Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Beauty Counter Vampire

I had a dream about a hamster last night. I figure it's the Universe's way of reminding me to update my blog.

I have just spent a week in a remote desert, and I have to say, my skin looks great for it.
Oh, alright, yes, I hear you...there was more to it than that. I wasn't there just for the complimentary sand-blast exfoliation treatment. I did actually work rather hard patching up those crazy biker boys and girls.
But for now I am not going to write about that. I want to write about my skin. When did I stop being a soap-and-water sort of girl and become a victim of the 'skincare regime'?
Here's what I packed by way of skincare, to take to said remote desert- make-up remover, foaming facial cleanser, toner, moisturiser, eye gel, night cream, firming body cream, lip balm and hand lotion. All in trial size, of course, but still, it means sharing a toiletries bag with my other half is a thing of the past.
I think being told that I had 'fine lines' and 'tired eyes' by the witch at the beauty counter a couple of years ago triggered a sort of panic.
This was exacerbated by another beauty counter encounter when I was innocently trying to buy hand lotion. Washing my hands before and after each patient and using alcohol gel makes hand lotion a necessity and not a luxury. I had picked up my usual brand when I was approached by a tall, pale man with a jet-black quiff wearing a white shirt open at the throat and tight black trousers. I could swear he was wearing a touch of red lipstick. Imagine if Dracula had been gay, and you'll get what I am talking about.
He looked at my choice and shook his head sadly. "What is it?" I said, knowing I would regret asking. "Show me your hands" he said, in a Transylvanian accent, like a particularly creepy palm reader. He took my hands in his immaculate, white ones and I immediately regretted missing that manicure appointment. He turned them over and inspected the backs and shook his head sadly again and sighed. "What is it?" I asked again.
"You must buy the cream for aging hands" said the seer.
"Why?" I asked.
"Because you have aging hands" he explained patiently, as though talking to a small, simple child. "Look" and he proceeded to point out all my wrinkles, dry bits and sun spots.
I did manage to guilt him into giving me the promotional gift even though I had spent less than the required amount. Trial size products are useful for trips to the desert.
I realise that I have become a sucker and an advertiser's dream. I really do believe the hype. A cream that makes you look younger? I'm buying. Another that destroys cellulite? Bring it on. My body is like a testing ground for chemicals of mass destruction.
Having said that, I didn't use all my fancy lotions and potions in the desert after all. Just the moisturiser really. And I was eating whatever junk we were served, as well as a sneaky Pot Noodle or two. And I was surviving on five hours or less sleep. Funny how my skin seems to look better for it. Maybe the sand, sun, soap and water were all I needed after all.