Now, I don't pretend to be an expert in make-up matters, but I do know a few basics.
And to answer the obvious question, YES, men and women both wear make-up when they appear regularly on television newscasts. It is expected.
In part, it is to smooth out the skin tone, and hide the blemishes... much as why any woman wears make-up at any other time as well.
I don't know why this thrills and delights so many people. They seem to take great delight in the fact that men need to wear make-up. And they're even more surprised to discover that we do our own make-up.
There have been too many movies and TV shows that depict make-up artists touching up the star just before the go on, or while in their dressing room getting ready. People seem to think that we have private make-up rooms and artists waiting upon us hand and foot.
It ain't that way. At least, not these days in budget cuts and in smaller markets.
Basically, men usually only use powder or foundation to even the skin tones. But at one time, I was instructed to wear foundation, ruse, eyebrow pencil, mascara, lip gloss, high lighter, under eye liner, and to use foundation on my hands, ears, neck, face, scalp.... the list goes on and on...
Recently, I ran out of my basic powder just before the trip to London, and resolved to buy some more when I got back. By the time I got to the store, I was scraping the last few dregs out of the compact, and vowing to go during the dinner hour to buy some more.
Walking down the aisle, I was pleased to discover that the brand and specific product was marked down... perhaps being phased out, but certainly a bonus for me. As I bent over and hovered to look at the packages, I realize I had forgotten my reading glasses, and couldn't make out which number tin was looking at. All shades looked exactly the same on the top...neutral tan or flesh color.
Was it 505, 510, 515, 520 or 525 that I needed? Oh for the old days of just saying "Beige, please" and having the clerk hand it over to me. During the summer months, it was "Sand, please" and it always came out right.
I grabbed #515 and check myself out. I went to dinner confident that I'd look right.
When I started applying the pancake, as it is known in the business, I immediately knew something was wrong. I had light white streaks appearing across my nose, cheek and forehead.
I looked at the package. It was #505. I looked again in the mirror. For a second I laughed aloud. I was going to look as pale as Barnabas Collins in Dark Shadows if I used this stuff alone. I had misread the number and guessed wrong.
Late last night I stopped in at another branch of this store, and after checking the empty container, confirmed that I needed #515 or 520 to look right. I bought a second compact with the cheap discount price.
Today, I have rejoined the human race, my brief appearance as a zombie or vampire, a thing of the past.
Maybe this winter I'll need some #505, but not today!