What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

Attack of the Pretty People March 27, 2017

I have a fear of makeup stores. Yes, I’ve worked in makeup before. Yes, I wear a pound-and-a-half of makeup for shows eight (or more) times a week. Yes, it’s just a store and I shouldn’t fear human interaction. But I can’t help it; I’m terrified of makeup stores.

There’s something about walking into the bright lights that show every flaw in your pores, and then the heads of the pretty people in black swivel toward you like they can scent easy prey. They descend like hyenas, telling you how they can fix the bags under your eyes, or the wrinkles you’ve never even noticed on your forehead, and you just want to scream, “All I need is eyeliner!”

I needed white shimmer eyeshadow for a show a few months ago, and I put off finding any for weeks. The concept of facing the black-clad pretty people was too much for me. Lucky for me I have a friend who is an awesome professional makeup artist. Really, she’s amazing, and you need to see her work. So I asked her to tell me what to ask the pretty people for. She laughed and said she could do me one better; all I had to do was go into the tiny Bare Minerals specialty store and ask for snowflake. So I did.

I walked right into that tiny store, and when a lady who looked like an elf asked me what I wanted, I said, “Snowflake!” a little too loudly to be considered socially acceptable. She asked if I wanted anything else and I said, “Just snowflake!”

And she put it in a bag, and I gave her money and got to leave. It was like a freakin’ miracle!

But then I broke my blush and my dark eyeshadow last week! (more…)


Better than Hairspray April 4, 2016

Filed under: Hi-Ho the Glamorous Life — meganorussell @ 8:30 pm
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Many eons ago, I was Cordelia in a production of King Lear. I was so thrilled! It was my first real role in a Shakespearian show, and I got to die. How much more can you ask for? Well, apparently I could ask for a personal hair and makeup person for every performance. An experience I have never had since, and after the incident, one I don’t care to repeat.

I don’t know why they decided that I needed my own makeup person. Maybe my face just needed that much help? And most of my hair was covered by a veil (which made me look shockingly like the Virgin Mary) until my death scene. So the hair part of hair and makeup consisted of a hidden bun and two little curls on each side of my face.

About the third time this woman came in to do my hair, she was chatting about how happy she was to get to work with me and how nice my eyebrows were. I thought it was a weird compliment, but whatever. And she chatted and chatted. And I thought my dressing room was beginning to smell strange. I told her, but she thought one of the mirror light bulbs had gotten some dust on it and was burning it off. I wasn’t super worried about it, so we moved on to her doing my hair.

She started curling the hair right by my forehead, and the smell got so much worse, and then my hair started to smoke. I screamed, she screamed, we both screamed together. She pulled the curling iron away from my hair, and my hair was still smoking! (more…)


I Feel Pretty November 9, 2013

Filed under: Hi-Ho the Glamorous Life — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
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As a female performer, it is usually my job to look pretty. Sometimes I stand there and look pretty. Sometimes I sing really high while looking pretty. Sometimes I kick my face and look pretty. There have been a few times when I wasn’t supposed to be pretty (being Annelle in Steel Magnolias was one of those rare moments), but on the whole, I am supposed to be pretty. (more…)