Apparently I Am Two-Faced

I’ve mentioned before that my desert island makeup must-haves include brows, concealer, and mascara. If I’m being honest, were I forced to choose between brows and sunscreen on a presumably sunny island, and note that I am really, really fair with a million freckles, I would still make the non-dermatologist-approved choice. It’s vain, yes, but I don’t feel like myself without my brows “on.”

Me, incognito, aka no makeup

Beyond realizing that I feel different with brows, I accept that I actually look different without them. And, sadly, not just a little. The first time I saw a SoulCycle friend “in real life,” e.g., not at 6am — no, I don’t bother with makeup at 6am; my vanity has its limits — he was shocked. As in, he had no idea that it was me.

That didn’t tickle, but hey, I get it. I’m a bleary mess at 6am. #iwokeuplikethis is not the hashtag for Gen X working moms.

But my evident two-faced-ness was really driven home the other day. I was heading up to New York for a few days to attend the gift show with Elizabeth, where I relish my role of getting her to buy really ridiculous, off-brand, not-at-all-fashion-y items for The Shoe Hive and The Hive. (Spoiler: we took it to goop levels this year, more on that soon; and you’re welcome for the light-up jellyfish bath toys at The Shoe Hive now).

Anyway, I knew that I would need to work on the train, including some design work, and that my trusty little Surface was just not up to the task. So, like the get-it-done person I am, the day before our departure I had brunch with a friend then popped into to the Microsoft store and bought a Surface Book…and it is amazing. I love it almost as much as my Surface studio desktop, which brings me joy every time I sit down in front of it, awaken it with a mouse touch, and it looks for me and flashes, “Good Morning, Madelyn” across its screen like it’s genuinely happy to see me. The rest of that afternoon, I toggle between editing Stylebook on my desktop and setting up my shiny, new Surface Book. This is like Christmas for me.

Bright and early Sunday morning, I join Elizabeth, her sister Rebecca (who is there to be the responsible person — but  joke’s on her as she and I went hard on sequined Beanie Boos, ha!), and Nicole from Stomping Ground, who found super cute things for the growing retail section of Stomp. Amy from Red Barn was on the same train, so the five of us talked and worked, and I proudly showed off my new baby I mean laptop.

The rest of the day is a whirlwind of walking the show (11,000+ steps) followed by a dinner with shopkeepers from Brooklyn, Philly, Charlottesville, and Baltimore, than back to the room, late, to wash up, get ready for bed, then log on to proof Monday’s edition of Stylebook one last time.

And then…nothing. No “Good Evening, Madelyn.” Just a terse, You Will Need To Use Your Pin To Log In.

Odd, I thought, but with the train Wifi, then the hotel, I just figured the settings were wonky. No big deal.

Until the next night. Now I’m starting to worry that maybe Microsoft has let me down. Maybe I got a lemon. Is the camera broken? Why won’t my new computer recognize me? It worked on the train.

And then it hits me. I am brow-less.

I had set up the laptop wearing my to-the-world face, the one with brows. Could that be it? Really? Some of you may recall that in the spring I posted an Instagram Story reporting that my iPhone recognized me with a sheet mask on. Apple still knew who I was!

I tell all this to Elizabeth and she thinks it’s hilarious but is skeptical. She, bless her heart, doesn’t think I wear much makeup, and that I don’t look that much different at SoulCycle versus Real Life. She is a true friend…but perhaps one who should wear her glasses more often.

So we decide to test my theory (and her observation skills).

Tuesday morning in the hotel room I do half a face of makeup. One brow, mascara on one set of lashes, concealer under one eye. Um, yeah. It’s different. Noticeably different.

Guess which side has brows and mascara?

Time for the test. I open my Surface Book.

“Good Morning, Madelyn.”

The good news: my laptop isn’t a lemon. The bad news: I look old. I am a two face (see the full clip below if you don’t get that Seinfeld reference).

But back to good news. I (clearly) have the world’s greatest, most transformative brow product and you can find it Bellacara…thanks to me. You see, every year Angela has that incredible anniversary sale where she gives away gift bags that are like Oscar-level swag. This year, mine included a sample of Revitalash tinted brow gel. I LOVED IT. It’s way quicker to apply than my former products, has a great wand, is water-resistant, and looks as natural as can be hoped for. It’s pretty much perfect.

I went through the sample and headed immediately the Bellacara to get more…and Angela had no idea what I was talking about it. The sample had been a special gift from Revitalash for the anniversary bags! I explained to her the wonders of this product, and by explained I mean I begged and pleaded and made her promise to order it for the store, like, that day.

She did, and now I can continue being a two face for life.


And for you other Gen X’ers, from now on when I apply my brows, I’ll think of Gwen, dubbed a “two face” by George in the Festivus episode of Seinfeld, and laugh.


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