I’m a super-fan of the placebo effect and fanciful language, which means I love reading about makeup. I blithely flip through magazine advertisements, with their promises of smooth, shiny, soft outcomes. I walk down the aisles of Sephora and think smooth, shiny, soft thoughts. I buy bottles and imagine my smooth, shiny, soft future.
Usually, I share the purported goals of these products. I would certainly like to be revitalized and rejuvenated! The familiar promises of beauty products are as calming as a scented lotion, as comforting as a bath.
Then, on a recent flight, I was reading Glamour and feeling very glossy, when I saw not one but two ads promising me a terrifying new outcome: blurring.
With every page I turned, my eyes widened. The Twilight Zone theme song jangled in my altitude-addled mind. A Lancôme primer wanted to blur my face! A L’Oréal moisturizing eye cream wanted to blur my eyes! Redken’s temporary dye wanted to blur my hair!
What was the intention of these products? Would I appear to be moving very quickly? Would everyone around me think they had inadvertently gotten a little drunk? Would I seem permanently Photoshopped? Or worse, were the products going to slowly erase my identity one pore at a time, in some sort of dystopian makeup catastrophe?
Let’s see, shall we?