Camera roll catch-up: More brands of my youth

That’s right, PSSSST! dry spray-on shampoo. A revelation 40+ years or so ago and a product that probably started returning to the market about five years ago (I’m guessing – I suddenly started getting it in my Birchbox shipments). Yes, I can remember what it smelled like, but no, I cannot remember any commercials or catchy jingles. And what a great onomatopoeic trademark!

Birchbox January 2014

I think it’s time for a new category. I’ve raised the same point before, but let’s just call this what it is: the Linda Richman taxonomy:

Yes, you can recite it along with me: Coastal Scents eye shadow is neither coastal nor scented. Discuss.

Birchbox Bonus

Ever see a product name and think “this has got to be someone’s inside joke?”

If anyone has any inside scoop, or I’m too old to catch an obvious bit of slang, let me know. Meanwhile, I do like their product name Quicksand for hair wax/fixative, and if, as they say, it’s the “Secret Goop Behind David Beckham’s hair,” (a) who am I to dispute it; and (b) it may be the product I’m looking for to keep my pixie coif in place.

Birchblah …

Sometimes I think I have the attention span of one of my teenagers. I’m just not as excited as I used to be about the arrival of the Birchbox. I got bored with the Ladybrain tippling too; maybe I need a new source of trademark amusement.

Still, maybe there’s a reason I’m bored. Could it be …

And Dr. Jart+ is back:

I only include this repeater because of the marginal excitement I’m experiencing trying to figure out just what “Water Fuse” might mean for my skin.

Then, a totally random name that I applaud only for its lack of descriptive character:

I’m going to assume that it’s an ivory lace colored highlighter and not a highlighter for ivory lace.

And now, the winner in the clutter/overclaiming class:

Bare Love. Not all that interesting. But that’s not all: There’s Oliolove, and Luxury Body Fuel – all of these are claimed as trademarks. Not all that interesting, but as always, when it’s about cures for dry skin, I’m a bit more indulgent.

Still … I may have to go back to drinking with my ladybrain for more trademark amusement!

September Birchbox – Streamlined

This Birchbox biz has been going on for some time. So to keep things more lively, I’m only going to focus on brands that are new to me.

Let’s start September’s with a marketing doozy:

I have, in the past, raged against pointless misspellings. So the extra “n” in the recognizable name “Racine” was strike one for me. Strike two? Package copy that reads “Powerful anit-aging [sic] agent.” Strike three? The “About” page that reads “At it’s [sic] roots, Racinne, a Canadian Beauty Company.” A strikeout, with bonus points for unnecessary capitalization!

Next, Airelle:

Here we have the doctrine of foreign equivalents at work. Airelle is French for “blueberry.” When the product contains blueberry extract, airelle is merely descriptive of the goods. And in this case, at least as of my publication date, the PTO has correctly applied the doctrine to refuse registration of a foreign term that is merely descirptive of these goods. Airelle had better luck with Berrimatrix, the other mark on the package, and got that mark registered.

Here’s a mark I just love:

That’s Ruffian, if you can’t see it. Love the name, love the color.

Finally, here’s a product whose marketers appear to have given up on the naming process:

Even the Birchbox insert is stumped; they call the product “This Is a Sea Salt Spray.” It’s marketed by the Davines Group of Parma, Italy. You see the legend “More Inside” on the bottle? Well, it appears that’s the product line name, so other products in the line bear monikers of, for example, “This Is a Volume Boosting Mousse,” “This Is a Medium Hold Modeling Gel,” and the finalist in the Gertrude Stein competition, “This Is an Oil Non Oil.”

The Davines website clearly outlines their focus on sustainable beauty, which is laudable. More head-scratching than laudable, however, is the inclusion of Ayn Rand in their sidebar of “Things That Inspire.” Also head-scratching is their claim to have created the “Davines” name from the names of their children, Davide and Stefania. I can’t quite make that add up, certainly not in any way that gives poor Stefania equal time!

In any event, Daughter #2 advises me that salt spray is great for curly hair and is pleased to take this off my hands.

Belated August Birchbox

Don’t even ask. Back to school and the Jewish holidays make for exhaustion. So without further ado, here’s last month’s new product names:

Those of you paying attention at home may recall that the last Birchbox haul also contained a product with “one” in the name. As Nancy says, “numeral-based names are inherently risky: numbers are a code, and not everyone has the patience for deciphering.” My view is a twist on Nancy’s: I don’t mind deciphering if there’s a story behind the number. But if all your branding discussions and experts have led you to the exciting choice of “one” or “1”? I don’t need to decipher that you’re probably lazy.

Next, too much story here from Whish:

Whish has a charming story of how it came into being – indeed perhaps a bit too charming for my jaded taste. It’s an interesting product line, though, and appears to be trying to fill a long-felt need for more sophisticated women’s shaving products. However, I’m not fond of mark alteration, so I’d caution them against using their distinctively-spelled “Whish” mark as a plural – here, “Three Whishes” – it makes their mark too literal and weakens the core Whish mark, in my book.

Finally, there’s this eyeliner from Mally:

When I reach the Mally website, a pop-up asks me to “get fiercely connected,” so I’m definitely ready for excitement here. Mally aficionados are referred to on the site as “Mallynistas,” so my excitement quickly wanes. Mally is Mally Roncal, a famous makeup artist. My excitement vanishes completely when I see on the “About Mally” page that Mally wants every woman “to look as ‘gorgois’ [sic] on the outside as she feels on the inside.” But I have a nice new “Sailor” eyeliner here that I plan to enjoy!

July Birchbox

How embarrassing: the August Birchbox has arrived and I haven’t even gotten to July’s yet. Well, in my defense, there were a few boring repeaters, and I don’t have the interest to blog about them.

For a not-boring repeater, I give you yet another gem from The Balm:

Yes, that blush is INSTAIN! Not their best, but still good. Not sure I like Vous va bien as their translation of “Wear it well” on the inside of this new-millennium compact (“Vous va bien” is better translated as “it looks good on you”), but it’s a cute color, and clever package copy as usual.

Here’s a product name I just can’t get excited about:

G-1? A trade association? And shouldn’t it be “mattifying”? I guess the excitement here is that it’s for boys too.

I’m dispensing with the rest so I can move on to August … stay tuned!

June Birchbox

Thanks once again to Birchbox, I’ve got something to blog about. This month there are a couple of marks that rankle.

First, we have Mirenesse:

Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE lip pencils, and expect a cage match over this one with my daughter. However, the name troubles me because it looks like a line extension of Mirena, the intrauterine birth control device. I know they’re not related goods, and I see no likelihood of confusion whatsoever. I just know that with my fertile (heh) mind, I see Mirenesse and think of Mirena.

But this one really irks me:

That’s right, it’s “100% Pure.” Where on earth do I begin with this? Let’s start: If the product is indeed, 100% pure, whatever that means, then 100% PURE is descriptive and therefore unprotectable as a trademark. It is also therefore a lousy trademark, because you cannot prevent competitors who have products that are equally 100% pure from asserting that same fact.

And yet this raises another question, one for the false advertising attorneys among us: What does 100% pure mean? For that matter, what do “100% natural” and “100% vegan” mean? Does the latter mean I can eat this? It’s vanilla bean and coconut, after all. This company alleges that its products contain no toxins, but the lengthy list of floral, fruit, and nut extracts contained in the creams, for example, could be highly allergenic, if not toxic, to one sensitive to those ingredients. I once used a cocoa butter skin oil that contained the admittedly all-natural Brazil nut oil – and broke out in a ferocious rash, natural or not.

So enough of that. Let’s move on to the less inflammatory items. Here we have Suki:

It’s “exfoliate foaming cleanser,” and shouldn’t that be “exfoliant”? Seems that way to me.

Next, another Color Club nail polish:

Cute color, but I don’t do matte. And this makes THREE of these!

Finally, a well-established brand:

Dry shampoo (or shampooing sec, en francais) is something I tend not to bother with because I have such short hair that it takes no more than an extra minute to wash it in the shower. I guess it’d be good for overnight travel … but maybe I’ll just give it to the kids.

That’s all for this month’s haul!

The rest of the May Birchbox

I’m not even sure there was a theme this month, but there were laughs. This item, in particular, had me roaring:

Why? Because I LITERALLY CANNOT READ WHAT THE BOTTLE SAYS! So much for targeting the product to my age group. According to the Birchbox insert, this product is called Beauty Protector (a snooze of a name if I ever heard one), and its purpose is to lock in color, add shine, and detangle my hair.

Next, we have a product that sounds Australian, but isn’t:

That’s COOLA, if you can’t see it. Coola, according to the website, is a company that’s “passionate about making healthy sunscreens people love to wear.” I’m not sure what constitutes a “healthy sunscreen” (and I’m sure the FTC could weigh in), and I know Nancy would have something to say about the passion aspect – but the bottom line is that I live in Denver. I need sunscreen most days of the year, and if Coola wants to “spoil [my] sometimes finicky, always worthy skin,” I will let them try their damnedest.

Next, however, we have another not particularly interesting name:

“Folle de joie” means crazy with joy. It gets a big meh on the naming front, but it smells kind of nice, so we’ll see if it passes the migraine test.

Finally, there’s a lovely eyeliner with an interesting naming scheme:

Sumita appears to be a division of Ziba Beauty, and offers a number of eyeliners, all with what appear to be Indian-inspired names. This black eyeliner is “suman,” while other color names include bhura, hansa, and mansha. I’m always all in for eyeliner.

Happy Memorial Day!

May Birchbox – Geek diversion

This month’s Birchbox allows me to dive deep into the nuances of trademark law – so deep that I’m going to save the rest for another day. I’m sure you’ll be glad to have taken the plunge with me, though. Here goes:

This is a sample of YesTo Grapefruit products. If you’re familiar with the YesTo line, you know that they feature a number of fruits and vegetables to which we’re saying yes – e.g., carrots and blueberries. From a trademark perspective, however, these marks could be a bit troublesome; as I see it, these narrowly skirt the fate of being deemed a dreaded PHANTOM mark! (No, not this Phantom.)

What is a phantom mark? According to the Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure, a phantom mark is one that contains an element “that is subject to change.” The reasoning for the prohibition against such registrations is to “accurately reflect the mark that is used in commerce, so that someone who searches the register for a similar mark will locate the registration,” and that a mark that is missing elements “will encompass too many combinations and permutations to make a thorough and effective search possible.” TMEP ยง 1214.01

So how do the YesTo folks get around the phantom mark problem? By almost, but not quite, mutilating their trademarks. Yes, yet another somewhat obscure trademark rule holds that a mark must be “complete”; that is, the mark in the drawing must reflect the mark that appears in the specimen. Here is the PTO drawing of the YES TO mark followed by the mark as it appears on the products:

Trademark image
As you can see, there’s a “flavor” under the YES TO logo on each package – here, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, or blueberries. But that flavor isn’t, according to the PTO, part of the registered trademark. I’ll tell you what I think: I think YesTo sat down with its trademark lawyers and had a nice long talk about how to ensure its marks could be registrable and protectable and how to avoid both the phantom mark and mutilation problems – and switched to this new logo, which emphasizes the YES TO and clearly shows the fruit or vegetable as a variety name. But what about the little tomato, carrot, cucumber, or blueberry that appears right above “to” in the logo? Isn’t that part of the logo? I suspect the YesTo argument is that the little picture is also a variety designator and not part of the YesTo logo.

Well-played – but look at what you have to go through to get registration with a mark like this! 

More from the rest of the May Birchbox selection soon!

The cruelest Birchbox

Today is my birthday, and April’s Birchbox wastes no time in reminding me that I am old, old, old.

Did I know that there were eight signs of aging hair? Nexxus tells me there are … 
 … yet this packaging neglects to enumerate them. This Youth Renewal rejuvenating hair elixir promises to combat those eight signs, whatever they may be. Although the Nexxus website itself is mute on those signs, consumer reviews indicate great satisfaction with the product, so why not try it? After all, that’s what these samples are for.
The plus-sign or ampersand branding format is one that Nancy has discussed in great detail, and I will defer to her far more comprehensive analysis. The quirk with this product – 
 – Malin+Goetz bergamot body wash, is that “malin” is French slang for clever, crafty, or sneaky. I doubt that was the intent behind the name.
Here’s a Kiehl’s product with two hyphens too many:
Yes, the geeks (and eagle-eyed) among you will note that “Powerful-Strength” and “Clinically-Demonstrated” do not require a hyphen. (See here for more detail on this than I can provide.) What’s more interesting to me is the claim that this product will reduce “Marionette Lines.” WTF? Well, Wikipedia confirms that these are indeed a thing, and a look in the mirror confirms that I do possess these lines, so Kiehl’s here we come.
Speaking of things that are apparently happening, I’ve noticed recently that every major cosmetics company seems to be selling a product dubbed “BB,” for “beauty balm.” Which, in my book, is just another way to say “schmearachs,”* the Yiddishism for anything you schmear on your face. Well, if you liked BB, you’ll LOVE CC:
From Supergoop, a brand we’ve seen before, here’s CC Cream – CC here indicating “color correct,” according to several cosmetics news items. Well, since this one is sunscreen, it’s always welcome here in Colorado (except of course with the April snow showers predicted this week!)
Finally, we have another product marketed for the aging harridan I just saw in the mirror:
Useful, yes, but I have two issues: one, the green is way too close to the green that Garnier uses on its entire line of products (and in which I’d think they could claim protectable trade dress); and two, Simple? Not a very distinctive mark. And simple always makes me think of one of my favorite movies, Tropic Thunder – and its Simple Jack parody. Still, tired eyes? I’ll use it.
*My best guess as to how to spell this delicious word.

March 2013 Birchbox

I am excited – they went for “March Madness” as their theme for the month’s goodies, and I, for one, have no problem with this whatsoever. Likely to be confused with the NCAA? Nope. Likely to be viewed of as sponsored by or affiliated with the NCAA? Nope again. Is it March? Yes. Does Birchbox reference the NCAA sporting events that take place in March in its copy? Yes again. But I still don’t mind, because referring to the grand slate of basketball tournaments that takes place in March – and the ensuing frenzy – is appropriate, when the NCAA has elevated the annual tournament to holiday status. You can’t define a season – not to mention making untold millions from broadcast rights and tickets and all – and then tell the public they can’t call it what you’ve named it.

The same goes for the Oscars and the Super Bowl, by the way.

Now that I’ve hosed myself down after this rant, I’ll resume our regularly-scheduled Birchbox blogging.

Here’s my favorite naming of the bunch:

Caudalie products are made from antioxidants that are derived from the byproducts of winemaking. So I’m already predisposed to like them. Calling this new collection “premier cru,” or “first growth”? Now I love it. I’ve used their products before and have liked them, particularly since they don’t overdo it on fragrance. Read their story here; you’ll want to go there.

Next, we have another foreign import:

It’s Miss Me perfume by Stella Cadente – “falling star,” in Italian. I like the perfume name and the company name. Unfortunately, the scent is a bit too powdery for me.


Serge Normant, according to his website, is a “renowned hairstylist” with an “eponymous line of transformative hair care and styling products.” With florid prose like that, I’m intrigued. But after scouring the site I can only conclude that the wild coifs depicted on his home page are not the results I can expect from using this dry shampoo. But I’ll try my best.

Vasanti’s website is a lot less glamorous than Serge Normant’s. But since its offering, pictured here – 

 – contains the term “face rejuvenator,” who am I to refuse it?

Finally, this month’s bonus shows an example of a good old-fashioned laudatory mark:

That’s Madewell. Can any trademark geek tell me why MADEWELL is registered on the Supplemental Register for paint but on the Principal Register for clothing? I can’t come up with a principled distinction, but I suspect the PTO can’t either.
Enjoy the madness!

February Birchbox

This month’s theme is “red carpet ready,” though I have to confess I’m weary of awards shows at this point. Too much self-congratulation, too much plastic surgery, too many toupees, and too many scarily bony women. But the products this month are pretty good – with one exception:

 … at least, not for my demographic. And it doesn’t smell good either.
But otherwise, we’ve struck utility, if not trademark, gold this month. First up, a great volumizing hairspray. The only problem, however, is that they’re suffering from a surfeit of trademarks, as you can see here:
Yes, it’s Your Highness Root Boost Spray from the Volume Collection of Catwalk by Tigi. STOP THE MADNESS! There are simply too many marks on here for effective identification of this product and its producer. Worst of all, having so many marks obscures what’s a really fantastic mark for a spray designed to boost hair volume: Your Highness! Simplify, please!
Next, a repeater by theBalm with another good name: 
Well, a mark like this always resonates with a woman my age. And this is a peach blush that will enhance a hot mama’s complexion nicely.
Finally, we have another one that’s perhaps a mite wordy: 
That’s the Dr.Jart+ [sic and huh?] Black Label Detox BB Beauty Balm Multi-Action Skincare + Make up [another sic]. But skincare, makeup, and SPF 25? Count me in, even if it takes a lot of verbiage to get there.

January Birchbox

Something is wrong with my camera, and this month’s haul wasn’t so exciting that I felt like re-taking all of the photos. But I think that two items bear mentioning and re-shooting:

First, a new fragrance by Harvey Prince, a company you’ve seen in these pixels before:
I’m still kind of irked about the marketing pitch insisting that a fragrance should make me “feel as youthful and charming as [I] smell,” and that their fragrances can “empower women to feel young, happy, slim, and beautiful.” If I want to smell really young, I can use Johnson’s Baby Shampoo and Baby Powder, thank you. 
But what I love here, and what I’ve never seen before? The Grande Arche de la Defense pictured in the Paris skyline. I promise you, when I think about the romance of Paris, I never think about the Grande Arche. We visited it in 2003, and I promise it’s missable. Yet its inclusion in the skyline here at least speaks to a comprehensive familiarity with Paris that I applaud.
The second item of note in this month’s package was a mascara called Lashem. The teeny-tiny sample size didn’t allow me much of a chance to see how well it works, but it’s the name that has my too-fertile brain aflutter. Lashem, you see, is very very close to Hashem, the Hebrew word that substitutes for the unutterable name of God. (Check it out.) Literally, it means “the Name,” and so when I read Lashem, I think “to God” or “to the Name.” Which is just all wrong and too tangential and I’m probably the only one who thinks that way, which isn’t good enough reason to change a name just because one meshuggenah trademark lawyer can’t turn off her brain, but there you have it.

Destination: Paris

Time for a mea culpa. Remember last month when I dissed Lumiere d’Hiver shampoo saying that winter light in Paris isn’t worth devoting a brand to? Well, I was wrong:

We were expecting sleet, and instead got this magical sky. So I was wrong about that – and happy to be wrong, mind you.
Also, that shampoo? I’m going to have to buy more, as its scent is positively intoxicating.
Bonne annee!

December Birchbox

Just hear those sleigh bells jingling … It’s the “All Wrapped Up” December Birchbox delivery, and I appreciate its celebratory yet non-denominational enthusiasm – i.e., the accompanying card is not red and green with holly on it.

What’s the haul this time?
First, a repeater:
Apothederm is mincing no words here – Another year? Another wrinkle? Count me in. I still say the name sounds like “a pachyderm,” however.
Next, another brand repeater:
I still don’t think Juicy Couture skews to my demographic, and can’t imagine that its marketers targeted 50-somethings with the tagline “Smells Like Couture.” When I see a “Smells Like …” tagline, I immediately think of “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” Nirvana’s smash hit from its 1991 album Nevermind. I don’t want a fragrance inspired by grunge rock, okay? Birchbox, please: If you’re sending perfume samples, Taylor Swift and Juicy are just plain wrong when I’ve ticked the 45-55 box!
Sometimes, marketing people just work too hard, and here’s an example:
The company that makes this product, The Balm, appears to have adopted wisecracking 40s Hollywood glamour as its M.O., and that’s fine, though a bit close to Benefit’s vibe. This product is a “luminizer” – hence, Mary-Lou Manizer. Get it? Actually, I’m being a mite harsh. Lots of their names are quite cute – BalmsAway for eye makeup remover; BalmShelter for lip gloss, TimeBalm facial cleanser, for example. Mary-Lou Manizer just seems strained in comparison.
Another name I don’t understand: 
I thought it was LA as in “ellay,” the city, rather than “la” as in the French article, but their website shows otherwise. What can I say, I just don’t like the sound of it. Fresh is totally weak in the cosmetics area, so it’s hard to distinguish yourself from, for example, this company. And adding “la,” which means “the,” isn’t enough. I do like some of their other good names (e.g., Divas & Studs canine care products), as well as their conservation focus, but fundamentally find the name La Fresh to be … not so fresh?
Finally, a timely travel shampoo for the gym: 
The brand here is Number 4 (apologies for the photo quality). Why 4 – I mean, I know why not 2, but still? (Couldn’t help myself there – sorry.) 
A look at the company website reveals an inspiration statement, and here’s where the stars align: It’s Paris. Yes, Number 4 is “inspired by French culture, virtues and debonair ideals.” Whatever that means. So this product, from the Lumiere d’Hiver line, is somehow supposed to be connected to the fourth arrondissement in Paris, otherwise known as the Marais district. 
That’s all well and good, but “Lumiere d’Hiver“? Winter light? Have you been to Paris in the winter? Not only have I been there, but I’m heading there very soon for Noel. And the forecast is for wet, gray weather. So if we’re talking natural light, it’s not a connotation that speaks to enhancing the beauty of my hair. However, if it’s the artificial lights and festive displays of Christmas, that could work. I’ll just have to let you know.
So a Joyeux Noel et Bonne Annee a tous – and with any luck there will be destination blogging aplenty in the nouvel an!

November Birchbox

So we finally gave in and joined the local health club/gym. We’re far from the oldest or least fit there, so that’s encouraging; most encouraging, though, is the salutary effect the elliptical machine is having on my elderly spine. But now I need to coordinate my routine and bring along a set of toiletries for post-workout ablutions.

Birchbox this month is right on target for my traveling toiletry/cosmetic needs, even if not all the trademarks hit the mark.
First, with a killer trademark, is Archipelago pomegranate soap:
Love, love, love Archipelago as a trademark. It’s not at all descriptive, but it’s evocative and appropriate for soap. Bonus: it smells great.
Second, with an okay trademark, is ModelCo “Fibre Lashxtend” lengthening mascara:
ModelCo is fine as a trademark – not descriptive; suggestive of the fashion models beauty ideal towards which we all strive, right? – but what I’m really excited about is that this is a full-size tube, and I already ran out of the sample size tube of Chantecaille from last month’s Birchbox shipment, and wasn’t all that wowed by it.
Another item that will serve me well at the gym is this Oscar Blandi hair spray:
“Pronto” is a cute designation for the product without being too descriptive; any aspect of  “pronto” suggesting speed of use is kind of meaningless once you think about what a quick hairspray would mean. Think about it … Now, as far as a quick hair care routine, well, that’s different. I can confidently state after about ten visits to the gym that I have the shortest hair care routine of any woman I’ve seen so far. Wash, spray or schmear, fluff, go.
Here’s what happens when you have good intentions but the reality of the mark defeats you:
On the heels of argan oil we now have marula oil, which, according to the site, is great for dry and mature skin (yes and yes!) and is derived from the marula fruit
Marula products are sold through The Leakey Collection – and yes, it’s related to that Leakey: the founders are the son and daughter-in-law of renowned anthropologists Louis and Mary Leakey. The products they promote are African-made, fair trade, sustainable – everything you could want. So I feel only crass and superficial when I complain that I am just not so sure I want anything with the name “Leakey” on my face. But more seriously, I do understand the desire to propagate the Leakey name and heritage; having grown up in the generation of “Born Free” and “Wild Kingdom” I easily recognize the Leakey name and legacy. I’m just not sure it can overcome its phonetic handicap to translate to a new generation. I’d be happy to see it prove me wrong! In any event, I’m definitely going to see if it works on my dry and mature skin!
Finally, the bonus:
A sample of John Varvatos Artisan eau de toilette. Artisan is in fact an excellent name for a fragrance. I approve. And timely – during the recent tonsillectomy convalescence, my daughter found great solace in streaming episodes of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” from Netflix – where I first heard mention of John Varvatos, thanks to fashion guru Carson Kressley. 
Good job, Birchbox – I look forward to using all of these!

October Birchbox

This month’s haul is purportedly inspired by suggestions from goop, “a lifestyle company curated by Gwyneth Paltrow.” No, that’s a quote, as is “Gwyneth began curating the best of lifestyle.” These goop-y locutions aside, the goods are basically the same as usual, with a few points of note:

The intro to Chantecaille Faux Cils Mascara says “Meet your new wand love.” Hmm, mascara doesn’t usually come to mind when I hear that. So, the Chantecaille mascara:
Very swanky packaging, and the name Chantecaille – “song of the quail” – is lovely: not descriptive, not pretentious, although perhaps a bit of a challenge for non-Francophones to pronounce. Faux Cils – well, that just means “fake lashes.” I don’t think “faux” is a term you really want to use with any product, but I never turn down a good mascara.
Next, DDF Wrinkle Resist Plus Pore Minimizer:
I have trouble believing that this one can do everything it says it does: “for instantaneous pore appearance reduction while it exfoliates and hydrates to continually diminish the appearance of wrinkles.” But I’ll give it a whirl, since hey, I am in that demographic.
Next, Embryolisse:
Not real excited about a name that translates to “smooth embryo.” Indeed, I feel the same way about this name that I did about Cold Plasma: yuck. This cream is targeted to “rides installees,” or “established wrinkles.” Somehow I don’t buy that there’s a big difference. Also, this one contains not just vitamins A and E, but vitamin F as well. According to, vitamin F is omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Maybe the Embryolisse folks follow my marketing diktat about the word “fat”?
Orofluido is the third foreign-language compound-word brand this month – meaning liquid gold:
Not exactly sure what I’m supposed to do with this hair treatment oil. Their website promises a “journey to the orignins [sic] of the beauty of hair,” and a model destined for the Ps Disasters website. The rest of the site’s copy is no more lucid. I think this is meant to be a hot oil treatment of sorts, but there’s no “lather, rinse, repeat”-style instructions, so I may just toss this one out.
Finally, a “Lifestyle Extra” – a Luna bar, a “goop fave.” Well, that will get eaten.
Off to go curate my own damn lifestyle!

September’s Birchbox

Not that thrilling a haul. Two wins targeted at my demographic, the rest silly stuff.

In my demographic, anything with the word Bulgari:
Another brand that works well for me, Caudalie – whose products are made with grape and vine extracts:
But then it went downhill – yet another Color Club nail polish, so my daughters can add to their collection for their home nail salon events.
Next, “The Brush Guard” “brush guard variety kit”:
I have the sneaking suspicion that these brush guards are the original wrappers cosmetics brushes came in, which someone has diligently hoarded and decided to repurpose (a word I loathe) for essentially the same purpose for which they were originally used. I suppose if I were a better person I’d treat my cosmetics brushes more lovingly … but I’m not, so I won’t. 
Trademark Geek Digression: I note that THE BRUSH GUARD has actually been registered with the PTO for “covers for cosmetics brush bristles; brush covers for cosmetics brushes.” Even with the exclusive right to “brush” disclaimed, this registration is a disgrace, IMHO, and should never have gone through. If you can ask yourself “what does this device do?” and reply “guard the brush,” then the mark should have been refused as descriptive if not generic. Once again, it’s registrations like this that clog the register and unfairly accord overbroad rights to trademark owners – which, in turn, often leads to aggressive yet unfounded assertion of those rights against legitimate descriptive use. (See KP Permanent Makeup, Inc. v. Lasting Impression I, Inc., for a broader discussion of this topic.)
Finally, of no use to me, there is a piece of elastic ribbon cut and tied and cleverly called “The Twistband.” This appears to be merely 6″ of elastic ribbon. Neither an original name nor idea here. Moreover, I’ve had short hair for all but about three years of my life. I can offer it as a bribe to whichever daughter tidies her room best, but it’s not really an item for the young 50-something.