One of my earliest memories of shopping for makeup was during the summer before 8th grade. I had triumphantly received a gift card to Sephora for my birthday as a gift from a friend. With only a mundane knowledge of sparkly lip gloss and neon nail polish, I dragged my mom to the makeup haven that was Sephora to make my very first “upscale” makeup purchase.
Always the researching geek, weeks prior to our Saturday shopping trip, I scoured my teen glossies and read up on which hot makeup products I would want to purchase. And that’s when I first laid eyes on what would be a 10+ year obsession with…. the famous Nars Multiple Stick.
I am a sucker for products that allow me to multi-task; highlighter/pen duos, a purse that is a clutch, wallet and crossover bag in one, a dress that can be worn 20 ways (see: American Apparel)–you get the idea. So, as a teenager with a limited knowledge of (and experience with) makeup, the coveted Nars Multiple– a tinted lip, cheek and eye product in one beautifully packaged stick was like an epiphany to me. It also seemed like the best bang for my (gift card) buck.
As I pulled my mother towards the Nars section in Sephora, and stood face to face with my holy grail, an eager Sephora associate stepped up to us and politely asked if we needed any help. I told her that I was looking to purchase a Nars Multiple because I loved how multifunctional it was. She wrinkled her brow, frowned with disdain and said “But you’re so young to be using a Nars product. Why don’t we try something alittle more…fun? You’re too young to be trying something so boring.” I was confused, was she telling me I shouldn’t buy the one thing I had been obsessing over because she was assuming the interests of my age demographic? She explained that the Nars brand was usually purchased by older women or girls who had more makeup experience. My adolescent heart took a dive and feeling ignorant of the associate’s “educational” statement about what I should be buying as a teenage girl, I listened.
The associate steered me over to all things “fun”, sparkly and brightly colored courtesy of the hot brands of my youth: Urban Decay, Hard Candy and Stila (brands I actually grew to love). She brushed on some opalescent green shadow to my lids (“Mold” by Urban Decay), swatched a bubble-gum pink polish for my stubby nails (Hard Candy polishes which hustled teenage girls with the removable plastic, jeweled finger rings housed on top), and picked out an equally bright pink Stila lipgloss. Satisfied with her handiwork, she asked if there was anything else I could do and through my glazed eyes I watched her proudly walk away.
Not knowing what else to do and with a bunch of popular makeup products in my hands, I purchased everything the pushy associate had given me, the Nars Multiple only a faded dream in the back of my mind. While we headed to the register, I added one more product to my makeup spoils, one that made me rest easier on my guided decision to erase the Nars Multiple from my heart: the ever-popular Stila Convertible Color in Peony. Still a classic today, the Stila Convertible Color helped mend my broken heart over the Nars Multiple as it is a 2-in one cream blush and lip product housed in a cutely colored compact mirror.
Years have passed and though I’ve been distracted by other coveted makeup products, I’ve still been dreaming about owning my very own Nars Multiple. I wonder about when I do purchase one soon (maybe for my upcoming birthday), if I will feel justified for that time when a Sephora associate told me to buy makeup better suited for my age or if I will feel no differently and just accept the fact that I didn’t listen to my heart’s one strong opinion in a shopping matter…