A True Story About Make Up Testers

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Flash Cadilac was one of the first stores to carry Canadian-created M.A.C. Makeup. I honestly think it was my love of Madonna that inspired me to carry the cosmetics line. Madonna had been the model for what I think was their lipstick colour “Russian Red,” and from then on the Toronto based company became my ultimate cosmetics authority. To add fuel to the fire, I had someone ‘do my face’ with M.A.C, and as she applied blush on my eyelids she said,

There, look at yourself. Just a bit of blush used as eyeshadow and you are good to good all day. You can go out in public with just this hint of colour on your eyes.”

I don’t think she cast a spell on me, but for the past 30 years I still believe if I don’t feel like putting eyeshadow on I am good to go with just a little blush on my eyes. I can see some of you right now laughing your sweatpants off. Honestly, you have every right, I am that gullible. I know people, it’s makeup, not magic!

The makeup sold like hot cakes in our store as very few were carrying it, but you know how that goes. Major retailers began carrying the hot makeup line and the little guys were slowly pushed out. At one time you could re-order whatever amount suited you, and that was great, as small businesses just don’t have the cash flow. Soon, we could not re-order anything unless we ordered a dozen of each colour. It just wasn’t feasible anymore, and regrettably, we had to stop carrying the line. However, M.A.C made an impact on my life on more ways than one.

It is common knowledge that some people do not wash their hands after going to the bathroom. Let’s be honest here, some of us have been guilty. How about spitting on a tissue to remove make up samples? Because nothing is sacred, anything someone touches with dirty hands is contaminated with bacteria. That M.A.C tester unit sat around for awhile while the balance of our stock was being sold. I had no idea, but apparently, the lipstick tester can become a bacteria monster like in the film “Outbreak”! Take it from me– never put anything from a makeup tester to your lips—ever!


One day I got up feeling like I had died a 100 times. It didn’t not stop, and I got worse. I dragged myself around looking after my store, kids, and church lady functions like a zombie. By 7pm each night I would be crying uncontrollably I was so tired. I never did the smart thing and consulted a doctor due to my aversion of anything medical. It seemed like I was going to feel this way forever, but I did tell my dental assistant how wretched I was feeling while she cleaned my teeth one day. She sympathized with me, and the light bulb never clicked until 45 days later when I began to feel better.

One morning as I was getting dressed, a light flashed before me, and I began to shake. It couldn’t be, I thought to myself. I actually called my doctor and made an appointment hoping she would laugh at my thoughts on why I had been feeling so badly. The next day after a blood test she didn’t laugh, heck, she didn’t even have a smirk on her face, in fact she was very angry. In less than 30 days I had probably infected a few innocent bystanders with mononucleosis. Impossible you ask? Nope, my dental assistant had been one of my victims. To this day I no longer touch makeup testers, in fact I keep my safe distance. I now keep the finishing touches on my face ‘all-plague’-free!

But again, I have faced many make up testers through my life. Was it just the wrong time and the wrong place? I guess I will never know.

A Chapter from my book about Flash Cadilac by Linda Seccaspina available at Wisteria 62 Bridge Street in Carleton Place or on Amazon.
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About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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