Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Helene Slutsky's list of Don't Bothers and Sucky Products

Here it is....drum roll please....the list of Helene's worst picks of products and services- these are real life explanations of why I would never give my props to the following:

I could not wait to get my sample of Blinc Kiss Me Mascara in the mail.I was excited by the new concept of tubing lashes rather than painting them. The product coats lashes by combing a tube of black mascara over the lashes like a pipe so that the waterproof formula will not run, fade, crumble, or rub off. It sounded too good to be true and sadly, I hated it. I will go into detail of why this product drove me crazy, some may find my pan to be their own prop in a reverse negative review.

The Blinc mascara was glossy and dark and did coat my lashes by adding length and volume. It looked great and felt awful. The weight on my eyelashes seemed heavy and I found myself picking at it to make it more comfortable. It bugged me all day and I could not wait to take it off. With traditional mascara you can rub your lashes to adjust the clumps and correct any blemishes. The BLINC Kiss Me Mascara is glued on tubes around your real lashes so there is no wiggle room on adjusting it once it is dry. The tubes wrap around your natural lashes so well that you have to use lots of warm water and gentle pressure to pull the mascara off. I found that even when I removed the product according to the directions, I removed the tubes along with some of my real eyelashes.I can ill afford to use a mascara that does more harm than good. The lasting power and look were stellar but I could not enjoy the feel. If you are looking for eye lash color and volume that takes serious effort to remove, and destroys your own lashes in the process- this could be your ideal choice. If I had spent $25 on the full size mascara I would be crying, and I can assure you, my tears would not make the product smudge or run.

Think Pink Panera Bagel
As much as I embrace anything pink and anything that recognizes Breast Cancer Awareness, I have to pan the Cherry Vanilla Bagel at Panera Bread Company. The idea of a cherry vanilla bagel rubs me the wrong way. A cherry vanilla muffin sounds good, cherry vanilla bagel on the other hand, sounds and in this instance, tastes awful.This pink bagel is infused with dried cherries, dried, cranberries, vanilla, brown sugar and these horrible cherry chips (which are artificially flavored faux chocolate chips that are supposed to add even more cherry taste). The nutritional information provided on Panera’s website suggests that eaten plain- as is, without toppings, this single bagel has 410 calories, 75 carbs and 5 of the 7 grams of fat are saturated. If you want to support Breast Cancer Awareness that is admirable, but to associate this particular product with improving women’s lives is laughable. C’mon Panera, try again. Luckily this is a seasonal bagel and it is not a permanent fixture on the menu.

Neutrogena Self Tanning Micro Mist
If you are as naturally pale as I am and you have some sense not to sunbathe, self tanning can be a good thing. Unless you end up streaked, reeking to high heaven and blotchy. The Neutrogena Micro Mist self tanning spray is difficult to apply evenly because of the hard to dispense spray and it the GAWD AWFUL smelling- two big no-no's in a product for women.Perhaps if you stood naked on an old towel and had a good friend spray you, it might work better than my attempts to do it solo. I don't know anyone I would allow to see me in all my (pale) glory except for Jeff and I would not trust him to get it right- I am guessing he would spray my boobs and skip the crucial (boring to him) parts. Recipe for disaster. If you want to self apply, look like a striped orange bass and stink, this may be your self tanner. I am a fan of gradual tanning lotions because they are easily applied and you can control the degree of color. I noticed that this spray had two volumes- loud and louder. Skip this one and spend your money on an decent exfoliater and a gradual tanning style lotion. Trust me-I still trying to loofah off the streaks and stripes.

Propel Fitness Water (new bottle)
If you are a drinker of Propel Fitness Water you may want to take a close look at the ingredients label on the product’s newly redesigned bottles. The people at Gatorade, the makers of Propel, have decided to introduce High Fructose Corn Syrup as the drinks primary sweetener, replacing the previously used Sucrose. Of course, NOWHERE on Propel’s fancy new bottles is there a declaration of this change of sweeteners to alert consumers of what they are now drinking.Anyone who hasn’t been living in a cave these last few years will undoubtedly have heard the findings from the medical community warning consumers that drinking beverages containing High Fructose Corn Syrup is not healthy. It can increase a person’s risk of developing sugar diabetes by 80% by just consuming ONE 12 oz. beverage. All this health-talk aside, what really galls me is the smoke-and-mirrors slight of hand executed by Gatorade in making this radical ingredient change while promoting only its new packaging. They clearly are hyping the packaging change as an environmentally-improved design, but, just like the corn syrup change, the new packaging reduces their cost and widens their margin. Nobody had reported that New Propel is lower in price, have they?

Lastly, but most importantly for me is the taste. Corn syrup alters the taste of new Propel significantly, along with imparting a thicker syrupy texture. Propel was light, easy to drink and actually encouraged me to drink more liquid while not contributing a significant number of calories to my daily diet. It also was palatable even at room temp or warmer, making it ideal when I reached for one that was hidden in the back of the cargo space of my van. I can’t stand the new Propel. It tastes like just another crappy sports drink. My household of 9 people went through three cases a month from Costco who still has the old formula in stock, and now, when our precious bootleg old school Propel reserves run dry, that’s it, party over!

Cookie Magazine
I readily admit I have a subscription-it is my Mommie Porn. I’m not exactly sure how to express my disdain for the monthly issues. Let’s just say that despite the fact that I don’t consider myself a pauper, I just don’t find it to be LIKELY that I (or any of my glam Mom Entourage) will ever be cavorting around in three thousand dollar dresses, like the “moms” in their photo shoots. I certainly don’t wear them out on picnics while I roll around on the grass with my children, stand in the surf allowing my Vera Wang silk frock to collect wet sand either. In fact, a grass stain on dress that cost 3G's might make me commit hari-kiri.

I don’t think, however, that thousand dollar "travel friendly" strollers are practical or even reasonable to promote (and yes I used to collect strollers and various configurations of strollers and wagons) but my kids aren’t about to pull Louis Vuitton luggage through the airport and I don’t actually know anyone who has the luxury of choosing the airport they fly into based on the airlines that fly there. I’m sure it rocks being able to say “You know I don’t care for Midway airport, Lufthansa doesn’t fly into there” but do normal people actually do that? I think we just push our cheap ass strollers through the (gasp!) mall and look for playgrounds that are fenced so our kids don't bolt in three different directions. My idea of a travel stroller equates to being able to travel outside of my driveway, or schlepping the stroller in the back of my Toyota Sienna. Strollers that cost more than my first car are repulsive. Jeff would shit his pants if I bought a stroller that cost more than three figures.

The whole COOKIE MAGAZINE thing is elitist to the point of absurdity. I realize that I might simply be envious, but it just sort of offends me and makes me want to throw up a little.

For example, I’m offended by the notion that their family camping spread features all the ways to electrify your experience - because your kid can’t go a couple of days without his iPod or his DVD player. Apparently kids in their demographic don’t play with kites or cards or puzzles. Come to think of it, why bother going camping at all? Just buy the kid a new DVD, send them to their room and tell them it’s “camping day.” That almost seems simpler to me. (dripping with sarcasm) We are Jewish so clearly we don't camp at all, but in concept it still rubbed me the wrong way- Know what I mean?

In all fairness, Cookie is getting better. There were actually some recent articles that didn’t make me rage and I even laughed at some stuff in the last issue; good laughing as opposed to the eye rolling kind of laughing which is a big improvement over previous issues. I love when the kids pick up a copy and pretend to read it- I wonder what they are thinking about the photos?Eli swiped this issue from me when I left it sitting on the park bench during one of our playground outings. They play I read until it looks like more fun for them to read and for me to stand there with my thumb up my ass.

I’m still not sure who their REAL audience is. Maybe if Paris Hilton had a baby, her housekeeper would pick up a copy of it for the nanny to read or something. I do like escapism. I just don’t like being patronized, which is sort of how it feels as I’m reading it. As if I’m being shown how inadequate our lifestyle is; how lacking in appropriate gear my parenting inventory really is… Oy Vey- enough already, I need a cookie, and I don't mean the glossy paged version.

Feel free to comment on my little rants- I am sure I was honest enough to keep myself from being sued. I made this post more about me and my opinion and less about how sucky these things are- but when it comes right down to it- you know I am right! Can I get an AMEN SISTER?


Crista said...

Hi Helene! I popped over here from Michele's blog because of a comment you made over there. I will be cracking up all day thinking of it:
OCTO-MOM versus the Fatty from across the pond- the battle of bulge versus the battle for insanity.
I just laughed again! Thanks for starting my day off right!

Anonymous said...

Helene ~ you are hilarious!

BuckeyeBundle said...

I wholeheartedly agree about Cookie! It is SO not my lifestyle, nor do I want it to be. I've tried to find a number on the editor's pages in order to call and cancel, but I guess I haven't looked hard enough yet. I can't stand that magazine. Glad I'm not the only one.

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