Beauty Memories

My First Luxury Purchase

At the ripe old age of 13, I decided to confront my mother. I was a teenager now and it was high time I looked like one. I deserved something more than Cover Girl or even worse Artmatic from my local D & K store. I wanted to go to the cosmetics counter at Kaufmann’s, which (at the time) was the Mecca for high-end makeup, jewelry, and fashion here in Beaver County, PA. To my wonderful surprise, my mother said yes! So armed with $25, off to the Rochester Kaufmann’s I went.

No one in the beauty department paid any attention to this newly-teenaged Diva in training.  I freely browsed each counter and gawked at Clinique, Estee Lauder, Adrienne Arpel, Shiseido, Ultima II, Clarins and more.  I picked up products, sniffed them, swatched them to my heart’s content for what seemed like an entire day. So what did I chose?

shiseidoAfter much contemplation, I finally decided on a beautiful lipstick from Shiseido called Bermuda Bronze. It was the most-perfect combination of bronze, nude and gold. I was so proud making this purchase, getting my very own Kaufmann’s bag. And when I got it home, I wore it constantly with blue Maybelline eyeshadow and lilac Cover Girl blush. I felt at least 16 years old when I wore my Shiseido lipstick. For the first time I truly understood the power of makeup, which still has me under its spell 3+ decades later. Funny enough, Bermuda Bronze has been my one and only Shiseido product, but I feel a trip to Sephora can easily rectify this!

P.S.  My second luxury product was a bottle full of liquid green color corrector from Ultima II. It made my face so shiny and oily it was horrifying. And it didn’t cover a stitch of redness. A couple years ago I had the pleasure of working with the Beauty Advisor who sold me this product. Although in her 70’s, she still had gorgeous skin and remembered that exact product I had bought. This seasoned pro will never forget that feeling of purchasing a luxury brand for the first time. Again, the power of makeup!july 17



Dearly beloved…I miss you dreadfully!

There are literally millions of products out there in the beauty galaxy. But do you ever wax nostalgic about the ones that got away? I have several that I miss dreadfully, all for various reasons – melancholy feelings, Christmas morning memories, beautiful scents and soft skin, 90’s pop stars. Here are five products that tug at my heartstrings, proving that yes, even Darths have a heart!

Touch Me and Try To Leave Me Cream by Benefit

This is NOT the revamped Bathina version (that has also been discontinued). This was the original formulation in a white jar with pink lettering. At the time it was $24 which was quite pricey back then but oh-so worth it. Beautifully soft scented, extravagantly rich, a little went a long way. When Benefit changed it with the introduction of the Bathina line, I was heartbroken. It was not the same cream at all. I touched it, but unfortunately I left.

Aroma Calm by LancômeAroma_Calm

I can still see the extraordinary purple glass bottle that this fragrance came in. When I started buying it in 2000, it was (gasp!) $50. When I think really hard, I can still smell the floral, musky scent:  rose, but not your Great Aunt Ethel’s kind of rose. You can find fake reproductions on Amazon but they are over $100 and not the same at all. When my Lancôme BA found out it was being discontinued, she called me and said she hid the last two bottles at the counter for me. A sad day indeed.

1006Ten-O-Six Lotion by Bonne Bell

If you were a teenager growing up in the late 70’s or early 80’s you got a Ten-O-Six gift pack for Christmas. The centerpiece was this brown, softly scented, deep-cleaning lotion for your pores. We used this before we were introduced to Sea Breeze. It had me dreaming of blemish-free skin like the models in Seventeen magazine. If my memory serves me correct, you got the lotion, a lip smacker, a shower gel, moisturizer and I believe a bar of soap that looked like present day Neutrogena. It wasn’t Christmas morning until I unwrapped this gift set!

electric youthElectric Youth Lip Gloss by Revlon

Yep, Debbie Gibson’s Electric Youth. I wasn’t a fan of the fragrance but I loved her and the peach shade of lip gloss that launched at the same time. It had a great applicator, came in a totally rad neon green and pink tube and my hair stuck to it every time I wore it. I didn’t even have to be outside for it to get all over my hair. It was thick, goopey and I looked fantastic wearing it while shopping at the County Seat drinking an Orange Julius. Funny side bar here…  I saw “Deborah” Gibson in concert years ago. Someone in the audience yelled “We love you Tiffany!!!” She never missed a foolish beat and started singing Only in My Dreams.


tinkTinkerbell Cosmetics

Ok, this is all melancholy for me right now. One of my earliest, most vivid memories of getting beauty products for Christmas was this boxed sets of Tinkerbell goodies. The watery, pink hand lotion that smelled just like baby powder. The pink peel off nail polish, waxy lipstick, and perfume that was all alcohol. And in the most fantastic plastic pink and yellow bottles! When I turned 10, I was allowed to graduate to Love’s Baby Soft and I never looked back. The Dark Side was slowly beginning to evolve.

Ah, now I’m feeling all sappy. I need to go put on my Andy Gibb records, read the latest Shaun Cassidy gossip in Tiger Beat magazine while eating a Jell-O pudding pop and drinking a Tab. But don’t tell anyone or else I’ll have to use my lightsaber on you!