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Would Buffalo Bill Spring for Sephora?

September 12, 2013

In spite of the fact that I’m about sixty years too young for this trick, I can still manage to get bright red lipstick on my teeth. So I discovered last week when I was prepping for a shoot of a film, Confessions of a Blow-Up Doll. My blow-up doll is a mute Russian bisexual named Tatiana who has my face…with lipstick on the teeth, unless Photoshop is the god we’ve all made it out to be. But hey, I guess there’s a Rule 34 for everything!

Which is somewhat disturbing, as most of the reason I don’t wear makeup is to avoid being fapped to by strangers on the light rail (although at this point, I’ve taken enough public transit that I’d cheerily settle for the fapping being done ex post facto as opposed to in flagrante). Granted, this was a concern after this particular shoot, as I’d forgotten to bring makeup remover and thus had to get on the light rail at 1:30 in the afternoon with the aforementioned lipstick and thick eyeliner. Fortunately, since I happened to be headed back to the downtown area, where apparently all sorts of debauchery takes place at all hours of the day. Pity I’m never invited.

Clearly, the world of makeup is one I merely visit rather than inhabit. In fact, one could get into some academically fascinating socio-psychological musing on my relation to makeup, considering I really only wear it to subsume my identity and portray a completely constructed character. Such a reading brings an eye-popping (or so my wide-eyed innocent character from last week would have it) literality to Butlerian performative identity!

In normal-person-with-useful-skills-resulting-from-a-real-degree terms, I hate makeup and don’t much like wearing it, therefore I only do so when it’s absolutely necessary to further my acting career. This leads to a downward spiral, however; since I rarely wear the stuff, I tend not to know much about putting it on.

This leads me into all kinds of places the likes of which I would never go otherwise out of a terror that strikes me to the depths of my very (possibly nonexistent) soul (I have signed any number of Apple’s and Microsoft’s terms and conditions. When I die, it’ll be Satan vs. Mac vs. PC for final control of my essence). Dark Denver alleyways coming home from a bar late at night? Hey, you gotta go somewhere, and better to minimize the risks of getting put on a sex-offender registry by not peeing in the middle of the street! 14,000+ foot mountaintops surrounded by stormclouds and static electricity so thick your hair stands on end? Pssh, I’ve read the statistics on the prospects of lightning strikes!

The Sephora store in Cherry Creek Mall, however, makes my stomach all queasy. But when the antepenultimate role I was in* called for me to portray a bubbleheaded blonde bimbo for twelve hours at a stretch in a three-day shoot, I realized that my $4.99 Target-brand concealer and mascara weren’t going to cut it.

*Yes, one could also do a solid dissertation on my tendency to dredge up half-remembered tenth-grade vocab words and eye-glazing sociological concepts from my days at Georgetown (an institution name-dropped frequently while I was on set, much to my co-stars’ and the crew’s doubtless chagrin) when forced to contemplate beauty, traditional femininity, and my role in both. If one were to argue that it’s rather like a man with sub-average penis length buying either a pickup truck or the fastest, most expensive sports car he could find, I probably couldn’t find any grounds to argue with such an assessment. 

And so I was led around this tribute to modern femme fatality by a woman who was maybe two-thirds my age and got none of my jokes about Erving Goffman or even Billy Joel’s “The Stranger” but did look at me pityingly when my only response to what kind of skin tone I had was a stammered, “Pasty?”

So I took some kind of skin-tone test, tried on various foundations (main criteria in my book: did the acne still look like a relief map of the Ozarks, or did it subside into one of the 2-D Rand McNally Road Atlas versions of the same?), primers (I still am unsure as to what the function of this paste is), and lipsticks, not to mention a mascara that would give me lift and volume (at this, I blinked in confusion and tried to figure out if I’d wandered into Victoria’s Secret by mistake).

And to Sephora’s and the young saleswoman’s credit, I did indeed, as one of my dunderheaded ditz’s lines stated, look “FAB-U-LOUS!” I knew I could’ve walked into any Denver bar and gone home with any man I pointed a finger at, especially since the makeup was paired with six-inch stiletto boots and a dress that left little of my chest a secret, Victoria’s or otherwise.

But then again, even in the scree pants, wire-rimmed glasses, rain-tangled hair, and, yes, pockmarked skin I wear unadorned right now, I can’t say as I feel un-fabulous. Furthermore, fabulous isn’t really something I generally go for. Make further academic goatee-strokes as you will, but one of my reasons for getting into acting is that it is a chance to put myself on display, but it’s a display of my choosing, not me stumbling into the fap-tastic fantasies of Lonesome Louie on the light rail.

Even still, perhaps it is not entirely inappropriate, at least according to acclaimed sociologists, that this will always be how I feel whenever I put on makeup:

Screen Shot 2013-09-12 at 4.08.20 PM

Screen Shot 2013-09-12 at 4.09.00 PM

But of course, there will always be differences. Buffalo Bill never got lipstick on his teeth.


Good news, everyone! My Facebook page is finally up and running, so go check it out and be sure to “like” it (because everyone knows feelings are meaningless unless you announce them on Facebook)! Right now, the only post is this one, which will mean a vicious cycle of link-clicking, but there’s more content to come!


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