Yesterday #1 daughter and I went to an art show. It was a choice between the food show at the Farmers Market and the art show in the Next County, and we picked the art show. Usually, art shows around here are hot stuff. We have a long local tradition of handwork, and the stuff is usually varied and excellent. I thought I’d get much of my Christmas shopping done.

It was a disappointing art show, frankly. I liked the booth of Regalia (I could help them with their website, though), and I did find a piece of simple jewelry for someone’s stocking, but mostly we looked around us saying, “Where are the artists?” There were boats, a whole bunch of chiropractors, and the funny lemon above.

We went into Sephora, since we had driven all that way. Sephora is always fun to visit, I think. They had a silicon-based mousse foundation that fills in your wrinkles and I suppose makes you look doll-like, and one that you airbrush on. They had pretty boxes of glimmery eyeshadows. They had bright, juicy shades of lipstick from Clinique, and moody deep ones from the tattoo parlor woman on TV.

They also had Shiseido skin care products. A saleswoman sidled up to me and asked whether I liked Shiseido. I had been telling #1 daughter that when I was young, we had all believed that Shiseido was the best skin care product (that and Erno Laszlo, but they don’t sell that at Sephora, I promise you). I was laughing about it, a bit, because I think maybe all the skin care products are essentially the same.

“Really,” I suggested, “the key to good skin is staying out of the sun, never smoking or drinking, and getting plenty of sleep — and having done this from a young age. Right?”

This is my mother’s approach, and the she has lovely skin. I bet she doesn’t visit Sephora from one year to the next, either.

The clerk disagreed with us, and colleague of hers chimed in. There is, apparently, new technology. Clinique, they said, was a skincare line for college girls (I’d admitted that I use Clinique. #1 daughter admitted to using Dove. The clerks were a little shocked). Shiseido is #1 in Japan, but is apparently riddled with artificial ingredients, or possibly doesn’t pay them the commission the other stuff does. They hardly mentioned it at all. They got all excited about fruit acids and collagen.

We left empty handed and had lunch at Orange Julius, a childhood fave for both of us and just about what our budget can stand.

We came home and I graded papers till time for dinner, which was a sweet potato galette, chicken, and grapes. More work after that, with The Office in the background.