Saturday, January 7, 2012

Buying the Basics

If you've shopped for anything basic lately, maybe you've noticed how hard it is to find products that haven't been tricked out. It's like trying to find prepared food that isn't scoured of fat and laced with wheat.

The shelves at Ulta, a cosmetics store, were full of facial scrubs when I shopped there last week. I understand the need for hand scrubs if you're a gardener or mechanic, but have more women started packing their own wheel bearings and wiping their hands on their faces? (If so, may I recommend Gojo hand cleaner.) I wanted a basic facial moisturizer: no sunscreen (my mineral makeup is already SPF 8), no antioxidants (those acne bacteria need to be oxidized), no aloe to clog my pores, and no expensive anti-wrinkle cream that won't make me look 25 again. I ended up getting Aveeno Positively Ageless Firming Body Lotion--it's lightweight, reasonably priced, doesn't smell like perfume or fruit, and hasn't made my face break out. This, along with my winter skin regimen of exfoliating with enzymes and using a mud mask has cleared up my skin and made it a lot softer.

Finding an iron supplement with nothing but iron should have been easy at a place called Vitamin Cottage. It wasn't. Most of the pills had added B vitamins, C vitamins, and berry extracts, none of which I needed. Probably, the best thing they had was canned clams, which have 130% of your recommended daily iron and no additives or carbs, but I also got a bottle of Solaray iron asporotate in case I don't eat clams every day. GNC also makes an iron-only supplement.

Shopping for a treadmill for Molly a few years ago, every treadmill I saw was gigantic in size and price. What happened to basic treadmills? Some of them are owned by people who advertise them on Craig's List. I got a basic, compact model for a song from a couple who no longer needed it.

A few months ago, I read about concepts for stoves with internet access to look up recipes, and someone told me about an idea for a refrigerator that keeps track of the contents and orders more when they run low. I hope that ideas for even more bells, buzzers, whistles and added ingredients get as far as these concepts have gotten.

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