I have laugh lines and I have pout lines. Thankfully I’ve done more laughing than pouting, but both lines are getting deeper, spreading!, and generally running amok across my once youthful visage. Why is it that I’m so proud of the deep lines in my palm (makes for easy palm reading) but not willing to accept them in my face?
I don’t care to discuss my Freudian hangups at the moment, I just want to get rid of the evidence. While I’ve never considered Botox, (injecting poison into my face is somewhat antithetical to my mission as a green makeup artist–not to mention my fear of needles), and I’m not interested in wearing a face-lift wig (see illustration), I do work in the beauty industry and am acutely aware that the older I get, the more desperate I’ll undoubtedly become. I’m trying to head those fears off at the pass by taking care of the small stuff while I still can. Cue the anti-aging creams, wrinkle serums, lifting lotions and miracle elixirs.
Skincare, I find, is the one area in which green cosmetic companies seem to perform well. How hard can it be to hydrate my face without poisoning me or making me break out? (worst case scenario, just throw a bucket of water at me) The cleaner the skincare line, the better results on this front. But when we begin talking about firming, lifting, minimizing, and brightening, we’re talking about serious stuff. Such potions are never cheap, and while the green versions may not hurt you (they tend to leave the poison out), they may not do anything at all.
And unlike many consumers who are willing to give a product a full 30 days before expecting results, I want to look better immediately. I haven’t got all day, and neither do my clients. If it’s supposed to firm, I want to FEEL IT FIRMING, if it’s supposed to lift, then it had better START LIFTING NOW, and if it’s supposed to plump with antioxidants, I’d better feel like Violet FREAKIN’ Beauregarde, rolling out of the chocolate factory as a giant blueberry.
Here are a few products I’ve tried, and my immediate impressions of them:
Aubrey Organic Lumessence Rejuvenating Eye Cream: A clean product which feels more like a serum than a cream. I used it for 2 weeks, am and pm. I found hydration to be only minimal, (and I count on things like hydration around the eyes), I experienced no measurable lightening of my morning under-eye circles, and also didn’t feel any firming whatsoever.
Earth Science A/B Hydroxy Acid Night Rejuvenator: This product claims 10% alpha and beta acids, has no parabens, but does contain dimethicone, polyprepolymer-2, and nylon-12. For hydroxy acids, I expect a hearty prickling/stinging sensation, letting me know that it’s burning off my dead skin. Wow, that sounds gross. Unfortunately, I felt as though I had only used a good toner. (ie, slightly refreshing tingle). After two weeks of use, I was not rejuvenated in the least. My pores weren’t smaller, my skin wasn’t smoother or brighter, and my lines were not diminished in the slightest.
Earth Science Beta Ginseng Cellagen Renewal Serum: Won some awards in the UK trade show, but failed to do for me what it claimed. Did take down redness in my husbands face, (he’s a willing guinea pig), but it didn’t do the plumping or firming it’s supposed to do. 25% hylauronic acid, (which helps the skin retain moisture), but perhaps I need a serum with 75%. Still dry as the desert.
Zia 15-Minute Face Lift: Love this stuff! I’d originally gotten this product for use with bridal clients, or their mothers on the Big Day. While it does have long term effects, it’s meant to make the biggest difference when used before applying makeup. The tightening/lifting lasts for up to 8 hours. (and no, your face doesn’t fall like a smashed pumpkin at midnight, it’s just less “pulled”) The product uses clay (I love clay’s beneficial long term properties) with which you make a little mask. Comes with a nice brush for painting it on, then you lie down and let your face begin pulsing. It really does what it says it does. Immediately.
Burt’s Bees Repair Serum: A delightful, generously bottled collection of soothing oils for the face. While the product doesn’t reduce my lines, it is supremely luxurious, smells like heaven, and gives me a luscious glow. Use sparingly. (It really should come with a dropper, I think. Most folks are heavy handed when given the chance, and too much of this one could cause issues for acne prone people). Otherwise, divine.
Frownies: An old “Hollywood Secret”. These things work. They’re weird, but they’re natural and they work. Essentially, Frownies are little bits of stiff paper. Before you sleep, you moisten the backs (if you lick them, they taste like the paste of your childhood. I’m told.) and you stick them to various spots on your face. If you want to be rid of frown lines, there’s Frownies for the forehead. There are laugh line Frownies, and Frownies for the deep lines around the mouth. I like to call these lines parenthesis (since I clearly like parenthesis and the word Marionette gives me the creeps.) Frownies have been used for ages, and several celebrities swear by them. The way they work is simple. Once they’re attached to your face, they prevent you from making the crazy faces you inevitably make in your sleep. (That’s 8 hours of frowning and smiling that happen when you’re not even trying). Once you stop making these faces at night, your lines diminish SIGNIFICANTLY. I go through bouts of using Frownies, and every time I use them, I’m always surprised how something so simple works so well. So why, then, would I keep looking for miracle creams? Because I’m lazy. You really do need to use Frownies consistently for at least 3 weeks at a time to experience the results. And it wouldn’t hurt to have a great lifting serum to keep your results longer……by the way, don’t forget to take your Frownies off in the morning, or someone else will remind you to.
I speak from experience.