Irreverent Mama

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


My kids gave me this Wise Woman Starter Kit for Mother's Day. It contains a tub of "Regenerating Day Cream", one of "Regenerating Night Cream", and a spray bottle of "Vitality Serum".

Pretty, no?

Now, I've not been the type of woman to fuss much with my face. I like feeling pretty as much as the next woman, I shave my legs (and other bits), I love flowy skirts, plunging necklines, moderate amounts of perfume, and I keep my hair a burnished auburn, despite the steady encroachment of gray.

But a "beauty regime"? Seems an oxymoron, really. Anything that calls itself a 'regime' lacks a certain, oh, gaity, joie de vivre, spontenaeity. More to do with drill sergeants, drudgery and drab than beauty.

But you know what? Time is pretty regimental. It marches inexorably on, taking pity on no woman.

So, though I didn't request this particular gift (are the kids trying to tell me something?), I was pleased enough with it. (And of course, I made out I was deee-lighted! Because, wrinkled crone though I may be, I am a Good Mother.) Besides, I've always been little Polly Perfect when it came to assignments. I actively enjoyed worksheets in school, liked lining up my facts in neat columns, liked ticking items off a list. There is a part of the discipline of a 'regime' that does appeal, I confess.

So I opened the package with interest, seeking the Instruction Sheet. (Because that's what we Polly Perfects do, you know: we RTFM*s. Religiously. Because we like to.)

And boy, did I hit paydirt with this one. A very long, accordian-folded leaflet on flimsy paper - in fourteen different languages! Fourteen! But all I learned as I scanned it was how wonderful this product was, and what wholesome ingredients were contained within its creamy essence.

So much for the insert. Where were the directions for use? Not on the tubs, not on the spray bottle, not on the box. There were no more bits of paper hiding within the box. Mystified, I returned to the leaflet.

Because the day and night cream I could pretty much figure. But "Vitality Serum"? What, exactly, does one do with a "Vitality Serum"? It was housed in a pump bottle, so I'm guessing it's not to be ingested. Undoubtedly it's to be smeared on the skin, but when? How? (Why?)

And a second, more thorough read of the insert, and there they are! Directions for Use!! (Not that they were identified as such, but they are there!)



See them? Two short sentences at the end of each paragraph of promotional sludge. Oh, come on. Surely you can find them! After all Wise Woman does want you to actually use its product.

Doesn't it?

I'm not entirely sure. That picture is life-size. That is how big the pages were, that is how big the font is. Teeny, isn't it? My real-life version is probably a little clearer than this scanned version, but the font is no bigger.

Now, I am 46 - probably smack in the middle of the target audience for this product. Like most people my age - that is, like most people in the product's TARGET AUDIENCE - my eyesight isn't what it once was. Nor, what with all this perimenopausal hormonal shit I have going on, am I as patient as I once was. Not with the flim-flam-flummery of self-congratulational sales puffing, certainly. And then to place useful information at the tale end of all that crap verbiage? In micro-font?

How much awareness of (and respect for) their TARGET AUDIENCE does this show?

And then? When you finally unearth the information? You get these little nuggets:

For the Day Cream: "Apply to face and neck. Use with Regenerating Night Cream."
For the Night Cream: "Apply to face and neck. Use with Regenerating Day Cream."
For the Vitality Serum: "Use AM and PM before applying your Wise Woman day and night moisturisers."

Useful, no?

No?

Not particularly, huh...

So many questions left unanswered... Does one use Day and Night cream together, both products applied morning and evening? It sure seems to say as much! And, now that I've found the "instructions", how do I apply the Vitality Serum? Direct to my skin? To my hands, and then rub in? To a cotton ball? Do I cleanse my face first, or do the products do it all?

Okay, so I know better than to apply moisturizer without first cleaning - oops, I mean cleansing - my skin. I also know that Day Cream is for the daytime and Night Cream is for the nighttime. Not too tricky, that. An adherent of a Beauty Regime I may not be, but a complete feminine-culture idiot I am not. However, I didn't get any of this awareness from the insert, where one might reasonably expect to find it.

All is not lost! Being of that Certain Age, I am a resourceful woman. I now know how to use my Products, most notably the mysterious Vitality Serum. How, you ask? How, given the company clearly has no interest in giving me the goods once I own them?

Because I googled it. No kidding. I ended up googling, and found a very useful instructional video at Wise Woman dot net! Wise Woman dot net - imagine that!! There is one! But I had to hunt it out! The insert didn't include information about their very informative website, either. Imagine that...

So, I now have these Beauty Products, which I am using, oh, four times a week. (Not quite Perfect, but I'm trying!) And I'm enjoying them. I'm not sure if it's the feeling that I've joined the Woman Club at long last, or if it's because they're making a difference. I do like how they smell...

But if it were up to Wise Woman and the Beauty Shoppe, I'd still be squinting at the labels.

*RTFM: Read the Fucking Manual. What you should do before you call tech. support**.

**Not, I admit, that the manuals are generally any use to anyone who isn't technically inclined, which is to say, anyone who isn't tech. support...

*** Oooo, look! Footnotes in teeny, tiny font!!! Feel free to sneer at the inconsistency.****

**** But not this pre-menstrual, perimenopausal week. Could be bad for your health.

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4 Comments:

  • Oh, and the Vitality Serum? It's a sort of pre-moisturizer moisturizer. You clean your face, then you put on the VS, then you put on either Day or Night cream, depending on whether - you guessed it! - it's daytime or night.

    Easy, huh?

    By Blogger irreverentmama, at 9:14 PM  

  • Does the Intense Firming work? If it does, I want some of that myself!

    By Blogger Z, at 1:49 AM  

  • I'm holding out for 'Beauty Pack for Dumb Bimbos.' And if I really do shell out my hard-earned for that, I'll obviously be in need of the product.

    When I was younger, I used to think it was a shame I couldn't afford expensive creams and unguents. Now I've given up caring. I stroll past cosmetic booths in department stores and think of all the money I could be wasting. Then I go and buy myself a tube of sun screen, the cheapest moisturizer I can find -- and some chocolate. Perfect.

    By Blogger Mary Witzl, at 10:14 AM  

  • Why don't you mix the whole lot up together then slap it on, say midday, then wait?

    By Blogger john.g., at 11:07 AM  

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