Not trying to channel Joan Rivers, but can we talk? I feel that I need to have this conversation. Anytime a story begins, “See, what had happened was…” Yeah, you know the ending isn’t a pretty one. So, before I begin, grab a drink and sit back for this tale of cosmetic horror.
Now, listen, I’m not one to beauty shame anyone. By no means am I a beauty guru, but I do like to look cute. (Or at least, I like to pretend that I look cute.)
Listen, I have a problem, not unlike many women. It’s not one that is discussed in polite company, but let’s get real. It happens. So, I’ll just throw it out there in all my shame. I’m a sweater. There, I said it. My grandmother tried to convince me that ladies don’t sweat. They perspire. Gurl! That’s a bunch of bull. I pump out sweat like a human Niagara Falls. Sorry, Grammy, but sell that elsewhere. And you know what? I don’t give a rat’s pahtoot about all these dainty deodorants in their all-too precious packaging and artsy logos. They don’t do diddly-squat to prevent my pits from being soaked. But that I can take. Here’s what I can’t—a runny foundation. OMG!
So, here is my tale of woe. For much of my life, I’ve been a drugstore beauty type of gal; that is, until, I grew sick of these companies taking my shades off the market. I understand that companies need to update and progress with the times. I get that consumer wants and interests change and evolve. But seriously, can the replacements not be crappy or, at least, easily found? But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me rewind.
I used to wear makeup daily. Then, I went to college, and I didn’t have time for that extensive high school makeup routine I’d honed. I reverted to slapping on some lip gloss and maybe a shadow, unless I was going clubbing or to a frat party. I thought I’d go back to makeup once I became a real adult and got a job.
Well, my first “professional” job was not as advertised. My employers wanted me to look professional, but the dress code in the employee handbook made that next to impossible (e.g., no heels, open-toe, open heel, flip-flops, sandals, sneakers, jeans, form-fitting anything, flowy blouses, t-shirts with logos, designer wear, dangly jewelry, jeans, leggings, shorts, skorts, miniskirts, strapless/spaghetti straps, sleeveless, backless, lowcut, midriff-baring, holey anything, tanks, sheer, hats, caps, skull caps, scarves, ties, sweatpants, yoga pants, pants with elastic at the ankles, scrubs, fatigues, long fingernails, facial piercings, or “unnatural” hair color. And that’s only what I can think of off the top of my head.) Yes, I know some of these are standard no-noes to most businesses, but what’s left? Now, before anyone comes at me and answer suits, think again.
Clothing was subject (on a daily basis) to be torn/ripped or stained by paints, bodily fluids, dirt, and/or food stains. If clothing, jewelry, or glasses were destroyed during the course of the job by no fault of the employee, the employer would not be responsible for reimbursement or placement. As a result, most employees were reluctant to wear nice clothing to work because their salaries were low, and there was no clothing allowance. Not to mention, employees frequently were required to run/chase, lift heavy objects, work in unclean (sometimes unsanitary) conditions, and extreme heat. In this work environment, who really wanted to invest the time to beat their face to the gods? Certainly, not I.
In short, I got out of the habit of applying makeup. When I finally landed a gig where I could dress professionally, my go-to skin products had disappeared from the shelves. I’d invested so much time finding the right shades and undertones, and then they were discontinued. It’s the story of my life. I was reduced to starting at square one. However, this time, the trusty drugstores failed me. It’s not that I have a problem shopping there… well, I do.
First, most do not have testers. I have a weird coloring. What looks good in the bottle rarely looks good on me. I end up with lots of products that just don’t work. Or they break me out. I have sensitive skin. (Gee, thanks, mom and dad.)
Second, the area drugstores are notorious for not having products in stock or having limited ranges.
Third, in my opinion, they work with finicky brands. What I mean is the brands they stock seem to change their formulas and discontinue their lines more frequently. Finally, they jacked their prices up. I found that what I was paying at a drugstore, I could pay a comparable price at a department store. So, I downgraded to dollar store. (Hey, don’t knock it until you try it.)
Well, I’m going to knock a lot of it. It may be just my making poor choices than an overall thing. My problem with buying makeup in dollar stores falls mostly in one of two categories. The first is the extremely limited selection. The second is poor quality. In all fairness, what can be expected for a buck? Mostly, what I found not to work were the nail polishes and eyeshadows. The nail polishes flaked shortly after drying, and the eyeshadows lacked pigmentation. Let me clarify this statement. That is in my personal experience and shouldn’t be taken as a generalization to include all dollar store cosmetics. I found some that worked extremely well and are in my ROD (ride or die) kit. Just shopping there took too much effort.
I then went to discount stores that sell midrange products that have been overstocked (e.g., T.J. Maxx or Marshalls. I would say Dirty Cheap, but I can’t stand having to search through their bins. I don’t have the patience for that.) Again, the selection is sketchy, and there are no testers. Worse, some customers swatch these products and return them to the shelves, and other products are broken or damaged. And this led me to where I am today—the specialty makeup stores (e.g., Sephora or Ulta) or the department stores. These stores, in general, have higher priced products.
So now, I have what I consider bougie makeup, which I’m not hating. But… (Yes, you knew a but was coming.) Okay, here’s the tea. I purchased (and no I won’t say the name because I’m not going to be dragged by a big name company for disparaging their name, but if you follow me on that bird social media, you already know who it is) a foundation that cost a few coins in my opinion. I’ll admit, I was suckered into buying it by a YouTube beauty influencer. Well, I guess “suckered” isn’t the correct word. The foundation shade I had been using for years was discontinued, and the formula was changed. I couldn’t find a compatible replacement in the same brand. After several failures of finding a substitute on my own, I turned to beauty influencers. One of the influencers I was able to use as a shade match reference, and she recommended this brand.
It becomes suspect after that. See, she said the foundation was sweat proof after doing a wear test. Okay, I don’t know what kind of temperature she was in, but bay-beeee, it’s not this hotter-than-hell summer heatstroke with 200% humidity weather in the deep south. I sweated down, and that foundation peeled off like a stripper on a greasy pole. Ordinarily, I would have been a little okay with this if it hadn’t said “moisture resistant” and “sweatproof.” But whatever. My real issue was it could not be repaired. The more I tried to fix it, the worse it got.
Let me backtrack for a moment. Prior to applying this foundation, I cleansed my face really well (deep cleaned) to remove any dirt before applying both a moisturizer and a primer. I set the foundation with two powders (different areas of my face) and used a setting spray. My eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara, and lipstick (all the places the foundation wasn’t) didn’t budge. So, I have a difficult time believing another product was the culprit for the landslide down the side of my face.
The foundation in question received a great deal of hype and a huge release. It was reviewed by dozens of beauty influencers, although, not all conducted a wear test. It looked flawless smooth on my skin, perfect color, and didn’t feel heavy. I’d gotten lots of compliments. Then, my dirty little secret of sweating came to light. Honey, the sweating world is brutal. There’s nothing sexy about it. I looked a red-hot booty mess, the kind of butt after a granny switching for swearing.
Know the saying, rode hard and put up wet?
Thus, this is a cautionary tale to all my fellow sweaters. Do not accept the claims of “sweatproof” or “moisture-proof” as gospel. If you are in the heat trying a new foundation, have a backup plan to avoid a Death Becomes Her cosplay moment. If it’s a first date, avoid those outdoor events. (Heck, I may even suggest avoiding a heated roll in the hay unless he/she is into wearing foundation, too. Transfer is highly likely.) Take makeup remover because it may all have to come off.
DISCLAIMER: This post is not sponsored in any way by any of the persons, brands, or products named herein. This post is to entertain. Please do not leave any disparaging or hateful remarks for any of the discussed persons, brands, or products. Readers are encouraged to research any information listed for themselves.
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