When you write about beauty, you end up accumulating a lot of products; samples of everything from glowing face plugs to sparkle glosses to serums that deposit tiny hairs onto your eyebrows. I try to use everything that looks at least marginally interesting at least once in the service of educating myself about what’s out there (so that I at least sort of know what I’m talking about when it comes time to write about my favorite finds), but more often than not one use is enough: I’m picky about texture, and often find products too oily, or too thick, or too drying, or too something to make them worth incorporating into my regular routine.
When I finish a sample down to the very last drop, and am still thinking about the product two years later, you know it’s a good one.
Way back in 2013, I hosted an event for Macy’s in Seattle. Hosting these events involves arriving at the venue around sunrise, and makeup artists and hairstylists are generally happiest when you show up with virtually nothing on your face or hair, because all that does is add a step (taking off whatever you’ve already done) to their job. But that can be tricky, because…you know…it’s sunrise. And sometimes you get there and immediately need to say hello to clients, and run lines with supermodels, and do various other things for which you would really prefer to be wearing a little mascara.
Anyway, on this particular morning in Seattle I rolled out of bed and decided that rather than just moisturizing before heading to the event location, I’d throw on some serum, too. This was a slightly risky decision, because the serum I’d brought along with me was a tiny sample of something called Bee Venom Super Serum, and it seemed to me that there was a semi-to-very-high probability that putting a product that included actual poison on my face would result in me looking less “refreshed” and more “attacked by insects,” but…I don’t know, I guess I was feeling all crazy with it after 9 solid hours of hotel-room sleep.
So I put it on, and took this Instagram:
And then I walked over to the venue, where I was told by each and every person whom I encountered that I looked like I was twelve years old.
“What did you DO?” they asked. “Did you change your makeup? Did you change your hair? Did you exfoliate?” (Subtext: “You never look this good. You must have done something extreme, and we are too polite to ask if you got Botox.”)
This stuff just immediately and visibly brightens your skin. And, yeah, the packaging of every skincare product on the planet announces “THIS WILL VISIBLY BRIGHTEN YOUR SKIN!” so I understand that this statement isn’t blowing your mind, but for real: it visibly brightens your skin. (Apparently bee venom “works in synergy with a unique complex of plant stem cells and Cyclopeptide-5 to”…bladebladebla whatever. It will make you look great. Try it.)