Saturday, August 18, 2007

Glamour and the lack thereof

I spent the day wrestling dust. Literally. I dusted out corners of my room that hadn't seem a broom since old Methuselah was regaling us with tales of the good old days. I cleaned the windows. Wiped the fan. Thrust a broom at sundry cobwebs on the ceiling. Mopped the floor. Washed the bedsheet.

Well, anyway, you get the picture.

Then I sat down to watch The Secret while epilating (OK, you didn't need to know that, but I've just been reading Liz Wurtzel, which means I share disgusting details of my life, unashamed) and then, for good measure, I watched some Shakespeare in Love. Rewinding that montage bit:

My bounty is as boundless as the sea
My love is deep
The more I give to thee
The more I have
for both are infinite.

Stay but a little, I will come again.

Oh would thou leave me so unsatisfied....

You get the picture.

Then I thought I should round off a productive day by going to the gym. I needed to do some shopping at Megamall, so I figured, shopping first, gym later. Especially since the gym is open till midnight and the shops, well, aren't.

Anyway, there I am, at my favourite Clarins counter, chatting with the sales assistant, (she had this big beautiful smile on seeing me and I love the love of shop assistants), and after I made my purchase she said:

Jennifer, you wanna makeover?

And I said: huh? why?

Was she implying that I looked less than perfect?

OK, I was in my chappalang, unironed tee-shirt and jeans, hair uncombed as always, I did look less than perfect. About the only thing about me that looked halfway passable was my new pair of sneakers.

And she said, for funlor...they do your make-up, they do your hair, then take picture. RM20 oni.

Hmmmm...I'm a little shy (which is why I blog and put my picture up for all the world to see, cos I'm shy!) and I was not comfortable with someone slapping makeup on my face, while passer-bys stopped to gawk. (Like real, oni, as if passer-bys have nothing better to do)

Anyway, she talked me into it.

So there we are, walking out of the departmental store, into the concourse (Oh God, publicker and publicker) and she stops at this huge Clarins booth there in between the Bobbi Brown and Watson's stores. Two make-up artists are busy beautifying two different women.

My nice Clarins lady said Thomas would "do me". Oh whoppee do! I get Thomas! To do me!

Anyway, this lovely, gregarious, friendly make-up artist, who rejoices in the name of Thomas shows up. After making sure my face has been suitably cleaned with Clarins products, he gets at it.

"There are no ugly women. Just lazy women. And Malaysian women are so lazy about make-uplar."

He squeezes something onto the back of his hand.

"Look this foundation, we call it Apple Glow in Taiwan. Asian skin too yellow. This brings out the pink."

"Um, does it have a whitening effect," I ask, unable to keep the accusation out of my voice. I don't like whitening products. Love me, love my tan. Or as my Mummy would say, my BLAAAAACCCKKK!

"Nolar, it just pinks you up. See, see, this half of your face I put the foundation, see the difference?"

The only difference I see is that one half of my face is whiter than the other. My forehead crinkles up doubtfully, but Thomas is so enthusiastic, I don't want to disappoint him.

He then put tons of concealer to hide the Guccis under my eyes.

"Smile! Look in front and smile"

I oblige.

He slaps on the blusher.

Then he applies eyeliner. And brushes my eyelids a reddish bronze.

"You know Beyonce, she likes these bronze autumn shades."

"You know what Beyonce likes?

"Yeah, we keep in touch with all the latest trends, see what the stars like, see what colours are in..."

"So, what colours are in, then?"

"Donnolar, that's all bullshit. It's basically whatever colour you're comfortable with."

(Brushes my eyelid some more).

"Your eye shape nicelar. Indians so lucky. You see my eyes? I put a tape to get a fake double eyelid."

I hadn't noticed so I look up and he shows me where he taped his eye to get that double eyelid. I grin at him. What will people do next?

Then he outlines my eyes and puts the mascara. "So nice, no need to curl oso, long lashes." So I bat them at him and laugh.

In between painting my face Thomas regales me with the story of his life. (I always love listening to the stories of other peoples' lives. They are usually interesting). He started out as a make-up artist with RTM1. That is, government TV. He made up the stars for the soap operas.

"I tell you ah, government oso, not good. They kept holding back our pay. Sometimes two months oso, don't get paid. And I would be like, hello, I need to pay bills. I don't even have money to buy Maggi Mee."

I nod sympathetically.

"What about the other TV stations?"

"Aiyo, all the samelar. So I went behind the make-up counters. Started out with Mac. But I tell you ah, so bitchy those people. All fighting for sales. In front of you, smile smile, behind your back, so kiasu. And I hate fighting for sales. So I quit and went on to Dior. Then Clarins came in with a better offer. I lurve Clarins products," he finishes enthusiastically. I am now under five layers of Clarins products and counting.

Finally, he adds the gloss...."oooooh your lips are so voluptuous." I smirk and wonder how that would sound if this guy were not so obviously gay.

"I don't look like me," I say, staring at this painted visage.

"Hmmm...I would be a very bad make-up artist if you still looked like you lar. A make-over is a make-over."

Then it's time for the hairstylist. This very interesting woman (she's attractive, but more interesting than attractive), takes my hair into a curling iron and starts teasing it into curls.

She is not chatty like Thomas, so we proceed in silence for a while. Then she breaks the ice, asking me which country I'm from. I gape. Isn't it obvious than I'm born and bred Malaysian? Don't we have a certain look about us?

Seems that one of the other girls who was having her face painted is from India. The hairstylist thought we were part of the same gang. I set her straight. "Aiyo, Malaysianlar! KL-ite some more."

Anyway, we chat some and I tell her I like her hair. And she says she did it at the Regent Hotel salon. Wow. Must have cost a pretty penny, but it looks good. Professional. Sort of layered and tapered and flyaway.

Then it's time for my close-up. The photographer keeps saying, head down, look up. Spread your fingers. Touch the wall, hold your collar...I fight down laughter. This is just too ridiculous.

He takes me in three different tops (Purple, you wanna wear purple?) and then hands the disk to his compatriot to transfer to the computer. The computer guy chooses a shot. "OK this seems to be the best, what say, we print this out?"

He spends a few minutes airbrushing the chosen photo. (I never knew how much help I needed to look even halfway OK)

Then he asks if I'd like a copy of the other shots on a disk. Like, of course, man. I mean, when would I do this again?

Probably, never...

I didn't end up going to the gym.

But I did end up having to buy make-up remover.

Oy vey.


Grey Shades said...

Very very clever marketing and sales there! :) And you look super duper hot, but then you always did! :)

Marge said...

Love it, love it, love it!!! High five to a fellow Clarins gal!

Jenn said...

Grey: It's kind of you to say that to someone old enough to be your grandmother - but I dont FEEL super hot. I wish you were here and could hang out.

Marge: You're Clarins too? Woo hoo! High five indeed.

lemontree said...

jenn you look super duper hot. ok i am just repeating what grey said. i so want to be in KL to go to that counter ....

love the look

and btw me too re reading the secret today. conincidental?

Jenn said...

Gee thanks! That could have been you at the counter - I told you there was this girl from India, north India (they were all speaking Hindi together) and she and her friends were here on a training. That could have been you...she looked nice, and her glamour shot turned out all fire and for The Secret - yeah...thinking good thoughts now...

john calica said...

You look like a moviestar! Cool!

Jenn said...

Awwwww John. But you love me for my brains right?

stefany said...

You completely made my night! What a great bedtime read! You are lovely!

Jenn said...

Thanks Stef! Hehe. And I'm still ruminating on your post, actually...

john calica said...

Jenn, of course we all do :)

Jenn said...


goldennib said...

Your glamor shot is glamorous. Your facebook photo is beautiful. Your story is hysterical.

Jenn said...

Nessa: Your comments are appreciated...:)

Antonia said...

hola jenn, i swear, that glamour shot is mucho calor! thanks for sharing the photo and the great story.

Jackie's Garden said...

You're beautiful, girl! And it's plain to see - that you'd be just as beautiful without the makeover! And no one can tell a story like you can.

Daphne said...

i agree with jackie 100%

You're lovely, just lovely!

Jenn said...

My colleague just came by and saw the picture on my screen - I was flipping through blogs - and was back at my own to go through the blogroll - she looked at me, I looked at her and we nodded in deep understanding. If she were a guy, she would not date me, glamour shot notwithstanding. If I were a guy, I would not date me either.


Grey Shades said...

Grandmother? LOlllll!!! Just nine yearslar :)

Susanna said...

haha. But the picture is cute! Nice to see what you look like...