Makeup, Shmakeup

Without fail, whenever I find a makeup product that works well for me, it’s discontinued shortly thereafter.

I’ve been running low on a few things, and on my way home from work, I decided to finally stock up again. The items in question were all from NARS, so I made a beeline for the Sephora to snag my favorite gloss, lip liner and their bronzer.

Greek Holiday gloss? Check. Laguna bronzer? At first I thought they were out, but I found the stash. Whew. Check!

Lip liner? Oh dear.

Not again.

Of all the liners they had on display, not one of them seemed to match the pathetically small nub I was toting around in my makeup bag. It was so short it was impossible to sharpen, so I’d deal with the irritation as I eked out the last bit of color with the surrounding wood scraping my lips.

Good times. (And yes, it’s that good of a color.)

Even with it still on the market, I’ve tried to find a replacement for it if — and when — that day comes when it’s permanently kaput.

Everything is wrong: the ones that look like they match are too pale, too peach, too pink, and the ones that match the closest end up needing serious use to even begin to match the pencil I have (my pencil which, by the way, takes one stroke and a gentle hand for the color to be apparent).

I’ve seen makeup gals rub the pencil over and over and over and over and over and over and over again on the back of my hand until they’ve used up half the darned thing. Then they proudly proclaim, “See? It’s a perfect match!”

Yeah. As much as I’d love to use half the lip pencil in the morning before work and ther other half when I re-apply after lunch, I’ll pass. Although I do appreciate their determination and their attempts to sell me a product which clearly isn’t “the one.”

At any rate, back to Sephora. My heart simultaneously sank and skipped a beat as I realized the day had come: my lip liner was on to greener (or at least more taupe-y) pastures. Hmpf.

One of the Sephora-ettes wandered over to me and asked if she could help. Knowing full well that I’ve been through that store before with no luck at finding a matching shade, I reluctantly pulled out the nub of lip liner and showed her what I had.

“OH!” she exclaimed. “That’s actually not by NARS, it’s by LORAC.”


I should’ve remembered that. Of course! My bad.

I perked up and looked around the store for the Lorac section.

“And we don’t carry LORAC here,” she continued.

Of course! Always a glitch.

I thanked her for showing me the light and figured I’d head back to Nordstrom to snag one there. Greek Holiday, Laguna and I exited. Two out of three wasn’t bad, I figured.

I made it to Nordstrom and, long story short, learned that they didn’t carry LORAC there, either.

Not surprising.

I looked at the girl with exhaustion and said, “I can’t go anywhere else. Look at this thing (I held up the nub). Can you help me match it?” She snickered at the nub and said she’d try.

In return, I said a quick, silent prayer for her.

Within seconds, she was going down the path so many others before her had been down. One by one, she tried other lip liners to see if any were a match.

Too pink.

Too peach.

Too cool.

Too brown.

Too red.

We had depleted two different brands’ lip liner offerings, and she looked a little defeated. She stood there deep in thought and mentally scanning the makeup displays to see if another lip liner came to mind. Suddenly, she sprung back into action.

“Hold on!” she said as she scurried around to the other side of the display. “I think Lancôme might have one.”

I didn’t hold my breath.

She came back with two pencils, and sure enough, one was a match.

Fittingly, its color was called “Ideal.”


While my LORAC #08 taupe lip liner still exists, it’s nice to know that there’s another liner that can step into the starring role after earning its stripes as an understudy (unbeknownst to me) for years. I’m thankful for the gal at the makeup counter who happily took on a challenge so many others had failed at, and it made me think that no matter how often we may turn to our trusty, tried and true products (or even people or habits), looking just beyond the usual may be an enlightening experience and one that opens our eyes to new possibilities.

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