My Grandmother was known for her beautiful skin. My friends always thought she was a decade younger than she was (for which she loved them). My Grandfather used to tell people that Gram slept face down in a bucket of face cream every night. He was only half joking. She slathered her face in a thick coat of cream first thing in the morning and read the paper and had a cup of coffee while it soaked in. After that, she put on her “face.”
Like my Grandmother, I possess a small city of skin care products. One brightens; one tightens; one resurfaces; one is made of special algae extract; one is the most potent version of Vitamin C you can use externally without turning into an orange. My boyfriend likes to remind me they all reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. But I think of my Grandmother’s skin. They must do something.
Gram was a regular customer to the make-up counters at Macy’s. When I went with her, they gave me samples. When she couldn’t get to the store anymore, the girls at Macy’s called her when they were having specials and shipped her what she wanted. They neednt have worried. Gram had discovered QVC. She had so many deliveries that when I ordered my first kit of Bare Escentuals Foundation, FedEx saw the last name on the package and delivered it to her house without checking the address. She held it hostage until we could open it together. She liked the idea of mineral foundation and thought it would be great for me, but said it wouldn’t work for her more “mature” skin. She preferred to prep her face with Laura Geller’s “Spackle.”
Well into her 80s, we continued to enable each other. We’d treat each other to manicures and pedicures. I bought her a Perricone Prescription starter kit and made sure she had a supply of Estee Lauder “Youth Dew.” She surprised me one Valentine’s Day with a box of Chanel No. 19 products.
A week before Christmas, my father called to tell me that Grandma had probably had a stroke during the night wasn’t expected to regain consciousness. As I held her hand during the final hours of her life, her 90-year-old alabaster skin was still beautiful and translucent, a testament to good genetics and a lifetime of good care. A jar of Perricone cream was still in her bathroom cabinet.
A few weeks later, I happened upon QVC’s Friday Night Beauty. There was a new miracle cream. All of its customer ratings were 5 stars. It was changing lives.
Grandma would want me to have it.
I love you, Gram.