I woke up on Sunday, Emmys day!, at 9:00 am, having gone to bed late and wanting to give myself as much sleep as possible. Here is the ugly view from my floor that morning:
I made coffee in my room, showered, and headed down to the lobby to meet a new friend, Sarah, a photographer and the wife of a writer for the Daily Show (we had met at the Comedy Central party the night before), who had an appointment at the same Drybar at the same time. We took a cab and discussed make-up and hair way more than I ever have before (she, like me, has very little experience with these things) and it was comforting to have her with me at the salon. As you know, I am a terrible coward and feel like a feral person most of the time, so hair salons are just about the least comfortable of spaces for me to spend time in. My brain starts spinning in an endless cycle of feeling like a fraud, not knowing what to say, not knowing how to communicate what I want, being afraid I won't tip enough, being afraid that I'll hate my hair, being afraid that I'll cover up the fact that I hate my hair, being angry at myself that I would cover up the fact that I hate my hair rather than ask for it to be fixed, and on and on. Having Sarah there was like having a little anchor of You Can Do This.
My stylist was young and peppy and nice and after I showed her a picture of my dress we decided on a messy side bun/ chignon thingy. Here I am in Drybar pre-hairdo:
If you are a woman and you have ever had your hair done in a style, like for an event, you probably know that the line between looking awesome and looking like you are going to prom in 1993 is very very thin. Sometimes all it takes is one overly curled curl hanging on the side of your face to push you into adolescent territory:
I was terrified of ending up like this: too much curl, too much product, too much prom. Luckily , I did not. I ended up like this:
I was mostly happy with it. Later I pinned some of it down closer to my head and pinned some of the loose bits up, but for the most part I was relieved and happy to have hair that didn't look like a bored 5-year-old begrudgingly did it for me as a favor. It cost $80 I think, plus tip, more than I pay for, oh, anything, but remember my weekend motto: this is what credit cards were made for. Sarah was still getting her hair did so I said goodbye and called an Uber (my first one!). I took it back to the hotel where I was ravenous and nervous and had time before I needed to start my make-up so I went to the hotel restaurant and sat alone (John was still sleeping I think - men! They get to just roll out of bed and put on a suit!). I was extremely aware of the balance between how much food I would need to make it through the day and how much food I didn't want to eat to make it into my dress so I resisted all the delicious sounding brunchy items that get covered in syrup and ordered granola with yogurt and enjoyed this terrible view.
It was about 12:30pm by the time I was done with brunch and I had to be in the lobby at 2pm to meet the Daily Show people and our limos, so it was time to get ready. At this point it struck me for the first time that I was going to the Emmys. Up until then it had been a fantasy, some totally disconnected surreal fantasy that had nothing to do with my actual physical human body going to the Emmys; the transition into reality was full of adrenaline and nerves, as if my body was reminding me that it existed and it was indeed going to the Emmys and would I please wake up and get on board?
I've thought a lot about why I was nervous since then - was it the famous people? What is fame exactly? Why are people famous? Why am I nervous around them? But I think it just comes back around to the fact that I am a shy and not-brave person; I would (and do) get almost as nervous going to parties with non-famous people I don't know. Add the fame layer and I am a wreck.
After I talked myself down a bit I started on my make-up. My friend Urjowan had taken me to a Clinique counter a month before where I had my face done and bought some products. She had also done my face herself at the first of the dress-trying on parties, and I had practiced several times since, so I felt like I had a reasonable chance at looking put together. The weirdest things I was about to do to my face were wear foundation and fill in my eyebrows. Foundation has always been a mystery to me because I have so many freckles; I just never knew what to do with it. Am I matching the color of my skin, my freckles, somewhere in between, and won't it just look like I'm unsuccessfully trying to cover my freckles? Also, filling in eyebrows - wha? Don't get me wrong, I am a deep appreciator of a good eyebrow. Deep. I notice them, think about them, and compare them to Kate Winslet's all the time. But filling my own in seemed beyond weird, like I had really entered some deep space make-up universe that is reserved for the movie stars of the 1930's.
Just for fun, let's run through the number of products I put on my body. I hope my mother does not have a heart attack.
- Deodorant (Secret)
- Body Lotion (legs, hands) (Nivea)
- Face Lotion (Neutrogena)
- Face Primer (Maybelline)
- Foundation (Clinique)
- Bronzer (Sephora)
- Blush (Sephora)
- 2 shades of Eye Shadow (Body Shop)
- Eyelid/brow Highlighter (Body Shop)
- Eyeliner (Milani)
- Mascara (Benefit)
- Brow Filler (Body Shop)
- Clear Mascara on Brows - to hold in place (Maybelline)
- Lip Liner (Revlon)
- Lipstick (Revlon, 006 Really Red Matte)
- Perfume (I forget, something not too overwhelming)
- Glittery Body Powder (Not sure)
TOTAL: 18, plus all the hair product
This whole regimen took about an hour. I can not imagine doing this every day, though I have to admit, I thought I looked pretty amazing. Not in a gross "I'm so beautiful" way but in a "Oh, right, I'm in my late 30's, things are changing, my features are fading and make-up sharpens the image, redefines edges, makes things crisper" way.
It was time to put the dress on and get downstairs! This was the easy part! Dress, shoes, earrings, bracelet, purse: done. I had obsessively packed and checked and rechecked my borrowed Chanel purse multiple times. Here's what you pack for a day and night at the Emmys:
- phone battery charger (so important you guys!)
- debit card
- Listerine strips
- granola bar
I was ready! It was 1:55! Now to see if I could really handle walking in these damn heels!