I have a confession to make.
I have a $90 night creme.
I had gone into Bloomingdales on the way to see my dentist (who has thankfully moved to the Rockerfeller Plaza area) and I had fallen victim to the one-two punch of the very effective Chanel saleswoman and my own longing for porcelain-clear skin, devoid of wrinkles and blemish free.
If you've never been to the Cosmetics and Beauty section of Bloomingdales, it's as overwhelming and perfumed as you think it is. Bright lights. Sample sizes. Lipgloss in every shade of pink you could imagine, and very aggressive salewomen in neat black suits. They are impeccable. You are not. Your presence in the Bloomingdales beauty department means you know you are not. You are easy prey.
About five years ago I had bought a Chanel night creme - Age Delay Nuit it was called - that was like taking a cool drink of water on a hot, dry day. I had gone back looking for the same, not with any serious intent to buy, but really now. Who was I kidding?
Oh Chanel, how you upgrade!
The product that I had known and loved back when really I had 25-year old perfect skin had been replaced by one called Beauté Initiale. It was light and pink and the word geleé suit it to a T. Unfortunately for my slightly-older, somewhat dry skin, it wasn't as rich as the other one the saleswoman had lovingly swabbed onto my cheek. The Précision. Oh, it felt like she had wiped whatever they used on Mount Olympus onto my face. Only goddesses had such sweet smelling, oddly satiated skin.
I tried to feign indifference. To pretend I was weighing my options. It took everything I had to resist the coordinating eye creme. I had some from before. (Which I threw away upon arriving at home, realizing it was in fact five years old and had traveled with me between five apartments.)
I walked out with a glorious "little brown bag" with a black and white box of really expensive creme, a sample of the eye creme I had shunned (which is still in my bathroom. taunting me.) and a mini sample mascara. The sample mascara had the most unusual, most fabulous applicator brush I'd ever seen. But I'm afraid to go back. On the way out I also got a Bobbi Brown lipstick in Burnt Red and a Cole Haan handbag.
I apparently am afraid of having cavities filled.
My occasional trips to Sephora are usually not as dangerous to the budget. Sephora is about 50 yards from my office. The worlds fastest sprinters could be there in mere seconds upon leaving the elevator.
Sephora has a few things I find myself acutally going to visit. Yes, I visit sample cosmetics.
First place: Anything from Philosophy. While Philosophy is nowhere near as posh as the Chanel creme that shares its shelf in my bathroom medicine cabinet, it has a somewhat hippie, almost spiritual allure. Perhaps because their perfume is both called Amazing Grace and makes me feel like the prettiest girl in the world. To me, it's what pretty girl smells like. I love it.
(Chanel No. 5, on the other hand, is the smell of sexy, sexy woman. A man in my office cafeteria once said it made his knees weak when I wore it to work once. That one is for dates.)
Philosophy also makes cremes, cleansers, serums, and microderm abrasion scrubs and "peel pads". I have two kinds of their shower gel. I have Hope in a Jar. I am a girl-stuff marketer's wet dream.
If it's slightly different and smells like clean girl or promises clear, sweet smelling, dewy skin, chances are I'll spend $45 plus tax on it.
I also have sugar scrub and body soufleé from Om, some St. Ives scrub and Vitamin E lotion. I have several different lip colored light pink lip glosses. Nars. Chanel. Revlon. Laura Mercier. Vincent Longo. My wide array of hair care products is a totaly different story. I <3 Terax.
It's hard to be a girl, is what I've resolved. There's an entire industry out there trying to take our money and sell us lotions that they swear will make us feel better about ourselves. And what if they do? What if using a $90 night creme before I go to bed makes me feel luxurious, beautiful and pampered? Like I think my face is the most precious one on the market and should be treated like a queen's?
Worth every penny.