Believe it or not, I never used to wear makeup. It wasn’t until I discovered YouTube makeup gurus that I ever even really attempted to wear it. That puts me somewhere in my thirties when I first tried, sloppily, to apply makeup properly without someone doing it for me. But once I did, I was hooked like your gran is to bingo.
It’s not that I felt I looked better or that it boosted my self-image because I care about what other people think of me as much as I do about the price of rubles, which is to say, not at all. It was more about the artistry. Before I ever discovered my first makeup guru, I thought it was a hollow pursuit and I, admittedly, felt people who wore it all the time were shallow and vain. It’s true. I was a judgy prick back then.
But when I watched my first makeup tutorial from the YouTube makeup OG, Michelle Phan, the heavens opened up, golden light poured down, muses appeared and they boomed in goldi-locked unison, “behold, a new art form, you judgy prick”. I suddenly became aware of the fact that this was, without any shadow of a doubt, a delicate craft that took true skill and creativity. I was a changed human being.
Now, ten years later, I’m a bona fide makeup addict. If I could spare the time, I’d spend hours a day just playing with it and creating new looks. Because I can’t spare that much time, I often go out in experimental looks that I just messed around with that morning and I know, being the furthest thing from a pro, that I’ve probably horrified a few people here and there. There are probably days I’ve looked like a post-sex David Bowie or days I’ve rocked the “I’m contagious” look. I’m not afraid of colour, in fact, my most worn eyeliner is a vibrant purple because life only runs through the one time and really, it ought to be filled with as much purple as possible. Prince taught me that life lesson. Praise be.
The point is, friendos, I loves me some makeup and I often watch makeup artists on YouTube while I cook and chow at lunchtime and one such artist I love to watch is Jeffree Star.
I hear you gasping. Half of you are thinking, “that racist piece of guano? WHY, GM, WHY?”.
Yes, Jeffree has said some racist things in the past, but if you’re up to date with your current Jeffree Star, you know he’s turned his act right around and is now one of the most outspoken influencers in makeup when it comes to brands being inclusive. He’s the first to call them out if their new lines of foundations or concealers don’t have a diverse enough shade range and he will push the issue until it is addressed. He’s a generous philanthropist, speaks openly about and owns up to his previous mistakes and is doing a great deal to make makeup accessible to and inclusive of everyone.
If there’s one quality I admire the most in people, it’s the ability to change.
He’s also about the prettiest girl I’ve ever seen.
With that said, he recently launched his new Blue Blood collection and I was completely blown away by the swatches people were doing of his Blue Blood eye palette. Not only was the packaging unlike anything I’d ever seen before, but the colours were so richly pigmented and blendable that I wanted… no, needed, to work with them. The problem is, I don’t wear much blue. Being more of a pinks and reds and oranges type of mom, I decided I’d give Blood Sugar a try instead. The same quality and artistry went into his Blood Sugar collection, so I headed over to his web site to check it out.
Of course, everything was sold out as it often is on his web site. And so began two weeks of poring over Jeffree’s Twitter timeline for the announcement that Blood Sugar was back in stock. Every day, I’d reload the web page and every day it still said out of stock. Just when I was beginning to feel those luscious warm tones slip between my fingers, I saw it. Jeffree tweeted the date he’d be restocking this coveted palette. I set a reminder with Siri right then and doubled up with a Google reminder and when the day rolled around, I decided I wasn’t going to sit on Twitter and wait for the tweet. Nope, eff that, I was just going to reload until I saw the item back in stock or my thumbs fell off, whichever came first.
I saved my thumbs, kids and nerds, because two minutes before it was supposed to be restocked, there it was and I bought it faster than blood flows after a car model’s nip slip at a show & shine.
I got the confirmation email and I was so excited. Really, that’s an understatement. I’m not really a materialistic person. For flip’s sake, my coffee table is still one I found being given away free on the side of the road 6 years ago, but I digress. Mama celebrated like a Catholic priest in the kiddie pool. Praise Jesus. Praise Horus. Praise the gods of makeup. I was about to lay my hands on Jeffree Star’s Blood Sugar palette once and for all.
Now, heathens, it was travelling from the United States of America. Los Angeles, California to be exact. That means, to this Canuck sitting in her igloo in the Great White North, that there was going to be a bit of a wait. I was prepared. I had already waited several weeks just to buy the dang thing, what was another week or two? I buckled in and found ways to distract myself as I used eyeshadow every day that I knew would never hold up to the Blood Sugar palette. I put it out of my mind until one day, I got a notification that the item had shipped.
Bing Crosby in Heaven, the palette was on its way!
Each stop it made, I got a text message letting me know. For some reason, it headed to Cincinnati but I was still going to love it despite its exposure to Bengals germs. It flew all the way back to the west coast where it crossed the border. My package cleared customs in Coquitlam and one morning I woke up to the text message that it was in the Kelowna DHL depot and could, at any moment, be placed on a truck for delivery.
And then, a day before the package was scheduled to be delivered, and because God loves me, yes he does, I got the notification that it was out for delivery. Oh my lord Ganesh, nerd squad, I could almost feel it beneath my fingertips when I closed my eyes. If I could describe to you the beauty of the chorus of angels that rang out in my head, I certainly would.
Dark fell on the Okanagan Valley and it was well past DHL’s delivery hours but I still perked up every time I heard a truck. Alas, my palette never made it that day and I fell into a deep, disappointed slumber without it.
The next morning, I arose more hopeful than a bloodhound at rib fest. I knew today was going to be the day I got to mess around with the most beautiful reds and pinks and purples I’d ever seen. I opened the window above my front door so I could hear if a truck pulled up and I swore I wasn’t leaving the house until my package arrived. I got another notification that it was out for delivery and shivered with anticipation. I wrote a post for you guys, ears perked for any sound of deliveries. I scheduled social media posts, alert to every creak in the walls. Finally, as I began to answer emails, I heard a knock at the door.
This was it, Courtney Goddamned Heard, it’s go-time. I flew up from my chair and literally sprinted down the stairs skipping three with each step. My heart pounded as I rounded the corner to my front door and before it hit me that I hadn’t heard a delivery truck, my door was flying open.
Ladies and beards, let me tell you something. What was on the other side was not a gorgeous palette that was going to change my entire world. It wasn’t a pink-wrapped collection of colours that made my heart flutter. There were no stars, no pink and no damned packages when I opened the door.
No, friends, instead, there were a couple of goddamned Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Lord have mercy on my soul.
Now, you all know me. I’ve written extensively about my horde of JWs who are determined to win my soul for Jeeboner. You know they used to visit me every week at my old house and you know I was on a first name basis with each of them. You know I’m kind to them, and often offer water or to come in for warmth and I am happy to talk to them about just about anything.
You probably recall, as well, that one of my elderly witnesses who used to pop by my old house from time to time just disappeared. I never got a straight answer about where she’d gone, but I assumed, by her age, that she’d passed. She was always so lovely and I always felt so bad for her being out there in the cold and the snow and rain, or sometimes in the brutal heat of summer.
The thing is, though, when I opened the door expecting to find the palette I’d been waiting so long for, I saw her.
My missing witness. She wasn’t dead, friends. She was alive and kicking and smiling.
And, she remembered me!
“You used to live in that house on the other street, didn’t you?” She asked. She further blew my mind when she followed it up with,
“You have a little boy, don’t you?”
I mean, I never expected to be brought back down to earth by a couple of J-dubs, but here I was, all thoughts of makeup just melting away from my mind, so utterly happy to see this lady I’d worried about years prior.
I told her I was so happy to see her and asked her where she’d been. She told me she had been caring for her mother. This woman on my doorstep looked like she was in her 80s and she had been caring for her mother. 107 years old, her mother had been. She passed in December and I told her I was so sorry to hear that.
“Well, 107 years is a long, well-lived life, honey, so don’t be sorry.” She replied with a genuine smile.
I spoke with them for a few more minutes, reminded them I was an atheist, but I was happy to chat about God. We talked about the fact that the world is actually getting better, not worse (I even brought up Steven Pinker’s Better Angels of Our Nature, because I never stop atheisting, bitches). We talked about the Bible a little and then we said our goodbyes. I walked back upstairs to my office with a huge grin on my face. My missing witness was still around.
Sometime later, the doorbell rang and there was a palette on the other side. I mean, I was excited, but I hadn’t thought about it again until it arrived. It’s every bit as amazing as I thought it was going to be and worth every minute of the excruciating wait, but I gotta say, finding out my elderly witness friend is still out there living her life was way, way better.
Image by me. Creative Commons – use with credit, please!