My friend Maggie and I were interested in The Millihelen’s Ex-pat Mall Makeovers, so we decided to go and do one of our own. We were curious to see just what a make-up artist would do with our non-Georgian features. Dramatic eyeliner is the major trend I have noticed in make-up in Tbilisi, so I guess we were expecting some of that. We met on a rainy Saturday, so although we’d thought about getting our hair done, too, it seemed like that would be a waste. So we just went for make-up. We met at the Karvasla Mall behind the train station, because we thought there might be a beauty salon there, but we weren’t actually sure. Fortunately, in the back corner of an upper floor we found Melange Beauty Salon, and it was hopping! The receptionist spoke English, and she introduced us to the make-up artist, who we communicated with in a mix of Russian and Georgian. We told her that she was the expert and we wanted to look pretty and in style in Tbilisi. Other than that, we pretty much left her to her own devices. She had good-quality products (mostly MAC), and everything was clean. They even gave us tea to drink while we were waiting and watching each other get our makeup done.
I went first, and the make-up artist spent a fairly long time evening my skin tone, concealing blemishes, and doing some light contouring. She definitely didn’t go nuts with it–it was very subtle. She went nuts on my eyes, but in a good way. I have blue eyes, which are relatively uncommon in Georgia, so I think she took that as a cue to play them up. I got a very meticulous smoky eye with liquid eyeliner, and even false eyelashes! (Totally a first for me). She finished it off with a light, natural-looking peachy-pink lipstick. I felt like I had Taylor Swift eyes, and I loved it! I kept wanting to start looking at people and opening my eyes in dramatic, Blank Space fashion.
Maggie was next, and our make-up artist took a different approach with her–medium emphasis on both the eyes and the lips. Like with me, she began with contouring, and it was likewise flattering and subtle. She lined Maggie’s eyes in very dark blue, which was surprising and looked great, and gave her a dark, plummy lip. It wasn’t at all what I expected her to do, but I think it looked really good.
We paid 40 GEL (18 USD) each for our makeovers, which was more than we had expected–I usually only pay 4 lari to get my hair cut, so I wasn’t expecting such a dramatic price difference across salons and services.
My fake eyelashes stayed on for nearly a week (so I got some extended pay-off from that investment). I initially thought that it was overboard, but I guess they actually looked quite natural, because only one person noticed (my colleagues usually comment if I so much as wear eyeliner, so I think they would have mentioned it had they noticed). To be honest, now that the fake eyelashes are gone, I’m kind of disappointed in my natural lashes by comparison. I probably won’t do it again, but wow, did I feel glamorous!
Maggie is making a video version of our adventure–I’ll link to it when it’s ready.