Below the Beltway

By Gene Weingarten
Sunday, July 6, 2003

6:30 a.m.

My wife is driving me to Union Station. Wife: "She's going to want to reshape your eyebrows." Me: "No way." Wife: "Let me look." She does. "Oh, she's definitely going to want to reshape your eyebrows."

"Well, I won't let her."

"You promised you'd do whatever she said."

Silence.

"What if she wants to cut off your mustache?"

Really, really silent silence.

I am not a stylish person. My sartorial regimen consists of trying to remember to fasten both collar buttons on my shirts, which cost $15 and have that pitiful loop on the back. My grooming regimen entails using whatever shampoo my wife happens to have open, which tends to be something like "sassy blonde moisture-infusing gel." I do not own a comb or brush. I trim my mustache by chewing it. Still, I was off to New York to get a $300 makeover.

It was on a dare from a woman named Rachel Weingarten, to whom I am related only in chutzpah. Rachel contacted me after a recent column in which I harassed lawyer Reid Weingarten, to whom I am related only in hostility. Rachel said it was one thing to take on a hotshot Washington white-collar crime attorney, but quite another to take on a hotshot New York beauty consultant.

Rachel has applied makeup to noses attached to Christina Aguilera, Brooke Shields, Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford, Mary J. Blige and Gwyneth Paltrow. She runs a Web site called PlanetPretty.com. She writes a column on makeup for a newspaper in (why not?) Scotland, most recently reporting on the new glitterati fad of "anus bleaching." In short, Rachel scared the bejesus out of me.

But Weingartens never back down. We're just stupid that way.

Lessons learned from a New York makeover.


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