From Put-Together to Polished

As you may know if you know me IRL, I took a new job this summer and am now working for the American Psychological Association — I’m a training specialist for all research databases we publish. But this post isn’t really about that – it’s about transitioning into an environment that’s a bit more professional, sartorially speaking, than the library I left.

I decided early on that I wanted to try to step up my game a bit, wardrobe-wise. APA is a great environment and one of the many things they strongly believe in is keeping good people on staff, be it through upward or lateral movement. I can’t say what my path will be, but I want it to be awesome and part of that is looking like you are the expert in your area, and someone who should be taken seriously otherwise. I’ll do a separate post at some point on clothes, but for now I want to talk about makeup.

A couple of weekends ago, I went to Sephora. I needed a new concealer, and wanted to play with some different options. I also wanted to find some eye cream and an eyeshadow. Yes, these are things you can get at the drugstore (and probably cheaper), but I wanted to be able to try different products and also have access to staff who could help if I needed assistance. (Because boy do I ever need assistance with this kind of stuff.) I found a couple of things myself, but while nosing around I’d been approached by a non-intimidating saleswoman who would just chat a bit about whatever I was looking at, and then wander off if I didn’t have a question. When I did have a question I tracked her down and was rewarded by someone who listened as I said “please help me find eyeshadow I can wear every day, it needs to be very easy to apply and very hard to mess up.” She asked a couple of questions, showed me exactly what I asked for and didn’t try to upsell, which made me a very happy customer. (Next time you’re at the Sephora at the Towson mall, ask for Kitty.) In the end I walked out with a tube of Stila Perfecting Concealer, a pot of Benefit It’s Potent! Eye Cream, and a pot of Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow in Birthday Suit. I also left with free samples of two or three other eye creams, which will be great for traveling.

After two weeks of adding these into my routine I’m very pleased. The eye cream seems to be doing its job, which for me is to just keep things moisturized (supposedly it will also “fade dark circles,” ha ha). This absorbs quickly and this little pot will last me a long time. For a while I had just been trying to rely on my regular facial moisturizer but that didn’t seem to be working as well as this is. The concealer is great, easier to apply than the last kind I got and I can definitely see the difference as I apply it. And the eyeshadow is, as promised, easy to apply and hard to screw up. I was surprised that she showed me a cream shadow, but it does seem to last longer than powders (I have specifically checked after some long days and it’s still visible) and the shade I chose is pretty neutral, so if I don’t apply it perfectly it doesn’t matter. Kitty recommended another shade, Skinny Jeans, as a great way to fake a smoky eye so someday I might try that (when I think I will have a place to wear a smoky eye is an excellent question, seeing as how I wore that red lipstick I bought exactly once).

So the new makeup routine is going well, now I just have to figure out what’s changed that I am randomly breaking out these days. Fun!