13 January 2007

In permanent recovery.

I started early.

Maybe it was a result of peer pressure; maybe it was in reaction to the unrealistic beauty standards advertised on TV and in magazines; maybe it was a way of asserting my independence.

Whatever the reason, I began using in middle school and haven't skipped a day since.

That's right, my name is Johanna, and I'm going into my fifteenth straight year of being an under-eye cream addict.

It started out a cheap habit. My first hit was with drugstore brands, your Revlons and your Cover Girls. That was good enough through 8th grade, but once I entered high school and started earning my own money - let me rephrase, once I was given a more substantive allowance - suddenly the $10 brands weren't high-end enough. I needed better, I needed more reputable, I needed the product Cindy Crawford wrote a testimonial about in Cosmo's September '95 "Beauty Corner" column.

Once I discovered the world of beauty products outside of neon-lit 24-hour establishments, there was no turning back. Even if I had evidence that a Maybelline product was superior to its Kiehl's counterpart, I'm not sure I could have regressed.

It's just like in "Pretty Woman," when Edward, after five glorious days with Vivian, tries to convince her not to leave and to accept an apartment in New York along with a monthly shopping stipend. She looks down at him tenderly, recognizing his good intentions, and tells him, "It's a really good offer for a girl like me. A few months ago, it would've been no problem, but now everything's different. You changed that, and you can't change back. I want more."

"I want the fairy tale."

I, too, wanted the fairy tale. And once I started college, courtesy of my school's unofficial must-have-a-trust-fund-to-gain-admission requirement, I became acquainted with the super-rich, all of whom knew nothing other than the world of ultra-fine toiletries and unlimited credit. Their world was one where $95/oz for under-eye cream was more a routine purchase than an indulgence.

And this was both the females and the males.

My affair got so bad that what was once a just-before-bed habit turned into a two, three, even four times a day obsession. Whenever I'd leave my dorm room, I'd pack it in my purse "just in case." I'd be at a Halloween party dressed as a sexy army girl and swear I could feel flakes of dryness forming beneath my artfully-applied camouflage eye makeup. It was bad, and I knew I needed help. Thankfully, I received it in the form of graduation. Once removed from the hallowed, spoiled halls of my university, I did regress, or rather, gain some much-needed perspective.

Gone now are the days when I would have sold my Indonesian bangles for Creme de la Mer; gone is the attitude that more expensive means more effective.

I still use everyday. And I'll come clean and admit I actually keep my stash in the fridge now - a tip I learned from Kyan on "QEFTSG" (look it up, I'm too embarrassed to spell it out) - but instead of trying to best that unattainable first quench, I've now settled into a regular, affordable habit with Clinique's All About Eyes ($46/oz at clinique.com).

Some might call it sad that my longest, most steadfast relationships have been with skin moisturizers. I don't let their judgment bother me, though. At the end of the day, lotion is always more reliable than a man.


Anonymous No More said...

I too suffer from eye cream issues, mostly because of my genetic dark circles and eye bags...

The best eye product I have ever used is ClarinsMen's Undereye Serum

It is a draining, de-puffing, dark circles reducing, firming, moisturizing, energizing gel all rolled into one.
(Because you know men aren't going to used more than one eye cream...)
And at $30 for a 5-6 month supply it's a steal and an addiction.

Johanna said...

I just checked out your under-eye lotion and saw that it contains Bison grass. Interesting. Makes me wonder what kind of weird-ass ingredients are in your body lotion...

Glad to hear there are some men in this country (ahem, New-Yorker-in Exile) who will admit they too need under-eye moisturization.

Take my advice and refrigerate your Clarins product. Makes a BIG difference and really wakes you up in the morning.

keep 'em (the comments, I mean) coming, anonymous no more.

anonymous no more said...

I do refrigerate my Clarins serum, but alas I'm a woman too lazy to use four products on one body part not a well groomed man. Though I am convinced the man in my life uses my products and pretends he's not interested in such things.

If you keep enlightening me and making me laugh, I'll keep commenting.