Friday, April 30, 2010


First of all let me state that the inordinate focus on youth in this culture is completely insane. The average amount spent on beauty products annually is around $7 billion, and in 2007 women spent over $11 billion on surgery and products to look younger and more beautiful. That’s billion dollars, with a B. Do you have any idea how much money that is? It’s a lot. A whole lot. It’s a lot when you talk about the money spent by the average consumer in this supposedly bad economy. It’s not so much when you talk about the money spent by the federal government, in this same supposedly bad economy.

I’m not certain exactly why youth is so venerated especially since most of us in our younger days were complete idiots. Maybe we just yearn to look like we once did and have the wisdom and experience we do now. Perhaps, that’s the case, but I for one was not particularly attractive prior to my 28th birthday, and although I would hardly consider myself over the hill, I would definitely say that the older I get, the better looking I become. There are a few caveats to that one, but I would have to say that overall, with age truly does come beauty. Nonetheless, we strive for a youthful look at the cost of exorbitant amounts of money annually. And no matter how disappointed we are in the results, we just keep trying different things hoping that something may actually work. In fact in 2009 a Chinese woman sued her salon because the beauty products she bought there didn’t work. Although it’s a brave move to sue over something that absurd, all I can ask is what did she really expect? People age, that’s just the way it is. If you have lived a healthy life, stayed out of the sun, eaten well and have really great genes, you may have a chance, but otherwise, you will get crows feet and laugh lines, and other miscellaneous wrinkles just like everyone else. There is no miracle product to fix that no matter what the advertisements say.

But since we all try despite the facts right in front of us, I can only blame myself for being nothing more than a lemur, and of course in my attempt to have pimple-less skin I tried something that probably was not the right product for the issue, but was entertaining nonetheless. Susan Lucci spoke to me one Sunday morning and told me that her Youthful Essence microdermabrasion system was the be-all, end-all of the universe. I didn’t believe her, but I bought it anyway.

Susan Lucci, is 63 years old. And no one will deny that she looks fantastic. That said, Susan Lucci is also a star. Stars don’t have lives like the rest of us do. Although I would never say that the life of a star is not stressful, I’m quite sure it is, with having to be perfect all the time and being followed everywhere you go, but I have a hard time believing that the stress is the same as the average American. (In the unlikely event that I ever become famous, I may have to recant on this one, but I promise you that should that time ever come, I will be honest about it. I can tell you almost 100% certainty that my issues at that point will differ greatly from my current issues.). In addition to the stress differences, famous people have resources that non-famous people don’t usually have. They have “people” and access and an entourage who’s job it is to make sure they look awesome – all the time. Makes you wonder what is real and what is fabricated doesn’t it? Although I believe that Ms. Lucci uses her Youthful Essence microdermabrasion system, I also believe that is not her only secret. I think there are probably other things that have helped Ms. Lucci along in her quest for perfect, youthful skin.

All skepticism aside, I still ordered the product believing that it couldn’t’ really hurt and maybe it would be fun to use. The system makes really large and completely unrealistic promises about skin miracles and revealing natural beauty. First of all there are no miracles unless you are Walt Disney or Dorothy Gale and natural beauty is just that. Natural. If you have natural beauty, you don’t need help bringing it out, it’s already there because, oh, it’s natural.

The claims of “state-of-the art cosmetic technology” made me start to question the integrity of the advertising right away, because although I was supposed to start seeing results after the first application, I didn’t see any results, ever. I’m still a little unclear as to what “state-of-the art cosmetic technology” is. It might be the little buffer thing that vibrates back and forth and is supposed to exfoliate to the point of miraculous-ness, but really it looked like the same technology my 15 year old vibrator used. Maybe it was “state-of-the art” in 1990, but not anymore.

The only positive from the whole experience is that the introductory 30 day supply of resurfacing cream actually lasted longer than 30 days. This would have been fantastic if the company hadn’t automatically sent me more product. The part that they don’t tell you when you are ordering this “miracle” system is that once they get your credit card information, they will continue to send replacements of the resurfacing cream until you take time out of your life to cancel the orders you never really made in the first place. Then they will try to convince you not to cancel, as any good sales/customer service representative will. I know everyone wants to make money, but automatic reordering, that just seems a little wrong to me. Especially for a product that doesn’t really work.

I would have to give the product itself a bad report because it doesn’t work. I did not become naturally beautiful, and no miracles occurred in my bathroom. I will say that it was fun to use the little vibraty-thing, which conveniently enough is waterproof, so I could even use it in the shower. Sort of like that 15 years old vibrator.

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