Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A-LIST: Carmex Electra

Come on, don’t act like you never heard it. Carmex, that Cadillac of lips balms, has a frenzy of rumor and support sites swirling on the web. Personally, we love the stuff, but like spider eggs in Bubble Yum, we think someone has been telling your children very bad things about a very good lip balm.

You know you’ve heard it. “Carmex contains ground fiberglass that necessitates repeated applications” or “Carmex is made with salicylic acid, which chafes the lips, making you crave more.” Comedian Paula Poundstone even jokes about a secret wing at Betty Ford for users with a Carmex addiction “begging for just one little dip of their finger into the pot.”

So let’s take a look at what’s out there in terms of support or myth-busting around this venerable, 58-year-old product:

Dictator Princess: Prinny hysterically describes Carmex as “Vaseline with a tingle” and details her Carmex addiction low: combing Paris for “the little yellow pot.”

Lip Balm Anonymous: This is the Nancy Reagan of Carmex addiction sites describes the amber goo as packing “a rush that rivals crack cocaine when you first apply it.”

Salon Selectives: A well-researched piece by Mary Roach that details addicts who go by first name, last initial only. Lisa M. applies an average of 108 times a day, poor thing. This is the mothership: the official Carmex website. In addition to addiction issues, it addresses how to remove Carmex stains from your clothing. Messy!

Winehouse Is Da Balm: links Amy Winehouse to Carmex. This How-To wiki suggests slathering balm all over your face. “Carmex is the best.” Mmm-hum, we knew it.

HOW TO: Find a Brand-New Scissor Sister

“I’m sorry,” Michael DeSalvo says into the phone, “I’m booked for the night.” He looks up from the call and winks at me. Me likey, but Candy Bushnell’s advice echoes in my head: wait until you’re back home before you visit the salon. How do you think cornrows happen?

But I couldn’t wait any longer. I’d moved to Syracuse and was beginning to resemble a Pomeranian, so I had to go about finding a new stylist, which brought me to Hairanoia at 101 Green Street and Hawley Avenue.

I’d heard about the salon’s owner, “the wheel of Hawley Green,” but when I called to book my appointment, he answered the phone himself. I scheduled, then inquired if the owner could cut my hair. “I am the owner,” he replied unassumingly

At the handsome, double-height salon, DeSalvo offers hot cider and gets to work on an amazing tea tree shampoo and head massage. Someone who obviously didn’t get the “booked for the night” memo prattles on. If her talking means the magic fingers don’t stop, she can babble all night.

Soon I’m in the cutting chair and he asks me what we're doing. I look him dead in the eye and say, “Do whatever you want with me, Michael.” It’s the leap of faith one needs to take when finding a new salon, but DeSalvo, who insists it’s all about chemistry, has some more tips for finding a new man in your life:

Hang out: sit around and read some magazines in the salon you’re thinking about using. And if the magazines are more than five years old, press.

Cruise: is your hairdresser hot? Would you sleep with him? Don’t play the old stylist or ex-con game. If your hairdresser has tattoos, that’s a good thing.

Cheat: Don’t be afraid to step out on your man. DeSalvo encourages his clients to try someone new. They appreciate him more when they come back.

And not to get all Terminator, but I’ll be back.

LANDMARK LOOKS: Shaffer Shopping

Holiday Art Sale
Shaffer Art Building
December 3, 4, &5