Manolo for the Beauty » The Moment of Regret. Followed by Elation. Followed by Possibly More Regret. Or Not.

The Moment of Regret. Followed by Elation. Followed by Possibly More Regret. Or Not.

By Glinda

I’ll never forget the first time I spent waaaay too much money on cosmetics.

I had just gotten a promotion at work.  I was all of nineteen, and I became the supervisor of other nineteen year olds, so I thought it was about time I gave myself the luxury beauty products I had always longed for.  Those luxury beauty products belonging specifically to Chanel. 

I walked up to the counter of my local Nordstrom’s and was promptly ignored.  I’m sure I didn’t look like someone who would actually purchase a lipstick that cost over twenty dollars, but they were oh-so-wrong.  I was going to prove it.

Looking back on it, I probably should have just walked out when the saleswoman ignored me and then acted like I was wasting her time.  But nothing short of a fire in the building was going to stop me, not even condescension.  Didn’t she realize that a beauty addict has no age limit?  There also may have been a bit of “I’ll show you, bitchy saleslady” in the decision-making process. 

I wound up walking out with over two hundred dollar’s worth of beauty fixin’s, from lipstick (natch) to facial cleanser.  I almost felt sick to my stomach as she rang up the items, and I could feel myself blanching when she informed me of the final price.  It was almost an out of body experience to watch my hand reaching into my wallet and handing her that much cash.  For makeup!

But when I got home, I felt all better as I dumped out my bag of goodies on the bathroom counter.  I deserved this stuff, dammit!  It was hard work supervising those mouthy nineteen year olds!  Nevermind that I, too, was nineteen years old!  If I didn’t pamper myself, nobody else was going to do it for me. I told myself that every time I applied the lipstick and foundation, used the mascara, and washed and toned my face.  Sometimes I believed it more than others.

The facial cleanser was actually really, really good, but I couldn’t afford to keep buying it on a regular basis.  The foundation was so-so, the lipstick and the mascara wonderful.  I still love Chanel lipstick, and there is always at least one in my rotation.

What was your first “ohmigod I can’t believe I spent that much” moment?

I know you’ve got one.

6 Responses to “The Moment of Regret. Followed by Elation. Followed by Possibly More Regret. Or Not.”

  1. aurumgirl Says:

    An impromptu purchase of an entire Dior skincare line, featuring a cleansing lotion, toner, astringent, day moisturizer and night time moisturizer. Just like that, when I was less than half my age and truly in no need. It was a heady, slow, someone-else-was-driving-my-brain kind of experience for me, too. I cringe because I’m sure I thought I was impressive.

    Thing is, a 10 dollar metal tin of Nivea cream lasts me quite a while, and is a far superior moisturizer; and any brand of skin cleansing wipes remove makeup so much better than a cleanser/toner regime, particularly when I’m exhausted and just want to fall asleep as soon as possible. As for makeup, I don’t mind spending money on expensive lipsticks or pretty compacts–I think those are meant for show, and if I’m dressed up I like to have equally pretty cosmetics in my evening purse. Chanel, Shiseido, YSL, anything sleek, shiny, ingeniously designed.

  2. BSAG Says:

    Not totally makeup-related, but…I must have been about 19, and my mother had given me a blank check to buy a new outfit at the local department store. The less said about the outfit the better; suffice to say that fishnets and fuchsia were involved and—well, it was the 80s. A saleswoman spent lots of time helping me pick everything out.

    I decided I needed a lipstick to complete the ensemble. I settled on one (yep, fuchsia) at the Clinique counter, and then realized that I only had the one check to pay for it all. I asked the woman at the makeup counter if I could pay for the lipstick at the main checkout with my clothes. She replied, “No, but you can pay for the clothes here.”

    Oblivious to the concept of retail commissions, that’s what I did. I’m not sure if the clothing saleswoman’s glare as I left was aimed more at the makeup clerk or me.

  3. Miss B Says:

    Heh…I did this when I decided to give Chanel foundation a try just about a month ago.

    But the first time had to be when I first bought Estee Lauder when I was in my teens and working at (the now gone, and much grieved for) Marshall Field’s. It was my own money so I could spend it on what I wanted – and I wanted that lipstick and mascara! There was definitely an internal “EEEK!” at the total when it was all rung up.

    Gods I loved that lipstick….

  4. La Petite Acadienne Says:

    Mine wasn’t makeup, per se. It was a makeup BAG. I was visiting a friend in Toronto, and while he was at work, I browsed Bloor Street, eventually finding my way into the Prada store.

    I had never bought anything by a big-name designer — not even a Chanel lipstick. And I decided that dammit, I was going to own SOMETHING by Prada. The least expensive thing I could find was a black satin makeup bag. I blanched at the price, particularly considering that I usually kept my makeup in a $5 basket from Wicker Emporium, or in a Ziploc bag while traveling. But I rationalized it to myself, saying that I could use it as an evening clutch, so it was really two purchases in one.

    That was 12 years ago. I’ve used that bag every day. It’s only now starting to fall apart, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to bring myself to throw it out. It served me well — I almost feel like it deserves a military funeral or something.

  5. ananas Says:

    A few months ago, I ran out of everything. all at the same time. Powder, cleanser, toner, lotion (both my lighter day lotion, and heavier night), lip gloss, and, although I knew I could not have used it all, both my neutral eye shadows and my eye liner. I had a conference where I was presenting coming up, and I knew I needed to replace most of it.

    I walked into the local Sephora, thinking I could probably space out some of the bill, and slipped and fell, and when I got up, had bought all of these, and some things I hadn’t planned to. (Including a new straightener. Man, I love that straightener. Such a change from my 20 dollar crappy one that had broken.)

    Man, they loved me that day.

    (Also, note on saleswomen– I was twenty, and going to a fairly formal event, and needed a new dress. There was a great sale on at Nordstroms, and so I went there, bringing one of my best friends along. I look older then I am, and I generally get good service, but she’s got bright pink hair and was wearing fishnets. We got ignored for an older couple; I felt incredibly vindicated when the older couple the saleswoman was paying court to never bought anything, while my friend and I both ended up getting dresses.)

  6. Abby Says:

    I went to the Coach outlet and bought a purse and two wallets. WHile standing in line I started sweating over how much it would all cost. my husband reassured me by saying “All of this costs less than the purse does normally, just do it.” I still felt weird paying so much for them when I normally buy my purses at Sam Moon or Ross. 🙂 But I love the heck out of my first brand name luxury goods!

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