said that.  I said lipstick world thing.  Ten socially awkward points to me.


______The lady was listening eagerly and nodded half-heartedly at my plea.  Then she glanced to the ceiling, as if regarding the Sephora gods would give her an idea of what to bestow upon me, and suddenly clicked one of her heels to the floor and went, “Ooh! I’ve got the perfect thing.” And she dawdled off to the rear of the store.  I followed her musical footsteps, glancing uneasily at the store chock full of beauty gunk around me as I went, still trying to rub some of the remnants of lip stain from my face.

______She plucked a flattened tube from a random assortment of lipsticks and immediately pushed me toward the makeup counter, which was finished with even more mysterious makeup doo-dads and an enormous mirror enrobed in spherical lights.  It was smack dab in the middle of the store, of course, so when people walked by outside they could watch you with their beady little eyes.  Perfect.

______“Do you want to try this on?” the lady asked, precariously holding the tube up as if it was an illicit drug.  And I nodded.  “Okay, I’m going to put it on you.”  I gave her another nod and smile, allowing her permission to transgress my personal bubble.  She motioned for me to sit and I did, and awkwardly so, and leaned a little bit toward her.  She twisted the tube and inched the lip brush toward my face.  I didn’t know what to expect, so I just half-opened my mouth and tried to poof my lips outward like girls do in their Facebook pictures, and she began brushing this deep red stain on my lips.

______And it felt like she was trying to seduce me or something, you guys.  I mean, to set the scene, this lady was quite dashing in terms of her looks: flaming red hair, a dusting of freckles, and blue eyes set like sapphires in her skin.  And here she was, leisurely applying the most cherry red lip stain upon my lips, her hand lightly brushing my face as she went, all with a deep concentration saturating her eyes.  During the whole process there was an air of tension that lingered, pushing and pulling us about like magnetic waves with ever-changing intensities.  She would glance from my lips to my eyes and to my lips again.  I would be lying if I said there wasn’t some bizarre sexual tension going on there, because there totally was, and I’m straight as an uncooked fettucini noodle.


______I digress. Those are transient feelings and nothing more.  When the lady had finished her task, I held my reflection in the mirror, contemplating this fierce new look.  It was indeed a bright cherry red, and maybe a little obnoxious, but I could tell that I would grow into to it.  I liked it. 

______The lady considered her delicate work.  “It looks stunning on you," she said dreamily, dusting a layer of something sparkly and pale on my cheeks.  "It’s a little bright, but you’ll get used to it.  You might need lip liner, but it really is a stunning shade.”  Ah, she believed it to be stunning on me.  Of course you do, sweet makeup lady, I thought.  You just tried to seduce me.

______I hopped from the swivel chair and thanked her for the little demo/seducement.  She dropped the tube of lip stain into its rectangular silver box and handed it to me, and I meandered to the back of the store to check out.  On the way out of the store, the lady watched me one last time, smiling as if she was watching her firstborn child run off to her first day of school.  I waved sheepishly at the lady as I exited Sephora, feeling much less fearful about the intimidating makeup store and a shade more brave, just like my fellow lipstick-wearing lady herself.


Peter pan collar top: Forever 21
Skirt: Charlotte Russe ($3, holla atcha girrrrl)
Oxford heels: Jeffrey Campbell
Necklace: pressie from brother
Earrings: pressie from brother's girlfriend, also vintage
Lips: Hourglass
Hair: sporadically styled by Momma Hval


Jacqueline said...

hahahaha! ohhh, I used to sell makeup and completely related to this story, from the makeup lady's side. and yeh, that sexual tension was for shaw real! it's really hard not to get those kinda thoughts when you are brushing lipstick on another woman's lips. hahaha.
anyway, congrats on finding a shade that suits you, and i'm glad, in the end, you didn't like those big make up shops get the better of you. finding a nice make up lady is most important, us cosmeticians can be bitchy creatures sometimes.

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MarieAntoinette said...

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Jo said...

What a lovely personal recount. I swear I could just print your work out to show my students what a good and descriptive personal recount is.

I'm glad you found your red lipstick! I haven't ventured to find mine yet.

Christy C said...

You do look great in red lipstick!! I always feel awkward walking into a cosmetics store too because the sales ladies seriously stalk you until you give in. haha. I can feel their eyes staring me down, deconstructing every last bit of why my face and itching to give me a make over. However, at the end they end up doing a great job and I usually always walk out with something :) You look lovely in this outfit too!! I love the skirt


Anonymous said...

Haha this story is funny. I think the red looks good on you! Word of advice, if you want to go to a makeup store where you won't feel pressured to talk to the sales people, go to Ulta instead of Sephora. They sell pretty high end makeup, but it's more of a drugstore vibe.

My go to red is Russian Red from Mac. I just saw it on someone on the internet and loved it and bought it on Amazon. I'd never worn red lipstick before and sucked at applying it. It took months to be able to apply it precisely and not look like a maniac.

Life of Mabel

Katie Frank said...

you look genius & i do love every small detail of that outfit. i love the skirt and i'm happy you wore socks and such lovely shoes <3 and also your hair are perefction- just everything !!!!

Marie Zamboli said...

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Let me know I will ollow back as always! Love Marie.

Sammi said...

Haaaahahahaha this is unbelievably good. You are such a wonderful writer. I don't even own any real red lipstick, so good on ya! You look so lovely here, and I adore this blouse with the long necklace. You truly are a queen :)

xox Sammi

Anonymous said...

This story made me laugh so much! I honestly love shopping for makeup, but I can relate to you in that sometimes stores like Sephora really can be very intimidating. I definitely have a love/hate relationship with salespeople... I hate the obnoxious ones who follow you around like a pet, but I love the kind ones who compliment you and give you great advice! I'm so glad you got a red lipstick you love- it looks beautiful on you!

Xo, Hannah

Lily Fang said...

Ahhh, Ali! What a cute little tale. You can make such a usually mundane event seem absolutely captivating. I love your simile "straight as an uncooked fettuccine noodle." I totally laughed out loud! I'm the same way with salespeople though--I usually undertake the task of shopping alone, even if I actually am looking for something specific!

As for your eclectic look, it's absolutely lovely! What a steal of a skirt--I think I need to visit Charlotte Russe now. And that gem necklace is totally gorgeous. Your classy top and shoes go perfectly together as well--you're such a stylin' genius!

Have a beautiful weekend, awesome Ali!

Lily Fang said...

Oh, and I totally understand the social awkwardness thing. Sometimes I'm great at talking to people...other times, I ramble nonsense and say awkward things haha. It's a learning process!

Matt C. said...

You're a great writer and artist.

Do they really think you need help putting on lipstick? Haha. Yeah that lady sounds a bit lesbian to me.

Polly Bland said...

those oxfords with those white socks!!! to die for! Love your hair, too! Braids are so beautiful on you!

love, polly
the littlest polly

Amanda said...

oh your skirt is gorgeous! And I love those shoes too =)

Marlen said...

hahaha i've never been seduced in sephora before, you've got quite the...special experience. ugh and i'm sorry but i hate staff at any store. they're all just MUCH too eager to help you, to a point where you're just uncomfortable and start getting anxiety. and i thought it was soooooo cute you felt so lost, haha. that can totally be overwhelming when you have like 12 million options. HOW IS ONE TO CHOOSE? she did pick an amazing one though- i love how bright and poppy it is on you! and with all those lipstick swipes on your arm, were you even able to wash it off yet? hahah!

xo marlen
Messages on a Napkin

Aino said...

Your skirt is so cute!
A Lovely post! x

Path to my Wardrobe

Stephanie said...

This was such a fun read. I always get so nervous in makeup stores being bombarded with so many products, haha. Cute look too! Glad you found your lipstick, as you look fantastic with red :)

fashion and tea

Sam said...

Hi dearest Ali, you have the makings of a novelist in you, I think you should start on your first books already, your writing is fun, intelligent, fast paced and catchy. This was like reading a page out of it, I want to hear more! Had such a good giggle at the lipstick seducing sales lady, these ladies are better trained than assassins at selling stuff that most of the time we don't need. You were really brave in that chair, I don't think i would've been, lol. So thrilled you found your perfect shade of red lipstick, looks be a-u-tiful on you. Love this chic outfit, the skirt and shoes are so pretty.

Linda B said...

Tehehe, ahhh, congratulations Ali! You have officially entered the lipstick world ;)
And I could not stop laughing at this story from Sephora. Its intimidating, isn't it?? So big points for finally going in there and getting some obnoxiously, stunning lipstick.
Reading the seduction scene definitely had me imagining what it would be like to have someone apply your intimate...aha, especially the lipstick!

The Dragonfruit Diaries

Jen Hsieh said...

This story was pretty much the best thing I've read all weekend. I definitely know what you mean about those burning stares from Sephora ladies and I've never, never, never asked them for help for precisely that reason. Also, I don't doubt at all that they seduced you like crazy because I totally would feel that same sexual tension. Frightening indeed.

But I'm glad it was all worth it and you snatched up such a lovely shade. Welcome to the WORLD OF LIPSTICK!!!!!! Muahahaha!

Imogen said...

I loved reading this story. I find it all very intimidating, I hate it when I have to ask a sales person anything.... I actually went shopping on the weekend for a new shade of pink; I wanted something slightly different from the red I wear every day... That said, red lipstick is the best ever! You look fabulous. Also love the Peter Pan collar top; it's so classy. What a bargain for the skirt!!

Patricia Merino said...

Ohh wthat a gorgeous Oxford heels :)) Pretty.

Michelle said...

Your first red lipstick is an important experience - congratulations on finding one! I seriously love that peter pan collar top, too.

xo, Michelle
Neon Rattail

Alyssa Marie said...

Oh Ali, I absolutely love your tale on buying red lipstick for the first time! And the part where you joked about how you worded it and all...haha that seriously had me cracking up (and falling off my chair)!!

Well, it was quite an adventure to find your perfect shade, but I must say that it totally paid off- it looks fabulous! Mission accomplished. This outfit is absolutely adorable on you and I love the shoes you paired it with- so fun! Hope you are having a wonderful week, Ms. Ali! :)

xo, Alyssa

Mileide Almeida said...

OMG!! cute look!! your hair is perfect!!
amazing shoes...i´m in love!!

Sapir @ The Sapphire Queen said...

hahahahaha! I definitely just related to this! Every time I walk into a make-up store (or any store...) I never want the ladies to help me out. To be honest, there's something really intimidating about the whole ordeal. Or maybe I just don't want to look like I don't know what I'm doing! But, she was right, the red lipstick looks fantastic!

LyddieGal said...

Oh my. That is quite an experience. I do think the red just looks perfect on you though, even if it does take a little getting used to.
Chic on the Cheap

Nicky mywishstyle said...

Lovely look and perfect skirt for your beautiful body!
Love the hairstyle,

norma said...

I love this story! I have also felt lost in sephora! But your look is too cute! Your mom should teach me how to braid!

Lisa said...

Haha, oh that is completely something that could happen to me! Also, I am super into your shoe and sock combination. x

Sam said...

HI Ali, I also love looking at wedding gowns, all we need is knights in shining armor now ;)Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me hun :)

Carla Florendo said...

haha that is such a cute and funny story, Ali! Haha Anyway, you look pretty and preppy as always! i'm obsessed with your skirt!

xo, Carla

Halie said...

Stunning shoes, love the hair.


Lol I truly enjoyed reading your Sephora encounter, or shall I say romantic encounter? I totally get the woman's plight though. I would totally stare at you as well, you're too gorgeous. I think red looks beautiful on you, especially since you've got that fair skin with blonde hair. It's such a nice pop of color against your face. And as I was scrolling down, I thought your outfit was so cute and then BAM, you get to the shoes, and my jaw dropped. I'm such a sucker for oxfords, and the way you paired it with socks is SO chic! You are a fashionista!!


Katie Aman said...

Haha! What a fun story! This shade does look absolutely perfect on you. The bright red with your pale skin is so fetching! Shopping for lipstick has become one of my very favorite activities! I do agree that other people putting on your makeup makes you feel awfully awkward. They are so close to your face and such.
This is a darling outfit as well! I love to step into Charlotte Russe and find great deals like that skirt. What a perfect find, it's very you. And I always love your mama's hairstyles! I miss when my mama used to braid my hair!

Jessi said...

It does look stunning on you Ali! I'm glad you finally decided to try it out. Sephora is my happy place! I feel so at home there but I remember the first time I ventured in. It can be overwhelming and the ladies are a bit intimidating! I loved your story haha thanks for sharing! Oh and I totally saw you were ModCloth's outfit of the day in the text thing the other day! Congrats! :)

Francesca said...

I love that lip color, it looks so pretty on you! Bright and fun just like you! I also love this outfit, such a cute skirt! And as always your hair looks adorable!

That's so funny, I always feel so awkward around stores clerks too. I wish I could just walk into a store and not have anyone be there and just buy my clothes and move on with it, haha. At least this lady was nice though, and helped you find your red lipstick!


martina caruso said...

Hello Dear!
They just arrived in your Blog, I love everything about this outfit ..... the imagination of the skirt is adorable, the shoes are wonderful, the hairstyle is amazing ....... and perfect shots!
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Purple Ivy said...

Absolutely gorgeous look dear. The skirt is fantastic and the socks with shoes add a playful vibe to the look.


Boheme.Fille said...

So eventually was a pleasant-weird experience! :))
This really made me laugh: "I’m straight as an uncooked fettucini noodle." :))

Btw, you look great!
That skirt is amazing!

Chloe, Wardrobe Quarry said...

Love the skirt!

Wardrobe Quarry

Ashley said...

Best. Story. EVER.

Oh emm gee.

I was riveted. I laughed. I wanted to cry. I was nervous. I was ecstatic.

Everything I hope to feel when reading, I felt.

ALI. Best. Story.EVER.

You look perfect. I love this chic/sexy little look you have going on. It's awesome. That skirt is adorable and I can't believe you got it for tres dollars. Seriously?! HOLLA! Oh and the red lip stick?! PERFECT. I want to try red lipstick. I've tried reddish products but never gone full out. Definitely inspired.
I work at Pier One Imports on the side, and this story definitely made me think of my customers. I sincerely hope people have the same feelings about me when I try to seduce them with wine glasses, candles, wicker furniture, or baby buddha statues. Sighhhh.

xo Ashley

Katherine / Of Corgis and Cocktails said...

I always feel like people doing my makeup get realy intimate. it's a weird feeling. i mean they are REALLY close.

sephora is overwhelming. it's so much makeup. so it ulta. i buy online now. i think i need to keep going to stores, because unlike you, i've been avoiding the great awkward interactions.

the red lipstick looks awesome on you by the way.

Ivana Džidić said...

great story:) you always do have such a way with words:)

Red lipstick always make me feel a little bit more fierce and I love it!

Jamie Rose said...

Sephora kind of is overwhelming whether you've been in there once or 100 times! Plus the employees at the Mall of Georgia one I go to hover around you like you're stealing stuff. And I'm like. Hey. I want to browse! Leave me alone.

But anyway, hooray for red lipstick! It's one of my absolute favorite makeup items to wear. I also really really love the cool print on your skirt and that wonderful peter pan collar top.