GivenchyHaphazard Memories: a series of posts inspired by random objects that I’ve held on to for far too many years. And no, I’m not a hoarder.

Item: Givenchy Powder Prism and matching brush
Acquisition date: 1995
Place of acquisition: Saks Fifth Avenue, NYC
Associated memory: First wedding
Current condition: Worn to the metal in some places

A few weeks before my first wedding, 18 years ago, I decided that I needed to have my makeup “done”.

I was working in midtown Manhattan, at Crain’s New York Business, and our office wasn’t too far from the Saks Fifth Avenue. (You know, the one on Fifth Ave.)

Normally, Saks wouldn’t have been my go-to for shopping. Especially for makeup. I would have been more of an Eckerd’s or a Ricky’s customer. To save money, I even bought clothes at Gap Kids when they were on sale.

But my soon-to-be mother-in-law had been gifting me items from Saks over the last year or two that I had been returning. I never told her because I didn’t want to hurt her feelings but what she thought my style was, and what I thought my style was, were two completely different things.

So I had a credit of over $200. And back in 1995, that was a lot of money for makeup.

I walked over to Saks one day on my lunch break and quickly found myself sitting in a chair at one of the makeup counters. I explained to the woman that I was getting married soon, that I hadn’t had a lot of experience with makeup, and that I wanted to wear enough makeup to look polished on my wedding day. But not so much makeup that I looked like a whore clown.

After about an hour, she was done. And I thought she got it right. So I purchased everything I was wearing: foundation, eyeshadow, eye liner, mascara, blush and lipstick. But the finishing touch? Givenchy Ivory Powder Prism. I even got the matching powder brush and she showed me how I could pick up the powder with the brush, put the brush right in to the brush container, drop it in my purse and I would have powder to go.

Saks Fifth Avenue Givenchy

Ad from New York Magazine, May 4, 1992

I loved the powder. It’s not too dark or too light. It’s not heavy. And it doesn’t sink in to my pores. Which is why I still have it. Eighteen years later. Even though I am living in a different state. And am married to a different man.

The powder is the sole survivor of everything I bought that day. I’ve worn the powder for every single major event I’ve been to since then. Special occasions only. I brought it on my first honeymoon to Italy and France. On my second honeymoon to the Bahamas, 11 years later. On my last trip to Las Vegas or on one of our many cruises. I even wore it to my son’s confirmation last year.

I know that, one day soon, the powder is going to completely crumble. And I’ll have to find a replacement. Maybe I’ll go back to Saks even though my former mother-in-law no longer gifts me things from there since I’m no longer married to her son.

But I can spring for a fancy new powder. Especially if it lasts another 18 years.

And it also might be time to get a new brush. It’s starting to shed a little. Wavy black hairs.

The last time I used it, my son looked at me funny and said, “Mom, you have something on your face. It looks like a pubic hair.”

Ah, yes, the mind of my teenage boy. Wonder where he gets it from? (See caption below.)


Powder + filtered light = flawless skin.
But are those my nipples showing through?