I had a peculiar encounter with a cosmetician the other day.
I am not a heavy user of cosmetics and never have been. I stick to the basics when necessary – mascara, blush, layers of concealer for those pesky dark eye circles, lip balm for my lips, sometimes even tinted.
I forego mascara when teaching yoga as it inevitably smudges, casting even darker shadows on an already persistent problem. Since taking up a part-time job, mascara has once again become a part of my daily routine. The brand I use, that doesn’t irritate or smudge, is no longer available and hasn’t been for some time, apparently.
I noticed a co-worker’s defined and smudgeless eyes and inquired about her product. With my sensitivity, it is always a bit of a minefield to find products that don’t cause burning, itching and rashes.
I bought the recommended mascara containing cucumber extract. How can that be bad? It is fine, surprisingly, but it has a wee bit of smudge. I began another search for THE mascara that will leave me bright-eyed, long-lashed and smudge-free.
At the local drug store I stood before the barrage of products, not knowing where to look. The shelf throbbed and expanded before my glazed eyes. Waterproof! Intense! Dramatic! Patented precision! Extreme! Shocking! Limited Edition, Star Wars! Huh?
In total confusion, I finally pulled a mascara tube off the shelf. I turned to the woman squatting to stock a display beside me, “Excuse me, does this stuff smudge?” She shook her head and said she didn’t know. At that moment, a cosmetician emerged from the other side of the wall, where the world of exalted cosmetics lay. I held up the less expensive brand. “Does this smudge?”, I asked again.
She tilted her well-coiffed head and took in the state of my face. I was acutely aware of my facial nakedness and half-hearted attempts at concealer that morning. I did just teach two yoga classes. I hoped I radiated that inner glow.
After her quick assessment she asked, “What kind of face cream do you use? Sometimes it can cause the products to smudge.”
“I make my own.” I said proudly. “I use coconut oil and calendula.”
The cosmetician sniffed and lifted her chin, “Coconut oil is for eating, it is not for your face.”
“I swear by it!” I said in my own defense, really hoping for residual yogic radiance and youthful blush. The woman at the display sent me a wry smile, keeping her head down as she did.
“Well, I don’t want to argue with you.” She huffed and imperiously marched back to her proper station beyond the divide, leaving me, again, quite alone in my dilemma.
My mascara saga continues. The cucumber stuff is okay and I am waiting for a vegan brand that is very highly rated. I will continue to use my homemade coconut oil concoction for my face. It is food grade after all and how can that be bad.