Mother Wins Free Makeover, Big Waste of Everyone's Time

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Cathy Urquhart, 37, of Madison, WI, is standing firm on foundation. She insists there’s no way the new makeup routine she learned this past weekend at Mimi’s Spa and Salon would take her the five minutes they claimed.

Last week Ms. Urquhart won a makeover from the popular local salon as part of a contest she hadn’t even entered. Her sister, close friends, neighbors, and even some local business that had to deal with the dowdy stay-at-home mom, had all nominated her, citing how Ms. Urquhart had really let herself go in the past five years after giving birth to six children (including one set of twins).

Ms. Urquhart says, “Okay, it’s true, but who’s got time for hair and makeup? My friends and family should love me for who I am. Like my husband and kids do.”

Mr. Urquhart sat nearby carefully avoiding eye contact.

Ms. Urquhart’s sister, Heather Kelly, the one who conducted the door-to-door campaign to gather votes for her sister’s much-needed makeover, disagreed. “It’s like they teach in romantic comedies; sometimes love is helping a hot mess color her hair.”

Ms. Kelly has also given Ms. Urquhart gift certificates to California Tan every year for three years running on her birthday and Christmas but claims her sibling has yet to redeem any of them. Ms. Urquhart admits to this but says, “Don’t tanning beds cause cancer?”

Still, when Ms. Urquhart won the makeover contest in a landslide, she decided to give it a try. “A free haircut and time away from a half dozen children screaming their needs at you? Sign me up.”

Mimi’s head beauty consultant, Carrie Jameson, promised to give Ms. Urquhart a haircut the style-challenged mom could maintain on her own with very little upkeep. “I was doubtful she could improve on ‘messy ponytail,’” Ms. Urquhart says. “And I don’t mean styled ‘messy,’ as that’s apparently a thing. I mean, actually messy, as in, I grab the nearest rubber band and wrap it around my hair. After not brushing it.”

Ms. Urquhart’s hair was colored and then styled in a socially acceptable “mom bob,” then Mimi’s cosmetics consultant, Daisy Trudeau, led her through her new makeup routine, promising it would take less than five minutes to re-create at home. This is when the makeover train derailed.

“There was just no way I could do it in five minutes,” Ms. Urquhart says. “Even if”---her expression grew wistful---“I had a day to myself.”

Ms. Trudeau insisted on foundation to cover the frazzled mom’s adult-onset acne, but Ms. Urquhart objected. “I’ve never worn foundation. And wouldn’t that just lead to more breakouts?”

Ms. Trudeau was undeterred as she showed the drab mother of six how to blend eye shadow, how to contour, how to apply eyeliner, brow shaper, blush, lip liner, mascara.

Forty minutes into the new five-minute routine Ms. Urquhart had had enough. She stood up, ripped the smock from her throat, and practically ran out the door, leaving behind her sample of made-to-order liquid foundation (included as part of the package).

Ms. Trudeau says, “The client was impossible. It was like she was okay with people knowing she was an exhausted mother.” She shook her head at the inexpressible shame of it.

But Ms. Urquhart is holding her unattractive ground. “How was I supposed to do the makeup routine if the expert couldn’t even do it in the time it takes Dora and Boots to save Benny the Bull from raining coconuts?”

When pressed on whether she’d refresh her color within the recommended four-to-six-week time frame, Ms. Urquhart slammed the door in our expertly made-up faces.


This post is satire.