BlogHer: The Reckoning

On July 28, 2006 by Eden M. Kennedy

Yesterday I went to the mall in San Jose with some fine women and I had my very first Sephora experience. It was a little intimidating. I have lost the knack for makeup. Before I left Santa Barbara I went into the Aveda store thinking I’d get a little eye shadow, or perhaps some blush, so that I could appear like something of a grownup when I arrived at BlogHer.

But Aveda freaked my shit out. A male employee approached me first, which threw me off my already amateurish game. After he said May I Help You? I started gibbering about whether I should change my conditioner or not (WTF? I couldn’t admit that I needed help buying makeup to a probably-not-terribly-heterosexual man? I have been in the suburbs TOO LONG), and he said smartly, “What kind of hair do you have?”

“Brown,” I answered helpfully.

“Yes, but is it oily, or dry?” he continued patiently.

“It’s just . . . hair,” I said, edging away. Frankly, I was being willfully ignorant, I admit, I have “normal” hair, I know that, but I became anxious with someone who assimed that I could participate in the Beauty Conversation. It was a completely reflexive reaction that comes from the same place that for years kept me going into Starbucks and just asking for a cup of coffee, you figure out if it’s a grande vente Americano with whip, you . . . you . . . barista.

It’s so much fun being stubborn and nourishing your Luddite tendencies.

As I went through my twenties, one by one I dropped all the high school products I used to think separated me from the apes — foundation, blush, nail polish. I remember clearly the shock I felt the day I realized it was okay to leave the house without mascara, that my eyes wouldn’t look like two pinholes in a rotten pumpkin. Gradually I became completely anti-makeup and I came to see it in very black-and-white terms. There was nothing on my spectrum between Barbie Doll and person with integrity and character who would not enable the jackbooted patriarchy to define her attractiveness or sexual self-confidence and so simply chose to shower occasionally.

Well, guess what? I’m forty-two now and it turns out that a little bit of blush keeps me from looking like a cadaver! It’s pretty simple, really, if you repress the knowledge that every purchase is a political act.

Hence, I owe JenB a big smooch because I was standing in the middle of Sephora with a dirty bandanna around my head going, God, this hair-growing-out shit is getting arduous, when the fuck am I ever going to be able to take off this goddamn gypsy headware? And Jen picked up a tube of Frederik Fekkai Glossing Cream and, you know, I don’t want to drown you in hyperbole, but she SAVED MY LIFE. This stuff is PERFECT. I woke up this morning and for the first time in months my hair didn’t look like I’d styled it with an Oster hand mixer. Also, Alice picked out a lipstick for me that I’d never have dreamed would look good on me. And MelissaS helped by being awesome.



28 Responses to “BlogHer: The Reckoning”

  • I was busy choking on my tongue with all the options.

  • Hey, first I was envious of the whole BlogHer thing, but now you get the make-up advice I desperately need in Sephora from women in the know. I’m dying.

  • We don’t weat jackboots. At least, not in public.

  • Crap. Joke blown by typo.

  • I am not an uber blogher, but am someone who would tip mightily for a Fussy Haircut; you will be at the fairgrounds, right? My latest (and perhaps last) salon cut is chopped and uneven and my husband has offered to help even things after a months (or so) growth.

    Undone-ness strikes again. Grow damnit! Curls kick in …NOW! :(

    Will keep your Fekkai review in mind.

  • You are already pretty. I think you’re playing unfair by aspiring to gorgeous. Which the second you walk into one of Those Stores with Those Women, your aspirations are not merely present but probably met. What, do you think you’re not already sufficiently intimidating? You are, you are.

  • You got a blush and you won’t even tell us what brand, or what shade?? Shame on you!

  • Yeah, at my age i need mascara and blush such that i don’t scare small children.

    Jackbooted patriarchy. heh. And it reads Fussy.

  • I was going to link the blush but I was writing the post in the middle of a session and couldn’t bolt. The lipstick, however, is Lorac’s “Plum Lucky.” Very nice.

  • links, schminks. we want pictures!

  • Wait… there is a mall here?

  • Jackbooted patriarchy be damned; I’m going to play in that giant makeup toybox every time I go to the mall. I have 16 lipsticks because I can — what with the bringing home of the bacon and all.

  • Sephora scares me…..way too many choices. But I still find it irresistable.

  • I’d die without the F.F. Glossing Creme…well maybe not, but you get the idea.

  • What a coincidence–JenB has saved my life before, as well.

    God, I missed getting to hang with you guys. I quite literally cried all weekend. How pathetic is that?

  • Man I love that! I wish I had friends with the same sort of makeup abilities. I could use a Sephora guide.

  • It was great seeing you again at BlogHer this year!

    I’ve been contemplating a new makeup strategy lately, but I’m still stuck with a handful of drugstore junk that I apply lightly and inexpertly. There was nothing in my makeup collection that could cover the gigantic zit I had on my chin throughout the entire conference. Sigh. I think you may have convinced me to seek out makeup guidance.

  • Welcome to the light, my sister.

  • I miss the poetry….read anything good lately?


  • Yogabeans is a little weird this morning.

  • I agree with pd…..I got some weird Iranian Hacker sort of thing on Yogabeans and immediatly closed it(!)fearing the worst. Don’t want anyone hacking my laptop.

  • Thanks, you guys, I contacted my site host, we’ll see what happens.

  • iranian hacker girls here too

  • Every time I frequent Sephora I walk out with no less than $80 worth of new product.

    “Would you like me to do your eyes?”

    “No, thanks.”

    “But you have pretty eyes.”

    “Here’s my wallet. Take what you want.”

  • You give me hope. I’m just going to print out your post and hand it to the “Sephora people.” After I slam a couple of white wines in the car.

    Some day I will be courageous enough to walk into M.A.C.

    Some day.

  • I have to confess that sometimes I’m uncomfortable having my hair done by the guy at my salon. I normally see my girl Kim, but once I had the guy do it. It’s so bad, I don’t know his name. I just call him “the guy”. But he does a great job. It still seems strange. I need to get out of this small town and experience a big city maybe. I’m sure big cities have many male hairdressers!

  • I think your hair looks great. I too love Sephora, but damn I never leave the store with a penny left to my name.

    Such is the price for beauty my dear.