"S" is for....

My first full week as a style icon finds me on a four-day work trip to San Francisco, staying and working in a hotel near Union Square.   

Here is what I see every time I turn on my phone, at all hours of the day and night:


In my life, I try to be guided always by that still, small voice.   I just never thought it would come from Sephora.   

It is Friday afternoon, at the end of the work week, before I finally have a little free time to walk around the city (still gorgeous, by the way, despite its obvious decline).   As I round the corner back to my hotel, I see the sign.   

Destiny beckons.  I enter.

A saleswoman approaches as I am wandering the aisles and asks what she can help me to find.  I briefly consider discussing with her my plan to land on the cover of Vogue within the next decade and a half.   But since I have already written two blog posts on the topic, she is likely already aware.

Instead I respond, “My phone thinks I need something.  What do you think I need?”

It is not the question she was expecting; but she does not miss a beat.  “Well,” she says, “We all need Vitamin C.   It’s the secret to protecting our skin from the ravages of this awful weather.   And we could all use some firming and plumping.”   

I suggest that the firming ship has perhaps at this point already sailed.  “Nonsense!” she laughs, and pulls this item off the shelf, pointing to the sign that promises Visible Results in seven days. 

It is not clear what these Visible Results might be; but destiny, and my phone, have driven me here; and if a very expensive vial of Vitamin C potion will shorten the path to that Vogue cover, so be it.   But it is not a trivial investment:   this half-oz. bottle, which the saleswoman says will last only a month, costs a whopping $43.   

The ever-helpful saleswoman explains that I’m to add this precious balm to my skin care regime every morning.   At night, she explains, I should continue to use my retinols and other correctors.   

I do not use retinol; but I am struck by this term, correctors, and the expectation that I will be using more than one.   This is a whole category at Sephora:  correctors, concealers.    Here is a fact about humans:  our skin loses elasticity as we age.   My jowls are nothing if not honest.    Strictly speaking, it is the wrinkles themselves that are correct.

I’ll give the Vitamin C cream a try, though I doubt I’ll be back for another $43 bottle next month, the urgings of my phone notwithstanding.   I’ll be waiting for those Visible Results – but without great expectations.     Vitamin C has a long history of false promises.   In 1970, Linus Pauling came on strong with a raft of claims about the benefits of Vitamin C for preventing and fighting viruses, claims that were largely debunked in short order.  Today people may remember him as much for that little diversion as much as they do for his two – TWO!  -- Nobel prizes. 

Anyway, if the CEO Serum DOES deliver the promised firming and brightening, I’m thinking that next month I’ll buy a bottle of these for $6.59:

….mash them up, and rub them on my face.

Brightening and firming may or may not be within reach.   The plumping, however, is entirely within my control.

When the flight attendant on the return trip offers me chocolate cookies as a snack, I take two.


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