Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The do's and don'ts of shopping...

…according to KJ who spent five blissful hours at the ultimate shopping mecca known as South Coast Plaza this weekend. I checked out makeup at Sephora and even had a makeover done to try some new eye shadow colors. I shopped for shoes and new spring clothes and managed to hit the bookstore, too.

And, along the way, I learned a few things so I thought I’d share them here.

1. DON’T drive 80 mph in the parking lot just because it’s early and you think you have the place to yourself. In reality, you weren’t alone and we all saw you and we all muttered “idiot” to ourselves as you blew past.

2. DON’T open the re-stock drawers at Sephora looking for Stila eye shadow in Fog because it’s the perfect shade you’ve been searching for and there’s none out on the shelf and the slacker teenage makeup geeks who work there are nowhere to be found so there’s no one to help you and you’ve been standing there for 25 minutes staring at the empty spot on the shelf where it’s supposed to be and forlornly hoping that some will magically appear. All you will get for your trouble is an annoyed teenage makeup geek MANAGER snottily asking what you think you are doing and why didn’t you just ask for help.

3. DO get yourself a makeup consultation/makeover at Sephora. It’s free, you can try out new looks and products to your heart’s content and they are not as pushy about whether or not you actually BUY any of the stuff as the people at the department store makeup counters are. Oh, and it will get the aforementioned snotty teenage makeup geek manager off your back.

4. DON’T laugh when the 40-something-year-old makeup artist who does your makeover tells you her name is Begonia. No, really.

5. DO have the makeup artist teach you what to do with your eyebrows. This has always been an area of mystery for me other than plucking a few stray hairs here and there – I’m always afraid to do more because I don’t want to end up with that over-plucked “surprised” look. Now, thanks to the consultation, some judicious tweezing and clipping, and Benefit’s Brow Zings in “Light”, I have totally fabulous eyebrows that I can maintain myself.

6. DON’T waste your money on the fancy schmancy eyebrow shaping kit with the stencils…which I at first thought was a fabulous idea until Begonia (no, really, that was her name) pointed out how difficult it is to keep the stencils in place and to place them exactly the same on each side in order to avoid having two completely different eyebrows. Use the Benefit kit I mentioned above instead. It’s easier and cheaper.

7. DO check out Cargo’s GlossBox (which for some reason is no longer on the Sephora website, but is available in the stores). You get 14 lip gloss wands for $14.00. The colors are sheer, fun and very wearable plus they smell and taste great.

8. DO check out Pop Beauty’s Eye Class - Brown Eyes eye shadow compacts designed to coordinate perfectly with your eyes. It takes the guesswork out of picking that “perfect color” and gives you 12 fun shades in a nice compact with a mirror. The shadows can be used together or alone and the darker shades make nicely coordinated liners when applied with a slightly dampened angle brush. And, according to Begonia, those of us with brown eyes, blonde hair and cool skin undertones (like me) can also wear the “Blue Eyes” shadow collection from Pop Beauty! Hmmm…my birthday is coming up!

8. DO get yourself into the right bra size and even buy a new bra (or two) prior to shopping for clothes. You’ll be shocked at the difference it makes in the look and fit of your clothes and you’ll probably even drop a shirt size – I did!

9. DO visit the Talbot’s Woman (if you are a plus-sized person) store in the Crystal Court section of South Coast Plaza. Not only do they have some really, really cute stuff, but they actually CUT THEIR CLOTHES TO FIT THE FEMALE FORM unlike some other stores I could mention (Old Navy, Gap) who only CLAIM to carry plus sizes, but actually don’t. And just to prove this, I’m going to out my own size here in public. At Talbot’s and Lane Bryant I wear a 14 on top and a 16 on the bottom (okay, 18 if we’re talkin’ tight jeans). Old Navy and Gap? I can’t fit into their size 20 pants! Now, I’m willing to allow ONE SIZE for difference in cut, etc. but THREE SIZES??? Say it with me: ”that ain’t right!”

8. DO try on a pair of Talbot’s white, rock star jeans with the crystal buttons even if you haven’t worn a pair of white pants since junior high. You’ll be surprised how hot you look in them – I was. And yep, I bought ‘em, too. And yep, I know the laws of the universe state that I will spill something on them every single time I wear them, but I don’t care. THAT’s how hot they looked on me.

9. DON’T visit Gap Woman in Crystal Court in the mistaken belief that it’s a plus-size store and go from high excitement to deep disappointment when you discover it’s not. It’s just that they’ve separated the female clothes from the male clothes. Which is stupid because EVERYONE knows that “Woman” in the title of a store name is super-secret-fashion-code for “fat chicks store.” I mean, right? Oh, but don’t worry, Gap clothes go up to size 20 (snort, choke) on-line. Gotta keep the fat chicks outta the store where they might accidentally bump some poor little size 0 and send her flying through the wall.

10. DON’T park your infant in a stroller in the middle of a crowded restaurant and then leave said infant/stroller combo TOTALLY ALONE while you go outside the restaurant and down the hall out of site in order to get a stronger cell phone signal. And no, I didn’t make this up. While I was having my delicious and oh-so-healthy chicken Caesar salad at the Back Bay Rowing & Running Club in the mall, I watched a woman do exactly that. I wonder if she’d’ve thought that call was so important if she’d come back to find her child gone. Maybe she and Brittney took the same infant care class? Some people should just not be allowed to reproduce.

11. DO hit the fancy-schmancy shoe salon at Nordstrom’s and try on the Manolo’s and the Choo’s even if you could save for a year and never be able to afford a pair. After trying them all on, sniff haughtily and proclaim that they’re “just not expensive enough” before you leave. And btw, now that I know what these shoes REALLY cost…can I just say that no way in HELL could Carrie Bradshaw EVER have afforded a single pair (even on 50% markdown), much less the hundreds her character was supposed to have.

12. DON’T sprawl on your stomach in a fetal position on the floor in the aisle at Border’s and block the exact shelf I need to get to and then refuse to move when I politely say “excuse me I need to get to that shelf.” And yes, this really happened. The guy turned around and looked at me and said “no.” Although it was tempting to kick him right square in the ass he was so conveniently shoving up in the air, I got the manager instead. The manager actually had to threaten to have security remove the guy from the store before he would move and even then he spewed some torrent of what I am sure were insults in whatever his native language was. I swear some people were raised in barns or rather, I would swear that except I’m sure it’d be an insult to barn animals everywhere.

13. DO check out the jewelry counters at the department stores and see what's in for spring: lots of gold, brown and green for colors; wood and shell are still strong elements as are chains all mixed together in various sizes and shapes. I got some GREAT trend input for Silver Parrot Designs and I'm already processing what I saw through my busy little brain to come up with some great new pieces for the website. Stay tuned!

14. DO remember to get in touch with your inner girl and take her on a major shopping expedition occasionally. Try new cuts, new colors, new products and new styles just for the heck of it – you never know, you might find something FABULOUS!

KJ (channeling her inner sorority girl)

1 comment:

Kaos Siberians said...

And, last, but not least:

DO remember to call your friend to shop with you, because other wise she might be stuck ALL WEEKEND helping her husband tile the downstairs, paint and do other, not-nearly-as-fun stuff.