I no longer really believe in guilty pleasures. For me, they're just "pleasures" now. I will unabashedly admit my love for You've Got Mail and Ben & Jerry's froyo. I'm not sure how (I think Mindy Kaling might have helped?) but I eventually arrived at the attitude of "this is something I genuinely like and I'm not going to pretend to feel guilty about it."
That said, my newfound attitude does not quite extend to my beauty products. I love the idea of a vanity or bathroom counter covered with an impeccable, artfully arranged collection of the most beautifully packaged beauty supplies. Think Paul & Joe, Guerlain, vintage glass perfume bottles, and so on.
Sadly I don't have anything like that, but I do make an effort to put my prettiest beauty products front and center. Where does that leave all my not-so-pretty, utilitarian drugstore products, you ask? Hidden away inside my bathroom cabinet, naturally.
Don't act like you don't do this, too. Whether it's because the product has ugly packaging or just looks really weird, or because it's there for a somewhat embarrassing purpose, I don't like having it sitting out in the open. Of course, I keep buying these products anyway because they work, which leads to the inconvenient problem of having some of my most-used products stashed out of sight.
I know, I'm being ridiculous; it's not like anyone who lives with me is going to care at all. I guess in the end it's more about my own need to have my life and everything in it be carefully edited to look pretty and magazine-spread worthy. I blame Pinterest.
Anyway, here are the products that I love but keep hidden away.
I originally bought these pads based on Into The Gloss's suggestion that they'll help with chicken skin. My inner thighs had been harboring angry red bumps for a few months, and this stuff actually did work to get rid of them.
Then, I read that they would work to reduce razor burn in the bikini area, so I tried that next. Guess what--that worked amazingly, too. No more razor burn or ingrown hairs. Miracle product!
Eventually, after reading about the benefits of BHAs, I decided to actually try the Stridex pads on my face. ("Using acne pads on your face? Imagine that!"--my boyfriend's snarky comment at this point.) I don't really have any acne, but apparently the chemical exfoliation can help with a whole bunch of skin issues.
After using it nightly for a few weeks now, I've noticed that my skin tone seems to be evened out a lot. The Stridex pads dry my skin out a bit, though, so I might switch to an AHAs option.
Overall, I love these pads and will never stop buying them. I will also never stop hiding the jar under my sink.
Arm & Hammer Whitening Booster and Essentials Deodorant
This brand makes everyday, utilitarian products that get the job done. Unfortunately, the same can be said of their packaging. It's very manly, no-frills packaging. Also I hate the color orange.
I'd love to have a beautiful deodorant that doesn't even look like deodorant (heaven forbid that anyone knows my armpits sometimes smell!) but I'm loyal to this kind because it works really well, plain and simple.
As for the whitening paste, it feels like admitting that my teeth are so yellowed from wine and coffee that I need a whitening toothpaste that goes on top of my usual whitening toothpaste. Yikes. (But yeah, that's true.)
TheraBreath Fresh Breath Oral Rinse
Speaking of dental care, I think we can all agree that bad breath is one of the more embarrassing things to acknowledge. I mean, we've all had it at some point, but nobody wants to flaunt it. That's why I don't like having this massive, neon-green bottle of mouthwash screaming "FRESH BREATH" sitting out next to my sink.
It really is an amazing mouthwash, though; it's minty and refreshing without being ridiculously painful, like how some mouthwashes make your morning gargle into a Spartan challenge, and it helps with things like dry mouth and tonsil stones, if you have that.
I've mentioned my love for this guy in the past, but I am not a fan of how it looks. It's SO hot pink, and really plastic and bulky. I saw a cool gold one online (I forget where), but I refuse to pay $20 for something that I already own just because I don't like hot pink.
I reluctantly keep it in reach most of the time though, because it does amazing things for my hair. If I have the worst, most stubborn bed-head, this flattens it instantly. If I need to brush my crazy-thick hair back against my scalp to get it out of my face, this turns it into a veritable helmet. And I quickly did this fun swoop in a few seconds, with no product:
Thanks, Tangle Teezer! You're the best! Except for the way you look. And your name.
(Oh, I've heard it's also great for--get this--tangled hair. I wouldn't know, what with not having enough hair for it to get tangled.)
A Men's Razor
I'm too cheap to buy anything but disposable razors, but even my men's disposable razor is a million times better than those cheap, pink plastic ones.
And hey, at least it's not hot pink. It's not the belle of the ball either, though. I just wish I could shave with some kind of extremely fancy kit like the one Hannah wrote about.
Wet 'n' Wild MegaLast Lip Color
These lipsticks are perfectly matte, they last all day, and they pack an amazing punch of color (I'm wearing Purty Persimmon in these photos). Best of all, they're soooo cheap, at around $2.
I could live with the plain black packaging with the clear tube. It's not getting these lipsticks a place in my clear acrylic lipstick drawers, but it's not outright offensive. What is offensive is how messy the clear tube gets after a few uses. I'm not sure why or how--I swear I'm pretty careful when using the lipstick--but it always gets product smeared all over it. I've also heard stories of the packaging cracking.
I always feel the need to apologize when I pull one of these lipsticks out of my purse--but then I don't because, whatever, my lips still look awesome.
Maybelline Baby Skin and Baby Lips
These are not products for babies; they are beauty products with the word "baby" in the name for some reason. I love Maybelline Baby Lips, and Rachel recently got me into their Baby Skin Pore Eraser too. I use them both a lot, but I keep them at the bottom of my makeup bag.
I just don't understand the name. I guess I want the perfect skin of a baby, sure. Not a newborn, though--their skin is too red and puffy. I definitely don't want baby lips because that just gives me weird feelings when I'm making out with a grown man.
Also the pore eraser has a hilarious warning on the back of the packaging: "FOR ADULT USE ONLY." What, Maybelline, you don't think babies have pores that need erasing too? OK, they probably don't.
This just looks weird.
But hey, a girl's gotta exfoliate. I just try not to leave this lying around because I'm getting tired of explaining what it's for. IT'S A SCRATCHY GLOVE THAT I RUB ALL OVER MY BUTT IN THE SHOWER, OK?
Olay Wet Cleansing Towelettes
Makeup wipes are bad for the planet, and they're a huge signal of how lazy I am. I still love these Olay Wet Cleansing Towelettes, though, and use them whenever I need to take off my makeup. They're the best wipes for sensitive skin like mine (no fragrance, not drying, and I can even use them around my eyes).
I really love seeing all my makeup coming off on the white towel. It's so satisfying! As satisfying as saving the planet? Ehhhhhh... maaayyybe?
Phew! It's all out in the open now. What embarrassing or ugly beauty products do you tend to keep hidden out of sight?