A/N: I have suffered many addictions in my life. As a young McQueen, I admit I was no stranger to the arcades. I was a marvel at Skee-Ball, hitting the tricky upper-corner holes on a regular basis. I amassed many tickets, hoarding them in my room in a box under my bed. In addition to Skee-Ball, I also excelled at shooting hoops and shooting all the virtual criminals on the police game. All spare cash went to fund these activities, until my mother Georgia saw an end to it. She drove me to the arcade for a final goodbye, insisting I spend all of my tickets. I bought a stuffed crocodile. I named him Cuddles, for that is what we did to ease my pain.
Other addictions came and went, but they merit no mention. Until now, as I admit I have fallen victim to YouTube and its masses of Beauty Gurus. I, of course, do not need their advice (I am quite fashionable in my own right, and have frequented beauty stores since I was small), but I must admit that their dedication to the craft is appealing. I have watched many videos. This, I admit, is the result.
A Different Sort of Adventure
By Deanie McQueen
Dean really hated malls.
Their last visit hadn't been too kind to his patience or to Coral B. Randy's bank account, since Sam was fond of disappearing into that shiny fruit store and conning Dean into letting him walk out with something expensive.
(Although, and he would not admit this on his deathbed – temporary or otherwise – but he was madly addicted to that stupid zombie game with the plants. He'd gotten medals in all the mini-games and liked to flip through the screen just to see them and feel a little more badass on any given day.)
He'd banned Sam from buying anything this time and was fairly sure Sam would follow through. They'd only just gotten one of those new iPads (because Sam was a tech junkie, not because Dean kept stealing the original one) and Sam was still pretty infatuated with its newness. The beast had been sated.
But even with the promise of leaving the mall with his credit cards intact, Dean was finding it hard to endure the bright lights and constant stream of people. They were here to find and interview a certain witness who agreed to meet them during her lunch break, only to arrive two hours ahead of schedule due to a minor shift change.
"Sorry, guys," Molly-the-witness said, stocking one of the shelves. "It'll fly by in a snap, I swear."
Lies, Dean thought. All lies.
"What kind of store is named Sephora, anyway?" he grumbled, feeling quite out of place as women of all ages fluttered around, all knowledgeably picking up makeup and fragrances and brushes and lotions and fuck know what else, speaking in a language Dean did not quite understand.
"Ugh," he heard one girl groan. "They're still out of the Naked Palette? How ridiculous is that, Amelia?"
Amelia seemed to agree. She tossed her long braid back over her shoulder, peering down at a rack in disgust. "Fuck Urban Decay. Marcy said she liked Benefit's new bronzer. Want to check it out?"
"That whore," the first girl said, fiercely bitter, then shrugged. "Sure."
Dean blinked as they pushed past him, hands already outstretched to pick up and inspect colorful boxes full of makeup to test and criticize. "Jesus," he said, awed, and turned to see a similar befuddled expression on Sam's face. "This is like another world."
"It really is," Sam agreed, and then sighed, looking at his watch. "I'm going to the food court. Not all of us ate three boxes of candy for breakfast."
"Mmm," Dean hummed happily at the memory.
"Call me when she's ready," Sam reminded, and then took off.
Dean could only stand still and observe for so long before his curiosity got the better of him. He followed the example of the other customers, walking up to random items and rubbing them on his hands in a nice little swipe of color. He wasn't so ignorant that he didn't know the difference between blush and eyeshadow, but he certainly hadn't expected all the different colors. Or the sparkle.
Neutrals, he decided. Had he been born a makeup kind of guy (and he wasn't, thank you very much, as curiosity did not count), he would be fond of neutrals. The browns and the grays and the deep purples looked kind of nice on his hand, all lined up for his appraisal.
He'd been at it for awhile, swatching eye-shadows and eyeliners and blushes on his hand and cocking his head as he judged their worth. Stila Cosmetics had terrible and sticky lip glosses, he discovered, but he was quite fond of Givenchy's new lipstick. It didn't matter that he would never wear these things; he had eyes and he was entitled to his opinion.
It wasn't long before he started looking just a little more closely at all the patrons. The blond by the Philosophy cleansers was wearing pink eyeshadow when she'd clearly be more suited for blue, and the Sephora worker helping the older woman with the NARS lip pencils was wearing a lipstick far too light for her skin-tone. She looked a bit dead, Dean decided, and he definitely had the credentials to back up that particular thought.
He was getting ready to examine Laura Mercier's mineral foundation when a smallish hand tapped him on his shoulder. "Excuse me?" a voice asked. "Could you help me?"
Dean turned around to see a girl on the shorter side, wearing a top that made her look a bit matronly. She smiled up at him happily and he immediately felt a bit of fondness. "Um," he said. "Sure."
"Great!" the girl said. "I was just wondering if you could had any ideas for a new makeup look. You see," she leaned closer, clearly giddy and proud, "I have a YouTube channel and lots of people depend on me. I do tutorials."
"Oh," Dean said, and wasn't quite sure what to say. She obviously thought he worked there, which was odd, but he was wearing a black suit and had been milling around the store for more than an hour. Perhaps she'd just mistaken him for an employee. Or – and this thought really pleased him – perhaps he just carried a certain air of makeup know-how. This cemented his decision. "Of course."
"Excellent!" She never stopped smiling. "Let's start with lips. I was thinking something new, like maybe a purple or a really dark—"
"No," Dean said, perhaps a little too quickly. He winced, but she didn't seem offended at all, just cocked her head as she waited to hear his opinion. "How about a—" Dean cast his eyes around the store, landing on NARS. "How about a nice pinkish neutral?" He'd swatched one earlier that he was quite pleased with; they'd start there.
"I love it!" His customer declared when she swatched Tzigane. "It's not as dark as it looks!"
"Exactly," Dean said, already brimming with pride.
They moved onto the eye-shadows next, picking through Urban Decay and Make Up For Ever's selections. Katie (his first beloved customer) kept grabbing for the brightest shades she could, which Dean couldn't help but frown upon. There was nothing wrong with a nice pop of color, but it easily got too out of hand. Katie was a very kind soul, but he could tell by looking at the makeup she'd worn to the store that she probably had enough bright colors at home. Time for something different.
They settled on a toasty brown color ("I love it!") and when she asked about a crease color, something a bit more chocolate ("I love it!"). Katie picked out a nice Hello Kitty blush all on her own and Dean nodded as she rubbed it on her hand.
Before he knew it, they'd created a whole new makeup look. Katie had at least seven products in her hand, and Dean followed her to the register, listening to her describe her YouTube channel and how much she enjoyed making videos. He nearly died when the cashier asked for $118, but Katie assured him that was nothing out of the norm.
"Holy christ," he said, looking at the receipt. "That lipstick was twenty six dollars?"
"Yeah," Katie said. "But I love it!"
"I should hope so," Dean muttered, and then they said their goodbyes. He promised to look up her videos on YouTube when he could, and she promised to give a "shout-out" on her newest tutorial.
Sam showed up not too long after Katie left, immediately picking up Dean's hand to stare at it. "Why are there eye-shadows on your hand, dude?" he asked, and raised an eyebrow.
"Peer pressure," Dean replied, and turned to see Molly-the-witness waving at them by the entrance.
It was show time.