Saturday, June 6, 2009


I'd complained about twigs in the corner of my eyes. My pal, sister, daughter in-law handed me a small blue box , saying "It's just a little gift, under $40 -- eye cream, 15 ml."

(I'm fossilized like a bug in amber -- an eighth of an ounce I can picture -- mention ml and I'm hopeless. Inside the box was a one inch diameter container. )

Albolene sat on the backstage dressing room table, next to the grease paint, rouge, shadow, liner, and powder. It was a summer resort in the Adirondacks -- Carol Burnett got her start there. As the "swing girl" understudying everyone, I was earning $125 for the summer, plus room and board.

How do you do stage makeup? You watch! Do what the other guys are doing. Layer it on, take it off with Albolene -- icky wonderful stuff that stays on your face forever, unless you rub vigorously with a wet, hot washcloth.

Those were the days when I hoarded the name brand makeup that I wore every day without fail. Store ran out of it! Woe! Finally got a substitute -- bought five jars. Years after stores ran out, I was still wearing it. 'Tis a tale told by thousands of women!

Woe -- Albolene went up in price. Okay -- Johnson's Baby Oil more or less did the trick.

Daughter pal Shareen (, who knows absolutely everything about what's the latest in glamor-beauty-health things, bought the blue box at a fancy store. It's a well-known place that supplies the high-price, best cosmetics to those who believe the higher the price, the better the ingredients -- "better" ingredients are BETTER!

Those who don't believe, like me, think you're buying better promises -- proof is what you see in the mirror. Spend more or spend less? Either way, you're seeing what you want to see.

I used a pinkie finger's daub on my eye twigs. Didn't check the mirror. Used it two more times. The blue container's booklet described in romantic terms, the "soothing" aspects of the product. Googling Albolene, I saw its relatively low price, and a new slogan: "It's what your grandma loved and used!" Looked up Baby Oil -- a blogger said it left a slightly irritating residue on her skin, that came off with washing.

Aii Yi! All the words above this line, tell the story we've all heard. The super best: Probably a gyp. Familiar brand name: A rose by any other name .... But hey, "You're worth it."

So here's Em, fossilized in amber.

Every once in a while
I pat on baby oil.
Or do nothing.

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