Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Dumbo's Magic Feather and Other Beauty Tricks

I don't usually write about Beauty here because it is— so true— in the eyes of the beholder. And we are our own harshest critics. Becoming far-sighted is one of the greatest beauty tricks there is, and it's a trick Mother Nature plays when you get older. Hurrah hurrah for the sight of me in the mirror without glasses on or contacts in! Alas what kind of a trick is it when you know how it's done? Put in your eyes, and the illusion's gone.

We are creatures of habit. If Glockenspiel Soap worked for you in your 20s and your skin hasn't fallen off in shreds, you are probably— wrong or right— still using it. If "Afternoon of a Fawn" was your favorite lipstick in 1979 you would probably still be wearing it (if it were still produced).

I've covered the obsolescence of beauty products before. I'm facing another one. My favorite night cream— Visibly Firm by Neutrogena— is no longer available at other than bootlegger's prices (from $149.99 to $225). I'm not kidding myself: this stuff isn't La Mer! It was under $25 at its launch in the late '90s but has been off the market for at least 4 years. Visibly Firm touted copper as a miracle ingredient (hence the copper lid on the jar). I agreed to be a guinea pig for a test we were doing at the magazine, really liked using it (and that copper promise) and have been faithful ever since. Whether it's a magic feather or not, my skin really isn't bad for an old biddy. I am, however, down to the last nibs of the horde I stockpiled off the internet when it started disappearing from actual stores. It will be a sad day when I can scrape out no more.

While it's been said the older you get the less makeup you should wear, I find I am doing the opposite. A) I seem to have more time to play around with the stuff and B) I'm a little desperate. Too smart to believe all the hype the beauty industry promises, I'm not sufficiently jaundiced to turn the other cheek— when a new blush promises a rosy, natural glow. 

Have I found another magic feather in the wildly popular Bare Minerals makeup? We've all seen those infomercials (or skipped past them). They've been on tv for years. The stuff promised a lot, seemed expensive compared to what I usually got at the drugstore, and who buys makeup over the television anyway? 

Usually avoid this area like the plague
I subjected myself to this (not me in pix) 

The other day I found myself sans makeup and at the mall (post dermatologist visit). Though I avoid going past the cosmetics counters of any department store, I purposely sallied over to the Bare Escentuals counter (home base for Bare Minerals makeup) and asked for a trial face. Let's say I was sufficiently impressed to pick up a "starter kit" and have actually been using it. Okay, so I don't suddenly look thirty, or even fifty. But I do look like I'm wearing less to better effect than before.

Dewey but not me either

The starter kit set me back $64 with two pots of stuff, a compact of the main course, three fluffy brushes and a tube of "primer" (don't like the sound of that plus it stings a little bit). Definitely value for money as these are the real sizes, not samples. The application time is minimal and is kind of fun. Plus you don't have to be precise. The result is a "dewey" finish— like skin, not makeup. It's a big old-lady sin to be powdered dry. Best of all— it stays all day without even a touch-up.

Can you teach an old dog new tricks? Sure. Can you give Dumbo another magic feather? I'll wear a headdress if that's what it takes.

She's got what it takes

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