Suzette Martinez Standring: The true cost of skincare
At age 54, it’s all about the pursuit of dewy, wide-eyed youthfulness. Surely, I am wide-eyed at the cost. When it comes to skincare, expect to pay about $5.28 per syllable.
To be confused by words like “Prevage” or “BX serum” will cost you more than $100.
Fresh-faced and wrinkle-free is the goal. Sometimes I ask myself: Am I an intelligent woman or a striped cotton shirt?
I am a seeker, looking to slurp long and hard at the fountain of youth. Skincare marketers know a (Achilles) heel when they see one, and it’s a multi-billion-dollar pilgrimage.
When I was young, complexion care was simple. Taut teen skin doesn’t need much more than soap and the lightest of moisturizers. But my days of Bonne Bell are so over.
Now I want heavy, industrial-strength preservatives. Cosmetic counters fill half a football field at department stores.
A simple overall moisturizer is discouraged. Like new graduates from medical schools, beauty science now specializes. Elasticity? Use a magic elixir for each area: forehead, cheeks, eyes, lips and throat. It’s a wonder that earlobes are overlooked (but then, a big earring post can hide a lot of sins).
I’m on to how the industry strikes fear into my heart. Ads use scary words like “deep wrinkles,” “slackened skin” and “signs of age and fatigue.” There is hope and promise in words like “restore,” “revitalize” and my personal favorite, “instant.”
It’s a ploy that works. The saleswoman notices that my lipstick “bleeds” and suddenly, I, too, see tiny tributaries of “Autumn Sun” branching out under my nostrils. Of course I need a $125 sealant (but let me think about it for a while).
I’ve read many makeup tricks for older women. Lighter, matte eye shadows are more natural than dark-colored or shiny ones. Underlining eyes emphasizes bags and wrinkles. Mineral powders give a fresher finish. Nicely shaped eyebrows better frame a face, and a special wax will hold perfect penciling in place for hours.
Honestly, I spend a fortune on makeup to look like I wear none at all.
This is what gripes me. My favorite brand uses container descriptions like “caulk” and “spackle.” Hello! Can a little political correctness please extend to makeup products? I’m back to being 10 years old and choosing my clothes from the “Husky” section.
But I won’t consider cosmetic surgery. It’s enough pain just to slap down the plastic and then face my husband when he pays the bills. (That’s when he gets a sudden “brow lift.”)
Folks might say, “Oh, relax. Mature gracefully. You’re blessed with a good life and grandkids.”
True. An older person ends up with the face they deserve, and I’m OK with mine (with a little surface tweaking).
Yet there are times when my granddaughter and I look into a mirror and I tell her, “I would kill for your collagen.”
Suzette Martinez Standring is the award-winning author of “The Art of Column Writing” and speaks nationally. Contact her at email@example.com.