It was a glorious April night, perfect for the symphony's outdoor concert under the stars. Equally wonderful, the performance was held on the grounds of the museum, so their
palatial ladies' rooms were just a few steps away (no Port-a-potties for this gal.) The ornately carved mahogany doors opened to reveal red velvet wallpaper and enough vanity space
for all 51 Miss America contestants to primp before their rousing tap-dance salute to George and Ira Gershwin. I sat down to poruse the tray of perfumes and cosmetics the Museum Ladies's Society
had thoughtfully provided. Next to me was a woman who had apparently come directly from the office to the concert, as she was busy applying her evening face. More powders than a chemist and
more colors than a garden, she was following along one of those step-by-step instruction cards like it was the formula for making DNA from scratch. Finally, she put the brushes down, turned to me and
asked, "Pardon me, but do you think this eye shadow might be a teeny bit too much?" "Not if you actually intended to look like Bette Davis backed into an electrified doorknob and then fell head first into a kaleidoscope mounted on the Tipsy Teacup ride at Disneyland," was
my intended answer of choice. Her eyes made a Technicolor movie look like that old black and white snapshot your grandparents used as their engagement photo. What I actually said was
nothing and what I actually did was hand her the eye make-up remover from the counter.
With her war paint off, I could see her eyes
were very round. The instructions she was following were for adding prominence to deep-set eyes. This is one of the most common mistakes with eye make-up: not being aware of which application techniques
are best suited to the specific shape of your eyes. The second mistake she made is one I fear we will see a lot of this spring: not really knowing how to apply the boldest and brightest
shadows that have been on the market in over a decade.