Vain as I am, I’ve been the type to roll my eyes at my mother who spends gobs of money on beauty products, picking up the latest serum or cream from any sales person she comes in contact with. Yet turning 30 has me wanting to follow suit. What are those? Fine lines in my forehead etched from years of being a sarcastic worry wort? And, holy crap, I see the very start of crows feet coming on at the corners of my eyes – can’t I just stop them now? Isn’t there some cream out there that will make my skin look 20 when I’m 95?
Ok, so the beauty industry plays on these feelings which are a natural part of aging. We live in a society that considers you over the hill once you’ve passed 25 (thanks Hollywood) if you’re a woman, so of course we’ll do anything to fit the part. The other day, my boss told me that I looked “tired” after I had actually a fairly good night’s rest. That isn’t a good sign. Was it my under eye bags? My pale, thinning skin? Was I going to look more tired every single day because I’m getting older? Ugh!
Aging is so strange as a woman. As a man, you undoubtedly grow into your best self through the years. Women have these strange expectations to be both old and young at the same time, especially if you work in business. I haven’t figured out how to properly address this yet. On one hand, people tell me I still look so young – and that’s a good thing (I know other women my age who certainly look older) but then I also feel like in order to be taken seriously in the work world I need to look older. I don’t know, maybe paint a few more wrinkles on my face, dye my hair silver grey and cover it up with a bad blonde dye job to be obviously old enough to make a valid point.
Before you all scold me for how BATSHIT CRAZY this list is, please remember that I get my hair cut four times a year and with the exception of one whim a year ago where I went ombre, I do not dye my hair anymore, so that’s significant savings in terms of personal care. You won’t find me at a spa. I drive a used car I paid cash for. I’m not exactly living an expensive lifestyle. Yes, I could invest that savings, but would that make my face look better?
My Favorite Beauty Products and Spending Too Much on Them…
1. Clarisonic Mia 2 ($149 kit)
I bought this $149 face brush for myself for my 31st birthday. Yes, it’s an electronic face brush that supposedly cleans 6x better than if you were doing it yourself. I’m not sure I believe that, but I do know that I’m the type of person who sucks at keeping up a routine and tends to fall asleep with a full face of makeup on. That can’t be good. What I like most about the Mia is how fast it is to get a good thorough clean across your entire face in 60 seconds plus a few extra for putting the soap on your face with some water first. It has a timer that gives you 20 seconds for your forehead, 20 for your chin and nose, and 10 for each cheeks, and then you’re done. Efficiency to inspire routine as a person who doesn’t do routine is good.
In the one week of owning my Clarisonic I’ve noticed an improvement in my skin overall. However, initially I started out using the soap that came with my package from Sephora — Philosophy “Purity” — and it made my skin break out terribly. I thought it was the Clarisonic doing that since I read a bunch of reviews talking about this “purge” that happens for the first few weeks (and subsequent articles about how the purge concept is bullshit and your skin is just telling you STOP DESTROYING ME.) In any case, as soon as I switched to a less harsh face wash my skin calmed down, phew. But do I really need to spend $149 on a FACE BRUSH? Whatever, it was my birthday.
2. Origin’s Cheeks and Balances Soap ($12)
Actually, I had this lying around in a bag of random face soaps and such that I’ve picked up throughout the years (I think it came part of a discount set so I didn’t actually pay $12 for it yet.) Switching from Purity to Cheeks and Balances made ALL THE DIFFERENCE. After a few days of my Clarisonic paired with Cheeks and Balances my face feels much better. I also have noticed that anything I put on after washing with these two products do seep in better, meaning that I need to use less of the more expensive stuff that comes after cleaning to make my face look not as bad as it would look otherwise.
3. Ole Hendrickson Truth Serum Vitamin C Collegen Booster ($48)
So I didn’t actually pay $48 for this yet. It came as part of my Clarisonic kit in a mini form and I’ve been using it every morning. I’m not sure if it does anything but it has 4.5 stars on Sephora so it must be good, amirite? It smells good anyway. It is supposed to support natural collagen production to brighten and minimize fine wrinkles caused from free radical damage, yada yada. Man, if only I worked in marketing for the beauty industry… anyway… it uses orange extract, grapefruit extract, rose hip seed extract, sodium ascorbic phosphate and ester-c. Hey, anything to make me look not that old yet. I probably will never pay the full $48 for this product, it is usually available on Sephora.com as part of a set and you don’t need to use that much everyday. I figure it should last 3 months with regular use.
4. Ole Hendrickson Pure Truth Youth Activating Oil ($48)
Not sold on this one yet, but I actually purchased it mid last year on a whim of feeling old an a sales person convincing me this was great for people who don’t have old skin yet but want to protect skin from getting old (oh god I’m turning into my mother.) This is pretty much straight up rose hips oil, which, according to the brand, is a good source of active vitamin A and vitamin C. I prefer using the Truth Serum more than this… directions from brand say BUY BOTH and use them after each other, but the oil is kind of, well, oily, and I prefer the serum which is stickier. I am going to try both layered to see if they make any sort of difference. I wonder if Rosehip Seed Oil, Tangerine Peel Oil, Lemongrass Oil, Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E) would cost $45 if I buy them from a farmer.
5. Origins GinZing Energy Booster Moisturizer ($26.50)
What’s that smell? Is it a delicious citrusy fruit basket? Why no sir, it’s just my moisturizer. I’m actually mildly in love with this product. I’ve tried a ton of moisturizers and usually stop using them because they smell like a mix of plastic and ass and texture-wise feel more like watered down chalk mixed with elmers glue, so when I say I like a moisturizer it means an awful lot. This moisturizer doesn’t have SPF anything though, which sucks but is probably why it doesn’t have the consistency or smell I hate, so it means I need to buy yet ANOTHER product with sunscreen in it to actually use the most important part of an aging lady’s beauty routine. Oh well. I like this stuff. I just splurged on a set (self hanukah gift, what?) that has the GinZing eye cream in it as well as two other products that look industry and MORE OF THIS FABULOUS MOISTURIZER for $51 (see: best of both world’s set)
6. Origins Night a Mins High Potency Skin Cream ($41)
I had a sample of this stuff and it seemed to help my face overnight, but I wasn’t about to pay $41 for it on its own. Luckily Origin’s marketers were kind to me and presented the “Best of Both World’s” set for $51 (which sold out about two hours after I purchased it at Macys.com, might still be available in store) – I’m looking forward to using this every night before my moisturizer to see if it provides “naturally radiant morning skin.” #nomoretiredface — eh, whatever, I never go to the spa, I can pamper myself a little at home, right?
7. PM Moisturizer: Cereve PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion ($12)
This is probably my only practical purchase of the bunch. Recommended to me from a dermatologist, the PM moisturizer isn’t fancy or smelltastical but it does its job. I wake up with a face that feels soft as butta. Love it. I should probably give up on the Origins splurges and just use Cereve’s daytime moisturizer (which has some SPF in it) but it does not make me smell like a fruit, and where’s the fun in that?
8. Neutrogena Rapid Repair Night Moisturizer ($21.99)
#becausevanity — oh god, wrinkles. Here they come. Every dermatologist on the web says USE RETINOL to fix existing wrinkles if you don’t want to go all Botox on your face. I don’t use this every day because it BURNS but pain is beauty so I’m trying it out on a fairly regular basis. Nothing noticeable yet but I might as well use the product up until its gone or my skin has melted off. Either way.
Stuff I Am Trying Out Soon Because I’m Crazy
9. Black Tea Age-Delay Instant Infusion Treatment Toner ($48)
This stuff is supposed to help boost overall moisturizers and make your face look EVEN YOUNGER. I don’t know. Toner. Are you a marketers creation? Reviews say this stuff evens out dark spots and such. Everyone on Sephora.com loves it, I must have it. Actually, I bought this because the reviews convinced me… it’s worth it to tone with this product before moisturizer. My skin is still bumpy and red, so I’d like something that will make me appear smooth like a baby’s butt. Yes, I want my face to resemble a baby’s bottom, so sue me.
10. Origins GinZing Eye Cream ($26.50)
Bought this as part of that $51 gift set at Macys w/ the Night a Mins, more of my fav moisturizer and an overnight mask. It won’t be the full size but how much eye cream does one really need? Looking forward to trying it out. I’ll probably continue picking it up in gift sets that offer it vs ever paying $26 for normal eye cream – but who knows, a bit more crows feet and I’ll be investing in baby foreskin to keep my eye creases at bay (btw, I only know this is a thing because my mom either bought or almost bought a product which includes baby foreskin as its magic ingredient. And yes, it is a thing. And, Ew.)
11. Origins GinZing Facial Scrub Cleanser ($19.50)
Because some days you need a little extra scrub. The Clarisonic is theoretically not an exfoliator and my blackheads won’t quit. Maybe this stuff will help. Maybe I will just have more excuses to put fresh citrusy smells near my nose. Either way, I’m investing in this because Cheeks and Balances is a good daily cleanser but a few times a week my face, I think, needs a little deeper scrubbing.
Ok, so I haven’t actually paid full price for all of these items due to gift sets, but the total value/cost to continue this regime would be… drumroll please…
$330 every 3 months (not counting the $149 clarisonic mia purchase, but counting a replacement brush needed for it also every 3 months.)
So that’s about $100 a month – which really isn’t that bad (she tells herself trying to rationalize spending $100 a month ON HER FACE THAT IS GOING TO GET OLD ANYWAY.)
I mean, I’m clearly not the only person who spends money on this stuff, so is it that bad? I don’t need all of it, but being an adult now I’m trying to get into routines and pampering myself for a few minutes a day in between working and sleeping seems like a reasonable thing to do. When I put $100 in the market one day and it goes down to nothing the next, I don’t get a smoother face, that’s for sure. #vanitywinsagain
I’m still investing over $4000 a month so I don’t feel that bad about these splurges. But being a girl is expensive, women should be paid more than men overall, not less!