We are quite a gullible lot in Hong Kong and we’ll try pretty much anything to look young. I am the first to admit I’ve bought my share of cosmetics and body-contouring products, hoping to defy age, wrinkles and the muffin top creeping over my waistband.

I used to blame overzealous sales clerks and their hard-sell tactics. It’s their fault for tricking me into wasting good money on useless products. But the truth is, it didn’t take a lot of convincing or sales pitch. Many times, a store will have me at “hello”.

I am a sucker for odd but innovative gadgets. Some people buy new phones every month. I splurge on devices to tighten my face muscles and smooth my skin. If I am too sceptical to try it on myself, I buy it for my boyfriend.

We like to clean our ears by sticking Q-tips deep into our brains. When I heard that might actually push the wax deeper, I had the perfect excuse to try one of those ear wax melting sprays.

My boyfriend was scared but he had no choice as my guinea pig.

I also convinced him to buy me that face-exercising stick that footballer Ronaldo was pedalling. You know the one. You put in your mouth and bobble your head as the two ends flap like wings. We’re not sure if it actually tones your face muscles, but it will instantly make you look ridiculous.

You’re supposed to use it for 30 seconds twice a day but one morning I decided to go hardcore and did it for almost 10 minutes. The result was a sore jaw the rest of the day. A colleague asked me why my mouth muscles hurt and I was too embarrassed to reply. I’m sure that made it worse because she has a filthy imagination.

My newest toy is the Re Fa, the facial massager with two little rollers that look like little disco balls. The device apparently emits solaractivated ultrafine microcurrents to stimulate your skin. You can use it on your face, arm, waist and any other tired body part that could use a little kneading. Honestly, it’s never going to replace going for a spa massage but I like the way it feels.

Hopefully I will actually use it for more than a month before I retire it to my closet. If I am honest, I can’t say I regret buying so many such silly inventions. You never know if you don’t try, right? It’s no worse than buying a shirt that you think is gorgeous but just doesn’t look right on you.

The only embarrassment is when my mum finds these gadgets in my room. I tell her they are beauty exercise products, but her blushing demeanour suggests otherwise.

Instead, I’m sure she’s thinking: “My daughter’s bedroom toys are none of my business.”

The Aristocrat

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