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Workshops and resources for women over 50

Huh? How unfashionable have I become?

I just picked up the November issue of O and only got to page 30 before I felt compelled to write. I was overwhelmed with the number of beauty items that we’re expected to run out and get. Well, maybe it wasn’t the NUMBER, as these magazines have always been chocked full of ‘hope in a bottle”. It was more my total inability to understand WHY I need these things.

Best quandry — Dior’s Airflash which has been “Top-Rated” by It’s to give some part of your body “the runway show’s flawless finish” — but you can’t tell what part. The copy talks a bit about evening out skin tone and eliminating fine lines, but the photos are all of runway models from the neck down. So is this what we use on our legs to hide our bike accident scars and varicose veins when we’re trying to go hose-free or do we spray this on our faces (?!?!) as foundation.

Maybelline’s Instant Age Rewind is to “erase insecurities”. Did the 7 years of research and 3 patents go into inventing complexion “insecurities”. Is an “insecurity” the fear your skin will fall off or your eye-lids might drop when you’re not expecting it? Huh?

Lancome’s Genefique (with 10 years of research and 7 patents!) is a “Youth Activating Concentrate”. So does that mean our skin will break out in blackheads and acne? Or will it cause our behavior to go all nuts like we were in Junior High and lose all self-esteem and focus our lives on Donny or James or the guy sitting behind you in Geometry?

The claims that are made can truly test logic. One sounds like they’re replenishing your genes. Another highly promoted, leading anti-aging line claimed that it was voted the BEST by thousands of women in a study — which is ALWAYS going to happen when asking the general public this question. This is the brand that spends the most on advertising, so more women are aware of it. These brands ALWAYS win. It’s like saying that Kraft makes the BEST cheese. But anyone who has ever tasted real cheese from Cowgirl Creamery in CA or Parmigiano Reggiano from Parma, Italy know that Kraft Shreds don’t stand a chance as the BEST. Maybe MOST POPULAR.

Don’t forget Clinique’s line — “Because skin that is calm stays calm…” There’s nothing I hate more than jumpy, anxious skin!

But nothing beats the boots showcased in a Calvin Klein ad for the most wildly, nonsensical, impractical waste of money. Gorgeous black suede (not in Chicago slush!), ultra high stilettos (how do you stand in those things!), probably over the knee (why?) with (the best part) – peep toes! Suede boots with peep toes for winter. And it’s not so the “gold toe” from your socks shows!

I’ve always found fashion magazines to be fun and aspirational – even if I knew I’d never wear the clothes in Vogue. But I’m having a surprisingly hard time accepting the ads that are meant for you, dear reader, and me. O is targeted to us (at least based on the number of anti-aging ads and Oprah’s age!) and yet many of the ads and products just seem silly.

If you know me, I’m the first one to recommend a great new tinted moisturizer or bargain on a great low-heeled boot. I have the hottest “sensible shoes” to be found and dress my “How to Not Look Old” best. But one of the realities of aging is becoming more mature and rejecting silly ways to spend money. By now we have a better sense of priorities and youth and fashion aren’t quite as high up on the ladder as it once was.

Curmudgeon or adult, I just wish advertisers and the media had a better understanding of what we need, what we want and what is worth spending our money on. And would at least have someone with some sense look at their ads before spending thousands of dollars on an ad no one understands.

I’d love to hear your favorite “huh?” experiences! Please share!



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