Friday, March 1, 2013

On Being Elaine

For over a year now, I have had this blog post circling around in my head and written down on my "post to-do" list. Every few months, it would come to mind, and I would say to myself, "Katherine, you should do that post. You have time this week to do that post, and nothing else planned to take its place." But I never went through with it.

The only reason I hadn't actually done it yet was not because I didn't have the content, or the idea, but because I wanted to vlog it.

Vlogging has been a little bit of a vice for me. I generally like how I look in photos, and I like my written word and all, but seeing myself on video is just ... weird. My voice is way more high-pitched that I hear it in my own head, I talk a little too fast because I am nervous and seriously, what am I supposed to do with my hands? Use them and gesture as I talk, and risk looking a bit frantic? Have them held at table level, and risk looking too stationary?

These are serious problems, people. Video yourself, then let me know how it goes. I am pretty sure you will slightly cringe at the results like I do :)

Well, the galaxy caught up with me, because just as I was thinking about actually vlogging about this one (seriously this time, I promise), a little loop was thrown in my direction.

My plan was to vlog about my makeup. I am a proud drugstore makeup buyer and feel strongly that you can find quality makeup for a quarter of the price of the larger department and beauty supply stores. My skin is pretty sensitive to new products, so once I found the things that worked for me, it became routine. I'd run low on foundation, save up my CVS Extra Care Bucks, and then go and buy two-for-one. I'd stock up while I could, buying on sale and leveraging coupons, and would never have to risk some weird redness caused by a trendy product that reacted badly with my skin. I saved the high-end splurges for things like moisturizer (Clinique is my go-to for heavier formula that saves my cheeks in cold months) and eye makeup remover (check out this vlog for a good laugh about that one).

This all worked out beautifully until about two months ago. I was running low on my favorite cream blush and mascara, out of my usual two-for-one supplies. A trip to Target struck out, but I wasn't too worried; Target always seems to carry an odd assortment of brand selections, not always the same as the drugstore.

But a run past CVS later, though, and I began to worry. The blush was nowhere to be seen, nor the mascara. Not an empty slot for them in the racks or anything.

Uh oh. Enter the dreaded discontinued makeup syndrome. 

Most girls can relate to this. Big makeup company decides to revamp their line, and poof! your favorite shade of lipstick is replaced with a newer, "better" shade or version, and it's just not the same. But I have never had this happen to me with something quite as important as mascara, or blush. I finally found the blush of my dreams a few years ago, a special Covergirl + Olay cream blush that added extra softness and no weird caking. And even strangers on the MARTA train knew that my mascara was rock-star, because I regularly received inquires about what brand I used. Talking about your eyelashes with strangers is weird, by the way.

Too bad the makeup companies didn't know this about me. They just up and cancelled the two brands and attempted to "replace" them with products that were nowhere near as good.

So I got back at them. For the next few years at least. That's right. I pulled an Elaine Benes "spongeworthy" move and ordered FIVE blushes from Target (who still had them in inventory online) ...

... and FIVE mascaras from some random but highly-rated Amazon company (I figure, they are in the packaging, all is well, right?).

Take that, makeup companies. See ya again for your newer, sub-par products in a few years :)

As for the vlog, unfortunately most of the other products in my bag just aren't as fun as that blush is, or that mascara. I might end up doing a how-to vlog post about applying some of it, but now at least you know what hidden tricks I have in my bag. For now ;)