I have a post-Thanksgiving post that I want to post (pippity, poppity post!) but before I do that, I need to come clean about something.
I have an addiction. It’s something I can’t say no to (duh), and it’s cost me thousands of dollars over the years. From the content of my Thanksgiving post, you might assume I’m talking about alcohol.
Well, you’re wrong. I love to drink, but I can say no to it whenever I’d like—which isn’t very often, but you get the idea.
No, my addiction is to something much more benign: face soap.
Washing my face before bed is a ritual I cannot live without. Truly. If we’re camping and there’s no running water, I’ll walk in the dark to find a stream so I can wash my face. If I have too much to drink at a party, come home and pass out on the bathroom floor, I will stand up to wash my face.
My mother doesn’t wash her face. Sometimes when she sleeps over I daydream about creeping downstairs in the middle of the night and...washing her face.
It started in my teens, when I began battling pimples. Since then I have tested practically every facial cleanser on the market.
I've used all the Neutrogena products. Neutrogena in the bottle (too thick!), in the bar (too slippery), Fresh Foaming (meh), the Deep Clean line (too ointment-y), Oil-Free Acne Wash (makes your skin smell like a band-aid), Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit products (the citrus smell gets old real fast), and Visibly Even face wash (zzzzzzz).
I’ve used Aveeno’s Foaming Cleanser Clear Complexion, Positively Radiant Cleanser, and Ultra-Calming Foaming Cleanser (collective yawn); all of Olay’s cleansers; all of Loreal’s cleansers; and all of Revlon’s cleansers. Sure I liked some of them, but I didn’t love them.
I’ve tried countless department store brands as well. Like Estee Lauder. And Clinque. And philosophy (talk about over-hype). And The Body Shop (Tea Tree Oil soap? Too medicine-y. Natrulift Softening Facial Wash? Humdrum).
Life Goes On Kellie Martin once claimed she couldn’t live without Origins mint face cleanser. I tried it, and I could. Ditto for all the non-lathering soaps. I hate Cetaphil, Clinque’s Cream Cleanser, and The Body Shop’s Vitamin E Cream Cleanser.
Hate, hate, hate cream cleansers. They’re like washing your face with Vaseline.
I’ve asked myself on more than one occasion, what am I looking for? What?
It comes down to a few things. Smell is a big one. I still have the cleanser I used a mere 15 years ago, when Chuck and I started dating because I love the way it smells. Loreal reformulated the scent in 1999, which broke my heart. I would have used that face soap for the rest of my life.
Texture is another draw. During the winter I crave a silky, creamy texture, like Shiseido’s Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Extra Creamy Cleansing Foam. During the spring and summer I’m drawn to something light and fluffy, like Lancôme Creme Mousse Confort Comforting Creamy Foaming Cleanser (hello mouthful).
Can I afford these products? No. But if have some extra money, you can bet I’m treating myself to some foam.
The reason I’ve confessed this novel is because someone really, really important asked me to review some facial products, and I thought you’d like to know about my credentials.
That person is none other than Jessica Simpson (’s beauty products editor). Yes, I know. I’m big time, baby.
Simpson’s line is called BeautyMint, and it’s all about customized skincare and using “patented technology ... to protect ingredients so that they can remain structurally sound and supremely functional.” I’m not sure what that really means or how you’d even go about proving it, but it sounds impressive, yes?
The products’ packaging is sleek and simple, in a Proactiv kind of way.
When I got the paraben-free cleanser I greedily opened it up and took a big sniff. Major blow: It was unscented. For a smell-a-holic like myself, I couldn’t get past that.
I squirted out some gel and tried to make some lather. Nada. Because it doesn’t have any harsh lathering agents—which is actually better for the environment—it doesn’t suds up. Still, it rinsed well enough and I had the sense that my face was clean.
Now for the serum, which was also unscented. The press kit claims, "Our revolutionary serum is comprised of an incredible 50% marine collagen, targeting visible and future signs of aging from every angle" and "Our patented technology delivers a power-load
of actives to skin."
I’d never used serum before so I wasn't sure how much to use. The bottle read: “Massage over face and throat.”
I did that, albeit too generously. That night my face stuck to the pillowcase.
The next night I used it just around my eyes and laugh lines. And the night after that. And so on. And so on.
After using the products for close to a month, here's what I've decided: The cleanser isn’t drying, but it also isn’t terribly refreshing. I think my fine lines have diminished, but I can’t be sure. My skin doesn’t feel taught, per se, but it also doesn’t feel weighed down.
Therein lies the appeal (or not) of the BeautyMint products: They’re something without really being anything. If you’re a minimalist, these products are made for you (and in that case, BeautyMint has an offer for you).
If you’re like me and you like a few bells and whistles (and foam) you’ll be left looking for more.
About me: I'm 42 and added another gherkin to our pickle party of a family. My husband Chuck, our 9-year-old Junior, our 6-year-old Everett, our toddler and I live in a town in Connecticut I affectionately call Mulletville Lite (aka my childhood hometown). My friends call me Nutjob, and they're right. In my husband's spare time he dresses up as a Viking and chases ghosts (and I'm the nutjob?). When I'm not busy working as a graphic designer, I lie in a ball in the corner.