I have always been a sucker for good marketing. I see an ad
in a magazine for the latest and greatest skin cream, run my hands over my face
and think, “Finally. A product that was made for me.” I haul ass to the nearest
department store and wade through the sea of beautiful, two-dimensional women
pushing products of all kind. One whispers in my ear, “All you need is a little
Compound Q-90 and your skin will look like mine.” Another calls a little
louder, “Check out my lips. They shimmer like a disco ball. Don’t you want some
of what I’ve got?”
My response is quick and impulsive, “Yes, yes I do. Bring on
the disco lips.”
The last woman, surrounded by delicate bottles of high-tech
pastel concoctions, calls out the loudest, “Free gift!”
Sold. I walk up to the counter and ask one of the lab
technicians to assist me with my blemishes, wrinkles, blotches and crow’s feet.
She is kind enough to acknowledge each imperfection and suggests a separate
cure for each one. I breathe a sigh of relief. If I want to look like the woman
on the poster, I can, for $125.62. I can feel the brakes screech in my mind. I
come to a stark realization: I can’t afford this crap. I high tail it out of
the store with no purchases in hand and realize that I could have just blown my
weekly grocery budget on skin care.
This nonsense must stop. Upscale skin care is a racket.
Sure, there might be people out there who have highly sensitive skin and need a
special kind of make-up but a trip to the Neutrogena aisle in their local
Wal-Mart will probably do the trick. If you can afford it, be my guest. Fork
out $27.95 for a bottle of Bare Minerals foundation. But if, like me, you
teeter on the edge of your means when you get ready to hand the lab technician
your credit card then please join me in my quest for skin care simplicity.
I’ve pledged my allegiance to the Becky Baker skincare line
(named after my friend Alyson’s Mother, a frugal woman with beautiful skin). It
consists of baby wash ($.99), rubbing alcohol or witch hazel ($.89-2.00) and
generic face lotion ($4.49). That’s two-three months worth of skincare products
for about $8.00. Sure, I might throw in some Clinique astringent or MAC lotion
now and then (I’ve got it. I can’t let it go to waste), but I am dedicated to
the cause. Those two-dimensional women in the department stores are liars and
I’m going to prove it. I’ll report back on the condition of my skin in three
months. I’m sure you’ll all be waiting with bated breath.