Pink is not my colorI have my girly moments. I appreciate a good lipstick or a sheer skirt. So I was game when Karren invited me to the Mary Kay party at her house. I remembered the Mary Kay makeover I "won" when I was twelve, a thrilling experience for someone just discovering makeup. Note to self: These things aren't as exciting at twenty-five, especially when you have sensitive skin and a budget that doesn't accommodate $60 cleanser. Our saleslady was certainly nice, and not the scary bottle-blond I'd feared, but she spent a little too much time referring us to the photoshopped wrinkles on page six of our brochures and spouting preposterous statistics. Not to be the smarmy killjoy at the table, I really had to ask how the company could quantify something like "151% smoother skin in six weeks." She graciously offered to find out, and said that in her ten years of sales, no one had ever asked that. Gosh.
Other awkward moments: apparently "eh" isn't an adequate response, even when accompanied by a sycophantic smile, when asked "how does your skin feel now, after this triple-action age-defying lotion?" At the end of the evening I attempted to tactfully distance myself from her, so that she wouldn't be disappointed when I didn't buy anything. (Especially not the $377 six-month kit.) I was happy to see others making purchases, especially since I knew Karren would get a percentage. I was suprised, however, to hear them telling each other not that they were getting the cleanser and moisturizer, but rather the "Timewise 3-in-1 Cleanser" and the "Day Solution with Sunscreen SPF 15."
Our saleslady did make one more quixotic attempt at winning me over, asking across the room if I wanted to buy anything. I politely declined, saying I wasn't really a makeup person. "A skin-care person," she gently corrected, as if I washed my face with an old sock and sewer water. Apparently Enriching Women's Lives includes annihilating a decade of fragile self-esteem building in those with less clear complexions and narrow budgets. I went home to my old sock.