Now let me reassure you that I was in fact a 13-year-old girl at one time. I played with purple eyeshadow and Bonne Bell lip gloss. I learned how to cover up zits and contour my imaginary cheekbones with blush. But for some reason I could never bring myself to wear mascara. My eyelashes were good enough that I never had to, and I was always afraid I'd poke the wand into my eye and ruin my contacts.
But now I'm middle-aged, I've had Lasik surgery, and everything, including my eyelashes, seems to be fading. So when my friend Hilary and I went to Sephora on the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica at lunchtime to buy the makeup I knew I'd need for next week's cake decorating event in New York, I decided to take the plunge. Mascara. The end of a bare-lashed era.
I explained to Mercedes, the lovely Sephora consultant who helped me, that makeup and I have been polite strangers ever since I graduated from middle school. I told her about Electrolux and Foodbuzz sending me to New York to decorate cakes with Kelly Ripa for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. I told her the competition will be filmed. She was really excited, she understood what I needed, and she got to work.
Mercedes quickly found the key ingredient: a matte mineral powder foundation that will keep me from looking shiny on camera but doesn't feel like you're wearing Vaseline on your face. I am naturally a "glowing" (okay, shiny) person, so this part was important. Then she helped me find and put on mascara, some eyeshadows, and an eyeliner. I walked out with a tiny little bag and a new boost of self-confidence. Bring on the cameras! Bring on the cakes! My nose will be perfectly matte, and my eyelashes will be a mile long, thanks to the lovely Mercedes. If you're in Santa Monica and you need a makeover, she's your girl.