It’s funny how you can live with someone for so long and yet somehow not really know them at all. My spouse, for example. I had no idea that she harboured a dark, dusty secret, apparently for many, many years. To be honest, I discovered her secret entirely innocently, while foraging around for empty zippered cases to house some of the wires and cables I keep around for various electronic devices. “The secret” was in a bedroom closet, high up on a shelf. That’s where I found the well-concealed disposal site of her secret life.
The make-up graveyard.
When I lifted a large wicker basket down from the walk-in closet shelf, I just wasn’t prepared for what I would find. As I opened the first of several zippered cases, what I discovered was more than just a little unsettling. Make-up of every variety – powder, lipstick, eyeliner. Used once, maybe twice. Make-up that had clearly failed in its initial intended purpose, and thus was banished from the main bathroom vanity cabinet, never to highlight a cheek or eyebrow again. To languish alone in a closet.
Well, not so alone it turned out. Once I began examining the crime scene in more detail, I found dozens of products in this shallow wicker mausoleum. “Faithful Fawn”, a lip gloss discarded in the prime of its youth. Lightly pecked samplings of “King’s Ransom” and “Sandy Castle” – according to the label, products intended to make shadows on eyes. Magic!
The more I read the names of these various products, I had to wonder exactly how the manufacturers came up with them. “Dark Room Peep” eye colour? “Pinstripe Rouge Sensation” lipstick? When a potential customer walks along a cosmetics display, is “Daylight Horizon” really the “grabber” title marketers hoped it might be? Are cosmetic brand developers missing out on “Relatively Orange Kiss-Me-You-Fool” lip liner sales?
I’m not really one that should be throwing stones here when it comes to exotic product names. I once brought home what I thought for sure was a rare imported Spanish copy of a CD by the group that recorded Whip It, back in the 1980s. Let me warn you gentlemen, you will not find that song anywhere on an Il Divo CD.
The more time I spent rummaging through the various tubes, sticks and powders, I began to appreciate that I don’t have to apply any of this stuff myself prior to leaving the house in the morning. I have a hard enough time ensuring my socks match, never mind co-ordinating 13 varieties of facial applications.
If, however, we did need male make-up, I would imagine that men might purchase products with decidedly male palettes and rough and tumble names. Like “G.I. Joe Brand Freckle Concealer” or “Rugged & Hewn Eyebrow Darkener”.
Now, I must put all these various discarded products back into their improvised time capsule. Why they were hidden and weren’t simply discarded, I may never know. As it is, I’ve just learned more than I ever needed to know about the female preparation regimen.
(Cue CSI theme music…)
Humour columnist and author Dan St. Yves was licensed with Royal LePage Kelowna for 11 years. Check out his website at www.nonsenseandstuff.com, or contact him at ThatDanGuy@shaw.ca.