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Mall Makeovers: Istanbul

Illustration for article titled Mall Makeovers: Istanbul

Welcome back to Mall Makeovers where we send readers to, you guessed it, the mall for, you guessed it, a makeover. If you’d like to volunteer for an upcoming installment, send us an email.


Names: Missy, Emma and Zamira (all coworkers at Yabangee)

Missy: I started wearing makeup about five years ago and everything I know I learned from an 11-year-old on YouTube. I have never had a “mall makeover” in the states, so I was nervous about going to the mall in Istanbul. Fortunately, two awesome expat ladies offered to come with me, and they both speak Turkish (I can order some food, but that’s about it). We went by metro to Cevahir, a famous and high-end mall in Istanbul. It’s funny but every mall in Istanbul has the same exact stores, so I don’t know how one is more high-end than any other, but this one has a clock on the ceiling, a HUGE food court and a roller coaster, so yeah.


We all decided that we did not want to pay for a makeover, but that we would be down to buy some products if we liked them. Our first stop was MAC. The MAC rep explained, in Turkish to Emma, that it was 170 Turkish Lira (TL, about $65 USD) to have your makeup done, they do not do makeovers, and you can try products which you buy. No matter! The mall is our oyster. Let me mention that all of the ladies behind the makeup counters we encountered had basically the same look—strong black liquid liner, very dark bold lips, obvious foundation, some light contouring, and defined brows.

My typical makeup routine includes washing my face followed by moisturizer. Day to day, I wear a little eyeliner, blush, mascara, and tinted lip gloss. In my “before” picture I am wearing my typical look.

I approached the Flormar makeup booth and said I was interested in buying some foundation and blush. The sales associate (she spoke English) liberally applied primer, foundation and blush. Then I asked about eye shadow. Perhaps she could sense that I was not a heavy makeup user and her recommendations, even though I asked her to pick, “Whatever was cool or trendy,” was, “For you, pink.....or brown. Natural.” I was hoping for some jewel tones.

After she finished the eyeshadow (pinks) she looked at me like, OK, time to buy something. I turned to Zamira and asked, “Um, what do you think?” Like a true team player she said, “You look unfinished, you need eyeliner and lipstick.” My salesgirl went ahead with the heavy black liquid eyeliner (which I bought because of its seemingly easy application—I suck at that) and then she came at my eyes with a crazy mechanical mascara wand and thoroughly coated the top and bottom lashes. Lastly, she picked out a nice pink lip color for me which I bought—though in my “after” photo I am wearing a color given to me at Zamira’s makeup counter, which is in line with the trend here of a bold dark lip.


We wandered by a Hello Kitty makeup booth (a partnership with Ekka Kozmetik) and Emma asked if we can try some products. She says you are allowed to try two.

Illustration for article titled Mall Makeovers: Istanbul

Emma: As someone who rarely wears make-up (laziest person ever over here) and is thus terrible at it, I love getting other people to do it for me. My apologies to all my friends in college. This was no exception, as the woman at the counter—who looked like she was in high school, college max—was joking around with me and clearly loved the chance to do whatever she wanted. Plus, there weren’t many people clamoring to purchase cheap Hello Kitty makeup (no shit, everything at this counter was on sale for either 10 or 15 TL, which is the equivalent of around $5).

Despite loving the feeling of someone else doing my make-up, I do have a phobia of shit getting into my eyes. This led to some uneven eyeliner as she was getting freaked out by my twitching eyelids. Overall I was digging the eyeshadow (a shimmery red), especially since she did it in the crook of and under my eye. But when I asked for lipstick, I think she was just fucking with me when she pulled out this crazy pink stuff—I took it off within the hour. While I didn’t get the bold, thick eyeliner that I see all over the city (and covet, although I think it would look terrible on me), I was happy with my eyes. My husband remarked on them as soon as he got home—though I think he was more shocked that I was wearing makeup than anything else

Illustration for article titled Mall Makeovers: Istanbul

Zamira: Zamira went to Bellapierre, an all natural mineral makeup line. The woman helping her was a bit dour and a tad sloppy. She asked her repeatedly if she wanted to buy things and made her put on her own mascara (probably a blessing). Zamira ended up, like Emma and I, with a full face of foundation and blush, mascara, black liquid liner and some amazing green shimmery eyeshadow, which she bought. She was also left to pick her own lip color (again, a blessing) which was quite lovely. Overall, we thought Zamira walked away with the most wearable look, though each of us was pleasantly surprised at our purchases—all things we would not have picked out on our own.


“In retrospect I liked the products more than I thought I did,” Zamira told us later. “I came away liking the foundation powder and the lipstick more than I did when they were going on. And the shimmery green eyeshadow too, of course.”

For a post-makeover celebration we went to the food court. While on my way to the Carl’s Jr. line (don’t judge me), I got a lot of hard, eye-fucky stares from dudes. One guy gave me a long hard stare from far away and as I walked past him he mouthed the word “WOW.” LOL. I tried to keep it on for my boyfriend to see, but by the time he got home I had taken most of it off. He said he liked it. He always says I look beautiful, even when I don’t, so he’s a keeper. I haven’t tried my new liquid liner yet, but I love the light pink lipstick I bought, probably because it is the color of my actual lips.


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