Last Saturday, my estrogen posse and I set forth from our beautiful townhouse on Henderson street, bound for the Brown Line El stop two blocks away.
Our final destination was Hot Tix downtown. We were hoping to score some sweet seats to a show at a rock bottom price (We ended up with not too shabby seats to see the Blue Man Group. More on that later).
Alas, as we neared the El stop, my eye was drawn to a bright pink awning that hadn't been there on our last trip. I squinted to read the fine black script and then squealed with delight as I realized it was a Benefit boutique.
It was decided that we should make a small detour.
We entered the shop and immediately, a bevvy of heavily made up and absurdly young sales associates descended upon us. Almost before we knew what was happening, they separated us and perched us each upon a high stool.
Sales Associates in cosmetics boutiques don't intimidate me, but my cohorts were, I think, a little taken aback at the speed and swiftness with which these wily women managed to divide and conquer our little group.
I know Benefit products and I knew what I wanted before we set foot in the store. But I let the girl do her spiel, interested to hear what she would say to sell the various products she was slathering on my 39 year old skin.
The thing about Benefit products is that they are either really, really excellent, (Georgia...NO, it's not a blush) or really, really horrible (Dr. Feelgood) So you have to be educated before braving the wilds of the Benefit boutique, lest you be sold something that promises much, but delivers little.
I never buy anything high end without consulting MakeUp Alley first. When I do, I am almost always remorseful. But sometimes the reviews are ambiguous, with an equal number of women rueing and raving over the product in question. In such cases, one must simply bite the bullett and give the product a try.
Such was the case with Erase Paste.
As a fair skinned gal with hereditary dark circles of a most disconcertingly deep bluish purple hue, I am always on the lookout for a good undereye product. Currently, nothing beats Bare Escentual Bisque for coverage, staying power, and crease proofedness. That, as it turns out, would not change.
Anyway, it was that product that I was particularly interested in, but I had also heard great things about their cream eyeshadows.
The SA, in response to my query about the Erase Paste, and perhaps noticing the care with which I had camouflaged myself that morning, was inspired. She immediately recommended their "eye cocktail" and launched into a very detailed and enthusiastic demonstration.
She recommended no less than five products for daily use beneath my eyes.
Folks, if there is one thing this make-up whore has learned in my years of whoredom...it's that less is more.
Also, if you use more than two products in one place at one time, you are being redundant. You are also being taken for a ride.
And also, never trust an SA who works on commission, particularly if she of no wrinkles emphatically assures you that it will absolutely positively NOT crease beneath one's eyes.
Here is what she tried to sell me:
Eyecon - An undereye cream with fading action. $30.00
Ooh La Lift- Magic Pink Balm that gives eyes an instant lift. $20.00
Depuffing Action Eye Gel - Depuffs eye area and sends bags packing! $28.00
Eye bright - For that young, wide awake look. $20.00
Erase Paste - Brightening camoflouge for eyes and face. $26.00
Obviously, it was thought that I fell off the cosmetically challenge truck yesterday.
That $114 worth of products. That's $57 an eye, folks.
I ended up with the Erase Paste only, much to chagrin of the sales associate, whom, I think, thought she had a nice fat, clueless fish dangling from her wickedly pointy red lacquered hook. Truthfully, if I hadn't been on a budget, I would have bought the Eyecon as well, as it's supposed to be a reliable and effective product.
I think she caught on when I argued with her over the shade she had selected for me, which was a full shade lighter than my skin. She tried to tell me that you should always choose a concealer one shade lighter than your foundation, which I could not let pass unchallenged.
Ladies...it's very simple. Lighten to maximize, darken to minimize. It's why hippy women wear black pants. It's tried and true.
Anyway, to make a long story short, the Erase Paste was not a success. It did brighten and cover very, very well. I liked the look of my undereye area after I had applied it. Unfortunately, the moment my face moved, it creased. And throughout the day it settled into the fine lines under my eyes, creating the opposite effect intended by making them glaringly obvious.
This product would probably work for you are a dress store mannequin or, if you botox yourself into expressionlessness. For real women...not so much.
But the shadows...my God, the shadows. These shadows, quite simply ROCK.
Historically, I have not been a fan of cream or liquid eyeshadows. I have always found them too thick, difficult to blend and too garish.
These shadows have made me a believer.
They go on smoothly and uniformly and blend easily. But they do NOT move. The don't crease, they don't smear, they don't run. Period. I wore this shadow all day long in the searing summer heat.
I fell into bed that night exhausted, having walked approximately 462 blocks over the course of the day. I failed to do my usual nighttime routine, and awoke to find that my shadow was STILL in place the next morning. And yet, it washed off easily with soap and water. Unbelievable.
I also found that these shadows are very versatile, because you can use a little for a sheer natural look, or a lot for a more dramatic look. You can vary the instensity of the color quite easily, without creasing or flaking.
I chose "Hunny Bunny" which is a nude matte shade that is wonderful for a fresh no make-up look, (my entire eye lid area has a bluish caste so I need something to even it out and prevent that battered wife look) or as an all over lid color to pair with other shadows. I also chose "RSVP" which is a sheer shimmery beige. I will use it to highlight my browbone. And, "Get figgy" which is a very neutral, natural taupe-y shade.
Now, $19 for one shadow is normally a little steep for me. I may be a product whore, but I am a budget conscious whore. However...I feel that the staying power of this product as well as the amount in the jar makes it an economical choice.
So, it was a fruitful hour, despite my disappointment in the Erase Paste. And, I got to be girly and frivolous with several of the women I love most on this planet. It was really, really fun.
So, my cosmetic neophytes, go forth and purchase.
BTW, I decided that you all were right. I can't keep up with two blogs, so...you will get periodic makeupwhore posts here. For those of you who hate those type of posts, I apologize. I would love to be highbrow and relevant all the time, but I lost that ability the day the ovum and the sperm struck up an acquaintance.