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As an interesting juxtaposition to my tomboy-like tendencies, I like to play with makeup.  In fact, my lip gloss collection is something to be marveled at (and stupefied by.  Believe me, I know I have every color I could possibly need already.  I KNOW THAT.  I just need to buy new ones.  Why?  Because I’m sick, that’s why).  That’s why last night I went to something called “Sephora University” here in San Francisco for a Bare Escentuals event.  

I love Bare Escentuals.  For those who aren’t familiar with this brand, it is a makeup line that specializes in all-natural, good-for-your-skin mineral makeup.  I can’t say how much I love love LOVE their foundation.  Nothing else looks as good on my skin, and because it’s a sheer powder I don’t get that awful makeup-mask line where your neck meets your face and makes you look like you’re in some kind of Japanese Kabuki Theater Troupe or something.  I hate that.  OK, enough with the free advertisement, but it really is great and you should try it (http://www.bareescentuals.com/).  So the Sephora store here in SF decided to invite the creator and CEO of Bare Escentuals, Leslie Blodgett (that’s her above in the pic), to come and teach this “master class” to Sephora Insiders (an Insider is someone who owns one of those free frequent buyer cards, and of course I’m one because as we’ve already established, I’m a sick, sick makeup-aholic).  It was actually a really great deal, because all you had to do was pay a $25.00 fee to hold your spot, which can later be redeemed at the event for merchandise.  And because I would probably buy something anyway, it’s a win/win for me.

So my Mom and I (I’ve recently converted her to loving Bare Escentuals too) signed up for the class and she drove down from the Sierra foothills where she lives last night for the event.  I stayed with her at the Hilton, even though I live here and she doesn’t.  I just love hotels.  Plus I got a free continental breakfast and Crabtree&Evelyn mini shower products set out of it.  Aside from being 20 minutes late to the event (I stupidly didn’t read the invitation and didn’t realize that this class wasn’t in fact not at the Sephora store on Powell like I thought, but was instead at a separate location 10 blocks away), it was very interesting.  The place we arrived at was a big office building in the financial district, and after being taken up in elevators decorated with Sephora’s curvy black and silver logos, we arrived at our destination and was greeted by Maggie Rizer in turquoise eyeliner and pink lipstick.  Well, not Maggie herself, but a big poster of her, along with many other Sephora ads and posters lining the hallway.  We were led to a room full of probably thirty large square tables covered with Bare Escentuals products.  Each table fit about six people, and on each seat was a gift bag full of Sephora goodies (See?  I even got free swag out of this sweet deal!).

Leslie Blodgett, a thin, stylish brunette with a powerful voice and sleek white designer dress, was on a stage in front of the room talking about Bare Escentuals (or BE for my fingers’ sake).  She also had 2 makeup artists on stage with her, doing the makeup on 2 models, one using the Fair/Light makeup kit (provided for our examination and experimentation at our tables) and one using the Medium/Dark kit.  There were 2 more kits for a total of 4 different skin tones, each on our tables.  They had a before/after shot of each model after the makeup artists did their thang, which was probably devastating for the models because they did the before sans makeup (my worst nightmare–I am not what you would call a “natural beauty”.  I need at least concealer and mascara to make myself even the least bit presentable).

Then came the most exciting part of the evening (though I didn’t know it at the time).  Leslie Blodgett decided to raffle off a piece of jewelry she had bought that day to a lucky participant at the event.  And to what did my wondering ears did hear?  4-9-8-0-6-1.  Me.  That was my seat and my number on the ticket right in front of me oh my god I think I actually won something!!!  You have to understand, I have never one ANYTHING like this before.  I’m not usually lucky like that.  Lucky in some other ways, bet never in the random-winning-of-goods-and-prizes way.  My mom looked at me in joy and disbelief, and I knew it was real.  So I had to go up on the stage and accept my piece of jewelry from Ms. Blodgett herself.  I hate going up in front of lots of people, but if it’s to accept free pieces of jewelry from a multi-millionaire, well I’ll suck it up.  I came back to my seat and opened my package and…. it was a very delicate, almost transparently so, silver chain necklace with a tiny wishbone charm on it.  It was dainty, delicate, kind of not me, but I liked it.  It was from a brand of jewelry I’ve actually bought for my Mom and Grandma called Dogeared.  They make pieces that are on rope-type chains, and once the rope wears away and the necklace falls off, your wish will supposedly come true.  I gave up on the rope breaking after about 3 months straight of wear, but the one I bought my Grandma supposedly wore off, according to her.  Maybe she just told me that so she wouldn’t have to constantly wear it anymore.  Kidding.  I think.  Anyway, this silver chain version was more expensive looking (i.e. not on rope but on silver) and was something I actually won, so I think it is truly a good luck charm.  (I’m wearing it again today, and I actually scored a free full-size lip gloss from a girl at the Laura Mercier counter at Nordstrom.  So it must be lucky, right?).

The rest of the event was good, though it couldn’t compare to the excitement of winning something.  A makeup artist came to each of the tables and helped everyone at that table out with playing with the various BE products provided for our entertainment.  She color matched foundation on people that hadn’t used the product before, told us which color kit we should use, and answered whatever questions we had about the brand.  My only beef about this even was that they didn’t bring any extra eyeshadow colors for us to play with, only the ones that came in each of the color kits.  When I do my makeup I mainly like to play with my eyeshadow colors, so that’s what I was looking forward to.  But it was a really informative event.  We had little sheets in front of us for us to mark off the products we wanted to use our $25 fee to purchase, and after complimentary wine and dessert we were shown into a little room to put in our orders.  I ended up buying a bronzer called Faux-Tan (I don’t like tanning but also don’t like looking like a ghost), a cool mascara called Big Tease (the wand is double sided, with one side being a regular mascara wand and the other side being more of a teaser to get right to the base of the lashes), and a lip gloss kit with 4 mini sized tubes of tropical colored lip gloss (did I not mention before how sick I am?).  After the $25 redemption I ended up spending about $40.  Not bad.  My mom ended up spending about $100.00, but her bank account can afford it.  Mine can’t.

Sephora needs to do more of these Master Classes with their other brands.  I would go to all of them in a heartbeat.  It really felt like Sephora values their customers and went all out to make this a great event.  My thanks to Ms. Blodgett for the necklace too, I’m sure it will bring me luck.  And if not, who cares?  I got a free necklace and more lipgloss.  Score!       

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