You know that feeling when you’re in, say, the marketplace at IKEA and you spy a magazine rack or mini drawer set and you think, “How did I ever live without this? My life will be better in 10 different ways simply by purchasing this PLUNKR and it’s, like $3.00.” Conversely, there are other types of seemingly vital sexy gems: the packaging is so clever! It’s a gloss by the register! (Side note: am I the only one who can’t resist register gloss?) It’s in the purple section of the beauty area at Marshall’s! You buy it only to realize that it’s merely an extra step in your regime that is pointless to include because it makes not one iota of difference in your appearance.
Oh—and just who am I to preach about extraneous purchases? I have more than 12 pairs of jeans. I have invested in at least six different shimmery highlighting creams for the brow bone area, all of which look exactly the same (to others, not to me). I own four duvet covers that I alternate so I don’t get bored. I am engaging in a life of such product surplus that every time I am forced to deal with the horror that is moving, I consider becoming a Buddhist. But as such, I’ve become an expert because I am forced to “Sophie’s Choice” the unnecessary products off of my vanity table/desk so that I have room to add more. Furthermore, if I didn’t decide that certain products aren’t effective, I’d never leave the house due to a three hour long regime. Here are five unnecessities everyone has purchased.
Unnecessity Number One: Toner
Who needs toner? No one. That’s right, it’s the number one BS Beauty Product (BSBP) as far as I’m concerned. Astringent, toning lotion, skin tonic… a rose by any other name, okay? Valerie Monroe, beauty director of O, The Oprah Magazine interviewed Doris J. Day, MD, clinical assistant professor of dermatology at New York University Medical Center. Says Doris, “In medical school, we’re taught the importance of cleansing, hydrating, and exfoliation but not toning—and that’s because it’s not critical.” I know it’s wildly satisfying to examine a used, brown toner-soaked cotton ball, but listen to the doctor on this one, no matter what the Clinique lady says.
Unnecessity Number Two: Powder
Powder is aging and chalky. It is naturally drying and takes away necessary fluids from the skin, even the 2-in-1 products. More Magazine Fashion Director Lois Joy Johnson and Cosmetic Surgeon Dr. Pamela Lipkin mention switching from powder to creamy makeup on a recent segment called “How to Look 10 Years Younger—Quickly” on Good Morning America. Use powder only if you have extremely oily skin and even then I’d suggest using blot sheets instead. Bare Escentuals Shine Control Sheets are great at $12.00. Those paper toilet seat covers also work well to absorb oil in a pinch (kind of gnarly, but true).
Unnecessity Number Three: Primer
Primer is total marketing BS. Why should you “prep” your skin before applying makeup to it? There are all kinds of primers—eyelash primers, foundation primers, lipstick primers. I’ve tried them all and have found that only those with mature skin require a foundation primer as a sort of “spackle” for fine lines before applying makeup. Eyelash and lipstick primers do not do anything but come between you and your valuable time.
Unnecessity Number Four: Makeup Remover
You think I’m crazy, right? Unless you’re in the habit of wearing waterproof mascara or have spent the evening at a black tie affair, it’s not essential. The stuff comes off with facial soap/wash and water. Give it a try.
Unnecessity Number Five: Lip Exfoliants
Pick up a dry toothbrush, rub it on your lips, top off with some chapstick or even some Vaseline and get on with your life. Do not spend money on lip pumices. However, if you’re hell-bent on purchasing one, C.O. Bigelow makes an enticing Lip Buffer made from sugar.
I implore all of you to streamline your product stash and rid yourselves of these BSBPs immediately. Even better, be an uber-virtuous doll and donate your unopened beauty products to an organization that helps women in need. Can’t we all agree that a little beauty luxury can sometimes lift the spirit? Where to send donations (pack items carefully, unopened products only please):
Best Face Forward Foundation
10202 N. 103rd Street
Scottsdale, AZ 85258
Union Station Foundation
825 E. Orange Grove Blvd.
Pasadena CA 91104
USA Charities, Inc.
1725 Bluebird Court
Melbourne, FL 32935
Not For Profit Charity. 501(c)(3) fully tax exempt organization.
Upon donation you will be mailed a tax receipt to deduct from you taxes.
Registration No. #CH15206
Collecting New Cosmetics and Beauty Items for distribution in Women Shelters.
A Non-Profit Organization
P.O. Box 1053 Hempstead, TX. 77445
Office (979)826-3290 Fax (979)826-0332
Crisis (979)826-0000 or (877) BE SAFE-9
Pat’s Army of One
Shelters for Lake & Porter County, Indiana:
battered women / homeless families / etc.
Director: Heidi Hart
408 Allumbaugh St.
Boise, Idaho 83702
Battered Women’s Resources, Inc.
PO Box 1209
Leominster, MA 01453
YWCA Women’s Resource Center
1118 Fifth Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101
Special Needs: Hygiene products, haircare and makeup basics
Brockton Family and Community Resources
180 Belmont St
Brockton, MA 02301
Boston Area Rape Crisis Center
99 Bishop Allen Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139
The Lifelong AIDS Alliance
c/o Dresden Jones, The Women’s Program
1002 E. Seneca
Seattle, WA 98122
Suggested items to donate: (NEW only, please)
Haircare – shampoo, moisturizers, hairspray, specialty treatments
Bodycare – soap, shower gel, scrub, powder, bath/body products
Skincare – moisturizer, cleaner, specialty items
Makeup – lipstick, foundation, blush, eyeshadow, pressed power, brushes, cosmetic cases, feminine hygiene products