How do women buy makeup?

Here's the thing. I have been on a mission for the past two years to become more girly. It all started when I was engaged and reading about women's beauty regimens in preparation for their weddings. I read these 12-month beauty planners and my eyes fell out... women actually started planning their beauty routines a year in advance?! There were lots of things on there I'd never even heard of, much less tried. So I drove over to my nearest spa and asked them to give me a facial. Which they did. And it was expensive and I didn't like all the steam up my nose. But that's beside the point.

The big revelation for me was eyebrow waxing. I had never waxed or tweezed anything before. But after I had my brows waxed for the first time, I was in awe-- I looked so much better! Soon I hated looking at old pictures because I was horrified by my unkempt eyebrows.

I experimented with spray-on tanners, I used Crest Whitestrips, I bought pore strips... but the thing that I still have trouble with today is makeup.

You can't try on makeup like you try on clothing. I'm not sure how anyone ever takes the plunge and decides to buy $15 lipstick and $10 eyeliner if they have no idea if it's going to look any good on them. So I've always bought cheap-ish stuff... I know I'm going to wind up not using most of it anyway, because the color's going to be wrong, or it's going to wear off too fast, or something.

Well, I splurged a little last week and bought some new stuff at CVS because I accidentally dyed my hair orange and none of my old makeup looks right anymore. I'm dismayed to report that it's all a bust, but figured I'd tell you why here so other women might not make the same costly mistakes:

-Styli-Style Line & Seal waterproof eyeliner in Tanzanite: Hard to apply-- you have to press really, really hard (I'm going to try melting it a little with a lighter next time), and the color makes me look like I might have the flu. Didn't stay on more than a few hours.

-CoverGirl Cheekers Bronzer: You can't tell until you open it, but it's really sparkly. This is OK for 14-year-old girls, I guess, but ridiculous on me.

-CoverGirl liquid pencil in black brown: Applies nicely, and not a bad color, but it disappeared quickly. I looked in the mirror a few hours later and it was totally gone. (I do rub my eyes a lot, so factor that in, but my old eyeliner-- Clinique Quick Eyes in black-- handled that just fine.)

-Maybelline Shiny*licious in Sugar plum: Stayed on for maybe 28 seconds, and tasted weird.

See, now I'm gun shy about trying other new products because I just wasted a lot of money on four products that are going to sit at the bottom of my makeup bag until I finally give up and throw them out. And those are not the expensive products... seriously, how do women ever figure out what products are right for them? Do they just accept that it's all a gamble, and that it's OK to spend $100 before finding the right lipstick? Is this another womanly lesson I should just get used to now?

I always think it's funny when writers ask celebrities about their favorite beauty products, and they name something that I can't even identify by function. My single must-have beauty product is Naturistics roll-on shiny lip gloss in watermelon flavor. If I can't find it, I buy the same product by N.Y.C., which costs about $2 and remains yummy for hours.

Now you know.

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