The Price of Beauty and Other Ridiculous Stuff

Before you comment– this was a display at our local Target.

Talk about the third rail of human relationships! Let’s spend a few moments on women’s beauty care and their corresponding products. To get an idea of my perspective, allow me to start with my view of beauty care products for men. The personal hygiene industry for men is growing, and the aisles are crammed almost as completely as the store lanes dedicated to women.

Beard gel? I know plenty of men with healthy beards, but none, exactly none of them, use beard gel. To do so would be the equivalent of smearing a jelly donut on your face and leaving it.

While idling away countless hours studying the various personal care products lining the shelves at the grocery store, I’ve had plenty of time to form my completely uninformed opinions. I’ve had this time due to Lillian banning me from doing any of the grocery shopping. Lillian, my bride of seven hundred and fifty years, does not allow me to assist in buying any of our foodstuffs. Shortly after our marriage, I filled the cart with seven packages of cookies and three six-packs of beer; after that, she banned me from helping. I continued tagging alongside the cart for several years, offering opinions but then Lillian got a restraining order. Now, I must remain at least three aisles away.

I now roam the beauty spaces, taking care with a watchful eye.

If it was up to me, and it’s not, I would replace all the male personal care products with only three, maybe four products. All men need to care for all their body grooming needs, which are in no order of priority: a toothbrush, a bar of soap, a razor (optional), and maybe a comb. As we age, a comb becomes less critical.

Women should be limited to seven, maybe eight items. I know, I know, this is a horrible thing to say. Life’s not fair. Get over it.

A thing a woman needs that a man has no use for is that little comb on the end of a stick for their eyebrows. I’m assuming it’s for their eyebrows; if not there, where? Having never seen this tool in use, Lillian told me what it’s for. The little tool shapes the eyebrows into a single direction as if each lash is a tiny soldier sworn to do her bidding. Before you even get to this stage, a woman must endure the most incredible pain in the history of all humanity. Lest she sports that Ernestina Borgnine look, she must pluck.

Now, I’ve endured this pain precisely one time in my life, and I’m still traumatized. It’s a sharp, unbearable pain no man could survive for more than a few twangs of the tweezers. It’s not so much a hot poker to the eye but a deep jab that feels like the growing stab is behind your retina and continuing outward until the alien baby is out of your head. Yes, women do this to themselves—some more than others. Don’t stare. It’s impolite.

Eyelashes. Did you know that mascara is a combination of axle grease and motor oil? It’s true. Feel free to prove me wrong in the comments below. I get that some women are born with sparse, thin lashes, and they’d prefer a row of trees that would make the Hoh rainforest jealous. Ladies, have at. I hear that Pep Boys is having a sale. And don’t forget the eyeliner. ArmorAll makes a decent shade.

The fake ones. Use at your peril. First, know that these furry insects are an endangered species. Do you want to know the real reason they come in sets of two?  No, it’s not for your eyes. It’s so that they can reproduce. Be careful; if you leave them on your eyes too long, they’ll morph into a cocoon and emerge as a beautiful butterfly. We all remember when a few of them crawled into Ensign Chekov’s ears in that Star Trek movie, don’t we?

Lipstick. I have no problem with a woman who wants beautiful Angelia Jolie lips. But I think that the palette of options is a bit excessive. The selections should be as close to nature as intended. Bright red? Navy blue? Why do we need a selection that would make Sherwin-Williams jealous? And forget about using lipstick to increase the size of your Richard Branagh string cheese lips. If your lips have no depth, never try drawing lips onto your face. Take up watercolors instead.

Nail polish. See above. Please read again for comprehension. And remember, these are nails we’re talking about; your fingers don’t need to resemble the talons of a hawk. The seafood aisle does not require you to go spearfishing.

Makeup. With the invention of 4K television, makeup has become even more critical. It used to be that a little foundation went a long way towards smoothing out a bad complexion. But this necessary product can be abused. On a recent evening, while I sat in rapture, absorbing the wisdom of the pundits on Fox, or was it MSNBC, or maybe CNN? It couldn’t have been Newsmax. Those folks are far too ugly inside and out. While the talking head effortlessly shaped my opinion into one of spite and resentment, I noticed that the industrial application of foundation had turned the blithering idiot into a figure right out of Madame Tussauds.

Shaving. Now, here is a delicate subject. No man can even begin to appreciate the sacrifices women make by shaving. That is until they encounter a woman who doesn’t. Danger, Will Robinson! Say as little as possible and climb out of the hole you dug as quickly as possible. Run, boys, I say, run fast and long, lest you enjoy losing at arm wrestling.

Conditioner. While my experience with this product is less than glowing, I’ve heard it’s necessary for women with longer hair. It’s a must-have if you don’t want to come out of the shower looking like the professor on Back to the Future. The only time I’ve tried conditioner, it felt like I’d dumped five-weight motor oil on my head. The slimy feeling in my hair lasted three days.

Perfume. Perfume is a 54 billion-dollar-a-year industry. By 2030, perfume sales will exceed $80 billion. This trend is due to the growing affluence worldwide and the continued invention of new and exotic blends. While 40% of women in the United States experiment with a unique smell once a month, men, on the other hand, explore a new version of themselves once, maybe twice a year. Despite this fact, perfumes for men make up the fastest-growing segment of the smell industry.

We live in a curious world. My only real advice is to floss more often and call your mother once in a while.

6 thoughts on “The Price of Beauty and Other Ridiculous Stuff”

  1. I have 55 gallon barrel of used motor oil from my tractors. Discount to all of your friends male and female, and all other pronouns that mention they know you. I’ll even throw in a used glue brush from the wood shop.


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