Most of the time if I need toiletries or cosmetics I go with the cheapest option (like Suave shampoo), but a couple of times a year I let myself spring for an over-the-top spending spree at CVS. It’s still just drugstore shopping; no Sephora or the like for me. But it’s fun. I think because I couldn’t drive for most of my life, walking to the nearby drugstore was the biggest shopping thrill I could get. And, drugstore or not, the stuff’s still fairly expensive. Especially these days.
I’ve been doing these shopping trips since high school. I remember emulating the look of a certain 2001 Britney Spears video and feeling so triumphant when another girl immediately pinpointed the Britney inspiration, despite the fact that I was tall and skinny and brunette with braces.
Inspiration can’t strike every day and I’m really not interested in forcing it like I used to. But some very happy moments in my life have coincided with inspired looks, like the curly ringlets I sported the night a boy asked me to dance sophomore year, the year I really started to feel pretty sometimes after an awkward adolescence. Or my minimalist hippie phase in early college when my skin glowed and I hung around in indie bars feeling very alive. Hell, one of the most magical nights of my childhood in Missouri, when I decided curfew-be-damned and stayed out playing with friends until what seemed like early morning (but was probably closer to 10PM), was amplified by how cool I felt in my neon yellow smiley face dress. Of course the playing starts in childhood. But the experimentation becomes electrifying as a teenager.
Today my beauty inspiration stemmed from upcoming vacations, starting with my quickly approaching trip to Key West. Not just any trip, but a girls’ trip, with my two beautiful sisters. Adult or not, I still get to experience a little taste of that old teenage summer feeling. A few carefree days to swim and play and wear short shorts and be languid. Adult or not, I still get to give into the fluffy, playful, magazine world of makeup and hair and clothes.
These drugstore shopping trips are about getting into the spirit of the season, envisioning good times with friends and family and an aesthetic that pulls it all together. This time it’s low maintenance, beachy beauty. Wavy, air-dried hair. Peachy cheeks. Dewey skin. Not so very different from the Britney Spears look I copied eleven years ago at a small town high school football game.