Saturday, May 2, 2015

Mary Kay Minions

I've only been in three weddings: I was the flower girl in my aunt's wedding and a bridesmaid and maid of honor in the weddings of my college roommates. I admit that I lucked out in the bride/bridesmaid department; neither Heather nor Kelly were out of control brides and given that none of us lived in the same state at the time of either wedding, there weren't all the events and fittings and everything else that goes into weddings. I still have the skirt I wore in Heather's wedding and would have the one I wore in Kelly's but I donated it last year because it was too big. I love both of my friends dearly but the fact that neither became a wedding monster makes me adore them too. My only responsibilities in my aunt's wedding were to walk down the aisle and look adorable. I'm fairly certain I accomplished both.

My point in all of this is that I've basically been a fake bridesmaid my entire life. I've never really had to suffer for a bride and the glory of posing in wedding photos. I've never had to wear sea foam green dress that made me resemble a mermaid. I've never helped a bride go to the bathroom in her dress or played interference with a mother-in-law or annoying cousin. I can only hope that if I get married I will offer my bridesmaids the same courtesy and thoughtfulness.

Since I'm already a fake bridesmaid, it made sense for me to join two of my friends on a little adventure today that involved Mary Kay, Legos, a lot of pink, the perfect technique for taking a selfie, and the kind of enthusiasm that only a true performer can create. Let me set the stage for you:

The Cast
Lindsey - Bride to be, new to the area and one of the nicest people I know. Her wedding is in June and she won a Bridal Bash day of pampering for her and her bridesmaids from Mary Kay. Since her bridesmaids live elsewhere, she asked Jordana and I to fill in. Lindsey deserves a day of pampering and to have an amazing wedding.

Jordana - Regular Island readers will remember Jordana from our adventure at Jungle Jim's earlier this year. She is one of the funniest people I know and inspires everyone to follow the "Yes, And..." mentality of improv. Her enthusiasm knows no bounds.

Several Mary Kay consultants and other Bridal Bash attendees - None of these ladies will be named since I don't have permission to use their personal information. The age range for the attendees was about 8 to mid-50s. The consultants were all in their mid-40s and incredibly perky.

And of course, me.

The Scene
A Mary Kay studio somewhere in Crofton, MD. Since I'm not up on the world of Mary Kay I had no idea places like this exist. You know that part in Steel Magnolias where M'Lynn describes the church as looking like it's been hosed down in Pepto? That's what this place looked like except with pictures of Mary Kay (the founder) and incentives for Mary Kay consultants (pink Cadillacs and jewelry primarily).

Before I go any further I want to say one thing: None of the following is in any way about disrespecting female entrepreneurs. The founder of Mary Kay, Mary Kay Ash, founded the company because she was passed over for a promotion for a male co-worker she trained. You have to respect that and any woman who gets out there to support herself or her family whether it be through Mary Kay, Avon, Tupperware, jewelry, cooking items, or whatever else. 

Moving on.

None of us knew what we were walking into. We didn't know if this was the lady's basement or if we would be the only ones (thank goodness we were not). We toyed with the idea of creating an elaborate back story just in case it was just us and we had to provide details about our friendship and our role as "bridesmaids." No back story was needed since we were at our own table and didn't have that much time with the consultants where a back story was necessary.

The agenda for the Bridal Bash was to experience the anti-aging skincare line and to add a little easy glamour into our lives. I love skincare products (this is why I subscribe to Birchbox) but I'm not much of a makeup person and neither are Jordana and Lindsey. I wear a little pressed powder, Rose Salve lip balm, and a little lip gloss if I'm feeling adventurous. Eye makeup has always been problematic for me as I don't see well without my glasses. I have come very close to jabbing myself in the eye with an eyeliner pencil. Thankfully, we stuck to easy eye makeup today and there were no injuries.

Our bride was given a proper bride greeting with a sash and a little tiara. Our stations were set up with the skincare regime in order and there was even a little exfoliating hand treatment to get us started. It smelled like a Bellini, all peachy and sweet. It might have made us all want a drink badly. We all received door prize tickets (because it wouldn't be a room full of women doing something very feminine without door prizes). There was a lot of Taylor Swift (I admit she's growing on me) and a lot of woohoo-ing and enthusiasm (mostly genuine, some a little over the top from our table). The most disturbing part of this portion of the afternoon was when the Mary Kay consultant doing the skincare demo called the primer "Spanx for your face." Not an image I need. Ever.

The makeup portion of the program went better than expected. We all finally learned what a CC cream is (a color correcting cream - who knew?) and how to properly apply bronzer (start in the center of your cheek and then go to your temple and then all the way down your chin; like a 3 or an E on either side of your face). I can apply mascara without injuring myself. Lindsey and Jordana found excellent shades of lip gloss and we all learned to take a compliment. This was an interesting exercise; after our makeover was complete the lead consultant asked us each to turn to the woman on our right and pay them a compliment and we each had to simply say "thank you." Her lead-in was that women have a hard time taking compliments; I wholly agree and I'm glad she asked us to do this.

The lead lady also taught us probably the only thing we ever need to know: how to take the perfect selfie. The technique: hold your camera high at an angle but specifically at 10 o'clock and 4 o'clock. Lindsey has perfected this technique; I'm sure she'd be happy to give lessons. We ended our Bridal Bash with the sales pitch (of course). None of us are sure if it was a sales pitch for the products or to become a consultant. No purchases were made but we did leave with some of the Bellini scented lotion and some photos from a slightly over-hyped photo booth (which was really just an area to take a photo with silly props).

The weird office park where the studio was located also included an odd little store just across the parking lot that specialized in Legos. Jordana described it as an oasis in an office park. We spent a lot of time digging through mini-figures and acting like little kids seeing all of our Lego dreams come true. Jordana and I got Lindsey some figures to decorate her cube (like we have). If you think about it, Legos and makeovers are really just two different types of play.

More importantly, our bride felt exactly as she should; pampered and special. We had fun being her fake bridesmaids and enjoying an afternoon doing something out of the ordinary for us. While none of us have been using eye cream since we were 18 (apparently we should have been), we all left a little more glamourous on the outside to match our inner awesomeness.

This painting was in the bathroom - it's of Mary Kay Ash. In my humble opinion this needs to be moved out to where everyone can bask in her glamour and awesomeness. We probably all need to have this sort of portrait painted at some point in our lives.
Lindsey executives the perfect selfie.

Can you tell it's a pink Cadillac?

No comments:

Post a Comment