Confessions of a Beauty Junkie

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Guru Speaks

All right bitches, I'm back in the beauty saddle. I fielded a question on Facebook from Alexandra McConnell, a Kentucky cutie making her way in Jersey (brave girl that she is):

"In my family, for Christmas, we draw names and get a gift for that person, spending only $100 (a little above it if needed). Each person makes a list of gifts in the price range or says 'buyer's choice.' So this year on my list I am asking for beauty items that will help me age inappropriately. Meaning, I want to look 25 but really be 50. Maybe not that drastic, but you get my drift. Oh wait, I do want to look 25 when I am 50...and in order to do this I need to start now. So, Beauty Guru, what would you suggest I ask for for Christmas?"

May I take a moment? "Beauty Guru," she says. I'm finding it very difficult not to bask in that title. I envision a Vishnu-like figure who has, instead of hair growing out of her head, various beauty implements orbiting her head on deely-bobber-like antennae. And in each of her multiple manicured hands is a hair styling tool. And her peaceful smile emanates from the firm belief that she has ALL the beauty knowledge. I rule! Om...

Okay, back to reality. So I've pondered and queried and stewed and hemmed and hawed on this one, because the options are almost endless. Let's acknowledge the obvious first: your Secret Santa's money needs to be spent on a potent anti-aging product, ideally a serum (which I've said before packs more punch than a lotion or cream). It should address various signs of premature aging, the most prominent of which is sun damage. It should, of course, not irritate sensitive skin, nor should it freak out oily skin, nor make dry skin look like a science experiment. It should be light enough to layer under makeup in the morning, yet sturdy enough to wear alone or under your night cream when it's time for beddy-bye. It shouldn't be uneccesarily priced, but it should bring enough to the table to justify the $100-esque price tag.

Don't I sound like Beauty Junkie Goldilocks?

So we've established the criteria. My recommendation is this: Remergent's DNA Repair Formula Age Retaliator Serum (yes, it's a mouthful-- deal with it). As I mentioned in a previous post, I've become familiar with the Remergent line in the past couple of months, and I'm pretty impressed. This is, so far, my favorite product of the three or four that I've tried. Remergent's primary goal is to treat and reverse sun damage at the cellular level. This Retaliator Serum works to do that and also take things up a notch by "stimulating the skin to resist future photo-damage through natural recuperation" (this from the Remergent website). It contains a slew of kick-ass damage-fighters, among them Photosomes, Ultrasomes, Roxomes, Evodiox, and Thiotaine (is it just me, or do those sound like Brangelina's kids' names?!). All these freaky-techie ingredients work together to repair existing sun damage, all the while toiling away at the DNA level to heal and reverse collagen erosion. FYI, their Microcirculation Eye Therapy actually builds collagen, which over time fills in fine lines. Fancy! The product literature will sometimes come with photosensitive before-and-after pictures that show the reduction in sun damage when participants used the product line for three months, and they really are amazing.

I've been using the Retaliator Serum for about two months now, and am not quite to the end of the bottle. I initially only used it at night under my Yonka moisture masque, but have since gone a little crazy with it, using it in the morning, under my eyes, you name it. It has yet to even think about irritating my skin, and fits the bill for the desired consistency (i.e., it works well under makeup, by itself, and under a moisturizer). It's not exactly thin and clear like some serums; instead, it's a translucent white and is a like a cross between a thin serum and a lotion. At any rate, I think it has worked well so far.

Now, I feel I should issue a caveat: if you're going to commit to a new anti-aging product, you need to be ready for at least a three-month relationship before passing judgement. These things take time, and hopping around from one product to the next every month won't get you the result that any of the products are trying to deliver. In other words, calm your ass down and give this stuff time to do its thing. If you really want to kick premature aging's saggy nuts, take a look at some of the other products in the line. I have to warn you, it's not cheap, but it's all pretty concentrated and doesn't require even a "pre-metered dose" (also known as a pump's worth) of product to cover the face.

All right, so we've got it figured out. Here's one teeny-tiny catch: it's $125 per bottle. I tried to come up with a better product for under a hundo, I really tried. Maybe you could put some cash into an envelope for your Secret Santa, or you could identify the closest Remergent retailer (find one at and ask for a $100 gift certificate. Whatever it takes, my dear, whatever it takes. Premature aging waits for no woman and takes no prisoners.

Hope this is helpful-- stay tuned for a post regarding the ongoing mascara tournament. I tried a new one this week that can totally kiss my ass. Talk soon!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I feel pretty, oh so pretty... (FAIL)

Okay ladies, so I've spent the past day-and-a-half on the couch battling some upper-respiratory nastiness. I'm not so sick as to be immobile, but I am puny enough to abstain from showering, getting dressed, or otherwise being productive. This is a sad thing-- not for obvious reasons (please, I'm hardly feeling sorry for myself), but for reasons pertaining to this blog.

Allow me...

Have I been bored off my ever-widening ass today? Yes.

In trying to fill the void, did I check my personal and work email accounts a thousand times each, text message my sister two thousand times, make my first attempt at a scrapbook, fix vegan chocolate-chip cookies (totally on a whim, and DAMMIT, they're awesome), and chop up some salsa with tomatoes from my father-in-law's garden? Why, yes, yes I did.

Did the thought occur to me to write in my blog during this industrious period? No it certainly did not.

And why is that? Because there is nothing-- not a single, solitary, mother-eff-ing thing-- pretty about being sick. Do you doubt me? Let me ask you-- can you please tell me how to feel like anything other than a sniffling, hacking, husband-repelling hag rocking your Cosmopolitan Cat jammies (which are very cute, but still...) and the same menthol Breathe-Right strip across your nose from the night before?

If you have an answer that involves sunny optimism, please tell me so that I can cut you out of my social circle.

Seriously, I have had rare unmitigated access to my entire bathroom cabinet and makeup arsenal for the past 36 or so hours, and yet my face remains bare and frightening, my limbs even paler and flaky. I could have spent all day scrubbing, glossing, and primping to make myself feel better, but it all would have been futile. Only when I find myself under the weather do I truly abandon all beauty routines with a congested "oh what's the friggin point?!" I braved the grocery last night in search of chicken soup-makings bare-faced with my hair on top of my head, and I couldn't have given less of a shit. Because I felt like shit, and dammit, that was not the time for anyone to screw with me.

I don't have any intentions of singing the praises of a particular product that will lift you out of a sickly funk, so don't ask (wow, apparently I'm bitchy when I'm sick!). Jing-Jang Creme is nice for keeping chapped lips and nostrils hydrated and nourished, but that's about it. I'm still in my jammies, I haven't showered, and I think I can hear my ass fusing to my couch cushions. Here's hoping that things pretty up around here soon.