I’m a “swagger.” That’s a term I just coined to name myself and those who will go to a party and beeline straight to the gift bags, sift through them (yes a few), take what they need and leave to go the next party and do the same. Swaggers walk with a swagger and as the dictionary next to me defines “to conduct one’s self in an arrogant and pompous manner.” That’s it. I’d add, the pompadour pomp comes from feelings of entitlement to get all these presents for free. For doing nothing. For showing up and being fabulous. Why not? We love it! Life is hard, why not get some treats where you can?

The Swagger in me just counted 10 jars of never-used face masks in my bathroom. I opened one and am determined to use them all to get rid of them properly. I’m wearing a Clarins “masque” as we speak and my skin’s pores are tightening. Hurting. Squeezing and drying. Ouch. But they will be used.

To clean out, I often throw out the directions to these bottles, jars and tubes so I forget how to use them. I slather them on and do whatever I feel like doing. At the moment, I’m not sure if I’m supposed to rinse off this masque (their spelling) or keep it on, getting that “radiant feeling” as the tube promised. Hmmm. Or do I need more on? I’ll wait ten more minutes and see how I feel. That way, I’ll get some of each.

I go through the drawer under the sink. More swag. Boxes of fake eyelashes, Duo boob tape, hair straighteners I’ve used once, four dry shampoos, blow dryers for someone who never blow dries her hair, gift certificates for massages, hand warmers, gels, lotions and powders to mix. Some of these products, a girl has to be her own chemist to put it all together. I have a motorized molecule machine that’s supposed to intrigue your youth. It feels good, and I do feel a little uplifted – when I remember to use it.

How many disciplines is one supposed to maintain in one’s life? It’s too much!

I’d never buy these things, but I adore nothing more than getting samples. Since 2008 and the economy crunch, swag bags have been keen litmus tests for the sign of the times. In fact for the past four years, they’ve sucked. Dwindled down into free DVDs and brochures. Boo. It’s really been a party killer and a soul crusher truth.

Before my film festivals and party times, and commercials for face care, I’d do errands at department stores in the skin sections. I love high-end facial products. I do, I do, I do. A well-polished and deep and plump moisturized face makes me able to greet the world. I can’t function without that, and at the moment, it’s looking quite grim. The commercial I did for a skincare company – which promised skincare for life – had to end it, and parties don’t seem to be offering schtuff. Stores aren’t offering the samples they sued to, either. And then, it’s such a drag to have to hear their spiel. I know what I want – at the moment Clarins – and I don’t want a  long conversation with a woman who pinches a stingy slop into my palm. I don’t care about what goes into the stuff. I’ve heard it 20 times. I just want it and I can’t can’t afford (and wouldn’t want to pay) $98 a jar for each step – serum, toner, night, day, masks – it’s tiresome.

Sigh. Is it that I will have to return to? The old days of going to the gym, then stopping off at a department store to moisturize and collect the samples I can talk them out of? Groan. Bloomingdale’s is my second bathroom.

I’ve got to run and wash my face!

Next time Cannes!

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