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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Whiter Shade of Pale

I had a moment of truth at the Clinique counter.


This was shocking not because I was having a moment of truth in the middle of Macy's (I have had several moments of truth in Macy's before. That time I realized that since I broke my foot last summer my right foot has gone up almost a shoe size (yikes). Or that time I thought I could wear a petite shirt if I just went up a size (that does not work, especially if you're a tall gal unless you are into looking like you borrowed a child's suit jacket). But the fact that it occur ed while buying makeup was quite a shock.

First of all, I have never been much for foundation/coverup. While I take my freckles with a grain of salt, the skin gods have made up for it by giving me relatively blemish free skin and also I can barely be bothered to moisturize let alone throw another layer on up there. But as I get older, I see what a difference a little more time spent on getting ready for the day can do for your morale and decided to give this whole foundation thing a try. So I popped over to the Clinique counter when I was at the mall and asked the sales lady what she could do for me.

After listening to what I wanted (something really light, not make-upy with SPF) she recommended something called "Almost Makeup" and produced a few tester tubes to apply and see which shade worked best. After slathering on a little of each one, she said "A ha!" and told me she had found my perfect shade. I was thinking it was probably "Medium" or maybe "Neutral"

Nope.

Fair.

FAIR!

F*cking fair. She who is half Lebanese and apparently totally self-unaware has to use the LIGHTEST foundation shade that Clinique makes.

I, as you can imagine, did not conceal my shock and shame at her statement. "Are you sure!?" I asked her. "I mean I know I'm not dark but I can't be that light. Seriously? The lightest shade?". She assured me it was true and when I looked in the mirror I had to admit it was true.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being pale. I love pale porcelain looking skin I just tend not to think of myself that way. Really I just can't reconcile my heritage. I think I'm an Arabian princess but I'm actually an Irish street person. I'm like Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin at the beginning of Beetlejuice.....hanging out with people thinking I'm alright but really I'm a GHOST. But there you have it. I am FAIR. I said it and it's fine. If I were any fairer I couldn't even buy foundation at Clinique. I would have to go to Casper's.

So what does this pale beast do when faced with this particular moment of truth?

She toddled right over to CVS to indulge in a little denial.


Ahhhhh. Much better.

19 comments:

Laura said...

Trust me, if you've fair skin, it's much, much nicer than an Irish street person's (usually red from all the broken veins from all the booze & exposure to the wind & rain). Nothing wrong with a bit of self-tanner though!

Ulli said...

My whiteness can blind people...but then, us pale girls are going to age a lot slower ;) So..that's ok with me.

Melissa said...

I use the fair color as well! I don't ever really realize how pale I am until I see a picture of me with virtually anyone else and I look like a white ghost in comparison! I've learned to embrace it, but I will be tanning a bit before my wedding so I don't blend in with my dress!

Karen said...

This should make you feel better. A friend of mine is so pale, they don't even make foundation light enough at the MAC counter. They have roughly 32,475,897 shades of foundation, but none that are the right shade for her.

Alisa said...

Sympathy from this alabaster girl. But I have always been fair so no stress for me. A tip though: you don't actually use enough foundation for the SPF to be effective. I would recommnd regular foundation with an SPF moisturizer underneath instead. I learned this a few years ago when Ladybug's skin cancer gave me incentive to protect myself better.

Jenny said...

I personally LOVE my freckles and wish I had more! I, too, am afflicted with Fair, Fair skin though. :(

DB Coach said...

I'm a black male....I like all women.....but I realy like fair skinned white women. I think you all are beautiful.

The Missus said...

Oh honey! I too am pale (and I am Mexican), and have to wear the "fair" shades too... But I think it is to my benefit... As it means I can be almost 32 and have NO WRINKLES!

The way I see it, if this is the skin tone God gave me, then I will take it! And when I am out in the Sunshine, I wear sunglasses and SPF.

No wrinkles for us!!!

Mandy said...

Thank you, DB Coach! How sweet!

I am quite pale and I use some kind of sheer foundation from Cover Girl, can't remember what it's called, but underneath it I use that pink sunscreen that's meant for babies--Waterbabies, I think? It comes in a huge container, it's SPF 45, it's way cheap, and if it's mild enough for babies I figure it's OK for my face!

Lynn said...

I am too fair for ANY of the Clinique foundations!!(and Mary Kay too unless they came out with new lighter shades since I attempted finding one a few years ago) Hope that makes you feel better.

Sarah said...

Lynn, go girl! That does make me feel better. Pale ladies unite!

Auburn Kat said...

I'm always the palest girl on the beach...

I feel your pain.

DB Coach said...

So I'm channel surfing and I see some girl singing on American Idol....very fair skin....and I thought of this blog

Alexis is her name I believe... The type of complexion I like

More, More, More said...

from one pale girl to another - I feel your pain!!

Stacey said...

Haha, embrace the paleness! :)

kim said...

when i bought my first starter-kit at the bare essentials store they didn't even have one with their palest foundation [= fair] but only "fairly light" and that was too dark for me. so i had to buy that kit and then she arranged for me to get my fair [pretty much invisible] foundation in the mail. sometimes in the summer i can use the "fairly light", other than that: i'm with you pale girls! :)

Amanda* said...

Pasty and proud, I always say. It can be frustrating trying to find the correct shade of pale, this I know. Being blessed as a natural redhead, I also burn right through any sunblock on the freaking planet. It's fun.

Rebecca Jill said...

Welcome to my world. I've got the pale Irish skin with the freckles.
I used to wish that all my freckles would converge -- then I would have a tan. Yeah, that doesn't happen.

danielle said...

for the record, they have a paler color, unless they stopped making it. i have some, it's called ALMOST fair or something equally offensive. guess what i have?