Thursday, January 04, 2007

I Go to Work

"Men were like that, Mave had noticed. They liked to look in the mirror. For women, mirrors were a chore: Women looked, frowned, got out equipment, and went to work. But for men mirrors were sex: Men locked gazes with their own reflections, undressed themselves with their eyes, and stared for a shockingly long time." Lorrie Moore, "Starving Again," Like Life.

Last night after I washed my face and applied moisturizer and then stood in front of the mirror peeling skin away from my chin, that quote popped into my head. (Okay, not the exact quote, but something very close to it. Lorrie Moore is one of my favorite writers, and I have read that book of stories, her first, an insane number of times.) I don't know if the part about men is true--Bob spends about five minutes a day in front of the mirror to my hour or so, or at least as far as I know--but I know the part about women is dead-on. And you know it's true about me. I've handed you all the evidence.

But I made a big decision as I stood there, and that was to return the skincare I bought the other day. I packed it all into my little Nordstrom's bag and set it on the chair so I could take it with me in the morning. Usually when I feel something isn't working for me, I put it under the sink. All of my beauty-closet skeletons are neatly arranged in boxes under there. If I arranged them by brand and put in glass counters, I could open a store. But in keeping with the 2007 me, I determined that I would let neither my fear of the beauty gods nor the Trish McEvoy SA change my plan. It wasn't working, so back to the store it must go.

And then this morning, I saw this article in The New York Times: "Skin Deep: The Cosmetics Restriction Diet." Really that's a terrible title because the article isn't about cosmetics at all, but skincare, and here's what it says: You need to wash your face, and you need to wear SPF. Some of the dermatologists they interviewed could not even agree about whether or not people should also apply moisturizer. (My face seriously felt tighter and started to itch as I typed that last moisturizer?) They said a little something for wrinkles or pimples may not hurt if you need it. (IF?) To exfoliate, use a wash cloth. (Is there not something more fancy I could use? Maybe something made from the skin of a rare animal found only in the tropics?) And buy all the stuff at the drugstore. A tisket, a tasket, fill your little red Target basket.

So...(deep breath)...I am going to try it. Well, except I have to use eye cream, too. And it's Neutrogena! Well, except I also have one from Clinique with SPF. And from Clarins, also with SPF. Honestly, I can do this: 2007, Year of Budget Skincare.

Budget skincare, because I kept all the makeup. Ha!