Department Store Makeup and Salon Shampoo


I am not high maintenance. I have never had a manicure, a pedicure, or a massage. I’ve never been waxed by another person. I very rarely treat myself to a professional haircut (which is probably not a good thing), preferring instead to trim my own bangs and save $30. My one indulgence has been higher-end bath products; however, since I discovered Yardley’s English Lavender soap and lotion was available at Wal-Mart for less than $4 a bottle, I’ve abandoned that, too. I prefer Yardley’s stuff to the stuff I used to use. And they discontinued lavender. What were they thinking? Quick tangent here — they need to redesign their website. It’s not user-friendly, even if it is fancy.

So… why do I suddenly have to have salon shampoo? I mean, I will use the other kind. I’m not a diva. But I will buy it if I can afford it. It just smells so good. You know what I mean. You might not have it at home, but when you go and get your hair cut, they use it when they wash your hair. Maybe it is the association with good hair days, hmm? After all, most of us aren’t gifted with the ability to duplicate the hairstyle we get in the salon. Okay, well, I know at least that I’m not. I can’t quite get the back not to flip out when it should curl under.

A couple of years ago, my colleague Barbara and I took our respective classes on a field trip to Oglethorpe University to see a Shakespeare play. I can’t even remember which one it was. That’s terrible. We went to Lenox Square Mall so the kids could have lunch. Barbara and I went to a department store, where she purchased a tube of department store lipstick. You know the stuff. I thought to myself, now why would she spend that much money on a tube of lipstick? Then I thought, she must be rich. Yeah, she’s a teacher, but her husband’s a veterinarian.

Soon after this event, I shared the story of the high-dollar lipstick with Cerelia, another colleague. This story would be a lot better if I could remember how much the lipstick cost. Anyway, I told her I just didn’t see the point in spending so much money on department store makeup, even if you could afford it. It seemed wasteful. Cerelia smiled a rueful smile and told me to wait until I was on the other side of 30. I scoffed then, but now I admit I linger at the makeup counter when I go shopping. It’s only a matter of time before they’ve sucked me in.

It must be amazing stuff, right? I mean, movie stars and rich people wear it. There must be something magical and special about it, right? Well, yes and no. Lancôme is owned by L’Oreal. That said, I am continually in search of a good foundation. So far, this is the best stuff I’ve used. Oh, shut up. Like you never bought anything you saw on an infomercial. Wherefore did the George Foreman Grill and Orange-Glo become so popular they were sold in Wal-Mart? Or the Turbie Twist! Yeah, you got one of those items at home. I know you do. Anyway, Victoria Jackson (no, not that one) wasn’t lying when she said her foundation was great, and neither were Ali McGraw and Meredith Baxter. I suppose there is some foundation lurking in the department store that is as good or better, but there is nothing to match it in the drug store. Trust me. I have been looking for about 10 years.

Maybelline discontinued my favorite shade of lipstick, those bastards. I am not picky about blush. Well, I am and I’m not. It can’t be too… colorful. I have very pale skin, and I have to be careful not to look like a clown. I’m not picky about eye shadow, but then, I don’t have crow’s feet yet. That day is coming. Mascara is mascara to me. I liked Coty Airspun powder, until I read this. And it’s not even the worst brand! I will say I never liked Victoria Jackson’s other products as much as her foundation. Her lipstick was pretty good. I could toss rest. Her powder wasn’t any good at all.

So if I’m not picky about most of the products I use — I mean, I wash my face with generic Noxema, for crying out loud — why, oh why does that makeup counter lure me so? Is it the garishly painted dragon ladies in their lab coats? Is it the fact that it is locked behind a counter where I can be sure no one’s cracked it open and tried it (ew, germs)? Is it the bright flourescent light and magnifying mirrors that highlight my flaws? Or is it the idea of spending money on such a luxury, making me feel like a star? I don’t know, but I do know I’m on the other side of 30 now, and it’s only a matter of time before I crack.

Dammit, I’m already on salon shampoo. Will there be hope for me once I’ve tried the really hard stuff? I’m thinking that there’s no way back once I start down that road. After all, I’m so fair-skinned. It’s hard to match my skin-color… Oh, to match my skin color! If I could do that, I might actually wear makeup on a regular basis.


6 thoughts on “Department Store Makeup and Salon Shampoo

  1. Great post!

    I have found that I have started going for some of the higher end (cosmetic counter) stuff as I get older. Some of the drug store cosmetics still get by…but there are things that I have replaced. By necessity.

    And thanks for the link concerning the Coty Air Spun Powder. When I wear powder, that is what I use….eek.

  2. I find that I really like Clinique products. They stay on better and they work better for me that CoverGirl or L'Oreal. Yet, I have the hardest time spending that much money on make-up. I'm sure that I'll cave again and go back to Clinique. I'm such a junkie. Ha.

  3. I relate to being, for lack of a better term, low maintenance..I've got less than 15 pairs of shoes, all of the clothes I own fit in one closet and this being said; I would not even dream of using anything less than a salon product on my hair. It's not a matter of being a shampoo snob, or being sucked in by marketing, its a matter of using a product that gives you the results you want. As long as the bills are paid, stomachs full, you can choose to spend your money on what ever you want. I'm the first to work to convert my not-salon-shampoo using friends. Wait til you try Mac Mascara. I enjoyed reading this entry.

  4. Haha. A good foundation is important and you can't find it at Walmart. Christian Dior has some nice stuff and if you wear it as much as I do, it lasts for years, so that spending a days worth of work doesn't seem so hardhitting! I'd have to disagree with the over 30 thing – it's hitting me at 25. I'm moving up from my 99 cent bottle of Suave shampoo to $4 Garnier to $11 Biolage. But, as you said, most of these products are made by the same companies to begin with – it's all about brand name and marketing.

  5. one of these days when I find a really good black counter…i will stop by..i am well over the 30 mark…ha ha

    but Dana..I am hooked on getting my nails and feet done…

    it is my one vice….spending a morning at a nice nail salon…nails, toes, and eyebrows…

    never have the money (really)..but just need someone to do something for me..(at least once a month)..

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