E: What is the point of facial sprays anyway apart from a pleasant distraction in the working day? My mother in law buys me two a year, so it would be good to know.
M: It is supposed to ‘smooth away fine lines, tighten pores and give the complexion an instant boost of radiance’.
E: See, how does that work, because if your skin was porous to a fine spray of water WHAT WOULD HAPPEN WHEN IT RAINS?
M: Well, there are suspended oils in the water, by the looks of the creepy orange tide mark inside the bottle. ‘C’est normal, c’est les huiles essentielles’, said the french pharmacist.
E: That is the French answer to everything. ‘Your capybaras have escaped!’ ‘C’est normal’.
M: She may or may not have actually been a pharmacist. Perhaps she just wandered in from the street. I mean, she wasn’t even wearing a lab coat. What do you do with your 34 facial sprays?
E: I put them in my handbag and spray them on my face when it’s really hot, so: three days a year.
M: Here’s a warning for you: don’t spray this stuff in your eyes.
E: No, indeed. Stings.
M: Red-eyed mole is not a good look.
E: Less Hungarian queen, more World of Warcraft addict.
M: Anyway, this just leaves a weird sheeny film on me. It may have a sort of temporary plumping effect. Is that how hungarian empresses looked? Plump and shiny?
E: Like seals? Possibly. Have you tried the other Caudalie spray? Eau de raisin?
M: There are two? No.
E: Yeah. No oils in that one. It smells… musty.
M: Like the lesser, uglier little sister of fairy tales.
E: I have also used those big ones you get in French pharmacies that are just a bottle of water and frankly, a spray bottle from Robert Dyas and some tap would do the same job. I mean, if a fine mist of water on one’s face is good for the skin, we should both just move to Scotland.
M: You forget about the winds, E. Ruddy red cheeks. That’s the look we’re all going for.
E: That’s the buckfast.
M: So, eau de beauté just leaves me confused. Sweet smelling, possibly a bit more spritely, but CONFUSED.
E: Whatever you do, don’t leave a comment on the Caudalie website to that effect. They categorise you by age and skin type. “Aida Mustapha, 25-34, Oily” says a review of the Eau de Beauté.
M: Let’s take a short break from our regular programme of self-flagellation and mild under-achievement, shall we?
E: It is a very long programme with little chance off graduation in sight, so yes. Let’s take a short sabbatical and say LOOK! FACEGOOP IS ON THE GUARDIAN.
M: THE GUARDIAN.
E: The actual Guardian that my stepfather reads (except just the news, not G2 or any of the other frivolous bits. And not online where we’ll be. So not that Guardian at all, really)!
M: THE GUARDIAN OF…. the guardian of what, E?
M: Yes. That. I’m not entirely sure how this happened, E.
E: I am. We applied. At Christmas. Then it took ages.
M: Oh yes. I have foggy memories of beanbags and a very nice pumpkin salad at some sort of training day. The rest is hazy.
E: Maybe they spiked your quinoa?
M: Because suddenly we have a space over there on the new Guardian Fashion Bloggers network to talk about whatever beauty nonsense we want (as long as we don’t swear).
E: Or tell jokes about Alan Rusbridger and pigeons. Or capitalise the “T” in t-shirt. We will be posting regularly on our own special Guardian Facegoop page and it is live NOW.
M: What do we have planned, E?
E: Well! We’re starting with a body oil slapdown that includes the phrase “sexy sex”. There’s a very special ludicrous photo post where I dress up as a man. And my Amish Guide To Lip Colour for the Modest.
M: I’m going to do something about BIG HAIR.
E: HUGE hair.
M: Hair that can eat your face. Maybe a few interviews of amazing looking people thrown in. It’s basically, the same as we already do here.
E: We’ll still be posting over here too. All the stuff with capital Ts and swearing and pigeon jokes will still be available here at Original Full Fat Facegoop ™.
M: All this amazing content won’t write itself. Better get our act together.
E: This “act together” business sounds nothing like us, M. But hey! This is our self-loathing sabbatical and anything is possible! Dismount from the walrus of despair and come ride the unicorn of possibility with us!
E: M, do you remember that about a million years ago, I told you about Etat Pur?
M: Yes! You made me fill out a questionnaire. With promises of free stuff. I never got the free stuff.
E: We were robbed. Nevertheless, I would like to invite you back, briefly, into the State of Purity (no passport required).
M: Hmm. It sounds very Orwellian.
E: Yes. One face good. Two moustaches bad. I am sad you never got free stuff because some of this Etat Pur goop, despite its slightly fascist name, is excellent, and also, because I think the Etat Pur schtick is right up your street.
M: Oh? I am raising a slightly revolutionary counterthinking eyebrow at it.
E: You’d like it, because it’s DIY. Basically, you make up your own skincare regime.
M: How is this up my street? I am way too lazy for DIY. Oh, I see. I LIKE IT.
E: So, eg, you choose from five textures of moisturizer, a couple of formulations of cleanser and so on, BUT, and this is the cool bit, then there are loads of targeted add ons, that you can add using amusingly tiny scientific dropper bottles.
M: OMYGODILOVETHATSTUFF. I LIKE IT ALREADY. GIVE ME FREE STUFF.
E: I was given many of the tiny sample bottles of, er, chemical magic to try. Obviously this is far too much like hard work for me. I don’t even know what most of these dropper bottles do.
M: Now you are just rubbing it in. I am supposed to be the skincare nerd in this dynamic duo! ME!
E: Hmm. Maybe I should send them to you, for testing with your safety goggles and lab coat? In the meantime, however, I have managed to master ONE of these tiny dropper bottle samples and very good it is too.
M: Oh yes? Tell me more, while I make faces of envy and skin-based frustration in the manner of a constipated elephant.
SCIENCEGASM. Look at the teeny tiny jars! The sciencey bottles! You know you love it. Obviously, at 38 I should not have a face full of blemishes, but life is a dick, so I do. This salicylic acid is for dabbing on said blemishes.
M: That is one of my favourite acids. Is it good? The blemishes are rife in this neighborhood. The blemishes are totally hogging the street corner.
E: The blemishes have taken over the low rises. Yeah, it totally does the trick. Takes down the redness. Chases the spots off the street corner with threats of an antisocial behaviour order.
M: Wow. It’s like paying protection money. For your skin.
E: I mean, it’s not, you know, MIRACULOUS. Community policing your face is slow, hard work, but it does the job. That’s what I like about this Etat Pur stuff: no exaggerated nonsenseclaims. No bullshit. And actually, for each product you can look at the actual clinical trial results on their Etat Pur website to see whether it actually does anything.
M: Ahahahhahahahhahahahahhahahahahhahahahhahahahhahahahhaha. Oh my god. The SkinPolice have got you. They have brainwashed you.
E: APPLY YOUR LAB COAT, M. JOIN ME. Because, see, I need to tell you this: Etat Pur is cheap. Moisturisers are £7.80 and the most expensive tiny pot of voodoo is only £14.20. I’m quite tempted by one of the ones for sensitive and reactive skin (Angry Monkey Face, basically).
M: Interesting. And 3 free samples with every order.
E: Three free samples that you get to CHOOSE. Not some old crap they’ve had hanging around since Christmas Secret Santa.
M: Hmm. Well. Maybe. I may give it a chance.
E: You have nothing to lose but your, erm, freedom? BARGAIN.
M: You know I have, how can I put this, problems. With hair.
E: Pfff, . I have a balding WIG. That’s a real hair problem. But continue.
M: It’s all over the place. On my head. On my chin.
E: Head: good. Chin: not so much.
M: OTHER PLACES TOO.
E: I see. I get the picture. Unfortunately.
M: And my eyebrows. They are bushy on the inside, sparse on the outside. What’s up with that, eyebrows?
E: Awkward buggers, eyebrows. So easy to get wrong. That’s why I have mine tattooed on by an expert.
M: I have lots of tweezers. They fall into the following categories:
E: Ahahahahhaah it’s the seven tweezer dwarves. Well, the five tweezer dwarves.
M: When I had money, many many moons ago, I had a subscription at Browhaus. Those were the days, E.
E: Ah, yes, the days of milk and honey and GROOMING.
M: I’d pay someone to deal with my eyebrows. I’d recline in a cloud of talcum powder and wait for them to do their magic.But those days are long gone.
E: Gone, in a puff of HMRC smoke and global financial meltdown. Sucked into Gideon’s black hole.
M: I have to do my eyebrows on my own now, E, which is basically like someone taking your baby pet unicorn away.
E: That’s so harsh. Unimaginably cruel.
M: I know. It’s a good thing you sent me these Shavata tweezers, eh?
Tweezers, muzzled for M’s own safety
E: I did! Lovely Shavata sent me them and I had nothing to tweeze!
M: SHAVATA. Say it with me: SHHHAAAAVAAATAAAA.
E: SHAVATA. It is a nice word. Is she a person? Yes! Yes she is! I have found a picture!
M: I am pretty sure that Shavata used to be a skilled cardiac surgeon in another life, because these things are SHARP. They are “precision tweezers”, look:
E: Christ! You could extract a spleen with that.
M: You could pick out cactus spines with these, that’s how sharp they are. You could, in fact, extract a cactus spleen.
E: I bet you could also get a credit card out from between narrow floorboards with them. Not that I can imagine anyone would ever need that, ahem.
M: No. Or indeed, be silly enough to let that happen in the first place.
E: So. They are super pointy. But are they actually effective?
M: Yes. And that’s basically it. They are very effective. So effective in fact, that sometimes they snap the hair in half before you’ve had a chance to pull it out which is a bit annoying, but otherwise, yes. Very effective. Good tweezeing action. Deadly surgical precision.
E: Well, I suppose that’s as good as it gets until you can pay eunuchs to caress your brows off.
M: Mmmm, eunuchs. So high five, Shavata, whoever you are. Thanks to you, I do not look like Frida Kahlo.
E: What’s the hurry? We haven’t posted since dinosaurs roamed Space NK, remember. Actually who are you?
M: WE ARE LATE FOR HERBOLOGY CLASS.
E: You’ve lost me.
M: Professor Sprout will kick our arses.
M: For god’s sake, Ron. I am doing a whole Harry Potter-Herbology thing. Keep up.
E: Oh. I have never read Harry Potter. I fail Herbology.
M: Which is ironic, as Herbology has not failed us.
E: You speak truth.
M: We have definitely failed it though. They sent us a huge package of stuff weeks and weeks ago and we still haven’t reviewed it.
E: Oh god. It’s true.
M: BAD BEAUTY BLOGGISTS. BAD.
E: Probably the worst beauty bloggists in the history of beauty bloggism.
M: It’s ok, we’ll say we were intensively testing it.
E: Which has the added advantage of being TRUE. And god knows, the poor Herbologists had their work cut out.
M: Our craggy, craggy, traumatised winter faces have tested Herbology like it has never been tested before.
E: Winter has been cruel, like something out of Game of Thrones (which I have also not read) and I have reverted to my natural state: half Medieval peasant, half badger.
M: Winter has Come. Harsh. Bitter. Windswept. And Elemental Herbology was here to keep the… bad stuff at bay. I think we’re just going to have to say it, E. WE LOVE ELEMENTAL HERBOLOGY.
E: I thought I would never love again. Yet here we are. Giddy. De-badgered.
M: I fell in love almost immediately. There was the giddy hyperventilation of opening up a care package of heavy glass jars. The sweet sweet smell of herbal whatever goes into it. The comfort of the duvet like textures. Shall we go through the products before our readers lose the will to read?
E: There aren’t any readers, M. We last updated our blog in 1896. But sure, let’s talk about cleanser into the howling void. The “Purify and Soothe” cleanser is excellent. Eve Lom-esque, but lighter. Nice camomile scent.
M: It was actually the product I liked the least. Mostly because I drunkenly managed to make the tube burst.
E: Eh? How the fuck did you do that?
M: I DO NOT KNOW. I WAS DRUNK. The balm was cold and I squeezed really hard.
M: Also, I find it a bit hard to remove.
E: You were probably drunkenly trying to wash your face with Windolene, or E45 cream. I like the texture because I am not a drunk.
M: It’s lovely. A very fine oily balm. What about the “Cell Active Rejuvenation” day moisturizer?
E: Easily absorbed. Soft and moisturising but not greasy. Nice bronzey cylinder like something you’d get at an awards ceremony.
M: Rose gold, I would call it.
E: Sure, whatever, tubesplitter.
M: This is the one with the hilarious french translation. “Creme du jour defroissante et raffermissante”. How would you translate defroissante?
E: Ha. “Uncreasing?”
M: Yes. Uncreasing and firming cream of the day.
E: Google Translate abuse: NEVER NOT FUNNY.
M: I like it. I was getting this weird rash on my limbs from the abhorrent cold a few weeks ago. Horrible itchy bumps all over my hands and arms and legs, but my face was fine, protected by the magic of Elemental Herbology.
E: Good. Moving on to the serum.
M: The serum is… good. Serumy.
E: And we wonder why we haven’t hit the big time yet. “Serumy”. Fucking hell. I haven’t really used the serum yet because I am finishing an expensive REN one a persuasive man made me buy.
M: It does nothing bad. I’m not sure if it does anything good. It is supposed to help congestion, but the traffic around Hackney Central was terrible this morning. BADOOM TISH.
E: I’m just going to pretend I didn’t hear that, M. The night moisturiser? “Facial Souffle” (great name)?
M: I think this is my favourite thing. It’s like pressing a delicious tiramisu onto your face. LOVE LOVE LOVE.
E: I agree. It left me smooth and unscaly, whilst unlike tiramisu, it did not give me a double chin.
M: I do not feel ready for bed until I put it on.
E: It’s your creamy comfort blanket.
M: It is. And it does not bring out the facial pox, though it is wonderfully hydrating. Full marks, Herbologists. The other thing that is awesome is the facial peel. Put it on, leave it for four minutes, towel off, go to bed. Wake up with baby soft skin. It’s replaced Liquid Gold in my exfoliating affections.
E: It’s a winner. Light, non-irritant, very effective. After using it I wake up … not looking like a badger’s arse for once.
M: So we’ve covered the good, E. It is good. Very very good. All of it. Mad props, Elemental Herbology. Shall we mention the bad?
E: We are fearless in the pursuit of truth. Or is that cheese? It might be cheese.
M: HOLY MOTHER OF SWEET BALONEY ARE YOU KIDDING ME WITH THOSE PRICES?!?!??!
E: £44 for the night cream of joy. It would be cheaper to employ someone to caress my face with asses milk all night.
M: To be fair, it will last an eternity. I have used it every night for the past 2 months, and barely used a third.
E: I hope you’re not about to start spouting some “cost per wear” bullshit.
M: Hell no. But .. you know.
E: I do, but my inner Calvinist disapproves. Can I mention the hilarious patent stuff on the tubes?
M: Oh do. I have not noticed it. I was too busy being IN LOVE WITH THE PRODUCTS.
E: The packaging is CRAMMED with details of the many patents and patents pending in proprietary Herbology formulas. Frankly, it terrifies me. If my legal training serves me…
M: Uh oh. They’ve unleashed the IP lawyer in you.
E: … I suspect we are not even allowed to say the word “herb” any more, any of us. As we speak, the herbologists’ lawyers are running round Tescos slapping injunctions on the basil.
Yes. I need to issue one of our famous Facegoop Legal Warnings. Facegoop Legal Warning: Do not even try and say the word “herb” or “element” anymore. Step away from that bouquet garni. Science teachers: cease and desist.
M: E, I am not listening to you. I am too busy looking at their website. There are other products, E. OTHER ELEMENTAL HERBOLOGY PRODUCTS. Millions of them. Stuff for the body. Stuff for the face. OH GOD I WANT IT ALL.
M: I know, but this is pure goodness. I read about it on Beauty Mouth. Do you know this blog?
E: Nope. In my spare time, I read Proust*.
M: It is run by Caroline Hirons, who is a facialist. This means she is a face expert.
E: Thanks for clearing that up.
M: She has a thing called the Thursday clinic where people can go and ask questions. It makes for addictive reading, like looking through someone’s dirty underwear drawer, or picking at a scab. Disgusting behaviour, basically. (who keeps their dirty underwear in a drawer?)
E: I am not judging. I wore a length of used dental floss on my glasses for an hour this morning without even noticing.
M: Anyway, she recommends this Emma Hardie Moringa Balm as the best cleanser ever ever ever.
E: “Moringa”, eh?
M: It sounds like a greeting.
E: Yes!Hawaiian perhaps.
M: “Moringa, Mma. Have you slept well?”. Let’s get back to the balm.
E: If you insist.
M: I’ve never been very lucky with balms. Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish? EYE STINGING FACE STRIPPING RUBBISH. Karin Herzog professional cleansing whatever it was called? EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE SWEET SMELLING VASELINE.
E: The lawyer in me feels a disclaimer coming on here, but I will ignore the impulse. How about Eve Lom? What litigious complaints do you have about her?
M: Never tried. Isn’t it full of mineral oils or something?
E: Sigh. I quite like it. ANYWAY. Your balm block has been broken, presumably ?
M: Yes. This one smells amazing. Like a spring of blooming orange trees. And it comes in a heavy glass jar, which is always pleasing. AND it feels lovely when you spread it on to your face. Like… goose fat. Sweet smelling goose fat.
E: Soft, delicious, full of French paradoxes.
M: I wonder if you could roast potatoes in this. It is a multitasker.
E: You want orange blossom scented potatoes? You are depraved.
M: You can use it as a mask or intensive moisturiser when things get dryyyy. Dry like the Arizona desert.
E: And what does it actually do to your face, M?
M: Smooth. Clear. Not angry, not monkey. Anything that will make my face look like this, has my undying loyalty, E.
E: I see. I bet it’s really dear, isn’t it?
M: Yes, kind of. £34 in the shops. I got mine for £26 off Ebay.
E: Hmmmm. “Spendy”, as the people would have us say.
M: Well. I think one pot would last for a couple of months. I only use it in the evening, after a quick wipe of La Roche Posay lotion.
E: Who is this Emma Hardie, anyway? She sounds like one of the Avengers. The sixties ones. Not Thor & co.
M: She might as well be. An Avenger. FOR THE FACE. Here.
She has something called “facefact workshop”. That sounds amazing. I want to be educated to do my own facial sculpting at home.
E: It seems to involve having your face flayed in the manner of the creepy German guy.
E: You know, the German guy with the hat who flays people.
M: HA. Dr German von Gunther from Small Hat-am-Rhein
E: Jah, jah, genau! Hang on, we are getting distracted. Back to balm.
M: Ah yes. So: Emma Hardie Amazing Face Natural lift and sculpt Moringa cleansing balm. A facialist approved, orange blossom scented, goose fat, skin miracle.
E: Legal notice: face flaying should be part of a calorie controlled diet and can go up as well as down.
E: What’s that tinkling noise I hear M? Is it your leper bell?
M: Yes, yes it is. My skin is.. leprous?
E: Small children recoiling from you on the street? GOOD. You’re going to want to know what I’m about to tell you then, because that’s exactly how I was before The Gloop.
M: “The Gloop”?
E: It is a possibly miraculous cleanser I have been using.
M: TELL ME ABOUT THE MIRACLE CLEANSER. I want facts, E. FACTS. What texture is it? What does it smell of?
E: Hang on, hold up, you’re going way too fast. First I have to tell you about the BEFORE, in the manner of a lengthy daytime infomercial.
M: Fine, fine. But HURRY.
E: So. About 2 months ago my skin took against me in the most violent way. It tried to escape from my head. It simultaneously broke out and peeled and I had worse spots than I had EVER had. If I put anything on it, it screamed like a bansheee. Well, it visually screamed. You know what I mean.
M: It was the facial skin equivalent of “The Scream”.
M: (note to self: do not google “bubons”)
E: (EWWWWWWW) In this state, I had to go to a beauty presentation. Embarrassing. I considered not going. I considered a facial exorcism. But in the end I just powdered up my entire visage with Laura Mercier Secret Squirrel Mineral Powder (that is not its name) to create an inch thick geisha mask.
M: THIS IS ALL VERY WELL BUT TELL ME ABOUT THE CLEANSER.
E: OK FINE, CRANKYPANTS. The presentation was about a French brand called Iroisie. It is made out of sea and Brittany mountains and seagull guano for all I know, but the lady from Iroisie had beautiful skin.
M: Sounds healthy. And briny.
E: Yes. She said that it was very carefully devised not to fuck with the balance of your skin, and organic and free of nasties. Which was music to my scaly ears.
M: What did she give you?
E: Well. She was actually giving me a BB cream, but I was so totally seduced by her briny spiel, that I bought some gel cleanser.
E: Oui. And you know what? That is some good (seagull) shit. Though the gelée has the feeble, wibbly texture of vegan jelly.
M: The website shows pictures of papaya, limes, and the green green sea. This does not sound like “douceur” to me. I like that it says the papaya “unwrinkles” your skin though.
E: All hail the mighty papaya. It is “doux” though. No tightness, no irritation. Soft skin. AND! Most importantly the monkey face receded quite dramatically.
M: How fast? HOW FAST?
E: Maybe 4 days? I mean, it could be a complete coincidence that my monkey face cleared up the, but what are the chances?
M: No. I am a firm believer in the power of Cleansing.
E: I’m not, but this was some good sea-based jelly. Highly recommended. The BB cream was very good too, actually. Faintly medicated. Caused no irritation. Covered some of the hideousness while Miracle Cleanser did its work.
M: I see. And how much did this all set you back?
E: The BB cream is £29.90. Dear, I think, for quite a small tube, but pretty good. The cleanser cost 17 of my continental Euros, but it appears to cost an eye-watering 22 of your British pounds here.
That is expensive for a cleanser, but what price getting rid of monkey face?
M: Not scaring small children on the street: priceless.
E: Indeed. I am going back to get some more today even though I have less money than … Greece. That is all the conclusion you need.
M: Iroisie: worth a few drachmas of anyone’s money.
E: I LOVE that game! Please can I be Lassie this time? I’m sick of being Flipper.
M: No, E. We are going to help Reader Laura with this question she has sent in. Her question goes like this:
I’m begging you guys to help me please? My skin is in meltdown. I’ve had really bad acne since I was like 12 and I’ve been on Roaccutane twice, and a bunch of other crap…so all the zits went away, but now it looks like they’re coming back, and I’m not allowed Roaccutane again. So I am desperate, and decided to contact you guys and ask for any products/hints/ANYTHING that could help and keep my skin decent enough to have a social life…bearing in mind I’m still in school, my part-time work is minimum wage and I consider £40 a cream top-end? Anything would be appreciated muchly! And keep adding new reviews to Facegoop, I love it!! Thankyou
M: Yes. I have considerable experience in this particular domain, what with my KAPOK BARK SKIN.
E: When I google ‘kapok bark’ I get a picture of a scary black bird with red eyes. Is that you, M?
M: You are laughing, E, but it’s no fun when even your mother keeps on complaining about your skin.
E: I don’t know what Kapok bark looks like, but I’m guessing it’s not a compliment.
M: It’s the bark behind that bird. Craggy. Uneven. Gross. Did you have Kapok bark skin?
E: Actually, mine is worse than ever now, cruelly. I am out kapoking kapok. Small children recoil from me in the streets. I had to cover my craggy grossness with powder today and my brush moulted so I look like a mexican wolf child, but the beard is a good distraction from the blemishes. Apart from a beard, what do you suggest for Laura?
M: Well, I have tried everything. And I mean EVERYTHING. I did Roaccutane too when I was at school. It just made me look dry and desiccated, like a mummy.
E: Always a good look, the Ramses-chic.
M: A mummy with a constant bleeding nose, because that’s what Roaccutane does to you. Frankly, I think it’s evil. EVIL, I tell you.
E: Legal Note: Roaccutane is not in league with the devil. Other satanists are available.
M: I also don’t believe in dermatologists. They either give you a crap ton of antibiotics, or cover your face in benzoid peroxide . Mum-Ra had nothing on me.
E: The only time I went to a derm, he put me on steroids for 2 years to no effect.
M: Were you surprisingly muscular though?
E: I was quite angry and moonfaced. Like a cute, squidgy Hulk.
M: Green, yet cuddly? I saw a couple of French dermatologists when I was at uni. The first one was actually quite helpful. Maybe because she worked in one of those state-sanctioned student health centres, so she obviously had some experience with acne. She made me use this Aderma Gel Moussant face & body wash, made from oats. That shit is good for you. Calms your face right down. Boots have it for £7.50.
E: Oats. People tell me good things about oats
M: Yeah. Horses eat them. They are soft and gentle, like a horse’s mane.
She also gave me a gel called Erythrogel which was quite good. More of an on-the-spot antibiotic sort of thing. My sister the actress slash moddle still uses it.
E: That there is a recommendation. SHE SNOGGED JEAN DUJARDIN IN A FILM AND EVERYTHING.
M: Then I went to see another dermato, in my 20s. Another recommendation from my sister. And do you know what she put me on?
E: Erm. I am frightened
M: You should be. A hormone treatment. You take the normal contraceptive pill, and then you take a quarter of this thing called “Androcur”. Which I believe is an androgen suppressant. I think it’s basically chemical castration. “It’s great”, she said, “You’ll have no hair on your legs, you’ll lose weight, your skin will be fantastic”.
E: Ok, scary French dermato lady, that doesn’t sound terrifying at ALL. Did it work?
M: It worked. My sex drive was also that of an obsese marmot eating a cracker. You know the one I mean.
E: I do. So what’s your actual advice, based on all this dermo-war?
M: Well. I think it’s really about a hormonal imbalance, isn’t it? And your skin being irritated and angry, like a tiny little nazi on your face.
E: Angry monkey nazi.
M: So my advice is really fucking boring I’m afraid. Take lots of Omegas, like evening primrose oil or flax seed oil. Lots of probiotics too. I once went to a crazy indian homeopathist who swore that problems in the gut had an effect on the skin. And he was, like 146 and his skin was as smooth as a baby’s, so.
E: Probiotics worked miracles with my son’s angry monkey back. Sorted that shit right out.
M: And then, GENTLENESS. I’ve noticed my skin has been much better behaved since I stopped using anything with SLS or parabens in it. I really like the Good Things cleanser, as you know, which is sweet smelling and cheap as chips.
E: Legal note: Good Things does not smell of chips. It is supposedly available at Boots, Superdrug and Sainsburys, although neither of us can actually FIND it there. Boots online has it in stock though.
M: I’ve also been using the FAB cleanser and FAB facial cream lately, and I would recommend both for their superior ability to not give me angry monkey face.
E: Another cheap product win, there.
M: There is one other thing, E, but it is very very very dear.
E: Is it ‘stealing the skin of a Russian oligarch’?
M: No, it’s the SKII facial treatment essence. A.k.a. “miracle water”. I have not a clue what is in it. By the smell of it, I would say vinegar and donkey sweat.
E: Sake, surely. And unicorn tears?
M: If unicorns cried diamonds, perhaps. I have no idea what it’s actually supposed to do, but it really did transform my skin. Calmed it right down, and rebalanced the mad sweaty oiliness I was suffering from. I’ve stopped using it now, and my face it still fine, so maybe some wealthy grandmother could bestow a bottle upon Laura instead of an inheritance, to help her through a rough patch.
E: Goop morning, M. We’ve been a bit lame recently again, haven’t we?
M: Goop morning E. Yes, we have, but a lot has happened since last we spoke. Things like: me moving back to the UK. Also: winter hitting me in the face.
E: Brrrrrr. You’d forgotten about that hadn’t you? The sleet, the icy puddles. The hail.
M: Yes. I was all “YAY! COLD!”
“I get to not have sweaty boobs any more”
“I get to see my breast mist in the cold morning air”
E: Breast mist? I think ur doin’ winter wrong.
M: Ssssssh. I mean breath.
E: If you say so. So: The Shock. He is Rude.
M: Yeah. My face. She is dry. And what did you suggest when I asked you for a moisturiser recommendation, mmmm, E?
E: I told you that I didn’t have a fucking clue, I believe. Is that right?
M: That is correct. You suggested FUCK ALL.
E: Yes, that sounds likely. I’ve been using some old chip pan fat and a dead seal, myself.
M: So I had to drag my sorry, shivering carcass to Boots. The winter wonderland of Boots.
E: Ah, sweet, sweet Boots and its five pound voucher off Ruby and Millie. I bet you missed Boots, eh?
M: Yeah, I did. Boots is marvellous. I kissed its shiny shiny floor. I kissed its balding security guards. I kissed its be-coated Clinique sales assistants. And when I had kissed everyone, I also got this moisturizer: FAB Daily Face Cream
M: FAB, I’m sorry to say, stands for “First Aid Beauty”
E: Hmm. It sounds like a 1970s ice lolly and it looks .. retro. And a little medical.
M: I can’t quite get over how lame the name is. I am tempted to go over the bottle with a black marker.
E: There is some seriously bad copy on that website. I don’t think “to scavenger” is a verb. In fact, I KNOW it isn’t.
M: No, no it isn’t. Do you know what free radicals are, E?
E: Hmmmmm I *think* they’re a bit like bad bacteria. The ones from Actimel adverts, chasing the glow off your face, like evil, tiny Mr Men.
M: Oh? To me they’re freegans who organise riots near the Sorbonne.
E: Ah. White dreads. Birkenstocks.
M: No. Repetto ballerinas.
E: Fucking French, stylish even in protest. I am tempted to assume ‘free radicals’ are bollocks, But whatevs. Your FAB can trap them if it likes.
M: It’s really a shame about the packaging and lame name and terrible copy, because FAB is, I hate to say it, fab.
E: Really? What is FAB about it?
M: It’s very moisturising, as tested against the harsh Scottish wind. It leaves my skin soft and firm, but not oily. It does not give me angry monkey face – no bumps, no redness, no spots, no nothing. In fact, I can honestly say my adult skin has NEVER looked this good. I keep on passing the mirror and marvelling at it.
E: This is astonishingly good for such a lame ass named product. If someone asks you why you look so good, say Botox, yeah? Not ‘FAB’.
M: Deal. It has all this stuff in it.
BARRIER PROTECTION: Ceramides MOISTURIZE & PLUMP: Glycerin SOFTEN & SMOOTHE: Squalane COMBAT FREE RADICALS: FAB Antioxidant Booster
… FAB Antioxidant Booster. That sounds like an item on Batman’s belt.
E: Holy free radicals, Batman. “Smoothe” is not a word. Also, what in the name of Pokemon is Squalane, M?
M: Is it crushed whale? Well, maybe squeezed whale. Like, if you milked a whale (I have no idea).
E: (I guessed. Let’s ask Dr Wikipedia). Apparently it comes from “a variety of plant and animal sources”. It’s a component of human sebum, apparently. Wow, appealing.
M: I don’t care about the squalane sebum. Because I love this. It is witchcraft. And it is only £15.
E: Fine. It’s a win. It can’t speak English, but it’s a Facegoop FAB win.
E: Do you want to get clean, M? Do you wish to get back the baby soft feeling of when you were hoovered with diamonds?
M: Hmmm, maybe. But it’s the recession, you know, diamonds are dear.
E: That is very true. But what I have here is made of, hang on, let me check: rice.
M: Ooooh. Rice. That is an excellent exfoliant. Also, a great constipator. Tell me more.
E: Well, it also contains: oatmeal, papain (isn’t he a french footballler?) and salicylic acid. Oh, also, green tea and gingko for the HIPPIES. Are any of those great constipators? I need to know before I eat a handful.
M: Dude, this is sounding better by the minute. You know how excited I get about skincare. Oatmeal – that’s for horses, innit. Makes you soft like a baby foal. TRUE FACT.
E: True fact. Real talk.
M: Papain… err… that’s the weird fruit acid stuff? From papaya? possibly?
M: Gingko. That’s not even a real nut. It just sounds like one of those spangly new baby names. “Oh yes, Little Gingko’s already at nursery, he can read in two languages you know”.
E: I love a mad baby name. Chard. Fenugreek. Colostrum.
M: OK, focus E. I don’t even know what we’re talking about. WHAT IS ITS NAME?
E: All in good time, M. Firstly, I should say, I do not “get on” with most exfoliants. The granular ones sit on my face, despite attempts to wash them off. I find granules behind my ears for weeks after I have used them.
And often, they make me shiny like a conker, and red. But this one? This is good. So good, I have not shoved it to the back of the cupboard after one try.
M: TELL ME WHAT IT IS CALLED. I NEED TO KNOW ITS NAME.
E: You are going to be disappointed.
M: Oh god. It’s St Ives, isn’t it. The great grandmother of scrubs.
E: Nope. None of Granny’s apricot kernels here.
M: It’s like exfoliating your face with a squirrel. Angry. Harsh. Bit nutty.
E: Health and safety announcement: do not exfoliate your face with a squirrel. Ok, anticlimax name the product moment… drumroll. …
M: *holds breath*
E: “Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant”.
M: Ah ben bien sûr. BEN BIEN SUR. Pfffffffff.
E: Do you “do” Dermalogica, M?
M: I don’t, but I probably should. It looks good.
E: It looks … reassuring. Like it’s saying “with this boring grey and white packaging, we’re saying, we’re not here to look good, we’re here to make your SKIN look good”.
M: Medicinal. It reminds me of the sour faced dermatologist public servants I used to visit in my youth in France.
E: Yes, but it does not ask about your contraceptive routine, or tell you you are fat.
M: Or say “I’ve seen worse. I’ve seen better”. You do know St Lisa of Eldridge recommended this stuff, right?
E: No! I did not! Now I feel all vindicated in liking it! It is really very good, I must say. It is a powder. You add water to a bit of the powder to make a paste (like pre-school craft, basically), then you slap it around your face a bit.
M: Do you tell yourself off while you are doing it?
E: You can. That’s optional.
M: And the result?
E: It makes my face soft as a wobbly-limbed newborn foal. Really, tangibly softer. My face feels so delicious afterwards that I stroke it like I am on ecstasy. So sooooft. I don’t know how much it costs though, because I got given it by a nice lady who looked like an angel.
M: Were you on drugs at the time?
E: I don’t think so. Maybe a little Prosecco. I remember the nice lady shone a very bright light on my face though.
M: Erm. E? Were you… abducted by aliens? Is this ALIEN TECHNOLOGY?
E: I didn’t think so, but I have just seen on the bottle that it is “researched and developed by The International Dermal Institute”, which sounds a bit alien. Imagine working there.
“Hello, International Dermal Institute, how can I help you?”
“I HAVE A SKIN EMERGENCY”
M: Intense sobbing. Hyperventilating.
E: People pressing the Dermal Code Black button. This ‘International Dermal Institute’ thing has got me worried. It’s definitely aliens, isn’t it?
M: Maybe you are currently in an alien pod, and they are actually exfoliating your spinal fluid.
E: Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. I bet that makes a good face mask, actually, spinal fluid.
E: Are you having a laugh? How the fuck would I know. I went to Le Touquet for my summer holidays
M: Le Touquet. That sounds tropical. Like a toucan.
E: When in fact, it’s a drizzly northern beach resort made of wind-beaten concrete and despair. It literally rained every second we were there. I thought my children would dissolve. I quite wished they would, actually. I was told French Children Don’t Throw Food, but actually, that’s only because they are busy throwing each other down concrete stairs.
M: Mmmmmmm. That sounds actually properly lovely. Not the children, the rain. I could do with a bit of drizzly miserable weather goodness.
E: Yeah, all that sun and sand and hammocks and so on must be awful. Whatever floats your boat, punk. ANYWAY.
M: Yes, ANYWAY. Sunscreen. It’s either like mime makeup, or exceedingly expensive. And I need it, because it is fucking hot here. And sunny. And sweaty. Which as you can imagine, does wonders for your skin. I’m uncomfortably aware of the necessity to protect my face lest it burn right off.
E: Angry monkey face has nothing on ‘Cambodian Sunburn Face’. And what are you using to protect your angry monkey, sorry, soft, delicate skin?
M: Muji UV Protect Milk. It doesn’t know grammar, but it’s good.
E: It has no time for grammar, it’s too busy protecting milk
M: It seems to also be called “UV Milk lotion sensitiv skin”. Apparently, it’s not very good at spelling either.
E: Hmmm. I hope it’s good at sun protection, because it sucks at most other stuff. I mean, can it make a decent cup of tea?
M: Difficult to tell, E. I would love to tell you all about its mysterious, highly scientific Japanese properties, but unfortunately the packaging is in Japanese so I don’t know what it really says. Probably something like “yesterday we meadow picnic oh how happy the sun shine!”
E: And what SPFs does this magic kawaii sun cream have, M?
M: It says SPF 27 PA++, which I think is Japanese for “Provides excellent protection against UVA and UVB rays, a main cause of skin ageing”
E: You speak fluent Muji, M. I am impressed. Does it say “sits on your skin like mime make up”? or “greasy as KFC?”
M: Honestly, it’s more like a moisturiser. It sinks in nicely, no mime mask, and my skin feels hydrated but not french fry greasy. It’s a total win.
E: And being Muji, presumably it’s as cheap as rice?
M: Let us start then, E, by saying that I hate your guts.
E: Oh come now, M. You know I am basically, Single White Female but without the ginger bob. So when you told me recently about how much you were obsessing about special hungarian black mud cleanser, I went STRAIGHT OUT AND BOUGHT IT. Bwhahahahahaha. At school, that would have been the end of our friendship, wouldn’t it? You would have dumped my textbooks down the toilets and told everyone I had syphilis.
M: At school?!??! dude. you stole my life. Worse than that, you stole my CLEANSER.
E: I did. It was evil.
M: I am going to tell the world you have a tiny cockstump. Residual, mind you.
E: Well, M. I might have a tiny cockstump, but I also have Oroisurkfmgjrsljtmseriz or whatever it’s called SPECIAL BLACK CLEANSER. Hang on, I’m going to get the pot, to torment you.
M: Oh, sacred Hungarian mud! blessed be thy cleansing powers!
E: So. “Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm”, it’s called. “The best cleanser you will ever use!” says the website, which is not scared of hyperbole, apparently. But firstly, I’d like to say, it’s not actually black at all, as you promised me. It’s more of a charcoal grey.
M: On s’en fout. It’s elegant, classic, charcoal grey.
E: Next, it smells …. expensive. That’s the word, expensive.
M: How expensive?
E: Stupidly expensive, M. Forty six of your English pounds. Oh, I’ve looked it up, apparently that’s the “surprising whiff of orange blossom”. Whiffy orange blossom doesn’t come cheap. It has the texture of, I dunno, what’s greasy and expensive? Sturgeon?
M: Yup. Or foie gras. Or a fat oligarch’s wife.
E: Yeah! It has the texture of a fat oligarch’s wife who has gorged on foie gras, and the scent of a limited edition Diptyque candle. It comes with a little spoon, like caviar.
(disclaimer: I have never bought caviar)
(but I hear it comes with a spoon)
And if you are really really rich – stroke – stupid, you can also buy an entirely plain white flannel with Osueitryiutyeskjthselet written on it to wash your face with for ten quid. You’d have to be REALLY stupid to do that *hides flannel*.
M: That’s all very well, dear, but tell me. TELL ME. Does it work?
E: Hmm. Define “work”
M: Does it hoover out all the bad shit and make your skin all glowy and baby soft and smooth?
E: Well, firstly it is fabulously easy and I like that. Tiny spoonful, smear it quickly all over your face including eye area. Warm flannel (need not be Oxwzrwjczajaja branded). Et voilà, even gets crusty old eyeliner off first time. Now, for the first few days I had a shitload of blemishes, which might suggest the special volcanic goodness is doing its thing. Then again, it might have been my diet of Marks & Spencer caramel bunnies and hot dogs.
M: But are the blemishes staying?
E: No, all gone. My skin is clear and soft. It’s not drying, it’s not harsh. But is it the holy grail? I dunno.
M: Hmmmm. HMMMM, I tell you.
E: Maybe we should give it more time?
M: “We”? “WE”???
E: Me and the homemade mannequin of you I keep in my wardrobe.
M: Aaaaaaaargh, is it like my skin, but stuffed with old tights?
E: That’s exactly what it’s like M. Now come here while I put this stiletto through your eye.
M: By “stiletto”, I hope you mean “thermal cleansing balm”, and by “through your eye”, I hope you mean “gentle facial”. Punk.
E: Oh jesus THERE you are! Where the hell have you been?
M: I’m in Singapore.
E: Hmph. I am not happy about this. Come back this instant, it’s not funny.
M: No. But! An intercontinental move is an excellent excuse not to have written anything on facegoop, isn’t it?
E: Oh yeah. That’s true. Ok, fair enough. You can stay, but I want all the giant shrimp I can eat.
M: I have better than giant shrimp, E. Way, way better.
E: Oh? What could possibly be better than giant shrimp??
M: I think we both knew, when I said I’d be moving here, that there would be some amazing gooping opportunities. I mean, the Asians, right? They love themselves some crazy ass shit.
E: Hell yes. So have you been investigating?
M: Well, I’ve only been here 2 days, and i’ve already had the top of my head in an alien contraption
E: AHAHHAHHAHA. What in the name of holy fuck? You look like an old lady getting a blue rinse. Look at your pouty little face. You don’t look impressed.
M: No, I was not. One minute I was asking for a fringe trim, the next I was coughing up £50 for what? Having my hair steamed, like a particularly unappealing dim sum.
E: Ha. Hair dumpling. Was it, um, effective?
M: There was definite loss in translation. I look a bit like a badger. Speaking of animals, can I introduce you to my friends, the seal and crocodile of concealers?
I don’t know about you, E, but sometimes I wake up in the morning and think “Man. I really look like a walrus today. A grumpy walrus.”
E: Yes I often think that. More a naked mole rat in my case, but whatevs. So, are you more of a pissed off crocodile or a happy seal?
M: This is just the product for us. I’m not sure what it does, but it makes seal faces less sore. That’s got to be a good thing.
E: That seal looks smug.
M: Seals always look smug. Shiny smooth bastards.
E: Maybe the crocodile one is to make you less scaly?
M: Maybe, maybe. the thing is, E, we will never know. The packaging is mysteriously cryptic. Below the zoo of concealers, there was a very nice array of pore cleansers. A whole stack of them.
E: Are those .. BABIES??? Thousands and thousands of babies????
M: Ssssh. You can’t see the products properly, so, let me annotate:
Top left hand corner “Black head off stick”. Straight, to the point.
E: Yup. No messing around there.
M: Moving clockwise: Pore Peeling Tsururi. What the hell is a tsururi?
E: It sounds painful. I don’t like the sound of it.
M: To the right of that, the PORE VACUUMER, complete with Charlie’s Angels, with vacuums.
E: WHOA I am actually quite scared. I will commit tsururi.
M: Please don’t commit tsururi. It would make such a mess. A pore mess.
E: But Charlie’s Angels can clear it up with the vacuumer!
M: Do we need to talk about the babies?
E: YES, M. YES WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT THE BABIES.
M: I’m not sure we do, but OK. How do you think it works? Do the babies lick the dirty pores off your face?
E: EEEEW. Give me the vacuuming tsusuri anyday.
M: They’re selling us baby smooth skin, I believe. Probably made from the skin of actual babies.
E: Gross. What’s next???
M: Bird’s nest and rice bran. Sounds a bit like muesli, doesn’t it.
E: Yeah. I bet it’s like the nightingale poo facial thing but cheaper. Nightingale nest (contains trace elements of poo)!
M: It’s whitening. Is bird poo whitening?
E: Almost certainly. I bet it’s great for constipation too with all those twigs and bran.
M: Look, it comes with a creepy face mask too. There’s a creepy face mask icon in the top right hand corner.
E: OH GOD that’s really really frightening. Please can you wear one for us????
M: Maybe. I’m not sure I want birds anywhere near my face. Because, and I am not making this up, but today I saw two birds fighting, two small blackbirds. And one of them PECKED THE OTHER ONE TO DEATH.
E: M, I did NOT need to do that.
M: Gruesome. I’ll tell you what, though. Singapore ladies have some proper things to worry about. Look!
Do we worry about our vajayjays being too big? NO. Do we have to endure intercontinental travel to get a husband? NO. Do we worry about how much money we give our parents every month? HELLZ NO.
E: Hmm. Maybe they could steam your vajajay smaller? With that head contraption?
M: Maybe, E, maybe. Let’s find out.(and my vajayjay is plenty small, thankyouverymuch)
M: E, We have another problem for the Ask Facegoop Agony Clinic. Reader T.Twisted (which is an awesome name), has asked us a question.
Hello Facegoop, I prostrate myself at the feet of your glorious wisdom. Please, please, please help me find a light moisturiser, preferably oil-free, that has an SPF in it. I don’t wear foundation and my current moisturiser (Liz Earle Skin Repair Light) does not have sun protection. I will be eternally grateful for any suggestions!
Glorious wisdom. We need to live up to this, E.
E: Oil free? what does that mean?
M: It means it must have no oil in it. Some beauty experts we are. Oil. You know. The stuff you get out of fruits and what not when you squeeze them. Like, avocado oil. Sesame oil. Mineral oil. SEAL OIL.
E: Squeezed out of .. what? Seal is not a fruit.
M: Chilean miners. LET US MOVE ON. FORGET ABOUT THE OIL.
M: STOP FIXATING ABOUT THE OIL.
M: There’s nothing wrong with a bit of oil, anyway.
E: I thought we weren’t talking about it any more.
E: Is that a moisturiser, then? It doesn’t SOUND like moisturiser.
M: It is a very very very lightweight foundation that feels like a cloud. No, a marshmallow. NO! a cloudy marshmallow.
E: A cloudy marshmallow. Right. So, the lady wants moisturiser and you’re offering her cloudy marshmallows??
M: It’s super hydrating, makes your face glow in a non sweaty way, and you can’t feel it on. AND it has SPF25.
E: Oooh. Fancy.
M: And it’s Australian, innit. They know about sunscreen. And koalas.
E: That is true. Also beer.
M: It’s very moisturising. It has all sorts of vitamins in it, like a smoothie.
E: Well then. It sounds lovely. Are you sure it’s oil free?
M: You’re just cranky because you’ve run out of seal blubber. No, it’s not oil free. But I’ve been using it all week and it’s not broken me out. And everything, but everything breaks me out. Looking at my own face breaks me out. Anyway, what do you suggest, cranky pants? Won’t you just tell the nice lady what you’re using to shield yourself from the big yellow orb in the sky?
E: I like Daywear. It’s nice and green. It smells like something good for you. It has SPFS And it’s not made of marshmallows or miners. But what do I know? Now I want your Australian miracle cream made from wombat poo.
M: Daywear, huh?
E: Yes, Estee Lauder the demon grandmother’s Daywear. She’s your mean gran, the one you didn’t ever want to visit. She’ll tell you you’ve put on weight and that green doesn’t suit you. But she really doesn’t want you to get wrinkles.
M: She’s all about the caring, granny. Is it like, a housecoat in a tube?
E: That’s exactly what it is. Well done M. It’s a housecoat in a tube.
M: The cosmetic equivalent of a housecoat and a set of curlers. In a tube.
E: So, T Twisted. The choice is yours. Wombat approved marshmallow clouds?Or a housecoat in a tube? NO, NO NEED TO THANK US.
E: So, M. I have sensitive eyes. Very very very sensitive eyes. I don’t know why I’m telling you this
M: Because you like to whine?
E: Oh yeah, that’s it.
M: I have sensitive eyes too. We are eye twins.
E: Awww eye twins. That sounds creepy. ANYWAY. Because of having no lashes I ALWAYS wear eyeliner and shadow, so they’re always getting irritated.
M: That sounds atrocious. I have a thing about eyes, ever since I had an eye operation when I was little and the nurse removed my stitches with TWEEZERS
E: Ewwww. Gross.
M: GIANT STEEL TWEEZERS, E.
E: I actually have the dry heaves thinking about that. ANYWAY. I have used Talika eye make up remover for years. It’s for “yeux ULTRA sensible”. It’s excellent, but it’s dear.
M: Also, it has a vaguely stupid name. Like something someone on the Xfactor would call their love child.
E: True dat. Here at Facegoop’s Belgian HQ money is tight. So I have been looking for a cheap substitute
M: How tight would you say money is? Tight like Dita von Teese’s corset?
E: I would say it was tighter than my black and silver dress that I can’t ever wear again unless I have 3 ribs removed.
M: Wow. Robot tight.
E: Yup. Now. My friend Ms Sali Hughes is, like, a proper beauty writer and so on. And she is ALWAYS recommending Body Shop Camomile Eye Makeup Remover.
She actually recommends it as a stain remover. Apparently it is the dogs bollix for getting makeup stains out of clothes.
M: Ha. Is this for Hannah HW? Who got Laura Mercier on her fancy dress?
E: Among others. Sali swears by it. So. I was thinking to myself. If it’s good at getting make up off clothes, maybe it’s also good at getting makeup off, you know, EYES?
M: This is very interesting. You’re all about the logic, E.
E: I really am. So I bought some.
And you know what? It’s pretty good.
M: Does it smell of dewberry? Or Peach? WHITE MUSK?
E: Ha. No, thank fuck. Fuzzy Peach. That was rank, wasn’t it?
M: I loved fuzzy peach. I loved it with a passion that still burns deep.
E: Ewwwww. That’s almost worse than eyetweezing, you perv.
M: So, this chamomile infusion. Is it good at removing waterproof mascara? Or sending granny to sleep?
E: I have not tried to give it to my granny at bedtime. But it doesn’t really smell of anything. It has a watery texture. It does not sting. It takes eye make up off without having to scrub until your eyes are like pieces of meat.
M: Jesus mother of god. I can’t even read that. It makes my eyes burn.
E: I KNOW. So, for £3.00, I approve. I will be buying it again. And when I next spill something down me, I know what I’ll be using too. Double win!
M: Whatevs. Well, my skin was much better after that, but I had all these weird little milia and tiny angry red spots that just wouldn’t go away.
So, I’ve been wondering, as one does, what could be the cause of these aggravations. Stress?
M: Chocolate? A diet of potatoes and cheese? The work of the devil?
E: Weeping? So have you got any answers to this puzzle?
M: Well, I’ve been suspecting Sodium Lauryl Sulfate.
And what is this substance?
M: Sulfate – see? That’s what they have in hell, isn’t it?
E: Yup. It’s the devil’s own additive.
M: I dunno, some people react badly to it. It’s that stuff that makes shit foam, innit. Well, not actually shit. Just, products. OH GOD.
E: It’s OK. I GET IT.
E: Ick. Shit foam.
M: So, I picked up this Good Things Stay Clear purifying cleanser at Boots the other day. It’s had a lot of press. Alice Hart-Davis, who is apparently a beauty writer, created the line. And you know what? That shit is GOOOD.
E: Ooooh! Tell me more.
M: It’s a gel that you rub on your wet face for a minute or so. It turns sort of thick and creamy so you can really massage it in. And then you take it off with a flannel. It’s free from all the bad stuff, hence the name.
E: Ok. So far so .. cleansery. What’s so good about it?
M: It’s the exorcist, in a face wash.
M: I’ve only been using it for 3 days, and the tiny angry red spots that have been there for MONTHS are gone.
E: Wow. that’s some awesome shit.
M: Black magic, if you ask me.
E: I am so buying it. I bet it cures scurvy (I have scurvy).
M: Maybe. If you drink it. It has mangoes and blueberries in it.
E: It’s like putting a toad in your pocket or saying the rosary.
Ask Facegoop is back. Send us your questions and we will mock them. Nah, we’ll answer them if we can. Maybe. This week, Tracey asks:
I have rather stupidly signed up to climb Mount Kilimanjaro next year for a local cancer charity. During this trek we will have 7 days between the beginning and end of the climb and I’ve been advised that there are no showers on the mountain. Bugger. So, my information pack tells me that I get one bowl of warm water each morning for washing.
Can you recommend any products that would make my hair bearable and skin feeling as clean as it can be with only 1 bowl of water?
Any help greatly appreciated!
First of all, I think we need to give you some props. Some mad crazy person props. The Kilimanjaro? Really? Some people would be quite content to contribute by sitting on their sofa, texting donations to the charity of their choice through the medium of modern smart phones, or perhaps absentmindedly feeling up their own bosoms in a feckless attempt at early detection. But you – YOU, Tracey! Not only will you be climbing the world’s highest freestanding mountain, you will also be facing bugs as big as your fist, mangy lions, and a measly water allocation that would make most right minded people pale.
I feel pathetically ill equipped to deal with your question, prone as I am to laughing hysterically at the mere mention of a hiking boot. Or, indeed, a hike. However, I did once spend three weeks in a house in Cambodia that had no running water, a resident gorilla spider in the “bathroom” and a bucket for a toilet, so here are my suggestions:
- La douche à la lingette: this will form the cornerstone of your hygiene regime. E swears by Bioderma, but I think in your case an industrial pack of baby wipes will probably be best. If it’s good enough for a baby’s bottom, it’s probably good enough for your face. Or your vajay-jay.
- Talcum powder: I was going to suggest dry shampoo, but this should also help with any chafing emergencies. Toe moistness must be avoided at all cost.
- If you have a fringe, grow it out. Nothing feels more manky than a limp lock of greasy hair on a sweaty forehead. Bring hair bands. Lots of them.
- Homeoplasmine: It’s suspiciously homeopathic but mildly antiseptic and heals burns and grazes better than anything I’ve tried, and you can also wear it on your lips. Or try lanolips if your lips are likely to crack and peel off your face.
M: Yup. That, my friend, is the shit that’s been hoovered off my face. Dead skin cells. Makeup residue. Crud. The nice lady gave it to me in a little plastic zip bag to take home, when I asked if I could take a picture of it.
E: Oh GOD. You took your dead skin cells home with you. That’s gross
E: Though, I suppose I am carrying mine around with me too. ON MY FACE.
M: It’s my new pet. I talk to it at night.
“Hey you. How are you doing? Aren’t you much happier in this little plastic bag?”
E: You’ve managed to gross me out. I thought I could withstand any amount of gross. I live with two small boys and a dog. Eh ben, bravo.
M: “My face is so much smoother and cleaner without you”.
E: If I’d known this would happen, I would never have started this stupid blog.
M: “My pores are smaller. My angry monkey face has gone. I don’t really mind going out with no makeup”
E: You’re talking. TO DEAD SKIN CELLS.
M: You saw me recently though. Isn’t my skin much better? ISN’T IT?
E: Yeah. Your skin looks great. Glowy. Fresh. Really really good. It’s your brain I’m worried about.
M: It’s a small price to pay, E, it’s a small price to pay.
E: Whirl a couple of bath bombs in socks around and you have guaranteed M and I’s hatred forever. Ugh, I am getting an allergic reaction just thinking about Lush. My eyes are watering and my throat is closing up.
M: I’m sneezing. And wheezing a little bit. And also feeling the rage. UGH. Just the WORD “Lush” makes me want to retch. You are like someone else’s crazy grandmother, Lush. One who thinks she could still get frisky. And who likes to feel her boobs up AT YOU.
E: LUSH: YOU’RE A TOXIC GRANDMOTHER. If you were our granny, we’d put you in a home and never visit.
M: Yes. We’d pretend we didn’t know you.
E: “No, I don’t know why she’s shouting my name. Poor old dear, she’s obviously lost her wits”.
M: We’d hire a nice normal grandmother to pretend to be you. Like, maybe, Estee Lauder.
E: Yeah. Estee Lauder’s our nan now. Not you.
M: Get out of my sight, Lush.
E: And take those balls in socks with you.
Do you love Lush? Stand up for your granny in the comments. Or share the hate with us. Go on. You’ll feel better instantly.
E: I LOVE a doctor. I’m like those old ladies that make up illnesses just to get to see the doctor. Mmmmm. Doctors are LOVELY. Even ones who don’t have testicle necklaces like our friend Dr Mystery.
M: Well, check this guy out.
He has it all.
Greying hair? Check
Lab coat? Check
Freakishly smooth skin? CHECK.
E: Wow. Who is this awesome doctor, M? I totally want a piece of him.
M: Well, I want some of his freakishly effective science. The Cellular Water science. He is… DR MURAD.
E: Dr Murad! He sounds smooth. And sciencey.
M: Indeed. Take a look at this: ”the Science of Cellular Water looks at the ability of cell membranes to hold water within a cell as the fundamental marker of youthful good health.”
E: Cellular water eh? What is that? Water made out of, er, cells?
M: Or is it cells made out of water? The mind boggles. The diagrams aren’t helping.
E: But hang on a cotton picking minute, M. My cells are not SQUARE. That picture looks like a Battenburg cake! Not skin.
M: No, that’s just a cross section. But yes, think of it as, erm, a portion of cake. Anyway, Dr. Murad makes lots of products that I believe are generally well thought of in the Industry.
E: Where has Dr Murad come from? What kind of a name is Murad?
M: Who knows. But all of his execs are also called Murad.
E: It’s a family affair like.. THE MAFIA. Or, um, the Baldwins.
M: No, it’s like that Being John Malkovich film. Where John Malkovich walks into his own head and everyone there is JOHN MALKOVICH. Except here everyone is WEARING A LAB COAT. And saying “MURAD MURAD MURAD” while offering you cellular water.
E: Ahahahahaha. YES. “Being Dr Murad”. If Facegoop ever moves into film production, our first feature will be Being Dr Murad.
M: Nightmarish. But you’ll be pleased to know that the Dr’s products are not a nightmare.
E: Oh, and what have you tried from Dr Murad’s Cellular Water Lab?
M: I have bought his Oil-Free Sunblock Sheer Tint SPF 15, and it is ACE. Its only active ingredient is Titanium Dioxide, which doesn’t seem to irritate my skin and make it blotchy. I can’t feel it on.
None of this crappy sticky white sand texture on your face à la Liz Earle, and great under makeup too. It’s only SPF 15, but it protects you from sun and free radical damage, which I think is what you get when you hang out with commies.
E: Hmmm. Singeing with a copy of Das Kapital. That kind of thing?
M: Yup. I have not wanted to sing the Internationale once since using this. Also my skin is moist, evened out, and glowing. WIN.
E: I feel a little weak at this cosmetic success.
M: Go and lie down, E. I’ll get the doctor to bring you a poultice.
E: Hang on. Before you go, is he very expensive?
M: Not too bad. £20.59, though it’s a bit hard to find around here in greying Scotchland. But here’s a handy link to our amazon watchamacallit:
M: Powerful cosmetic forces = brain washing. Oooh, an equation.
E: It’s all about the equations, M. All will be well for the summer, because you will be doing a crash course in FACEGOOP MATHS.
M: What kinds of Facegoop Maths are there, Professor Beddington?
E: When you call me that, it’s like you’re talking to my dad, but never mind. First phase: Division.
M: Right. I’m turning my book to page 123.
E: Please do. Then think of something you really really want. Say, a Tom Ford lipstick for instance
M: Right. A Remington IPL laser pixie hair removal device.
E: 38 quid.
M: 350 quid.
M: This is not going well for me.
E: It’s ok, we’ll just have to take the Facegoop Maths to a higher level. It’s a good thing professorness runs in the Beddington family. RIGHT. Think of the thing. Think about how often you will use it. Tom Ford lipstick – daily for ooooh, two years? And the hair thing?
M: Three times and then give up.
M: Ok, weekly, for years.
E: Better. Now, divide the purchase price by number of times used. Say, 6 million. Then that gives you a daily cost for the thing you want of VIRTUALLY NOTHING.
M: Right. Mine comes down to £29 per month. Which I’d happily pay for a month of less stubbly legs. Let’s just gloss over the fact that I would be too lazy to use it. Human emotions are not factored in to Facegoop Maths.
E: No. It’s pure SCIENCE. Win! Next phase of Facegoop maths?
M: I have a a theorem about cheap foundation to share.
E: Be gentle. My head is hurting a bit. With all this, you know, algebra.
M: I’m not wearing a bra.
E: Nor am I, it’s too hot. but this isn’t FILTHY TRIPLE X HOT SLUTS CHAT. STAY ON TOPIC.
M: Sorry, right. So, Armani Foundation. Lovely Armani foundation.
E: Lovely. 28 of your British pounds or something.
M: £32. That seems expensive, doesn’t it. BUT.
In my drawer, I have:
Mymix foundation: 12.99
Maybelline Pure Liquid Mineral: 7.99
No 7 essentially natural foundation: £13
Barefaced Beauty foundation kit: £12
E: That’s a lot of semi-cheapo foundation. And do you use any of this cheapo stuff?
M: Do I fuck. I am the proud owner of £45.98 of festering cheapo foundation. And by the magic of subtraction £45.98 cheapo crap – £32 Armani silkiness = I have actually saved myself £13.98 by buying the Armani foundation.
E: You totally have. Thank GOD we went through this. FACEGOOP MATHS WIN!
M: YES. WIN. And the £13.98 can go towards the eye wateringly expensive Mediterranean palette.
E: Next in Facegoop Maths, I was hoping you could help me with my multiplication, M. I am having difficulty with my Benetint table.
E: 1 Benetint x 1 bathroom cupboard = 4 Benetints. HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN?????
M: Listen up, fool. 1 Benetint x 1 = £23.50 1 Benetint x 2 =?
E: £47.Thank god they multiply asexually in my cupboard and I never have to buy them (OH GOD I AM CRYING HERE. 47 QUID ON BENETINT? )
M: 1 Benetint x 4 = ? Mmmmmmmmmmmm?
E: Nooooooooooooooooooooooo. Maybe I stole them? I really hope I stole them.
M: Nope. You spent £94 of your precious, precious squids. It’s a shame I gave mine away to my little sister.
E: Oh man I will never EVER buy Benetint again. Especially when you realize I could have got ARMANI FLUID SHEER for that.
M: This has been most enlightening. I feel a bit more prepared, Professor Beddington. Time for double biology now.
E: Yes. I am glad I came to the Facegoop Maths tutorial.
M: But I think I’ve just been a little sick in my mouth. We spend too much money, don’t we? Facegoop Maths suck.
M: I fear I’ve been suckered into a cult, E. The cult of… what? Vanity? Old age? Smooth face? Unnecessary cosmetic procedures?
E: Oh no. NO. Next time I see you you will be a frozen faced Nicole Kidman-alikey. Do I need to send the deprogrammer in?
M: Yes. I will in fact be wearing Nicole’s face, like a balaclava. Do not worry. I am not a scientologist.
E: Hmmm. Tell me more.
M: Due to temporary insanity, I have booked myself in for a course of six microdermabrasion sessions. They have a magical name: DIAMOND TOME.
E: DIAMOND TOME. WOW. I can see how you got sucked in. That sounds… SHINY. Are you shiny?
M: Their motto? “Beauty is only skin deep”.
E: Do you sparkle like a 4ct very very clear baguette cut? Or something?
M: I’m not sure what that even means, but yes, I am shiny. So shiny and smooth my boyfriend has remarked on the clarity of my complexion. WITHOUT PROMPTING.
E: Whoa! You need to tell me how they did that. It sounds amazing.
M: Well, imagine if someone had a tiny Dyson, made of diamonds, and used the precision attachment on your FACE. That’s what it feels like. A sort of hoovering scrubbing action.
E: That sounds scratchy. Was it scratchy?
M: No, not scratchy and certainly not painful.
E: Didn’t your face go all angry monkey?
M: No. Afterwards it felt a bit raw, but not red. It was also unbelievably plump and smoothed out.
E: Wow. How long did it take?
M: 30 minutes. After that I had a lamb kebab. I’m all about the class. The thing is, I LOVE it. It’s been days now and my face is so much better. Makeup goes on smoothly. There’s been one angry spot but no other ill effects.
E: Wow. I am in serious danger of joining your cult. As you may have noticed by now, Facegoopers, M is not easily impressed.
M: Also, the perky snake-tongued facialist talked me into buying some product.
E: What product? Diamond paste?
M: Dude, this is hardcore medical grade thermo-nuclear skin care business. Actually, I’ve never heard of it before. It’s Priori bioengineered skincare. It’s made by people in lab coats.
E: Those hazmat suits, probably. “Bioengineered”. What does that MEAN exactly? Engineered by humans? And not by space lizards made of unobtainium?
M: I have the face wash, and the barrier repair complex cream. Both have LCA COMPLEX in them. You know how I love me some lactic acid. And Advanced AHAs. These are AHAs who have postgraduate degrees.
E: “Idebenome superceuticals”. Even for a cosmetics bollocks term, that is pretty special. And look! “The triathlon of skin fitness”! Wow. my skin can’t even run the 100 metres. It gets a stitch halfway.
M: It is bollocks, isn’t it.
E: Sssssssssssshhh. We believe in superceuticals, M, like demented single ladies of a certain age who wear a lot of chiffon believe in fairies. We’re doing noone any harm. Except HSBC and they can fuck off. So to summarise: you have joined a cult, but you are HAPPY, SO HAPPY.
M: Yes. I am happy. I will take photos after every session, and report back at the end. I’m hoping I will look like a nubile teenager.
E: Well, I am properly excited by this. I suspect HSBC aren’t.
M: Yes. Well, I like sunscreen, in spite of living in Scotchland. I am terrified of sun damage and what not.
E: Ha, strange girl. You should be worrying about trench foot.
M: Nevertheless, I really wanted to try your beloved Clarins anti-sun thingy what not, but I can’t afford the £28 or whatever it costs. (Shut up about the expensive microdermabrasion I may or may not have recently indulged in)
E: (sssssssh I didn’t say anything)
M: So I picked this up in Superdrug. L’Oreal Solar expertise Active anti-wrinkle and brown spot matte fluid protection.
M: Catchy name. I half expect it to burst into French rap, any minute. Caroline, Caroline.
E: Qui sème le vent récolte le sunscreen.
M: Je suis l’as de crème qui pique ta protection solaire.
E: So, MC Sunscreen? How is he?
M: He’s pretty good actually. Fluid, thin. Bit hard to spread. Mattifying? Hmm, maybe, in a sheeny sort of way.
E: Not bad, not bad. Do you feel like it’s SPFing?
M: Yes. It has 50 of your finest SPFs. The end.
E: Well that’s pretty good. Allez, let’s have some more French rap now.
M: (I don’t know any other MC Solaar songs)
E: Hmmm. Bouge de là?
M: Oui, bouge de là. Bouge bouge bouge bouge de là, sun damage. French Rap cosmetic reviews suck. Word.
M: And tranny makeup videos. So versatile, the wipes.
E: And the trannies. What did we do before wipes? I suppose hygienic people cleansed and toned the old way. I doubt I did.
M: We had to have showers. And used bleach to clean bike grease off our hands. Eh? I just said that out loud, didn’t I.
E: Ssssh. It’s ok.
M: I used Simple facial wipes. BUT. I have given up face wipes, for Lent.
E: Dude, it’s not lent.
M: Oh? Well, when I say Lent I mean FOREVER.
E: Huh? YOU CANNOT GIVE UP WIPES! Can you? Wipe cold turkey?
M: You can. I have done it. I still use wipes for bike chain accidents. Cheap antibacterial ones from Poundstretcher. Wipes are bad for you, aren’t they. They leave a sort of filmy residue on your skin.
E: Fuck filmy residues, I will never surrender my wipes. NEVER. They are good for cleaning screens, glasses, children, wiping the dog’s ears, cleaning the sink when you have company and realise the bathroom looks like the siege of Sarajevo.
M: In between your toes?
E: Not yet, but now you’ve suggested, I am sure I’ll be trying it. Wipes are good when the choice is between wipe or nothing.
M: That’s not a choice, that’s a fail. I AM HOLIER THAN WIPE.
E: But M. When there have been lychee cocktails, what will you do?
M: I will oil cleanse my face, as God is my witness. Or maybe use a cotton wool and some Mixa Eau Micellaire.
E: Fucking hell. Dude, I sleep fully clothed when there have been too many cocktails. Sometimes with shoes. You really think I’ll be dicking around with cottton wool? I fear our joint brain is ripping apart.
M: Small rip in the space brain continuum. We’ll survive. Please tell me you use the Bentley of Wipes.
E: Well. I use wipes recommended by Saint India of Knight, holy mother of the interwebs and everything that is beautiful. Bioderma Crealine. They are not offensively scented (I am looking at you, Sanctuary, and Boots). They do not sting my eyes. They do not leave a greasy residue. Or if they do I am too drunk to care. I do not look like a badger’s arse in the morning. END OF.
M: I suppose we should offer prayers to Saint India of Knight.
E: I will strew lychee cocktails at her beautifully manicured feet. Except, you can’t get them in Engerland. So that’s not much use, is it.
M: No, E. It is pointless.
E: How about we give a packet away? To make up for giving useless recommendations?
M: Ok. How about this – commenters must tell us the most unusual thing they have used a wipe on?
E: So. I have a packet of Bioderma wipes for the person who can tell us in the comments the weirdest thing they have used a wipe for. BE BRAVE, FACEGOOPERS. We will not judge you.
E: The winner of the wipes is Kat Maddison for the giant stubbly white mouse wipe story.
Now you may clean the faces of many fancy dressed men, Kat, without leaving a filmy residue. The rest of you with your sex and cat stories are revolting. Use your wipes for good, not evil. Highly commended to the snake wiper though. Next time, Joi.
M: What were you doing again? Eating slugs? Slugs coated in Coenzyme Q10?
E: Nope. No slugs, no snails, no product eating. Though now you mention it, I should have tasted them. I have been derelict in my duties. No matter.
You will recall that I was comparing Gel de la Mer, made out of unfeasibly expensive cashmere jellyfishes and £5 L’Oréal supermarket moisturiser.
M: On two halves of your face. Like Two-face from Batman. But CRAZY.
E: Precisely. So. I kept the experiment up for a week, with only minimal left/right confusion.
M: And by minimal, you mean drunken.
E: Ssssssh. Then, because I am all about the science, I decided to ask random members of the public (well, ones I know) to guess which side was which.
M: Interesting. I’m sure there is a scientific name for this observation methodology.
E: You may be right. What might it be? Randomised double blind control testing?
M: “Uncontrolled and unreliable”. But do go on.
E: Well. The results were SHOCKING. Do you have your goggles on?
M: If you want.
E: Every single person (about, er, eight) I asked CORRECTLY IDENTIFIED THE GEL DE LA MER SIDE.
“This side looks much better” said my friend Tara “it’s visibly different”.
“You pointed at the right side when you said Crème de la Mer” said my friend Tamara. We will gloss over that.
M: What did she mean by visibly?
E: Fresher. Plumper. More baby seal-like.
M: Furry? Vulnerable? A little bit too demanding?
E: Probably, with a huge liquid eye. Yes.
M: Well let’s see some photographical evidence, Two-Face.
E: Erm. I have some photos but I don’t think you can actually see the difference on them. However, you can see an amusing photo of me with a line down the middle of my face and another where I am holding a small cut out of Gordon Brown on the losing side, and, mysteriously, a small cut out of Kirsten Davies on the winning side. I hope that is helpful to our readers.
M: WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN, E??
E: I fear, M, it may mean that Gel de la Mer is better than £5 moisturiser. This is not the result I hoped for. Bugger; I am going to have to become a sex worker to pay for Gel de la Mer now, aren’t I?
M: What do you mean, become? A hardi har har.
E: Oh, very good. Hardiharharharhar. Truthfully, I thought the Gel side was a little plumper and less craggy. But is it significant enough for me to want to pay ££££££££ for it? I doubt it.
M: How long will the pot last you? Have you been putting it on your whole face?
E: Yes, since the Shocking Trial Results, I have taken to using it all over my face.The pot will last quite a while. You only need a teeny bit or else it gives you spots.
M: Ha. They should put that in the brochure.
E: So in conclusion, I am saddened to announce that Gel de la Mer outperforms £5 L’Oréal moisturizer. Sorry, everyone.
E: As you know, M, I have been specially selected – possibly by the Nigerian royal family, or by a special lottery – to participate in a Secret Squirrel Product Trial by Cult Beauty, which I thought was a brand, but which it transpires is a website selling various beauty brands. It’s an honour.
M: E, they just said you had to be 35 or over.
E: Sssssh. I had to go for a Special Face Assessment. It involved sticking your head into a white sphere of doom so a nice man who we will be calling The Face Mechanic could take the worst photos of your life.
M: I see. did The Face Mechanic give you an MOT? (I don’t know what an MOT is)
E: I think I failed my face MOT. My face is broken.
M: So, can The Face Mechanic repair it? Or did he suck in air through his breath and say “pfffff”"that’ll cost you”
E: ‘There’s your parts and your labour”. “It’ll be a two man job and we can’t fit you in before October”. No. He didn’t. Though he did suggest at one point I might want to get my nostril veins ablated. I have no idea what that even means.
M: Ha. Doesn’t your nose need veins?? I mean, for blood flow. Your skin needs blood, right? Or it will just fester and fall off in disgusting black chunks.
E: What a nice vision. Thanks, M, our special Face Scientist. Apparently my nose doesn’t need the kind of veins it has. Anyway, that wasn’t great, but the worst picture was a blue one of FACE BACTERIA. I don’t want face bacteria!
E: I know. This is worse than when my nails all turned green.
M: Rather you than me, E. Parce que, let me tell you, if the mechanic took one look at my face, he would run away screaming, face wrench in one hand and chamois cloth in the other. Did he use a crank on your jaw??
E: No. There were no face tools at all.
M: THEN WHAT IS THE MIRACLE SOLUTION??? Surely you don’t have to live the rest of your life with face bacteria and nose veins?
E: I do not have THE MIRACLE SOLUTION yet. THE MIRACLE SOLUTION is in Ireland, held up by volcanic ash. The long and the short of it is: I have hideous sun damage (despite living in nowhere sunnier than England, France and Belgium all my life and wearing fucking sunscreen) I do not have many wrinkles, but he would dearly love to blast the ones I do have and my skin is uneven and full of bacteria. So either I kill myself.
E: Or I use THE MIRACLE SOLUTION.
M: Which is stuck in ireland
M: Well that sucks.
E: It does. Maybe it will all be all right when the MIRACLE SOLUTION arrives. And maybe we will all be buried under volcanic ash before that happens. However all is not lost as I bought the magical Muji cleansing oil to try. Take that, bacteria mofos.
M: Aha! We can add it to our special oil cleansing post.
E: Nice subtle trailer there, M. Yes, our special oil cleansing post featuring the Special Fancl Test. Watch this space.
E: Well. I have started an Exciting New Facegoop Experiment.
M: Is it something to do with Excessive Capitalisation?
E: That’s my Germanic Scientific Side Coming Out. Anyway, let me tell you about it. My skin is dry at the moment. Really dry. It is dessicated, loose, flaky. I have slakke skin. Sexy stuff.
M: Like coconut.
E: Yeah. Like dessicated coconut sticking to my face. Exactly. There is obviously no hope of me ever looking like a human again, so I am donating my face to Science.
M: I’m not sure Science has much use for your face, but go on.
E: Well. My first project: Compare super ridiculously expensive Crème de la Mer “Gel de la Mer” …
Hang on. WTF. there is no GEL in the Mer. Not unless there has been an environmental disaster.
M: The Gulf of Mexico begs to differ. There are jelly fish – does that count?
E: Maybe, but I don’t know why they’d be so expensive. Anyway. I am comparing Jellyfish de la Mer with £5 supermarket L’Oréal moisturizer.
M: Which one?
E: It’s called “Triple Active Crème Hydratante, Peaux Sèches”
M: That sounds suspiciously like Belgian to me.
E It’s even better in flemish. ‘Droge huid” is dry skin.
M: And what scientific comparison are you doing exactly on your droge huid?
E: Aha. Have you got your lab coat on?
M: If it pleases you to think so, yes.
E: Well, on the LEFT side of my face I am applying the £5 droge huid cream and on the RIGHT side of my face I am applying the £££££££ Gel de la Mer. Twice daily. And we will see which performs better.
The “scientist” can’t tell her right from her left. M’s brain is liquefying from the confusion.
M: Is one of your sides going to get rather demanding? Will it ask for caviar for breakfast?
E Like Mariah Carey? Maybe.
M: Yes. It will tell people not to look it in the eye.
E: Maybe it will demand kittens to be rubbed against it.
M: So how is this tightly controlled clinical trial going?
E: I started this experiment on Thursday. So far, the Mariah Carey side has generated one spot. The £5 side none. Apart from that they both sides are slightly less coconutty.
M: Anything else to declare? Dewiness? Radiance? A desire to wear inappropriate clothing?
E: Nope. The Mariah Carey side has not made me glow with preternatural health and youth. Nor has the £5 side. Absolutely nothing to declare.
M: Well, I find this all rather deflating.
E: I know. But noone ever said science would be fun. Well, they might have done, but they LIED.
M: This review is a downer.
E: Do not despair, M, I am planning to report back at the weekend after extensive experiments with each side of my face. Do they repel goats? Can I see better out of one eye than the other? Does one side conduct electricity better than the other? Watch this space!
M: Can we just drink gin instead?
E: I’ll join you when I’ve finished dissecting this toad.
E: I am worried, M. Facegoop is full of joy and happiness and product love at the moment. This is not representative of us.
M: Do not worry, E. I am going to rant about Liz Earle sunscreen now. For I am ANGRY.
E: Oh good.
M: I’m going to keep this short. I got a sample of this Liz Earle suncream squidged into a pot at John Lewis. It has all the good stuff: SPF 20, physical sunblock, no dodgy ingredients, lactic acid, pleasant orange flower smell. So far, so good, if you make allowances for its guano-like appearance:
E: Indeed. I wonder where this is going?
M: Well, this morning I put it on my face.
E: That is the suggested usage.
M: It was like coating your face in melted resin. It just sat there. Like a coating of STICKY DUSTY CRAP.
E: Gross. Liz Earle???? What were you thinking?
M: Making my face grey. And STICKY. Did I mention the sticky??
E: I think you did. So it made your face like an old lollipop abandoned down the sofa.
M: Exactly. But GREY. I waited a good 15 minutes, and then, rather idiotically, decided to try and put on mineral foundation. Not my finest moment.
M: I looked like I’d just rolled my face in some finely milled porridge oats.
E: Making you into a healthy, if perhaps slightly high GI snack.
M: SO. I went to wash the whole dirty mess off. EXCEPT THE FUCKER WOULDN’T COME OFF. IT JUST SAT THERE.
E: This is like a cosmetic nightmare.
M: YES! LIKE A NIGHTMARISH MILKY SNAKE. COILING ITSELF AROUND MY FACE. TIGHTER AND TIGHTER. Or, as my boyfriend has just suggested, like that thing in Aliens, jumping out of the pot and affixing itself onto my breathing hole. I had to oil cleanse TWICE to get the wretched stuff off.
E: I am giving myself wrinkles just thinking about this.
M: And you know what the crazy thing is?
M: This is supposed to be the new and improved version. I mean, WTF.
E: Christ, what must the original be like? Rubbing floor polish on your face?
M: WHATEVER. Liz Earle, I am done with you. I did not like your Hot Cloth Cleanser, and I do not like this, this… this CREAM OF THE DEVIL.
E: Ooze of Satan.
M: SATANIC PUS.
E: I feel much better now. Thanks, M.
We are not linking to this. If you want to buy this crap, google it yourself.
M: Mmmm, smoky spicy lamb chops. I introduced you to my friend Dr Mystery, he who has the necklace used for measuring testicles.
E: Yes! Doctor Mystery who has a pet eagle and a necklace of testicles!
M: He does. These two statements are fact. Anyway, today I’d like to introduce you to another doctor.
E: Ooooh. I like doctors.
M: His name? DR SPOT.
E: Oh. Dr Spot. Is he a character in a board book for under 3s?
M: See Spot perform a tracheostomy. Actually, he’s a character in a cardboard box for the over 16s, I think. The Spot Afflicted.
E: Ah! Dr Spot is a product! I thought he was a potential boyfriend for me.
M: No. Dr Spot is a Soap & Glory product. It comes in a tiny tube the size of a fat packet of Tic Tacs. Or a Zippo. Yes, that’s it. A pharmaceutical Zippo for your spots. Look:
E: He’s cute. Is he single?
M: I don’t know, I think Dr Spot might be a girl.
E: Either way he or she is really very small. Why do spot creams come in tiny tubes? Is it to emphasise their powerful magic mojo?
M: Yes. Dr Spot is big on hype. Being a Soap & Glory product, naturally the box is covered in hyperbole. “Better than excellent… my spots disappeared instantly!”
E: Ha. That sounds like LIES.
M: It is lies, obviously. BUT: He has a tiny dainty nozzle, for only giving out a tiny amount of product. Which is good for, err, spot treating spots.
E: “Tiny dainty nozzle”. I see.
M: Also, you know how I’m basically a zombie servant to Lisa Eldridge now?
E: Yes. You are one of her army of the undead. She has eaten your BRAIN.
M: Of the undead, and one day, perhaps, clear-skinned.
E: Undeath is very good for the complexion.
M: You would know. ANYWAY. Lisa Eldridge recommends lactic acid as her favourite ingredient for clearing skin and making you all glowy and doe eyed and soft as a baby dik dik.
E: Lactic acid? really? Isn’t that the stuff you give out when you do an-thingy exercise? Anaerobic. that’s it.
M: Dude, you’re talking Exercise, I no understand. Lactic acid. It is gentle but potent and is the active ingredient in this little Zippo of goodness. I am obsessed with lactic acid at the moment, and this is satisfying my milky needs.
E: So? Does it WORK???
M: It’s very good! It’s not a miracle, but it’s kept my angry spots under control, and is quite good on those under the skin ones, with no dried cack around the offending areas. I think we should trademark “cack”, don’t you?
E: Yes. Yes we should. Cack ™.
M: Now, it’s no good immediately before makeup, especially mineral powder, unless you want to look like a witch with a peeling sunburn. Boak.
E: I don’t, thanks. Is it more a nighttime thing?
M: Well, it says you can use it whenever and wherever. But, again, LIES. Because, erm, wherever? No.
E: In a board meeting? NO. Swimming? NO. Measuring testicles in a busy Casualty department? NO.
M: So, listen up, Dr Spot. Stop trying so hard. We know you’re all shiny and dinky and your packaging is cute and practical.
E: But noone likes a boastful spot cream.
M: Nope. Don’t say we didn’t warn you when you end up doing rectal exams on the geriatric ward.
E: I might try this though M. You have tempted me. It’s cheap, right?
M: Yeah, £9, although utterly sold out everywhere, APART FROM at Harvey Nichols where I got mine. Hang on. I have just checked, it’s £6.50 at Boots. Shame on you, Harvey Nics!
E: Yes. In the beginning, there was BUTLINS. A magical enchanted land, full of brown, limp, food, shrieking children, and financial ruin. I have been in this magical land for FOUR LONG DAYS.
M: You must look all lovely and dewy skinned from all that fresh air.
E: If by ‘lovely and dewy skinned’ you mean, “peeling like a leprous motherfucker”. My skin has been coming off in actual chunks. My nose is peeling. Not from the sun, you understand. Nope. From the chemical scent of honey bacon deep fried popcorn doughnut bites they diffuse into the air. From the pints of Domestos they use in the “fun” pool. From Ice Blue WKD. And from the incredibly drying effects of DESPAIR.
M: Honey bacon popcorn? That could work.
E: Although I remembered to pack not one but TWO Laura Mercier retractable concealer brushes, I didn’t bring any moisturiser. Not even the tiniest sample. I was all alone in Bognor Regis without moisturiser!
M: It sounds like the plot of a (low budget) (British) horror movie.
E: It gets scarier. I went to the Spar. Do you know what the Spar is M?
M: No. Is it a spa? With fluffy white towels?
E: No, no it is not a spa with fluffy white towels.
M: It’s like a spa for pirates. Spaaaa-r.
E: Good try. No. It’s like a shop, but for people who hate shops. And humanity. So, where in a normal supermarket, you would normally have a tube of inoffensive, cheap and cheerful Nivea moisturiser, next to the shampoo and toothpaste, there is NOTHING. Nothing but vast packets of condoms and pregnancy testing kits and verucca burning kits.
E: Whatever. I survived, like a Ray Mears style survivalist, by rubbing lip salve on the worst of my peeling skin, and Laura Mercier tinted moisturiser on the rest.
E: Yup. I liked the way the peeling skin rolled up into little grey balls with the lip salve.
M: That is all very well, but what does this have to do with the jar of honey/beeswax/bear bait?
E: Well. I finally returned to London and fell, like a dying, er, beauty bloggist, upon my step-mother’s beauty supplies That is to say, this:
L’Oreal “Age Re-Perfect” Which is a stupid name, L’Oreal. Sort it out. M, if this is ageing, I want no part of it.
M: It looks like butter mixed with honey. Did you eat it? With a spoon? Or spread it thinly on toast? Can old people eat toast?
E: Maybe after they use this. It is “anti-slackening + anti-crinkling”. Since you have asked, and I am always pushing the boundaries of beauty blogging, I have just tasted it. I can confirm it is definitely not set honey.
M: What the hell is wrong with you? STOP EATING FACE GOOP.
E: IT IS MORE NOURISHING THAN ANYTHING I ATE IN BUTLINS, M.
M: Ok, ssssh. There there. It’s over now.
E: I put it on my skin too. It feels heavy and greasy, like a Tory MP. Not that I put Tory MPs on my skin.
M: So what’s it doing to your face then? Is it taking it out for a stroll at 11 every morning to look at the gardenias? Is it promising lower taxes if you get married?
E: Frankly, M, I’m tempted to say fuck all. I am quite flushed, but that’s probably the wine. Maybe I am not combining it with enough Sudoku and Ovaltine?
M: Maybe. When you look into the pot of bear bait, do you see your future?
E: I really hope that isn’t my future I see in there, because if it is, my future is peach and greasy.
M: Like a peach and bacon sandwich?
E: Exactly. I think they had that on the menu in the Skyline Cafe in Butlins, actually.
M: The Guerlain Midnight Secret is not so good with its hips though.
E: I suppose the secret is that you dance at the ambassador’s ball until the wee small hours, then you are up bright and early looking radiant the next morning for a gala breakfast with er, the ambassador’s wife . HOW????
M: Wait wait wait. Hold on. What is this, a Ferrero Rocher ad??
E: Yes. This is my view of Guerlain, see? It is basically a highly aspirational 1950s film condensed into small, expensive pots.
M: Except, in our version, you’ve been up to no good, snogging the ambassador’s son.
E: On current form, I would be more likely to have been snogging the ambassador’s dog.
M: You’ll need some Midnight Secret for that too. Continue.
E: So. In the Guerlain version of events, you kick off your dancing slippers (mirrored Louboutins, presumably) and sink into your goosedown quilt, pausing only to grab your Midnight Secret.
In E’s version, you reel home from a seedy transvestite cabaret by a method you do not remember the next morning. You wave a towelette in the direction of your face if you are feeling fancy. Then, despite the fact that you are too drunk to undress, the blue jar of promise winks at you so you slather some on optimistically. You wake up in the morning with eye make up and drool all over your pillow, and a head like a badger’s arse.
But! Your complexion is not as shit as it deserves to be.
M: Hmmm. Your method may differ from that of the polished socialite, but the result is the same, isn’t it? And that result is glowy, and dewy, and impossibly even skin.
E: The level of dewiness depends on the G & T count. But it is definitely pretty good. Also, it smells totally delicious.
M: What does it smell of?
E: It smells like a rose garden trampled at dawn by the dainty toes of M. Guerlain, possibly dancing like M. Louboutin in this video.
M: I think more M. Guerlain’s angelic, blonde haired little grand daughter. She is all dimples and smiles as she CRUSHES the flower into the heavy blue sarcophagus of a jar.
E: Now you’re making it sound like Gigi. With Maurice Chevalier as M. Guerlain.
“sank ‘eavens, for Midnight Secret!”
M: “fo’ you face she get more CRAGGY evereee daaaaaay”
Of course, there’s another ill guarded secret related to Midnight Secret. It’s fucking expensive.
E: Horribly so. But the ambassador is paying.
M: And what price your dignity?
E: My dignity is priceless.
M: Oh? Maybe you should wipe that dog slobber off your face then.
E: Sssssh. So: Midnight Secret. Magical. Expensive. Made by cinematic giants and set to music by Maurice Chevalier.
M: But! I did find some old friends, who I had completely forgotten the existence of. And by good friends, I mean tubes of face goop.
E: Ooooooh What did you find?
M: Well, there are these very handy singly portioned eye drops. No brand on them, got them in a French pharmacy. Yes. I get crap in my eyes all the time, and these are great to carry around in your handbag for crap-in-the-eye emergencies, minus the bacteria that gathers in eye drop bottles like snails waiting to eat your FACE.
E: I like. I will be searching for them on my next pharmacy visit.
M: Eau thermale d’Uriage facial spritz. I like it because it is “anti-radicalaire”. So no chance of turning into a commie strikist while using it.
E: That sounds, er, muscular.
M: Yes, and possibly moustachey.
M: Baume des Tigresses Pattes Arrières.
E: I remember that!
M: Tigress Balm Hind Legs. A gift from you! And the most awesomely named cosmetic product EVAH. Also quite good at moisturising my scaly hobbit feet. And look how pretty! It has almond and mango butters. That is some good shit.
E: Even if it was no good, it would be awesome because of the name. Pattes Arrières.
M: Yup. Also, a Pout foundation brush. Pout no longer exists, but its soft yet firm foundation brush endures. Why do brushes always look like the tails of furry animals? This one looks like a fox changing colours for the winter.
E: I think they actually ARE made of animal tails M. That’s probably why.
M: Tiny animals, shrunk by nano technology.
E: Yes! Nanospheres.
M: And, finally, Yes to Carrots C me blush lip tint. Technically, I found this under the sofa. I’d been looking for it all winter. Bastard.
E: I hear good things about this stuff. Is it all it’s cracked up to be?
M: It’s very minty, which bothers me slightly. And the colour I got is wrong for me, I think.
E: Oh? Minty carrots? That sounds quite wrong.
M: Quite moisturizing, though.
E: Well, moisture is better than a closed throat. TAKE NOTE MAX FACTOR.
Tomorrow – we snoop around E’s cupboards and announce an astoundingly interactive new giveaway.
E: As promised, I have spent three days in the company of De Tuinen’s Chilean snail slime, made from unharmed, happy Helix Whatthefuck Snail.
M: Are you feeling sluggish? I know I am.
E: Ha. Very good M, I see what you did there. No, the gastropod gel did not have that effect on me. You will recall its promise of smooth silky skin and improved appearance of scarring? Well. I imagine it will come as no surprise to our readers to hear that it is ABSOLUTELY SHITE.
I can report the following effects:
1. Stubborn dry, irritated patch of skin on right cheek
2. Spots around mouth
M: That’s where you’ve been snogged by filthy boys. Filthy.
E: Hmph. Chance would be a fine thing. The closest I have got is being slimed on by a jar of snail mucous. Moving on.
3. Near death, as the jar of Snail Gel launched itself off the top of the fridge, aiming for my head.
M: Launched itself, extreeeeeemely slowly. In the manner of a snail.
E: No, M. The concentrated essence of gastropod moves alarmingly fast. I suspect an attack by the Snafia.
4. Mild irritation, cleaning gloopy slime off the floor.
M: Well, I must say I am disappointed. I thought the Chileans were on to something.
E: Well. It would appear they are onto something murderous, and crap.
M: They have rosehips, and llamas, how could things go so badly wrong with the snail gel?
E: Maybe if you have Chilean skin it works better?
M: Maybe. Maybe you need the high altitude and cheery personality to make it work. Living in Belgium, you have neither.
E: No. You are quite correct. However, I have learnt that my garden is home to a snail anvil, so all is not lost.
M: Oh god. What is a snail anvil?
E: Commenter Alison tells me it is a place where small, bastard birds smash snails open.
M: For snacking?
E: Yes. Oh! That reminds me. I also tasted the Snail Gel, because someone on twitter asked me to. It tasted horrid.
M: Now there’s a surprise.
E: Yes. Astonishing.
M: Honesty, you are a danger to yourself.Somebody needs to lock you in a empty room, with no internet access and no credit cards. You are grounded, E. BEAUTY grounded.
E: Why? Because of the tasting, or the breakage?
M: Why don’t you sit quietly in a corner and THINK about what you’ve done to your face. When you’re ready to apologize (to your face), you can come out again.
E: I HATE YOU AND I WISH I HAD NEVER BEEN BORN (you can’t see it, but I am flouncing now).
M: I WISH I WAS ADOPTED.
E: I AM ADOPTED AREN’T I? YOU AREN’T MY REAL PARENTS.
M: YOU STOLE MY PARENTS’ KIDNEYS. WHAT’S THE POINT IN LIVING ANYMORE?
E: YEAH. AND I NEED TWENTY QUID TO TOP UP MY PHONE. So. In conclusion: Snail Gel, even at half price, is a pile of evil mucous. The end.
E: Well. I wanted to do a proper scientific controlled test of snail gel. Because, you know. I am all about the science.
M: Yes. Lab coat? Check. Severe glasses? Check. Clipboard? Check. You are the Monica of cosmetic testing.
E: Rigorous. Stringent. So I have been looking for snails with which to perform a controlled test. But you know what? Something very very sinister is happening.
M: Uh oh.
E: Where once the slithery little blighters were everywhere, now there are NONE. There is not a single snail in the whole of my slimy, neglected snail paradise of a garden.
M: Interesting. Iiiiinteresting. It’s the APOCALYPSE, isn’t it?
E: SNAPOCALYPSE maybe
E: Text edit says “this word not found in the dictionary”. Really, Textedit? That’s an oversight.
M: SNAILOCALYPSE. In all good dictionaries worldwide.
E: Anyway. The only thing I could find were these:
E: Dried out snail carcasses. I can tell you, my blood ran cold.
M: Do you think the snails are mutating? Turning into freakish slugs?
E: No. I do not think they are mutating. I think something far, far more sinister is happening.
M: Oh god. OH GOD. They are being harvested, aren’t they?
E: YES. The evil Dutch boffins at De Tuinen – which, uncoincidentally, means THE GARDEN – are sneaking into Belgium in the dead of night and harvesting my snails. The snail gel is in fact made with plucky belgian garden snails. None of this Chilean bullshit.
M: Gringo caracol.
E: Aaaaanyway. In the absence of control snails, I decided I would just decorate the pot instead.
M: Fair enough.
E: I thought so. Scientific.
M: Yes. Aesthetically scientific. So what’s it like, this wonder goo?
E: Well. It says on the jar that it has “a beneficial effect on impure skin”. my skin is very impure. It is full of wine, cheap chocolate, cold remedies and the occasional stick of cancerous death.
M: Oh boy. Your skin is definitely impure. I bet it has impure thoughts.
E: Pope Benedict the Bastard has issued an edict against my skin. Fact. Perfect, then, to test the snail gel, which makes the following promise in alluring, grammatically approximate English:
“The skin will become silky soft and very smooth. By coincidence it was discovered that the slime the Helix Aspersa Muller snails use to repair the snail shell’s, has a soothing and beneficial effect on the human skin”.
I have no idea if this is true as I have only used it once so far. But I can tell you this: It is VERY VERY STICKY.
M: Never. Snail goo? Sticky? Next you’ll be saying La Prairie is expensive.
E: There is absolutely no doubt that you are smearing the mucousy ooze of snails on your face.
M: Oh man. Is it on you right now? Can you go outside with it?
E: Yes. It is on me right now. Probably drying to a silvery, flaky trail effect. I am perfectly safe to go outside. I’ll be fine as long as I don’t eat too much salt. If I eat salt I will shrivel and liquefy. (It doesn’t say that on the jar).
M: No, but we know this to be fact.
E: I would like, at this point, to remind our readers that “Gathering the slime does not harm the snails” This IS stated on the jar.
M: We have photographic evidence to the contrary.
E: The snail cemetery that is my garden begs to differ.
M: So, is your skin soft and silky smooth?
E: So far there is no discernable softness or silkiness. But I am committing to applying this for THREE WHOLE DAYS.
E: I will do this for you, Facegoop readers, even though it will probably give me angry monkey face on easter weekend when I have Plans that involve leaving the house and seeing other human beings. Iwill report back on my mucousy progress.
M: I can’t wait, but is this wise?
E: No. It is not at all wise. It’s, it’s…………. SCIENCE.
E: Hello M. I have a bag of Space NK BADNESS. So much free stuff. This week end (Friday and Saturday), if you spend £60 they give you a huge bag of stuff. STUFF.
M: I went to space NK too. Ididn’t buy anything though because I WANTED TO KNOW WHAT WAS IN THE BAG FIRST.
E: OK. Well, I can tell you.
M: YAY!!! Go through the whole bag. It’s like getting the bag, without paying for the bag. And actually having to store all the stuff that comes in the bag. And remembering to throw the bag out rather than letting it fester in a corner full of other bags. And getting boils from using the stuff that is in the bag.
E: I don’t understand a single solitary bit of what you just said.
M: I’m saying, this is fun because I get all the fun of the space NK goodie bag without any of the inconvenience.
E: And without any of the joyful, hand rubbing glee, staring at your heap of free tat, though. Look!
M: Nice photo.
E: Shut up. Starting at the top, there’s a full sized thing of Space NK lavender hand wash. Hands will always need washing. Useful. Decent sized shower gel in “Jump Start” flavour. Small pot of Eve Lom cleanser and cloth. All good. Next, “WEI” cream, entitled “Royal Ming firming and hydrating cream”
M: I have some sarcastic comment to make about “Jump Start”, but I’m too distracted by WEI cream. What is WEI cream? Is it made of tiny lithe Chinese girls? Because it sounds likes it is.
E: I’m more concerned about whether it’s pronounced WEE or WAY. If there are Chinese girl in there, they’d have to be tiny. It’s a very small pot. Next, we have a nice high-tec blue and silver tube called “Dr Brandt Collagen Booster”.
M: Ha. I bet you love this because it has “Dr” in the name.
E: You are right, I love a doctor. Put your lab coat on Dr Brandt and tell me about peptides.
M: You are also a big fan of the Complex. If I squeezed out an old tea bag and labelled it “Dr M C4 Pepto-complex”, would you buy it?
E: Would it promise thinner thighs? Then I would. Who am I kidding, I would buy it regardless of its intoxicating promises because of the doctor bit. Doctors do not lie. Next, I think ridiculous name prize from the bag goes to “Elemental Herbology Cell Plumping”. The rest is teeny tiny samples. There’s a By Terry foundation. Bound to be too dark, foundation samples always are. Darphin Hydralight Skin whatever the fuck that is.Tiny sachet of Fekkai glossing cream and tiny sachet of Lubatti “dreamy night cream”. Couple of scent samples – Sisley and Acqua di Parma. The End.
M: And what did you have to buy to get all this bounty?
E: Well. You had to spend £60. So I went to see our old friend “Mr” “Nars“, who was represented by a pretty Spanish boy who they are probably grooming to be the next face of “Mr” “Nars”. “You wanta a fraiysh, spreenglike look?” he asked me. “Si si” I said. “I DO want a fresh springlike look, instead of this gin sodden crone look. Yes please. Et pouf! Sixty quid gone in seconds.
M: Pouf indeed, guapito. Oh god. Did you buy green eyeshadow? Bright lemongrass green eyeshadow?
E: No! I bought the famous Mutiple in Orgasm. No comment. I also bought a freaking lip gloss. I blame that Slagheap. It’s all her fault, coaxing me into they way of the sticky mouth.
M: What lip gloss?
E: It’s called Turkish Delight. Pinky neutral. Not too glassy glossy.
M: What else did you get? I bet there’s more.
E: I got a Matt Velvet Lip Pencil because you said it was the dog’s bollocks.
M: It is the dog’s bollocks. What colour?
E: Let me check.. Ha! WALKRYIE. I AM SPROUTING WINGS AND SINGING CONTRALTO. I AM WEARING A BREASTPLATE. Why is this pleasant nudeish lip pencil called Walkyrie? It seems most un-Walkyrie like.
M: Weil die Mädchen, sie sind nude, ja?
E: Ah, genau. Erm what else did I buy? Nothing I think. Oh, some eye make up remover. Talika, which I always get.
M: Any good?
E: Yes. It’s really really good for sensitive eyes and mine are mofoing sensitive.
M: What with having no lashes and all?
E: Yes. It says it’s « pour yeux hypersensibles » and it really is.
M: Eh ben, hyper cool.
E: Hyper, super, méga sensibles. It’s cool and non-stingy and gets everything off quickly. Hang on, I found another thing in the bag of goodies. Nude Eye Complex.
M: Oh, I tried the Nude cleansing oil. It was rather nice.
E: Was this your Space NK trip? Tell me about it.
M: Well. I was a space NK virgin and I went in with my red monkey face woes.The glossy haired, fresh faced assistant was very nice. She picked out Nude oil, Darphin serum, Ren creams and gave me a mini facial.
E. Nice. They ARE nice in Space NK. They should be at the prices they charge.
M: There were lots of explanations. She said “YOU NEED TO EXFOLIATE”.
I said “LISTEN UP PUNK ASS MY FACE IS RAW, RAW I TELL YOU”.
It started stinging when she put the serum on so she took it all off again and put on some Caudalie cream, which was ok. But!
M: Then I had to kick her in the groin when she tried to put Rêve de Miel on me, and made a run for the door.
E: Back off with your Cauchemar de Miel!
M: If you’re reading, kind Space NK lady, I am sorry. I’M SORRY I KICKED YOU. It wuz my face wot made me do it.
E: No, it was the bees. The bees made you do it.
M: It was, the fuzzy stripy bastards. But I am still thinking about the oil. It was good. Maybe I will wait until Muji’s is released next month or whenever.
E: Muji has an oil?
M: Yes, it is meant to be very good but it hasn’t launched in the UK yet. More reliably informed beauty blogs have confirmed this.
E: There is one more thing in the bag, but it was a special gift from “Mr” “Nars” for buying too much of his crackmakeup. And it is A GIVEAWAY.
M: OOOOH A GIVEAWAY. This will please ‘Mr’ ‘Nars’.
E: Si si senorita. It is a Nars Glitter Pencil. I cannot endorse it because I have never tried it, but we know the faceless corporation behind “Mr” “Nars” is a genius and wishes us nothing but good.
E: Actual scientifically proven fact. And it is full sized and I have not played with it and it’s in a box and so on. It’s sort of pale creamy with a big old fuck off sparkle. Actually more of a glitter as the name suggests.
M: Here is a non-accurate pictorial representation of said glitter pencil:
M: So what do they have to do to get it?
E: Well. they have to tell us what the shittest beauty freebie they ever got contained. They can of course lie and say ‘half a weasel and a piece of pork crackling’ if they want.
M: Ok. Sounds good. Sounds… tasty. Mmmm, weasel crackling.
E: Mmmmmm those juicy plump weasels.
Right, you know what to do. Comment in the box below for a chance to win a “Mr” “Nars” glittery pencil. You have until midnight on Wednesday the 31st of March.
E: You seem excited M. Why is that? Tell us, tell us!
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?
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.
E: The continued story of sunscreen, a tale almost as gripping as the Twilight saga. Except, not.
M: There are no werewolves in this tale. And no forbidden love.
E: So. I had none of my magical Clarins superscreen. I was in duty free with some fictitous money. Money in another currency does not count and can be spent on all manner of tawdry rubbish in airport beauty counters.
M: That’s right. Particularly if it’s Swiss (taps nose).
E: I saw a dinky, dainty little Chanel bottle of sunscreen. “Chanel Précision UV Essentiel Soin Protecteur”. A big name for such a small tube. It is pretty. It is small. It is neatly handbag sized and it is SPF 50. Win win win. I bought it.
M: Does it cost 5 gazillion CFA francs? Wait, no, that’s more like 3 centimes.
E: How the hell do you expect me to know? It’s made up money. And what happens in Geneva airport stays in Geneva airport.
M: Right. Sorry. It’s just, if I’m going to buy some sunscreen, I need it to, you know, cover my whole face. More than once. Possibly every 2 to 4 hours.
E: Well, there are 30 of your continental milliletres in there if that means anything to you. And it’s pretty liquid so that goes a long way. Anyway, you live in Scotland dude. You won’t need it more than once a year.
M: Yes, but then I SLATHER myself in the stuff. It is a form of rebellious teenage behaviour. My mother did not believe in sunscreen.
E: You’re actually trying to become Scottish, aren’t you? You WANT to look like you live in an underground burrow and eat nothing but saturated fat and cheap alcohol. Shall I tell you what it’s like, anyway?
M: Please do, while I gnaw on this sausage roll.
E: It’s ok. It doesn’t match up to my magical Clarins supersunscreen of love.
M: Uuuuugh. Really? Not soft as a goose down duvet? No high tech texture?
E: No. Pleasant texture, though less glidey than the Clarins. And although it smells nice enough going on, it soon defaults to a nagging, medical, zinc oxide smell.
M: No Swiss nurses dabbing your fevered brow with cool cloths? No tiny Cambodian children fanning your feet with peacock feathers?
E: No Swiss nurses. Not a single cambodian child fanned my feet during today’s inaugural wearing of the Chanel sunscreen. It goes on ok and it’s not greasy. I’m sure it does the job because there’s more of a sensation of coverage and it smells like sunscreen. But it’s not really making me love it. It is not working hard for its 670000 CHF.
M: Feck. Coco, Karl, or whoever is responsible for this debacle: SHAME ON YOU. Also, why did you not just buy the Clarins one?
E: That is a good question. I think I was blinded by the dainty Chanel packaging.
M: Yes. They are good at making bottles feel satisfying heavy. There is a special secret lab for this rue Cambon.
E: It’s cute. Its barely the size of 4 mini eggs. You can’t fault it for prettiness. But I’ll be going back to Clarins wonderscreen now. Well, when I have finished this. Sadly I’m not going anywhere with fictitious currency anytime soon.
E: Why? What did you put on it? I’ve told you about trying to wash your face with Mr Muscle.
M: Nothing. I have gone back to a minimal, gentle routine because it is so ANGRY.
E: I wonder why it is angry? (WATER)
M: I blame all this stuff I’ve been poking for Face Goop. And Laura Mercier. And a virulent Ren mask. And Belgeland water.
E: Not the itchy nude minerals?
M: No, I have new ones that aren’t itchy and that seem to calm it down. But it’s basically super dry.
E: Strange. Verrrry strange (WATER)
M: I don’t think I realized how dry it was getting when I was cycling throughout the winter and now it is DAMAGED. It’s dry, spotty, lined, red, and it BURNS.
E: Hmmm. What miracle remedies do you have?
M: Nothing. I have NOTHING. No holy water, no tiny scientists in a tube, no elk-musk-testicle ointment. I am in pain and I have NOTHING.
E: When I was having a dry skin emergency earlier this year, someone told me to take those Imedeen capsules. She said they sound like bullshit but they really work.
M: Oh? Use them as in eat them?
E: No, dance the fucking chachacha with them. What do you think?
M: Listen, punk, sometimes people squeeze those capsules onto their faces. I have seen it. I might have some somewhere actually. I need something to tell my skin to sit down and shut the fuck up, and then to give it a nice pat on the head when it starts behaving.
E: Can I just take a moment to say water? You are shite. M is hot and burny and dry. I am spotty. And I am doing nothing else different at all. It must be the badness coming out. Turns out the badness was just fine where it was, wasn’t it, water? I’m keeping my badness next time, thanks.
M: Don’t anger the badness.
E: Yup. No good can come of this watery exorcism, as evidenced by my face from HELL.
It is supposed to be genius, but I am suspicious of it because it has patchouli in it, which is basically squeezed out hippie.
E: Essence of hippie. I knew it. Neal’s Yard. You try and make out you are like, proper, mainstream beauty industry sell outs, but scratch the surface and you are still a bunch of tofu knitting, tiger balm, incense freaks. I get possessed by the unquiet spirit of Richard Nixon every time I see one of your blue glass jars.
M: I smell white dreadlocks.
E: You don’t want to squeeze a hippie. That’s what you get when you squeeze a hippie.
M: Or how about the Weleda rose cream? Someone wanted us to test that.
E: That would probably be cheaper. Because we got told off yesterday for only testing expensive stuff.
M: Yes. £9.95. Pas mal, pas mal. But I might try the almond one instead because it is for sensitive skin. What are you going to do about your face spottiness?
E: Nothing. Ignore it.
M: That sounds reasonable.
E: I have covered it in Armani Luminous Silk and Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage.
M: What happened to the magical Laura Mercier powder of fluffy kittens?
E: Yeah, that’s still good. But I was in the bathroom and the Armani was all there was to hand and it has, ‘ow you say? Coverage.
M: Coverage, innit. Hmm, looking at this Weleda again. Why do people put witch hazel in everything? Witch Hazel is EVIL. It has witch essence in it.
E: Oh? I have not had problems with Witch Hazel.
M: Pah. That is because you are 37% witch yourself.
E: Now you are just getting mean and abusive. It’s your face of fire doing that. Hey, we could ask readers for advice on your dry face.
M: SOS dry spotty skin of doom emergency! Red, hot, and burny. Grrrrr.
E: Please, Facegoop readers, help M solve her red hot dry spotty skin disaster before she hurts me. This morning she sent me a picture of a two headed kitten. I am afraid of what will happen if it doesn’t improve.
E: Good morning M. There is something strange happening in the skies of Belgeland. A fiery orb has been sighted. We do not know what it means, but we are very afraid.
M: I don’t think we have one of those in Scotchland. What colour is it?
E: Sort of grey, actually. But with a tiny streak of yellow. And even the tiny streak of yellow is enough to BURN my celtic papery skin to dark red farmer-ness. BURN BURN BURN.
Unless I do something, soon my neck will be burny red, I will be taking an interest in motor sports and arable subsidies, and my face will be covered in freckles like something from the Dukes of Hazard. Hazzard? Whatevs.
M Whatevs. I feel I should say something about pixies, and sandpaper, and maybe acid.
E: Why do you need to talk about pixies and sandpaper and acid?
M: That’s what it feels like, when it burns.
E: Oh yes. I never get enough actual sun to get to that stage. I just go red and blotchy around the collarbones after 2 minutes exposure to the grey orb with a tiny yellow streak.
M: Something I only discovered after 5 long winters of living in Scotchland, when my skin started to transform into FREAKY PALE(R) SKIN THAT DOESN’T TAN QUITE SO EASILY
E: Oh holy fuck. Your skin is going native!
M: Yes! Soon it will be drinking buckies and eating chips with “sauce”. Mind you, it already looks like it drinks buckies and eats chips with “sauce”, but we can save that for another post.
E: Soon you will be craving cans of Irn Bru and having the life expectancy of a man in Sudan.
M: Ha! A man in Sudan would outlive me. And his skin would not burn.
E: I hadn’t thought of that. Very true. He would not need the topic of today’s post.
M: Which is what? How DO you protect yourself from this fiery orb?
E: Duh. Sunscreen. Face sunscreen. Face and collarbone sunscreen.
M: Mmm, sunscreen.
E: Obviously, I pretty much hate sunscreen, because it’s a bit like moisturiser but even more annoying, what with the crappy smell, the whiteness, the general smeariness.
M: The stickiness.
E: Yes. But. A couple of years ago I found a sunscreen I do not hate.
M: This cannot be true.
E: True. Totally totally true. In fact, I positively like it. It is in a small enough tube to put in your handbag. The tube does not misbehave and leak. It smells nice. It is very liquid and sinks straight into your skin on application.
M: Does it give you the dreaded sweaty spots of death?
E: Nope. Not a single sweaty spot of death.
M: Is it a stupidly low SPF? Like, SPF 2. Which is a bit like sticking your face in an oven.
E: No! It is SPF 40. Though I do not actually believe it can be SPF 40. it is TOO EASY. TOO TOO EASY. It is probably made from, hmmm, milk.
M: GIMME. Human milk. The human milk of embryo stem cells.
E: You know how I like stem cells. They are my weakness. Stem cells, bowls, gin, Cadbury’s Caramels, Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Ok, I have lots of weaknesses.
M: OK, E, shut up and spill the beans. Because I need this sunscreen. Soon I will be visiting my mother, and it’s 46 degrees there and won’t rain for 6 months.
M: Do you put it on top of your normal cream, or instead of?
E: Oh, instead. My skin is already alarmed at getting one cream in the morning. I am a lazy asshole remember. However, because it is light and not difficult to use, I slap some on top when I go out at lunchtime into the pale belgo-sunlight to prevent FRYING and turning into a farmer called Jean-Yves.
So. The Clarins stuff is magic. I find it hard to believe it is proper SPF 40 due to its very liquid texture and ability to sink into your skin rather than sit around like a greasy, nagging irritation. But hey, I figure rather possibly fictitious sunscreen than nothing at all.
I got a bit distracted on the Clarins website and saw that they have a weekly Sensory Test Panel. I love the sound of that. I want to be on the Sensory Test Panel. I imagine they are all blindfolded and rubbing each other with cream, like something from a French arthouse film.
M: I have chronic moisturising deficiency syndrome. Zero discipline and a box full of half empty creams I never use. I usually walk around obliviously with crackly, itchy, flaky crocodile skin. And yet I must have this, because someone on the interweb said it made their skin plump and dewy and they couldn’t stop touching themselves after using it. I want to be that body butter perv. I NEED to be that body butter perv.
E: Plump and dewy. That makes you sound like a seal. I would check the smell before you buy, because it might actually be blubber. A seductive blend of carrots and blubber. However I have also heard good things about the Yes To Carrots. So I say Yes to the Yes to the Carrots. Or something.
2. A haircut £50 or whatever the demon spawn are charging these days
M: I have long, thick, unruly hair that tries to smother me in my sleep. I also hate going to the hairdresser’s. They are a vicious, manipulative, extortionist breed with a deep rooted hatred of curly hair. It’s probably been about a year since my last torture session haircut, which means I now look like an 8 year old hippy. I had high hopes of getting my hair cut this Easter in Singapore, where I once had the most awesome dry cut ever from a hairdresser who barely spoke a word of English, but the trip’s been cancelled. Bollocks.
E: Haircuts. Believe me, it’s a heap more scary when your hair lives on a stand in the bathroom and DOES NOT GROW BACK. I love my hairdresser (John Vial at Real Hair , considerably more than £50 but worth it for the gossip alone), but even he is fallible, and I have been surreptitiously trimming the last one with the kitchen scissors for weeks to get rid of the slightly mullety effect at the back. I actually love going to the hairdressers. You get magazines and hot beverages and scurrilous gossip. M, what kind of person can only cope with getting their haircut in SINGAPORE? You are a weirdo. Get a fucking haircut. The end.
M: For my birthday last year, E. gave me a lovely Chanel Précision eyroller thingy that is wonderful for depuffing and refreshing eyes after a long session of obsessive compulsive stats checking on the computers. This version has concealer mixed in. Yay.
E: I am also in thrall to the roller. Mine is YSL Somethingorother. It is cool and lovely and lives, mysteriously, on the bathroom floor. We will speak of it at some point. All hail to the rollers.
M: My sister the actress slash model wears this, so naturally I covet it like any self respecting younger sister would: with seething bitterness and bile. It’s a pretty shade of pinky red that will look lovely and polished on summer skin.
E: Ha! Summer skin. Are you ‘avin a larf, M? I don’t even know what that is. Does it look good with blue? Bluey grey? Morgue tones? No? Ok, you keep it.
M: I am pretty rubbish at applying makeup (50% clumsiness, 50% can’t be bothered), and find fat pencils much easier to cope with. This is a sheer, glossy, moisturising version of my favourite Nars velvet matte lip pencil. I want one of each. Apart from the purple one. That one can go away. It’s not wanted here.
E: The names are wrong. The purple one should definitely be called Crime. Lip Crime. Apart from that I approve. Go ahead.
6. Urban decay eyeshadow primer potion £11.50
M: There’s a small, hidden bathroom on the third floor of my workplace that gets a huge amount of natural daylight. It has this tiny mirror that never fails, in the glorious afternoon sun, to make me gasp at the sight of my oily, crêpy, smudged, pockmarked face. The interweb confirms this potion is good at “creating smooth lids that are super powered eyeshadow magnets”. The interweb is always right.
E: Oh man, that sounds exactly like the Toilet of Truth at my workplace. I have to shut my eyes when I go in there to avoid the crushing evidence of my mortality and chins, which has occasionally caused awkwardness. “Super-powered eyeshadow magnets”. Please get this M and we can test it. I will hold pots of eyeshadow 30cm from your eyes, and we will test just how magnetic they actually are. But only for a laugh, because I don’t believe in it. Not for a second. Does it have wheat protein and ions and nanoparticles? No. Well then. It can’t possibly work.
7. Nars Cruising lipstick £17
M: ‘Mr’ ‘Nars’, guapito, I have better things to do with my time than to lust after your pretty nude lipstick. No? Oh. Fine. Gimme one. And I’ll take one of those Alhambra eye duos while I’m at it. NOW LEAVE ME ALONE.
E: Get me one too before you go. However, Cruising? Really? Dude, call it ‘anonymous shag behind a tree’ and have done with it.
M: This terrifies and fascinates me in equal measure. Not exactly cheap, but it uses lasers and space pixies to remove your leg hair for up to 12 weeks. I’m pretty sure I would give up on this after about 15 minutes, but I still want it.
E: Another sci-fi choice from M. Space laser pixies. That’s got to sting, no? I am putting on my smug, hairless face here. For £300 you should have beautiful Brazilian ladyboys stroking your leg hair off, not a small eletrical appliance.
9. Guerlain Midnight secret £58.00
M: The midnight secret is that I may have accidentally surreptitiously stolen some of this from E’s bathroom when I visited her last month, but you have no proof against me. Apart from the glowy translucence of my cheeks. It’s amazing and a full review will be posted here soon.
E: It is amazing. It smells good. It makes you feel like Audrey Hepburn. I have to resist using it every night. I mean, I function with a permanent sleep debt due to taking my laptop to bed with me every night. That’s exactly what Guerlain had in mind, right? Not parties and shit. Right? RIGHT? Sob.
M: Still on the lookout for a weightless foundation that won’t break me out, I continue to be slowly brainwashed by all the mineral foundation love out there. I don’t really want to try the Laura Mercier because she is out to get me. Barefaced Beauty’s powder has just four ingredients in it, no evil bismuth oxychloride , and a carefully thought out colour range. I ordered samples of this recently, but the bastard postman still hasn’t delivered them. Where’s my magic powder, postman? HUH?
E: The postman is wearing your powder. Look closely the next time you see him and check his face. Poreless, flawless? He’s got your Barefaced Beauty.
E: Because it’s a pen you draw on your face with. Usually I am wiping the pen OFF the faces. I want a turn. Also, it looks cute and it’s a stain and not a lipstick, what with my Condition (Pervasive Lip Colour Fear Syndrome). I want to branch out into something a bit fresher and pinkier and I thought I might be able to cope with this.
M: Ooooh! It’s lovely. They should sell them in multi-packs, like felt tip pens.
2. Serge Lutens – L’Eau
E: I think this is an emperor’s new clothes scenario. I like it because it’s Serge Lutens who is like a druid of perfume, and one of those demented genius types and also because there’s a whole concept and years of scent boffin thought gone into it. This, according to Magda in Selfridges, is your ‘day off’ fragrance. ”It’s an anti-perfume” says Mr Lutens, who seems to have been smoking the carpet again “A breath of pure mountain air”. I didn’t meet him in Selfridges, sadly. It’s not supposed to be a fragrance at all, or some such bollocks. It’s supposed to just smell clean. It does smell clean, that’s for sure. Cleaner than anything in my house, any of my clothes, cleaner than me. Cleaner than I have EVER BEEN. It smells of Persil and OCD. But for some reason I want it. Want want want. Maybe I just want to be clean for once? I tried it a couple of weeks ago, walked round thinking ‘eew, that smells like washing powder” all afternoon, then spent the evening and the next day obsessing about how I could get my hands on some more. So whatever he put in there definitely works. Catnip for humans.
Man, trying to find the price for this, I have had to read a shitload of florid bollocks. Fragrance writers and parfumiers are loons. The end.
M: I passed out after the word “perfume”. Zzzzzzzzzzzzz.
3. Serge Lutens – Sa Majesté La Rose
E: I tried this on at a friend’s house and now I want it. It’s not an intimidating, complex, bottom notes of foxes arse, scent. It just smells of roses, innit. Proper fat roses that you want to shove your whole face into.
M: Getting a headache just from reading this. Next.
E: I read about this recently and it sounds like the biz. It smells of roses and it’s a body exfoliant. Two excellent points in its favour if you are me. It’s made of ground up rose thorns, which just sounds ace, if painful.
M: The packaging makes me want to eat macarons. I’m not sure that’s really going to help with body smoothness.
E: £100, but there is a VIDEO. About a woman who lost 4 inches on her stomach with this stuff. That’s incendiary for me. I just have to have it. I spent a long time staring at it in Printemps Beauté at New Year, but I was with M and she wouldn’t let me buy it. Bitch.
M: I don’t remember that. But I do love the title of the product page in my browser: “Tummy Tuck, Boob Job, Slimming – Reduce Cellulite”. Classy, Rodial.
E: I just want to believe in this. Want, NEED to believe it works. I was the person who bought Stri-Vectin to use for its original, anti-stretchmark application. Nah, didn’t make a blind bit of difference, and I doubt this would either, but I love the Nip/Tuck style inflated claims, semi-hysterical testimonials, packaging and glossy Miami arses on the website.
E: I have wanted this stuff for a good year without ever managing to get it, and now I want it even more. I particularly like how it says on the website “OFFICIALLY CHOSEN TO BE FEATURED AT THE 2010 OSCARS CELEBRITY RED CARPET GIFT EVENT”, a phrase which seems to contain several words too many. Does this mean Jeff Bridges got some in his goodie bag? That pleases me no end. ALT is famous for its claim to make your cellulite disappear in NINE MINUTES. It’s the big daddy of nonsensical cellulite creams, and for that I love it. Also note the reassuring qualification “Not using human stem cells”. Er, good?
M: E would totally steal your stem cells if she could. Watch out.
What’s on your wish list? Gratuitous spring lamb photo by RATAEDL.
E: Yes. I expect people are probably already bored. We should try and incentivise them. What are we giving away?
M: I have a spare lip product to give.
E: Tell me about it.
M: It’s No 7 Protect and Perfect lip care. The neglected child of the no 7 family.
E: I don’t think I’d want to be a member of the No.7 family. That fucking serum is like the pushy, show off genius child of the family and noone gives a shit about anyone else. Everyone has to tiptoe around the diva serum. Boots are really bad parents in that respect. Where did you get this lipcare thing? You didn’t steal it did you?
M: No, no! Why on earth would you suggest that?
E: Erm, no reason. No. None at all. Did you adopt it? From the No. 7 orphanage for unwanted cosmetic children?
M: Yes, from the No. 7 orphanage-stroke-factory in Romania.
E: Did you have to fight Angelina for it? Back off, bitch. Step away from the lip care.
M: What I want to know is what happened to no 5 and no 6. Actually, they are so desperate to get rid of their unwanted child cream they give you these vouchers for £5.
E: Oh yes, I know that of which you speak. They hand them over at the till don’t they, while reciting the Boots Mantra:
M: Yes, everyfuckingtime. Buy a bottle of water? HAVE FIVE POUNDS OFF. Pack of tic tacs? FIVEPOUNDSOFF. You can spend it on one of the cheaper no 7 children. Or on something called “Ruby and Millie”, which is just sticky crap.
E: Ruby and Millie. It’s sounds like a Clapham nursery school, doesn’t it?
M: Stop saying strange British things, I no understand. The £5 voucher just serves to make you realize how cheap this stuff really is.
E: Very VERY cheap.
M: Probably costs 10p to make.
E: They’d give it away at the door if they thought it would bring you back for more 3 for 2 vitamins.
M: Or a meal deal.
E: Have you actually tried this stuff? Cos we can’t give stuff away if we haven’t actually tried it. We have standards.
M: Ahahhahahahhahaha. No we don’t. But I have tried it.
E: And? my lips need care. All of me needs care, but we could start with the lips.
M: Everyone’s lips need care. It comes in a thin juicy tube sort of tube:
E: Like its bullying older sibling, the serum?
M: Well, duh. White. Pearlescent. PLAIN.
E: Ok gotcha. CHEAP.
M: When I first opened it, I though uuuugh, thanks a lot, Boots.
E: Why? Is it thin and dribbly?
M: I was expecting a lip balm, but instead yes, thin and dribbly. Like a lotion or a cream.
E: Like the “magic” serum?
M: No, different texture. More firm somehow. And yet still gloopy.
E: I don’t really like the sound of thin and dribbly. They aren’t words I want near my lips.
M: Well, I persevered, and after 4 days it did really smooth out my super-cracked-cycling-in-the-winter-with-no-balaclava-lip-skin. I didn’t want to like it, but now I spend 10 minutes every night trying to find the fucking thing, so I don’t wake up with lizard lips.
E: Brrrrrr. Lizard lips. I haz em. I have a tube of lipbalm actually IN my bed – one of the ones made by orcs – but it’s shit. I find most lip balms to be shit.
M: On the downside, I don’t really like it in the morning. And it says it’s a good base for lipstick, but I find that to be a LIE. A No. 7 lie. Perpetrated by the No. 7 matrons.
E: No. 7 lies are couched in a thin dermal layer of science.
M: Thin. So thin.
E: Percentages. Graphs. Confidence trickery. BELIEVE US WE ARE BOOTS WE WOULD NOT LIE TO YOU.
M: WE ARE PHARMACISTS. PHARMACISTS ARE BASICALLY LIKE VICARS.
E: Pharmacist is one of those professions we implicitly trust. Priest. Doctor. Undertaker. Pharmacist. Whereas in fact, they are more like dodgy boiler repair men, at least when they start dabbling in skin care.
M: However, and this is a significant plus, the No. 7 Lip Care has LIPO PEPTIDES in it. Which makes me laugh.
E: Lip peptides
M: What the fuck is a peptide, anyway?
E: I think you get them in jam. Don’t you make jam with peptides?
M: Probably. So, basically, No 7 lip care: it’s like tasteless liquid jam for your lips. Made by vicars and orphanage matrons. And we are giving one away for free! A brand new one! that hasn’t even come near our thin dribbly lips!
E: TOTALLY FREE and in TAMPER PROOF PACKAGING. Perhaps.
M: 100% PURE PEPTIDE ACTION
E: To you, all four of you Facegoop readers! No, actually that’s a lie. Only to one of you. I am as bad as a pharmacist with my lying, cheating, worthless promises.
M: So what do they have to do to get this?
E: Tell us a lipbalm story.
M: Leave a comment saying what your favourite or most disastrous lip balm purchase is. We will pick one based on PURE BIAS.
E: Yes, none of your randomised selection here. We choose the one we like best.
M: Warning: we play favourites and we DO love some of you more than others.
E: Is that legal? Who knows. Who cares.
M: We can do whatever we want.
E: It’s our lip jam. RAWR.
E: So. Leave us a comment saying something about lip balm. Before the 21st of March. And you might win one. Fancy.
Boots no 7 Protect & Perfect lip care, available from, errr, Boots.
£8.75 (or £3.75 if you have a magic voucher. Look! maths!)