Friday, January 7, 2011


Ruts. I hate 'em.

Time to get out of mine.

I started climbing out of my rut with a visit to the Village's brand sparkling new Shoppers Drug Mart - "the biggest in the Province", I was told.

Big it is. With an impressively large section devoted to the art of Bew-tay! My thought was to check out my new fave line of cosmetic miracles, Smashbox, to see what they had to deal with my even-darker-than-normal under eye circles (thanks Holiday Season!).

I wasn't there long before one of the beauty advisors, a male (a new experience for me), came up to assist. Mr. Beauty Advisor, upon learning of my quest, implored me to stop looking at Smashbox because Benefit Erase Paste was the "Greatest Cosmetic Product of ALL TIME" and I "Must Try It!"

OK! Them's mighty big words for a little pot of concealer, a product I've never had much luck with. I was hoping to try Smashbox's under eye brightener, to avoid the whole concealer route entirely. My past experiences with concealers have all been dismal failures. Yes, the dark circles are minimized, but only by accentuating every wrinkle and line on top of the offending area instead.

So, in choosing between looking tired or ancient.....tired wins by a landslide every time.

But he was so insistent that I found myself in his chair and at his mercy as he dabbed and chatted away..."There, now look. No, don't look that close. I would only be that close to you if we were dating. Here, look from here. What, now you can't see? Put your glasses back on. Now look. What do you think?"

Well, I thought, looking close up, that once again the dark circles were being downplayed at the expense of the wrinkles being played up....but I figured he was right about looking at myself too closely. I remember reading somewhere that people over a certain age should never use magnifying mirrors and that's pretty sound advice. Our vision starts to fail at around the time our looks do, and if that isn't proof of the innate kindness of Mother Nature, I don't know what is.

I bought the Erase Paste.

And I am now loving it. I put it on, blend well, then cover with what I think is the Greatest Cosmetic Product of ALL TIME (and which has largely replaced foundation in my makeup box), Smashbox Halo, and then.....I stand BACK from the mirror and I think I have improved my situation, yes I do.

Next up in my rut-climbing activities was a much needed haircut. I hadn't had scissors taken to my head in at least 6 months, I must confess. For the past two years, the only thought in my head had been to have a long mane to put up for the wedding. Now, it seems weird to spend 2 years of your life growing out your hair for the 6-8 hours it will be on display on your wedding day, but I really don't think I am alone in this.

At any rate, it was beyond time for a change. I called my hairdresser and told her I wanted my hair chopped off. She counselled me to be prepared for her visit (she comes to my house - I love it!) with pictures of styles I liked. So, off to the interwebs I went, hunting for my new look.

I found it on the head of a certain Helen Mirren.

My hairdresser agreed I could pull the style off. The cutting began. Piles of hair cascaded to the floor of the kitchen. Then the highlighting began. Then more cutting. Then, finally...the styling.

My head felt so free and light! All my dead locks and split ends were gone, and replaced with bouncy, wavy full locks again! The styling, well....I love my hairdresser...she's cut my hair since I was pregnant with Mizz J (23 years ago)...and she's masterful at cutting, but she styles my hair in a way I can't replicate and a way that's not me to boot. Every hair artfully and lovingly subdued into a smooth, controlled style.

JD's first comments: "Well, it's certainly short." After my hairdresser left: "You look older. About 10 years."

Oh NO! I wanted to channel Helen Mirren's beauty and style, but not her chronological age!

I was a bit concerned but not overly as I figured there was still hope I could style it myself in a way that could put me back at my own age. So off to the shower I went. I was really hoping I would have some sort of hair-stylin' muscle know, from back in the day when I used curling irons and opposed to the past two years, when I used only a hair clip and a blow dryer.

I producted (I think I just created a verb), I fluffed, I blow-dryed, I finger-styled, I tossed, I hairsprayed.

I emerged.

JD took one look, his eyes went wide and he said "Sassy! How'd you do THAT?"

"I sassified it" I said.

"You look like that girl in Sleepless in Seattle" he said, obviously pleased with the result.

The look I was going for was Helen Mirren but I wound up channeling Meg Ryan. I'll take it.

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