The other night I was relaxing in the recliner with a copy of the September 2015 issue of Better Homes and Gardens…the “stylemaker” issue… and the June 2015 issue of Southern Living. Every now and then it’s fun to look through such publications to learn about the newest trends, and to check out recipes. I don’t know what it was about that evening, but suddenly some of the copy I saw in the ads started sounding ridiculous.
Honestly, I could not believe some of the advertising crap lathered throughout these publications. Sometimes I laughed out loud. At other times I cringed, thinking, “Who believes this baloney?”

Take, for example, a full page ad from DEVELOPLUS for their ANTI-AGING HAIR Treatment System. It’s a three jar system that “Fights Hair Loss” “Stimulates Growth” “Battles Graying” Adds Vibrance.” Note the use of the word “vibrance, not “vibrancy” the real noun. Oh well, why quibble? “Vibrance is easier to remember because it’s only two syllables.

But “Battles Graying”? How?  I thought the remedy to graying hair had something to do with a rinse or a tint or a dye. And “battles” graying. Wow. Such a macho verb. Bet plenty of damsels were persuaded by that definitive phrase and ran right over to Walgreens to make a purchase.

Then there was another full page ad for one of Secret’s products. I say “one of” because years ago (okay, decades) there was Secret deodorant. Maybe it included an antiperspirant also; I don’t remember, but that was it. Now Secret and other brands of personal care products create so many versions of their products, it doubles or triples shopping time. Do I want the lavender scent so I’ll be relaxed all day, or do I want the fresh sport scent so I can feel like a cheerleader? Should I go for paraben free or should I be more concerned about shine enhancement? Better choose a version that goes on clear because I don’t want any telltale white smudges telling the world that I used something under my arms.

But I digress. This product is called Secret Clinical Strength Invisible Solid. Well, what IS it? To find out, one must read the ad. It tells me that my body changes 500+ times a day. “Your deodorant should keep up.” Oh…it’s a deodorant! Who knew? Nothing on the product says “deodorant.” And at the bottom of the page we are reminded that “Body changes can cause odor.” (Oh, jeez…something else we need to obsess about 24/7??) “So keep up with whatever the day throws your way with Secret Clinical Strength’s Adapts&Responds Technology.” Fearlessness. Apply Daily.” Oh, what a relief. This has “adapts&responds technology.” Why not? It’s 2015. We’re all adapting and responding like crazy to every new technological gadget out there. Good thing it’s fearless, because some days I am not.

And then there’s mascara, one of my personal stables. A Merle Norman ad in the June 2015 issue of Southern Living introduces a mascara primer. A primer for mascara? You betcha! These days there’s a primer for foundation, for eye shadow, and now for mascara. But what made me roll my eyes was the ad copy: “Like an UNDERWIRE for lashes…mascara primer Lifts and supports for longer, fuller lashes” placed strategically in the cleavage area of a bright pink push up bra. Must we start comparing our lashes to our sagging boobs? C’mon.

Fortunately, one can find less dramatic wordage in ads for most of the other commodities we purchase: furniture, toothpaste, cereal, paint, dog food, cat litter, appliances, wine and other necessities of life. But the lure is out there for those of us feeling less than perfect about our skin and hair. So many personal care products now include vitamins, A to Z, take your pick…oils from any living plant, tree, or bush that can produce an oil…salts, from the sea to the Himalayas, and other minerals…beeswax…plus infused this and purified that. For example:

Sea Mineral Infusion for Hair by Suave Professionals (shampoo, conditioner, and texturizing spray)…oh, it’s an infusion, which has to be tons better than a regular stuff.

Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence (applied after cleansers and before serums)…of course… a treatment essence is lighter than a foam, cream or gel, right?

Estee Lauder’s Nutritious Vitality & Radiant Dual-Phase Emulsion…ah, an emulsion now, and a dual-phase one at that. Thank God they didn’t try to pass along the single-phase version to some of us gullible gals.

There you have it: infusion, essence, emulsion. It all sounds so much sexier, doesn’t it? So much richer. So much more worth the splurge. And yes, we’re worth it, remember?

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