A Dispatch From the Beauty Counter at Bergdorf Goodman

Having navigated the beauty- and style-writing waters long enough to witness the rise and fall of pencil-thin eyebrows twice, I’ve penned countless odes to potions and lotions promising the fountain of youth in a jar. And though I’ve loved a career that’s left me with a bathroom cabinet rivaling the inventory of a small Sephora, I also have a finely-tuned skepticism for anything claiming to “reverse the aging process.”

My latest adventure in the land of eternal youth unfolded in the hallowed halls of Bergdorf Goodman, a place where the air is scented with a heady mix of opulence and the faintest whiff of credit card debt. There I was a bit early for lunch, innocently meandering through the beauty counters, when I found myself ambushed by a salesperson with hope in her eyes and, supposedly, in a jar. And then, before I could say “just browsing,” my hand was slathered with a serum that promised to make me look “15 years younger.”

Fifteen years younger? Hmm. That would take me back to when my biggest worry was whether my flip phone’s battery would last the night. Armed with a pitch and a commission target, the salesperson painted a picture of a world where crow’s feet were mere myths and laughter lines were banished to the land of la la.

The earnestness in her pitch was almost endearing had it not been for the underlying assumption that I, like everyone else, was in desperate pursuit of recapturing my lost youth. It made me wonder when growing older became a condition needing correction, like a spelling mistake in a tweet.

With older models on the runway and the swans swanning on TV, isn’t it time for a new narrative in the beauty industry that doesn’t involve chasing after a youth as elusive as a decent avocado in winter? Instead, why not celebrate the beauty of aging with all its quirks and stories?

bergdorf goodman, makeup, beauty counter

I’ve been so grateful to interview so many amazing people on this platform of late, and I vow to champion the beauty of laughter lines — they’re just your face’s way of showing you’ve lived a life filled with joy. And those silver strands? They’re not grey hairs; they’re highlights of a wise life. We should embrace the patina of age and wear it with pride. That doesn’t mean you have to age without hair dye or Botox. It just means you don’t have to squeeze into any box you don’t wish to fit into or look any way that doesn’t suit where you are right now. 

Let’s start a beauty revolution that doesn’t involve turning back the clock but throwing it out the window and embracing the beauty of the here and now. After all, aging is inevitable, but growing old? That’s optional and also a great privilege. And if all else fails, remember: laughter is the best facelift, and it’s free.