Askanesthetician's Blog

An esthetician explores skincare issues and concerns

Buy That Bag or Buy That Skincare Product? May 3, 2012

Lately I have been telling anyone who will listen how I like this show on VH1 called House of Consignment which follows the ups and downs of an online designer resale business based in Chicago.  I was intrigued by the show first because it takes place in Chicago (I live in the suburbs of Chicago), and also because I always like to see what other women have in their closets.  What struck me repeatedly while watching the show was how much stuff people buy, save, and then can’t give up even if they will never wear it again (or have never worn it to begin with).  I am also astounded by how much money people spend on their clothes, shoes, and bags.  It was interesting to see that women who are far from wealthy yet they find the money to buy numerous designer goods.  People shop for all sorts of psychological reasons that have nothing to do with the actual goods that they own but rather the feelings that the goods impart – such as status or a shopping high.

As you are reading this you are probably wondering – so what does that have to do with skin?  Well watching this show made me think – why do people invest so much in their clothes and accessories and not in their skin?  You wear your skin 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.  Your skin protects you and keeps in healthy – shouldn’t you return the favor by investing in your skin?   I am lucky that where I work I don’t have a quota about how much skincare product I need to sell per week or month since I sometimes feel bad suggesting that someone buy a skincare product that costs close to $100.  But lately I got to thinking – should cost really be that much of a factor in choosing skincare products if you know that they work?  Instead of buying that new pair of shoes shouldn’t you buy that moisturizer instead?  Investing in your skin means you are investing in your health and what is more important than your health?

So perhaps the next time you are debating between buying that new designer bag and a new sunscreen you’ll get the new sunscreen.  Keep your skin happy and healthy so that when you do invest in a designer dress you look great wearing it.

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TV Review: “The Price of Beauty” – Jessica Simpson’s New Show March 23, 2010


Jessica Simpson has a new show on VH1 called The Price of BeautyFor the show Jessica and her two best friends Ken Paves (described as her fashion stylist, hair stylist, and make-up artist – yes all three.  I wonder – does he get paid for all three?) and CaCee (described as someone who always “makes you laugh” – pray tell how can I find a way to travel the world simply because I make someone laugh?) travel around the world to find out about different cultures’ ideas about beauty.  I don’t think the idea for the show is too original, and frankly, for me, the premise was only slightly interesting.  What interested me more was the fact that Jessica Simpson was hosting the show.  Before I saw the show (and I made sure to watch two episodes before writing this post) I thought of Simpson as silly and ditzy and not much else.  I was not a fan of her music, and I only once watched half an episode of her successful reality show with ex-husband Nick Lachey Newlyweds.  Currently Simpson’s life is regular tabloid and gossip website fodder, and her weight and fashion choices, particularly her poor fashion choices, are both widely publicized and critiqued.  People love to  judge her, and I guess I started to feel bad for her.  Of course, why should I have any sympathy for someone who really became famous because of a reality she chose to be on and who, while ridiculed and constantly judged, is also very successful (her accessories and clothes line is wildly popular, and I have to say I think the products are very cute though I don’t own any myself).  Yet I do have sympathy for Jessica Simpson because why should your poor choice of jeans make you the laughing-stock of an entire nation?  And I also wonder – how does one keep up their self-esteem when under constant media scrutiny?  So I was pleased to see Simpson address these very issues in her show.  In the show, for me, Simpson came across as, yes, ditzy and silly but also sweet, empathetic, and even introspective. 

Simpson states in the first episode of the show that she sees the show as a personal journey in order for her to find out what other women consider beautiful so she can help define that term for herself.  The two episodes of the show that I saw where set in Thailand and Paris.  Each half an hour show was a mix of both very serious and more frivolous topics.  For instance in Thailand Simpson and her friends meet a woman who basically burned the skin on her face off trying to lighten her skin color.  The woman’s face is now disfigured and her life is ruined.  In Paris they meet a former model who became severely anorexic trying to meet the insane weight requirements expected of her by the French fashion industry.  Also in Thailand Jessica, Ken, and CaCee meet women from the Karen Tribe who wear up to 20 pounds of gold rings around their necks (see the photo above) in order to try to understand a beauty ritual and a concept of beauty that is foreign to them.  And in Paris the three friends get wine and grape spa treatments at the Caudalie Spa in Paris. 

I do wonder who the show’s target audience is meant to be.  Since the show is on VH1 which is home to reality shows with brain-dead morons (see Tool Academy) or washed up former “celebrities” (see Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, which I will admit I watch and like, or Celebrity Fit Club) I don’t think this show entirely fits in with the rest of the network’s programming.  Perhaps it would have been better suited for MTV and a younger demographic? 

If you are watching this show for big insights – both personal and cultural – I advise you to look elsewhere.  But I do think the simple and important message – accept yourself and love yourself no matter how you look – comes through loud and clear.  I actually admire Jessica Simpson for being able to show such a vulnerable side of herself on camera.  Would I watch the show again?  Probably not.  I’ll stick to my Bravo reality shows thank you very much.  But did I suffer while watching the two episodes I watched?  Definitely not.  Perhaps the show could have been better made, but I do think it is important that Simpson is trying to show girls and women that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, and permutations.

And speaking of beauty coming in all shapes, colors, and sizes I also watched two episodes of VH1’s new makeover show Transform Me.  Makeover shows are really a dime a dozen, but I still love them.  The twist about this show is that it hosted by three beautiful transgender women.  Who would know more about transformations than three women who were born men?  Equal parts camp and sass the three makeover mavens in the show actually did a great job at transforming the women who needed their help.  But now that my curiosity at the show has been satisfied I don’t think I’ll keep watching.  Anyhow, I am still desperately waiting for Trinny and Susannah, the original hosts of BBC’s What Not To Wear and my all time favorite makeover queens, to have a new show.  Trinny and Susannah – I love you both!  Please have a new show soon!

Check out this page on the website for more information about Jessica Simpson and her new show.  Even enter to win a spa trip.


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