All That Glitters…
By Rose Ann Sinay
“I’m flying to Miami for the It Girl Shopping Expo, and I want you to meet me there,” my daughter, the senior marketing manager for Elayda Skincare, announced over the phone without so much as a greeting. “It will be a working vacation, but it will be glamorous and fun…there will be something there for everyone,” she rambled on. “I’m sure there’s a story in it,” Kailey said, dangling a carrot in front of me. Of course there was a story in it. I booked my flight.
I tried to remember the last time I wore something dressier than my casual pants and tops. Dinner out with friends only required an extra application of lipstick, a couple swipes of mascara and an extra bangle bracelet, so I was disappointed that we would be wearing white blouses and black skirts.
“You can go wild with your shoes,” my daughter relented. Since kitten heels were as daring as I get these days, it wasn’t a very enticing compromise. But, with the promise of a makeover and lots of free samples, I could deal with it.
My plane arrived in Ft. Lauderdale in record time. Unfortunately, I had a two hour wait for my daughter’s flight from New York. Armed with a couple of fashion magazines, I found an end chair in the corner of the busy airport lobby.
I had just settled in, when a toddler, playing a game of you can’t catch me with his parents, tripped over his tiny feet. His bottle of orange juice flew through the air and landed in my lap; the juice dripped down my legs. As I made my way to the ladies room to clean off the sticky, orange stuff, my cell phone rang. The plane from LaGuardia had been delayed an hour. Hot, sticky and a three hour wait; I was not feeling the glamour.
Finally, my daughter arrived, looking fresh and perky. “Nice perfume,” she said approvingly, sniffing the air around me. “Very citrusy.”
L’orange de toddler, I replied.
The next day, we arrived at Soho Studios to set up our booth. The studio was a large, empty warehouse with nothing to indicate an event would take place in just a few hours. We unloaded the boxes of products, props and supplies from the back of our rented SUV and waited for the metal dividers to be carried in and assembled. Tables were delivered and folded linens were stacked on top.
We worked magic, transforming the space into a pink and white oasis filled with orchids, foiled wrapped chocolates and boxes of skincare products. Several hours later, happy with our efforts, we were on our way back to the hotel to transform ourselves.
We showered, applied make -up and dressed in our “nunnery” attire. I threw caution to the wind, sporting a pair of strappy, two inch pumps. I felt absolutely vampish, even though my shoes paled against my daughter’s purple sequined heels.
When we returned to the studio, a handsome valet opened the car doors and escorted us onto the concrete walkway, now covered with mauve carpeting.
The metamorphosis was amazing. The warehouse was no longer stark and grey. Kiosks draped in bright colors with touches of gold and silver shouted, look at me! The atmosphere was bright, alive, and edgy. Drinks and conversation flowed at a bar surrounded by plush sofas and wooden tables. A raised runway cut through the center, ending in a platform for the DJ. Loud music pulsated while models strutted and pirouetted in flowing gowns of soft peaches, brilliant blues and lush greens.
Hard bodied Tarzans clad in leather loin cloths, their abs glistening under the lights, climbed knotted ropes suspended from the ceiling, posing and swinging to the delight of this young, fun-loving bunch. They reminded me of the glossy-covered, romantic books I read when I was a teenager. The mother in me wanted to order the jungle boys down from their play stations and drape those pink table cloths around their shoulders.
As my daughter and I took our places behind the presentation tables, cliques of women in short, tight, glitzy dresses strolled down the aisles on six inch stilettos. They stopped frequently to sample the skin care and make-up. They inspected the fine leather handbags, gold necklaces and bejeweled bras that could stand entirely on their own.
There were booths to create your own lipsticks, experiment with different shades of blush, and view beautifully crafted wedding invitations. Feather-rimmed eyelashes, in different lengths and colors, winked from glass showcases.
While our group of skin professionals explained the benefits of a using a good skin care system, I decided to venture out and join the party. I sampled tiny gourmet cupcakes and sipped mango flavored coconut water. I allowed my face to be highlighted and shadowed using expensive make up brushes and shimmering bronzers.
Collecting my bags filled with goodies, I tried to find my way back to the booth. A lady in front of me stopped suddenly, removed her impossibly high heeled shoe and rubbed her aching foot. I couldn’t help but smile as I nimbly stepped around her.
As I rounded the corner, I saw the pink Elayda banner and sighed with relief. It was the little bit of calm in a room of high energy. I watched my daughter and her colleagues interact with the brightly garbed customers. Dressed in classic black and white, these elegant, confident women were shining through the crowd.
My daughter was right. There was something here for everyone.
About this writer
- Rose Ann Sinay lives in North Carolina with her husband and dog where she spends her time writing. Her children graciously continue to provide her with moments worth preserving.