Sunday, February 10

Vapid Consumer Beauty Products Post

Okay.  I make fun of commercials a lot.  If aliens are watching and studying our species, they are wondering "What the hell is so hard about picking out a soap/bottle of shampoo/toothbrush/body lotion?"
And I fall victim to it, too.  I go grocery shopping and before I start, I have to look at the hair stuff, just to see if there is something new and magical that is somehow going to transform my hair from the frizz fest it wants to be to the sleek, smooth, soft, swingy mane I fantasize about.
(No luck yet.)
Shawn gets on my case sometimes.  "Can't you just stick to something you like?" he demands.
Well, yes.  If I know I REALLY like it.  (And then I'll stick with it forEVER.)
But what if there's something better?
And sadly, while I mock these commercials, at the same time, there is a nice thing about having so many choices. 
Take body lotion: I have sensitive skin and I'm allergic to a lot of smells.  I can't use Suave or Jergens on my arms and legs, no matter how much I might like the smell - both brands burn my skin.  Many years ago, I was a St. Ives fan, but I can't use that now because the fragrances give me headaches.  I can't even walk into a Bath & Body Works without my sinus cavities starting to burn and my head pounding.    

It would seem simple to pick a shampoo - just grab one that smells good.  But some shampoos do strip my hair down.  Some really do leave my hair feeling oily.  Some conditioners really do make my hair feel heavy and sticky.  In fact, the only reason I'm still on the hunt for that special magical hair tonic is because the few I've found that do work well - I'm allergic to the friggin' smell!  Eragh! It is frustrating.  It's frustrating when I see shampoos to gently clean without weigh-down for fine hair sitting next to the moisturizing next to the de-frizzing.  Can't they make one thing that would do all three of those things?  No ---- that would mean the endless cycle of alternating moisturizing shampoos and clarifying shampoos would end - therefore less money.
I just want a hair product that smells nice, that I can put on my hair when it's wet or dry, that will de-frizz and not make it stiff or sticky.  Will just make it feel nice.  But it has to smell nice!  It can't smell like a chemical dumping factory.

And what's worse - I'm pretty low maintenance.  I don't blow dry my hair very often and I iron it even less.  I use only a handful of makeup products and even then, it's kinda iffy.  I honestly don't know how the women who use a myriad of products every day handle it.

Recently, I was browsing at Ulta and I had very conflicted feelings.  All the girls working there were so . . . shiny.  They were so glossy and polished and done.  These women used more make-up, hair product, perfume, and polish than I did on my wedding day.  In my jeans, hiking boots, and snow cap with only a bit of pressed powder on my face, I felt like Vivian Ward being asked to leave the store on Rodeo Drive because she was "obviously in the wrong place."  (Note: the workers were actually very friendly, my inferiority was my own feeling, not their treatment.)
So there I am, just having a look around at the hair clips and such and I see the wall of face care.  It was daunting.
Remember when I said I was low-maintenance?  Yeah . . . I use Curel lotion on my face.  But standing here, staring at the wall of face care, I felt like such a simplistic moisturizer was surely somehow a sign of my inferiority.  I mean...there were eye serums for night and eye creams for day.  There were oil free age-defying moisturizers for day and there were anti-wrinkle moisturizing creams for night.  There were lip plumpers and deep wrinkle treatments and moisturizing washes to be followed by makeup removers to be followed by alcohol free toners.
And I was like:
holy shit.  I am obviously the runt of the beauty species.

And I'm wondering not only who has the money to spend $30+ on a bottle of freaking shampoo, but who has the time to
Wash her hair,
Apply a smoothing cream,
Blow-dry with a round brush,
Apply a shine serum,
And finish with a light coating of hair spray?
Seriously, who?
That's like, three steps and two products too many for me.
(That was the run-down of a video I saw showing how to get smooth, soft hair - "quickly.")  Note: anything that takes 20-30 minutes is not "quick" unless it's dinner or a holiday TV special.

I'm not really expecting any kind of "fix" to this problem any time soon.  I'm just wondering: am I the only one who feels intimidated by a world of women who seem to have the whole thing figured out? Am I the only one standing in the hair aisle and wondering why Pantene can't make a conditioner that does everything it says it will - but without making my hair feel coated and weighty?  Am I the only one who thinks needing three or four or more styling products for hair on any given day is insane/scary?  Am I the only one who has a problem with the overwhelming scent of chemical fragrances in her stuff?
What are your thoughts?


  1. My thought are that I love this post... You just voiced what the rest of us simplistic gals feel like every time we hit a grocery store or shopping mall in search of "products". The Ulta thing - that could have so been me, lol.

    I have long wavy hair that tends to frizz and I have tried ---everything--- I found that Biolage Smoothing Shine Milk (about $14.00 - a little goes a long way) is the best stuff for the kind of chick that likes to wash and go. It leaves your hair soft and unfrizzy and all you have to do is spray a little bit in when it's wet (or dry). It doesn't make your hair look greasy, just soft. Plus the smell is low-key.

    1. Lol; I'm glad I'm not the only one out there going "huh?" - I definitely appreciate the recommendation - I have been intrigued by Biolage before but never really brave enough to drop money on something if I wasn't really sure it would work for my hair. As soon as I can afford it, I am going to pick up some of that stuff to give it a try. :)


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