I was in my early thirties. I thought I had wrinkles. I was a fool.
I have just barely stepped into my sixties (ugh). I really do have wrinkles. I know so much more now.
Back to my thirties.
As I gazed into the mirror that day and squinted, I saw them. Squiggles at the corners of my eyes. I identified them as wrinkles and decided it was time for action. Next time I was in town I determined to buy a bottle of the highly advertised (I better not mention the name) face cream. The advertising promised that fine lines would be visibly reduced. That appealed to me greatly and the fact that those fabulous advertisers also said it was the secret to looking younger. How could I resist?
I bought my precious (expensive, but I was sure worth it) jar of magic cream. I applied it as per the instructions, skipping the patch-test part. I stood in front of the mirror looking smug and awaiting the radiant skin – which I already had but didn’t know it.
Since it was a night cream I purchased, I would have to sleep before I could discover my true replenished younger-looking skin. So I did.
I could hardly wait to look in the mirror the next day.
That ‘morning after’ is one I will never forget. I stood, staring in disbelief. Not because of the radiant beauty that stood before me in the looking glass. More a look of horror mixed with that wretched disbelief at the elephant-like leather appearance. Hideous was about the only adjective I could muster.
Apparently, I had reacted to the unnamed skin cream. An allergic reaction.
‘It will take time,’ the doctor said, handing me a jar of prescription ointment.
I learned my lesson that day. Vanity, oh vanity, can be a hard pill to swallow. I tossed what remained of my night cream that lied, into the trash. And dug out my faithful Nivea cream.
Fast forward to the present. Vanity still pinches me on occasion but I try to ignore her. My wrinkles are now called laugh lines and Nivea is still my best friend.
Vanity pinched the other week, though. I really did try to ignore her. But the sales girl was my daughter’s good friend from many moons ago and because she was selling her new line of makeup (that cost a fortune) and she was so sweet and persuasive, I ended up placing an order.
I had watched Rachel’s beautiful demonstration videos and she made it look so easy and magical. Rachel looked gorgeous and I was suddenly finding myself convinced that if I bought even a little of the wonder makeup I would look a little like Rachel’s finished palette. And then I would be radiant, too.
So I bought the face blush to plump up and make my skin sparkle, three lip paints (that word should have been my first clue not to buy) a jar of concealer to cover up flaws and lush-lash mascara so my lashes would be movie star length.
Needless to say, I was plum excited to get my ‘box of youth’ in the mail. I didn’t tell Happy Hubby. I wanted to surprise him. Actually, I didn’t want to tell him how much I spent but the former sounds better.
I’ll keep this last part short because it is far too ‘painful’ to relive, safe to say by the time I had covered all the flaws on my face with the concealer there was barely any true skin left. I was a mass of powder. I fluffed it around and smoothed it over with some old foundation I found in the back of my drawer. Then I generously dabbed the oversize cheek brush in the new blush. By the time I had dusted the plums of my cheeks (as was demonstrated in the video) I looked like I was a little too overdone in the sun. Then the mascara – mascara on the eyebrows was not my intention. And for crying out loud, I had to use three steps using fibres- something horribly complicated. Finally the lip paint. I opted for the subtle strawberry. Paint it was. Subtle it wasn’t.
Let’s just sum things up by saying – I should have invested in makeup remover. I dared not let my husband see me lest he thought I was going to be entertainment at a children’s birthday party. So I scrubbed it all off, and applied a thick coat of Nivea cream.
Methinks I need a little more practice.
And a little less vanity.