Michael Jackson, Trish McEvoy and the Viking Queen

Once upon a time, I read in a magazine someone else’s definition of contentment, “a new lipstick, a good book, and a needlepoint project”, and thought to myself, “Now there’s a soul mate”. During law school finals, particularly, I would go with a friend to buy a little study premio, such as a new lip gloss, as a reward for surviving a test or paper. And here let me clarify: we are talking makeup counter makeup, not drugstore. High end product. Stuff that smelled good and came in a slick package. If the saleswoman threw in a makeover and free samples, even better.

One Halloween, post law school, Flaky Friend came to visit me in Baltimore from D.C. Item number one on the agenda: a new lipstick. On the way to the mall we were sideswiped by a little old lady who nearly totalled my luxurious Dodge Spirit. Undeterred, we swapped cars with Mr. Understanding after the car was towed away, and continued to the mall where we each purchased (and correct me if I am wrong, FF) the same shade of russet Clinique lipstick. It looked good on both of us and was seasonally appropriate. Neck-deep in student loans and in the middle of a recession, we limited ourselves to the lipstick. It helped us get over the next day’s and week’s aches and pains.

Living overseas, however, pretty much killed my habit of makeup shopping to alleviate stress. The colors at the department store in Mexico, for example, were geared, naturally, to a more olive complexion and cost twice the price. So I switched to buying necessities at Duty Free stores on trips home. There was also an annual trip to the makeup counter with either a friend, sister, or mother in tow. The brands have varied over the years, a little Chanel and a lot of MAC. Then, as I got older and realized I should not be wearing turquoise eyeshadow, even to parties, I moved on to the sublime Bobbi Brown.

But this summer I got lured away by a nice girl at the Trish McEvoy counter at the flagship Nordstrom store in downtown Seattle. Everyone else was busy (hello, recession? where did you go?) so she reeled me in while Mr. Understanding bought loafers. Melanie made me over and explained Trish’s nifty little compact system. Always looking to downsize and organize, I was hooked. Ms. McEvoy’s quilted, zippered pouch contains magnetic pages to which the pans of eyeshadow, blush, and bronzer adhere. There are pockets for pencils, lipstick and mascara. Plus, afterwards, I looked pretty good and the whole system was perfect for travel, a justified purchase. Melanie, a traveling Trish McEvoy rep, offered to makeover me and my sister Mood Ring Momma the following weekend, along with Lisa, the counter manager. Mood Ring Momma’s surprise 40th birthday party was the next Saturday and I was tasked with creating a diversion. I am good at diversions. Mood Ring suspected not one thing and arrived at her party coiffed, polished, and surprised.

Fastforward a few weeks later, at another Nordstrom’s in the greater Seattle area with Thing 1 in tow. This time a winter white blonde with long braids and bright blue eyes attended me. Tattoos peeked out from her various black garments and stilettos. All she needed was a helmet with horns to complete the look of Viking Queen. For a moment I thought I was at the MAC counter, but no, her makeup was far more natural. Thing 1 looked fab after her makeover, the kind of application mother and teen could agree upon. Then it was my turn. We bonded instantly over the following exchange, condensed for purposes of the blog:

Viking Queen: How about a little of the Shell Eye Brightener?

Me: What does that do?

VQ: Brightens the inner eyes.

Me: Do I need it?

VQ applied the eye brightener and handed me a mirror.

Me: Good God, thanks, but no! I look like Michael Jackson!

VQ spasmed with laughter, saying: You are baaaad! Evil! I think I like you!

MJ had just passed on to his great reward that week but was everywhere, but everywhere. I’d had just about enough. The thing I’d found most fascinating about MJ were his eye enlargements, not the 7+ nose modifications. Why, why, why? I am sure that we will find out soon.

VQ: My dad’s name is Michael.

Me: So’s mine!

VQ: And I’m adopting my little sister who is also name Michael. Spelled M-y-k-e-l-l-e. Dumb, right? But what are you going to do?

I explained about the Iranian girls I’d met earlier in the year who told me that the name Michael was evil.

Me: But wait a minute. Could you please explain how you are adopting your little sister? How old are you?

VQ: I am 31. My scumbag of a dad hooked up with a crack whore. The state [not Washington] took the baby away because the mother already had two other children with problems that were adopted by another family. I also have a 12 year old but the father and I are no longer together [and here she looked wistful]. We had a baby girl who died awhile ago.

Me: I am so sorry. How did you hear about your new half sister?

VQ: My mom. She was going to adopt the baby but the state said she was too old.

Me: Didn’t your dad want the baby?

VQ: Are you kidding?

Really, I am not doing this conversation justice. Imagine wanting to cry and laugh as someone is deftly applying mascara to your eyelashes. In order to adopt her sister, VQ had had to take classes on how to deal with crack babies. She’d had to spend a lot of money hiring lawyers to adopt her own flesh and blood. Like her Nordic predecessors, Viking Queen was undaunted in her quest to adopt her sister, forging ahead over icy, unfathomable waters.

Over the summer, VQ and I had several more conversations. She sent me a Trish gift. I introduced my other sister, MCV, to Trish McEvoy at the Bellevue counter where Peaches had already heard about Mood Ring’s 40th party makeover. Viking Queen’s own mother (if you can believe!) was allowed to bring her her sister from several states over. The ex-husband was in town and volunteered to babysit while Viking Queen taught her spinning and yoga classes, planting a seed of hope. Baby Mykelle looked like her sister/mother and was thriving in her new environment.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, October 13, Trish McEvoy herself is going to be at the downtown Seattle Nordstrom. For an amount less than what you would spend dining with your local Congressman and for an experience far more rewarding, you can have lunch with Trish and get your money back in Trish goods. Sign up if there’s still room. Trish owns her own business and is not part of a conglomerate, a savvy entrepreneur. Several of my favorite people are anteing up so they can buy lipstick with my favorite new Makeup Maven. I hope Viking Queen is there too, so they can meet the woman who inspired me this summer with her innate sense of decency, her acceptance of the tough road she has traveled, and her generosity of spirit. At peace with her past, present, and future, she deserves a prize of her own and I am not talking lipstick. Maybe Trish can give her a promotion?


Housekeeping Question: How often do you clean out your fridge, as in, get rid of the leftovers, etc?



Filed under Cosmetology, Folkart, Life, People, Uncluttering

25 responses to “Michael Jackson, Trish McEvoy and the Viking Queen

  1. MCV

    Bellevue, not Seattle. Everything else about the blog is great! Come on out ladies. It will be truly entertaining. We are going with a friend who shall remain unnamed on the blog who told me she hasn’t had her make up done by someone since 1989! And yet somehow she always looks much more polished . . . Three cheers to VQ! Hope she is reading it as I gave Lisa the blog address early this fall.

    MCV was here

  2. mood ring mama

    I can’t wait to meet Trish. I’m already trying to decide what to wear, and whether I go in sans make-up, or with on – I’ll be coming from work, so w/o might frighten my co-workers. I want to ask her if she hangs with Bobbi. I want to ask her is she wants to use me as a test animal and give the products for free in exchange.

    • MCV

      I bet Trish and Bobbi are the best “frenemies” a girl could have. Superficially nice but the claws come out when the other isn’t around.

      Go in sans make up. that’s what I plan to do. More time to apply make up and less time to take off what you already have on. . .

  3. Readers: I actually shrieked when I heard that someone I knew had not been to the makeup counter since 1989!

    Throw the old makeup out with the leftovers! A former aunt (that’s the politest way to refer to her) was proud that she’d only owned one tube of mascara, purchased in high school. She was 40 when she dropped that bomb. She might as well have gone out to a road paving crew and asked for some fresh tar. Tell Trish I’ll open the the Madrid counter and will go to LA for training, girls.

    • MCV

      The person who last had make up done by someone still buys plenty of high end make up. I guess she just doesn’t desire to sit and chit chat the day away like we do. And she is sure enough about herself to not need to added “you look great with that on”. Please don’t compare her to former aunt. Not a fair comparison.

  4. Mood Ring Momma

    Agree with MCV – comparison not warranted. I’ve seen this kitten’s kaboodle of beauty products and they are certainly up to date.

    I hate cleaning out the fridge. I do it as I need more room. Then it sort of becomes an entertaining game for me – “March 30, 2009??? Wow!!! No dilemma there!” Pretty much makes the decision-making process crystal clear.

  5. MCV

    I clean out my fridge more than MRM does . . . that is one housekeeping item where I’ve got her beat.

    MCV was Here

  6. flaky friend

    I was just thinking about our little outing those many years ago – I think we did go Clinique but can’t remember the shade so will defer to you. I hope she was able to adopt the baby – what a great person. But the fridge cleaning question – is it a new October project to have a house cleaning query? FYI I routinely toss old stuff but rarely do an all-out cleaning. Kevin just did, however, and it looks great.

  7. MCV & MRM: no comparison! Sorry for the confusion! It was a run-on paragraph. Have edited it for clarity. I know what is in that Kitten’s kaboodle (and the trunk of her car) and it includes plenty of goodies ….

    FF: yes, she has the baby, who is not so much of a baby but almost a year old.

  8. NC Via Humboldt

    Great post. I think I like Viking Queen – – Will have to ask my valentine if she knows this Trish person – or at least her face paint.

    Fridge – when something smells, sticks or we come back from vacation.

  9. Heidi

    Happy Birthday!

    Your email has been deleted, somehow, off my address book during the move- can you send me a note?

    Hope you have a great day- I’ll toast some wine to you!!!!!!!!
    Beijos, Heidi

  10. MCV

    Update to all, because I know you are dying to hear–MRM and I did not meet Viking Queen yesterday. However we did let the other Trish ladies know that there was a blog written about her. Perhaps she will find us. Hope so!

  11. mood ring mama

    We also met the lovely Peachy. She has the most perfect skin and smile. Had a great time – you don’t want to know how great.

  12. Raftbuddy

    I clean out the fridge thoroughly probably 3-4 times a year (taking all the shelves out, the crispers, etc. and disinfecting). Sometimes it is more often if there is spillage or leakage. Usually I do a wipe down once a month. But often you will find something expired or molding in the back of one of the bottom shelves. It is always PACKED. I have not had my makeup done at the make up counter since 1989 mainly because I look at the people working there and think that their makeup looks too overdone, so why should I trust them to do mine? I also do not like people I don’t know doing things to me (makeup, massages, manicures). I feel guilty and also worry about whether I need to talk to them! Weird, I know. Thus, you should know that it was easier for me to get the foot massage in China because the guy didn’t speak English!

  13. Sassy K

    I spent an hour lurking today. It is such a pleasure to read your stuff! I’m shocked that you’re cleaning your own house these days. It was a huge adjustment for me when we came back from Brazil. We have down sized a bit with our new house in AR. I have found that I want a very clean house, but I resent the time it takes to get it that way. Smaller house=more free time.

  14. expatprincess

    NC: thanks for the male perspective. You could buy your valentine a little Trish for Christmas!

    Raftbuddy: you outed yourself on the 1989 thing. I wasn’t talking about you and, am in fact, waiting for Miss 1989 to write in about her makeup experience. Let’s just say that if the two of us are together, within a 500 mile radius of a Trish counter, we’ll be going. You won’t be disappointed! Although Vagner, my Brazilian hairdresser, remains my all-time favorite hairdresser, I did enjoy not talking at the salon in China; I was not in the mood to chit-chat. A lot of people are like you!!! More on this later.

    Sassy K: I love lurkers! You must be in high-stress mode with your move. Vis a vis housecleaning, I agree with you totally. Having said that, since we are downsized by half, we are on top of each other and I am not enjoying sharing office space. Most of my baking pans have to live in the garage ’cause I am not giving those up! Give us a shout out from AR – hope you have a smooth move! xoxoxo P.S. I do have a little help.

  15. Expat:

    Okay. Here is my Trish experience. First of all, I love her hair. It is like Dynasty but more up to date.

    And at the risk of making MCV and MRM BARF because I’ve been going on and on about it, I talked to her a bit and she did not believe my age and said I had good genes. I am bragging, and I’m not ashamed of it.

    As for the makeup, I didn’t buy the notebook because I needed to spend money on basics – the $125 serum that makes your skin glow, the mineral powder, the “miracle of light” or whatever the concealer is called, the eye base, and the bronzer. I love them all, but I’m not completely impressed with the mineral powder. I’ve used every mineral powder made, and so far my favorite is the Bare Minerals line. But it’ll do.

    I believe I look like I’m wearing LESS makeup – a makeunder. Because my skin is so bad (acne and scars), I’ve always tried to cover it as much as possible. But after Tuesday, I’ll from now on try not to hide so much behind heavy foundation.

    One last comment – the perfume and the candles are to die for! I have a perfume picked out for when I can afford it.

    Now, off to Toledo we go!!!

  16. Random Tom

    I can’t believe I read the whole thing, but I’m all caught up. The last time I checked in China was your home and shopping for porcelain was the mission.

    I’m so glad that you and yours are hale and hearty. Your story of the young lady adopting her baby sister was very touching but I must admit drifting a little with all the cosmetic talk. (Natural macho-guy reaction). Every now and then you could write something about booze and guns for the male lurkers.

    May all your sales be 70% off

  17. There is a God in Heaven! Random Tom came back to the blog!!!! I can’t believe you read the whole thing, either. Yikes. We were missing you and wondering what happened. Will a post on bullfighting satisfy your need for guns and booze??? It’s fomenting, folks, it’s fomenting.

    Vis a vis porcelain shopping, the lovely town of Talavera is nearby and I mean to amplify my collection of dishware. But first, a load of laundry …

    Even more importantly, Random Tom, have you gotten a shingles vaccination? xoxoxoxo to you and yours!!!

  18. Raftbuddy

    Power to my fellow “not been to the makeup counter to have makeup done since 1989” buddy- whoever she may be (MCV- is it you?)!! Soul sisters! My last visit there was in preparation for my wedding in 1989!!! LOL

  19. Raftbuddy: it is not MCV but it is a fellow lawyer. I think she got married even before you. This is a big year for your anniversary-wise! A trip to the makeunder counter is in order, as I wrote before.

  20. MCV

    Raftbuddy, I LOVE the fact that you thought it could have been me. But as Expat points out, it is not. However make-up purchasing is typically only a twice/year event. Expat does it about 6X/year. Her kaboodle is definitely more stocked than mine!

  21. MCV

    Update: I met Viking Queen today. She is just as gorgeous as Expat describes. Perhaps more so. And she says her baby is doing well. And she just recently in fact DID get a promotion!!! So ladies if you want to meet her, you must go to Seattle. I gave her the blog URL. Viking Queen, have you seen it yet??

  22. MCV 2x over:

    1) I do not makeup shop like that 6x a year! This year was more than average, however, due to the new Trish system.

    2) THANK YOU FOR WRITING IN ABOUT VIKING QUEEN. I know I did not do her outer beauty justice – was trying to focus on her inner beauty. So happy she got a promotion!!!

  23. I like your website, I was emailed the link, will bookmark you and visit again

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