Stalking My Phantom 002 Prey
Its 12:50am on December 16, 2015. I’m still awake and on a mission. At 1am in my timezone Pat McGrath Lab‘s is releasing Phantom 002. A limited release of 1200 numbered 8-piece makeup kits inspired by David Bowie, Siouxsie Sioux, 1970’s punk and glam rock, Film Nior and the dark creative genius of fashion icons like Alexander McQueen. I need it. And it will sell out in literally minutes. Getting a little trigger happy after missing out on her inaugeral makeup launch, Gold 001 in October, I hit the refresh button. I will have zero time to enter my checkout details and I’m anticipating her site to have a meltdown from the hammering its about to receive.
To my utter disbelief, (cue angels singing) Phantom 002 is already live and available for purchase. Yes, its $240US, and another $20US for international shipping (!!) but I don’t have time to ponder whether this purchase is really necessary. I. MUST. HAVE. IT. Its 10 minutes before its official launch and its already available. Who else has had the same idea as me? When is this website going to clap out and return a “server not responding” message? Oh GOD, and you can’t pay by PayPal, so I have to manually enter in my delivery and credit card details. THE STRESS!
But, I breeze through checkout and I complete my purchased before I barely notice.
Then I started to have that horrible post-purchase doubt. The opposite of a retail high. That was too easy. It did’t sell out straight away, why? Maybe Phantom 002 had its moment and I just spent $370AU on something that wasn’t even going to be a ‘Thing.’ That it was going to hang around and eventually (horror) be found on one of those nasty cut price cosmetics clearing web stores! It was too late. I stifled the slightly sick feeling and posted on Instagram that I was excited. It was all over by 12:55am.
Fast forward to Christmas Eve and my own personal Santa Claus (the FedEx delivery guy) leaves Phantom 002 on my doorstep. I left him a little letter telling him in no uncertain terms that I give him authority to leave my delivery if no one is home, or else. I am not at home. I work in retail and its Christmas Eve. I’m in a Department Store down town working my butt off. I get a text message from FedEx saying my parcel had arrived at the delivery address. THE TORTURE! It is going to be boxing day at the earliest before I can open my package. It will be dark when I get home, Christmas day will be full of eating, drinking and family, and I really want to film an unboxing video. I’ve seen the packaging and I know its going to be an experience.
Christmas day arrives and I almost decapitate the tip of my forefinger in an anchovy dicing accident. I was making Jamie Oliver’s Quick Potato Dauphinoise which I highly recommend if you have never tried. Clearly I don’t quite have his knife skills. It ended in me on the kitchen floor with my head between my legs, my arm aloft, pleading for paper towels, simultaneously not trying to faint or be sick. I’d sliced right through my nail which was now in two pieces although amazingly my Gelish manicure was still unchipped. The second piece of nail was still attached to the partially amputated fingertip. It didn’t hurt. I couldn’t actually feel it. Even though I was bathing it with an alcohol swab that should have stung like a mofo. That was the sickening part. In an heroic example of denial (if I do say so myself) I wrapped it up tightly with a bandaid and carried on. Cursing the whole time that a) my fresh manicure ruined! b) I’d be all bandaid-y for the wedding I was attending in two days and the reason that I got said manicure and c) the unboxing video! My Frankenfinger was going to ruin the shot! I just want to open its sequiny goodness and bathe – like Scrooge McDuck in his pile of money – in all that glitter.
Five Christmas ‘do’s and one wedding later and my fingertip was holding together enough to get away with a little bit of tape while I filmed the video. I don’t care if I never use these products (lets face it, the colours are hardly ‘every day’), Phantom 002 would have to be one of the most exciting packages I’ve ever opened. Right up there with that time I lost my mind and bought a pair of gold glitter Christian Louboutin Pigalles. Every detail had been designed from the daily tracked shipping updates to the crinkled black shredded paper packing and the heat sealed bag full of black iridescent sequins containing the products. You had to choose whether to destroy your limited edition, individually numbered, practically an artwork in itself, collectable package in order to get at the contents. Not many things these days recreate that feeling of being a kid on Christmas morning, but this was one of them.
Just a side note on the video. A few things didn’t go as planned. This is the risk when you only have one take! I film in natural indirect light. It was a bright sunny day outside. But it was windy and huge clouds kept rolling by. This combined with my choice of neon coral nail colour and the black background was confusing the hell out of the camera and you will see the colour/brightness adjust a few times while filming. I’m still clearly new at this and my setup is hardly high tech!