Saturday, April 7, 2012

735. Glue Starts With "G"

I have always loved the idea of make-up and skin care products in general.  Even though I have been blessed with what the Cosmetics Nazi at my local department store refers to as “normal” skin (or did she say “average”?), I constantly search for that elusive product, that one cream or lotion or powder that will magically transform my tired skin into Claudia Schiffer’s flawless complexion. 

Imagine my delight when a new branch of Well-Known (a famous New York make-up and skin care company) opened up right here in Crazy Town.  I was beside myself with joy when Well-Known sent me a postcard for a free travel-size sample of any product with the purchase of three more expensive products. 
I was outside Well-Known on opening day at 9:55 AM.  We Virgos are nothing if not punctual.  The manager (wearing an official white lab coat like a doctor) opened the door, and half the population of Crazy Town rushed in. 

I was mesmerized by the distinctive packaging at Well-Known.  Their bottles were aqua-color like an inviting swimming pool on a hot summer day, and they were trimmed in an elegant navy blue, and there was a delicate swirl design imprinted in the plastic.  I stood there gawking at the products and vowing to paint my entire house aqua and navy the moment I got home.  I tried to inhale the distinctive scent of the store.  It smelled like something I recognized from being around preschoolers, it smelled like … glue.     
“May I help you, madam,” the pretty young salesclerk said, more a statement than a question. 

I reached into my purse and procured the coveted postcard.  At least a dozen other customers craned their necks to see what I was holding:  although it was only a slip of paper, it might as well have been a bar of gold.

“I’d like to buy something, I don’t know what, and then get the free thing,” I said eloquently while I handing the salesclerk the card. 

“Sure, great,” she smiled, her white teeth glowing like a toothpaste ad, and I noticed her nametag read “Lola.”  I wondered if this was her real name or if she made it up for fun.  When I worked at the high-end kitchen store, I sometimes wore a nametag that said “Ralph” just to annoy my boss. 
I picked up a bottle of something, who knows what, so I could act like I was knowledgeable and face-product savvy. 

“Wait, uh, do you have intense acne issues?” asked lovely Lola, deeply concerned, “because that is a wonderful acne wash.  For men.” 
I quickly pushed the acne wash back on the shelf, as if merely holding it might give me acne, or turn me into a man. 

“No, nope, no acne here,” I abruptly turned around, almost knocking over a towering display of sunblock.  “Maybe I could buy some sort of, you know, soap type cleanser product thing?  To wash my face?” 

I looked closely at Lola’s perfect 22-year-old skin for the first time.  She reminded me of Taylor Swift, or a Barbie, or of a TV commercial of a Taylor Swift Barbie.  She probably never washed her face, she automatically looked perfect whether her face was clean or dirty.       
“Here are some products my grandmother uses,” said Lola, absent-mindedly tucking a loose strand of her long strawberry blond hair behind her ear, and I suddenly found myself hating Lola.  Grandmother?!? 

“Lola, hon, I am not sure how old you think I am, but I am 32,” I lied, shaving a decade off my real age.  “I won’t be grandma for another quarter of a century.” 
Lola giggled nervously, and offered me an eye cream sample.  “Let me put this on your hand,” she instructed, “and you can actually feel the damage of age disintegrating.”

The only thing I could feel disintegrating was my wallet.  The eye cream was marked $85.        
I reflexively smelled the glob of cream she had squeezed onto the back of my hand.  That was weird.  What was that smell?    

“None of our products have fragrance,” offered Lola, attempting to read my mind and somehow succeeding.  “It’s made from pure, natural ingredients.  No chemicals.”  Then why did it smell like glue?    
Fifteen minutes and $145 later, I walked out of Well-Known with a mini-shopping bag in their signature aqua with navy ribbon handles and “Well-Known” printed in curly script on the side.  I was now the proud owner of a gel cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and a free travel-size tube of eye cream. 

After a week of using my new products, I do not look like Lola or Claudia Schiffer.  But I do smell like glue.    


  1. Only in America can you get someone to buy water, air, rocks, or "glue." Very funny account! You would think that if 145.00 didn't turn you into Claudia Schiffer it could have at least left shades of Minnie Pearl.

  2. Hehe! I just get so baffled by these things that fortunately I do the opposite and avoid sales people and fancy product places and walk away from all the others still non-plussed. I went shopping with some girl friends a few weeks ago and they all left with bags full of moisturiser toner, cleanser, wrinkle stuff, spot stuff (see I even know the technical terms) - I left with a creme egg!

    1. Heh.. I like your kind of shopping better. I would probably end up with actual glue and try to wash my face with it. At least I know what to do with a creme egg. ;)

  3. MOV--I used to work as a trainer for one of those high-end cosmetic companies. I'm not sure if it was the stuff that made my skin more beautiful, or the fact that I was twenty-frickin-three. But when I went back to purchase that stuff again (I couldn't afford it when I was a stay-at-home),the chick behind the counter said "you may want to try *fill in the blank with the name of a cosmetic line owned by the same company* because it's for older women. Watch me kick your scrawny ass, baby gurl.

  4. Awwww all that just for some glue-smelling products! No good... I like the ones that leave you smelling gorgeous! If you can't look gorgeous, might as at least smell gorgeous ;-)

  5. Who knew glue could be THAT expensive? Well, at least you smell like a preschooler now. I guess it sort of did make you younger.

  6. “and you can actually feel the damage of age disintegrating.”

    Hahaha! What on earth does the damage of age feel like, when it's disintegrating?

    Clever post as always MOV.

  7. I know how you feel I never know what to buy, There's so much choice and once they start looking at your skin I want to run a mile.

  8. I went to the "N" store with a very pretty niece and there was a special cosmo demo with make-up artists from New York. As they clustered around my niece who is very pretty, they ignored me and I just received the ordinary attention. As they worked their magic on her, I felt like the "wicked witch of the West." Never do this with someone who is younger than you unless it is your daughter, then you would be proud. Vanity, vanity. . . .

  9. Very funny! "Grandmother"? HA! What a sales pitch.

  10. How ironic. All that for something that smells like glue. :P

  11. There is a kiosk in the local mall that sells "Dead Sea Salt" face stuff--they attack me when I walk by. The stuff is ridiculously priced and they are like predators. Twice I have spent $200.00 because they wouldn't let go of me.

    Now, I grab my cell phone when I walk by and pretend to be on a very intense, aggressive phone conversation. I just hope one day it doesn't ring while I am on my very important call with the President of the United States.

  12. Ha ha. Perfect G post. You have such a natural, fun writing style. Love it.

  13. Funny "G" post! I like a little fragrance with my cosmetics if only slightly! "Grandmother" = Not happy with Lola! You Virgos.....coming from your neighbor the Libra!!!

  14. This post cracked me up:) I think glue smells like something. And that Lola should get a pay cut for comparing you to a grandma:) I'm sure you look lovely!

  15. Hilarious, was only thinking the other day that a visit to the local cosmetic counter maybe in order but if I’m gonna come home a fair few quid lighter maybe all I need is glue… *lol

  16. Very funny post. Sounds like "Clinique" brand with those lab coats.
    I don't expect anyone to listen to me but I'll say it anyway: Get some coconut oil, Use it instead of conditioner after shampoos and use a small amount on your face and the backs of your hands and your arms and your neck after cleansing.
    I use it; it is cheap, er, I mean inexpensive and it works.

  17. I have to admit that when I read the title of this post I was thinking I was in store for a story about children and Elmer's in their hair mishap. LOL

    Great "G" story!! :D

  18. Great post! Once I went to a Mary Kay party and spent 200+ on product and was NEVER able to mimic the results that I got at the party....maybe they used magic mirrors!
    Blessings, Joanne

  19. MOV, are you giving new meaning to sniffing glue? Does your new makeup make you feel all giddy and light-headed?

  20. Mov, I so enjoyed this G day post! Great Writing style and story, I laughed out loud at the grandma comment...


  21. I love the idea of buying these products too. I am almost ALWAYS disappointed in the results. I also have "normal" skin, and it's just not very exciting. I finally settled on the Oil of Olay stuff. it is the only thing that doesnt either make my face like an oil slick or like tightly stretched saran wrap. I discovered the higher the price on the wallet the only thing that felt different was the balance of my account. This however, does not stop me from forgetting sometimes and just buying that $50 little pot of eye cream - mostly because those little pots are just so cute! :o)

  22. "I stood there gawking at the products and vowing to paint my entire house aqua and navy the moment I got home." So this explains the garage door! Haha :)

  23. I'll bet a vat of Elmer's glue is cheaper than a face lift! Sheesh. I'm with Bozo -- if you can't look better, at least you can smell better.

  24. Thank you very very much to all my new readers/ followers who found me on the a to z challenge! Welcome to my blog, and I adore your comments!


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