M: At first I thought their packaging was nice, their products intriguing. Then I started working right next to one of their London boutiques. They will. Not. Stop. Harrassing. People. About. their. EYEBROWS.
E: Ha, my friend Valerie swears by the Benefit brow bar and she is a proper beauty person.
M: It’s like some sort of weird eyebrow perversion. If you even glance in their direction, they will pounce upon you clad in those weird striped benetint aprons (what are you – BUTCHERS?), tweezers in hand.
E: They are brow fiends, feasting on stray brows.
M: Anyway, this mascara is “amusingly” called They’re Real! Please to be noting the annoying exclamation point.
E: I am singularly unamused by these jokey product names. SOAP AND GLORY, I AM LOOKING AT YOU.
M: Oh yes, Benetint and Soap and Glory clearly went to the same boarding school of perky cheeky hilariousness.
E: Playing lacrosse. Bliss was Head Girl.
M: Unscrew “They’re real”, though, and you’ll find a rather sinister little brush, like a mediaeval mace, but shrunken.
E: Ha. Is it full sized, this mascara?
M: No, it is pint sized.
E: “Shrunken medieval mace wand” Make a joy ad of that, Benetint.
M: It’s basically the mascara equivalent of one of those Lord of the Rings dwarves getting ready for battle.
E: Your nerd reference is lost on me, but no matter. How is the mascara itself?
M: It is good. Rich, glossy, dark. Defines your lashes well. The mace does a good job of separating them.
M: It starts smudging half way through the day. Panda eyes, E. THE PANDA EYES OF DOOM.
E: Poor show, Benedwarves.
M: Poor show indeed.
E: Would you buy it with your actual money? I’m guessing that’s a no.
M: No. I need my mascara to stay where it’s put. Mace or no mace.
E: So, M. Inspired by your bright lips shenanigans I raided my local pharmacy-type-boots-type-drugstore place for cheap brightness, even though I have no plans to rub my face on dancing beards. Maybe a horse. But they don’t expect you to wear make up.
M: Oh yes? And what did you buy?
E: I cannot pretend I was really “feeling it”, the bright lip thing, but I persevered. They did not have Revlon so I bought a bright pink felt tip by Maybelline. It is called “Colour Sensational”. The sensation in question must be ‘extreme, painful dehydration’, for I have to tell you M, this felt tip pen for lips is AWFUL.
Color Sensational in front of the bin. WHERE IT BELONGS.
M: Uh oh. What does it do?
E: It is exactly the same as drawing on your lips with a felt tip pen when you are six.
M: Yes. But with a better selection of colours.
E: I suppose. And to give it its due, it’s more like the posh felt tip pens some of my mates were allowed that were scented, because it smells strongly of synthetic fruit flavouring. However, it also desiccated my lips to a husk.
M: Dry like the desert. And not “dessert” as I initially wrote.
E: A dry dessert is a sad, sad, thing.
M: True fact. Did you basically end up looking like Ogra from the Dark Crystal?
E: Yes. Yes I did (what the fuck is that?).
M: Does it have a built-in balm? I find that helps.
E: No, that might have helped. I hate it with the heat of a thousand suns. My children can use it to colour in the dog. It is never going near my face again.
M: Oh dear. But did you layer under lipstick? You are supposed to layer under lipstick, idiot!
E: I AM COMING TO THAT. Yes. I layered under a Rimmel Kate Moss lipstick, poetically called “5″. The Kate Moss was like an OASIS TO A DYING CAMEL after that felt tip pen débâcle.
E: Yes. It brought my sad sad lips back to a semblance of life. I was quite impressed with the formulation, which was really quite moisturising. Props, Rimmel.
M: Good. Were you pleased with the results, aesthetically?
E: I have sent you a picture.
M: Oh, very good. Very ‘modern’.
E: What do you think? It is bright. Flattering-ish? More or less suits my cadaverous complexion (though someone on my other blog disagreed and said it was too blue)?
M: Yes. You have a bit of the Bieber post-concert going on. I like it.
E: Yeah, that’s not really the look I was aiming for, but .. thanks?
M: Tell us about your adventures in bright lips, Facegoopists.
E: Don’t think she wouldn’t do it, she totally would. Let’s move onto less mortally dangerous lip colours please, M.
M: My second option is a double pronged affair. I start by colouring in my lips with a Revlon marker pen.
It smells of fruit.
E: “Just Bitten” Ow. See, that is not a selling point to me.
M: Yeah. See what I mean about the vampires. To compound the weirdness, mine is called “Passion”, I think. A sort of bright pink.
E: BEARD PASSION.
M: Shhh. So I colour my lips in, being careful to not go over the lines lest the teacher scold me.Then I apply a layer of Rimmel Kate Moss lipstick. I do not know its name.
E: “Lasting Finish”, I believe, M.
M: I meant the colour name. It is “22″: a matte bright pink-red. And the magic of this two stage thingy is that when the lipstick wears off, you are still left with bright colour on your lips! WOOP. I am pretty proud of my trick. EVERYBODY SHOULD BE DOING IT.
E: Everybody .. except me. You know what a lipcoward I am. I want to try this, but I don’t dare.
M: You are pathetic. I’m wondering whether maybe I shouldn’t even tell you about the third lipstick.
E: It’s ok, I can take it.
M: It might scare you away.
E: I am doing my yoga breathing. I can do this. Come on, flood me with lip colour.
M: Ok, it is Shiseido and was brought back from duty free by the flatmate(best. flatmate. EVER). Perfect Rouge, it is called, in shade “RD 514″, which has the added bonus of making it sound like an experiment. It is a proper red, deep and rich. It is very good quality. Moisturising, long lasting, unique, light reflecting colour. I am convinced, Shiseido.
E: Nice. I am glad you are out there doing colour. I can live vicariously through you, like a lipstick Miss Havisham.
M: You need to try it. It will brighten your life.
E: My sad, lonely, life. M, you have convinced me. I am going to try, but you are not to laugh when I look like a sad bowl of porridge with some jam in.
M: Be brave. You suit bright colours. WIth your pale complexion. OH GOD WE ARE BACK AT VAMPIRES AGAIN.
M: E, I’ve always wanted to be one of those effortlessly beautiful girls. You know the ones.
E: Yes. They don’t look like mole rats in the morning, damn them.
M: Tall, long limbs and what not. The tousled honey colored hair. The smattering of insouciant freckles
E: The radiance. Always with the radiance.
M: YES. That healthy surfer girl glow.
M: LITHE. That’s what they are, E. Radiantly LITHE.
E: We do NOT have long limbs, do we?
M: erm, no.
E: We actually couldn’t muster a long limb if we put all 8 of ours together
M:We have 8 limbs between the two of us? OH MY GOD. You know what that means, dont you E. DON’T YOU?? WE ARE AN OCTOPUS? Slurp slurp slurp. That’s the noise the tentacles make when they hold on to your face to drag you under.
E: I worry about you, M. Whatcha got in your octolimbs today for us?
M: We may not have long limbs, but I have something that might get us a bit of that healthy antipodean glow. BECCA.
E: Ah, Becca. It’s like Bondi Beach in a prettily frosted pump dispenser. Flat whites, er, wallabies, beer.. Er.. ok, I’m losing it. Help me out. It’s like a pump action baby marsupial, right?
M: Right. Soft. Fluffy. Glowy. Oh so glowy. Maybe not quite as furry.
E: I did. And I love it. But keep your voice down, because Laura Mercier is going to KILL US.
M: Oh yes, sssssh. What do you think of it?
E: It’s brilliant. It just makes me look .. better. Better than I have any right to look on my diet of vodka and hula hoops and staring at a screen for 19 hours a day. You got me so enthused I went back and got some shimmering skin perfector too because I want to glow like the gorgeously freshfaced girls on the becca counter.
M: I got the primer. We’re becoming Becca junkies.
E: Any good?
M: Yeah, it’s good shit. Like light polyfilla for your face, all the craggy bits just get smoothed away. Smoooooooooothed.
E: The skin perfector is a light, shimmering highlighter. I have “Opal”. It gives a soft glow. Small children and bunnies no longer recoil in horror when I walk past. It’s pretty damn glowy though. Only a tiny amount needed or you shine like a 1970s alien.
M: I am jealous. Jealous of the highlighting alien goodness. Does it diffuse? Like a gri gri?
E: Yes, it diffuses exactly like a voodoo accessory, yes M.
M: So. Becca. It wards off evil spirits, looks awesome, covers sallowness of skin and pockmarks, and the pump’s good.
E: What’s not to like?
M: The fact it makes you perma-shiny in a hot climate? And the price, E, the price.
E: Pfff, price, schmice. You get to look like Elle Macpherson’s hotter, erm, very much younger sister? Daughter perhaps. I DON’T KNW ANY HOT YOUNG AUSTRALIANS. RUSSELL CROWE?
E: PINKY brown. And now I am trying to push my lipstick boundaries back, like on one of those programmes about phobias.
“Describe your level of discomfort on a scale from one to ten”
Red would be a TEN. Pink is ooh, a seven, I suppose.
M: I see, like arachnophobia therapy. First you can look at pictures of a spider, then you can look at a spider, then you can wear a spider on your lips.
E: Erm, yes. So red lipstick is my spiderlips. I’m not there yet. I have to confess I am not even fully doing the pink thing.
M: What comfort level of lipstick are you wearing now?
E: Well. I am trying to use this Tom Ford Flamingo, but I am smudging it with some Lanolips Rhubarb. It’s really full on and matte if you put it straight from the tube.
M: Pretty! I do not agree that, in your words, you look like a “geriatric goth forced to wear a tutu”. Smudging is good. I always end up with lipstick on my teeth otherwise. Since you are experimenting with pink, E, let me show you MY pink lipstick.
E: WHOOOAAAA. THAT SHIT IS PINK.
M: YES! SO PINK. Even pinker in real life. Neon pink.
E: You look really hot actually. What is it?
M: Thanks E. It is Estee Lauder Portofino Coral, granny’s signature lipstick.
E: It’s ok, you don’t have the heavily powdered face necessary to do it granny style.
M: It’s very creamy, and super pigmented, but it goes all over the fucking place.
E: All over your granny shopping trolley and your zip up furry booties. No, I am joking, it’s really very pretty. It makes me want to push back my pink boundaries (that sounds like a terrible euphemism).
M: Ha. I love it with actual true love.
E: Pink lips: not just for Christmas. Indeed, not for Christmas at ALL.
M: What are your favourite pinks, Facegoopists? And what lipstick colours set your spider phobia scale tingling?
E: Now that we’re back, M, I think we should start as we mean to go on: by complaining. Because I really need to complain about this Paul & Joe kitten shaped lipstick business.
M: Look at that smug little bastard.. What the fuck is that all about? I tried some on. It was chalky.
E: Chalky is the least of its problems. What, exactly, the fuck, Paul & Joe? Imagine, if you will, the brainstorming session.
“What do women want?” “This research suggests they want wage parity, innovative solutions to work life balance, less objectification of the female form in public discourse, and .. kittens”.
“Kittens! Yes, that’s it! I’m getting an idea!”
M: I do not want to rub a cat all over my lips. Cats would totally scratch your lips. And now there’s a blusher too?!?
E: No right-thinking person wants to rub a cat over their lips. Maybe mad people who buy their cats organic chicken Marks & Spencer mini-fillets. I had a neighbour who did that. She also claimed that her cat, Bambi, “could tell the difference between Tesco and Harrods milk”. I mean, at least make PONY lipstick. Or dugong lipstick.
M: Dugong shaped might be a little, how shall I put it, phallic.
E: God, this lipstick talk reminds me that I heard a discussion on Belgian radio last week about those irritant lip plumpers and I SWEAR to you I did not dream this but the man suggested you could use loft insulation as a cheap alternative.
M: OH MY GOD The fibre glass shit?
E: Yup. I think Belgium has been drinking heavily.
M: Welcome to Belgium, where we nurture a blatant disregard for health and safety. This reminds me how I was assaulted by the Paul & Joe assistant. God, she was pushy. I asked her for something bright and she gave me this thing that was pastel orange. I’m pretty sure I had to back away from her slowly.
E: Where was this? Was this during the extended dream sequence that was your life last year?
M: She had dead eyes. Like a SHARK.
E: See, I really like some of their stuff.
M: Oh? But it’s so flimsy and plasticky!
E: Mainly the makeup bags. I have a great P&J one.
M: I don’t understand your fascination with makeup bags. It’s a bag. You put makeup in it. It gets dirty. The end.
E: But it’s not dirty on the outside. And it might have a pretty pattern!
E: Ok fine, forget I said anything. But mine had swallows or some such shit on. It was GOOD.
M: I am googling Paul and Joe makeup bag. AHEM
E: NO NO NO NO. I am going to have to take a pic of it, aren’t I? To PROVE to you that it was not a kitten-topia.
M: I’m going to send you some hello kitty cosmetics, because you’re obviously in denial.
E: It is yellow. with blue birds. They do not have cute faces. They are not in a basket.
M: By birds, do you mean “pussy cats”?
E: No. Big, macho birds with CLAWS. (ok, maybe not claws)
M: I bought a new lipstick today. It’s called Papaya Wind or something.
E: Sounds corally. A coral wind, blowing across the eastern hemisphere. I need to start taking my tablets again don’t I?
M: Yes. Yes you do. Oh, it’s called “Papaya Milk”. Do papayas have udders?
E: They are pretty weirdly shaped, they might have udders. I’m not big on .. nature.
M: Or fruit. Actually, papayas are teat-shaped.
E: Well. Have you ever tried to milk one? Maybe you should.
M: I’m having a really disturbing mental picture of a lipstick coming out of a papaya. That is some gross shit, dude. The stuff of nightmares.
E:What in the name of holy fuck, M? WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT? I didn’t think it was possible to make a lipstick blush, but that one’s blushing. I think we’ve finally gone too far. Why are we talking about milking tropical fruit again?
M: LIPSTICK. That’s why. It’s good, this lactose papaya. It’s bright, and creamy, and easy to apply.
E: Who makes this lactose papaya?
E: Nice. Cheap.
M: Yup. Shame the case feels like it’s made of plastic. The cheap kind.
E: What colour would you call it, the lactose papaya?
M: Erm, papaya coloured? That’s not going to cut it with our eagle eyed readers, is it.
E: They’ll just be so astonished we’re posting again, they’ll forgive you.
M: Or did you mean the case? YOU ARE CONFUSING ME. FIRST YOU MAKE ME MILK A PAPAYA, NOW THIS.
E: I am sorry. We are out of practice. The case is muddy red, then and the lipstick is .. papaya coloured?
M: Yes. Sob. Can we take ourselves out of our misery, please?
E: Of course. I will hit you with this unripe papaya until you lose consciousness, would that work?
E: Instead of mending shoes over night, they have been sending us packages of stuff
E: The man in the post office stares at me like a halfwit when I collect them. He’s got a THING for me and my elven packages.
M: What kind of thing? Like, a creepy he’s rubbing his trousers beneath the counter thing?
E: A starey thing. He doesn’t speak, he just stares at my face. Really closely. It’s probably all the elven makeup. Or maybe he’s thinking “that girl could do with a decent concealer” See what I did there???
M: Yes, E, very good. Maybe, MAYBE he’s thinking – WOW. What a flawless complexion. Where can I get myself some of this shitz?
E: That seems unlikely in suburban Belgium, but maybe he is.
M: I need to come clean. I wrote a letter to Santa and asked him to send us some of this concealer.
M: Because Lisa Eldridge, the patron saint of cosmetic zombies, used it in one of her videos. And she said it was quite good.
E: Saint Lisa is never wrong. So what do you think of the Elven concealer?
M: Well, it’s tiny, innit. Made for elves, by elves.
E: Yeah. You don’t need much though.
M: I use tan. It’s a perfect match for me.
E: I use “corpse”.
M: That’s what I said to the elves. “Send E whatever the palest shade is”. I find it a bit hard to put on though.
E: Yes. So did I. I used my Laura mercier brush, which was very pissed off to be used with someone else’s product. I think it’s sulking.
M: Was it like you’d set it up on a blind date with a girl from the ghetto?
E: Yes. One with a full beard.
M: I’ve been using my No7 eyeliner brush, which is small but not entirely adequate. It needs to be warmed up a bit on the hand first I find.
E: Yes, I agree. but the colour and coverage are good. And it’s, what, 3 pence?
E: So, M, back in the summer when we was in teh lahndan, you gave me a gift. One that was not made of lamb.
M: It wasn’t so much a gift, as a reject.
E: Ssssh. It was a GIFT.
M: OK, gift. Yes. I gave you a pretty pot of what looks like sexy hotness on you, and grey bruises on me.
E: It is Benefit creaseless cream eyeshadow in “Strut”. Because sadly they don’t do one in “hobble”, or “slouch”, or “crawl”. Strut is a gorgeous smoky grey blue metallic.
M: Nice. I was a bit jealous of your strut. So I went and bought another one yesterday.
E: Oooh, what one did you get?
M: Sippin’ n dipping’. It’s a limited edition. Sounds a bit pervy.
E: Oh god. It does. What colour is it?
M: It looks exactly the same as my eye. It’s eyelid coloured. Look! Invisible!
But sparkly. I thought I’d try to keep the smoky eyeliner in check with it, but it’s not playing ball.
E: Lisa Eldridge needs to come and bang their heads together. So – bright sparkly eyelid? Bit sci-fi.
M: Like a robot. Or maybe an iguana. Do ignuanas have eyelids?
E: I think so. Iguana lid sci-fi robot. That’s a good name, see?
M: For a band, perhaps. Tell me what you do with yours?
E: I just smear it all over my eyelid. Technical, like. It’s quite full on, so definitely an evening thing – ideal, for instance, for vomiting on your kitchen floor. Which is my evening activity of predilection.
M: Shhhhh. We don’t tell anyone about this.
E: Oh yes, sorry. Ideal for dancing in, er, nightclubs. And going to, er, galas. Is that better?
M: Ha! galas. You’ve never gone to a gala in your life.
E: Gala Bingo maybe.
M: Is it any good, for, say, finding your discarded bra in the garden?
E: No, I don’t think it helps you find bras. And I thought we weren’t talking about that. ANYWAY. It’s dark and sparkly. It’s not for office wear. What do you do with yours?
M: I smear it liberally with a finger onto my eyelids until the iguanas ask me to be their leader.
E: I would expect no less of you.
M: So, Benefit creaseless eye shadow. It lives up to its name, and it’s good for strutting your stuff at the gala bingo.
M: And for looking like a robotic iguana.
E: Don’t thank us, Benefit. Your gratitude is all the thanks we need.
E: Jesus, you’ve been drinking meths, haven’t you? I’ve told you about that.
M: I think the seche vite is going to my brain.
E: If you will snort it, that will happen.
M: Anyway. I won this little tube of goodness in Modesty Brown‘s giveaway. And it is ace.
E: Oooh. Tell me more. What is the tube of goodness?
M: It’s blush. And it’s made by fairies. It’s as if someone had crushed a punnet of healthy rosy cheeks and crammed it into a handy tube. What more do you want to know?
E: Errrr. I dunno. (tries to think of hard beauty bloggist questions). Is it, er, a gel?
M: Yes, it’s a gel. And it’s fool proof. You can put tonnes of it on without worrying about it. It just gives a nice healthy glow, like you’re eating healthily and getting regular exercise and shit. It doesn’t cake or crust (am I the only one who has that problem with blusher?)
E: Yes. Yes you are. But I like the putting tonnes on bit. Unlike Armani Fluid Sheers which are nuclear bright. Brilliant, but to be used with caution. And what kind of fairies have done this with their tiny fairy hands?
M: Yes. It’s so good it’s quenched my thirst for the Lizard King’s Fluid Sheer, for the time being.
E: Awesome. TELL ME WHO THE FAIRIES ARE. Are they expensive fairies? I need to know. Do they have dietary requirements I need to know about while they are squishing healthy rosy cheeks for me?
M: Pixi. It’s £12 I think.
E: Not bad at all. I like.
M: You can feed them, err, british pounds.
E: Good. The next time I have any of those, I will go feed the pixies.
M: You do that. Now leave me alone, I have some frolicking in a meadow to do.
M’s crushed pixie is Natural coloured, free through the goodness of strangers or £12 from ASOS. But if you’re after other colours you can get them cheap from Amazon.
Team Facegoop are in London! I don’t know why I call us Team Facegoop. It makes us sound like Team Rocket from Pokemon and that is NOT a good thing.
Anyway. M has already told me my left foot looks like her sister’s cat’s hernia, but I’m not rising to the bait. Instead we’re concentrating on bringing you Exciting New Content.
First up, this video in which I look like a shiny, sweaty lunatic and tell you about what I’ve brought along in my make up and toilet bags.
E’s Toilet Bag
Braun Professional Straighteners
Toni & Guy Iron It Heat Defence Spray
Nuxe Bio-Beauté Fruity Micellar Cleansing Foam
Skin.NY Radical Restructure Complex (“chemical warfare in a tube”)
Caudalie Anti-Ageing Face Suncare SPF 30
Chanel Dragon Nail Colour
OPI We’ll Always Have Paris Nail Lacquer
Body Shop Body Brush
Dove Invisible Dry Deodorant
Serge Lutens Sa Majesté La Rose
Weleda Birch Cellulite Oil
No hair brush, toothbrush, toothpaste
E’s Make Up Bag
Nars The Multiple, in Orgasm
Nars Lip gloss in Turkish Delight
Nars Shadow duo in Belissima
Nars Aigle Noir Soft Touch Shadow Pencil
Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage
2 identical Laura Mercier concealer brushes
Laura Mercier compact blusher brush
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser
Armani Face Fabric
Armani Blush Duo
Armani Eye Shadow in Maestro
Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner in Espresso and Caviar
Bobbi Brown Ultra fine eyeliner brush
Coco Mademoiselle lip colour
Tom Ford Pink Dusk lip colour
E: Yes, I suppose so. Noone else will talk to me about sloths and killing and despair and the evil of POI.
M: Then we should have something to celebrate this. Like, a slumber party. And friendship bracelets. Or, no, one of those love heart necklaces that break in 2.
E: Can’t we just do KILLING? And GIN?
M: Hmmm. You are not really in the spirit of this.
E: Sorry. Ok, slumber party! Whoop! YEAH! We could braid each other’s hair even though mine isn’t real.
M: Ha, and even though mine is a nest for small animals, like ferrets and meerkats.
E: Yeah, on second thoughts, forget about the braiding.
M: OK, how about some identi-makeup?
E: Yeah! Because we both have NARS MULTIPLES.
M: Yes! What’s yours?
E: Mmmmmm. Embarassingly I have the notorious ‘Orgasm’. You?
M: I have the much classier Portofino. You are Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. I am Gwynnie “Goop” Paltrow in Mr Ripley.
E: Hmmm. I know it’s vulgar, but I love it. A man with bad acne made me buy it in Liverpool Street.
M: Was this in the actual street?
E: Noooo, in Space NK. It’s not knock off, under the coat, Nars. I wouldn’t dare do that to the faceless consortium behind “Mr” “Nars”. I only buy from authorised stockists. How much do you love your multiple, M?
M: Well, to be honest, I am not that super fond of it. I mean, it’s nice, and the colour is pretty and everything. But I find it a bit hard to blend, and I have very strong, lustful feelings for the Armani Fluid Sheer, who will be mine one day, all mine.
E: Ha. Whereas Orgasm, I do pretty much love. I have much classier, better behaved blushers. Like the pink half of my Armani creme blush duo and a nice Laura Mercier but Orgasm has SPARKLY BITS and it is deliciously vulgar, like a second division footballer’s wife.
M: Where do you put yours?
E: Cheekbones. Very occasionally lips. Pop of blusher with the Armani bronzier colour under the cheekbone? You?
M: Snap. And sometimes eyes. Never lips, it’s a bit dry. WOOH! MULTIPLE BFFS!
E: Wooooh! Can we kill stuff now or should we talk about the product a bit more?
M: Nah, everyone knows what it is. Let’s go spit at grannies in the street.
E: As surgeons, we hold life in our hands every day. Our every decision could mean the difference between life and death. As surgeons, our eye shadow can mean the difference between life and death.
M: Who are you talking to?
E: The viewers, M. Or should that be Yang.
M: [Rolls eyes].
E: I am doing a Voiceover. A tediously repetitive and overwrought voiceover. To be repeated at the end of the post.
M: Right, well while you are busy having fun with your little friends the McViewers, I have more important things to do. Like fixing this SERVER, Grey.
E: Oh god, we hadn’t thought this through. I don’t want to be Grey.
M: YOU ARE TOTALLY GREY.
E: Oh god. Ok. Forget about the server. The server is not important. Leave the server Cristina. We need to have intense girlish chat. You must be abrasive and full of good sense. I must be annoyingly wet.
M: Oh, the server is important. How can you say the server is not important? Seriously? Seriously? The server is important. I was left at the altar because of the server.
E: No. Seriously? This isn’t even ABOUT the server. Stop talking about the server. We need to talk about something more important. There are more important things than the server, Cristina.
M: Fine. Let’s talk about you, Meredith. You and your subtly defined eyes.
E: Thank you Cristina. Your eyes are also subtly defined. As surgeons, our eyes must be defined.
M: Yes, even though you can barely see them because of how much I am rolling them around in their sockets.
E: Should we sit on a gurney to talk about this?
M: Sure, yeah, whatever. I am going to stare moodily in the distance, exuding scorn and disdain from every inch of my porcelain skin.
E: Why do you think we surgeons love taupe so much?
M: Because it is work appropriate. And also, universally flattering. We’re all about the universal love, here at whatever the fuck this hospital is called.
E: Facegoop Grace Hospital. What taupe are you using Cristina? Will you tell me what it is if I get you an amazing surgery? With pulsating hearts for you to hold in your bare hands?
M: I have a nice one from No.7. And I also mix two of the colours from my armani palette. That is because, unlike you pathetic interns, as a surgeon, I like to experiment with cutting edge techniques.
Ei: You practise obsessively in the scrub room, don’t you? For hour after single-minded hour, blending.
M: Yes. When I am not busy snogging inappropriate men. And by inappropriate, I mean crazy.
E: Can I tell you about MY taupe?
M: What’s your taupe, Meredith? I bet it is earnest. So earnest.
E: I use Armani Mono Shadow in “Maestro”.
M: Predictable. Reliable.
E: You know what Cristina? It is GOOD. The taupe is GOOD. It makes me feel good about taupe.
M: Good. It’s good taupe.
E: I never thought I would say this, but taupe? It’s GOOD. Good taupe.
M: It certainly is. It is good.
E: The goodest of good taupes. Taupe. Good. Is it voiceover time?
M: [Rolls eyes].
E: As surgeons.. nah, forget it. I’m bored.
M: Let’s go throw fruit at that annoying blonde girl. Is she dead yet?
M: You look really pretty today. And I really like your shoes.
E: OH NO. WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?
M: And have I ever told you how clever you are?
E: You might as well just tell me. TELL ME.
M: Shhhhhhh [hides under desk].
E: Come out of there. We can still see you. Your JENNERS BAG is poking out.
M: This bag? The dark black one with red tissue paper, the delicately scented one that says GIORGIO ARMANI?
E: Yes. That bag. Now tell me what on earth you have been up to with the lizard king or I’m sending for Laura Mercier and her Jack Bauer style torture techniques. WHAT IS IN THE BAG, M?
M: Before I tell you about what’s in the bag, I must tell you about Jen, the Armani Face Designer. She is Céline’s younger Scottish sister. Her hair is soft and lustrous. Her eyes deep and understanding. Her tail is dainty and hardly noticeable at all.
E: Ha. “Face Designer”. They programme her that way back on the mothership for optimal Customer Service.
M: Yes, then she reprograms your face to comply with the Armani Algorithm.
M: Sleekness. Smoothness. Impact.
E: It might not be your face anymore, but it’s BETTER.
M: She has a mirror, that she sent me out to Princes St with. To check my face in. It’s that thing the magazines always tell you to do but that never ever happens.
E: Ha! Not at all embarrassing that.
M: The tourists stared and the grannies tutted, but I did not care. Jen had me in her thrall. The thing about Jen is that she sounds so innocent and sincere. Like, when she told me my skin was good. Or when she praised the shape of my eyebrows. Or the fact that my lids were just right for putting shadow on. I lapped it up. Like a brain zombie.
E: And then what happened, M? How did she pounce? What has she done to you?
M: No, she did not pounce. That is the genius of Jen. I just volunteered to spend £65 on roughly 10 grams of coloured powder. The thing is, I didn’t care. Because I wanted to be just like Jen. Including the wonderfully irridescent green shadow on her eyes.
E: Ooooh, nice.
M: I’m pretty sure crack is cheaper than that. Anyway, LOOK A IT. The “Mediterranean Palette”. Isn’t it beautiful?
E: Mediterranean Palette sounds like a delicious mezze plate. But where are the olives? Where is the tzatziki?
M: They have been replaced by this bronzer, which is ace. And then 4 shadows.
E: Ok, it does look pretty awesome. And is it as good as it looks?
M: YES. Look:
Yes. The fact I am willing to show you my face is proof of the power of Armani. The green is green, but it does not make you look crazy, because the colours are sheer and combine into subtle effects. It just gives your eyes brightness and definition. Only one downside. Now, I have to sacrifice a goat to his Highness.
E: King Lizard be praised! You look amazing. The Armani algorithm is working for you. Actually, I think the goat sacrifice can wait until you have worked your earthling fingers to the bone to pay for the palette.
M: I don’t give a shit. Because I am going to wear it ALL THE TIME.
She casually said to me, as she was wrapping it up “It’s a very limited edition, we only got 8 in stock.” BWAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA.
E: BWAHAHAHHAHAA Bon. I forgive you, M. It is hard to resist a facial redesign from space.
E: Ok M. I’m quite excited. Are you going to take me on a voyage of discovery to the land of … Mascara? Alittle known Balkan state.
M: Get your facts right. It’s an Island in the Maldives.
E: Oh yes, sorry. Owned by the Pope who is himself partial to the fruits of the mascara tree.
M: To be completely honest, I must admit I am Not That Bothered With Mascara (NTBM). I’ll use whatever is at hand.
E: NTBM. Like NTM but more polite.
M: Nique Ton Mascara. That’s gross, E.
E: Ouais, grave. Ok, come on, tell me more about the Island of Mascara.
M: Also, I can’t use eyelash curlers. They give me the fucking creeps. You might as well try to lawnmow my face.
E: They look like something from Clockwork Orange.
M: The result would be the same: hyperventilation. Blacking out. Manic screaming.
E: A normal Monday chez Facegoop.
M: So, this is my technique for mascar. Start with a naked eye.
M: Find a mascara tube that isn’t 3 years old.
E: Good start. Conjunctivitis is never a good look.
M: Dab it on, apprehensively. Usually get some right in my eye. Cry a bit. Curse. Then push the lashes up, while they’re still wet, so they curl up a little. The end.
E: So. None of this crazy shit oscillating brush business for you? Vibrations?
Infrared? Small pixies creeping out of the tube to stroke your lashes?
M: No. I mean, if someone wants to give me one, I’ll use it. I’ll even be polite to the pixies. AS LONG AS THEY DON’T STROKE MY EYEBALLS.
E: Ew. You’d be fully entitled to kick the little fuckers in their tiny pixie nuts if they did that.
M: But really, I demand two things out of a mascara:
1. Do not give me panda eyes. I mean, really. If I wanted panda eyes, I’d be eating bamboo.
2. Get the fuck off my lashes when I tell you to, mascara. None of this staying around for a “night cap” business.
E: We do not want to see your etchings. Or hear about how you and your wife ‘live separate lives’.
M: And we definitely don’t want to see you “tasteful nudes”. With that in mind. Here are the 4 mascaras I found in my pile of crap cosmetic drawer.
Definie-a-lash in Black Waterproof
No clumps, separated, seriously long lashes
Recommended by my sister, the actress slash moddle. Perfectly long, fluttery, defined lashes on her. Unfortunately I made the mistake of buying the waterproof version. Gives quite stiff, crispy lashes, and is impossible to remove – no amount of eye make up remover, oil cleanser, soaking, wiping, scraping or praying to the gods will prevent next day panda eyes.
It’s good stuff. But stay away from the waterproof.
E says: You look pretty good, but it’s not science fiction uber lashes, is it? Whatevs.
Lash building brush helps build even the tiniest lashes for a cleaner, more separated lash finish.
I used this when I was a teenager. That and those giant glue sticks of Palmer’s Cocoa butter balm we used to rub on our lips obsessively. Good times.
It’s actually very good, the brush is quite small and does tackle even the tiniest lashes. I seem to remember this melting onto my face pretty fast though, which is probably why I haven’t used it in ages.
E says: Yeah, this looks very good. The name is like a Whitney Houston song though. The Greatest Lash of All.
Super volumising mascara for false lash effect dramatically thicker and fuller lashes.
As recommended by the Topshop makeup artiste. The brush is chunky and always loaded with lots of gloopy product. I usually get some around my lids. It’s very clumpy too so I have to use my fingers to get the worst of it off.
In spite of its rebellious teenager behaviour, I like it for its high impact, and have been using it daily. It lasts until the evening with no smudging or melting. It gets to the lash roots like no mascara I’ve ever tried, but it’s not so good on the small outer corners.
E says: I don’t understand why you like something that gloops on you, but whatever, dude. This looks like Old Skool mascara to me, like quite heavy in a sultry temptress kind of way. Looks kind of lengthening. Does that even make sense? Urgh, my head hurts.
Dress the eye with powerful, plush, voluminous lashes.
I don’t actually own this, but the gentle lovely FACE DESIGNER at Armani made me try it. I have no idea how she put it on, because my eyes were closed during the application. She could have told me, but she probably would have had to kill me.
Go away. My lash extensions and I have some fluttering to do.
E says: See, when I see you wearing this, I wonder why you bother with the others. This is KING MASCARA. King Mascara of Lizardland. BOW DOWN AND WORSHIP HIM.
M: Oh, interesting. I thought you couldn’t be bothered with it during the week?
E: No, that’s right, but recently, it has started to make all manner of sense. I wasn’t expecting it, but it’s grown on me. Like a dewy, moisturising fungus. Eeew I have revolted myself.
M: Again. Tell me more about Face Fabric.
E: Well, I’m not foundation phobic. I quite like foundation. I have both Face Fabric and Luminous Silk, by the Lizard King. Mr Armani isn’t stupid when it comes to foundation. He knows his beigey coveragey stuff.
M: And indeed, brain control.
E: Ssssh he can hear you.
M: I have a sample of Luminous Silk. I like it.
E: Yes, it’s good for facial leprosy. It has more coverage than Face Fabric.
M: But it doesn’t give you that breathy feel.
E: Nope. Whereas Face Fabric is like magical disappearing foundation. A bit like your Diorskin.
M: What’s it like? I have poked it at the counter. Is it a bit moussy?
E: Yes, it feels quite thick in the tube and when you put it on. But once it’s on, it just fucks off into your skin and concentrates on making you even and dewy. I use my fingers because I am fucking lazy and it still looks good.
M: It’s clever, that Face Fabric.
E: Yup. It’s Fabric. For your Face. I just repeat buy without ever getting tempted to buy anything else (except Laura Mercier).
M: Is it matte? Dry as the desert sand?
E: No! It’s more sheer. And the colour match is great for me (#1 cadaver)
M: Does it actually cover anything?
E: Erm. I think so. I could show you? With a pic with one half Face Fabricked and the other nothing?
M: Yes, do. My craggy volcanic slopes of a face demand it.
E: Uh oh. don’t say volcano.
E: Ssssssssh. Ok, here you go:
M: I take it the Face Fabric is applied on the left hand side of your face (in the photos)?
E: I’m glad you can tell. This could have been embarrassing.
M: No, it is visible but also very natural.
E: That’s space technology for you.
M: Space Technology Holy Grail Foundation. I’m still looking for mine. What’s your favourite foundation, facegoopists?
M: The epidemic is pretty much over (turned out it was FOLLICULITIS and required a course of antibiotics. EW)
E: EW. That sounds like a proper disease and everything! Curse of Facegoop!
M: It has left some unsightly blemishes, marks, bumps and scars all over my face the likes of which I hadn’t seen since my Roaccutane teenage years.
E: Curse. Of. Facegoop. Why did we have the arrogance to start a beauty blog, M? We were so wrong! So so wrong!
M: So I need to wear foundation. And I hate foundation.
E: Oh, but foundation is our friend. I love my foundation. But then I am older and more haggard than you.
M: NO. Foundation is NOT our friend. Foundation is a gloopy, strangely coloured, runner of a bastard.
E: Noooooo! Foundation saves drowning puppies! It does a lot of charity work and doesn’t talk about it! It can make its own bread!
M: Don’t give me that. I have never had much luck with foundation. My colouring is unhelpful. My face is dry and oily. I can’t be bothered to reapply and/or powder. But needs must, or whatever the expression is.
E: Needs must when the folliculitis drives is the full expression, I believe. How are your adventures in foundation going?
M: Both Lisa Eldridge and Newby Hands have recommended this, so being the brain zombie that I am, I had to try it. DIORSKIN NUDE.
E: Oh yes. Well, Lisa and Newby can’t possibly be wrong (see how I pretend to be on first name terms with them?).
M: Ha!I think of them more as Your Majesties. Anyway. The lovely Dior boy in Jenners put it on my face.
M: And gave me a week’s supply of it to try at home. In this teeny tiny pot! Yay!
E: Oooh, that’s nice. that’s generous. And??? How is it?
M: At first I was disappointed, because it went everywhere. On my mobile screen, on my laptop sleeve, on my CORPORATE ACCOUNTS.
E: Oh god. That is not good. Accountants don’t like foundation stains. What did you do with it, smear it all over your monkey paws and play finger painting?
M: I distracted the accountant with the blackboard paint on my forearm. But I was like, what the fuck, Dior? You are not supposed to smear all over my papers. You are supposed to stay on my face, and give me a tiny waspish waist, and slender ankles.
E: Too fucking right. And a big pouffy pink dress and a bike.
M: Anyway, I think it was just due to whatever cream he used to clean my face first, because I have had none of this transfer nonsense in subsequent uses. Just light as a feather covering, and I love it.
E: God, I love it when something is actually good.
M: You can’t feel it at all, which for a liquid foundation is amazing. And it’s hydrating and has SPF 10 as well. So pretty much perfect. Except…
E: Let me guess. Colour match issues?
M: Yup. I can’t get a fucking colour match. They only have 9 shades, I’m between 030 and 040. One is too light, the other too dark.
E: I knew it. Bastards.
M: Dior, get your fucking act together. I went back and got another vial of 7 day Dior skin. I still need to try it, but it seems very dark. So I’m afraid I might have to drop £60 for two shades and mix. Sigh.
E: Le big fat sigh. You must persist. It’s what her Majesty of Eldridge would want. And Countess Hands.
M: Oh, and the other thing is, your face needs to be perfectly dry when you apply it, otherwise it goes wonky. And you need to use a brush.
E: Jesus, that’s high maintenance. You must really love it to put up with that.
M: Dude, you can’t feel it on your face. And it survived a two hour sweaty bike ride in the sun.
E: Diorskin Nude. Tougher than a two hour sweaty bike ride.
M: Lighter than a feather. More colour blind than a Kandinsky.
E: Yes. I have been to a Beauty Evening for research. And not just because there were free drinks.
M: Right. I am not impressed yet.
E: Well, it was run by Harper’s Bazaar, and you could get makeovers from make up artistes. And Newby Hands, the beauty director at Harper’s gave a talk and said that Fred from Armani was THE BEST. She said that she didn’t want all the shiny pretty laydeez fighting over getting a makeover from him but that he was amazing and they should try. Guess who was FIRST?
E: YES. ME ME ME.
M: Did you shove everyone out of the way? Did you kick shins?
E: My elbows are steel tipped.
M: Was there blood?
E: Ssssssh. We don’t talk about that.
M: High five!
E: High GBH five.
M: And? How was Fred? Is he a space lizard?
E: Yes. A tiny French space lizard. A space gecko. He said their new lipstick was better than Mr Ford’s.
M: A talking tiny french space lizard would not lie.
E: No. Then he put tonnes of blush on me.
M: Was it nice blush?
E: Yes, actually, you get two shades in one compact, a browny and a pinky and he did amazing cheekbone conjuring and contouring tricks with them, look:
E: Then he he put some taupe shadow worthy of a cast member in Grey’s Anatomy on me, and a nude magic lipstick. He showed me the red and it looked awesome, but it gave me a funny turn, what with my Morbid Lip Colour Phobia.
M: PUSSY. Your lips deserve better than nude. What else? Tell me more.
E: Well, there were six rooms with different brands doing stuff. But instead of rooms, Harper’s Bazaar called them ‘beauty playgrounds’. There were no slides though. Or swings or an ice cream van.
M: Ha, playgrounds. Was it like the Tellytubbies playground? Except that freaky baby face sun had MR ARMANI instead, glaring at you coldly. And judging. JUDGING.
E: Wordlessly. Liplessly. I would totally watch Armani tellytubbies.
M: What would that be like? The mind boggles. There wouldn’t be nice grassy hills. It would all be sleek. And black. And perfectly flat.
E: Matte. And Celine the terrifying space lizard from Printemps Beauté would do educational things with her tail. She could be the Noo-Noo! I don’t think it sounds very suitable for preschoolers. ANYWAY. It was not matte black. It was kind of of taupe and full of beautiful, amazonian women. I felt like a hobbit.
E: Hey M. You know how we’re really grumpy and cursed with the curse of Facegoop at the moment?
M: Ssssh. Don’t mention the curse of Facegoop.
E: Sorry. The leprous sores are starting to heal slightly now. Anyway, I thought, to cheer ourselves up, we could diversify into sending begging letters for beauty products we really really want. I’ve started by writing one to Tom Ford.
M: Oh dear. Well, I suppose I had better hear it.
E: Ok, well it goes:
“Dear Mr Ford,
We know you make your lipsticks from finely ground unicorn horn, pixies tears and the shroud of Audrey Hepburn, that they cure cancer and reverse the ageing process and that they will make us hotter than Scarlett Johansson and Jessica Biel and other pretty ladies rolled into one.
We want one. We have been very good and went to see your film and all that.
E and M
(ps u r hot)
M: Impressive. You know he’s gay, right?
E: Of course I do. He is still hot. In an eerily perfect sort of way.
M: Do you think he’s an android?
E: Probably. His torso is made of medical grade bronzed silicone.
M: Did you really see his film?
E: I was mainly hypnotised by the mohair jumper. It did not make me cry at all.
M: That’s because you are dead inside.
E: I can confirm that 110%.
M: Lord Alan Sugar of Clapton would be proud. Do you have DNA evidence of this film attendance?
E: What do you want. popcorn grease?
M: It’s not for me, it’s for Mr Ford.
E: Give Mr Ford my DNA?
E: But I know for a fact Mr Ford is in league with the DNA superthieves at Estee Lauder.
E: So NO. You can take my pride but you cannot take my stem cells in return for a fifty quid lipstick, as I believe Martin Luther King did not say.
M: You are principled, E.
E: Oh yes. But I would really like a coral lipstick.
M: Have you tried them?
E: I fucking wish. I have just read about how awesome they are. Have you?
M: No. And would YOU wear coral?
E: I dunno, but it sounds deliciously retro. “Coral”, like 1950s housewife. That whole Revolutionary Road/Mad Men that whole aesthetic. Lives of quiet desperation but with lovely clothes.
M: I would be an excellent 1950s housewife. I would totally have a bloody mary every morning.
E: Today we are comparing an Elf gel liner, and the product they will have to prise out of my cold, dead, claws, Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner. You don’t like gel liners, do you M?
M: No. They are fucking fiddly. I used one today for this post and I have a big splodge of it on my hand where I “took off the excess”. I can’t be bothered to take it off.
E: Oh, like a plague spot.
M: It’s more cancerous in appearance. Moving on.
E: That’s nice, M. Whereas I love them. You need a tiny, accurate brush and then it’s dead easy and gives a nice soft line.
M: I think you’re right. It is all about the tools.
E: So, usually I use Bobbi Brown Espresso Ink, or Caviar Ink.
M: What’s caviar? Like a dark grey?
E: I suppose. I really can’t tell. It’s sort of indescribable and dark, but not black.
M: Are you blind as well as lash-less?
E: Hey, usually you’re the one who describes colours as “”LIKE A FAIRY’S ARSE” or “LIKE VANESSA PARADIS” or “IT’S JUST RED, OK????”. It’s a dark browny grey. Better?
M: Deliciously salty. That’s what it’s like, wonderful on chopped onion, with a sprinkling of lemon.
E: Look, here’s a photo of all our liners.
From top: Elf coffee, Bobbi Brown Espresso Ink, Bobbi Brown Caviar Ink, Permanent Ink Marker N90.
E: I drew a line on my hand in permanent marker pen too. It’s a control line. I’m all about the science.
M: Riiiight. Who’s in the other corner?
E: In the other corner is the cheap and cheeky Elf “Coffee”. Elf has one massive point in its favor, which is that it is really really CHEAP.
M: The packaging often looks really cheap with Elf products, but this tiny jar is satisfyingly heavy.
E: Oh, I don’t think the Gel Liner packaging is bad. And I dunno what they put in it, but it’s pretty convincingly like the Bobbi Brown.
M: That is not scientific, E.
E: Oh, but it is. I have tasted both. Thus it is scientific.
M: Oh god. You haven’t, have you? HAVE YOU? Because I am going to call the “services”. And have you looked at by professionals.
E: I’m not saying either way. ANYWAY. Elf Coffee versus Bobbi Brown Espresso.
M: I think we need a little graph.
E: Knock yourself out, Mrs Science. So, I did not like the Elf colour much in the jar. It’s a bit pale for coffee. Like, Nescafé with a good glug of full fat milk.
M: Oh, gross.
E: Whereas Bobbi is a proper roasted espresso served by a leering, but attractive barista.
M: Would you say ELF is from the office coffee distributor, and BB is from the artisan coffee shop down a little cobbled lane?
E: That’s a bit harsh, but yes. Elf is Option #3 self-vend white coffee, Bobbi is doppio espresso from the Monmouth Coffee Company. However, Elf rescues itself a few points in the application. It is just as easy to put on for me as Bobbi.
M: See, for me, my fucking lashes get in the way. And my stupid crêpey skin. How about staying power?
E: Excellent for both. Barely budges all day. BUT, Elf, ugh. There was this horrible sticky feeling around my eyeline once it was on, like conjunctivitis. My eyelids were gumming together.
M: Ew, and ew.
E: Thankfully, that only lasted about 10 minutes.
M: I suppose it must have time to dry. I didn’t feel the stickiness.
E It’s probably a no lash thing. Anyway, then I forgot about it and it behaved fine all day, no itchiness, and it stayed in place.
M: OK, I’ve just rubbed the shit out of mine and it’s still staying put. Tiny bit on my finger, but that’s about it.
E: Gel liners have mahoosive staying power and Elf is no exception. The Nescafé colour is much better once it’s on too. Quite understated, but that’s ok. It’s daytime. I’m wearing a filthy hoodie and the tshirt I slept in, I don’t want to look like Joan Collins.
M: Ha, is that what I look like? Joan collins with an unsteady hand.
Elf Cream eyeliner in black
E: Maybe a little. But in a good way.
M: I need some sequined shoulder pads. So, verdict?
E: I have to be honest, I do like Bobbi better, because of the lack of eye stickiness and I would have liked a slightly darker shade from Elf. But it’s good. And when you consider it’s, like, a tenth of the price, it’s VERY good.
M: I wonder if you could mix some black and brown together to create your own espresso?
E: Hmmm. You probably could.
M: Would you buy it again?
E: Probably. But I’d rather Bobbi Brown just gave me shitloads of free eyeliner. Hey? Bobbi? Can I have free stuff?
E: And you?
M: Well, I bought it, and I will continue to use it, but I think I prefer liquid liners.
E: You can tell us about them another time. Now shoo, Alexis.
E: So, M. What’s going down in the world of Scotchland beauty?
M: I have been shopping. Cheap shopping, because I am poor.
E: HSBC are cruel masters. Even worse than the space lizards. What did you get?
M: I bought stuff from 17.
E: That’s No. 7 for children, right?
M: Yes. I believe it to be a range of cosmetics for impoverished teenagers.
E: And what is on offer to today’s teens, apart from “Meow”, Justin Bieber and binge drinking?
M: Well, I was sucked in by their current offer of a cute metal tin if you buy two products, so I bought a nail polish the colour of a mermaid’s tail. And a cheek blush/highlighter duo.
E: Mermaid’s tail sounds lovely. Silvery grey?
M: No, it’s sort of dark sparkly seaweed coloured. I am a bit wary of it, but we will see. We will SEA.
E: Oh, very good. Funny.
M: Tsssssss. Funny – if you’re LAME.
E: When you do that “tssssss” thing, is that a high hat cymbal type thing? Like, ‘thank you ladies and gentlemen, I’ll be here all week’
M: Badoom PAH. No, it’s more of a tsk. ANYWAY. The blush thing is good.
E: Oh? Wassitlike?
M: I read on some other blog that it was a “dupe” (that’s a beauty blogger technical term, check me out) for Nars Orgasm. Wait, let me show you it. Check out the colour swatches, they are really very close and it is a very pretty, shimmery peachy pink.
E: Interesting. That is actually an impressive match. How does it look on? Do you have a healthy glow? Do you look edible?
M: I haven’t put in on my face yet. Just on my arm. I am too tired for faces.
E: Ha. Does your arm have a healthy glow? Let us examine it….
Yes. I think it does. Erm. I have a question M. The blue eyeshadow? Did you, er, CHOOSE that?
M: No. The sparkly aqua blue eye shadow came in the freebie box.
With a matching eyeliner and some red nail polish. But I like it! It looks like fish skin. This pleases me greatly.
E : Because I thought you might have got it to prepare for our Mexican Wrestling Makeover. Cassandro wears a remarkably similar shade. (FUTURE POST WARNING).
M: Ha! Actually, it would be perfect for that, wouldn’t it.
E: There is an aquatic theme to your purchases.
M: “Nautical”, they call it. “Nautical but nice” (tsk)
E: TSK. A big fat TSK.
M: Of course, I was handed a 5poundsoffno7andrubymillievoucher.
E: Of course.
M: So I bought an eyeliner brush for our upcoming gel eyeliner review (FUTURE POST WARNING). Yes. I will not be defeated, gel. You can’t see me now, but I am shaking my fist at the gel.
E: That should scare it. And what is this “sleek” thing I see lurking among your purchases?
M: Well. I’ve always liked the look of those bobbi brown shimmer brick things but can’t be bothered spending gazillions of pounds on one, because I don’t think I would use it much. So I got this cheap alternative.
E: Have you tried it out?
M: I have tried it on my arm, and taken a picture. And look! I can look at my boobs in the mirror. Which is nice.
E: Oh yeah. Nice. Checking out your own breasts. Are you having a nice weekend M?
M: Sigh. This is as good as it gets.
E: Good. And how much did this princely haul cost you?
M: Not sure. Less than a tenner.
E: It’d cost you twice that to sniff Serge Lutens wrist.
M: E, do you ever feel like you just want to hide from the world?
E: Almost always M. You and I have often discussed our desire for a snail shell to retreat into. Inside a cave. And the cave inside a hermetically sealed dark box. And the box in a flotation tank. In Panama.
M: But sometimes it’s not just possible. Sometimes, you have to make do with hiding your ugly mug from the world. And I believe you have something that does just the job.
E: Yes. You are quite correct. It does not (yet!) cover despair or agoraphobia, but it is excellent on blemishes, thread veins and other facial crappinesses. It is Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage.
The name makes it sound like Laura is conducting a stake out from a bush, with twigs and netting on her head. She isn’t (as far as I know).
M: Hmph. I like to think of her as wearing camouflage jumpsuits and killing deer.
E: No, M, she has been wearing a lab coat, and making genius make up, including this excellent concealer. Until I met Secret Camouflage, I thought concealer had to be a bit crap. Like, either it emphasised the spot you were trying to cover, or it just covered you in goopy crap that was worse than the spot.
E: Gummy??? I think that person is lacking vocabulary. But it is certainly a lot harder and creamier than any other concealer I have used. You need to really bully it with the clever Laura Mercier Special brush to get it going.
M: Oh of course. Let me guess, the special brush is made from the tail of baby sugar gliders and cost 5 gazillion squids each.
E: I don’t remember how much the baby sugar glider brush cost. But I do know it is very good. So good, that when I lost it, I immediately bought another one. Of course, then I found the old one.
M: Of course. Are you trying to tell me, that the secret camouflage was HIDING? Oh the irony.
E: Yes. It was hiding. Very good, M.
M: Tsss. So, what about the two colours? Are they useful? I mean, I can barely cope with one colour. Two colours seems a lot like hard work.
E: Confession: I have only used one colour so far. You will recall that I have the deathly pallor of the long dead. The sun has not hit Belgium for seven hundred years. I hope that the other colour will be useful if I ever have more pigment in my skin than an albino mole rat.
M: Hmph. And is it really any good?
E: Well. Not only did I have to replace the brush INSTANTLY when I lost it, so addicted was I to its furry caress, but on the very rare occasions I find myself without my Secret Camouflage, I properly PANIC .
E: Hyperventilation. Sweaty palms. Whimpering. Breathing into – and possibly wearing – a paper bag time. Along with Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner, it is the total essential I can’t live without. Basically: the colour is excellent for me (I have SC-2). It stays on brilliantly all day, and the coverage is perfect and really invisible. I love it. Oh, and also, I went on a photo shoot last month and the professional make up artist type person was using it. So there.
M: Any of that dried up cack around spots? Crusty bits?
E: Ew! No. It is a heavy creamy texture. No crusting or cack. And the brush also enables you to be super accurate. So I can cover the tiny burst vein on my left cheek without ending up with crap all over my face. We should say, it’s for blemishes, and not an under eye concealer. I don’t think the texture would work at all as an under-eye concealer.
M: I’m (almost) sold. How much will this military-grade camouflage goop set me back, E?
E: How the fuck should I know? Look it up. But I’m telling you, Laura Mercier can come and shoot deer in my yard any time she likes.
M: Secret Camouflage: It’s the sniper of concealers. Deadly. Precise. Merciless.
E: It’s deadly like Jack Bauer.
M: Ha, Jack Bauer is not deadly. He’s a bumbling idiot. Crashing into things and contracting deadly virii all over the place.
E: He could kill you with a tube of Eight Hour Cream in 5 seconds. FACT.
M: Last week, prompted by one of our more convincing readers, I went to a presentation by a well known American direct sales cosmetic company. Let’s call them, errrr, Carrie May.
E: Carrie May. The missing third Olsen twin. Triplet.
M: They are the sort of company who only sell through “Consultants”, at “parties”. You know the ones I mean?
E: Like Tupperware?
M: Yes, like Tupperware. But with free pink luxury German cars and a bonus unicorn if you meet certain sales targets.
E: It’s a cult, isn’t it? The Cult of Barbie.
M: “No”. “No”, it isn’t a “cult”.
E: Oh god. They’ve got you haven’t they??? M? SPEAK TO ME!
M: Shhhhhhhhhhh. They might hear you. It’s more like AA actually.
E: Ok, I’ll whisper. Is there a 12 step programme to pinkness?
M: Yes. Except, instead of trying to get you not to drink, they try to get you to BUY STUFF.
E: Surrender to the higher power that is PRODUCT.
M: Yes. 12 steps of weird ass smelling crap. They have a special name for makeup. It’s called “glamour”.
E: Really? REALLY? “I need to put my glamour on?” Like that?
M: Yes. Like THAT.
E: Woah. Did you get to try any Glamour?
M: They gave us samples of lipstick. In tiny little capsules. One was FROSTED PINK.
E: Oh dear.
M: The other was BERRY KISS. Neither of them is going anywhere near my lips.
E: No? Honestly, M. what’s so bad about a berry kiss?
M: You have no idea. You weren’t there. Anyway, the vibe was really creepy. Consultants had to get up and present themselves, saying how long they’d been with the company.There was applause and awarding of diplomas, in this particularly drab meeting room o’ purple:
E: Were there snacks?
M: NO SNACKS.Consultants do not deserve snacks. There was a raffle.
E: I thought you said “a rifle” for a minute. As another sales prize.
M: No. The cult leader senior consultant gave her personal story. She flashed her Company-distributed diamond at us.
E: Was it like a daytime made for TV film?
M: YES! YES IT WAS EXACTLY LIKE THAT! They had crazy 80s frosted blonde hair and extremely heavy handed “glamour”.
E: I am significantly weirded out by this, M. It seems sinister.
M: The whole thing filled me despair.
E: Make up is supposed to be fun! Not like a 12 step programme turned into a lifetime channel mini series.
M: Because – and I say this with much love and empathy for the ladies in the room – roughly 90% of them were on the ugly side of the pretty scale.
E: Ahahahahahahahah. I can see why you had to change their name now.
M: They were all looking for the warm glow of approval, and unfortunately they could only get it from Carrie May, the giant pyramid scheme American corporation feeding on their bruised self-esteem.
E: That sucks. They should go down the Gala Bingo instead.
M: Yes! At least there would be shouting! and laughing! and drinks!
E: And those really fat pens! You are not suitable Carrie May material really, are you? Was there ANY good product? Or do you reject the whole thing with the zeal of a cult deprogrammer?
M: Being the beauty gurus we are, people ask us for advice all the time.
E: Deluded fools.
M: They want to know – what red lipstick do you recommend, Facegoop? TELL ME, my love life/promotion/sanity depends on it.
E: They are barking up the wrong beauty bloggist if they ask me about red lips. Wearing it for our special moustache photos nearly destroyed me. But you have some qualifications in this field.
M: Yes. I am going to recommend one red lipstick, that is neither red, nor a lipstick. It is the Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in DRAGON GIRL.
E: Again with the Nars. I know Facegoop readers suspect us of being on “Mr” “Nars” payroll. If only that were true. In reality, we just love his work. Awesome name. Awesome crayon.
M: DRAGON GRRRRRRL. It makes me want to do wheelies on my bike, even though I’m not sure what a wheelie is. I only bought it to get a freebie at Nars with 2 purchases. But when the grannies in John Lewis kept on complimenting me on my lips, I knew I was onto something. I love the bright pinky red colour. It’s punchy and pretty and hot stuff.
E: The Velvet Matte Pencil is truly make up for idiots too.
M: Yes, and I am an idiot. I love that I don’t have to mess around with a lip pencil, lipstick, and a lip brush, in the manner of a depressive clown. Just put it on, and forget about it. It doesn’t move.
E: Nope. It’s a crayon. Crayon your lips. The end. Idiot proof. On your recommendation, I bought one in ‘Walkyrie’.
M: How’s it been working out for you? It is a bit drying though, isn’t it?
E: I love it. It feels gorgeous going on. And actually I find it way less drying than some other lipsticks.
M: I usually top it up with balm half way through the day and then it just has a nice stainy quality to it.
E: So, M. We have seen your cosmetics, corralled into recycled bread baskets. I do not need to tidy mine. Look! They are tidy. This is my bathroom cupboard:
There is a shelf for face, one for body, one for make up, and then some Other Stuff Shelves.
M: Ahahahahhahaha. “Tidy”.
E: What are you laughing about? They are tidy! Is that not tidy? It’s tidy by my standards.
M: Nothing, nothing.
E: Have you seen the box? We don’t mention the box.
M: Why is there a set of teeth in the box?
E: That is my tooth whitening mouth guard thing. But I won’t whiten my teeth any more because it hurts worse than childbirth. So, now I just have teeth in a box.
M: Of course you do. Teeth in a box.
E: There are a couple of upcoming review products in the cupboards: notably a Dior snake oil that actually looks like actual oil from actual yellow snakes.
M: Yes, yes. That’s all very well, but I have some questions for you.
E: Erm. Ok.
M: WHY do you have two identically grubby, half bottles of Benetint?
E: I don’t know. There is a third, full one in my makeup bag. It smells nice.
M: Ha. You must be the only person who actually uses the damn thing. I gave mine to my sister. She’s not using it. Next question. WHY do you have 5 gazillion tubes of No7 Protect & Perfect serum?
E: Yeah, I dunno. I think the unscrupulous pharmacists at Boots must have snuck in in the night and placed them with me. I never use them. I don’t actually believe in them, despite what Science tells us.
M: Ha. Science is Lying.
E: Science is an Ass.
M: Well, not exactly lying, just confusing us with statistics.
E: “23% of women experienced between 1 and 3% of satisfaction with this serum”.
M: “Look! A percentage of people saw a marked improvement of 0.00005% in their wrinkles! Miracle product! MIRACLE PRODUCT!!!”
I have one final question.
E: Uh oh.
M: Are the contents of your cupboards roughly the equivalent of the GDP of Malta?
E: At a conservative estimate, I would say they are. BUT. The Crème de la Mer gel was a present. Ditto the Dior oil and Dior lip gloss. All from Mrs Trefusis, who gives very brilliant make up advice, as well as quality presents. The rest is all my own ruinous work.
M: The overlords at HSBC will be pleased.
E: Yes. I believe that is what they are saying in the letters I never open. “Good work Emma”.
M: And in this spirit of generosity, let’s give some stuff away.
E: Ok. Well. This is The Facegoop NANOGIVEAWAY.
M: WOOH! Teeny tiny things.
E: Loads of tiny things.
M: Some good, some bad.
E: Yes. Like on this site, but not quite as good. All unopened and pristine though. We are not animals.
M: Ish. I sniffed some of mine.
E: Unopened and pristine apart from M sniffing. We will be each giving away a bundle of our teeny tiny samples.
M: What’s in your sample bag E?
E: Well, M. Because I am secretly fiendishly competitive and want mine to be best, there is some Good Shit in there. Look:
Can I just say, the thing that says “Lub” on the left is NOT lube. There is some Caudalie stuff, some Nuxe stuff, some Sisley, some Elemis, and some of the stuff from the Space NK bag of tricks. I might throw in some surprises too. Not my teeth though.
What’s in your sample bag, M?
M: What I lack in quality, I make up for in undercover action at dubious American Direct Sales Cosmetics companies’ events. Look:
There’s a good supply of Estée Lauder stuff, some Caudalie, some Avène, cute pots from Neal’s Yard, various foundation samples, some inexplicable Barry M dazzle dust I found in the drawer of doom, and a lifetime supply of Mary Kay frosted pink lipstick.
For your chance to win a sample bag of teeny tiny stuff, email us a photo of your cosmetic cupboards/drawers/bin before the 25th of April 2010. Tell us what your best/worst/weirdest purchase is. We’ll post a selection of your cosmetic confessions for our communal amusement and announce the winners at the end of the month. GO GO GO!
M Yes. I had war paint on. And by war paint, I mean I combed my hair.
E: Because just occasionally I like to pretend I am in charge at Facegoop towers.
M: Oy! You are in charge! ish.
E: Of course i am. If by “in charge” you mean “your terrified subordinate”, then yes, I am in charge. Anyway. I sent you on a mission and you have, I believe, returned triumphant.
E: Tell me all.
M: I braved the squawking army of pink cheeked mac girls to retrieve this:
E: Ooooooooh my makeup bag! Come to momma.
M: Although why you would pay £24 for a bit of a print and a zipper, I’m not sure.
E: It has birds on, OK?
M: OK. BIRDS. Whatever. I did paw the scarf too though. It was nice. Thin and soft. Of course I blame you entirely for what happened next.
E: Oh dear. What did happen next?
M: I was drawn to the Chanel counter by invisible threads, like in a creepy puppet film.
E: Ouh la la. C’est pas bon, ça. Were they diffusing the scent of giant macarons to lure you in?
M: They had essence of Vanessa Paradis wafting. Not Joe le taxi Vanessa Paradis. Chanel Vanessa Paradis. Two very different BIRDS.
E: A taxi is a bird? I did not know this. I bet she’s a patchouli girl in real life though. Dirty barefoot hippie, living in the country with that bearded waster.
M: Yes. Do you think he just speaks in pirate speak?
M: Arrrr. That be a fine cupcake, Vanessa.
E: Arrrrrrrrr. First mate Paradis, plait me beard or I’ll make you walk the plank.
M: The end of the story is that I bought the fecking Mademoiselle lipstick, because I was brain washed by how pretty and wearable it is.
E: Oh man. And what colour is Mademoiselle?
M: It’s VANESSA PARADIS COLOURED. It’s the colour of Pretty. It is Joli.
E: Bon. Clearly I will get no sense out of you. You’ll just have to post a photo.
M: What, like this?
M: Not sure Vanessa would approve of my application “skillz”. Speaking of her, you must watch this:
E: Ils sont cons, ces français.
M: They are comparing her to Titi, the irritating yellow cartoon bird.
E: Nice tail. Céline on the Armani counter at Printemps Beauté would be jealous.
M: “On est dans une logique cartésienne”, they say. I am getting flashbacks to first year lectures at the Sorbonne.
E: C’est archi archi français, ça.
M: Oui. 100% français.
E: Hang on, we’ve got distracted again. What were we saying? You bought lipstick.
M: I blame you. The end.
E: I have also been beauty shopping, M. I have Chosen.
M: Chosen What?
E: The Chosen One. Every year, I choose a cellulite cream in which to place my ridiculous faith. I went to the pharmacy this week and It was on the counter.
M: Oh dear. This is not in the spirit of Easter.
E: The “presentoir” in which the boxes were placed was black and shiny, like it really meant business.
M: Cellulite business.
E: It was Vichy, my favourite of all of last year’s stupid snake oil creams. New Improved Vichy Nonsense.
E: Because the world has moved on since Lipo Dissolve, or whatever the last one was. Cellulite technology lies move fast. Now we have ….
E: Yes. It is a made up word they hope sounds scientific and slimming.
M: That’s like one of those bad overstock stores in Etienne Marcel. Kookai stock from 3 years ago. LA GRANDE BRADERIE de la CELLULITE!
E: PRIX HALLUCINANTS SUR LES CAPITONS!!!!! Je suis d’accord. However! Peer closer into the Vichy tube.
M: Must I?
E: Yes. The contents are pale green, the exact colour of Chanel Jade nail polish. And it contains something called a “lypolytic activator” How can it fail? It has a “lypolytic activator”, which is basically Mr Motivator for my fat. It pokes your fat until it wakes up and goes away.
M: Ugh. I am tired just thinking about it.
E: It is, you will be delighted to hear, “tested in vitro on lipocidine”. As opposed to tested on, say, LEGS.
M: Of course. Why wouldn’t it be? Legs are not hygienic, E. Everyone knows that. You think those lab-coated scientists have ever been NEAR a leg? Have they balls.
E: My favourite bit is the German for “diet resistant problem zones”, which is “Hartknäckigen Problemenzonen”
M: Knäcki. That’s a sausage, isn’t it? Well, my thighs DO look like sausages. I am sold. SOLD!
E: Well. It’s been a tremendous weekend for beauty purchasing. We have done well. Hohe funf, M?
E: How dare you. I bought reams of Nars goodness to get that for our readers. REAMS.
M: Ok, ok. Noone really doubts your ability to spend far too much money.
E: Thank goodness for that. And the winner is..
Soleil’s mother who went out with just one blue eyelid!
This was the full story:
Muchachas, I so want this pencil for my mamacita (who is, incidently, authentically Espanish), because she has had many misadventures with make-up. (NB: she normally wears none). Most recent misadventure. Mi mama querida decides to go through a really old make up stash, as generously left behing by my sisters and I when we left maman’s nest (many moons ago). She is irresistibly drawn to an electric blue eyeshadow, which she proceeds to smear not very skillfully but exceedingly generously all over her right eyelid. She likes what she sees, yes she does, and leaves it on, then gets distracted and carries on cleaning out the make up cupboard of marvels. Then leaves the bathroom, then takes her purse and goes to purchase her daily baguette (mamacita has lived in France for mucho tiempo) and some groceries, then stops to chat with some neighbours, then signs for a parcel delivered by a bemused postman, etc. Some time later she passes a mirror in her house and realises to her great desesperacion that she has been sporting ONE truly shocking bright blue eyelid all bloody day. She laughs and cries at once.
E: Well done Mamacita!
M: Because we’ve all done something stupid like that.
E: Oh yes. Sadly.
M: What have you done?
E: I look like a dick most of the time. I dress in the dark. My clothes have food on them.
M: I’ve turned up at work with what I thought was soft peachy blush, but was actually large streaks of bronzy orange.
E: Those false eyelashes I tried in Paris were pretty deadly. They were running away all over my face
M: Like caterpillars.
E: More like spiders. Navy bleu spiders. Because “il me reste que du bleu madame”. Which of course necessitated the purchase of navy blue eyeliner and various other extras. Then, 10 minutes later, a spider attack on my face in the middle of the Gare St Lazare.
M: Blue spider attack!
E: Yup. and let’s not even mention the endless fake tanning disasters.
M: Have you ever walked out with two different shoes, from two different pairs? Because, yup.
E: Ha! No. But hold ups falling down in the middle of the street? A weekly occurrence.
M: So a Facegoop hug to mamacita?
E: A huge Facegoop hug and a brand spanking new “Mr” “Nars” glitter crayon. Do one side, do two, draw yourself a cream glittery moustache. “Mr” “Nars” loves you just the way you are. Drop us Mamacita’s address in an email, Soleils, and the crayon of love is hers.
E: YES TELL ME TELL ME TELL ME NOW. How are things in the dysfunctional No. 7 family?
M: Tense. I booked an appointment to be made over by the resident no 7 makeup artist.
E: Resident in Boots? Meal deals for breakfast lunch and dinner. More £5 vouchers than you can shake a stick at.
M: Apparently, all the No 7 products are the creative children of Lisa Eldridge.
E: Wow. I did not know that. I am now Impressed. No 7 has Lisa Eldrige as its adoptive mother.
M: Yes, she is Creative Director, with capital letters, innit.
She is also Hawt. And she looks like a freak when she has no makeup on, like a normal person, who wouldn’t think twice about eating your brain if these were post-apocalyptic times.
E: She’s the Angelina of orphan make up.
M: Yup. Collecting multi-coloured children for her sparkly collection with cheap packaging.
E: I admire that.
M: Her videos are ace. Lots of closeups, and she’s not annoying. Also, they’re blissfully short. Look:
M: And she does that stupid face everyone does when they put their makeup on, which comforts me.
ANYWAY. So the poor girl who is kept in the basement of the Boots on Princes St made me up. She seemed a bit on edge, and speedy, like the TGV of makeup.
E: That’s not reassuring. I wouldn’t want a high speed train that close to my face.
M: But she was very nice. She said she wasn’t allowed to put eyeliner on the inner corner of my eye, in case she pokes my eye out with it.
E: Boots, the pharmacists, see? Giving priority to Health and Safety.
M: This was also comforting, because I have a PHOBIA of anyone going near my eye with anything. Including myself.
M: Obviously. So, I was sitting in the high makeup chair with my legs dangling, as she applied A LOT of blue eyeshadow on me. Because I had asked for it. Why remains a mystery.
E: No. Oh, no. You can’t just say that. You need to rummage around in your psyche and tell us Why. WHY THE BLUE, M, OH GOD WHY WHY?
M: Because, clearly, I want to be a 70s porn star:
E: Ah, ok. Well it worked. Bravo.
M: There were all these old women, including one in a white fur hat and what looked like half a jar of dusting powder plastered on her face, just standing and staring at me. One leant over the counter, uncomfortably close, and said to the makeup artist – “ARE YOU DOING ANY MORE FACES TODAY?”
E: She obviously also wanted to look like a 1970s porn star.
M: Poor thing. She was very funny, the makeup slave. She put a LOT of makeup on me. A LOT. She kept on dusting me. Dust dust dust. And as she dusted, we bonded over a shared cultural heritage, African conflicts and how difficult it is to source appropriate ingredients for South East Asian cooking. She’s onto her third Scottish husband, and we’re hoping this one will be the right one.
E: You should try and break her out of the basement. It’s hard to see daylight in Edinburgh at the best of times. The basement of Boots must be like Finland in December.
M: I would, but I am pathologically shy. Also the Basement of Boots must be AWESOME.
E: I guess she has Lisa Eldridge.
M: Do you think they are given a little vial of Lisa Eldridge essence when they graduate from No 7 School, to sniff when they are feeling down?
E: I wonder if Lisa wears a phial of Mr Armani’s blood around her neck? Does he even have blood, being a space lizard? So many questions. Did you learn anything from this epic makeover?
M:. Well, I learned a few things:
1. Blue eyeshadow is hilarious. Stepping out into the street with full hooker makeup is also hilarious. No one noticed. That’s Scotchland for you.
2. No 7 is actually really quite good. The colours are funky but wearable, the formulations are nice, I like the brushes and it’s relatively cheap. Especially with the ubiquitous 5poundsoffrubymilllieandno7 voucher.
3. They have a nice sheer lipstick I think you would like. It’s not as smooth or glidy as Armani, but for £9.50 I think it’s a bargain. Creamy but translucent.
E: Ooh I must try that. And was there a hard sell?
M: No, not at all. She just wrote everything down on a special card thing and then left me to it. She even told me the Urban Decay shadows were better.
E: And did you buy?
M: I quite liked the lip colour on the 1970s porn star picture. But in the end I bought the neutral one, which is called something stupid like “Attract”.
E: Yeah, I need me a bit of “attract”. But I am all spent up after Space NK.
M: So, in conclusion, go to No 7 and have a makeover, because if you are lucky you will get a hilarious makeup artist, wacky grannies scrutinizing your pores, and the chance to spend your trillions of vouchers on something that’s thought up by that clever brain-eating minx, Lisa Eldridge. I was fully prepared to be disappointed, but I enjoyed it. And the next evening I wore blue eyeshadow to go outside, into the world, with my FRIENDS. Damn those plucky Pharmacists at Boots.
E: Sheer lipstick…. [makes plotting noises, rubs hands together in the manner of a cartoon miser]
M: Of course, when Mr Armani hears of this there will be hell to pay.
E: You think?
M: He will send his space lizards down. On goats.Genetically engineered goats.
E: Goodness. Did it come to you in a dream? Have you been drinking fermented lychee cocktails again? We talked about that. Hmmm. I really don’t want to anger Mr Armani, but I do like goats very very much.
M: And these are the softest, fluffiest, angriest goats you have ever encountered.
E: I think you’ve sold it to me. Alien invasion by soft fluffy goats and new and excellent cheap sheer lip colour? Our cup runneth over.
E: Goop morning. I like what you did there. Today we have a guest post. Because we are both tired and you appear to live in Baltimore now, and because she offered and WE JUST ARE, OK? And it will be GOOD.
M: A’ight, a’ight. Omar don’t scare. Be cool. Tell me about our guest reviewer.
E: Our guest reviewer, who would like to be known as Slagheap, is the dewy faced and super talented Marie Philips, author and blogger. And she is reviewing Nuxe “Baume Prodigieux”. Always with the big names, Nuxe. In the interests of Facegoop scientific something or other, I got some too.
M: What is it? Is it lip gloss? Or lip balm?
E: It is a “soin multifonction”. The English version says: “Nutri-protecting lip care gloss effect spf 15″
M: Multi-fonctions my ass. It’s not like you can rub the gloss in your hair or on your cuticles.
E: And I have had it 12 hours and it has neither made me a cup of tea, nor done my tax return.
M: Anyway, I just want to say this about Nuxe: PAH.
E: Oh? Pah?
M: Yes, Pah.
E: Why pah? I like Nuxe. The shimmery shiny oil.
M: Because rêve de miel? Worst. Lip. Balm. EVER.
E: I have never used it. But many lip balms are shite. What is so bad about this one?
M: If you want your lips to erupt in a rash, then by all means use it. It’s like being stung by an angry wasp. An angry wasp with sand paper.
E: It can’t be as bad as Burt’s Bees. That’s a stingy Pritt Stick masquerading as a lip balm.
M: Nightmare de miel, it should be called.
E: Cauchemar de miel. It sounds good. I would probably buy something called that.
M: You know all this stuff about how bees are dying out, and we need to save them bladibladi bla?
M: Well. That’s bee propaganda, if you ask me.
E: You are probably right.
M: BEES ARE EVIL.
E: Big, fat, furry, physics-defying fuckers. They wish us ill.
M: Yes. Stripy bastards. Back to the lip balm.
E: This one does NOT contain honey. I have not had any stingy/rashy/gluey action. I’m just struggling with the gloss elementI dunno. I can never get my head around lip gloss. I know loads of people like it. But why am I supposed to like having sticky lips? WHY?
M: The shininess. People like that.
E: I think this is an extension of my Lip Colour Anxiety Disorder. I mean,
I do agree with our guest tester, that it makes your lips look nice. Even my cracked, horrible lips. But I feel funny about it.
M: How about we just see what our tester had to say? Someone without mental issues around lip colour?
Nuxe Baume Prodigieux
A couple of winters ago, when my lips were gaily shedding chunks of skin like burlesque lepers, my incredibly hard-to-please friend told me that the ONLY lip balm to use was made by Nuxe. Accordingly, next time I was passing through Paree, I picked up not one but two – their ‘Baume Prodigieux’, which comes in a tube like a lip gloss with one of those sponge applicators, and their ‘Reve de Miel’ which comes in a little round tub. When I was small, the only lip balm I knew was bright purple, fake grape flavour and dispensed from a small metal tray. I graduated to brightly-coloured pots of goo from the Body Shop that stank of Dewberry (ah, the stench of the 90s). Then when my sisters had babies, I discovered that nipple cream rubbed into your lips works a treat – not joking – but it is a bit embarrassing to use in public. Nuxe was my first properly grown-up (read: expensive) lip balm.
‘Reve de Miel’ turned out to be the exact colour and texture of earwax. I refused to put it anywhere near my mouth, but it does sterling work applied to my chapped knuckles as a hand cream.
However, I immediately fell in love with ‘Baume Prodigieux’. It contains mango butter – who knew mangoes had butter? – and shea butter and sunflower oil and almond oil, and Vitamin E, which, I have been assured by those who know, cannot penetrate the surface of your skin and therefore does NOTHING. It has Factor 15. I slather myself in Factor 15 at all times, which is why I look 32 and not my true age (33). It tastes like Play-Doh, which isn’t a good thing at all. But most importantly it makes your lips look exactly the same colour as they were already BUT as if they must be kissed as a matter of urgency. I adore this. I would adore this even more if I were still a teenager with a school uniform code which allowed me to wear lip balm but not lipstick. Just a suggestion.
My last tube lasted two years in rotation with other, more colourful lip glosses, and this year when I went to replace it – online, sadly, not in Paree – I noticed that it was now available in two new colours: ‘Shimmering Chocolate’ – dear god no, last thing I need is lips a colour that I want to eat; and ‘Legendary Pink’. Legendary, eh? I can’t say I’ve heard the legend of Nuxe’s Pink, it is hardly the Robin Hood de nos jours; but I did like the idea of a Baume Prodigieux in a shade other than the one I am without assistance (now dubbed ‘Natural Crystal’).
‘Pink’, though. I hate ‘pink’. I don’t mind ‘rose’ or ‘blush’ or any other euphamism, but ‘pink’ is terrifyingly suggestive of young girls in tutus dressed as princesses. That’s not what I want to look like: not at all. And yet, for the good of research and Facegoop and YOU, reader, I purchased it, hoping that the legend of the Nuxe pink might be that it really isn’t that pink after all.
It arrived. I put it on. Oh my god. The colour coverage is beyond compare; the dewy glow of it utterly seductive. I don’t have the words to describe the bliss of the texture. I have never worn a lipstick / lip gloss / lip balm like it. My other lip coverings want to hide themselves in shame.
But it is SO PINK.
Fluorescent pink. Glow in the dark pink. Barbara Cartland pink. The kind of pink that could only possibly be purchased online by someone whose screen colours are not set to match reality and who is highly optimistic about what a pink legend might comprise of.
But the legend of the Nuxe Pink, as it turns out, is the legend of the Pink so beautifully applied that you abandon all your feelings about what colour you do not want your mouth to be under any circumstances, and wear it, wear it, wear it.
E: Ah! A makeover! Women at a department store counter telling you you suit autumnal tones and forcing product upon you? Free gift with two purchases one must be skincare, have this pleather pochette with tiny versions of shit you’ll never use? That kind of makeover?
M: No, not at all. In this makeover, I sat on a high zebra print chair, watching a video of happy flawless American women swirling brushes over their faces. Two powdery women stared at mine, dabbing streaks of powder on me, trying to choose a colour. They looked perplexed. And I really needed to pee.
E: Of course, because of ALWAYS NEEDING TO PEE. I think there were only 4 minutes of today when I didn’t need to pee.
M: It’s weird, the mineral powderiness. It just sits there, and then it warms up and starts to go creamy.
E: Creamy is good though?
E: But it sort of covers up the badness, no? When I saw I had advanced leprosy this afternoon, the first thing I did was try and exorcise it with Laura Mercier Mineral Powder.
M: You would have made a terrible Jesus. In fact, it’s a bit like a cult. There is a leaflet, which says “Your skin will love you for this”. My skin, the perennial atheist, disagrees. With the powder on, I realized how dry it truly was. Like one of those National Geographic overhead shots of the DESERT.
E: Oh. Yes. The first time I put the Laura Mercier on it looked like that. But then I got used to it, and someone at a party told me I had NO PORES when I was wearing it, so I haven’t parted with it since. Apparently it’s all in the application and the teeny tiny quantity. Mme India Knight is going to do us a masterclass on mineral powder application soon. She has promised. Possibly in the style of an Avatar make up tutorial.
M: Lines. lines everywhere!
E: That would be all the water. Thanks for that, water, you dick, for making us look like aged crones.
M: Yeah, thanks a lot, asshole. Anyway, my face is itching now. It feels like tiny people are sticking tiny needles into my large tiny nostrils.
E: You’re not really selling this. Not that you are supposed to be. I’m just desperate for something positive in my watery misery.
M: Positive, eh? My sister said I was “glowing”.
E: That IS good. She only usually likes kittens.
M: The other sister. The one who ran around Superdrug for half an hour painting rainbow colours onto her nails. She is used to seeing me bare faced and haggard, so anything’s an improvement, I suppose.
E: Even so, let’s be positive. You got ‘glowing’. I got ‘no pores’. There’s something in this mineral stuff. I wonder if it’s one of those things that looks better on someone else? Like, you can’t see the magic when you’re wearing it yourself.
M: I look grey in the living room mirror which is normally very forgiving. Is that what you mean by magic? Grey. It’s not the best shade.
E: It’s nice for jumpers. Less so for faces.
M: Hmmmm. The counter lady gave me a sample with another colour and a tiny brush. She was weird, like some sort of Bare Minerals drone. SWIRL TAP BUFF. SWIRL TAP BUFF. DOES NOT COMPUTE. Like her brain had been scooped out and replaced with finely milled powder in a dizzying array of shades.
E: It probably has. But tiny brush! Tiny things are good. I am so positive tonight, I must be having a psychotic episode.
M: God, my face itches, I’m going to have to take this off. And her brush shed ALL OVER my coat! Tiny little hairs everywhere.
E: Oh dear oh dear. Like a nervous dog but without the unconditional love and the bed warming.
M: So. Bare Minerals: creepy evangelical desert dust that makes your face both glowy and itchy. I’ll try again with the sample but I’m not convinced.
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.
M: The Legendary Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser. Revered by beauty editors and makeup artists.
E: Sung of in heroic ballads by wandering minstrels.
M: Tell me what it does.
E: Well. Mainly it disappears. You put some on your hand, what looks like a decent blob. Then you put it on your face and instantly the texture changes and sort of dries, magically and there is nothing there. Nothing. Your face looks better, though. Undeniably. But I am weirded out by the disappearing.
M: It does have a lovely texture. Like, jelly meets marmalade, but non-sticky. It’s kind of, plump?
E: Plump but dry. I think I like it.
M: I think it’s responsible for the current explosion of what the FUCK all over my face.
E: Oh no.
M: On me, it becomes evil spot creating venom of DEATH. It makes my face 50% sweaty, 50% angry teenager. I mean, I wanted to like it. I really did. I wanted to love it. It’s either the Laura Mercier or the Belgian water.
E: Pff, Belgian water is TOTALLY safe. That chemical spillage was a one off. It’s the Sauce Américaine for frites you have to worry about.
M: I’m just glad I got a sample before spending 15 gazillion pounds on this tube of snake venom.
E: Ha. I spent the 15 gazillion, of course. And now I can’t even remember when, or why, or where. I go into a fugue state when I enter beauty halls, and come to an hour later with a metallic leatherette quilted washbag filled with blue eyeshadows and fifteen irate voicemails from HSBC.
M: The sales assistant squirted it into a tiny pot for me. Look, cute!
E: Ooooh. Teeny tiny Polly Pocket make up.
M: Gaaah. I can’t open the fucking thing. Ah! And now I’ve got it all over my keyboard! my Laura Mercier is cursed. CURSED I TELL YOU.
M: Whiiiiiiiine. I want to be able to use it. Maybe I should try the non oil-free version.
E: Ok, I have put some on, and I am going to look at myself in the cold light of belgo-day.
E: Hmm. Christ, I look miserable. AND I hate my nostrils. There’s nothing you can do about weird shaped nostrils. Cosmetics are helpless in the face of them.
M: Good thing I photoshopped them out, then.
E: But yeah, it’s actually pretty good. Even. A bit glowy. Laura Mercier is stealthily making inroads into my makeup bag and with results like this, I can see why.
M: She’s crafty like that.
E: Despite the fact I don’t like the packaging at all. Brown and beige? Bleurgh.
M: I quite like it. It’s medicinal.
E: That’s your French side coming out. It’s dull.
M: Says the woman who wears nothing but shapeless black sack dresses. What’s wrong with beige?
E: Meh. It’s just crap. Those fleshy colours all are.
M: Because you are pale ghostly white.
E: Yes. It shows me up for the walking cadaver I am. Do you think Laura Mercier is making me pull those gloomy, Checkovian faces? Or is that my natural expression?
M: No comment. Do you wear it regularly?
E: Well. I do like it. But it lives in my bathroom and not my make up bag, which is a sign I don’t totally love and depend on it. It’s not what I use on weekdays, but at weekends, when I’m brushing my teeth, I might put a bit on if I’m feeling fancy. I have to be feeling pretty fancy to get around to brushing my teeth.
M: In conclusion then. Laura Mercier – lots of hype. Disappearing act on the skin. Glowy on some, snake venom on others. The jury is still out.
E: I actually think I should wear it more often. Who needs to look cheerful when you can look glowy?
M: Oh shut up, Anton.
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer £15 gazillion £32 from Space.NK amongst others
M: I mean Nars? François Nars? That’s a fake name.
M: Ha! FAKE. That’s totally photoshopped.
E: Nars. Not a real name, and a face cobbled together from back issues of National Enquirer.
M: It’s Tom Cruise’s hair, with Justin Timberlake’s beard.
E: And the rest of him is some Spanish dude. Joaquim Cortez maybe.
M: In any case, the giant, faceless corporation behind “Mr Nars” is a GENIUS. A TOTAL GENIUS.
E: Yes, who cares that he’s made up. “Mr” “Nars” is BRILLIANT.
M: “Mr” “Nars”, we love you. Proper love.
E: Proper, no mockery, even though you are made up, love. Your black eagle is Amazing. Not remotely sharp or pointy.
M: I mean, eyeliner, in a giant, soft pencil, with smouldering, golden shimmer.
E: Retard proof too.
M: Yes. You can rub it all over your face with no ill effect.
E: Maybe not on your upper lip? It might not look so good there.
M: Sssssh. It would, if you were trying to look like “Mr” “Nars”. We should also mention that Aigle Noir is of course the title of a famous French song.
E: In this version, Maurice Béjart dances a homage to fat eyeliner crayon.
M: He understands the importance of eyeliner.
E: He does. So much so, that I find myself wondering if that isn’t actually François Nars dancing.
M: What is the woman? Is she the eye? Lesser eyeliner? £2.95 “Collection 2000″ eyeliner?
E: Yes. She should stop pretending she has wings.
M: And why are those people carrying giant triangles? WHAT DOES IT MEAN? Do they symbolize the Q tip coming to clean up the smudges?
E: You don’t really get that problem with aigle noir though, do you? I am a bit disturbed by the tiny wing claps at 3’10. Awful.
M: Awfully GOOD.
E: It’s like he’s seen a vole he wants to eat.
M: THAT’S what she is. She’s a vole! And the triangles are the beak.
E: Aigle Noir makes us elegant and regal for one brief moment. That is why it is awesome.
M: Yes. A brief fleeting moment, it’s gone, like an eagle soaring in the heavens above. Why is “Mr” “Nars” making me write bad emo poetry?
E: All part of his evil plan, probably.
M: No. He isn’t evil. He doesn’t have an evil bone in his made up body.
E: Ok, it’s all part of his benign plan.
M: He just wants us to be beautiful. Even though we’re rubbish at being girls.
E: He’s the Gok Wan of make up.
M: Yes! With less gropage.
E: Facial grope would be weird, anyway.
M: He makes magic pants. For faces.
E: How do you wear yours, M? That’s a Cadbury’s Creme Egg reference, of course.
M: I usually start out trying to wear it as eyeliner. But then I fuck it up, so I smudge it all over my lower lid. Sometimes I put it on the outer corners of my lashline and smudge it outwards. That’s it.
E: The eagle is very forgiving. I put my proper eyeliner on first. Then I give it a bit of eagle just above the lash line. Then I blend a bit. Then sometimes I get carried away and put it all over the lid. I love how easy it is. Easy and greasy and sexy.
M: It’s a bit too thick to control, isn’t it? But that’s the genius of it.
E: Yes. That’s what makes for the general smudgy, sparkly gorgeousness.
M: So. Aigle Noir. Made by a faceless corporation hiding behind a photoshopped image and a made up name, but completely brilliant.
E: Yup. “Mr” “Nars”. You made us feel like laydeez. Thank you.
Today we are discussing Giorgio Armani Sheer Lipstick. Because that’s how we roll. Yes, we do have jobs actually. Shut up.
E: I tell you what’s weird.
E: Mr Armani. I mean, he looks like the exhumed remains of Ramses II, but he absolutely rocks at cosmetics. Not only that, but Mr Ramses Armani has no lips, yet his sheer lipstick is awesomeness in an ergonomic tube. I mean, props to him for his contribution to human happiness, but what the fuck is that about?
M: I’m pretty sure he doesn’t have any skin either. He’s 100% lizard, like in V.
E: The boring kind. My memory was dulled by muesli malnutrition, probably. Mr Ramses Armani is like a brown, brown, lipless space lizard.
M: Yes, but Italian. Can we get back to lipstick?
E: Yeah, so. Armani lipstick is good because it is not actually lipstick.
M: What is it?
E: It’s lipstick for wimps. People who are scared of lipsticks.
M: That’s a condition?
E: Yes. Because I have this Chanel lipstick and it scares me. You put it on, and look at yourself and suddenly it’s all CLOWN MOUTH! OMFG I AM WEARING LIPSTICK.
M: Yes. And you have to blot it and constantly check it isn’t on your teeth.
E: And it leaches all the moisture out of your lips, leaving you with your lips sloughing off like a reptile.
M: Always back to the reptiles. You know what else is nice about it?
M: The click when you close the lid. And the soft, ergonomic shape. It’s like one of those space chairs in lipstick form. It’s SPACE LIPSTICK.
E: Hmm. I think the click could be more clicky. Because when I have mine in my handbag the lid comes off, and the tube fills with sand and biscuit crumbs and spoons and more sand.
M: That doesn’t happen to most people.
M: No. They keep it in a tiny shiny clutch, with maybe a black Amex card and a button to call their bodyguard.
E: No shortbread fingers?
M: Are shortbread fingers Armani? NO.
E: I suppose not. Which colour do you have?
M: I don’t know. It makes your lips all berry and shiny and hydrated. And I can apply it blindfolded without looking like I’ve just snogged a lamp post. What do you have?
E: 5. And sometimes 21. They are browny reddish and discreet and do not frighten horses. I am very fond of horses and would not like to frighten them. The Chanel lipstick would definitely frighten horses. Probably men too, but I never meet any of those.
M: Ha, look at their website!
The colours are spectacularly inaccurate. And I was right. The model is definitely from space.
E: There’s something veerrrry creepy about the way she has a black band across her mouth before you choose her lipstick colour. Also, if you choose 9, it gives her blue lips, like she’s in chronic heart failure.
M: Yeah, it’s terrifying.
E: Yours must be 8 I think, but it seems to suggest you are Malibu Barbie.
M: Malibu Barbie is totally Mr Armani’s mistress.
Actually, it's no. 6
E: What do you think they are made of? Truffle oil?
M: Truffle oil and liquefied oyster for the silkiness.
E: And hmmm. Papal vestments?
E: 20% white truffle oil from Mr Armani’s space orchard, 30% the silky insides of oyster shells, 25% papal robes and 25% magical space particles.
M: Hmmm. I think we have established that Mr Armani is a mummified space lizard, but what I don’t understand is why he has come to earth to offer us his cosmetics. Is there some kind of nefarious plan behind it?
M: Oh yes. Céline has a tail. It keeps the Armani counter floor nice and shiny.
E: Does she keep it in her regulation black nylon slacks?
M: Yup. She tucks it in there when it’s not needed.
E: So, in conclusion, Armani sheer lip colour. It’s basically DNA theft by a space lizard, but we’re ok with that, because it’s nice and sheer, good wearable colours and doesn’t frighten large mammals. Right?
M: Why not.
Mr Armani does not want you to know how much his sheer lip colour costs, but it’s available from Jenners and Selfridges.