I have a confession to make. Many of you already know this, but I’m addicted to beauty products. Seriously, they’re like my crack. I love the scents, the yummy lotions, and the silky serums, each nestled in gorgeous, wildly overpriced glass jars with sparkling lids, all promising to turn back the unforgiving hands of time and bring back a tiny hint of the natural beauty we had simply by being young. My bathroom looks like a Nordstrom Cosmetic Department trunk show, and I have enough products to lift, tone, lighten, brighten, soften, smooth, exfoliated, and plump the skin of roughly half the State of New York.
One of my favorite activities (neither shared nor understood by Hubs) is simply to cruise Nordstrom, Sephora, or Ulta for anything new or fabulous that I haven’t yet tried. I happily spend hours reading labels, trying samples, smelling fragrances, opening jars, and stacking the checkout counter with yet more products proclaiming the newly discovered secret to eternal youth.
Do I believe all these promises? After a lifetime in retail, I’d have to say…uh, no. But it’s nice to wonder “What if?” What if this is the one that really does give back what God and gravity took away? What if just one drop of this serum made my makeup last all day without touch-up? What if this lotion really melts cellulite? Who not give it a try? Just think of me as your human research project.
Living in a small town, an hour away from any sources of department store beauty products and limited to hard plastic packages purchased at stores also selling kitty litter and Dickie’s jeans, I’ve had to come up with Plan B to satisfy my passion. Welcome to the wonderful (and often totally weird) world of online shopping. You can find virtually anything you want, and piles of products you’ve never heard of, that do things you may or may not want done. I was startled to realize that there are beauty products that even I’m not willing to try.
One nocturnal night of 2 a.m. online beauty product sleuthing uncovered these:
Bag Balm. Originally invented to help soften milk cow’s udders. They say it also make a great lip balm. Just can’t get past the visual.
Finale Pink Nipple Cream. Conditions and rosies up your nips. Are nipples supposed to be rosy? And who, exactly, would know if they were or weren’t?
Free-Range Placenta Hair Mask for Extremely Damaged Hair. Again with the bovine? And who the hell was the first person to try this??
Firm Grip Spray for Buttocks. Basically, butt glue. Keeps panties and bikini bottoms from creeping into your butt crack. Of course, your other option is to get panties that fit.
Doe Perfume and Edible Deodorant. If hubs has an armpit fetish and like to lunch on your underarms, I guess this is for you. Nom nom.
Heel No Pain. Anesthetic spray you apply to your feet to numb them so you can wear high heels. The go-to product for runway models and strippers everywhere. For the rest of us, the world is full of cute flats.
Lush Caca’s Hair Henna. Basically, a bar of black soap that works like hair dye. Oh, and “caca” is French for poop. Just…no.
Swoob (as in “sweat + boobs”) Cream Deodorant. Also available as “Bust Dust” and “Boobalicious Breast Deodorant.” How is it I’ve gone 60 years without realizing my breasts have a glandular problem that requires its own product? (And of course, lest the men feel left out, there’s “Fresh Balls” for the guys. We will if you will.)
Breast Milk Soap. I just can’t bring myself to scrub up with someone else’s breast milk. I mean, they had to get it from somewhere.
Bird Poop Facial. Offered at a NYC Day Spa. Powdered nightingale droppings, formerly used by the Geisha, designed to soften and brighten the skin. Not. Gonna. Happen.
And my personal favorite:
Fun Betty Hot Pink Color Kit for the Hair Down There. For the woman whose man always fantasized about magenta-colored lady bushes. So if you’ve ever promised hubby “I’d do anything to make you happy,” be prepared to dye your woo-hoo farm Hello Kitty pink.
So Hubs goes away on his annual golf/drinking trip with the guys, leaving me home alone for four days to do “whatever it is that women do when their husbands aren’t home.” I decided to get out my non-placenta-containing, caca-free products and have an at-home spa night.
Up until that time, Hubs had never actually seen “the process.” He knew that once in a while, I’d lock myself in the bathroom for an hour or so and “do that stuff I do,” as he calls it, without actually knowing what it was. I naively hoped that we could spend a few decades together, and if I timed it right, he’d never see what it took for me to maintain my glow. My mother always said marriage needs a little mystery. My process required Level 9 security clearance, which translated to locked doors.
It was dark outside by the time I prepared my spa kit. I’d also recently watched the entire last season of Criminal Minds, and every passing nighttime shadow through the window conjured up visions of psychotic, ax-wielding serial killers. So before I settled in, I locked all the window and doors, pulled the blinds, and set the alarm system. This was serious, and nobody was getting into my house without the entire neighborhood hearing it.
Feeling safe and secure from psychos and whack jobs, I slipped on one of Hubs’ oversized white t-shirts, slapped on my hair color (which instantly turns into a blue, foamy cap), smoothed on a collagen-infused cloth face mask (very Hannibal Lector, with anti-aging properties), spread hot paraffin on my feet and covered them with thick pink socks, massaged a generous amount of bust-firming cream onto my cha-chas, cellulite cream on my thighs, and finished with a fabulously rich hand cream under lime green spa gloves. I got comfy on the couch with a glass of red wine and fired up a Sandra Bullock rom-com. Then I heard the key in the lock.
I jumped up and tore down the hall in a panic, sliding on my socks and smacking into the wall, bouncing backwards directly into the path of a stunned Hubs, who burst into boisterous laughter, choking out, “What the hell are you doing, woman?? And why is the house all locked up???”
With my dignity completely shredded, I stood up straight and replied, “I was having a spa night, if you must know. And I was alone. I didn’t want anybody to break in. There could be a burglar, a rapist, or some other creepy pervert out there that wants me, you know.”
Still teary-eyed from seemingly uncontrollable mirth, he waved his hand in my direction, “I think you’re safe. babe. I just saw him running hell-bent for leather away from the house. At that rate, he’ll be in Idaho by morning.”
My civic duty was done. Now I’m going to go lock myself in the bathroom.