E: What’s the hurry? We haven’t posted since dinosaurs roamed Space NK, remember. Actually who are you?
M: WE ARE LATE FOR HERBOLOGY CLASS.
E: You’ve lost me.
M: Professor Sprout will kick our arses.
M: For god’s sake, Ron. I am doing a whole Harry Potter-Herbology thing. Keep up.
E: Oh. I have never read Harry Potter. I fail Herbology.
M: Which is ironic, as Herbology has not failed us.
E: You speak truth.
M: We have definitely failed it though. They sent us a huge package of stuff weeks and weeks ago and we still haven’t reviewed it.
E: Oh god. It’s true.
M: BAD BEAUTY BLOGGISTS. BAD.
E: Probably the worst beauty bloggists in the history of beauty bloggism.
M: It’s ok, we’ll say we were intensively testing it.
E: Which has the added advantage of being TRUE. And god knows, the poor Herbologists had their work cut out.
M: Our craggy, craggy, traumatised winter faces have tested Herbology like it has never been tested before.
E: Winter has been cruel, like something out of Game of Thrones (which I have also not read) and I have reverted to my natural state: half Medieval peasant, half badger.
M: Winter has Come. Harsh. Bitter. Windswept. And Elemental Herbology was here to keep the… bad stuff at bay. I think we’re just going to have to say it, E. WE LOVE ELEMENTAL HERBOLOGY.
E: I thought I would never love again. Yet here we are. Giddy. De-badgered.
M: I fell in love almost immediately. There was the giddy hyperventilation of opening up a care package of heavy glass jars. The sweet sweet smell of herbal whatever goes into it. The comfort of the duvet like textures. Shall we go through the products before our readers lose the will to read?
E: There aren’t any readers, M. We last updated our blog in 1896. But sure, let’s talk about cleanser into the howling void. The “Purify and Soothe” cleanser is excellent. Eve Lom-esque, but lighter. Nice camomile scent.
M: It was actually the product I liked the least. Mostly because I drunkenly managed to make the tube burst.
E: Eh? How the fuck did you do that?
M: I DO NOT KNOW. I WAS DRUNK. The balm was cold and I squeezed really hard.
M: Also, I find it a bit hard to remove.
E: You were probably drunkenly trying to wash your face with Windolene, or E45 cream. I like the texture because I am not a drunk.
M: It’s lovely. A very fine oily balm. What about the “Cell Active Rejuvenation” day moisturizer?
E: Easily absorbed. Soft and moisturising but not greasy. Nice bronzey cylinder like something you’d get at an awards ceremony.
M: Rose gold, I would call it.
E: Sure, whatever, tubesplitter.
M: This is the one with the hilarious french translation. “Creme du jour defroissante et raffermissante”. How would you translate defroissante?
E: Ha. “Uncreasing?”
M: Yes. Uncreasing and firming cream of the day.
E: Google Translate abuse: NEVER NOT FUNNY.
M: I like it. I was getting this weird rash on my limbs from the abhorrent cold a few weeks ago. Horrible itchy bumps all over my hands and arms and legs, but my face was fine, protected by the magic of Elemental Herbology.
E: Good. Moving on to the serum.
M: The serum is… good. Serumy.
E: And we wonder why we haven’t hit the big time yet. “Serumy”. Fucking hell. I haven’t really used the serum yet because I am finishing an expensive REN one a persuasive man made me buy.
M: It does nothing bad. I’m not sure if it does anything good. It is supposed to help congestion, but the traffic around Hackney Central was terrible this morning. BADOOM TISH.
E: I’m just going to pretend I didn’t hear that, M. The night moisturiser? “Facial Souffle” (great name)?
M: I think this is my favourite thing. It’s like pressing a delicious tiramisu onto your face. LOVE LOVE LOVE.
E: I agree. It left me smooth and unscaly, whilst unlike tiramisu, it did not give me a double chin.
M: I do not feel ready for bed until I put it on.
E: It’s your creamy comfort blanket.
M: It is. And it does not bring out the facial pox, though it is wonderfully hydrating. Full marks, Herbologists. The other thing that is awesome is the facial peel. Put it on, leave it for four minutes, towel off, go to bed. Wake up with baby soft skin. It’s replaced Liquid Gold in my exfoliating affections.
E: It’s a winner. Light, non-irritant, very effective. After using it I wake up … not looking like a badger’s arse for once.
M: So we’ve covered the good, E. It is good. Very very good. All of it. Mad props, Elemental Herbology. Shall we mention the bad?
E: We are fearless in the pursuit of truth. Or is that cheese? It might be cheese.
M: HOLY MOTHER OF SWEET BALONEY ARE YOU KIDDING ME WITH THOSE PRICES?!?!??!
E: £44 for the night cream of joy. It would be cheaper to employ someone to caress my face with asses milk all night.
M: To be fair, it will last an eternity. I have used it every night for the past 2 months, and barely used a third.
E: I hope you’re not about to start spouting some “cost per wear” bullshit.
M: Hell no. But .. you know.
E: I do, but my inner Calvinist disapproves. Can I mention the hilarious patent stuff on the tubes?
M: Oh do. I have not noticed it. I was too busy being IN LOVE WITH THE PRODUCTS.
E: The packaging is CRAMMED with details of the many patents and patents pending in proprietary Herbology formulas. Frankly, it terrifies me. If my legal training serves me…
M: Uh oh. They’ve unleashed the IP lawyer in you.
E: … I suspect we are not even allowed to say the word “herb” any more, any of us. As we speak, the herbologists’ lawyers are running round Tescos slapping injunctions on the basil.
Yes. I need to issue one of our famous Facegoop Legal Warnings. Facegoop Legal Warning: Do not even try and say the word “herb” or “element” anymore. Step away from that bouquet garni. Science teachers: cease and desist.
M: E, I am not listening to you. I am too busy looking at their website. There are other products, E. OTHER ELEMENTAL HERBOLOGY PRODUCTS. Millions of them. Stuff for the body. Stuff for the face. OH GOD I WANT IT ALL.
E: So, M, when we were on hiatus over the summer, I had the great good fortune to be invited to a launch of, like, a really good beauty shop here in the Belgiana. I didn’t really tell them I worked for Croatian Vogue. That’s a filthy rumour.
M: Lies. You don’t have shops in Belgiana.
E: We do actually have a few rough shacks with earth floors. Actually, since the shop wasn’t actually finished, it was a bit like that. ANYWAY, they gave me the best goodie bag ever. EVER. It was quite literally the best thing that happened in summer 2011.
M: Oh, nice. Was there chocolate in it? A golden status of a cow? False idols to worship?
E: Are you mistaking Belgians with Incas? Or Aztecs? I think you are.
M: Possibly. They both like chocolate, I think. ANYWAY. What was in the bag, E?
E: Well. There were many things, and we will talk about them over the coming weeks, but today, I want to tell you about the perfume.
M: Oh god.
E: Yes, yes, I know you hate perfume talk.
E: Don’t make that face. I can see you in the OTHER HEMISPHERE rolling your eyes
M: Why. WHY MUST YOU DO THIS NOW. AND WHY IS THERE AN OWL? I still use a bottle of Crabtree and Evelyn body spray I got when I was 16.
E: Because. It. Is. Interesting. So you can just lump it, and listen to My Summer of Scent
M: Interesting? To fellow smell pervs enthusiasts, perhaps. I think it’s a small victory when I don’t spend the day smelling of buffalo.
E: I got this vast quantity of fragrance samples, and I spent the whole summer using a different teeny tiny sample each day. There were some good ones and some spectacularly AWFUL ones. There was even one that was based on Tiger Balm.
There were days when my family recoiled from me in disgust and days when no one would sit next to me on the bus.
M: So, like any other day then. But more tigery.
E: Yes, but there were days when pervy old men chased me down the street and once, the woman in the post office told me I smelled “clean”.
M: Who is she? I am already slumped over on my keyboard, sobbing, by the way.
E: Ssssh. nearly over. Ormonde Jayne – and yes, it’s a terrible name – do this bespoke scent test on you where they ask you how you feel about goats, and cinnamon, and wire wool smells, which they waft under your nose in tiny test tubes. Then, based on your reaction to pencil shavings, overripe bananas and hoof oil, they suggest a scent. Osmanthus was mine.
M: Did it work?
E: Oddly enough, it sort of did. It’s softer and gentler than what I’d usually wear, and I can’t really describe it satisfactorily. It’s like a big, cosy, floral marshmallow hug. That sounds horrible and stifling. It smells like … uh …. nice things. Like Friday afternoon.
M Friday afternoon when you skive off work to stuff your face at Ladurée?
E: Yes! And then you hug your St Honoré aux Framboises to your chest, slightly crushing it. It smells like that.
E: The other winner in the summer of scent were Heeley scents.
M: Heeley sounds like a sporting event. A posh one. Involving canoes and possibly horses.
E: Ha, yes! It is made by James Heeley, a pretty, fey man who looks like he has escaped from Brideshead revisited.
Definitely horses and canoes. Anyway, he makes these exquisite, weird fragrances, including the tiger balm one (very tiger balmy), a sort of sea salt one , and a really grassy verveine one that smells like your granny’s tisane.
M: Couldn’t you just give yourself a rub down with some crushed leaves or some tapenade?
E: So practical always, M. Yes. I suppose you could. It’s like that, but less… sappy and exfoliating. More importantly, he writes the most florid, bonkers copy about his scent I have ever read. Each one comes with a suggestion of what it should evoke.
M: Let us start then, E, by saying that I hate your guts.
E: Oh come now, M. You know I am basically, Single White Female but without the ginger bob. So when you told me recently about how much you were obsessing about special hungarian black mud cleanser, I went STRAIGHT OUT AND BOUGHT IT. Bwhahahahahaha. At school, that would have been the end of our friendship, wouldn’t it? You would have dumped my textbooks down the toilets and told everyone I had syphilis.
M: At school?!??! dude. you stole my life. Worse than that, you stole my CLEANSER.
E: I did. It was evil.
M: I am going to tell the world you have a tiny cockstump. Residual, mind you.
E: Well, M. I might have a tiny cockstump, but I also have Oroisurkfmgjrsljtmseriz or whatever it’s called SPECIAL BLACK CLEANSER. Hang on, I’m going to get the pot, to torment you.
M: Oh, sacred Hungarian mud! blessed be thy cleansing powers!
E: So. “Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm”, it’s called. “The best cleanser you will ever use!” says the website, which is not scared of hyperbole, apparently. But firstly, I’d like to say, it’s not actually black at all, as you promised me. It’s more of a charcoal grey.
M: On s’en fout. It’s elegant, classic, charcoal grey.
E: Next, it smells …. expensive. That’s the word, expensive.
M: How expensive?
E: Stupidly expensive, M. Forty six of your English pounds. Oh, I’ve looked it up, apparently that’s the “surprising whiff of orange blossom”. Whiffy orange blossom doesn’t come cheap. It has the texture of, I dunno, what’s greasy and expensive? Sturgeon?
M: Yup. Or foie gras. Or a fat oligarch’s wife.
E: Yeah! It has the texture of a fat oligarch’s wife who has gorged on foie gras, and the scent of a limited edition Diptyque candle. It comes with a little spoon, like caviar.
(disclaimer: I have never bought caviar)
(but I hear it comes with a spoon)
And if you are really really rich – stroke – stupid, you can also buy an entirely plain white flannel with Osueitryiutyeskjthselet written on it to wash your face with for ten quid. You’d have to be REALLY stupid to do that *hides flannel*.
M: That’s all very well, dear, but tell me. TELL ME. Does it work?
E: Hmm. Define “work”
M: Does it hoover out all the bad shit and make your skin all glowy and baby soft and smooth?
E: Well, firstly it is fabulously easy and I like that. Tiny spoonful, smear it quickly all over your face including eye area. Warm flannel (need not be Oxwzrwjczajaja branded). Et voilà, even gets crusty old eyeliner off first time. Now, for the first few days I had a shitload of blemishes, which might suggest the special volcanic goodness is doing its thing. Then again, it might have been my diet of Marks & Spencer caramel bunnies and hot dogs.
M: But are the blemishes staying?
E: No, all gone. My skin is clear and soft. It’s not drying, it’s not harsh. But is it the holy grail? I dunno.
M: Hmmmm. HMMMM, I tell you.
E: Maybe we should give it more time?
M: “We”? “WE”???
E: Me and the homemade mannequin of you I keep in my wardrobe.
M: Aaaaaaaargh, is it like my skin, but stuffed with old tights?
E: That’s exactly what it’s like M. Now come here while I put this stiletto through your eye.
M: By “stiletto”, I hope you mean “thermal cleansing balm”, and by “through your eye”, I hope you mean “gentle facial”. Punk.
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: 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.
M: The Guerlain Midnight Secret is not so good with its hips though.
E: I suppose the secret is that you dance at the ambassador’s ball until the wee small hours, then you are up bright and early looking radiant the next morning for a gala breakfast with er, the ambassador’s wife . HOW????
M: Wait wait wait. Hold on. What is this, a Ferrero Rocher ad??
E: Yes. This is my view of Guerlain, see? It is basically a highly aspirational 1950s film condensed into small, expensive pots.
M: Except, in our version, you’ve been up to no good, snogging the ambassador’s son.
E: On current form, I would be more likely to have been snogging the ambassador’s dog.
M: You’ll need some Midnight Secret for that too. Continue.
E: So. In the Guerlain version of events, you kick off your dancing slippers (mirrored Louboutins, presumably) and sink into your goosedown quilt, pausing only to grab your Midnight Secret.
In E’s version, you reel home from a seedy transvestite cabaret by a method you do not remember the next morning. You wave a towelette in the direction of your face if you are feeling fancy. Then, despite the fact that you are too drunk to undress, the blue jar of promise winks at you so you slather some on optimistically. You wake up in the morning with eye make up and drool all over your pillow, and a head like a badger’s arse.
But! Your complexion is not as shit as it deserves to be.
M: Hmmm. Your method may differ from that of the polished socialite, but the result is the same, isn’t it? And that result is glowy, and dewy, and impossibly even skin.
E: The level of dewiness depends on the G & T count. But it is definitely pretty good. Also, it smells totally delicious.
M: What does it smell of?
E: It smells like a rose garden trampled at dawn by the dainty toes of M. Guerlain, possibly dancing like M. Louboutin in this video.
M: I think more M. Guerlain’s angelic, blonde haired little grand daughter. She is all dimples and smiles as she CRUSHES the flower into the heavy blue sarcophagus of a jar.
E: Now you’re making it sound like Gigi. With Maurice Chevalier as M. Guerlain.
“sank ‘eavens, for Midnight Secret!”
M: “fo’ you face she get more CRAGGY evereee daaaaaay”
Of course, there’s another ill guarded secret related to Midnight Secret. It’s fucking expensive.
E: Horribly so. But the ambassador is paying.
M: And what price your dignity?
E: My dignity is priceless.
M: Oh? Maybe you should wipe that dog slobber off your face then.
E: Sssssh. So: Midnight Secret. Magical. Expensive. Made by cinematic giants and set to music by Maurice Chevalier.
E: Hello M. I have a bag of Space NK BADNESS. So much free stuff. This week end (Friday and Saturday), if you spend £60 they give you a huge bag of stuff. STUFF.
M: I went to space NK too. Ididn’t buy anything though because I WANTED TO KNOW WHAT WAS IN THE BAG FIRST.
E: OK. Well, I can tell you.
M: YAY!!! Go through the whole bag. It’s like getting the bag, without paying for the bag. And actually having to store all the stuff that comes in the bag. And remembering to throw the bag out rather than letting it fester in a corner full of other bags. And getting boils from using the stuff that is in the bag.
E: I don’t understand a single solitary bit of what you just said.
M: I’m saying, this is fun because I get all the fun of the space NK goodie bag without any of the inconvenience.
E: And without any of the joyful, hand rubbing glee, staring at your heap of free tat, though. Look!
M: Nice photo.
E: Shut up. Starting at the top, there’s a full sized thing of Space NK lavender hand wash. Hands will always need washing. Useful. Decent sized shower gel in “Jump Start” flavour. Small pot of Eve Lom cleanser and cloth. All good. Next, “WEI” cream, entitled “Royal Ming firming and hydrating cream”
M: I have some sarcastic comment to make about “Jump Start”, but I’m too distracted by WEI cream. What is WEI cream? Is it made of tiny lithe Chinese girls? Because it sounds likes it is.
E: I’m more concerned about whether it’s pronounced WEE or WAY. If there are Chinese girl in there, they’d have to be tiny. It’s a very small pot. Next, we have a nice high-tec blue and silver tube called “Dr Brandt Collagen Booster”.
M: Ha. I bet you love this because it has “Dr” in the name.
E: You are right, I love a doctor. Put your lab coat on Dr Brandt and tell me about peptides.
M: You are also a big fan of the Complex. If I squeezed out an old tea bag and labelled it “Dr M C4 Pepto-complex”, would you buy it?
E: Would it promise thinner thighs? Then I would. Who am I kidding, I would buy it regardless of its intoxicating promises because of the doctor bit. Doctors do not lie. Next, I think ridiculous name prize from the bag goes to “Elemental Herbology Cell Plumping”. The rest is teeny tiny samples. There’s a By Terry foundation. Bound to be too dark, foundation samples always are. Darphin Hydralight Skin whatever the fuck that is.Tiny sachet of Fekkai glossing cream and tiny sachet of Lubatti “dreamy night cream”. Couple of scent samples – Sisley and Acqua di Parma. The End.
M: And what did you have to buy to get all this bounty?
E: Well. You had to spend £60. So I went to see our old friend “Mr” “Nars“, who was represented by a pretty Spanish boy who they are probably grooming to be the next face of “Mr” “Nars”. “You wanta a fraiysh, spreenglike look?” he asked me. “Si si” I said. “I DO want a fresh springlike look, instead of this gin sodden crone look. Yes please. Et pouf! Sixty quid gone in seconds.
M: Pouf indeed, guapito. Oh god. Did you buy green eyeshadow? Bright lemongrass green eyeshadow?
E: No! I bought the famous Mutiple in Orgasm. No comment. I also bought a freaking lip gloss. I blame that Slagheap. It’s all her fault, coaxing me into they way of the sticky mouth.
M: What lip gloss?
E: It’s called Turkish Delight. Pinky neutral. Not too glassy glossy.
M: What else did you get? I bet there’s more.
E: I got a Matt Velvet Lip Pencil because you said it was the dog’s bollocks.
M: It is the dog’s bollocks. What colour?
E: Let me check.. Ha! WALKRYIE. I AM SPROUTING WINGS AND SINGING CONTRALTO. I AM WEARING A BREASTPLATE. Why is this pleasant nudeish lip pencil called Walkyrie? It seems most un-Walkyrie like.
M: Weil die Mädchen, sie sind nude, ja?
E: Ah, genau. Erm what else did I buy? Nothing I think. Oh, some eye make up remover. Talika, which I always get.
M: Any good?
E: Yes. It’s really really good for sensitive eyes and mine are mofoing sensitive.
M: What with having no lashes and all?
E: Yes. It says it’s « pour yeux hypersensibles » and it really is.
M: Eh ben, hyper cool.
E: Hyper, super, méga sensibles. It’s cool and non-stingy and gets everything off quickly. Hang on, I found another thing in the bag of goodies. Nude Eye Complex.
M: Oh, I tried the Nude cleansing oil. It was rather nice.
E: Was this your Space NK trip? Tell me about it.
M: Well. I was a space NK virgin and I went in with my red monkey face woes.The glossy haired, fresh faced assistant was very nice. She picked out Nude oil, Darphin serum, Ren creams and gave me a mini facial.
E. Nice. They ARE nice in Space NK. They should be at the prices they charge.
M: There were lots of explanations. She said “YOU NEED TO EXFOLIATE”.
I said “LISTEN UP PUNK ASS MY FACE IS RAW, RAW I TELL YOU”.
It started stinging when she put the serum on so she took it all off again and put on some Caudalie cream, which was ok. But!
M: Then I had to kick her in the groin when she tried to put Rêve de Miel on me, and made a run for the door.
E: Back off with your Cauchemar de Miel!
M: If you’re reading, kind Space NK lady, I am sorry. I’M SORRY I KICKED YOU. It wuz my face wot made me do it.
E: No, it was the bees. The bees made you do it.
M: It was, the fuzzy stripy bastards. But I am still thinking about the oil. It was good. Maybe I will wait until Muji’s is released next month or whenever.
E: Muji has an oil?
M: Yes, it is meant to be very good but it hasn’t launched in the UK yet. More reliably informed beauty blogs have confirmed this.
E: There is one more thing in the bag, but it was a special gift from “Mr” “Nars” for buying too much of his crackmakeup. And it is A GIVEAWAY.
M: OOOOH A GIVEAWAY. This will please ‘Mr’ ‘Nars’.
E: Si si senorita. It is a Nars Glitter Pencil. I cannot endorse it because I have never tried it, but we know the faceless corporation behind “Mr” “Nars” is a genius and wishes us nothing but good.
E: Actual scientifically proven fact. And it is full sized and I have not played with it and it’s in a box and so on. It’s sort of pale creamy with a big old fuck off sparkle. Actually more of a glitter as the name suggests.
M: Here is a non-accurate pictorial representation of said glitter pencil:
M: So what do they have to do to get it?
E: Well. they have to tell us what the shittest beauty freebie they ever got contained. They can of course lie and say ‘half a weasel and a piece of pork crackling’ if they want.
M: Ok. Sounds good. Sounds… tasty. Mmmm, weasel crackling.
E: Mmmmmm those juicy plump weasels.
Right, you know what to do. Comment in the box below for a chance to win a “Mr” “Nars” glittery pencil. You have until midnight on Wednesday the 31st of March.
M: I have chronic moisturising deficiency syndrome. Zero discipline and a box full of half empty creams I never use. I usually walk around obliviously with crackly, itchy, flaky crocodile skin. And yet I must have this, because someone on the interweb said it made their skin plump and dewy and they couldn’t stop touching themselves after using it. I want to be that body butter perv. I NEED to be that body butter perv.
E: Plump and dewy. That makes you sound like a seal. I would check the smell before you buy, because it might actually be blubber. A seductive blend of carrots and blubber. However I have also heard good things about the Yes To Carrots. So I say Yes to the Yes to the Carrots. Or something.
2. A haircut £50 or whatever the demon spawn are charging these days
M: I have long, thick, unruly hair that tries to smother me in my sleep. I also hate going to the hairdresser’s. They are a vicious, manipulative, extortionist breed with a deep rooted hatred of curly hair. It’s probably been about a year since my last torture session haircut, which means I now look like an 8 year old hippy. I had high hopes of getting my hair cut this Easter in Singapore, where I once had the most awesome dry cut ever from a hairdresser who barely spoke a word of English, but the trip’s been cancelled. Bollocks.
E: Haircuts. Believe me, it’s a heap more scary when your hair lives on a stand in the bathroom and DOES NOT GROW BACK. I love my hairdresser (John Vial at Real Hair , considerably more than £50 but worth it for the gossip alone), but even he is fallible, and I have been surreptitiously trimming the last one with the kitchen scissors for weeks to get rid of the slightly mullety effect at the back. I actually love going to the hairdressers. You get magazines and hot beverages and scurrilous gossip. M, what kind of person can only cope with getting their haircut in SINGAPORE? You are a weirdo. Get a fucking haircut. The end.
M: For my birthday last year, E. gave me a lovely Chanel Précision eyroller thingy that is wonderful for depuffing and refreshing eyes after a long session of obsessive compulsive stats checking on the computers. This version has concealer mixed in. Yay.
E: I am also in thrall to the roller. Mine is YSL Somethingorother. It is cool and lovely and lives, mysteriously, on the bathroom floor. We will speak of it at some point. All hail to the rollers.
M: My sister the actress slash model wears this, so naturally I covet it like any self respecting younger sister would: with seething bitterness and bile. It’s a pretty shade of pinky red that will look lovely and polished on summer skin.
E: Ha! Summer skin. Are you ‘avin a larf, M? I don’t even know what that is. Does it look good with blue? Bluey grey? Morgue tones? No? Ok, you keep it.
M: I am pretty rubbish at applying makeup (50% clumsiness, 50% can’t be bothered), and find fat pencils much easier to cope with. This is a sheer, glossy, moisturising version of my favourite Nars velvet matte lip pencil. I want one of each. Apart from the purple one. That one can go away. It’s not wanted here.
E: The names are wrong. The purple one should definitely be called Crime. Lip Crime. Apart from that I approve. Go ahead.
6. Urban decay eyeshadow primer potion £11.50
M: There’s a small, hidden bathroom on the third floor of my workplace that gets a huge amount of natural daylight. It has this tiny mirror that never fails, in the glorious afternoon sun, to make me gasp at the sight of my oily, crêpy, smudged, pockmarked face. The interweb confirms this potion is good at “creating smooth lids that are super powered eyeshadow magnets”. The interweb is always right.
E: Oh man, that sounds exactly like the Toilet of Truth at my workplace. I have to shut my eyes when I go in there to avoid the crushing evidence of my mortality and chins, which has occasionally caused awkwardness. “Super-powered eyeshadow magnets”. Please get this M and we can test it. I will hold pots of eyeshadow 30cm from your eyes, and we will test just how magnetic they actually are. But only for a laugh, because I don’t believe in it. Not for a second. Does it have wheat protein and ions and nanoparticles? No. Well then. It can’t possibly work.
7. Nars Cruising lipstick £17
M: ‘Mr’ ‘Nars’, guapito, I have better things to do with my time than to lust after your pretty nude lipstick. No? Oh. Fine. Gimme one. And I’ll take one of those Alhambra eye duos while I’m at it. NOW LEAVE ME ALONE.
E: Get me one too before you go. However, Cruising? Really? Dude, call it ‘anonymous shag behind a tree’ and have done with it.
M: This terrifies and fascinates me in equal measure. Not exactly cheap, but it uses lasers and space pixies to remove your leg hair for up to 12 weeks. I’m pretty sure I would give up on this after about 15 minutes, but I still want it.
E: Another sci-fi choice from M. Space laser pixies. That’s got to sting, no? I am putting on my smug, hairless face here. For £300 you should have beautiful Brazilian ladyboys stroking your leg hair off, not a small eletrical appliance.
9. Guerlain Midnight secret £58.00
M: The midnight secret is that I may have accidentally surreptitiously stolen some of this from E’s bathroom when I visited her last month, but you have no proof against me. Apart from the glowy translucence of my cheeks. It’s amazing and a full review will be posted here soon.
E: It is amazing. It smells good. It makes you feel like Audrey Hepburn. I have to resist using it every night. I mean, I function with a permanent sleep debt due to taking my laptop to bed with me every night. That’s exactly what Guerlain had in mind, right? Not parties and shit. Right? RIGHT? Sob.
M: Still on the lookout for a weightless foundation that won’t break me out, I continue to be slowly brainwashed by all the mineral foundation love out there. I don’t really want to try the Laura Mercier because she is out to get me. Barefaced Beauty’s powder has just four ingredients in it, no evil bismuth oxychloride , and a carefully thought out colour range. I ordered samples of this recently, but the bastard postman still hasn’t delivered them. Where’s my magic powder, postman? HUH?
E: The postman is wearing your powder. Look closely the next time you see him and check his face. Poreless, flawless? He’s got your Barefaced Beauty.
E: Because it’s a pen you draw on your face with. Usually I am wiping the pen OFF the faces. I want a turn. Also, it looks cute and it’s a stain and not a lipstick, what with my Condition (Pervasive Lip Colour Fear Syndrome). I want to branch out into something a bit fresher and pinkier and I thought I might be able to cope with this.
M: Ooooh! It’s lovely. They should sell them in multi-packs, like felt tip pens.
2. Serge Lutens – L’Eau
E: I think this is an emperor’s new clothes scenario. I like it because it’s Serge Lutens who is like a druid of perfume, and one of those demented genius types and also because there’s a whole concept and years of scent boffin thought gone into it. This, according to Magda in Selfridges, is your ‘day off’ fragrance. ”It’s an anti-perfume” says Mr Lutens, who seems to have been smoking the carpet again “A breath of pure mountain air”. I didn’t meet him in Selfridges, sadly. It’s not supposed to be a fragrance at all, or some such bollocks. It’s supposed to just smell clean. It does smell clean, that’s for sure. Cleaner than anything in my house, any of my clothes, cleaner than me. Cleaner than I have EVER BEEN. It smells of Persil and OCD. But for some reason I want it. Want want want. Maybe I just want to be clean for once? I tried it a couple of weeks ago, walked round thinking ‘eew, that smells like washing powder” all afternoon, then spent the evening and the next day obsessing about how I could get my hands on some more. So whatever he put in there definitely works. Catnip for humans.
Man, trying to find the price for this, I have had to read a shitload of florid bollocks. Fragrance writers and parfumiers are loons. The end.
M: I passed out after the word “perfume”. Zzzzzzzzzzzzz.
3. Serge Lutens – Sa Majesté La Rose
E: I tried this on at a friend’s house and now I want it. It’s not an intimidating, complex, bottom notes of foxes arse, scent. It just smells of roses, innit. Proper fat roses that you want to shove your whole face into.
M: Getting a headache just from reading this. Next.
E: I read about this recently and it sounds like the biz. It smells of roses and it’s a body exfoliant. Two excellent points in its favour if you are me. It’s made of ground up rose thorns, which just sounds ace, if painful.
M: The packaging makes me want to eat macarons. I’m not sure that’s really going to help with body smoothness.
E: £100, but there is a VIDEO. About a woman who lost 4 inches on her stomach with this stuff. That’s incendiary for me. I just have to have it. I spent a long time staring at it in Printemps Beauté at New Year, but I was with M and she wouldn’t let me buy it. Bitch.
M: I don’t remember that. But I do love the title of the product page in my browser: “Tummy Tuck, Boob Job, Slimming – Reduce Cellulite”. Classy, Rodial.
E: I just want to believe in this. Want, NEED to believe it works. I was the person who bought Stri-Vectin to use for its original, anti-stretchmark application. Nah, didn’t make a blind bit of difference, and I doubt this would either, but I love the Nip/Tuck style inflated claims, semi-hysterical testimonials, packaging and glossy Miami arses on the website.
E: I have wanted this stuff for a good year without ever managing to get it, and now I want it even more. I particularly like how it says on the website “OFFICIALLY CHOSEN TO BE FEATURED AT THE 2010 OSCARS CELEBRITY RED CARPET GIFT EVENT”, a phrase which seems to contain several words too many. Does this mean Jeff Bridges got some in his goodie bag? That pleases me no end. ALT is famous for its claim to make your cellulite disappear in NINE MINUTES. It’s the big daddy of nonsensical cellulite creams, and for that I love it. Also note the reassuring qualification “Not using human stem cells”. Er, good?
M: E would totally steal your stem cells if she could. Watch out.
What’s on your wish list? Gratuitous spring lamb photo by RATAEDL.
E: This should come with a health warning, because it’s actually a narcotic, not a beauty product. Do not operate heavy machinery or combine with alcohol on pain of death. It should be prescription only. And kept in the locked cupboards at the back of pharmacies that the junkies try and raid in gritty films. With the methadone and whatever.
E: Actually, what am I saying, it shouldn’t even be legal. It’s like roofies. You lose all muscle control, all free will. I bet heroin is exactly like this. Maybe less potent. Twenty minutes in a bath of this stuff, and you feel like all your bones have been removed. Probably one of your kidneys too.
M: A plague of Elemis upon you and your kin.
E: Have you been drinking it? Don’t drink it. What kind of crazed thrill-seeker are you?!
M: (dreamily) I once had a flatmate whose girlfriend worked in a spa. She was very fond of Elemis, so there was an unlimited supply of Super Soak and I could use it whenever I wanted.
E: I am surprised you ever managed to move out. Out of the Elemis CRACK DEN. I can imagine you all lying around, never moving, taking bath after bath after bath, the air a heavy fug of juniper and and clove and lavender. Filthy junkies.
M: It was the flatmate who spent a lot of time indoors. And liked to polish the kitchen cupboards.
E: He had a girlfriend? Impressive. There’s hope for us all.
M: He ALWAYS had girlfriends. He once broke his penis on a girlfriend and ran around the flat screaming.
E: Eh? Are you kidding me? Is that a thing? How the FUCK? HOW CAN YOU BREAK A PENIS?
M: There’s a ligament or something. There was blood and screaming. Apparently it’s very painful. I was in my room thinking WHAT THE FUCK.
E: Oh my god. I feel a bit sick now. Well, if you will live with Elemis smackheads in an Elemis squat, this kind of thing is going to happen.
M: Where IS my fucking Elemis?
E: You’ve spent your giro on Elemis again, haven’t you?