Last month I got a subscription to Birch Box for reasons which are confusing primarily because I really don’t wear makeup. I don’t judge that kind of woman. I’m just not that kind of woman. Tequila, it turns out, makes me that kind of woman. Tequila and Ru Paul’s Drag Race.
I wasn’t anticipating this foray into the world of makeup would actually be much fun, but it actually kind of has been. Adult life is woefully short on anything that might be remotely considered a pleasant surprise. Opening up a box of mystery goodies woke up a part of my psyche that hasn’t gotten much use since I was, I dunno, about seven and opening up Christmas presents. Naturally, I decided to share the joy. You’re welcome.
Avene Eau Thermal:
It’s a bottle of water. You spray it in your face. There’s a lot of patter on the bottle about a “unique composition” that fights redness and wrinkles. Sure it does. It’s water. In an aerosol bottle. The full size is $18.50. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I’ve used it after runs. Cool mist feels great after a hard work out. It doesn’t feel $18.50 good, but it feels good.
Verdict: Seriously? Why is this a thing?
Benefit Cosmetics Gimmie Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel:
OK, I have a bit of a blond person problem where the old eyebrows are concerned. Which is to say that I have them, but chunks of them go invisible, especially during the summer. From time to time, my eyebrows make me look a little like a two year old who’s gotten ahold of some scissors. So I actually kind of liked this product—it made me look like I don’t mutilate myself, and that’s a big win. Also, it was easy to apply, waterproof, and not in the least bit heavy or unpleasant feeling.
|Are my brows on fleek? I'm not even sure what that means. I'm old. And a dog. Leave me alone.|
Verdict: Yeah. Good stuff. At $24, it’s not prohibitively expensive. Also, it comes in a variety of different shades. Probably great for giving your dog eyebrows.*
Note: Please don’t give your dog eyebrows. I don’t want PETA coming after me with lead pipes because someone out there doesn’t get a joke.
Kiehls Precision Lifting & Pore-Tightening Concentrate:
I’m skeptical of products that claim to restore elasticity and other sundry facelift-in-a-jar sorts of things. How much can something you smear on your skin actually do to counteract the natural aging process, and why the fuck should I even want to look twenty? I earned my goddamn battle scars. That’s what I tell myself, and then I see skin sagging on my neck and a vain little voice in the back of my head starts whimpering. Bastard sonofabitch. So I tried the Precision Lifting Concentrate with more than a little baggage in tow. It actually feels really good. I didn’t notice a drastic difference, but there was a difference. My skin tone was better, and I only needed a small dab to cover my face and neck. The smell was lovely and citrus-y, and I felt very relaxed every time I used the sample.
Verdict: $65 dollars!?!? On skin cream?!?!? Goddamn, rich people. You have some nice shit but Goddamn. $65 dollars is more than I spent on groceries this week. I think I’m gonna take my wrinkled old ass down for some box wine and have a good cry.
Lavanilla Healthy Sunscreen Sport Luxe Face & Body Cream:
Pros: It doesn’t have a lot of the toxic crap you’re supposed to avoid shmearing all over yourself. It does hold up well to strenuous athletic activity. It probably would keep you from getting wind burn during the winter.
Cons: It’s water proof because you’d practically have to use a sandblaster to get that waxy shit off. It feels disgusting. I have sunscreen that works just as well for half the price. Screw phthalates anyway. We’re all going to be dead in eight years after our respective governments kick off nuclear Armageddon.
Verdict: Nope with a hefty dollop of nope on the side.
The Beauty Crop PBJ Smoothie Stick:
Back when I was a teenager, it seemed like most parents had a stricter code where makeup was concerned. Fifteen was the usual age girls started wearing makeup at my school. Of course, rules never stopped us, and the most frequently shoplifted line of makeup was Bonne Bell. (Don’t worry, Dad. I only stared longingly and borrowed frequently from those with fewer scruples.) Targeted at tweens, a lot of Bonne Bell lip glosses came in all manner of repellent candy flavors. So when I saw the PBJ Smoothie stick, I thought of good ol’ Bonne Bell, and prepared myself to be grossed out. Fortunately, the PBJ Smoothie stick only had a vague PB&J aroma. It felt fun without being childish, and it works well as a moisturizer. Bonus, there’s a mild tint, so if you’re looking for a splash of color that doesn’t go over the top, this is a win.
Verdict: I am actually planning on getting another when this one runs out. I like it.