M: Before I begin, can I just say how ace our readers are. Batshit crazy, but ace. In response to my Angry Face Syndrome cry for help, they’ve recommended rubbing plants on my face, baby lotion, expensive oils, Vaseline (?!?!?), not eating curry (ha! fat chance), stuff that looks and feels like lard, and organic hippie juice. And no one has mentioned the monkey. Ace.
E: I liked the cocktails best. They are big on cocktails. I am telling you, they are Our People.
M: Yes, Our People. On Crack.
E: Yes. Sssssh.
M: Ssssh. So, inspired by their advice, I went on a tour of Edinburgh’s Health Shops.
E: Uh oh. I remember when I came to visit you and we stared in the window of the Organic Sex Shop and laughed until I nearly peed at the hemp dildos.
M: What is it with shop attendants in health shops?
E: They are all on heroin.
M: The beards.
E: The deathly pallor.
M: The slackness in the jaw. The nervous disposition.
E: They look anything but healthy. ‘Eat our tofu, and you can look this shit too’.
M: So, I went to Neal’s Yard first.
E: Who is Neal anyway, what’s in his yard, and why does he spell his name in such a stupid way? I smell hippie. Ssssssss.
M: Sssss what?
E: That’s my hippie scaring noise. I grew up in a den of them.
M: Oh god.
E: I am fearful already. WHAT? What have they done to you?
M: So, the woman only ever looked at me out of the corner of my eye. HER eye. Not my eye.
E: That would just be weird.
M: Anyway, she pulled out all these creams, said “I haven’t tried most of them”, and then left me to it.
E: Er, right. ok. Stellar customer service there.
M: “I don’t want to stand over you while you’re trying them on”. Makes a change, hippie.
E: In the wrong job, hippie.
M: So, they all smelled really strong. Like someone had crushed truck loads of flowers into one tiny pot.
E: I hate that.
M: I got some samples, and made my boyfriend smell one, without telling him where it was from. He said “WHOA, now that smells like a hippie”.
E: He has a nose for hippy. Was he also raised in a commune?
M: After that, I went to Hanover Health Food, where I got some of that Weleda Almond cleanser and cream.
E: This is like a journey into my childhood. Hippies galore.
M: Childhoood? Doesn’t your sister make soap from twigs and bits of rock?
E: Yes. She has never quite broken away from the cult of hemp.
M: The almond cream smells like marzipan and bakewell tart crushed together. I want to lick my own face.
E: Mmmmm. That is a good thing. Sort of.
M: My tongue is not long enough, sadly.
M: I need a lizard tongue.
E: A bear tongue. 25cms.
M: How do you know this statistic?
E: Le Journal de Mickey. My son showed me a picture this afternoon.
M: Now we get to the good bit.
M: I went to Holland and Barrett.
E: Uh oh. UH. OH.
M: Where I bought some aloe vera gel. Not just any gel. Bio Active Soothing Hand Filleted Organic Aloe Vera Gel.
E: You sound like an M&S voiceover. It is pleasing to me.
M: You’re an M&S junkie.
E: That is a matter of public record. Continue, hippie licker.
M: There was this little dark shelf, full of “manager’s special” products – all heavily discounted.
E: Oooooh. I have fear. Was there whey powder? In giant butch tubs.
M: Far far worse. First I saw this ClearGen thing. It is a spot treatment.
E: That sounds like it might be made from stem cells in an underground Swiss laboratory. Ace.
M: Made of extract of Mangosteen. The Mangosteen is “the Queen of fruits” in South East Asia.
E: Mangosteen. Pfff. Hippies.
M: Do not diss the mangosteen. There is all sorts of pseudo science behind it. Look!
E: Whoa. I didn’t bring my Phd with me. That shit is complex.
M: it stimulates something called phagocyte cells. PHAGOCYTE. It is also a Potent Inhibitor of COX-2 and COX-1 enzymes. HOW SCI FI DOES THAT SHIT SOUND?
E: Phagocytes. Cox enzymes. This is made by The Double Entendre Pharmaceutical Company isn’t it?
M: I am obsessed with it, even though it’s clearly crap because no one bought it and it ended up on the bargain basement shelf. WHY DID I NOT BUY IT?
E: YOU CAN GO BACK. IT WILL STILL BE THERE BECAUSE IT IS USELESS SHIT.
M: There are in-vitro studies, E, IN VITRO STUDIES.
E: How do you study fruit in vitro anyway? What vitro do they put the fruit in? And what happens next? I NEED ANSWERS.
M: Maybe one day we will find out. Anyway. Moving on to the pièce de résistance.
E: Urgh. There’s more hippie shit?
M: May I present: De Tuinen Helix Aspersa Muller SNAIL GEL.
M: Currently whipping up a storm in Holland. Sourced from the slime of Chilean snails. It brings your skin into a “class of its own”, allegedly.
E: Ahahhahahahahahahahahahhahahahaahhahahahahhahahahahhahahahahahahhahahahahaha. Chilean snail slime? Really?
E: Und the name! Who the fuck puts snail slime on their FACE?
M: THE DUTCH.
E: You know what that is, don’t you. It’s the extremely potent cannabis resin in their siroopwaffeln.
E: Oh holy mother of god. It’s actually called Snail Gel. I could not be happier. It would be IMPOSSIBLE to be happier.
M: YES! SNAIL gel. S.N.A.I.L. GEL.
E: How much is snail gel M? Because I think we have to try it.
M: You’ll find it’s a very reasonable £20.45. BUT it’s half price at the moment.
E: Oooooh. BARGAIN. SNAIL GEL HALF PRICE STEAL.
M: My boyfriend wanted to know if you have to use the snail as an applicator. I said I wasn’t sure.
E: On that photo, is the snail big, or is the pot small? Is it one of those GIANT snails?
M: Like an African land snail?
E: Yes. It looks like our African land snail looked before my ex decided it “would be happier outside”.
E: It was not happier outside.
M: Outside… in snail PARADISE.
E: It was,in fact very rapidly dead. And happier In A Better Place.
M: In the big Chilean snail farm in the sky.
E: Actually, De Tuinen means ‘garden’, I believe, so they are probably just bog standard Dutch snails from someone’s backyard cannabis farm. Oh, Holland and Barrett. You are Facegoop GOLD.
M: It was amazing. AMAZING. There was so, so much more. Goji berry creams. Ear candles. Aloe vera colon cleanse!
E Dutch snail goo. Is the “Holland” in their name related to Holland Holland? Because that would explain a LOT.
M: Yes, yes it would.
E: I am in London next week. I will also go on a field trip to Holland & Barrett. I will not rest until I have smeared my face in the secretions of Dutch snails. Using an actual Dutch snail to apply it.
De Tuinen Snail Face Gel, £10.22