In our pursuit of everlasting youth, there may be such a thing as going too far. And I may have gone there... Monday last, for our weekly Artist's Date, the GGs (my creativity recovery group) took at trip to the Nu-Skin office. We had appointments to check our skin in their patented, revolutionary, computerized skin analyzer.
For the test, I put my face inside a cave, with my chin on the chin-rest, and my forehead smashed against the top. The technician asked if I was wearing make-up, pressed a few buttons, the machine whirred, lights flashed and the test was done. Moments later an image of my face appeared on the monitor.
Whether the results would have been more accurate had I not been wearing make-up, I frankly, do not care. As it was the image showed more blotches and wrinkles that I care to ever gaze upon again. I gasped in horror. Was this really what I looked like? What everyone else saw when they looked at me? More make-up-I definitely need more make up. "Turn it off! Hurry!" I begged.
Stone faced, the porcelain-skinned technician outlined half my T-zone-the area from mid-nose, beneath the eye across the cheekbone, around the "apple" of my check and back up the base of my nose, pressed a few more buttons and a page with the results of my analysis spit out: I had 392 uneven patches, 9 sun spots, 3 deep wrinkles, 79 extra-large pores, and 108 blotches-on that tiny portion of my face; roughly 1/10th of the whole.
It's no wonder I said yes to so many products when it came purchase time. I went home with my costly Fountain of Youth magic, fully committed to using every elixir as directed! Daily, weekly, thrice daily, whatever it took, I was going to make myself forever young.
Yesterday I took the 1st step with a visit to my hair stylist. "Make my hair young, hip, fresh!" I told Roberto. (Fresh is what we in Jakarta call all of those together, what advertisements call new and improved.) He tried...
This morning, I began my new beauty regime. (So what if it has taken me almost 2 weeks to open my goodie bag. I never said when the commitment would begin. I had to wait for exactly the right time.) I went straight for the big guns-to what the salesman called the "signature" product in the Nu-Skin arsenal-The Face Lift. When explaining how to use The Face Lift the salesman had effused: apply it, lay back with your feet up and eyes closed, listen to soothing music, relax. You'll feel it working. Whaa-lah! 20 minutes later your skin will be tighter, firmer, younger, fresh!
I mixed a teaspoon of powder A with a teaspoon of potion B, stirred, applied it to my face with upward strokes, as directed, set the timer for 30 minutes (not 20 as I had been told), plugged in my I-pod, and stretched out on my yoga matt with my feet propped on the elliptical machine. (Ok, so it wasn't the luxurious silk-pillowed Bali bed with the feathered fan wafting the salesman's description had conjured-I wasn't about to get this gunk on my good stuff.)
Seconds after application, The Face Lift started working. And boy did it! As it dried my face began tingling, tugging, pulsing, itching. It was more irritating than any of the nylon labels I had ripped out of my clothing. Worse than a million ant bites. Worse than a sandy, wet swimsuit on a long, hot car ride home from the beach-and I was supposed to stay still, not touching, not scratching, not twitching my nose and relax????
But the end of song one, I realized the enormous mistake I have made with my IPod selection; I should have loaded it with a book on tape or NPR program instead of Ella. At the end of each song I counted out the time remaining-at 3 minutes per song I was going to have to endure this tickle-tingle-itch torture for 9...8....7 more slow, bluesy, whiny songs? I hate you Ella!
Mid-song 6 my IPod died. Take note: Check Your Charge; enduring torture in silence is triple torture. "Curtis" I yelled-as much as it's possible to yell without opening your mouth or moving your lips-"Urtis! Urtis! URTIS!!!!!" He saved me by swapping his iPod for mine. (As payment he took blackmail photos while I stiff-lipped "OP, OP-IT-IGHT-OWWWW!!!)
Seconds before I gave up all my top secret secrets the timer dinged. I raced into the shower and spent the next five minutes "soaking" off The Face Lift.
My mother always says, "You have to suffer to be beautiful." For all the suffering I did this morning, I should look like Mrs. Flippin' Universe. But do I? Did The Face Lift work? My face definitely feels different. As for "tighter, firmer, younger, fresh"... You decide: