Few relationships are as intimate as the one between a woman and her makeup. Foundation strokes every fold of her face. She bares her eyes, windows to the soul, to smoldering shades that beguile and beckon. Sensuous lips rival the Mona Lisa’s with the merest caress of lipstick. This is a bond that can endure and satisfy more deeply than many a marriage.  

As in the quest for a mate, finding the right makeup can be a journey fraught with heartache.  Fickle and frivolous in my early years, I found it hard to commit. Flitting from Estee Lauder to Maybelline, and onto that vixen, Cover Girl, I was overwhelmed with suitors.  Finally, help arrived in the visage of white-coated cosmetics sales staff at Nordstrom’s. Seared white hot in my memory, this was the day I was introduced to Clinique.

First impressions were sizzling and steamy. I felt like I couldn’t get enough.  Being without Clinique left me feeling bare and breathless. Finally, after a brief flirtation, Clinique and I settled into a steady relationship that has lasted decades. To this day, Clinique can still mesmerize me with her daily 3-step skin care regimen… cleanse, exfoliate, moisturize.  Like a dehydrated soul in the torrid Mojave Desert, my thirsty pores lap up her signature Dramatically Different moisturizing lotion. Clinique’s feminine wiles enshroud my eyelids in shadow hues of Purple Pumps and Lavender Out Loud. With eyes like these, we can stay home and have our own party. And, we do.

imagesBut, time changes all. Now, in my 60’s, I am perched as if on a throne at the cosmetics counter, while the sales goddess feathers foundation on my sallow skin. I hope she can bring life to parts of my face that should probably be turned over like infertile soil on an Amish farm. Raspberry Beret-tinted eyes flicker ever so slightly, and through Apple Brandy’d lips the goddess utters: “Sunspots on your face could use a concealer.”

I am wounded. Harsh words I expect from that floozy Victoria’s Secret, whose frothy lingerie confections brazenly discount my aging physique. Well-endowed “angels” with oversized wings threaten me with prosecution dare I don their product. It’s as absurd as finding size 12 yoga pants on the shelf at Lululemon or a middle-aged associate at Banana Republic chirping: “How may I help you, old lady?”

Yet, without Clinique, I fade into oblivion. She gives my face spirit and vitality. My faith in her is enduring, even without free gift with purchase. In return, Clinique has always had my back, or at least my face. And not just the combination-oily parts.

Her searing honesty makes me love her even more. I am a firefly drawn to her flame.

Sure, Clinique. Bring on that concealer.

Til death do us part. Love ya, girl!



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