I am several hundred feet in the air, my back strapped to the muscular chest of a hulking Swiss man who is gracefully steering us between the mountains of Interlaken. I don’t remember his name, or precisely how fast my heart was racing when we were paragliding back down to earth. But I do remember what eye shadow I had on that day—because it’s the same one I’ve been wearing for over a decade now: stila’s Oasis.
I can’t recall exactly the first time I put it on, fatefully dipping my finger into that shimmery pool of nude pigment, dabbing it onto my lids, up to my brow bone, and opening my run-of-the-mill brown eyes to see how it immediately made them look a little less ordinary. Not to be too dramatic, but there has been no other such constant (at least product-wise) in my adult life: The shadow has been there during the most mundane and the most momentous occasions, and has traveled to some pretty cool places along the way, too.
I was wearing my stila shadow while watching one of the most spectacular sunsets in Costa Rica with two of my closest friends, and I had it on several years later when I was the maid of honor in one of their weddings (I always do my own makeup for these things.) I wore the shadow on the night I met my husband, serendipitously, at a bar in New York City, and have brought it with me on all of our adventures together. It has made its way back into the air again on a Bachelor-esque helicopter ride around Kauai, tiptoed past Mayan skeletal remains in Belize, and ascended to the top of Monserrate in Colombia.
I took Oasis with me when I moved across the country to California, where it traveled down the California coast to Santa Maria when we picked up our chocolate lab Gus, and up to Sonoma for so many wine tastings.
The shadow has made an appearance on many a job interview, even making a cameo or two on a few morning TV shows. It is the makeup equivalent of a professional wingwoman. And, of course, I was wearing it when I found out that I got this job at Birchbox and would be moving back to New York.
You’d think, working at a beauty company and all, I’d shake things up a bit more in the eye makeup department. But there is something so comforting about wearing this shadow, which has been my cosmetic companion for so long. I can rely on it to blend in just enough (but not too much) and never crease, so I can experiment with everything else, from electric blue liner to false eyelashes. It truly is my makeup oasis, a peaceful shade that I will always want to come back to.
Even as I write this, I am wearing the shadow at 35,000 feet, on my way back from Mexico—another stamp on its imaginary passport.