$140 Eye Cream? Great-Grandma is Not Amused

My scary beauty-counter encounter.

by Mel Miskimen • Guest Writer { View Profile }
My great-great grandmother ... I'm hoping for better results.
Photograph: From the author's personal collection.

Good question. Why do I apply moisturizer and toner and cleanse with specially formulated cleanser, and then sometimes chemically slough off the top-most layer of my epidermis? Why? Um . . . it can’t be because I want to stave off aging (I’m a realist!) or that I’m vain and want to maintain my beauty, because, I was never considered to be a beauty or a stunner. Hardly. I was The Girl With The Good Personality. The best friend of the head-turners. The Midge to their Barbie.

My best guess?

“Um, because, I want to look . . . uh, you know . . . not bad?” I winced because I didn’t have a good answer.

“Exactly! And don’t you want the best?”

Oh no. That was the wind-up and then came the pitch. This cream he had dabbed underneath my left (or was it right eye?) Pretty much the 8th Wonder of the World. He said something about the Dead Sea, blah, blah, blah, minerals, blah, blah, blah, elements, blah, blah, blah. Whatever. I don’t know what he said. I was too busy thinking about an exit strategy. 

“Cut to the chase,” I said. “How much?”


“What? Are you insane?” I said.

He got out his calculator and broke it down to a daily amount. I scoffed.

“You go to Starbucks?” he asked.


“Out to dinner?”


“You have cable?”

“No, my husband doesn’t believe in cable.” 

He gave me back the mirror, flipped it over to the magnifying side.

“Look at the difference between the eyes! Can’t you see it?”

“Well, you know what would impress the hell out of me?” I said.

“What?” he said.

“If I looked in this mirror, and the face looking back at me looked like Charlize Theron’s.”

“How about $70?” he said. “I let you have it today, for half price. Just today. Only for you. Because . . . because . . .  I like you.”

“No, you don’t,” I said.

“I do.”

“No, you don’t.”

He shrugged. I was getting tired and bored. My exit strategy? The truth.

“Listen . . . it’s been fun, really, but, I need to eat something.”

I got off the stool, took my glasses, my Sephora bag and started to leave.

“Wait!” He shouted after me. “Take it.”

“Take it?!”

“Yes. Take this. Here. Just take it. I am giving it to you.”

The very same product that five minutes ago was $140? He was willing to part with for nothing? I must have some kind of juju. For the record, I didn’t take it. I couldn’t. It smelled like a funeral.

And, and more importantly, the packaging sucked.

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