My New Pink Scam

Well, my constituency has spoken: a majority of you in the past few days voted for me to try out My New Pink Button ($29.95, free shipping), the temporary genital dye as reported about on Jezebel and elsewhere. Well, guess what? Just in time for a wild and crazy Friday night, it is delivered discreetly to my house.

For those of you not yet familiar with the product, My New Pink Button is there for us ladies who feel that their junk needs some pinkening up due to age, hormones, or ethnicity. I have not really thought about the color of my ladyparts, well, ever, and I have probably not done the Our Bodies, Ourselves hand mirror thing since before I had children. I feel that anyone who has an opinion about the color of my junkdrawer can take their disco sticks elsewhere, but I was curious about this product for the sake of SCIENCE.

The kit contains 20 of the cheapest eye shadow applicators you will ever see, the kind where the foam is kind of wonkily glued on to the plastic stem. Also included is a small vial of pink powder, helpfully labeled “Marilyn.” I chose this shade because I felt like my vagina could most identify with her: pill-popping, confused, and crammed into small garments. Someone else would have to be a Bettie or an “Audry” (sic?). My favorite part of the kit was the weeniest, most adorbs shot glass I have ever seen. Perhaps this was a hint that I should drink to steel myself for what was to come.

Next up: the instructions.

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“Occasionally a woman is self-conscious of her Labia since childhood.”

The instructions say to sprinkle a little of what looks like Barbie blow into the shot glass, wet the applicator, and pick the powder up with the wet applicator.

An overpowering sweet smell rose out of the vial as I sprinkled the powder. The ingredients say it is made from about every fruit that has been trendy for the past ten years, and includes cinnamon. There is also an ominous warning in the instructions that “for some, a slight ‘irritating’ feeling may occur upon application and last for about a minute.” An irritating feeling? Like the cosmetics industry telling me I should be self-conscious about yet another body part? Oh, wait, a different kind of irritating.

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Myrrh is misspelled. Should I be concerned?? So is chamomile. Never mind, on with the rejuvenating of my drab baby cannon. I picked up some of the powder, which immediately bloomed with color. Oh dear. What was this, Lik-a-Vagina?

I put the product on and let it sit as the instructions advised. Things were okay for a few seconds, and then…THE BURNING! I have certainly felt worse, but it was very noticeable. The instructions assure me that this burning is “due to the ingredients reacting to your bodies own PH balance which is normal and will go away upon rinsing off the colorant.”

Rinse it off I did, and did I notice a difference? I did not. I will confess to you I took before and after pictures for my own scrutiny. Well hello there my vulva. Long time, no see. Sorry about the burning sensation.

Since I am Irish and turn pretty white in the winter, I decided to do a patch test on my arm, where it did not burn, and I could view it up close to see the staining effect.

During the staining:

After the rinsing:

See that barely-perceptible color change? Yeah. I had a hunch after the way it smelled and how it looked when wet, so I licked my arm before I rinsed it, and it tasted just like unsweetened Kool-Aid.

In summary, I would file this with magic creams that purport to take twenty years off: don’t bother. And don’t think so hard about your vulva, either. Just enjoy it, FFS.

ETA: Hello new visitors. I will be in and out throughout the day releasing new moderated comments. Once you comment once, you’re golden. Thanks for your patience and for the feedback already.

ETA again: Hooray, the Consumerist picked me up!

1/18: Helloooo Jezebelles! I am pleased to become part of my thrice daily reading. Someone mentioned “Betty Beauty,” the pubic hair dye in the comments there. I‘ve reviewed that as well.

57 Responses to “My New Pink Scam”

  1. Bugger says:

    I love your science projects. At least now I know to use regular ‘ol skin bleach to change the color of my vulva.

  2. whatladder says:

    SCIENCE FTW. Also, peeps, we had anticipatory discussions of this product on the podder. So, click the FYCL and check it out. When it’s up. Which should be tomorrow.

  3. EffinSara says:

    It would be fantastic if the change in color was due solely to skin irritation and not because of any sort of dye.

  4. [...] imagine my surprise when AAG twittered a link to a post about vagina cosmetics, and up popped the very same blog. Eight years later, and the lady’s still putting (what [...]

  5. ted says:

    adding “Baby Cannon” to my lexicon…

  6. Elizabeth says:

    Kool-Aid?!? KOOL-AID?!

    You are awesome. The perfect test subject for this product. Glad you’re not drinking the metaphorical Kool-Aid of vulva hate.

    So you think you can get a refund on this crap? I’ll bet you could find another use for that 30 bucks.

  7. styro says:

    A+ scientific work. I can’t believe you went through $25 and a burning crotch for us, your dedicated and misguided readership.

  8. iasshole says:

    Thanks, everyone.

    Elizabeth: I could find better things to do with $30. But I hope people who are seriously considering this will learn from my experiments and save their moneys.

  9. yclept says:

    Lipstick works just dandy, and it’s been tested on mucous membranes.

    Thanks for your fun observations!

  10. Rhayden says:

    If the coloring happens via skin irritation, I suppose it’s better than sandpaper, but overall the product seems bunk.

  11. Graumagus says:

    I think they should change their business model to expand the coloration into black, green, and purple for those folks who want to be punk rock or get gothy with their vagazzling.

    Or they could just stick candy up there. Can’t remember where I’ve heard about someone doing that before…. :)

  12. Amanda says:

    Graumagus – vagazzling is my new favorite word.

  13. Graumagus says:

    Can’t take credit for that one, heard it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvzhvKm_15k

  14. Graumagus says:

    Hmmm, when I posted the link to Jennifer Love-Hewitt’s talk show vagazzling chat, it did some really weird word formatting….

  15. [...] be insecure about. While Consumer Reports doesn’t have this on their testing schedule (yet), one enterprising blogger has tested the product so you don’t have to. via [...]

  16. iasshole says:

    It looks fine to me, Graumagus.

  17. moose says:

    I really, really don’t understand women who think their vulva needs plastic surgery, so I really can’t understand that there’s a market for pubic dye. (Although I know there already is a market for pubic *hair* dye.)

    However, you are indeed a brave soul for trying out such a thing.

    Also, I request a world-wide moratorium on calling one’s genitalia, “junk.” Every time I hear/read someone talk about their “junk” I think, “What, did you buy it at a garage sale?”

  18. Jonquil says:

    I am grateful for your sacrifice in the name of Science. Also for your remarkable rhetoric.

    Most of all, however, I am grateful it wasn’t me.

  19. iasshole says:

    Sorry Moose!!

  20. JM Kaye says:

    Nice box, anyway.

    AND I MEAN THE PACKAGING.

  21. kirsten says:

    Am I the only one who noticed that the directions incorrectly identify the labia minora? The directions say to apply it to the labia minora (which sounds horrifying), but in the illustration the product is applied to the inside of the labia majora. At least they could correctly identify which part of our ladybits is discolored due to “frequency of washing” (or, presumably, lack thereof). EFF YOO ITS MY PRETTY PRETTY PUSSY PINK OR WHATEVER IF YOU’RE CLOSE ENOUGH TO LOOK YOU’D BETTER GET BUSY. Incidently today my daughter brought home a movie from the library she insists on calling “Pussy in Boots.”

  22. Cute Bruisr says:

    You could totally get a refund if you threatened to email the before and after photos to customer service! Can that be the next experiment!?

  23. Bugger says:

    I’m going to call my male version of this product “My Enormous Purple Eye.”

    Catchy, no?

  24. Gembird says:

    This is awesome. Sacrificing vagina comfort for science. I understand completely.

    I’ve written about this and linked to this post from my own blog, I hope you don’t mind.

  25. mjsee says:

    Why would anyone worry about the color of her vulva? GOOD GRIEF.

  26. Maria says:

    Good lord and this was featured on a medical show? What, was it run by snake oil salesmen? That’s so sad, so many people want good information on their health and well being and then they get this crap pimped to them along with another heaping dose of shame about their bodies.

    Along with the typos on the ingredients list, the terrible instructions, the racial undertones, the patent # doesn’t appear to exist either. Though the chick herself appears to have reinvented the pottery wheel or something.

  27. [...] whether it’s a big-enough-seller to get my panties in a bunch over.  Though it appears that you can order it, but it is of questionable efficacy.  Scam-status and efficacy aside, I think it still reveals something interesting about how we are [...]

  28. Politicalguineapig says:

    CINNAMON? That belongs in a spice cabinet, not down south. And Myrrh’s incense for F’s sake.
    No wonder it was burny..

  29. [...] I’m posting a link to this because it made me laugh out loud. That is good for my health and sexier than a stack of Cosmos, which we should laugh out of business anyway.   [...]

  30. [...] we talked on the podder, SJ got her vulva dye and reported on it in the interests of SCIENCE. Yay, science! She also got a mention on the Consumerist. [...]

  31. greer says:

    “Barbie Blow”. Goddamn I love you.

  32. styro says:

    You got picked up by Jezebel today. Prepare for the ONSLAUGHT.

  33. [...] Did you read my rant about “My New Pink Button”?  Did you think: Yeah, yeah, Becky, that was bitchy, but totally uninformative? Did you, like me, secretly wonder: What does that stuff actually do to a poor, unsuspecting vulva? Well, Pandagon’s Amanda Marcotte test-drove it, and reports her results. [...]

  34. Sabine says:

    Thank you for putting an image of the ingredients up, since their website is very hush-hush about them. So Red40 was my first investigation, after which I can determine that that product is not what I call safe (the dye is banned in several countries). The article mentions two yellow dyes aswell, but I need no further convincing.
    To wit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allura_Red_AC

  35. iasshole says:

    Wow, Sabine, interesting. It seems we haven’t come too far from the days of using lead in cosmetics for its whitening effects.

  36. fiftyville says:

    I have dropped my Consumer Reports subscription in favor of your blog.

  37. [...] it’s an ill wind that blows no good and thus we can thank “My Pink Button” for this post: The kit contains 20 of the cheapest eye shadow applicators you will ever see, the kind where the [...]

  38. chris galkam says:

    So funny…thank you for your expose’ ….make-up for the lips that don’t talk back….what will the kids think of next?

  39. [...] I, Asshole: My New Pink Scam [...]

  40. DexX says:

    As a man, can I just say that this company is absolutely correct; every man wants a play with a vulva that looks like it’s been used to juice mulberries. Truly! *rolls eyes*

  41. I am amazed they thought cinnamon would be a rockin’ ingredient for a vulva. I also REALLY love how badly Chamomile is spelled. They weren’t even trying here.

  42. pea says:

    1. YES, you should be worried that they can’t spell “myrrh” or “chamomile.”

    2. Never tested on animals?! The mind boggles considering the possibilities. A baboon’s backside comes to mind.

    3. How has the FDA let this one slide? Red 40 is commonly used in food and cosmetics, so it’s not deadly, but that’s assuming they’re adhering to FDA guidelines. Since they can’t even spell, what are the chances that they can measure?

    You’ve covered the Betty dye, but have you tried this?

    http://www.southbeachskinsolutions.com/products1.htm

    Not that I’m encouraging further torturing of your lower bits, but with a blog called I, Asshole, well, it’s kind of a no-brainer.

  43. ozma says:

    Barbie blow. Snort.

    It amazes me that anyone ever thought of this. It’s so stupid that it is brilliant.

    Also, the title.

    Thanks for being our guinea pig.

  44. [...] by RadicalTwit in Uncategorized. Leave a Comment My New Pink Scam – I, Asshole // Two words that should not be in the same sentence are “labia” and [...]

  45. [...] On My New Pink Button vagina dye: I, Asshole has a review! My New Pink Scam [...]

  46. A. says:

    “An irritating feeling? Like the cosmetics industry telling me I should be self-conscious about yet another body part? Oh, wait, a different kind of irritating.”

    Thank you so much for this.

  47. erin says:

    Just wondering about your vagazzling escapade, whatever made you, after applying the Barbie blow to your Ka-shlopis/baby cannon and burning you, make you apply it to your arm, burning you and then you licked it, did you expect another result??? You rock!!!

  48. erin says:

    For your next experiment you should apply a Merkin and let us know what hilarity follows your trying to remove it….

  49. iasshole says:

    Hi Erin. I suspected it would not burn on my arm, and I wanted to see if it would have any effect on very pale skin.

    Thanks for reading, everyone. Now accepting any and all dodgy new products for review.