Monday, October 12, 2009

In which I make an embarrassing confession.

As the more astute among you would have gathered by now, my obsession with skincare products (and by extension, makeup) is a desperate need to cling to whatever youth I have left. I look 30 (I'm not), and I want to stay looking 30. FOREVER. I want to be 70 and look 30. But in a good way, not that creepy Joan Collins way. And I don't want to have to resort to Botox and Dermal Fillers. Have you seen Amanda Keller and Kylie lately? Not a good look.

This explains why I currently have 7 full size and 7 trial size moisturisers. I am looking for The One. That one that will sweep away the crow's feet and make me look as fresh as the driven snow.

A couple of weeks ago, when I only had 5 full size moisturisers, I was idly flicking channels and happened across TVSN. Now, I've only ever bought one thing from TVSN - an eyebrow kit thingie that cost $60 and was so cheap and crappy and plasticy that I immediately sent it back and swore off shopping from TV for ever.

I do, however, have a secret fondness for watching the channel. I am intrigued by the hosts' ability to babble on endlessly about any product that is put in front of them. There's definitely an art to that, and Not Belvedere, Shiny Blonde Lady With Man Hands, and Lady Who Always Seems To Be Pregnant have it mastered. The level of enthusiastic delight they can summon up for the Tony Little Rock and Roll Stepper or hideously gauche slabs of precious metals is amazing and impressive. I quite often sit there staring at the TV, in a little bit of a trance listening to Not Belvedere extol the virtues of vibration platforms (I totally want one of those - exercise where you just stand there? That's my kind of exercise! I could probably still hold a glass of wine while doing that.) I realise this speaks volumes about my life - or rather my lack of one - but since I just admitted that I am Officially Ancient And Desperate To Not Be above, I pretty much have no shame anymore.

So anyway, where was I? Oh, that's right - a couple of weeks ago I was idly flicking through the channels on Foxtel and I hit the shopping channel, where I saw they were talking about skincare products. Now, even though I have sworn off ever buying anything from the shopping channel, I still watch the skincare and cosmetic hours, because I love the way they describe their products. The chick who flogs Elizabeth Grant bangs on about something called Torricelumn, that is exclusive to their products. Do you know why it's exclusive? BECAUSE IT'S A MADE UP WORD. No, seriously. Tell me what Torricelumn is. It's not in the dictionary. Isn't that fantastic? They have just completely made up a word and made it sound all scientific and magical. It's probably monkey pee. Ladies who wear Elizabeth Grant on their face: IT'S MONKEY PEE. They're not averse to putting fish eggs in their products, either.

So I'm watching and there's this guy called Dimitri babbling on about how all the Greek ladies who go to his church love his products, and then he does an imitation of the Greek ladies telling him how much they love his products. Only he says it in Greek, so for all I know he could be saying every swear word known to man and having a little giggle to himself that he's getting away with it. The host was the Shiny Blonde Lady With Man Hands (who is also oddly pregnant - maybe she and Lady Who Always Seems To Be Pregnant are the same person!) and she seemed a bit taken aback, because she wasn't really getting a word in. Dimitri was not stopping for breath - he just went on and on about his products and how great they were, and what made them great. Even when they brought out models for him to demonstrate on, he still kept talking. Shiny Blonde Lady With Man Hands tried to get in there a couple of times to talk about the price and how many were left, but she didn't have much success. She should have just given up and sat there and had a rest.

There was one particular product that caught my eye - a primer called Orchid Gel. He did a demo on one of the models, and her face looked instantly airbrushed. It was incredible. I was torn between my vow never to buy anything from TVSN and my desire to look airbrushed. Of course, airbrushed won. The only problem was that the Orchid Gel came in a pack with two moisturisers (a day and a night one), and something called Wrinkle Balm Extreme, which you rubbed between your hands and "pressed" into the wrinkles on your forehead. I didn't want any of that stuff, but damn it - I wanted the Orchid Gel. So I cracked and ordered it.

Now, all of that is leading up to a review of these products that I never wanted in the first place. And let me tell you internets, they are EXCELLENT. Though oddly enough, I'm still not entirely sure about the Orchid Gel. It definitely does what he showed on TV, and the results are startling when you see them on yourself, but I think it made me break out a little. It may have been something else - Bob knows I generally have about 10 layers of crap on my face - and I haven't tested it on its own yet to be sure. But even if it does turn out to be bad for me, I have make up BFF J waiting in the wings to get her grubby little hands on it, and the moisturisers that I didn't want in the first place are MINE MINE MINE.

They're kind of odd - they have no water in them (this is his big selling point - he actually gets a food dehydrator out in his "show" and does a demo of other super expensive creams and how much is left once the water is taken out). Since most everything you buy in the skincare arena is largely water, putting something on your face that doesn't have any feels weird. And not entirely pleasant. The first time I used the night cream I put it on at about 6 pm, because I'd had a shower, and sitting around with such a heavy product on for several hours was annoying and uncomfortable. I was tempted to wash it off, but that would have involved getting off the couch, so it didn't happen. And I'm glad now, because when I woke up the next morning my skin was radiant. No kidding - smooth, soft, more even-toned. After one night! I'm all for the instant result, but even I wouldn't have expected anything to act so quickly. Since then I've used it for a week or so (only putting it on right before bed, though), and my skin is getting better and better. I have all these other moisturisers I need to eventually use, and I keep thinking, "Nooooooooo, I never want to stop using this one!"

The day cream is similar to the night cream, and therefore a little more problematic, because it has that same heaviness (not quite so much), and is not entirely comfortable to wear. However, I have found that if I only use a thin layer rather than slathering it on, and then use a moisturising sunscreen, it feels fine. That's the weird thing about it though - it's an anti-wrinkle cream for daytime with no sunscreen. Paula Begoun would not like that at all!

So to sum up that long-winded review, I would definitely recommend the night cream to anyone who is - ahem - getting on a bit and doesn't mind a fairly heavy cream on their face. The day cream is very good too, but not as good as the night cream. I'm still undecided about the Orchid Gel, and I haven't used the Wrinkle Balm.

I'm now waiting very excitedly for this guy to come back to Australia with more products, because this time I WILL BE PREPARED.

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