Have you ever been to a Mary Kay party? Well, I can now say that I have. Mary Kay and Avon are the sell-it-yourself-companies for bored yet enterprising housewives. Mary Kay has the pink stuff (well, all that’s pink now is the Cadillac you aspire to, but the cases used to be pink) and Avon has, well, “Avon calling!” I don’t know if Avon has parties or not, but I’ve never heard of someone going to one. Mary Kay parties are my topic at hand, though. My sister, the Chicken, sells the Mary Kay. That was the party I went to.
I don’t know if one could really label this a party. There’s no dancing, cocktails, or pin the tail on the donkey. At least not at this one. My family has had a few Mary Kay parties over the years, one of which yielded at least one picture. Nothing says ‘buy this cleanser’ quite like a bow-bedecked 80’s headband, right Susan? (I can’t guarantee that the picture won’t be posted.)
This party was the first for Mary Kay Super Seller Chicken. We were not only consumerist prey, but cosmetic test bunnies of sorts. Someone alert PETA! Now you would think, the pitch would be pretty easy; “Hey, buy this makeup stuff. It’s good.” But the good people at Mary Kay don’t trust you to be able to say much more than your name so they provide you a script. It even includes such helpful hints as ‘point to your hostess’ and ‘entice with promise of a free gift.’ That last one’s kind of unwritten, though.
Also in this script is the life and times of Mary Kay...Ash. I had to look it up on the website. The only name coming to mind was Schnitzel and I was doubtful that it was right. If you are selling the Mary Kay and are a by-the-book type of person, by all means go ahead and tell everyone about the company’s founder. If you are normal, however, maybe pick out a few highlights, otherwise, skip it. If you haven’t inferred yet, the script is really goofy. I say goofy because stupid may be a bit too harsh. It almost seems like there should be a skit involved. Though, thankfully, there’s not.
So the seller, in this case The Chicken, has all the makeup and the master containers of the face goosh (moisturizers, makeup remover, and such). You have a lovely little palette and mirror before you and everyone gets a squirt of stuff. At this time I think it’s best to say that you’d be better off not wearing any makeup to a Mary Kay party. I say this because while it works well for some, the eye makeup remover sizzled and smoked upon my lids and I would have cried if my tear ducts had not already been protesting from the chemicals. I’m just saying. Perhaps I have overly sensitive corneas, who knows. Well, they’re sensitive now.
So everyone (Nonnie, aunts Dodie and Donna, and myself) has to determine what shade of foundation they are. Everybody had a pretty normal color...until it got to me.
This may be a good time to mention that my skin has not seen prolonged sunlight in twelve years or so if not longer. So you can imagine just how pale I am. When each of my kids were born they were darker than me already. I’m so pale I am almost see through. Not only am I avoiding skin cancer as best I can, I think that classic old Hollywood look is better than the crispy St. Tropez burnt sienna skin tone of people today. An entire generation whose spokesperson is George Hamilton. So long story short, I’m white.
Now, back to foundation shades. When my time came to find my shade, I couldn’t find one. I had to resort to the palest color they have because there isn’t anything lighter. I feel so unrepresented. It’s almost like Mary Kay doesn’t want to sell to vampires. Not that I’m a vampire but that’s the closest skin tone to mine.
So then we all do our best to apply makeup samples with our fingers. Finger painting for adults. There were the little cards with sample eyeshadows on them that are supposed to coordinate. Most of them did. But let me just say that NAVY and BROWN do not go together! Oh, it was terrible.
Everyone picked out something to order and it was on to the food. Conversation touched on several things, including Nonnie’s flower garden, as we were at her house. Nonnie informed us all that her peonies are enormous. Well, now we know. Don’t ask. It was dark already but she wanted someone to go and look, to confirm.
Dodie and Donna, having eaten their fill of Mary Kay food, said goodbye and departed. As I was polishing off the last of the cookies and such, Donna called. Before they left she had gone to peruse the garden. She was calling to agree that Nonnie’s peonies were, in fact, enormous.