Monday, July 03, 2006

A Tale of Two Beauty Departments

So I managed to fight my way through the hordes of tourists on a hot and sticky Friday to visit Bergdorf's and Bendel's and this is first installment of a two part post whereby I describe my experiences.

Bergdorf Goodman's is a distinctly New York institution. As far as I know, it never branched out a la Barney's (LA, Chicago, Boston and a multitude of Co-Op stores) or Bendel's (anyone remember the outposts in Chicago and some mall in New Jersey? Anyone?). And as such, it has a certain je ne sais quoi air about it.

Oh, wait, I do know what it is. That's the air of superiority. And inaccessibility.

But...they've got the goods.

I was browsing in the handbag section waiting for my mom to meet me when I witnessed a young girl, all of thirteen, walk directly up to a sales woman and ask, "Is there more to the store?"

The woman shot her a withering look that would have stopped Medusa in her tracks.

The girl pressed on, "I mean, are there clothes here?"

At this point I feared for this girl's safety.

As she opened her mouth again, the salewoman cut her off, "What are you looking for?" She replied meekly "Contemporary." The woman sighed, "Five," pointed to the general direction of the escalator and turned her back on the poor girl whose mother rushed over as they scurried off.

That is what you must be prepared for if you want to shop at Bergdorf's. You must show no fear, as the sales staff can smell fear like cheap drugstore perfume and will pounce instantly. Walk tall and carry a big designer purse.

After a romp in the shoe department, my mother and I descended to the beauty level as my mother swears that some salesMAN (later, at the counter at BG, the sales girl would speak very nastily about male makeup artists. I'm totally Switzerland in that debate. Color me neutral.) at Bloomie's sold her the wrong colors at Trish McEvoy. She made a beeline for the counter to rectify the mistake.

As she told her tale of woe and shades too dark lipliner to the sales girl, I perused the merch and was particularly taken by the perfume section. Now, some of you may remember that I am really bad with stinky perfumes. But I began sniffing, and found one that I actually liked! It was Fragrance #4, Gardenia and White Musk. It is really light and floral, but not in an-old-lady-garden-smell (which is what I usually associate with florals). It also reminds me of the original Marc Jacobs perfume, but mercifully lacks that overdone-to-death aspect.

Also, when I shoved my arm into my boyfriend's nose to get his take on the fragrance, he said he liked it. "Very clean," he nodded to me and my mother. This is totally something he is aping from some boyfriend handbook, as "clean" is an adjective typically reserved for socks worn only one day or something which was recently doused with Formula 409. But it's nice that he is so supportive.

The nicest part? I was able to buy a small, travel sized bottle which, if I decide I like the scent, can refill from a bigger bottle, purchased at a later date. Kudos to Trish! This works out well for me.

I also tried a cute peachy lip gloss from Trish, but cannot for the life of me remember what it's name was. I'm off today to try to track it down at Bluemercury in Georgetown (Hey, America's birthday can sort of be like my birthday too).

Tomorrow...Adventures in Beauty, where I submit to a makeup application by a newbie makeup artist at Bendel's...the horrors!!

1 comment:

Kim said...

I swear I'm moving to NYC just for Bergdorf's. I go there just for the arrogant sales clerks; it's so refreshing.