A Beautiful Encounter (and a Sephora Haul)

I had a very convoluted, difficult mental day yesterday, and decided to escape to the mall for some retail therapy after work.  Plus I had $75 in Sephora gift cards that I wanted to use, haha.  I figured I’d go to Sephora first, and then mosey my way around the rest of the mall.

I didn’t make it past Sephora.  Well, I did, but only back through Macy’s before leaving.  Because I ended up spending an hour and a half in Sephora.  And I made a new friend.

It took me about twenty minutes of wandering through Sephora, lost, before a girl approached me.  She had dark hair in a braid, and she had the most intense liquid eyeliner on her eyes, and black lipstick.  She said her name was Marissa, and did I want any help?

I confessed that I was just getting into makeup, and that I wasn’t sure what I was looking for.  She took me by the hand, gave me a crash course in each line (from Stila to Yves Saint Laurent to Smashbox to NARS) and explained what each line had, what “looks” they best promoted, and asked if I wanted a tutorial.  I did.  (I’ve always wanted one, but I’ve never had the money to actually do one.  Sephora doesn’t require you to actually spend money if they give you a makeup tutorial, but spending less than $50 on product after someone has given you a makeover is frowned upon in the establishment, or so I’ve heard from friends).

We spent an hour working on my face, and in that hour I got so much more than a makeup tutorial.  Marissa was only 19 (ten years younger than me, gah!) but she chatted with me like an old friend.  She was very sweet, we talked about each other’s lives, and when she was applying highlighter to my cheekbones, she noticed my facial lacerations from the car accident I was in back in 2005.

“These are awesome,” she said, “I love scars.  If I had yours I’d feel so beautiful.”

What a way to look at it.  I’ve always hated my scars, always hated people touching my face, always so self-conscious.  She didn’t make me feel self-conscious, she made me feel beautiful.

I left at the end of our session with $120 worth of makeup that I got for $45 (those gift cards really came in handy), a new friend (we emailed each other last night) and a sense of wonderful serenity.  It was the best thing that could have happened to me yesterday.

A lot of times people say to each other, “You’re beautiful, you don’t need makeup,” and this is a great thing to say to someone.  But I started wearing makeup back in September because I wanted to feel better, and when people told me that I looked beautiful, I felt beautiful, and I began to feel better.  Makeup doesn’t make a person beautiful.  But sometimes it can help you look your absolute best, even when you feel down.  And sometimes it brings two people together who ordinarily would never have met.


My haul:

Sephora Classic Angled Brush #40

Buxom Lash Waterproof Mascara

Smashbox Fusion Soft Lights in “Baked Stardust”

Too Faced Romantic Eye Classic Beauty Shadow Collection

I also have a list of other products she used on my face to buy at a later date (a BB cream, liquid eyeliner, and YSL lipstick that was so gorgeous but so expensive).  And I left with a bunch of tips that make me feel more confident (i.e., my skin is a cool, rather than a warm, shade; I should wear nudes and berries for lipstick, not pinks or reds; highlighter is better for me than blusher; etc.)

It was a great day.  If you’re ever in Farmington, Connecticut, and go to the Sephora in the Westfarms Mall, ask for Marissa.  She is the best.


Next steps

Ever since I turned 29 and made the concrete decision to turn my life around, I’ve been trying my damndest to check off each step as I slowly attain them.

1. Maintain A’s in graduate school — check (so far)
2. Separate (however willingly — it WAS the right decision) — check
3. Achieve (and maintain) a positive outlook — check (so far)
4. Learn how to apply “grown-up” makeup — check

Now I think it’s time to face the music for 5. Lose the weight that formed as a result of two years of eating my feelings.

Like many women in my family, I am an emotional eater.  I have tried to control it.  Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I fail.  I made a conscious effort to only buy healthy food when I was grocery shopping the Friday before I moved in…only to buy a box of Ring Dings on Sunday night.  In my defense, I have only eaten two packages since then, and no more than one in a day.

I am right now about 30 – 35 lbs. overweight.  It’s not terrible, and because I am 5’9″ the additional pounds don’t hang on me the way that they would on a shorter person.  But I’m not happy with the way I look.  My breasts, belly, and thighs are way too big.  I am a size 14, and I don’t want to be anymore.  I look at my frame — my rounded shoulders, my wide hips — and I know that, even if I starve myself, I will never be a size 2 or considered “willowy” or “waif-like”.  But I would like to lose that extra 30 lbs. and fit into a size 12 again.  I don’t have a timeline for this; I’m not going to set myself goals that are unreasonable and right now I’m not going to give myself a hard time.  I just want to lose the weight.  And stop eating my emotions.  End of story.

So I joined Fitocracy today (all the cool kids — my friends — were doing it) and the plan is to start tomorrow after I get out of work.  It sucks living further away from the gym than I did when David and I weren’t separated, but oh well.  I mean…it is what it is.  The gym is still only about a five-minute drive from my office.  And I need to come up with a fixed schedule.  Tuesdays and Wednesdays are, until the end of the semester, right out, because I bounce from work to class immediately during the day and I’m not free until it’s quite late.  But I can do Mondays and Thursdays, and possibly Saturdays.  If I can do even two days a week I’ll be happy.  David’s going to set up my Wii at my apartment as well, and I can at least do that during the day.  It’s certainly not going to make the pounds just melt off or anything, but at least it’s there, and it can’t hurt.

I feel like this is a journey I have started again and again and again.  I just really need to stick with it this time.  I need to lose the weight.  For me.  Not for anyone else.