I lived one of my worst work nightmares recently. I forgot my makeup and didn't have enough time to go home and get it.
It happened on a Monday. I went into the dressing room to put on my makeup and realized it was not with me. I take the makeup to work, leave it there all week, but bring it home for the weekend.
I have two words for you: High. Definition.
I came out of the dressing room in a panic, which then set my producers into a panic. I'm not easily flustered, but this really flustered me. For a moment, my mind went blank and I couldn't think of what to do.
"Borrow some from Tracy!" came the suggestion.
Tracy carries this in her purse!
Oh, yeah, duh. I should have thought of that. Thank goodness there's another woman on the show. Thank goodness we get along, too. She kindly offered me her makeup kit. Thanks, Tracy. That was so, so nice of you.
I mean, I can't borrow Dash's. His consists of two-year old pancake makeup with a sponge that hasn't been cleaned in two years, and Chapstick.
Now here's the part I need to explain for the straight guys: makeup is a very, very intimate thing. Aside from the sanitation issues of using someone else's eyeliner and other products that get close to the skin, each woman carefully selects a color palette just right for her skin tone. It's also different to use brushes that aren't your own. It's like driving someone else's car.
So I emerged from the dressing room looking slightly like a Japanese tourist, because Tracy is fairer than me, and has blue eyes. You know how the Japanese makeup aesthetic is different from Westerners? How they favor really light, '70s colors, like powder blue eyeshadow? Yeah, that was me. I might as well have opened the show with that "V" peace sign the Japanese tourists all flash for their photos.
But I didn't. I acted natural, like there wasn't some kind of metahporic train wreck taking place right now. Keep reading like nothing happened, I kept remind myself grimly. Thankfully, the on camera shots are mostly two-shots so my makeup-less-ness was at least mitigated by distance.
Then I realized happily, It's Makeover Monday! (If you don't know what I'm talking about, maybe this will encourage you to watch the morning show. It's 5 - 7 a.m. M-F.) I asked the producer to move around the stories so that I had an entire five minute break. As soon as our makeup artists came in, I ran over and asked them to do my face.
Quinn and Jaime, Salon 808
When I said I had, literally, five minutes, Quinn and Jaime Torres looked at each other like I was nuts, took a deep breath, and started double teaming me. The problem is, I think they're used to having a full hour to work on a client. So they just started from scratch and did what they usually do: foundation, powder, concealer. Because there were two people working on me, they also managed to start the eyeshadow.
I then had to run back on set. While I am appreciative of their efforts and kindness, I think I looked worse than where I started. I now only had on foundation, plus Tracy's red lipstick, so I looked real kabuki. "You look fine," said Dash. I know him well enough to know he was being honest. "I see you every day and you look exactly the same to me."
To which I'm thinking, That's sweet of him and Do I look this bad every day? and He is sooo straight.
Maybe it's luck that I don't wear much makeup to begin with (and none at all when I don't have to), so my naked face was not shockingly differerent. However, when it's YOU, you notice the subtle changes. It's the universal equivalent of looking at 20 pictures of yourself and only you can find the "best" one of yourself while everyone else thinks they all look the same.
In the next break, I ran back to "Studio B" and commandeered the makeup kit myself from the surprised makeup artists. You know, I do this myself every single day for my entire career. I know how to do a quick fix in two minutes. I did my best damage control, and went back to... face the world.
This is the third time in half a year I've forgotten my makeup. The last time was in May, at Joann Shin's wedding. As if a wedding wasn't bad enough, I was the emcee, so guarantee there would be people looking at me. I had to borrow from the bride.
The time before that was when I was on the weekend news. I realized it just as I was getting near work, and I had to turn right back around and go home. Luckily, there is time on the weekend news for that. There is NO time on the morning news to go back home.
Previous to that, I had not had makeup issues. I am so spacey now. I've really changed since I had a kid. I'm not sure if it's the hormones (isn't there a hormone change after pregnancy?), the tremendous amount of energy that goes into caring for a toddler, or the chronic fatigue from working a graveyard shift.
Am I ditzy or am I just tired? I can't remember stuff anymore. I have my Outlook calendar, synched to my Blackberry, AND the triple whammy of handwritten reminders taped, clipped, and posted everywhere. I specifically have a note in my car saying, "Makeup???" And still I forget.
That. Is. It.
I have to make it a priority to get to the store and buy a backup kit, so I can have one at work, one at home, and never have to forget it again. I better write a note to myself to do that.