This past weekend my friend Mark, who I’ve known for 20 years, reminded me of the seminal moment when I was sent down the cosmetic path of no return. When he brought it to my attention, I was STUNNED that I had forgotten the all-important roots of the beginning of my slight product obsession.
Guerlain was spending a lot of advertising dollars on this “revolutionary” product, known as “Meteorites,” in high-end fashion magazines using tricks of photography to make them glisten and gleam. Breathless and hyperbolic ad copy and reviews said things like, “Meteorites is a mythical makeup product issued from an avant-garde know how.” They claimed to capture the light of shooting stars in order to “fill the skin with diaphanous and celestial light.” I was sold even though I was most-likely still rather diaphanous in my twenties. I also think it may have had something to do with the similar appearance of a favorite candy of mine usually found in bowls to scoop out at upscale restaurants:
I found myself visiting the magic blush balls at one of my favorite stores tucked into a spot in Harvard Square to get acquainted with them. I wasn’t nearly as impulsive then as I am now, so I waivered a bit on the high price–I think around $40 at the time–but when my friends Mark and Matthew started egging me on, I caved. I was the owner of the little powdery balls of blush that promised to change my life.
The directions told me to “swirl” a makeup brush over the surface of the competing colors where they would “tumble over each other” in the round box explaining the purpose of each one–you know, gold makes you glisten, pink, yellow and green do something to calm down or compliment skin tone and white highlights and brightens. I took this all very seriously when I used them. Matthew and Mark checked in constantly about my satisfaction with the blush balls. My best guess is that MAYBE they lasted in the rotation of whatever beauty routine I had adapted for less than a month and then ended up in the equivalent of the Land of Misfit Toys, relegated to the piles of forgotten products.
In one of my MANY moves, the blush balls reappeared. I was sadly rather indifferent about seeing them again, undoubtedly having moved on to some other luminous and glisteny product. I was wreckless and careless and by that point they had become one of many total random items in a cardboard box, probably laying on top of my birth certificate and adjacent to a power cord of some long ago broken device.
My very last memory of my sweet blush balls is of watching them, like a slo-mo section of a film that signifies something critical to pay attention to, rolling across the street, one by one, being crushed by the weight of their own forward motion. I watched as the occasional car went by, driving over the pinks and greens, leaving them flattened into obsolescence.