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HOLLENBECK: Forget the pricey beauty products and pass the soap, please

June 29, 2011

On a recent day off, I spent a great deal of time on the couch in front of the TV. My main purpose was to watch old movies, but I found myself channel-surfing at times when I couldn’t find a film to hold my attention.
During that brief escape from reality, I couldn’t help but notice the number of commercials touting beauty products — mainly for women, but the fellows weren’t left out entirely.
I wish I had taken an actual count within a specific time frame, but didn’t. Suffice it to say there were many.
If one were to actually purchase half the products recommended to acquire silky, soft and supple skin, it would take a large vehicle to hold all the stuff.
You could spend a literal fortune any direction you might choose to go.
Some of the things that are recommended are extremely time-consuming, which always makes me wonder what kind of individuals the market really is targeting. The ordinary working woman — if she’s anything like the people I know — can’t sit in front of the mirror and play with her face for hours.
Don’t get me wrong. I believe in healthy skin care, but only if it requires minimal time. I just don’t have extra hours for oiling and powdering and pampering my face beyond what can be done in cursory fashion.
LaRoche-Posay, on an Internet site, lists the “10 golden rules” one should follow to have beautiful skin. They are:
•Systematically cleanse the skin.
•Apply a skin care product under your makeup.
•Conceal imperfections.
•Even out complexion.
•Fix your makeup.
•Sculpt the face with blush.
•Glorify the eyes.
•Enhance your smile.
•Clean your brushes.
•Remove your makeup every night.
Remember that last bit of advice as I share an incident about Aunt Hattie. This is an octogenarian with flawless skin.
She’s not my aunt, but the aunt of some close friends. Since everyone in that family calls her Aunt Hattie, so do I when I refer to her.
Coincidentally, Aunt Hattie happens to be a redhead, so that may be another reason I feel a special closeness to her. We redheads are in a definite minority group, so we have to stick together.
And since I brought that up, I’ll point out that less than 4 percent of the world population has naturally red hair, according to the people who are deemed expert enough to report such. This statistic holds unless you’re in Ireland, which has the second highest percentage of redheads — as many as 10 per cent of the Irish population reportedly have red, auburn or strawberry blond hair. I would feel like I belong.
But back to Aunt Hattie.
The last time I saw her — at an event connected to a wedding in my friends’ family — I couldn’t help but notice her beautiful skin.
She’s attractive anyway and dresses with style — the right accessories, appropriate jewelry, etc. — just an all-round classy woman who has embraced her advancing years with style.
Anyway, I asked about her beauty regimen and found out she doesn’t use anything but soap to clean her face.
And most of the beauty moguls tell you to avoid soaps because they’ll dry out your skin or cause other problems.
The beauty advisers would do well to look at this woman’s complexion before they make this kind of determination.
When I heard about the “just soap” practice, I immediately asked “what kind,” thinking it was probably some pricey, fountain-of-youth-type product that claimed to wipe away the years.
The response I got was surprising: “No particular kind.”
According to Aunt Hattie, soap is soap is soap. Whatever’s handy, that’s what she uses.
I wasn’t leaving this alone. Thinking she had to do more, I asked whether she used some magical night cream because something had to be giving her that near-magical glow that sets her apart from most females in the room.
This was the clincher.
You know the all-time rule about “never go to sleep with your makeup on”? That’s been preached to females from the time they first realize that there’s a need for skin care until they draw their last breath.
Aunt Hattie didn’t pay any attention to this maxim, and guess what? It doesn’t matter.
She goes to sleep every night in her makeup — and for a very good reason: “Someone might call and I would have to go somewhere.”
And she doesn’t greet her public without it.
There’s no point in arguing with success.

Lynda Hollenbeck is associate editor of the Saline Courier.
lyndahol@yahoo.com

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