Am I Beautiful Yet?


This is what it’s come to, I guess. I’m buying beauty products now.

I tried to just stay young, but apparently drinking eight glasses of water and eating a high fiber cereal every day actually doesn’t freeze you at 25 for life.

It all started when I realized I had gone directly from acne to wrinkles with no beauty queen perfection period in between. I put it off as long as I could, but I finally had to start paying attention to the commercials with Diane Keaton, Diane Lane and other movie stars who claim they look young because of items you can buy at Rite Aid. 

Are we really supposed to believe that? That Heather Locklear, who lives in a 57-room mansion, uses hair dye from a box? A quick trip to Kroger and I can have her hair? Really?

Anyway, I started to not only watch the commercials, I had to venture into that aisle in the store. The one that’s full of pink boxes and smells like cucumbers, that has all the anti-aging miracle creams, night regenerating formulas, anti-oxidant age reversers and other modern miracles.

This is a huge industry. Apparently there are millions of women who aren’t willing to have plastic surgery or needles stuck in their foreheads, but who want to look good for just under $18 per tube of white cream. Who knew? Before I walked down that aisle, I had no idea there were so many wrinkly old bats out there, well disguised with health and beauty aids.

I bought two things: An oil-free moisturizer (and because of the overly oily skin that gave me acne well into my 40s, this is the first time I’ve ever had to buy moisturizer) and a night cream that’s supposed to make me look like a white Halle Berry in about seven days. 

We’ll see.

We’re talking about someone who balks at spending $3 on a Cover Girl blush. (It’s red powder. A monkey could make it.)  When Laura Bush first became First Lady and the women’s mags were all over themselves trying to portray her as a chick of the people, they made a big deal over the fact that she bought her makeup in the drug store.  Yeah, so what? I buy my makeup at the drug store, too, and when I run out, I just use food coloring and some stuff from the kids’ Halloween bin.

Every time we move I get put on the Mary Kay list and the calls start coming in, asking if I’d like my free, complimentary makeover from my local Mary Kay cosmetics consultant. I don’t know how to explain to the poor sap on the phone that I don’t do that. I use so little makeup that I could put it on while driving the car without using the rear view mirror or decelerating. And I already know from previous experience that it’s really not the makeup they want to sell you. It’s the beauty packages, full of lotions, toners and astringents for under the makeup, creams for at night, SPF-loaded moisturizers for the summer and essential oils for the winter. There are whole regimens that Mary Kay has put together to make you feel like you’re doing something to keep yourself young and cute.

“OK, yeah, this is wonderful,” I want to tell them after they’re done with the demonstration. “But I am telling you right now, I’m never, ever going to use any of this. It will sit in my bathroom cabinet with all the other pink tubes and bottles that I got the last time I moved. And while, yes, it might just make me as cute as a button, I am just plain not ever going to use it.”

The Mary Kay lady looks at me with a look that says, “But, you’re such an ugly skank. How can you be happy with this state of affairs?”

To repeat the words of my mother, We’ll see. If I can get by with the night cream and Crisco-less moisturizer, I could end up being fabulous and 50 in no time. Of course, I’m’ not 50 yet, but I think I’d be happy with that.