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Greatest Show on Earth

Cosmeticshow It's sad when seven-year-old make up makes you happy. But such is the case with Cosmetic Show, the only shining light in my otherwise bland work neighborhood. I've bemoaned the state of the east 50s ever since setting up shop there seven weeks ago. Boring.

Yet, less than a full block away from my office is this crazy Odd Job (R.I.P.) of beauty products (with candy, Nutella, cookies and nuts incongruously shelved near the front window). The magic happens in the back of the store where there are bins of relatively organized new and dead stock. And it's all after my heart.

Like the L'Oreal True Match powder that I just bought a few months ago is available for $5 in all shades, not just weirdo ones. But what fascinates me most is all of the discontinued products and colors they have that I purchased in the late '90s and still use (hygiene aside, I own lots and lots of make up so lipstick or eye shadow can last a decade. Fuck that throw things away after six months propaganda. I've never had a problem yet, it's my own germs).

I was first mesmerized by their cache of Maybelline Lip Polish from an old 1998 space themed series of pale shimmery shades. I still have my tube of beigey Galactic Sands, which I bought as a 26th birthday present to myself at the Rite Aid on Fresh Pond Rd. in Ridgewood. Insane as it sounds now, it was a serious splurge at a time when making the rent was a severe struggle. I recall stressing over a $12 pair of Payless tennis shoes that same summer.

Those lip glosses weren't even all that great, kind of thick and dry like spackle, more matte than gloss. I can see why they didn't catch on. But I had to buy a $2 tube of iridescent lavender Planet Pluto for old time's sake.

They also had little tubs of L'Oreal On the Loose Shimmering Powder, which they still might make, I'm not sure. I've used my intensely teal Diva Down shade for years. I was always impressed by the strong pigmentation, which is unusual in drug store brands. So, I grabbed a $2 container of burgundy-brown Raisin' Cane just for fun.

Same for the Vintage Pink Lancome Rouge Sensation (it didn't come smashed-that was an accident on my end), which I have no sentimental connection to. It just seemed like a good everyday color for a good deal $6 (it's $22 at Sephora and much less bubblegummy than it looks on their site).

To my knowledge Cosmetic Show isn't a chain, but dammit, it should be.

Old_2   New
1998 makeup on the left and new old 2006 versions on the right

Cosmetic Show * E. 55th St., New York, NY

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