My mom has never worn cheap makeup. She always purchased her lipsticks and compacts from Duty-Free. On Saipan, Duty-Free is where you go for high-end brands, the only ones that ever touched my mom’s face. I remember sneaking into her room so I could look at all the brushes and blushes from names I only heard about on MTV’s House of Style. I didn’t know what I was doing, so I ended up with blush on my forehead. Like you do!
My mom’s makeup was Dior and Chanel whereas my makeup has been cheap and only one step up from the episode of Lockdown where I watched two female prisoners whip up eyeshadow by mixing colored pencil shading with deodorant. “It has to be the good kind!” they laughed, rubbing a mutant green mix onto their lids.
Because I am not imprisoned in a Florida jail like those lovelies, I had my makeup done at Sephora, thanks to a complimentary makeover card I received after the boatload of money I’ve unloaded in this store, specifically on any product that said, “Anti-aging,” and “What Your Face Looked Like Before Kids.” The makeup artist was young, about 18 years old which I learned after she said, “This was like two years ago when I was 16.” I did the math. And also calculated how much of an Old Lady Mona I was (Answer: VERY OLD), sitting in a chair, hoping this young woman could transform my face and also let me know what it means when people say,”Your eyebrows are on fleek.” What is fleek!? I just learned what bae is, what is fleek?!
After an hour of contouring and brushing and politely laughing at my stupid jokes, she made my face look like a real grown up lady. I’m still working on my makeup skills, even though I know when I try to recreate the smoky eye and winged liner, I’ll look like an Asian lounge singer. It’s fine for a stage look, but I don’t want people coming up to me and randomly requesting hits from the 70s and 80s.
I left with a long, long, long list of what she used on me and here’s some of what I picked up:
1. NARS blush/bronzer combo in orgasm/laguna
Orgasm is the signature NARS blush shade, but I think it’s because NARS likes to hear women giggle. I would say it in a low, baritone like an angry Hulk: “I BOUGHT ORGASM. NOT CHEAP.” HULK SMASH!
2. NARS radiant creamy concealer
This is to cover the bags under my eyes that two boys cause every single day. I don’t like seeing juxtaposed pictures of Obama before and after he took office. We get it, it’s hard to run a country. What they need to do is juxtapose my pictures of what I looked like as a 21-year-old senior in college and a 31-year-old mother of two. My older self would turn to the side, looking at my young Mo face and yelling, “It doesn’t get better! Take a picture of your boobs now! Never forget!”
3. Kat Von D Lock-It Tattoo Foundation
I didn’t think I would like Kat Von D, just because I don’t want to look like her. I don’t have any tattoos, except for my birthmark which I didn’t design at all and cannot pass off as a cool tatt of Greenland. (Also: You’re beautiful Kat! Please don’t come over and take me out! I have no upper body strength!). But I really liked this foundation. I needed something heavy, mostly to cover up my big pores that lead to a black empty void where self-esteem should be.
4. Sephora eyeshadow palette and eyeliner
Hopefully the pigment is strong enough to mask how desperate I am for attention and the pinks will really bring out my eyes and people won’t say something like, “What kind of Asian are you!?” If it doesn’t work, I’ll send this over to my nieces who love makeup and deserve to have the good kind, not made out of deodorant and school supplies and a life of bad choices. Make better choices than your Auntie Mo, ladies! There’s still time!