I am not a junkie. Not even close. Judging by my medicine cabinet I put my number somewhere in the 60s. Cleansers, toners, moisturizers, serums, foot cream, hand cream, body cream, undereye lotions…. But I am pushing 44, and I rotate. Cosmetics can get a little dull when it’s the same thing day in and day out. There’s nothing like tossing a tube, squeezed to the point of contortion, only to crack open a new jar with its freshly contoured froth. Though I’ve never tallied my spending, truth is, some are my mom’s Avon hand-me-downs, some are ancient (does that 6m expiry really matter?), many on sale, but lots are gifts-with-purchase.
Little reveal: I can’t walk past a cosmetic counter without that plexiglass box, featuring tiny samples and lipsticks-I-will-never-wear, beckoning to me. An $85 night cream later and I get all those little numbers, in that cute floral pouch, for FREE! Confession: sometimes I buy two products in different locations. Confession, confession: sometimes I even pick up an extra for my mom, since it was her who got me into those gifts-with-purchase in the first place. But I am not a junkie.
I am a married woman with three school-aged children. I eat well, exercise somewhat regularly and think I am aging pretty gracefully. I do like to maintain the integrity of things. Whether it’s a new BBQ or my aging skin, I keep both as clean, shiny and protected as is reasonable so they last as long as possible. I take care of stuff. I just do. I get that from my dad.
That said, I can always replace the BBQ; I can’t replace me. Some husbands would disagree. That’s why they buy new BBQs when their own start to rust, even though it is their own fault for leaving said BBQ outside and exposed to the elements. Not my hubby. Dr. K never took care of his BBQs before he met me, and is still only concerned that it grills a mean steak. He’ll keep that sucker around forever if it’s a decent model, and just let nature take its course, decay and all. What a guy. But, I digress….
My cosmetic use is around a 6-step morning, 4-step evening (too tired to tone), plus 3-step hair routine every 3rd day and daily toothbrushing, foot- and hand-moisturizing, lipbalming…. We’re talking 15 products a day, excluding makeup, which is why I can EASILY go 27 days without all of it. I’ll limit makeup (experimental not suicidal) to mascara, concealer, eye liner, a lipstick I will wear and blush. I’ll whip up cosmetics and hair products in my kitchen to replace those I pack away for 27 days. Yes, I am going to avocado-banana-oatmeal the s__t out of my hair, face and body—and see what happens.
I will base everything on food or raw ingredients from grocery/health food stores. For example, Shea butter isn’t a food per say, but it’s fair game because it’s no La Prairie. I will use manual labour as needed. Dry brush, anyone? I will photograph and log the results. I will steal (and credit) recipes off the Web and eventually make up some of my own.
Why now? I was trolling a certain drugstore Website for a moisturizer. Suitable brands were $70 to $165. And no gifts-with-purchase.
Do these creams really work? Dr. K says they are all the same crap. But on our second date, while we hiked through the forest behind my childhood home, he said, “I like your face.” I must have been doing something right because flushed cheeks can only account for so much.
I have been blessed with good skin. My grandfather had the hands of a younger man when he passed at 99. My parents both look years younger than their ages. My grandmother had “great bones,” and estheticians always comment on my small pores and clear complexion.
Maybe this gives me a false sense of bravado? After all, I just had my last evening of full-on cosmetic use and am feeling pretty clean and smooth. Time will tell. I have 27 days to separate the wheat from the chaff, or the retinol A from the coconut oil, so to speak.
As I finish writing this first entry, Dr. K kisses me goodnight and, sniffing my neck, asks me why I stink. FYI, I just had a shower and used an aromatic stress relief body lotion. Apparently he doesn’t like it.
That’s ok, I tell him, after tonight you won’t have to worry. I’ll smell like the veggie drawer.