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Beauty Infomercials- the good, the bad, and the silly

Is a Solution for:
Oily Hair, Thinning Hair & Shedding, Dry or Brittle Hair, Dull Skin, Oily Skin
August 12, 2009 Reviewed by Copley 9 Comments

The news that Billy Mays had cocaine in his system at the time of his rather untimely death might explain his signature manic delivery. (And all that time, you thought it was the cleaning fumes!) When looking back at all the infomercials that made him a household name, Mays never got to grace the realm of grooming...which is unfortunate, since what a superb shaving specimen he would have made! His affinity for playing Mr. Fix-it never translated to the crowded beauty category in TV land.

As a rule of thumb, flashy commercials for cosmetics tend to come from multi-brand conglomerates with hefty advertising budgets and mass-market products. But the long-format cosmetic infomercial is a separate breed. It tugs on your heart strings with depictions of real people turning their lives around or amazes you with staggering beauty feats. Though sometimes staged by these same companies (Guthy-Renker being a regular), infomercials and direct response TV ads tend to be associated with oddball novelties, longstanding fixtures, and celebrity-endorsed newcomers.

If you've ever found yourself reaching for the phone after being brainwashed by a five-minute plug for the latest life-altering beauty product, you might want to put down your credit card. We have rounded up some of the most popular "As Seen on TV" cosmetics and have gotten to the bottom of their puffed up promises. Click on any of the links below for TIA's take.

Freeze 24/7 review

Meaningful Beauty with Cindy Crawford

Victoria Principal's Secret Skin Care

Volumize hair with Wen by Chaz Dean

Ped Egg- Reviewed and Recommended

Reader review of Glowelle beauty drink

  • February 3, 2010

    by Joliese

    Here is good thing to know that about a rule of thumb which tend to come from multi-brand conglomerates with hefty advertising budgets and mass-market products. Good Article!!!

  • September 30, 2009

    by MB

    Yup, I tried the Smooth Away, thought it worked great until the next day when I had a bumpy rash where I used it. Would have much preferred razor stubble instead.

  • August 13, 2009

    by Junko

    I had the same experience as Cristina with the Smooth Away Pads. Yup, sanded the skin right off of my legs! It was painful and it wasn't pretty either.

  • August 13, 2009

    by aerwin

    I don't know about the Billy Mays commericals, but If you are ever awake at night and cannot sleep those Cindy Crawford/Victoria principal/ Jane seymour skincare commericals are very tempting.

  • August 12, 2009

    by JulieK

    Billy Mays drove me nuts... just saying. I often wondered how he could run at that level of adrenalen and cope. Obviously, he couldn't. I wonder at people who buy that stuff, as well. If I'm *ever* tempted, there's an "As Seen on TV" store at the Mall- I've seen it, never been inside, I've decided I could go to to look-see before I did something so... ummm, careless. ~jk

  • August 12, 2009

    by aerwin

    I tried that freeze 24/7 cream when it was all the buzz. It is a flaky goopy mess. Forget about make up on top of it. However I did breal down and order the principal secret eye serum. So far I like it!

  • August 12, 2009

    by Cristina

    I saw Smooth_Away on Tv and thought, "Gee, my husband has sandpaper downstairs..." and I picked out the finest grit paper he had on his workbench. Then I got to work on my arms. Wow-I never had such smooooth skin in my life! I couldn't stop feeling my arms and admiring how much more toned they looked hair-free. That was the first hour. Then the red, ugly pain started to settle in. What a mess I made of my poor arms! Thank God I had an aloe plant. It took days to heal. Imagine doing that on your face...

  • August 12, 2009

    by Wendy B

    Seven days is not really long enough to see the effects. I saw improvements in the second week when my skin was more hydrated and then later when people started complimenting me on my skin. Sure we can take lots of vitamin supplements but who wants to swallow a handful of vitamins when you can easily drink it?!

  • August 12, 2009

    by Laura

    I had less than favorable results with the Ped Egg. I'd say it took me 3 days of 10 min rubbing to see a real difference. I'll stick with an old fashioned pumice stone in the shower, I think.

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