Mindy Newell: Sephora Kicks Super-Ass!

“Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a kick-ass red lipstick.” – Gwyneth Paltrow

“I fought a killer and didn’t even smudge my makeup.” – Rose Pressey, Flip that Haunted House

After a fun time with my grandson – soon to be 14 months old! What’s that saying about time flying? – on Friday at Gymboree, I drove over to Sephora to buy some concealer for my 61 year-old under-eye bags and of course ended up spending too much money on other shit that I probably didn’t need and which I justified by telling myself that I hadn’t splurged on said self in a year so stop worrying and learn to love the bomb, as Kubrick so aptly put it.

Anyway, driving home I got to wondering about what kind of skin care and make-up the superheroes use.

There are dozens – hundreds? – of mascaras that claim to be waterproof (though I’ve never used one that stands up to the pool or the ocean) and that will stand up to the most exhausting and sweat-inducing workouts and ultra-triathlons. There are dozens – hundreds? – of foundations and blushes and lipsticks and eye shadows made by companies, from deluxe department store brands to those found on a drugstore carousel rack, that claim to “lasts all day!,” withstanding everything from a walk in a tropical monsoon in Mumbai to a passionate, epic 24 hour tumble between the sheets. And there dozens – hundreds? – of skin care products promising to turn back the clock and/or replace more invasive products like Botox or Juvaderm or – going all the way – cosmetic surgery.

So what does a superwoman wear while she’s pummeling – and being pummeled by – her equally meta-powered enemy? Surely Superman needs a little styling gel to keep those oh-so-sexy Kryptonian curls and waves mussed in just the right places?

After all, no super hero wants to be seen with puffy, dark-circled eyes and a turkey neck. Doesn’t inspire much confidence in the civilians to be seen looking “tired and drab” when you set out to stop the latest threat to Earth.

WHOOSH! The Flash needs help. Yeah, that – ahem – flashy red suit of his is designed to withstand the friction and wind he creates as he rushes to help, sometimes hitting velocities beyond the sound barrier. But what does he use to prevent the certain skin damage to his wind burned and chapped cheeks, chin, and lips?

Speaking of skin care, here’s some other meta-human types that could some help with their epidermis:

  • The Thing. ‘Nuff said!
  • Iron Man. “What?” you say. “Tony Stark is enclosed in technological armor. He doesn’t have to worry about sun exposure!” Yes, but it gets hot inside that face plate. After a hard day at the office, there’s nothing the man needs more than a really good skin care regimen to cleanse out those pores and remove the layer of dead cells. May I suggest a little exfoliation two to three days a week with an at-home peel?
  • Power Girl: You do a good job covering up, Kara, but you’re forgetting that delicate skin in your décolletage area. I recommend a moisturizer with an anti-antioxidant ingredient (vitamins C and E, for instance) and a SPF factor of at least 25. But stay away from moisturizers containing retinoid or alpha hydroxy acids, because they can make your skin more sensitive to the sun and its photo aging properties, especially in the summer or in equatorial climates where the sun is always strong.
  • Starfire: Lady, I know you’re an alien, and that orange skin indicates the presence of melanin which helps protect the skin from sun damage, but really! With that costume exposing more skin to photo aging than Bettie Page on a beach shoot, you are risking looking like a prune before you’re 30! Hey, I’m the first one to say flaunt it if you’ve got it, but – never mind the moisturizer, you must cover up if you don’t want to develop a raging case of melanoma!

If looking delectable and gorgeous is part of the “brand” of taking on super villains, do ultra-women deliberately choose to look their best as they beat the crap out of some megalomaniac with phasers and lasers or even “old-fashioned” dirty bombs and plans for world domination as a subtle means to throw their villains off their games? Think about it. Wouldn’t, say, Arcade, so taken with Storm’s exotic beauty, deliberately lower the level of “play” in his Murderworld so as the woman wouldn’t be too bruised or battered?

Or, on the other hand, would Diana’s Amazonian beauty, enhanced with the understated mineral powder foundation and bronzer, the finest kohl eyeliner, the warmest clay lipstick offered by the cosmeticians of Themiscrya, only work to throw Barbara Minerva, aka the Cheetah, into a jealous frenzy of the nth degree, giving her even more of an excuse to rip her talons into Wonder Woman’s face?

Maybe the Grecian powerhouse should rethink her look when she’s up against women who hate her.

Yeah, if I lived in the alternate realities of Marvel and DC and Image, et. al., and I was a smart marketing or R&D executive at Lancôme or MAC or Estee Lauder or Maybelline or Revlon or Urban Decay, et.al., I’d convince my bosses to develop a line of skin care products and make-up specifically tailored to the super set.

And if it’s good for them, just think of what it would do for us working slobs.

Talk about product placement!