Nancy Roman


In my obsession with youth, I write a lot about beauty products.

I am willing to try just about any cream, lotion, oil – my favorite youthenizer is always giving way to my next favorite youthenizer.

And then there’s makeup  –  I love primer, foundation, concealer, highlighter, blush, bronzer, eyeliner, shadow, powder. And lipgloss, lipstick, lip stain, and lip balm. And I can buy one small thing every single week, and not dent my budget. There are thirteen blushers in my bathroom right now, all pleading with me to choose them tomorrow.

I have no loyalty whatsoever. Just an inexplicable optimism that the fountain of youth (and beauty) is out there.

So a few readers have wondered why I hardly ever mention a product by name.


A.) No one is paying me.  (and I would gladly consider being a shill for cold hard cash.)

B.)  They are all pretty good products but I’m still looking for the PERFECT one.

C.) If you bought something on my say-so and it stunk, you may not visit me anymore.

But I do have a product that I’d like to discuss.

This is not an endorsement, however. It’s an undorsement.


I love to try stuff. So I joined this online “club” where, for a small fee, they send you a bunch of cosmetic samples every month.

It’s so fun. It’s like Christmas every four weeks.

Of course, these are just tiny stocking stuffers.  Just .0006 ounces of moisturizer. Or enough lipgloss to cover just the bottom lip. But you get to try shit. I am happy when I am trying shit. I can spend 3 hours in Sephora and spend $9.50. I’m euphoric and I can’t even tell what looks good after a while because my cheeks are pink just from rubbing all the shit off.  (Just ask my friend Chris.)

Anyway, I adore all these little products that come each month, especially the skin creams. They send me a lot of these, since they asked me how old I was. And one of these days they will send me a cream, or what they now call ‘serum’ – and bingo – no wrinkles, no age spots, no pores even.

With a little initiative, I can stretch a single application out for a week. I figure this will show me whether it will have any long term benefits. I don’t know why it hasn’t proved an effective technique.

Anyway…back to BB Cream.  (you probably forgot – but that’s my topic.)

My beauty adviser (Mom) has been telling me for weeks now that BB Cream is all the rage. And Mom should know – she watches daytime TV. And she has great skin. She’s been using Pond’s Cold Cream (there it IS – an endorsement!) for most of her 88 years. But she’s sure that a better product is out there if she could just find it. I take after her.

BB stands for beauty balm. What it is … well, I’m not that sure. I’ve looked it up and it’s some kind of tinted moisturizer. And every cosmetics company now makes one – or several. Because you may need one for oily skin, or dry, or breakouts, or old-disguising.

And BB creams are great. Why in one single step, your face is creamed, primed, and perfected.

And this month, in my goody box, there it was.

BB Cream! And not a single serving size either. It’s 0.1 ounce. Why that’s enough for two months, the way I can stretch it out!

And guess what?

It’s awful.

Moisturizer makes my skin supple. And I love primer. It very subtly smooths my skin, creating a nice surface for my foundation.

This BB cream doesn’t moisturize much. It’s more like chalk.

And as far as primer …well,  let’s just call this Spackle.

And as a foundation, I guess it would be perfect if my natural skin tone was ‘aluminum foil’.

On the positive side – it’s going to last for months.


  1. Nancy, you will find it one day! (Hopefully before it is too late for you to remember what it is.) you are looking fabulous, by the way, and have inspired me!


  2. Michelle Gillies

    Ohhhhhhhhhh, Sephora. I get misty just thinking about it.
    He-Who thought we would save vast amounts of money when we moved to a town that had no Sephora anywhere in the surrounding area. It would require a trip into Toronto to visit the closest one.
    Much to my delight,three weeks ago they opened one in the mall just blocks from my house.
    He doesn’t know yet. 😉


    • Yea for you! I’d hold off telling He-Who.


  3. OMG, you had me falling out of my chair laughing again. It’s all so true – the search for the perfect elixir for “youthenizing.” I have found it several times – honestly! But each time I do, they take it off the market. That means backsliding into elderizing even more drastically than before – and the search goes on.


  4. Bonnie

    So “BB creams” are tinted moisturizer? Those have been around for years. I always used the Neutogena one.

    My mother used Ponds too.


    • Tinted moisturizers with “whitening”. Now I want to lighten my age spots as much as the next youth-obsessed person… but I don’t want my whole face lighter. I’m pale enough.


  5. (Misquoting Sonny & Cher)…”and the search goes on….and the search goes on….” 🙂


  6. Sue

    Oh, this had me laughing, because phonetically, “youthenizer” sounds like (OMG, I even hate to write it), “euthanizer”! A really good argument for embracing our age, I think!


    • Let’s not think about “euthanizers”….. okay?


  7. Perhaps you should try the cream Robin Williams used in Mrs. Doubtfire:


    • I’d be tasty… and probably no worse off…


  8. The only thing I’ve found that works to not only moisturize my face but even out skin tone, spots, etc. is the anti-age regimen from Rodan and Fields. I hit 24, saw some lines forming on my forehead and around my lips, noticed my pores getting bigger and started hunting- I stayed away from my mom’s product graveyard because if she didn’t like the stuff I probably wouldn’t either. It didn’t take long to come across R & F and now that my pores have found some Spanx, I think my search is over! Good luck to you!


    • Thanks for the lead…. I am going to check it out.


  9. pharphelonus

    I don’t know shit – your word – about makeup, but you are a funny woman, Nancy.
    Great to think of you sitting down to blog and snickering in advance.


    • My vanity provides a ton of source material.


  10. There you go, falling off chair laughing again.


  11. I basically have stopped looking in the mirror so I can believe that I have perfect skin.


    • That’s a good solution. I can’t STOP looking in the mirror. If I spent as much time working on my novel as I spend poring over my pores, I’d have sold the movie rights by now.


  12. When you find it, I hope you will give us all a hint. I’m all for the fountain of youth and I figure as long as you have hope, anything is possible, even magic skin.

    Love your posts. I can laugh and snort as loudly as I want. And I do. Thanks for my good belly laugh today.


  13. glad you wrote this – I was wondering about BB cream–so now I do not have to waste my money–I am on the same journey as you–my mom used Ponds and had my sister and I use it even as little girls (and if I do say so myself) we have pretty darn nice skin


  14. Jo

    I don’t like BB cream either – what exactly is it *supposed* to do? For me, it makes my skin a weird colour and sort of greasy/shiny. How attractive. I can’t work out why other people love it so much!

    I’m keen on rosehip oil as a ‘youthenizer’ – don’t buy an expensive brand if you want to try it, just buy some from an aromatherapy supplies store. There are even clinical studies about the efficacy of this stuff ….


  15. Katyoparty

    I am such a new product whore when it comes to skincare products and makeup. I explained to my husband (again) that I got it from my grandmother who was always buying products for her beautiful skin. I think she was born with her lovely skin because she changed her lotions and potions all the time. I am a new user of BB cream–Smashbox–and I use it over primer and I don’t love it but I don’t hate it either–still reserving judgment I guess. I love your blog posts Nancy–thanks for the laughs!


  16. Teresa Cleveland Wendel

    You’ve inspired me to start splurging on “young creams”. I’ve finally reached the age where I no longer have oily skin.


  17. Thank you. One more thing that I don’t have to try. I will put it on my list of things not to waste my money on. It will probably be the only item on my list that I haven’t already wasted my money on.


  18. Great post! I keep telling myself NOT to get sucked into the ‘anti-aging’ thing, then I look in the mirror and go ‘ACK’ and rush off to WalMart or Shopper’s to see what they have on sale that might help. Right now I’m trying out some under-eye cream (where did those bags come from?) Whenever we see a commercial for some product or other on TV that claims to ‘reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles’, my husband calls out ‘Try Bondo’ (that’s a car body filler) – maybe that’s what’s in BB cream! I used to get all kinds of compliments on my skin when I was in my 20s and 30s – that’s when I used Noxema instead of soap (I don’t know why I stopped); now I generally stick with St. Ives collagen and elastin face cream (its inexpensive and it seems to work, since I have fewer wrinkles than most of my friends – some of whom are 10 years younger than me!) Still, the best ‘solution’ I’ve found is a crappy mirror and poor lighting!


  19. Kim

    I love samples, too! My favorite two times of the year are when Clinique has the gift with a purchase!!! Where do you sign up to get the samples in the mail? That sounds like fun!


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