Saturday, 7 May 2011

Rinse and Repeat

The scene of the crime...
I was washing my hair last week with a new shampoo and, as usual, I read the instructions. Now, you’d imagine that by my age I’d know how to shampoo my hair however, as with most things, I like knowing. So I read the label and it directed me to wet my hair, apply shampoo and rub into my hair and scalp. So far, so good. It then directed that I rinse and repeat.

Now, I do not know about you but I really do not have much time to be ‘rinsing and repeating’. In fact, I can not remember the last time I washed my hair twice under the same shower. Who does? Yet directions are directions and once again I felt compelled to do as I am told.

You see, I read labels obsessively. I can’t walk past a bottle that has fresh, shine or ageless written on a gloriously packaged jar or bottle. It is a compulsion. I compulsively pick up products in chemists, department stores and supermarkets and read the labels. Why? Because I am one of those women who believes everything she reads. Not everything in a literal sense, only descriptions on bottles, jars and packages of lotions and potions. For I am an advertiser’s dream.

I think it is because I want these products to deliver on their promise to make my skin glow, my hair shine and my eyes bright. I need them to do exactly what they say on the package because I just do not have the time to do everything I need to do to get the results I want to see in the mirror every day.

I do not drink 8 glasses of water a day, I do not get 8 or more hours or sleep a day and I am definitely not a “5-a-day” girl. I do not have time to exfoliate twice a week nor do I have time to apply that lovely, rich hair mask that has sat in the back of the draw since I don’t know when.

Therefore, I feel doomed in my quest for beauty. Doomed of course, until I pick up that jar that promises me radiant skin or that tube that assures me that a few dabs under each eye will wipe away 10 years if applied in a circular motion using the enclosed, special applicator stick.

I know I am not alone in my penchant for lotions and potions. I have many girlfriends who reach for this season’s ‘must-have’ beauty items# without a backward glance. In fact, my friend Anita and I spent so much time browsing in Boots we unnerved the sales assistants to the point they hovered around assuming, I’m sure we were planning to shoplift. At one point, we considered printing up business cards to hand them that read “Not shoplifting sister, just browsing – so back the hell off!” We never did, much to my disappointment.

I remember reading in a magazine once that the must-have lipstick of the moment was a matte red number from Chanel that, at the time, would have set me back around a stupid amount of money. I got as far as the beauty section of the House of Fraser in Manchester before I realised the madness I was caught up in and headed for the jewellery* section instead.

My husband despairs of the countless hair products that hang about our en-suite vanity unit and beyond. I can not take out my hair dryer without 3 or 4 bottles toppling out onto the floor yet, I can not bring myself to throw any of them away.

I almost did on Tuesday. For reasons that are as yet still unknown to me I raided our walk-in robe and proceeded to brutally purge the contents. I tidied, discarded, folded and packed. It was such a great feeling after not really being able to do anything of the sort since well before Jnr Jnr was born. The en-suite is only 2 steps from the scene of my purging yet I could not bring myself to do the same in there.

I will one day. Probably not before I’ve purchased many more hair products that pledge shiny, shimmery tresses in my quest for the ultimate head of hair.

Honestly, some days I too despair.

And I still want that lipstick.

#According to Marie Claire [March 2011] the ‘trend’ this season is ‘bold lips’. My favourite shade is the M.A.C. Cremesheen Lipstick in Hang-Up $35. In case you were interested.

* Another mania of mine I will speak of another time.

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