I have a confession to make. I'm a junkie, but my speed is eyeshadow, my smack is lipstick. I got hooked young, 13. I would skip religion classes to buy frosted pink lipstick and electric blue mascara at the pharmacy across the street from the church.  I gave up a place in heaven for blush. So I'd be lying if I said I didn't go to the Smashbox Cosmetic/Sephora runway show tonight in hopes of copping some of what we call on the street, “face paint.” I noticed the little velum bag on my seat right away and had to refrain from immediately checking its contents because I'm sure that breaks some kind of fashion show etiquette.

Luckily, I was distracted by the sound of rain trickling out of the speakers and a rising Brazilian drum beat that got my foot tapping. Then she appeared– part tropical bird, part python. A slithering tan dancer with a mohawk made of teased hair and bright green and brown feathers, her humble breasts were bare except for glittery green paint swirls in various hues and small leaves covering what they considered only the most offensive part of the bossom. Sheathing her bottom, barely, was a loin cloth of sorts, leopard print with a Mardi Gras bead-like belt, but the most outlandish part of this costume was her face make-up, topaz gems encrusted her eyes, her false lashes were long, like 5 inches long, and curled at the ends like a Mary Tyler Moore flip. Her lips glittered gold. And her hips punctuated the bass drum, and rolled with the snare. Following her gleeful dance were a series of serious looking young ladies. Some in off-runway looks inspired by the rainforest, light green and purple circled eyes, and others with clusters of jewels and streaks of glitter across their faces. Some wore knit bikinis, some nothing but metallic body paint. The models seemed to really trudge down the runway. They seemed heavy and pissed off, but looked really pretty. And then out came the tropical bird lady again and let me say, I have never seen anybody shake their ass like that.

Her name is Ami Goodheart, a dancer/choreographer who was flown out here from New York by Dean and Davis Factor, Max Factor's grandsons and owners of Smashbox cosmetics. It took her three hours to get all that make-up on, applied by the magic hands of Karl Giant.

I glance in the bag that was on my seat as Ami tells me she has danced in Marc Jacobs' shows and on cruise ships. I'm distracted. There is definitely some kind of make-up product inside the bag.

When no one is around I get my fix. Smashbox eyeshadow in greens and golds and a matching set of lip glosses and a gi-normous jar of Sephora body butter. Inside is a “how to pamphlet” (in case I want to try some of the looks I saw tonight) and in its margin is an explanation. Smashbox cosmetics and Sephora teamed up to create two limited edition make-up palattes– the very ones in my bag– to raise awareness of the destruction of the rainforest. It says they also donated money to the Rainforest Foundation. I suppose they're trying to make me feel less shallow by giving me a cause. Who knows? I may make it up to heaven yet…

Posted by Linda Immediato


LA Weekly