Late last year, YSL discontinued the foundation I’d been wearing, “Le Teint Touche Eclat,” and replaced it with a new formula, “Touche Eclat Le Teint.” Big whoop, right? Well, that’s what I thought too. I figured I’d go one shade lighter, since it was winter, and that would be that.
Cut to two months later, by which time I’d sampled (and in some cases, purchased and returned) no fewer than twenty-two different foundations, tinted moisturizers, and cushion compacts. Probably more. I started making notes once I got north of, like, seven, but I almost certainly forgot a few.
What happened? I’m still not totally sure. For one thing, I got my ColorIQ done at Sephora, a process which involves this machine that takes close-up pictures of your skin in three different places (or maybe shoots lasers at it? I’m not clear) in order to calculate your perfect color across a bunch of brands, and I’m pretty sure that system has some flaws. Like, for me, the results skewed yellow and dark—and when the sales associate looked up the code of the color I’d been wearing, she was shocked, shocked!—but I bet that it makes different types of mistakes for people with different skin tones. In order to check, I talked my sister into doing it, but she got basically the same results I did, since we’re related, so then I dragged my friend Margaret there and made her do it too, but apparently in addition to being slightly redder than I am, she’s also much busier (I don’t want to brag, but let’s just say that she’s been to the White House, a lot), so we never figured out if the colors it suggested for her were maybe too red and too pale, or still too yellow, or perfect, or what.
Plus, these companies are not as consistent as you might think with their shades, which was another part of the problem. For example, even though YSL had retained the same color names, more or less, for their new version of my old foundation, they’d changed all the actual colors, which is why the sales associate at Sephora couldn’t believe I’d been wearing the one I’d been wearing—I hadn’t. And it turns out it’s not always as simple as just going down shade, or up. Even when a brand is VERY SPECIFIC about what kind of undertones their makeup has, as with the YSL, it doesn’t always check out. And then, once you do find a decent color, there’s also issues of texture and coverage and staying power and whatnot. What I wanted, basically, was a foundation that I could just sort of dab on and it would instantly be invisible, with no blending, and if you happened to be watching me, you’d be like, “Weird, I thought you were putting makeup on but all you did was sort of touch your face and now you look perfect.” That may sound unreasonable, but it turns out there are a lot of ladies on the internet looking for the same thing, so much so that they have a name for it: HG, which stands for Holy Grail.
So, to sum up: I think I kind of…lost my mind? The first part of this winter was reasonably mild, and I’d recently given up on going to the gym because my baby, who was about to turn one, acted like a damn fool whenever she spent more than eight minutes in their glass-walled babysitting room, and the Sephora is about a mile and a half from my house, so walking there and back to get samples four times a week was a perfect way to get a little exercise and kill some time. But also, I think, after spending an entire year not really thinking about myself or how I looked at all, not to mention all the months I spent prior to that being pregnant and whatnot, I was ready to, you know, focus on me, a bit? Plus, it was fun? As my sister said, at one point, “I don’t think you actually want to find a new foundation, because then you’ll have to stop.”
Anyway, I will detail the exciting results of my foundation search in a different post (or not), but the main thing that came from all this is this, by which I mean, I decided to start a new blog. My friend Alyssa is going to contribute as well—we’ll be reviving our much joked-about although not actually real, prior to this, column, which was tentatively titled Junkie and Grumpy (guess which one I am), although she will also write her own posts, as will some other of our friends, with any luck.