Thursday, March 17, 2011

Beware the Beauty Show

When I say it's a special place, consider me guilty of grossly understating the facts. Once a year, the Allied Beauty Association show rolls into Montreal. All year, Susan eagerly looks forward to its arrival. All year, I eagerly struggle to repress my memory of the previous year's show. As it turns out, I've already begun, with the help of a dedicated therapist, trying to repress my memory of this year's spree! We were there Sunday and I'm, only now, starting to feel comfortable enough to talk about it.

May I just say here that beauty takes a beating at the beauty show! The hairstyles worn by visitors to the show are, in both color and form, downright frightening! The hairdos jut, jab, blind and dazzle. Many of the hairstyles had me wondering whether the creatures wearing them had managed to find parking on the busy city streets for their spaceships.

As a feature reporter looking for visual ways to cover the event, I've been on-camera with strands of foil in my hair as stylists added "low lights". One year, a team of beauty professionals at the ABA show worked tirelessly to transform me, over the course of one morning's live reports, into a metrosexual. Sadly, by that afternoon, the sophistication had come completely unravelled. Evidently, it never returned.

At one point in Sunday's precarious mission, Susan had bought so much Bed Head product that she was reluctant to go back into the booth to buy more. The dreaded test came; she called my number and, swallowing nervously, I took two steps foward and, innocently and ever-sweetly, agreed to the task.


It turns out I botched the assignment by purchasing conditioner instead of shampoo! The sizeable error was only detected at home. In fairness to my piddly competence, was I warned not to buy conditioner? Was I told that both conditioner and shampoo were being sold? Was I told to make sure I did not pick up the identical bottle of conditioner by mistake? When she slapped the cash into my hand, I was offered no instruction whatsoever. I was forced to rely on my modest smattering of reflexes and wits. So much for those.



At the beauty show I, inevitably, end-up pushing the wheelbarrow through the aisles behind beaming Susan as she excitedly chooses products from the various shelves, racks, tabletops and bins. Skipping merrily through the aisles with dollar bills flittering from her purse, her exclamations and interjections provide fair warning that products are about to be tossed and flung into the wheelbarrow with a plop, crash or thud.

Don't get me wrong, the beauty show is thoroughly educational and, for future reference, beauty is only bin deep.

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