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Beauty All stars

Back in the 1970s, I subscribed to my first fashion magazine. You can probably guess what it was: Seventeen. One day I spotted an ad for a beauty club that shipped a gob of beauty products in one-ounce samples. They came every month for some nominal fee. I will never understand why my mother allowed me to subscribe, but she did. In a household filled with boy stuff, my heart fluttered every time I got a package.

When I spotted an ad in Allure magazine for the Beauty Bar.com Sample Society, I was a goner. I didn’t know beauty clubs still existed! For $15 each month, I’m getting awesome samples that are customized for my age and skin type. With each kit, you get at $15 gift to use against any purchase—basically a money back guarantee. Cosmetic hounds, it’s a really cool way to test premium brands you might never have an opportunity to try. (You can find an offer on the Beauty Bar.com website.)

I’m already hooked on a few samples, which I’ve awarded with an ‘A’ from my latest hankie design. (I stitched this heirloom design in the photo above at a sewing retreat last weekend with 20+ experienced seamstresses. Nirvana! Let me stitch something custom for you.)

My favorite Beauty Bar.com products so far (from left to right):

Suki Face Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser with lemongrass extract and natural sugar

The little beads exfoliate and then dissolve into a gentle lather that leaves your skin so smooth.

MD Solar Sciences Evening Facial Repair Serum

It’s one of those silky serums that makes your skin feel like a baby’s butt the morning after it’s applied. It’s a retinol-based serum that’s supposed to make skin brighter. Calming properties combat redness. If it weren’t for the fact that it’s $96, I could easily be addicted. Like I need another expensive habit!

Purlisse Pur-Youth Preserve Age Delay Serum

Another expensive repair serum. At $76 a pop, you’ve got to make it last a long time. But, with serums, I think that goes without saying. It contains blue lotus flower, a traditional Chinese beauty ingredient. It glided on and soaked in so mysteriously that I couldn’t help but marvel, “This stuff is either really, really good or really, really bad for me.” Based on the way my skin felt the next morning, I’d say it’s probably one of those little miracles in a bottle.

L’Occitane Immortelle Precious Cream

I’ve known of this French brand since I was a little girl, but I can’t remember seeing it sold anywhere—probably because you can’t buy it at the Dollar General. This plant-based moisturizer can be used day or night, but it has a light scent that might be a turn off for some women. To me, it’s the delightful smell of luxury. At $58, I’m mightily tempted by this one. When I applied my makeup over it, it looked as though a veil had been dropped over face. For now, I’m using my sample, but I will probably buy this one at the first opportunity.

The affordable old-time beauty tip:

I’ll close with one final beauty tip everyone can afford—Johnson’s Baby Shampoo. It’s the very best way to remove eye makeup gently and completely. I wear a lot of eye makeup and with my blond lashes, it’s always obvious when a remnant is left behind. With this old standard and lots of water, I don’t add the wear and tear of tugging at my eyes to remove every last bit. Bonus: it doesn’t irritate my sensitive eyes. In fact, it’s what a lot of doctors recommend to cleanse your eyes when you have a stye or allergy-related inflammation.

What’s your favorite old-time beauty product? Share your secrets here!

Life is short. Wear the good stuff.