Mini-masochist: The Bo-mag Beauty Closet

1200588250While sifting through the Bo-mag beauty closet, Bostonista likes to play a game called “But would you actually buy it?”

It’s a complicated, high-concept endeavor: We apply the product, stare at our tiny desk mirror, Google the product’s retail price, and then return to the mirror to ponder the eternal question.

Alas, the answer is generally “no.”

Case-in-point: N.V. Perricone Advanced Face Firming Activator.

We wanted to believe the Dr. Perricone hype and love this product, which promised to reduce fine lines and pore size. The serum itself is fine: It worked like any other makeup primer, providing a nice, even base. And it did make our skin feel a bit smoother (thanks to its high glycolic acid content).

HOWEVER. The potion smelled suspiciously like fish…and when you’ve slathered something all over your face, that smell is not going away anytime soon. (We know the good doctor promotes a diet high in omega-3s, but…ew. Perhaps we received a bad batch?)

At 120 bucks for two ounces, the Perricone Activator definitely loses our game.

Lest we sound like hypercritical snobs, Bostonista does occasionally respond to the question with a resounding “Yes!”

Case in point #2: Benefit Jiffy Tan.

After one disastrous experience with a Mystic tan (New Year’s Eve 2004 photos? Way, way oranger than Lohan) and countless minor mishaps with every imaginable brand of self-tanner, we resigned ourselves to the reality of our ghostly Irish skin. For a while, pasty life was nice: No more weird self-tanner smells, no more stained towels, no more obsessive exfoliation-bordering-on-self-mutilation.

But after a couple of months, the urge to fake it returned. We had, however, grown lazy and could no longer go to all the trouble self-tanning requires. Which is how we finally turned a supremely skeptical eye to the Jiffy Tan, “a tanly tinted body lotion” that promises to create a glow that stays put during the day but rinses off with soap and water.

After gingerly dabbing the lotion (which looks distressingly dark coming out of the tube) on our forearms, we were pleasantly surprised. Our skin looked healthy and lightly tinted, with no orangey streaks in sight. The smell, while not amazing, is unobtrusively lightbarely noticeable, really. Even the tiny bit of glimmer (the day-time use of which Bostonista adamantly opposes) didn’t bother us. And it did come off fairly easily, though we used a loofah to be careful.

Bottom line: We’re going to hold fast to our self-tanner ban, and get our glow from Jiffy Tan.

Benefit Jiffy Tan, $24, Sephora, Prudential Center, Boston, 617-262-4200,