I opened the cabinet underneath the bathroom sink the other day and nearly broke my toe. About 100 jars of foundation makeup came bouncing out onto the bathroom floor.
For about 20 years, I wore CoverGirl 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, CoverGirl 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 CoverGirl’s bigwigs believed that only old, wrinkly people were buying Moisture Wear and the time had come to target a younger, non-dried-up 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. And an hour later, my face resembled a pale sheet of crepe paper.
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. My hopes were restored.
“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 I 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 small jar of the fancy stuff.
When I put the new 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, because my nose was pretty far away from it, but when I smoothed it on my face, all I could smell was something similar to a mixture of lilacs and skunk oil.
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 on my foot).
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 makeup 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 my 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 for over $25 each. But alas, for years now, it's been nearly impossible to find any more up for auction. That’s probably because any of the makeup that might still be lying around is so old, it’s become fossilized.
For nostalgia’s sake, I checked Ebay again just yesterday and had to laugh when I saw vintage advertisements for Moisture Wear selling for $17. Why the heck would I want to buy the ad – a photo of the product?
I guess because even the ad is an antique now…like my face.
But after months of experimentation, I finally came up with my own secret concoction of three different products I mix together to form a magic cream that I slap on my face at bedtime and wake up with soft, unwrinkled skin.
However…I recently learned that one of the key ingredients in my magic cream isn’t being manufactured any more, so it’s now available on Ebay at about triple the original price.
Here we go again.
I guess I’m just going to have to resign myself to the fact that my face probably is doomed to look like an unmade bed for the rest of its years.
Unless…doesn’t WD-40 come in a spray can?
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Sally Breslin is an award-winning syndicated humor columnist who has written regularly for newspapers and magazines all of her adult life. She is the author of several novels in a variety of genres, from humor and romance to science fiction. Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org