Ode to George Ella Lyon*

I am from an arranged marriage that had no love and did not survive

I am from my spirit’s will to survive

I am from a fury that’s been subdued

I am from a blessing and a promise that I have yet to see

I am from a far away land that I have not seen nor smelled

I am a mystery even to myself

I am from a Creator that I have never seen

I sit quietly yet filled with anxiety and rage

I have a heart but act heartless

I live on hope and a peace that has no end

*Inspired from his “Where I’m From” poem


This Easter

This Easter I decided I wanted to do the least Eastery thing possible. I wanted to avoid the brunches, the bonnets, and the chocolate bunnies that have nothing to do with Christ’s Resurrection. I really don’t understand this modern day tradition of our lame attempt at wearing our Sunday best when we don’t make it a habit the rest of the year. Men have it easy: Put on a suit like they’re going to work.  Women, however, appear like they have just reached into the back of their closets and pulled out their tired old floral dresses, barely pressed, and people are so impressed with their appearance because they’re not used to seeing them in a dress- any kind of dress.  They do their hair and makeup like they normally do so it looks like they’ve inadvertently walked out of a dressing room at Filene’s Basement trying on markdowns.
So instead of the brunch gatherings at some diner or Upper East Side bistro, I’m heading to Brooklyn for an outdoor BBQ in jeans- I’ll go to church first, of course.

Virtual Skin

Tragedy struck me as my friend Geselle told me the bad news two weeks ago when we were on our way to Bloomingdale’s together.  “Prescriptives went out of business.”

            “What?!” I gasped.

            “Yeah, some time ago.”

            I have had the same complexion for the past 15 years.  In Prescriptives terminology, it’s called Virtual Skin Y/O Real Gold 07.           

I’ve tried different foundations over the years with utter failure- Trish McEvoy was too thick, Laura Mercier too brown.  I never returned things, so I would just put up with it, bear my mistake and walk around with a too-brown face for six months or however long it took to use up a whole bottle.  But I always had Prescriptives as my fallback. 

I dreaded the idea that I would have to find a bona fide replacement.  I could have hoarded and collected all that was left of the company’s supply, like “Seinfeld’s” Elaine character in that “Are You Spongeworthy?” episode, but I just decided to accept fate, move on, and get to work.  As I’ve been hanging on to my last gop of my Virtual Skin, I have been on a crusade; the most thorough makeup expedition ever.  I am familiar with almost every Sephora store in Manhattan and the beauty counters at Bloomingdale’s.  I have never been the type to ask for makeup samples, as I would get easily intimidated by the cold angry stares the all-too-made-up beauty sales reps would give me behind their shiny glass caves.  In these desperate times, however, I became bold and fearless.  I ignored the unjustified and weird animosity I received at Benefit and Chanel and helped myself to trying on their foundations.  It seemed so weird to have to endure the silent taunts and to muster up so much bravery for an even skin tone. 

Other makeup counters were a little less hostile than members of Al-Qaeda.  Shiny-green-eye-make-up guy at MAC was nice enough to leave me alone to try on different shades in peace.  Bronzy-make-up guy at Bobbi Brown was nice, and was definitely the most generous in actually giving me a sample.  Sephora, however, is the most awesome place ever.  Most of you have already discovered the awesomeness of this mecca for makeup, but that’s when my obsession for collecting makeup samples went in to full gear.  I have never been an addict to anything, but the top of my dresser is now covered with tiny clear plastic containers of makeup samples.  I’ve been taking detailed notes-   “Lorac SMS 4- nice color, but too matte; Nars Ceylon- stinks!”-  I began reading makeup blogs and reviews online.

After an exhaustive search, I finally settled on Bobbi Brown’s  Natural Finish Warm Beige 3.5.  For now.