Monday, January 23, 2006

Just call me crinkles

I opened the cabinet under the bathroom sink the other day and nearly broke my toe. About 400 jars of foundation makeup came bouncing out onto the bathroom floor.

For years, I wore Cover Girl Moisture Wear makeup. I have dry skin, so Moisture Wear, which contained oil, was perfect for me. It slid smoothly onto my face, soaked into all of the crinkles and uncrinkled them, and gave me a “dew-kissed” glow.

Then one day, I was in a closeout store and spotted a big rack of Moisture Wear for only $2.50 per jar. I couldn’t believe my good luck and immediately stocked up. Unfortunately, I was too clueless to see the writing on the wall. I should have known that when a product ends up in a closeout store, it’s only a matter of time before it goes to that big warehouse in the sky.

Sure enough, a few weeks later, Cover Girl stopped making Moisture Wear.

Panicking, I contacted the company and asked why the product had been discontinued. I half expected the woman to say, “Because YOU like it!”

It seems as if all my life, whenever I’ve said I liked a product, I’ve unintentionally given it the kiss of death.

From what the woman did say, in a roundabout way, I got the feeling that Cover Girl’s bigwigs thought that only old, wrinkly people were buying Moisture Wear and that the time had come to target a younger, more baby-faced clientele.

“Try our new tinted moisturizer,” the woman suggested. “You will love it just as much as you did the Moisture Wear.”

So I bought the tinted moisturizer. In retrospect, the minute I saw “Oil Free” on the label, I should have known better. It made my face so dry, I actually could see the peels forming five minutes after I slapped it on.

Frustrated, I went to the cosmetics department in a store at the mall and told the clerk that I wanted foundation makeup with oil in it – the oilier the better.

“We actually do have one with oil in it,” she said. “And it also contains a wrinkle reducer.”

She had my full attention. She tested a few shades of the makeup on the back of my hand until she found the perfect match. I had to admit that it looked pretty good on my hand. And it felt nice and creamy, too.

“I’ll take it!” I said.

The clerk smiled. “That will be $50.”

After my heart started beating again, I forked over the money, then muttered all the way home about how I could have bought a year’s worth of Moisture Wear for what I’d just paid for one jar of the fancy stuff. I also silently called the people at Cover Girl a bunch of not-so-nice names.

When I told my husband about the new makeup and what I’d paid for it, his expression clearly told me that he thought I’d finally lost what little mind I had left. “Couldn’t you just have bought some cheap makeup and mixed it with baby oil or WD-40 or something?” he asked.

I’d never even thought of that.

When I put the expensive makeup on my face the next morning, I expected to look into the mirror and see a reflection that resembled fine porcelain. Instead, I looked embalmed. Even worse, I didn’t like the smell of the stuff. I hadn’t noticed it when I’d tested it on my hand at the store, but when I smoothed it on my face, especially right underneath my nose, it smelled terrible – kind of like a cross between skunk oil and a lilac bush.

Thus began my marathon quest to find another foundation makeup. I ended up trying just about everything I could find…liquids, powders, creams, mousses, gels. Most of it I used only once and then tossed it under the sink, never to be seen again (until, that is, it fell out).

Then I heard about Rite-Aid’s policy that allows customers to buy makeup, take it home, try it out and then get a full refund if they decide it doesn’t look good on them. I bought and returned so much makeup over there, the clerks must have thought that I either had some kind of a fetish or I’d enrolled in clown college.

Finally, I turned to Ebay. No one was more shocked than I was to actually find a precious jar of Moisture Wear up for bid. I didn’t care how much I had to bid for it. My crinkly, pasty skin was so desperate by then, I would have mortgaged the house to win that auction.

I won the Moisture Wear for $13. It wasn’t even my usual color, but that didn’t matter to me. Walking around with my face three shades darker than my neck wasn’t as important as having my dew-kissed glow back.

I did manage to find and win three more jars of Moisture Wear on Ebay. But alas, for about a year now, no one has put up any more for auction. That’s probably because any of the makeup that might still be lying around is so old, it’s become fossilized.

So here I am, still searching in vain for a suitable replacement. In the meantime, I’m going to head out to the tool shed to look for some WD-40.