Welcome to Carrie Gravenson's website. It will make you laugh. It will make you cry. It will make you laugh again. You seem emotionally unstable.

Test Case: The Magic Eye Serum and My Self Esteem.

I won’t bore you with the details of my self-loathing, as it is indeed boring.  And common.  I only bring it up to illustrate how I am the target audience for a ton of “start-loving-your-body-with-this-thing” products on the market.  I’m the demographic.  And even though I know that, when I’m having a weak moment, I will be tempted to buy some such product, even though I know that true beauty comes from the inside and blah blah blah... just gimme something to make me pretty.

Such was my weakened mood when I walked through Costco and saw “StriVectin-TL™ 360° Tightening Eye Serum.” StriVectin promises: “Tighten and visibly lift the eye area; reduces the look of under-eye puffiness.” And then, to add credibility, the same words are written in French.  Because as we all know, French people have amazing under-eyes.  “Wow!” I thought, “I sure wish my eyes were less puffy and visibly lifted in only 8 weeks.  Then people would love me and I would be happy.” And off to the cash register I went, serum in hand ($70 retail, $40 Costco).

As a cynic, I tend to think these products are 97% nicely packaged bullshit.  But then again, who knows?  People swear by all kinds of things and this particular product evoked, y’know, science.  Surely, if we can send a man to the moon, we can make my under-eye area less puffy.  Then again… it’s probably bullshit.  Here's where I often call bullshit: When I see before and after pictures, there are numerous other factors that can enhance eye puffiness from one day to the next.  What if the model was more hydrated or well-rested on the day of the “after” photo.  What if the time of day was different?  Aren’t we all more puffy in the morning?  No, the only way to be sure it works is to have a control eye so all of the environmental elements are equal. 

I wanted to find out for sure so here is my scientific method: For 8 weeks, I decided to put this magical eye cream on only one eye and see if people could tell the difference.  If it worked, awesome!  I would apply it to the other eye and they would balance out, presumably in another 8 weeks.  If it didn’t work, I would have photographic proof and return the product to Costco (and make use of their fantastic return policy). 

First, I had to follow the instructions to the letter.  Here’s what the instructions said:

“Use AM and PM on cleansed skin. Gently glide cooling metal applicator around eye area – below eyes, at outer corners and over eyelid. Lightly pat excess with fingertip until absorbed."

The front of the tube promises 2 to 8 weeks. 

So, twice a day, put this around my eye.  Got it.  Off we go.  Before we get to the photos, I want to remind everyone that I’m pretty self-conscious about the bags under my eyes and that I specifically took these photos to highlight them, which was difficult.  I totally normally look exactly like my headshot.  Remember, I’m only putting the eye cream on one eye. 

As you can see, the results were… not good.  Nothing changed.  As I went along, I casually asked my friends if they could tell which eye it was. They guessed correctly about 50% of the time.  Can you guess?  I couldn’t.  So I marched back over to Costco and got my dang money back.  Nuts to StriVectin-TL. 

I'm torn about disclosing which eye it was, but here goes:  It was my right eye.  I think they look identical and even if there is a slight difference, it's so slight that I'm bored and annoyed with the whole project. 

Back to searching for inner beauty and whatnot.

How to be a gracious guest by quietly choking with envy.