Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The garbage can test

I was lurking again in the cosmetics aisle of Shopper's Drug Mart and discovered a lip crayon in an irresistible shade of red, made by Shiseido.  It looked so glamorous!  I absolutely had to have it, so I bought it in the name of research (I am now busy with posting cosmetics reviews on Make-up alley, an activity which I classify under web volunteer work).  I walked out of the store, very smug and enchanted with my new lip crayon (for those who don't know Shiseido's lip crayons, they are these huge soft crayons that are actually used as smooth lipsticks, not lip liners.  I will refrain from posting a review of them here).

Outside the store, I opened the packaging box and threw it away in the large garbage bin, only to realize that I did not actually throw away the box but the crayon!  the box was still in my hand, and the crayon was somewhere in the large heap of thrash.  Hoping that it would be somewhere near the top, I started sorting out through McDonald's burger wrappers, empty Coke containers, and so on until I got to the very bottom of the garbage bin, where my tiny lip crayon was resting in a puddle of something unidentifiable, but nevertheless disgusting and cold.  By now, the shop's assistant and a whole bunch of people were looking at me suspiciously, probably wondering if I was looking to sell plastic bottles and cans in order to finance my crack cocaine habit.

I did wash the lip crayon and my hands about a hundred times, so I am pretty sure that all traces of Ebola are gone.  However, I can't help but notice that the glamour is also gone out of the product, and hence laugh to myself at how much money we (I?) spend daily on purchasing an image.  We definitely enjoy a product in large part due to the mental well-being that it creates, the feeling of being pampered and cared for.  A crayon is a crayon, but clever slick packaging and advertising will make a crayon look like a slice of elegance.

Henceforth (is that a real word?), I shall be using the GARBAGE CAN TEST before purchasing my next item designed to pamper the imagination:  if after visualising the candidate item at the bottom of the garbage can I still want it, then the item is really needed and I will buy it.  If, on the other hand, I feel like the value of the object has somehow diminished by being dragged through remnants of ketchup, then obviously I was attaching glamour points when calculating the need for the item, and hence should probably save my money for the liposuction that is sure to come if I keep eating chocolate at midnight while posting on my blog.


  1. I am struggling to find an item that would pass this test... I think the test is a bit biased, mainly because the stuff at the bottom of the bin is repulsive to most of us.

    I agree with removing the fancy packaging and maybe even calling the stuff a crayon rather than a Shiseido, but anything that's been at the bottom of a garbage bin will lose it's appeal to me!

  2. Lipstick is my pickup. I might have dug. . .

    Sorry though.

  3. I agree. I will use your test next time with items that I find irresistible and pass all the other tests I've created for the purpose of reducing spending.