Several years ago, where I used to work, one of my bosses -- a woman nearing 60 with a face of experience -- said to me, re foundation makeup: "You know, up until recently I used to buy the expensive stuff, always thinking it would make me look just like the ads; but then I finally realized that was never going to happen! So now I just pick up whatever in the drugstore."
At the time, I remember laughing. Partially in agreement at the silliness of being sucked in by obviously manipulative ads. But... partially in pity: She'd given up the Hope Ghost! When you're, say, 40 or under, you still halfway in the back of your wishful-thinking mind think, "Yes, I could indeed look something like that" when looking at the models in makeup ads. But at some point, you just have to admit it -- you don't look anything like that. You most likely didn't even when you were 15, and you certainly don't now. Buying that model's brand of makeup isn't going to help anything. Ouch! Harsh middle-aged lesson!
I've had a similar ongoing "No Santa" slow breakthrough in recent years re hair-care products. For probably two decades now, I've been buying expensive $10 shampoo and $16 leave-in conditioner. Over the past two years, though, my hair just continues to look worse and worse. I've got to admit it: I'm in my mid-40s; my hair's just thinning out. Face it. All the expensive hair products in the world don't seem to be working any magic.
That said, though, I did have a brief respite from my obviously waning youth: Earlier this week, I had gone swimming at my mom's and needed to shower and wash my hair at her place before I went somewhere else straight from there. She's always been a cheapie, so at her house I had to use the Garnier Fructese (sp??) or whatever on-sale stuff she had supplied herself with. (Despite my recent dissatisfaction with my own products, I was still none too happy with being forced to use her supermarket stuff!)
Well, here's the thing: My hair looked really good after using her cheapo products! So I'm now going to do an experiment for the next few weeks. Setting my pride aside ("I may be only working sporadically and not have any clothes, but I won't scrimp on my grooming products, by george!"), I went out and bought, from the supermarket, a big gallon-or-something jug of TRESemme "Climate Protection" shampoo for $4.03, along with the accompanying hair gel. We'll just see how this goes! :)