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Skill in application is the foundation when it comes to make-up [For Better or Worse]

As a rule, don't dial 800 numbers, especially with credit card in hand, just because a late-night TV ad tells you to; not even when the voice yells, "But wait! Call in the next 10 minutes and we'll double the offer!"

Still, rules were meant to be broken.

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"Let me understand this," Doug said. "You're going to spray-paint your face with your eyes closed."

"No," I said. "It's a makeup airbrush. It sprays a fine mist that covers all of your little imperfections with a smooth, even foundation."

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I was hoping to obliterate all traces of my manhole-cover-size nose pores.

"It's like Rembrandt preparing a canvas for his next masterpiece," I said.

"So, what you're saying is, you're going to spray-paint your face with your eyes closed," Doug reiterated.

"All right, let's say that, by some miracle, it goes well," he continued, "and you don't get it on the walls, your hair, the mirror, the shower door..."

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I interrupted him. "In the commercial, it looked easy and not messy at all."

"OK, fine. Let's say it does go well, the bathroom remains intact, and you have a perfectly smooth canvas. You do know you're not exactly Rembrandt with the rest of the paint in your bag of tricks, right? Remember the last time you tried putting on mascara? We wound up at the urgent care clinic getting your eyes flushed out."

I'll admit I'm no Van Gogh when it comes to applying stuff to small areas, like eyelids. But, in my defense, I rarely wear makeup. I'm just out of practice! It has to be a special occasion, like a birthday party or the opening of a new shopping center for me to bother painting my face.

Still, what Doug said got me thinking. The airbrush comes with special makeup; how do I know what color to order? Even when I hold swatches – or actual makeup – beside the back of my hand, looking for a perfect match, it all goes awry.

Maybe it's the harsh fluorescent lighting at Wal-Mart, or the various tints of age spots on my hand, but I always wind up looking pale as a ghost or bright orange, with no one part of my face ever matching any other.

When makeup that adjusts to each individual person's skin tone hit store shelves, I was overjoyed. Unfortunately, it only works when applied evenly, which doesn't seem to be my strong suit. Where it's thicker, it "adjusts" differently…with court-jester-like results.

Then, one night, I couldn't sleep (in hindsight, it might have been the burrito), so I decided to watch some TV. At around 2 a.m., the commercial for the Easy-Peasy Airbrush Make-up Applicator appeared on the screen. Suddenly, the room had a golden glow and I heard a choir of angels singing.

Never again would I visit my mother-in-law looking like I'd fallen face first into a bag of flour; or see holiday photos where it appears I accidentally mixed up my finishing powder with industrial waste.

"Help me understand," Doug persevered. "You. Are. Going. To. Spray. Paint. Your. Face. With. Your. Eyes. Closed."

As it turns out, I'm not. I went online to order the airbrush and discovered the five additional installments weren't for $14.95, like the introductory price. They were $65.95. Each. Sadly, that money is already earmarked for stupid stuff, like food, medicine, and gas for the car.

Then again, I think I saw a paint sprayer in the garage. Doug used it only once, years ago, to stain the deck. He probably wouldn't even miss it. The trick will be picking out the right color.

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