Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Review: L'Oreal Age Perfect Pro-Calcium tinted moisturizer

In my attempts to get up to speed with the CVS frequent-buyer program, I tried some new products. The one the CVS shopping experts (now dubbed CVSavvies) seemed to be the most excited about was the

L'Oreal Age Perfect Pro-Calcium Radiance Perfector Sheer Tint Moisturizer.

OK, I admit it. I cut and pasted the above from drugstore.com. And when I saw how huge it turned out, I decided to keep it that way. It illustrates so perfectly that, just as they pack their products with age-fighting, skin-brightening, mega-beautifying ingredients, cosmetics companies pack the names of their products with the kind of high-flown rhetoric that I expect to hear coming out of the mouths of First Lord and Second Lord at the beginning of a Shakespeare play. You know what I mean: "My lord, the king our liege blah blah blah blah'd."

You know? But soft, for the review begins:

It was on sale for $15.99, down from its regular retail price of $20.00, (and 18.99 at drugstore.com) and it came with $15.99 in ExtraBucks rebates, meaning that after you bought it, you'd get a register coupon for $15.99. Which means it wasn't going to cost me anything to try it.

So this morning after my shower, I was all excited about the chance to try my new L'Oreal moisturizer.

From what the box said, I expected a tinted moisturizer--something like my Estee Lauder DayWear Plus, which I love and use daily--but with more of the stuff that middle-aged ladies like. You know the drill. Five or six extra-speshul exotic-sounding ingredients that promised to make me look as young as I was when I started reading the fine print on the back of the package. I expected light diffusers, lots of hydration, humectants, anti-oxidants, SPF, eye of newt, throat of turkey, and a soft, dewy finish.

The reality?


It's not moisturizing enough for the "mature, dull" it's supposedly aimed at. With an SPF of only 12, it doesn't have nearly enough sunscreen. Even though it comes in "Light" and "Medium" and promises to transform itself, a la Tangee lipstick (or a mood ring) to match your complexion, the Light shade that I tried wasn't light enough to lesson my under-eye circles or lighten the pinkish-mauve shade my eyelids have developed.

Also, the self-blending color?

Flash back to your first-generation Q-T self-tanning nightmares.


OK, maybe there's some Vitamin C or other wondrous ingredients lurking around in there ... but if I'm going to end up looking like an Oompah-Loompah? Forget it.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Cheap thrills at CVS

If you come by here from time to time to check on my shopping expertise, it may have occurred to you that if I ever had any (which is doubtful) I appear to have lost it.

This is in part because I'm not doing a lot of shopping. I mean, I am kind of a goofball, and that is certainly a factor, but right now, for me and my fellow Americans, it's the dawning of the Age of Austerity. Right?

Well, pardon me for going all I was there first on you, but I stopped shopping long before real estate values started their steep dive and the stock market ended up in the toilet. And you know what? I take a perverse pride in that.

And now, as a grizzled veteran of the Compact, FlyLady, and voluntary simplicity--as a person who recognized Real Simplicity for the marketing scam it is--when I look around at the mountains of crap I already own, I'm surprised I ever step into a store. So mostly, I don't.

But you know, a girl needs to buy toothpaste. And toilet paper. And batteries.

So my latest hobby is shopping at CVS and using my ExtraCare Rewards Card.

Now, I don't have the time or energy to explain what Extra Bucks are. I'll just say that every week there are items on sale that give you Extra Bucks back, which you can then spend like money. I learned about it from Crystal at Money Saving Mom. Her post "CVS 101" has the best explanation of how to use ExtraCare Bucks I've ever seen. Her follow-up post is equally good.

For example, this week Duracell batteries were on sale, and if you bought $20 worth of them, you'd get a coupon for $15 in ExtraCare Bucks.

Today I spent $100 at CVS. I got back $45 in Extra Bucks. This is pretty good start, although the hard core people, the real CVSavvies, come out of the store with bags of stuff that was free. Still, I saved a bunch of money on stuff like batteries, toilet paper, and Honey Nut Cheeries.

Of course, I'm probably going to have to build an addition onto my house to store all the buy one, get one free Colgate toothpaste I bought. But it gives me such a warm, housewifely feeling to have a few tubes squirreled away.

OK. Ten tubes. WHATEVER.