Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Ode to Sephora

So, you know how I buy practically all my makeup at drugstores and have this philosophy that it's basically the same thing as expensive makeup? And because I'd rather buy cheap makeup and artisanal cheese than Chanel and Velveeta? For this very reason, I have never really spent much time in Sephora.


Late last week, I got off the train well in advance of a certain meeting, and had some time to kill and the Sephora was right on the way, and it was so cool and air-conditioned, and, well...

For heaven's sake, why didn't you people tell me about this place??? It's like the biggest, shiniest, pinkest, powderiest candy store in all the land, except the candy all has double-digit prices!

And you can touch it! You can pick things up and hold them to the light and smell them and scrutinize them, which is really hard to do at department stores, where you have some lady standing over you and encouraging you to buy a $20 concealer "to remove some of that extra ruddiness" as you attempt to discern whether you like the lipstick that she has thoughtfully rubbed on her highly-tanned hand for you, and then, all of a sudden, you can't focus on your lips at all, because you're thinking, "Ruddiness? I have ruddiness? When did this happen?" And you feel bad because, really, she's pretty nice, and she probably has a couple of kids at home, and how much commission can she really be making off a single tube of lipstick, and, the next thing you know, you've got five really cute teeny-tiny boxes wrapped in pink tissue paper in a teeny-tiny little shopping bag, and you're $161 poorer, and she's on the phone with her amour, making reservations at Jean Georges.

But, oh, Sephora! It's like meeting a celebrity in person ("Oh, so THAT's what the infamous Nars Orgasm blush looks like!").

And everything is so cute and touchable that I had to coach myself, "Arabella, stick to the perimeter, where they have the perfume. Good perfume is an acceptable beauty expense; double-digit eye shadow is not" (because this is how my own crazy, twisted logic works).

Then I saw the small, travel-type sizes. HOW CUTE ARE THESE??? You can get an itsy bitsy bottle of high-end body wash for the price of three full-sized bars of Dove, or for 1/4th of the cost of feeding a child in a Third World country for a month!

Tiny little vials of Carolina Herrera perfume for $13!

I'm proud to say, I left with my dignity intact, and a single bottle of Givenchy Very Irresistible, which is a legitimate purchase, because it is a perfume that I have been coveting for at least a year.

And because I got the tiniest bottle they had, and it's SO. CUTE.


Anonymous TB said...

Did you know I wear Carolina Herrera perfume? It has gardenia undertones and is my favorite of all all all time.

Anyway, I just discovered there is no Sephora here, only Ulta which is such a cheap substitute as to remind me of Courtney Love when she's going through one of her "bad phases".

5:10 PM  
Blogger Carmen said...

My first visit, I like your Sephora post. It is, indeed, the devil incarnate, but it's so luxurious and fancy and has things that make us look and smell good. Sigh. :)

They really need to confiscate my credit card when I go inside. ESPECIALLY the one in NYC. It's ginormous!

7:44 PM  
Anonymous V-Grrrl said...

I go to the Sephora in Paris where there are more gay men per square foot than anywhere in the world--and they all have better skin than me--and smaller asses. Life's not fair but Sephora is fun.

However, I must confess Teebs that I love Ulta. Love it. Arabella if you're a drugstore makeup junkie, Ulta is the ultimate crackhouse. They have every line, every color, every product, every thing. More than you'd ever find somewhere else. Lots of the less expensive stuff and a few slightly upscale lines (Ultima, bare escentuals, Elizabeth Arden etc.)

8:49 AM  

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