Last week, I wore a nice sleeveless sweater from Ann Taylor, open toed heels from the same store, brown dress pants fresh from the dry cleaner, and matching, dangly earrings. My hair and makeup even looked decent considering I did both in the dark, without power due to Hurricane Ike (mind you, ELEVEN DAYS AFTER landfall). I actually felt put-together.
Until mid-morning. When I went to the ladies room and caught the reflection of a visible bra strap. I was horrified. Not because my bra was showing. But because the bra strap was tinted BLUE (what did I wash it with last?) and FRAYED. Frays that probably started their unraveling some years ago.
I am embarrassed to say that I could not remember the last time (not including the token pregnancy bras) that I had actually purchased a bra. Oh, sure, it was when I was in graduate school, but OOPS, that was TEN YEARS AGO.
I have a mortgage. I have a will. A life insurance policy. Twins. And even with my nomadic career tendencies, I’ve worked for the same company for, damn, six years. So it seems that the next Adult Thing I needed to do was to buy some decent, comfortable, well-fitting bras. And for this, I needed consultation.
With a tad of reluctance, the kind of reluctance with which you eat that second brownie anyway, I posted a question to my neighborhood kids’ group and my local area mother’s of multiples group: “Anyone know of a good place for a bra fitting that has good selections, as well? And I’m talking about someone who really knows what they are doing, because I apparently have no idea what to do with my post-pregnancy tatas.”
I went on to ask about places where one could go to learn to apply makeup. I know they have those folks at the counters at the mall, if you can make it to them, having to dodge past those ladies encroaching your personal space with their bottles of perfume. (I always put my cell phone up to my ear and pretend to be having a conversation. Or I tell them I’m highly allergic and will go into anaphylactic shock.) As a point of reference, I have been buying my makeup at CVS or Kroger. For years. I even have some sparkly stuff (was that the early 2000’s?) from, I am not even kidding, MARY KATE AND FRIGGIN’ ASHLEY line!
And let me just tell you, I must have struck a cord because responses came bubbling up like a shaken bottle of soda. And so, in the interest of mini-makeovers, I offer up a sampling of the commentary I received. I won’t post the local (Houston) makeup artists or lingerie stores mentioned since this site has readers from all ovah da’ place, but if you’re interested, put your email in the comments section and I can send them to you.
- “The ladies at Nordstrom are very good at bra fitting.”
- “Nordstrom’s for the bras, hands down.”
- “I was amazed at how well they nailed my size and how what they brought to try on was just what I wanted. The have a wide range of styles and prices, so you can be as wild or conservative as you want.”
- “For makeup, I went to Neiman’s and asked the counter that was mostly likely to help me get a natural look. I was introduced to 2 lines: Trish Mcevoy and Laura Mercier. The sales people were knowledgeable and will help you get an application routine down. You buy what you want and there is no charge for the instruction. I actually did my own makeup for my bridal portrait and wedding. If they can teach me, they can teach anyone.”
- “OMG, I could have written this message myself. Help us, please.”
- “As for makeup, I am pretty natural and I like Origins products and their people are always really nice and helpful.”
- “Sephora is a fun place to shop, but they do seem to market hard to the young and trendy, and I’m neither anymore. From a geek standpoint, several years ago I purchased the ‘Don’t Go To The Cosmetics Counter Without Me’ book. You probably won’t agree with all of it, but it does a good job of overviewing the product lines, explaining various ingredients, formulations, and suggesting what’s worth spending more on and what isn’t.”
- “As for post-pregnancy boobs, I’m just going to save up and get surgical help. I don’t care if I’m 93 and everything is dragging at my knees. The girls won’t be.”
- “I went to Macy’s and asked for a fitting for something all cotton to keep cooler. The fitter was not only helpful, but what I got was on sale, too.”
- “I have given up on make-up, hair, nail polish, and yes, shaving. I use my husband’s clippers on my legs ever some many months.”
- “For makeup, MAC offers lessons that are prepaid. The good thing is that the day of the lesson, you use that money to buy products, so the lesson ends up being free.”
- “I went to MAC and had a really good experience. They were very helpful and I got a whole new face out of the deal (this post inspired me!), and they spent time helping me figure out what was right for me. I got a natural look that is age appropriate and learned how to recreate the look on myself.”
- “My personal favorites: Loreal voluminous mascara – for n ice thick lashes; eye lash curler, eye brow brush, Laura Mercier Eyebrow Shadow, Bare Minerals Kit – for foundation and blush for a matte finish, although you have to finger blend after you apply if you have big pores like mine; MAC HyperReal for more moist skin look which if you are older than 20, makes your skin look younger and doesn’t highlight wrinkles; MAC eyeshadow, Laura Mercier eyeliner; Vaseline is must for the lips; get a good eyebrow shaping; a good skin exfoliant with Salicylic Acid (I love MD SkinCare peels but you can find cheaper products at Target), or just use Oil of Olay Regenerist Daily Regenerating Serum – that stuff is the best.”
If you have additional suggestions / experiences / tips, by all means, SHARE!
Rachel’s personal blog can be found at RaJenCreation.