Tuesday, 16 February 2010

shade 79

Hashiguchi Goyo (1880-1921)
Woman applying makeup

MrsM is afraid of the ladies in white coats
who guard the displays of makeup in smart shops
and the ladies in white coats sense her fear.

MrsM tries to pretend that she is buying makeup
for her beautiful teenage daughter
but the ladies in white coats know that
beautiful teenage daughters
buy their own makeup.

MrsM is reduced to asking for help
from a very bored lady in a white coat
who was thinking about what to cook for supper
and, almost absentmindedly,
recommended the shade of lipstick
MrsM should be using this Spring...
even though it was out of stock.

MrsM left the smart shop with a light heart
and went into the next shop down the street.
She walked up to the makeup counter
with a firm and confident footstep
and the lady in the white coat snapped to attention.

MrsM said:
"Do you have shade 79 from the Spring Collection?"
as though Chanel had contacted her personally
and told her that this shade
had been created especially for her.

And then MrsM kindly allowed the lady in the white coat
to wrap her purchase and left the smart shop
feeling very empowered.


  1. To the Chanel counter I go tomorrow, just to check out shade #79. I shall ride on your coattails, eyes straight up, nose slightly up and shoulders back. This deportment creates youthful femininity, according to my youthful feminine personal trainer. I am willing to bet shade #79 promises the same. While I am here Alice, I must confess, I have realized because of the time difference a new post on your part is available to me in the evening. I had come to love starting my day with a new post on your part. Must self discipline. ps, you are much more generous spirited than I am, not sure I could divulge a lipstick secret. And, I do the for my daughter trick. All. The. Time.

  2. Excellent technique.

    I, too, am afraid of the white-coated ladies. They always try to spray me with powerful odors.

  3. Well Done!
    The older I get, the more I avoid the bored, waxed, greased creatures in the Expensive Makeup Departments.
    Besides, the perfumes nearly kill me with their fumes!!

  4. Oh how I relate to this -are they trained in the art of being superior? Thank you for the inro to Mouse!

  5. In my case, the ladies in white coats sense my apprehension and force me to buy much more than I'd originally planned. They are the professional make-up artist equivalent of a WWF tag-team...each taking turns wearing me down, pinning me and forcing more products into my bag. I leave defeated and broken (and broke).

  6. Knowledge is most definitely power and planning and preparation prevent p*ss poor performance as my dear old boss always used to say

  7. I couldn't resist 'googling' Chanel, Alice. Shade 79 is called 'Impertinente' - I love it! We all need to be a little impertinent at times so go for it Alice! Bobby x

  8. I do find this a problem myself which is why I resort to ordering tubs of shaving cream in a job lot from Taylors of Old Bond St. They will even gift wrap it for me although that seemed a little desperate.

    Online sales do get round the hauteur issue though.

  9. I shall google Taylors of Old Bond street........... for my moustache.....

  10. Wonderful. I wonder if there will be a sudden run on shade 79? I know I am tempted. Perhaps, dear Mrs M, you have started a little revolution, passed a little of your confidence on and empowered all of us to rise up against the scary ladies in their white coats. Hip, Hip Hurrah. Thank you Mrs M.

  11. I once let a lady in a white-coat make up half my face in her wretched products. I preferred the untouched half and left empty handed but looking very odd.

  12. Oh dear! I avoid those ladies in the white coats too. I'm scared by the amount of make up they wear!

  13. This is an excellent and cheer-worthy way to prevent receipt of the slightly withering looks that I fear too. Brilliant.

  14. The question is: why would they be allowed to "paint" my face. Are they licensed to do so? Did they go to make up school and have a degree in that?
    Who says they are better than ourselves in that job???
    And that is why I never ever let any of them approach me (when I happen to go to such stores which of course are nowhere near here...)

  15. On Mr M's recommendation I too order my shaving cream from Taylors of Old Bond Street. Having first been given some almond shaving cream I thought I might smell like a macaroon so changed to sandalwood as I thought smelling like a cigar box preferable, but now in the interests of the No Smoking lobby I have gone back to almond.Anyone for afternoon tea?

  16. I go to a very nice lady in a very small shop who tells me wonderful things about the shape and colour of my eyes and how everybody wants to have eyes like that.

    I know she is lying. But I let her. It keeps us both happy.

  17. Me, too. I've always been terribly intimidated by makeup counters. But must overcome this soon, as I don't think I can go much longer without wearing makeup (based on close examination in the mirror this morning)... K x

  18. Okay, I confess I had to go and Google Chanel shade 79. Why, I don't know. Given that I am afraid of lipstick. In any shade.

    I'll add it to the list of things I plan to conquer when I grow up. Along with high heels.

  19. Hurrah for outsmarting the women in white coats. Whenever I see them its normally because I'm on the way through to somewhere else in the department stores and they really do scare me... Why is it that they have this secret power over us?

  20. You are very very brave. I don't think in a million years I could go up and talk to those ladies in the white coats. I am totally impressed, and I think envious. Wow!

  21. I am USELESS at choosing lipstick colors.
    And, I've just realized, that POPPY is brilliant at it! And I'm going to see her on Friday!

    sorry: been hogging your comments!

  22. I should add of course that MrsM does not need any artificial help as she has a natural English rose complexion. Any suggestions otherwise are totally without foundation.

  23. One more thing to add, when working up to facing the ladies in the white coats I remind myself, I am the one BUYING the lipstick, SHE is the one behind the counter, SELLING the lipstick. Not too nice on my part perhaps, but sometimes I have to bring out all the stops, just to buy cosmetics!

  24. Once upon a time one of those ladies told me that the lipstick I was trying on would OBVIOUSLY look better if I put the rest of my make-up on PROPERLY.

    Did Fulvia used to work behind one of those counters by any chance?

  25. I am very relieved to find there is another grown up person who finds the land of makeup counters bewildering and confusing.

    And besides, who wants to look like one of the ladies in white coats? Not me!

  26. Heh. I was so glad when Debenhams decided to stack all the Clinique stuff on the central shelves without having a terrifying lady behind the counter. Now I can just choose my lipstick myself.


Thank you! I love reading your comments and even though I don't always have time to reply I am really grateful to every one who joins in the conversation.