Those of you who know me know that I am a beauty product devotee; in the spirit of this blog, I would even go so far as to say that I am hopelessly devoted to beauty products. I become so enamoured with a particular product that I even panic, a little, when I think that one day this might be discontinued. Do you know what I mean? When I find the perfect skin cream/ lipstick shade/ thermal hair protectant it’s all I can do NOT to stock up on it so I have enough for the rest of my life – think Elaine Benes with the “sponge.”
What I need to remember is that as time goes by, my beauty product needs change. For example, recently I realized I have to retire my deep, rich shades of lipstick because they are making me look like a hookerish clown. Sadly, I now have four completely unused lipsticks in my cupboard, because I was stocking up. I recall a similar thing happening back in high school when I wore nothing but Revlon’s Love That Red until I started university and realized that colour no longer suited me or my style.
The moral of this story is that there is no need to stock up on beauty supplies, because your beauty needs WILL change with time. These are the items that I could not live without, back in 1988.
This line of hair products made me feel like I had arrived. The fruity scent, the extra-super-strong hold that kept my four inch high bangs in place, the mousse that put the special spring into my spiral permed curls. I went through a bottle of hairspray every two weeks, so devoted was I to that agonizingly high-maintenance hair of the late 1980s. My friends and I all kept travel-sized bottles in our lockers, for emergency touch-ups throughout the day. I lived in Calgary, city of high winds, and keeping that extra-special curly hair with giant teased bangs intact was a great deal of work. Not to mention the winters; no one would dare put a hat on over that teased mass. We used earmuffs instead, the adjustable band inevitably getting painfully tangled in our hair in all that cold wind.
Side note: girls with hairspray bottles in hand was such a common sight at my school that many smuggled in alcohol to school dances in washed-out (I HOPE) hairspray bottles. For the record, I was not one of those girls. No teacher would think of checking the contents of a Salon Selectives or Aussie Sprunch Spray bottle, so groups would surreptitiously pass the bottle around. Meanwhile, gaggles of girls would be congregating in the washrooms to a) fix their hair, b) gossip about who was dancing with whom and whose behaviour warranted snubbing/ mean girl behaviour, or c) cry. Crying in the washroom at junior high school dances: a proud tradition.
Remember Aussie Sprunch Spray? That was also heavily utilized in my circle. The whole world was obsessed with everything from Down Under back then, including the hairspray and the fizzy Koala-themed flavoured water, not to mention INXS.
Kissing Potion was so goopy and drippy that I’m sure no guy wanted to kiss any girl wearing it. I’ve learned over my lifetime that men, in general, do not like to get lip products on their faces. Although, back then, maybe the guys weren’t so choosy about it. I don’t know, in any case, I loved wearing Kissing Potion. I loved all the flavours, and I loved how it went on like a roll-on deodorant.
Secret Roll-On Deodorant
Speaking of roll-on deodorants, wasn’t that weird? Why would you put something so wet under your arms? The tag line for Secret was, as you will recall, Strong Enough For A Man – But Made For A Woman. Some might be outraged at this, but honestly, guys do smell more than women, so there is something to it. What I chiefly remember about this deodorant is that it would sting when I put it on, it would be wet so I couldn’t immediately put my shirt on, and it smelled very sweet, like a cross between baby powder and sweet peas.
Love’s Baby Soft
I remember getting this for Christmas and thinking that dreams do come true. I loved this although the advertising was a little suspect…
Hannah would like me to mention Exclamation! perfume, which was incredibly popular back in the day. Sadly, I never had it although my girlfriends did. Allison remembers Body Shop perfumes in various fruit scents like Mango and Peach. Why did we want to smell edible? I don’t know, but we all slathered on vanilla perfume in the early nineties, leaving a trail of teenage boys who really, really wanted some chocolate chip cookies in our wake. And that is not a euphemism.
The Body Shop
Those who came of age after 1995 will never know what a cultural phenomenon The Body Shop was. Suddenly, we were all activists with our “Against Animal Testing” t-shirts and our fair-trade Satsuma Bubble Bath. I clearly recall shopping at the location that is a ten-minute walk from where I am right this moment. I would save up all my babysitting money to buy some treasured item like White Musk Body Wash, and I would covet those little baskets of goodies at Christmastime. How exciting it was to get Peppermint Foot Cream, Raspberry Ripple Bubble Bath, and a strawberry-scented glycerin soap! These items were so exotic back then; so far removed from the usual beauty items purchased at Zellers after school.
This was the more colourful, less glossy cousin to Kissing Potion, and I loved them too. I probably bought them at Zellers, and I remember very painstakingly choosing which flavour best suited who I was. Ah, the teen years, it’s all about finding yourself and figuring out who you are, and who I am is a person who loves lip products.
Great Lash Mascara
Here’s the thing about Maybelline: they really know how to appeal to the teen market. Not only were they responsible for Kissing Koolers and Kissing Potion, they also sold – and still sell – arguably one of the best mascaras out there, Great Lash. I don’t even think they’ve changed the packaging much since 1988, but I always, always wore Great Lash in Very Black. These days I wear Maybelline’s The Falsies, but I have a special place in my heart for Great Lash.
After all, I didn’t just wake up in the morning looking like this – it took effort!