Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart’s precious “now here’s why you should stencil your driveway”  approach to living doesn’t quite extend, I was relieved to see, to her beauty routine. In the New York Times article ‘For Martha Stewart, The Secret Is Routine’, Martha’s regimen is more rigorous than fussy. I even found myself agreeing with some of her approaches. Although, not all of them.

Martha Stewart is a face mask lover and, in this, she is woman after my own heart. I don’t use a face mask every day (as Martha seems to), but several times a week and my favorite is Royal Nectar’s Bee Venom Mask ($68) as it gives my face the kind of glow I would have if I led a less decadent life (what is it about Martha Stewart that makes me what to confess to a guilty conscience?). Martha’s preference is for Susan Ciminelli’s Hydrating Gel Mask.

Now I was not aware of Susan Ciminelli, but when I read that Martha Stewart uses her body lotion “head to toe”, I had to find out more. I didn’t know whether to groan with dismay or howl with admiration when I saw that this Upper East Side esthetician is able to sell bottled water for $55. Ok, its not just water, it is seawater. But then can’t Ms. Stewart get as much seawater as she needs every time she goes to the Hamptons? Mind you, Susan Ciminelli has “slight desalinated” her $55 version.

Martha Stewart typically uses Skinceuticals CE Ferulic Cream. This isn’t a bad product and there is good science showing that the addition of ferulic acid to vitamin E and C improves their ability to limit sun damage. Thrifty Martha should be pleased to know that Skinceuticals CE Ferulic Cream has a product twin – an exact replica, made by CSS, that sells for a $100 less.

I guess Martha is thrifty because she proudly admits to trying to get away with using her face serum as her eye cream. Actually, there are quite a few compelling reasons to have a dedicated eye cream. When Martha Stewart does use one, it is Cle de Peau’s. This is not a good choice, especially not at $250. Take off a zero and it still isn’t worth the money as it is mostly wax, silicone and petrolatum. The good ingredients are not exactly cutting edge – hydrolyzed silk and a few botanical extracts – are buried at the end of the ingredients list.

I like that Martha Stewart prefers to mix things up. One day it’s Mario Badescu. Another it’s Yon-Ka. While it is true that you can only know if something is working (at repairing wrinkles, say) if you use it consistently, the skin’s needs can change daily and require switching up the potions and lotions depending on how dry, sensitive, open pored, and dull one is on any given day. So I too often choose amongst a few products to find a match for my skin’s needs.

And that’s not all we have in common. I shall walk to work wearing my sunscreen and knowing that Martha Stewart is too. But then when I think about the "new sun hat" she just bought "to go over her riding helmet” (horse riding, I presume), I am reminded of our different worlds both in and outside the bathroom.