Tuesday, March 16, 2010

NOT America's Next Top Model

A couple of weeks ago I attended a vendor fair. Most of the booths were giving away attendance prizes. Since I love free things, I signed up right and left. A week later I got a call from Jan, a Mary Kay consultant, telling me I had won a tube of hand cream. We made arrangements for her to drop it by the house; she also asked if she could give me a product demonstration while she was here.

I don't use makeup of any type--I just spread some sunscreen on my face, add mascara to my lashes, and I'm ready to go. Back before I had kids I used Mary Kay products and liked them, but when I tried them again years later they made my face break out. I figured I could use that as my excuse for not buying anything and said yes to her offer.

Jan arrived last Wednesday evening with a large black case that included her supplies. After giving me the tube of hand cream the real work began. She squeezed out blobs of each step of the skin care regimen onto a palette and had me apply them according to her directions. Although Jan did her best to convince me I couldn't live without her products, she left without an order. I just don't have the time or inclination to keep up with a multi-step process.

However, on her way out Jan asked if I'd be interested in being a face model for a group of Mary Kay consultants that meets at her house. The procedure involved applying a "look" for the group, so they could see the makeup shades on a real face. You know me...I'm always up for something different, so last night found me sitting at the dining room table in Jan's house. Three other representatives were in chairs lined up against the wall, and a table pushed against another wall held a selection of products and promotional items.

After the introductions each consultant told the group what the highlights of the last week had been Mary Kay-wise. When each woman finished, the group clapped. I didn't know if I should or not, so I did. Then, the next item on the program was me!

Just like the first time, Jan laid out the palette containing the steps of the skin care regimen. This time I applied the cleaning and toning products to only half of my face so the group could see the difference between the two sides. Although I couldn't see anything unusual when I was done, one of the woman gasped in delight at the change.

The second part of the session was devoted to makeup. Jan laid out a dozen cards in front of me and told me to pick the one I liked the best. Each card had designated colors for blush, eye shadows (three shades), eye liner, lip color, and lip gloss. After I picked a card, one of the observing consultants pulled out the biggest binder I ever saw. Inside were samples of every color. She took out samples of each of the colors on my card and set them on the table. Jan gave me step-by-step instructions as I applied each item to my face.

After my makeup was complete I felt ridiculous. The disposable applicator did a horrible job of spreading the blush, and one of the eye shadow colors was a blue that I'd never wear in real life. I'm out of practice applying eye liner; the line wasn't straight and not at all close to my lashes. The only thing I liked was the lip color. Even though I thought I looked stupid, all of the women ooh-ed and aah-ed over my transformation. Jan handed them some papers to read and discuss while she talked with me. Once again she tried to get me to buy the products, but again I said no.

The only thing I left with was a lip gloss, mainly paid for by the $10 credit which was my "compensation" for the night. Jan's last question was if I'd be interested in being a consultant. The answer to that was NO, given as I hurried into the living room to gather my coat and purse.