Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Stay Away From Mary Kay (Seriously.)

I'm back! Man, it's really good to be home. I never thought of my self as a snobby "city girl" until staying a week in the country... It's so good to be back in a mold-free bathroom. I can finally feel clean after showering again!

I had an epiphany. I attended a (don't laugh) Mary Kay party last night. Now, I have to be nice because a very good friend of mine had asked me to go, and who am I to turn down a chance to play makeup? But, good golly, it was like Makeup for Idiots, 101. I wanted to stab my eye out with the disposable sponge-tip applicator.

It wasn't just the sub-par quality of the products, the indoctrination or the identical look everyone was wearing. It was the whole experience. This is where the epiphany part happens.

These girls, really I love them to death, it's just so sad that they cling to this terrible product for no reason other than it's the first/only brand they've been introduced to! I think the reason more women don't wear makeup more often is because of some of the crappy product they grew up using. I mean, based on my experience at this party, I can see that happening. I was handed poor quality products shaved onto a palette, no tools other than sponge-tip applicators, no proper lighting or instruction on how to make the makeup flatter and enhance your looks.... No nothing! Just scrape, apply, look like crap, then have the kooky lady insist that you'll make $80k a month being a Mary Kay consultant and you'll drive a pink Cadillac and live happily ever after.

I came in with my full face of MAC and the like, which I suppose can be a little startling, I'll admit, heh. I didn't know we would be applying makeup. I thought it was kind of like a tupperware party. Pass around the catalog, order junk and the hostess gets a nice bonus.

I was wearing a slightly over the top look. I was feeling festive. Copper Sparkle and bronze, loaded with Make Up For Ever diamond powder, black eyeliner and my usual metric ton of mascara. My face was covered in glitter a little bit, but that wasn't intentional. I found this cool spray at Bath and Body Works, it's like scented aerosol glitter. It's like super glitter explosion times ten. I tried to put some in my hair- one little spritz- and it covered my entire bathroom, head and body in glitter. I think I even inhaled it.... I'm gonna get the glitter lung... Anyway, getting off topic...

I'm instructed to take off my makeup. After a little hesitation I do so. We cleanse with a little blob of cleanser and remove it with a baby wipe... eeew. I put on some serum and moisturizer, eye cream and a lip mask. All over sticky baby wipe residue... eeww. We then apply some crappy yellow concealer, which is the wrong shade for everyone, and then some cakey orange foundation. We then apply orange powder with a cotton ball, and orange bronzer (also with a cotton ball.) We looked like the 80's.

We then move on to eyeshadow. My color scheme was plums. Cool, I rock the purples like nobody's business, I can handle putting it on with a sponge... Or so I thought. We go directly to applying eyeshadow without an eyeshadow base. So, my light purple shade ended up being translucent grey. We then apply the medium shade to the crease. Mine ended up being slightly darker translucent grey. Then we were to apply the darkest shade "in a triangle" with a sponge. Mine was kinda sparkly translucent grey. Hmm. Mary Kay lady also seemed to have missed the class on blending.

We get eyeliner and mascara samples and apply them. I look around and the other lovely ladies have the dreaded eyeliner gap- where there's skin clearly visible between the lashline and the liner itself. The Mary Kay lady has this also. Apparently this is an acceptable look in the Mary Kay world.

I am embarrassed to admit it, but my makeup looked like crap. My face was orange, my skin looked dry, my eyeshadow looked like garbage and I was wearing brown lipstick. I can't imagine many ladies being very excited about wearing makeup if they thought they would end up looking like this. Hell, if this was my only experience with cosmetics, I wouldn't wear it either! Though, I wouldn't know that there was anything better out there either, and maybe I would settle. I think that's it. These girls have never been in a Sephora, never heard of MAC, never have felt the giddiness of walking into a room full of sparkling little jars and tubes and pots and palettes.

That makes me a little sad. There's just so much fun waiting to happen with makeup. Playing with different looks and colors and textures, different scents and all that fun stuff. Maybe some women see it as a necessary evil. They wear it because they have to, same look day in and day out, without any joy in it. Makeup is not permanent! It's not like cutting your hair or getting plastic surgery or buying am expensive new outfit. It's a way to change your look instantly, and if you don't like the way it turns out, just remove it.

I know I'm a little bit crazy, a bit too obsessed and even a little bit fanatical... But really, there's a lot of fun to be had in it, and there are much better results to be experienced. Even I get stuck in a rut at times, but if you're willing to branch out, there's a lot of enjoyment to be had in this simple everyday 'chore'.

All that being said, I did end up buying some hand lotion. I wasn't gonna be a total bitch. Even if the makeup sucks, Mary Kay does make some nice lotion. Mary Kay Satin Hands kit... I've been using it for years and I would definitely recommend it.


  1. I definitely stayed away from make-up much longer than I otherwise would have thanks to a Mary Kay party. A lot of those people don't seem to know much about what they're doing. Heck, one of my coworkers sells Avon products, and her make-up routine consists entirely of smudging a giant blue streak of eyeliner under both eyes and calling it a day. *sigh*

  2. I've been to many Mary Kay parties, all hosted by totally different people, and it's always the same. I don't think they even have to go through any training... It's sad.

    I don't understand people who do that football player eye makeup look. It's kinda scary. It makes them look angry.

    1. I'm A make up Artist and I hate the way even the Mac people throw on make up. I sold Mary Kay and I would at least use one of the ladies as a model so the others could see how it's supposed to look.

  3. Oh, cut these women some slack.
    And the makeup, too.
    Not everyone wants to go around all glittery, wearing five eyeshadows, and primers for every conceivable type of makeup she will put on her face.
    Not everyone who wears Avon or Mary Kay makeup doesn't know how to apply properly.
    So many generalizions. Sheesh.
    Different strokes for different folks.
    You can hand me a whole slew of Mary Kay products and tell me to "go forth and appy", and even if the colors suck royally...I can work 'em.
    Methinks there are just too many makeup snobs and snoblets out there who like to bandy about the cutesie company names and who want to appear revolutionary in their application techniques.
    It's all well and good to have some fun with makeup when you're young, but there comes a time when people just get sick of seeing the highly pigmented, glittery stuff being worn on collasping mugs.

  4. Anonymous, nope, I'm entitled to my opinion. It appears you didn't even read my post at all!

  5. OooO, Anon1 (I'm anonymous #2)Nah, really it's Dawn (again) checking out Scrangies old posts!

    The question here is applying the cosmo's of Mary Kay...
    -And if the consultants are required to have any training.

    I assure you Mary Kay Consultants are not required "any training".
    I worked as one in WA & CA state.
    *No Training* But made a shit ton of money doing one-on-one's, instead of parties!
    *While NEVER using a Mary Kay Product* LMAO Land!
    I really don't like their products either.
    If you're into a more subdued look (ie,the football eye)
    There are much better quality than Mary Kay cosmetics!

  6. i got swindled into going into one of these and it was a very cult like atmosphere. im not even kidding, i was terrified.

  7. I was clicking on the archives and saw a post on Mary Kay and I HAD to read it. I wish there was a way to Re-Tweet this one. This was my experience with EVERY Mary Kay party I've ever been to. I will admit to liking some of their eye shadows. I have pale skin so a lack of pigment doesn't hurt me, but I always feel like I should be on the cover of AARP magazine when I leave a good party, or like a paint-by-number Bozo the Clown after a bad one.

  8. Hi Scrangie!
    What a great post about Mary Kay. So enlighting to me at least.
    I would really appreciate if you could suggest me other make up brands available internationally, as MK is kind of "the best" you can get around here... (I live in Argentina, and not even in the capital city)
    Everyone suggests it, and I've always thought it was cool basing me in the hands kit and the make up cleanser, but now that I read you I guess that there's something much better out there.
    I share the thought about such boring colours too.
    I hope you can help me, gretings from Argentina!

  9. I happened across this and I had to comment. Where I love the snarkiness of this woman's writing, I have to disagree with some of the comments. I sell both MK and Avon. We do not get any formal training on the application of makeup and YES you're right, a lot of the reps have zero clue whatsoever as to what they are doing with application. I partially blame them, and I partially blame their 'superiors'.
    I was recruited by one woman for Avon because of how 'beautiful' my skin is. I'm 34, and I look like I'm in my 20's. She asked what I do to maintain my skin. I chuckled when I told her- I use Mary Kay.
    I signed on for Avon also, because both MK and Avon have great skin care products. I use them, I love them.

    To the points about them being cultish- you hit it on the head. I do not attend meetings or conference calls. I read the product information, I try it myself, and I make up my own mind on things.If it's crap, it's crap. If it's great, then everyone knows it.

    I guess this is where I tell you that I'm a trained makeup artist. MAC is/ was my life. But the truth is, there are so many other products out there that work just as well for many people. I don't wear foundation. Never had to. I'm a tinted moisturizer girl. Even out the skin tone, set it, and go. Now, if I were on camera, I'd be spackling MAC all over me. But it's just not necessary for everyday wear. That's where the beauty of these two products come in.
    For the women who are terrified of walking into a MAC, or the like, who don't have access to a mall, or believe it or not- don't know what that or an Ulta or Sephora is- this is a good option. There's great stuff at the drug store. You just have to know what you're looking for and you have to know your skin.

    If I were you, at that party- I'd have reacted similarly. Actually, I'd have refused to take off my makeup. But that's me. No one is going to teach me how to make up my own damn face better than me. But there are just a ton of women that have no clue, and that's sad.

    And my last point- the eyeliner gap between the lashes is NEVER acceptable. Here, or in Mary Kay land. ;P


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