Beauty secrets of a former Miss Iowa contestant (and me!)

Beauty secret story from the Pollock Ball as you scroll, but first, check out the fun “drip” art people made at the event:

Fresk put together an awesome interactive painting game (it worked kind of like an X-Box Kinect) where you could dip a brush into a can filled with fake paint and “splatter” it at the screen. Every art museum should invest in this totally fun technology for an exhibit! Check out more at

Now, can you keep a beauty secret?

I don’t consider myself a girly-girl*, but I do like to get fancy-schmancy once in awhile, which puts me into a little bit of a tizzy. Typically, just I plug in my hot-rollers and then cross my un-manicured fingers that the curls do their thing. However, as I enter my late 20s, I’m trying to get a better handle on the womanly arts, with tips gleaned from ladylike friends and stylists who’ve been able to show me just what is possible. Like last year’s gig “modeling” for Salon Spa W:

Two words: FAKE EYELASHES. I felt like Laney from “She’s All That,” (shoutout to 1999!) but updated for this decade. Gina from Salon Spa W did my makeup, and Lindsey, who now works as an independent stylist, did my hair for that event.

My everyday makeup routine is pretty basic: None, aside from an occasional swipe of mascara and lip gloss if it’s during the week and I’m not giving any sort of presentation. Otherwise, I have a limited supply of tried and true products that I’m comfortable with. This is the extent of it:

Bonus manatee jewelery box photobomb!

I’m just getting the hang of using an eyebrow pencil, and attempting not to look like the episode of Girls where Lena Dunham’s character gets beauty-attacked by coworkers. Baby steps. Also, I got that Miss Dior eyeshadow compact at least three years ago, and it’s out of production so I have no idea how I will ever buy eyeshadow again. Most of that stuff is from the drugstore, but Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer is an essential Sephora trip. Anyhow, on to the beauty secret!

When getting ready for the Art Noir Pollock Ball last week, I wanted to try a slightly more dramatic look. So I went to the  MAC counter and bought some false eyelashes so someone would apply them for me, and a clump of feathers from Michael’s that I could stick in my hair.

Plugged in the trusty rollers, then, feeling gross from having been at work all day, I decided to take a shower. Then I decided to touch up my roots with some hair dye. (Late 20s, people, and I already have tons of gray.) Word to the wise: You can’t shower and dye your hair without messing up your false lashes. I got out of the shower and looked like a sad cartoon Raggedy Ann doll. Minor tantrum ensued.

A little piece of me just knew if I packed the lashes in my sparkly gold clutch, I might have a lady friend who could come to the rescue.

And, alas! Chelsea (Banana Republic style icon that she is) just happened to be carrying lash glue with her, which she mentioned when I lamented the fate of my foxy look. And Liz, a former Miss Iowa contestant and ever-glamorous gal, helped me apply them. Serious work:

Rejoice! The funniest thing I heard was when Chelsea said a certain fabulous local makeup artist had once told Liz (who I believe did take home the award for evening wear) that she absolutely must wear false eyelashes to any party with more than a dozen people in attendance.

Photo via Metromix. Check more from the Pollock ball here.

For me, I like to really go all out on makeup for special occasions, but keep it simple otherwise. My college roommate, Amanda, is a makeup genius. She did my wedding makeup, even though I once told her she made me look like a harlot when she tried to help me get ready to go out dancing in college. The one problem with being so skilled was that whenever she didn’t have time to apply makeup, people were always asking her if she was sick!

So, I’d rather ramp things up once in awhile, myself. Now, to learn how to apply my own false lashes! Sometimes, they’re that give you that sliver of confidence boost you need to feel like your usual, sparkly self. True beauty is inside, though, right ladies?

*My mom and I were arguing the other week about Barbies. I say she never let me get them, she said I never wanted them. I know I DID have Amish dolls, but I always made her draw faces with big lips on them.


Filed under I love Des Moines, Life lessons

4 responses to “Beauty secrets of a former Miss Iowa contestant (and me!)

  1. P

    Are false eyelashes easy? Aunt P.

  2. No! That’s why I went to the makeup counter. However, there are tons of teenage girls who do youtube videos showing how to do it, so I’m going to get a cheap-o set from Wallgreens and practice this winter.

  3. I have that Laura Mercier Foundation. It was a recommendation by the one and only Mara Vandlik about 5 years ago and it’s the only brand/type of foundation I’ve used since.

  4. Pingback: Art appreciation with tiny ones | BS in the Midwest

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