Make me over (for a million bucks)

Last week, I tagged along with a friend to a Rodan and Fields party.

If you’re not familiar (and before this party, I wasn’t), Rodan and Fields is a new direct-to-consumer brand of skin care and makeup products.

(And if you are familiar and I’m not explaining that quite accurately, cut me a break. That’s basically what it is.)

OK. So, I wasn’t sure what to expect. My friend assured me that I did not have to feel obligated to buy anything, but I should just tag along for the wine and snacks and lady time.

Sure, why not?

My experience with these types of “parties” has been limited to a couple of sex toy parties in my early 20s and a Mary Kay event when I first moved to Madison.

The sex toy parties were fun. I think this was in part because it wasn’t like my hosting friends were getting into selling their own inventory of sex toys — as is the case with R+F and brands like Lularoe — but rather a third-party host came into their house to sell for the night, and they just got a discount. So there was little pressure to buy or a guilty feeling of “I should really support my friend in her new business venture,” etc.

Plus, it was fun because we’re talking about dildos, arousing creams and lingerie, not face wash or leggings!

With Mary Kay, I didn’t know anyone personally there, either. It was an “event” held at a pizza joint, and I went because I was getting married and thought it might be a good opportunity to get some higher end makeup or skin care products.

What was especially funny about that event was that I asked my friend Sam to tag along. Sam and I have now been friends for 10 years, but at the time, it was less than a year, so I had no idea that she actually did not wear ANY makeup, ever. She looks good without it, so you wouldn’t even know that, and I didn’t. So my point is just that it was totally irrelevant for her to attend this thing, but she was a good sport and we got free mediocre pizza and I think a few free samples, and I spent about $200. (I got suckered into that because I wanted this free makeup bag kit that came with the purchase….. s-u-c-k-e-r.) We definitely had a few laughs about some of the Mary Kay ladies and their quest for enough sales to get a pink convertible — no thanks, I’m good.

I think we got one follow up text or email from the lady we were paired up with, but after that she took the hint and let it go.

Anyway, from what I can tell, R+F is like the new Mary Kay. It was created by the creators of ProActive, which I have used in the past, but got sick of for two reasons:

• More would always come before I needed it, and

• It smelled bad, IMHO.

But the big pitch is, these people know what they’re doing when it comes to skin care.

Of course, it’s not cheap.

I will say that upon entering my 30s, I have tried to invest a bit more in skin care. I already have gray hairs (I color my hair every month), and I know wrinkles are on the horizon.

Here is a selfie I literally just took, no filters I promise, although I am wearing makeup.


I haven’t had to face too many wrinkles — yet. I think this is in part because I have very oily skin. That presents another problem — I still have breakouts regularly at 35 — but for now, at least the wrinkles are mostly at bay. I’m kind of getting those lines on my forehead, as you can see above. Also, look at that little gray hair sticking out from my part on the right! What a dick.

But the wrinkles won’t stay away forever. My mom looks good for her age, but she has wrinkles, and I know I will, too. I’m also pretty on board with “aging gracefully,” but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to try to take care of my skin.

I always try to wear sunscreen when I’m out. I’ve started using heavier night cream at night, and I use eye cream. I try really hard to always wash my face before bed (but… it doesn’t always happen if I’ve had a few drinks, tbh.)

Speaking of night cream, I rub it all the way down my neck and chest because y’all, I’m getting the wrinkly cleavage, and it ain’t pretty.

Circa summer 2018. Curse you, wrinkly cleavage!

“What about the damn R+F party, though?!”– you might be asking. Here’s the thing. It was relatively uneventful, in that I was not suckered into buying anything, and the hostess was very sweet and even gave me a free makeup sample to take home and try out (she is one of my best friend’s childhood friends, after all).

The makeup line appealed to me because instead of a whole slew of foundation, blush, powder, concealer, etc., it was just one thin liquid-like product. If that actually worked for me, that would be amazing. Almost daily, I pile on all of the above, so to just have one product do the work of all of those products, even at a decent cost — it might be worth it.

As it is, sometimes I just don’t wear makeup to work to give my skin a break, to let it breathe. But I look awful. I have blemishes on the regular, after all.

But alas, the free sample did not quite do the trick. If I had a blemish or two to cover up, it just didn’t do it. And if I used the liquid base plus the cover up for the problem areas, well then I have to dust with powder to blend it all in — kind of defeating the purpose.

So I’m going to pass on the R+F for now, but if it sounds appealing to you, I will totally pass you along to this very nice gal trying to get her line off the ground. That wasn’t even the point of this post at all, but I’d be happy to do it. I didn’t even get into the skin care lines — they have 4 different varieties based on your skin type and needs, and my friend purchased one of those. I’ll bet I’d enjoy that, too, but I simply can’t afford it at this time.

If you’re actually interested, check out the website at

JFC it is like I’m pitching this stuff, but I swear I’m not!

Also of note from the party:

• I was starving, having skipped dinner, and was trying hard not to go to town on the snack table. Wine, too.

“Slip slowly, Alyssa, these are civilized ladies with houses and kids and they probably don’t imbibe the way you do, have some water…”– my inner monologue.

• I was warned/teased by my friend upon arriving that there was a very hump-friendly dog in the house. I’m a fan of doggies, and this one was shut upstairs, so I wasn’t too worried, but I automatically pictured like a great dane or something in my mind, I’m not sure why.

The actual dog did make an appearance at one point, and it was TINY. This just cracked my shit up, based on the giant, big-balled dog I was picturing, and this little guy was shooed out before he got to hump anyone. Better luck next time, buddy.

• As previously mentioned, nearly all the ladies were married, with houses and kids, so the conversation was largely flowing around these topics as people arrived. I was able to weigh in on work/management-type stuff, but at one point, there was an impassioned, long (to me) tangent about door trim. I never knew it could be such a fascinating topic of discussion! (It wasn’t to me, but good for literally everyone else. OK, not really my friend either, even though she owns a beautiful home.)

It’s times like these, I’m reminded that I’m an adult… but like, not totally. Not like “I had to tell my kids about the birds and bees!” and “You should do THAT with that door, that would look great!” — not that type of adult.

Also not the type with a budget to drop on R+F, not today anyway.

Wrinkles — make like my bank balance and lay low, bitches.

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