Mall Makeovers: The Tomboy

In Depth

Welcome back to Mall Makeovers where we send readers to, you guessed it, the mall for, you guessed it, a makeover. If you’d like to volunteer for an upcoming installment, send us an email.


Name: Liz

Beauty Routine: I am a tomboy. I look like Forrest Gump meets Jimmy Neutron. I have rosacea, watery eyes and I’m migraine prone, so my beauty routine rarely changes and rarely includes scented products. I have become a fan of Clinique’s ‘Redness Solution’s’ line. I use the soothing cleanser and daily relief cream. For Christmas, my partner got me the Redness Solutions compact, but I feel like a fraud trying to use a compact with its little matching brush, so it has gone virtually untouched. Anyway, before I put the lotion on I use Oil of Olay’s Intensive Repair Treatment because it really clears up my skin, though the long tube drives me nuts. I’m always knocking it over. Why do products have to come in long tubes? It turns my bathroom into dominoes.

Under and around my eyes I use Just Natural’s Anti-Aging Eye Serum. I love this stuff, especially in the dead of winter. But I have become a big fan of all their products. The ingredients are just oil after oil; there’s nothing else in them.

If I am going somewhere fancy, I will apply some Smashbox Photo Finish to my face. I learned that trick during my TV production days. Men would oftentimes resist powder, so we tricked them by asking them to put photo finish on their shiny faces (and bald spots).

New York Trends: Since I live in NYC, I see it all. But it doesn’t mean I understand it. I feel like concealer makes people look like Lego people. Kim Kardashian is a great example of a Lego person. She is utterly flawless to a fault. To me, she looks like she could pop her hair or eyebrows on and off. So you can imagine my hesitation when I entered the MAC store in Harlem and found a store full of Lego people.

Process: When I finally sat down for my makeover, I immediately complimented my stylist’s makeup. I wanted to know what she was wearing to achieve such flawlessness. Her response was that she was wearing full coverage make up and I “didn’t seem like the full coverage type.”

And with that response, the tone of my time spent in the MAC store immediately shifted. I assumed I would walk out looking like a cartoon, but getting your makeup done is a highly intimate process, one that forces the stylist to really see you. And she wanted me to feel comfortable in my own skin; she wanted to create solutions to small problems I had. I told her the dark circles under my eyes and the redness around my nose bothered me. Before going, my partner told me to request “glam,” I wanted to request Joan Jett and I feel like I walked out looking like Celine Dion. I made efforts to take things over the top, requesting a dark eyeshadow and some lipstick, and my stylist obliged, though she put it on very lightly.

And this is where I have a newfound respect for the job my stylist has: it takes an incredibly kind person to do what she does. She made time to give me a full makeover while answering questions and offering tips to other customers. And when she was done, she moved on to the next customer, offering again her undivided attention. I didn’t purchase any products when I left, though my partner promised me she would get some MAC makeup soon. I just can’t figure out if I should have tipped her or not. I didn’t, but part of me wants to go back. She went above and beyond.

Outcome: During the makeover, a group of high school girls came in singing a chorus of “Oh fun, she’s getting a makeover!” Each of them told me how they thought I would look so pretty with makeup. They felt that this eyeshadow color or that eyeshadow color would look good with my eyes. Then they each told me about how their parents only let them wear certain types of makeup as they looked longingly at the things they couldn’t wear. One of the girls asked if my parents ever had a problem with me wearing makeup. And I said no, I never had any interest in makeup.

The other day I asked a waiter where the restroom was. When he asked me, “Men’s or women’s?,” I didn’t respond. I suppose I didn’t want to make it easy on him. He then showed me where the men’s room was and where the women’s room was. And then he watched to see what restroom I walked toward. Had he seen me with this makeover, I feel like he would have known I pee like a lady, even if I dress like a teenage boy.

I am growing increasingly frustrated as I type this because the makeup is uncomfortable. When I scratch my face it rubs off on my finger. I feel like I would stain the pillow if I laid down on it. When I look at the before and after photos, I can’t see my freckles. I have a happy face. I have some well earned smile wrinkles and the makeup covers those up. All of this makes me think about my tomboy self. Tomboy style is a thoughtful style. I am very thoughtful about the products I use, the clothes that I buy and the way I am perceived. And in that way, I am no different than someone like Kim Kardashian. I could never pull of the Lego look and she could never pull off Jimmy Neutron meets Forrest Gump, but maybe we do influence one another. I really did like the cover up. I might ask for a tube for my birthday. Plus, I now know how to wear it correctly. Dabbing is good, doing the under eye grandma swipe is bad. But I’m sure Kim already knew that.

Bench photo by Hanna Agar.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin