E: I LOVE that game! Please can I be Lassie this time? I’m sick of being Flipper.
M: No, E. We are going to help Reader Laura with this question she has sent in. Her question goes like this:
I’m begging you guys to help me please? My skin is in meltdown. I’ve had really bad acne since I was like 12 and I’ve been on Roaccutane twice, and a bunch of other crap…so all the zits went away, but now it looks like they’re coming back, and I’m not allowed Roaccutane again. So I am desperate, and decided to contact you guys and ask for any products/hints/ANYTHING that could help and keep my skin decent enough to have a social life…bearing in mind I’m still in school, my part-time work is minimum wage and I consider £40 a cream top-end? Anything would be appreciated muchly! And keep adding new reviews to Facegoop, I love it!! Thankyou
M: Yes. I have considerable experience in this particular domain, what with my KAPOK BARK SKIN.
E: When I google ‘kapok bark’ I get a picture of a scary black bird with red eyes. Is that you, M?
M: You are laughing, E, but it’s no fun when even your mother keeps on complaining about your skin.
E: I don’t know what Kapok bark looks like, but I’m guessing it’s not a compliment.
M: It’s the bark behind that bird. Craggy. Uneven. Gross. Did you have Kapok bark skin?
E: Actually, mine is worse than ever now, cruelly. I am out kapoking kapok. Small children recoil from me in the streets. I had to cover my craggy grossness with powder today and my brush moulted so I look like a mexican wolf child, but the beard is a good distraction from the blemishes. Apart from a beard, what do you suggest for Laura?
M: Well, I have tried everything. And I mean EVERYTHING. I did Roaccutane too when I was at school. It just made me look dry and desiccated, like a mummy.
E: Always a good look, the Ramses-chic.
M: A mummy with a constant bleeding nose, because that’s what Roaccutane does to you. Frankly, I think it’s evil. EVIL, I tell you.
E: Legal Note: Roaccutane is not in league with the devil. Other satanists are available.
M: I also don’t believe in dermatologists. They either give you a crap ton of antibiotics, or cover your face in benzoid peroxide . Mum-Ra had nothing on me.
E: The only time I went to a derm, he put me on steroids for 2 years to no effect.
M: Were you surprisingly muscular though?
E: I was quite angry and moonfaced. Like a cute, squidgy Hulk.
M: Green, yet cuddly? I saw a couple of French dermatologists when I was at uni. The first one was actually quite helpful. Maybe because she worked in one of those state-sanctioned student health centres, so she obviously had some experience with acne. She made me use this Aderma Gel Moussant face & body wash, made from oats. That shit is good for you. Calms your face right down. Boots have it for £7.50.
E: Oats. People tell me good things about oats
M: Yeah. Horses eat them. They are soft and gentle, like a horse’s mane.
She also gave me a gel called Erythrogel which was quite good. More of an on-the-spot antibiotic sort of thing. My sister the actress slash moddle still uses it.
E: That there is a recommendation. SHE SNOGGED JEAN DUJARDIN IN A FILM AND EVERYTHING.
M: Then I went to see another dermato, in my 20s. Another recommendation from my sister. And do you know what she put me on?
E: Erm. I am frightened
M: You should be. A hormone treatment. You take the normal contraceptive pill, and then you take a quarter of this thing called “Androcur”. Which I believe is an androgen suppressant. I think it’s basically chemical castration. “It’s great”, she said, “You’ll have no hair on your legs, you’ll lose weight, your skin will be fantastic”.
E: Ok, scary French dermato lady, that doesn’t sound terrifying at ALL. Did it work?
M: It worked. My sex drive was also that of an obsese marmot eating a cracker. You know the one I mean.
E: I do. So what’s your actual advice, based on all this dermo-war?
M: Well. I think it’s really about a hormonal imbalance, isn’t it? And your skin being irritated and angry, like a tiny little nazi on your face.
E: Angry monkey nazi.
M: So my advice is really fucking boring I’m afraid. Take lots of Omegas, like evening primrose oil or flax seed oil. Lots of probiotics too. I once went to a crazy indian homeopathist who swore that problems in the gut had an effect on the skin. And he was, like 146 and his skin was as smooth as a baby’s, so.
E: Probiotics worked miracles with my son’s angry monkey back. Sorted that shit right out.
M: And then, GENTLENESS. I’ve noticed my skin has been much better behaved since I stopped using anything with SLS or parabens in it. I really like the Good Things cleanser, as you know, which is sweet smelling and cheap as chips.
E: Legal note: Good Things does not smell of chips. It is supposedly available at Boots, Superdrug and Sainsburys, although neither of us can actually FIND it there. Boots online has it in stock though.
M: I’ve also been using the FAB cleanser and FAB facial cream lately, and I would recommend both for their superior ability to not give me angry monkey face.
E: Another cheap product win, there.
M: There is one other thing, E, but it is very very very dear.
E: Is it ‘stealing the skin of a Russian oligarch’?
M: No, it’s the SKII facial treatment essence. A.k.a. “miracle water”. I have not a clue what is in it. By the smell of it, I would say vinegar and donkey sweat.
E: Sake, surely. And unicorn tears?
M: If unicorns cried diamonds, perhaps. I have no idea what it’s actually supposed to do, but it really did transform my skin. Calmed it right down, and rebalanced the mad sweaty oiliness I was suffering from. I’ve stopped using it now, and my face it still fine, so maybe some wealthy grandmother could bestow a bottle upon Laura instead of an inheritance, to help her through a rough patch.
E: I dunno, M. The year two thousand and SHAME, maybe. There has been a catastrophic fracture in the goop/time continuum. What are we doing here? What are we talking about? Hang on, who are you, and why have you got durian peel in your hair?
M: Wait, it’s all coming back to me now… One minute, I was at the hairdresser getting my head steamed, then the next..
E: Ok. Enough of the AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAhs. This isn’t getting any beauty dissected, and, full disclosure: I don’t think I have used moisturiser for about 6 months. WHAT HAPPENED TO US?
M: I DON’T KNOW. IT’S ALL SO FOGGY
E: Oh dear, oh dear. Did Mr Armani abduct you? Or have you been sniffing dugongs again?
M: Probably, because I appear to be living in Cambodia now.
E: Oh, M.
M: Which is really fucking helpful, on the beauty front, let me tell you. When I’m not busy mopping up my facial sweat, I’m picking spiders from my hair.
E: A thousand ways with banana leaves. Elephant massage. Actually, that sounds great.
M: S’OK. I have accumulated many expensive fripperies during my time in my padded cell*. (*Singapore)
E: Phew. I am still in Belgium, living in an attic and talking to myself. I got some fripperies free in June and am still eking them out. I don’t think I’ve worn makeup since August. My nails are sort of friable, chewed claws.
M: Dude. I have NGO worker legs. Not that I’m an NGO worker, mind. Just hairy like one.
E: Hahahahahahaha. ‘NGO worker legs’ Is this a defined term? “Get the NGO look!”
M: We are officially the worst beauty bloggists ever.
E: Yes. We are. We are not fit to clean beauty’s toilets. But we can change. It is January, the month of possibility. And I’ve got stuff to goop about.
M: What do you want to goop about?
E: Well, M, I am glad you asked me that. I want to Goop about some Dermologica scrub (free). And about how I don’t understand Khiel’s. And tell you about some body cream I wish to marry, from “”"Frédéric Malle”"”" who is not a person, but a sinister front for some French cult.
M: Like Jean-Louis David, which is just 3 random names pulled out of a hat.
E: Yes! It could just as easily be Marc Olivier François. Maybe I should start a hairdresser called that? And also, there is some weird ass shit you sent me from Singapore, including what appear to be several ‘mould your own death mask’ kits. And I need to talk about My Summer Of Scent Samples, which sounds like an extra boring indie coming of age movie. How about you?
M: I have: crazy neon pink lipstick of amazingness. Secret lotion that smells of vinegar mushrooms. A multitude of shitty mascaras. The best hair serum EVER. And the solution to angry monkey face.
E: COR. That’s a whole load of (slightly troubling) goop. The solution? You have CURED angry monkey face?
M: It does not, surprisingly, involve monkeys. I have been getting my kicks where I can, E.
E: Fair enough, elephant fondler.
M: Oh god. So much to do. I’m exhausted already. Can I go lie down now?
E: I suppose so, you lazy arse.
M: First I will do my ritualistic Sweeping of The Room for Giant Spiders. You?
E: I think I will adjust my Bra of Acute Rib Compression. Oh, M, I forgot to tell you.
E: Last night, I had a hole in my tights so gigantic I took a picture of it for you. But then I realised that was mental.
M: I think you’re mistaking this for a fashion blog.
E: It was a really, really big hole. It encompassed a whole buttock. So: ritualistic spider sweeping and minimiser bra adjustments? This is our brave new 2012 new leaf and other things with ‘new’ in them?
M: In your FACE, 2012. We are back. And we will goop you.
E: Goop ON.
M: Is that like: walk on? said to a horse? (pony botherer)
E: I was aiming for “game on”, but now you’ve said that, it just sounds pitiful. Start as we mean to go on!
We have a small, teeny tiny confession to make. The Important Facegoop Fact Finding Mission turned out to be more of a mission to imbibe gin, inhale lamb chops, and meet lovely new people, like this girl and this girl.
But we did learn important lessons in the Great Metropolis, which we share here for your edification and amusement.
M’s London Wisdom:
- eating out for breakfast, lunch and dinner five days in a row is not as good as it sounds. Especially if two of those meals were 100% lamb chops. My thighs are chafing. My painfully itch and inflated ankles are in a strop right now, and currently looking for new owners.
- Priori’s Skin Renewal Cream is da bomb. The harsh London water and even harsher London sleeping hours usually make me erupt in boils but I’ve woken up to calm, plump, glowing skin in the morning. Either that, or the lamb sweats have aesthetically beneficial side effects.
- Body Brushing and Weleda Cellulite Oil instantly alleviate Heavy Cankle Syndrome.
- Eye makeup remover wipes are like teeny tiny face wipes – handy for carrying in your handbag and great after you’ve disastrously rubbed tube-soot all over your face.
- Do not apply nail polish on 4 hours of sleep. Do not go to a picnic without sunscreen. Do not assume your hosts will have shampoo or shower gel.
- Sandals look like crap on blistered feet with nasty unpolished toe nails. My feet may be looking for new owners too. Anyone want them?
E’s London Wisdom
- Just because your new shoes are flat, that doesn’t mean they won’t sting like bitches. Compeed is simply not up to the job. Don’t wear new shoes if you’re walking ANYWHERE in the heat. End of.
- Body Brushing and Weleda Cellulite Oil with my current diet and lifestyle are like trying to clean up the BP oil spill with a single Tesco’s Value cotton bud. Completely inadequate, but better than nothing.
- Salted caramel is not a health food.
- Nor is white wine. Or gin.
- Nurofen Rapid Action Capsules totally are a health food. So is frozen yoghurt even though it’s probably more fattening than eating the same cubic volume of lard.
- Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow in Strut is a gorgeous texture, and a beautiful evening colour for cadaver skinned celts.
- Two wrong eyed contact lenses don’t make a right. You might end up in the wrong south western city when you leave London is you’re not careful with your lefts and rights.
It’s summer, when people wear floral playsuits with no sense of irony and when Facegoop’s fancy turns to .. ice cream. And where there’s ice cream, there are wobbly thighs. So for the next few weeks we’ll be bringing you an epic follow up to the Water Diaries, the Cellulite Diaries. Be afraid, be very afraid.
Cellulite. I haz it. I have had it ever since I stopped doing 5 hours of ballet a week and started to eat Nachos for breakfast. I am plagued by terrible circulation, a strong desire for tasty salted pork parts, and a deep rooted hatred of exercise. I have recently instituted a daily ice cream break in my studio for the summer months. This has led me to:
The Vital Statistics:
Thigh circumference: 25. 5 inches.
Calf circumference : 17.5 inches.
Number of ridiculous lotions tried: too many to recall.
Number of ridiculous lotions that were unpleasantly sticky: all of them.
Number of giant bruises from cycling: 7
Amount of cellulite dislodged: non-existent.
Low. Looking at the statistics above, I realize just one of my thighs is the same size as other people’s WAISTS. Not even freaky people’s waists. Just, people.
I know my legs will not be replaced by ones worthy of an antelope overnight, or, indeed, ever. In fact a doctor recently told me I was bow-legged, which left a nice happy song in my heart. Thanks, doc.
I’d just like to be able to wear an above-the-knee skirt in the sweltering heat of Paris this summer. DO YOU HEAR ME, CELLULITE GODS??? IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK?
Body brushing: E has talked me into this. She says it works if you do it obsessively, so I have, like an obedient, distraught puppy, started brushing myself every morning before my shower. It makes me feel rather like a pony being given his daily cleanse, minus the strong pony odour. Oddly comforting. And what do you know? It works. My skin is much softer, and possibly even stronger. Win.
Weleda Birch Cellulite Oil. It’s delightfully warming and the legologist says it works. It is backed up by some impressive and wonderfully germanic statistics. After 28 days, visible improvement of skin structure in 85% of cases, 20-25% increase in microcirculation, and a measurable thigh loss of 3.95 cms. This is getting slathered onto the drumsticks every evening, and my legs feel light, refreshed and hydrated afterwards. The boyfriend says I smell of ginger. Whatevs. The Oil is here to stay.
The Bicycle. My two wheeled love. I cycle every day but usually only for relatively short trips. I am going to make the most of the long, light, balmy (cough cough) Scottish summer and increase the number of 30 minute trips. Oh yes I am. Yes I am yes I am yes I AM.
Phew, that was tiring. Pass me an ice cream, E?
M and I bonded early on over our love of cellulite snake oil, pants with outlandish shrinking claims, spiked rollers to squish our thighs into submission. I love all that stuff. I’ve had hatchet faced Breton women pummel my thighs with a power hose, been wrapped in all manner of gloop, spent ages wobbling on a Power Plate.
No more. Now I have cellulite AND I’m poor. I don’t know if I’ll have to wear a swimming costume in the Isle of Wight in August, but I fear there’s a strong possibility, and my thighs are‚ well. They’ve seen better days. I try not to look. I’m typing this eating salted caramel chocolate which tells you everything you need to know about my diet. My only exercise is walking the dog, and when I say ‘walking’, I mean ‘sitting on a bench while the dog unearths old kebabs and condoms in the park’.
The vital statistics
Thigh circumference: 22 inches
(I’m not measuring my calves because I know there’s no way in hell I’ll be putting cellulite potions on them. They’re fine. They’re, you know, calf sized) .
Number of potions tried: Infinity plus
Number of bruises from drunken incidents: loads. Not sure. At least 5 big ones.
Amount of cellulite dislodged: At the moment I’m operating at a net gain of cellulite of 12 cm3 per annum.
The rot must stop.
Since I won’t be exercising or eating less, I don’t really have any expectations, but if I can get my thighs a little smoother and less, uh, GROSS, that would be great. If I can replace my body and face with those of Christy Turlington, so much the better.
Trusty cheapo body brush - it’s easy, it feels like it’s doing something, and skin definitely feels softer after use.
Weleda Birch Cellulite Oil – M was impressed so I bought some. And what’s good enough for the Legologist is definitely good enough for me. I worship that woman. I have only used a couple of times. It’s, well, oily, but there’s a sort of tightening sensation that seems promising.
For the rest, well. I’ll try and drink some water and eat some vegetables. Can’t say fairer than that.
So here goes nothing: Cellulite Plan 2010 is go. It can’t be as bad as The Water Diaries, right?
E: Yes. In the beginning, there was BUTLINS. A magical enchanted land, full of brown, limp, food, shrieking children, and financial ruin. I have been in this magical land for FOUR LONG DAYS.
M: You must look all lovely and dewy skinned from all that fresh air.
E: If by ‘lovely and dewy skinned’ you mean, “peeling like a leprous motherfucker”. My skin has been coming off in actual chunks. My nose is peeling. Not from the sun, you understand. Nope. From the chemical scent of honey bacon deep fried popcorn doughnut bites they diffuse into the air. From the pints of Domestos they use in the “fun” pool. From Ice Blue WKD. And from the incredibly drying effects of DESPAIR.
M: Honey bacon popcorn? That could work.
E: Although I remembered to pack not one but TWO Laura Mercier retractable concealer brushes, I didn’t bring any moisturiser. Not even the tiniest sample. I was all alone in Bognor Regis without moisturiser!
M: It sounds like the plot of a (low budget) (British) horror movie.
E: It gets scarier. I went to the Spar. Do you know what the Spar is M?
M: No. Is it a spa? With fluffy white towels?
E: No, no it is not a spa with fluffy white towels.
M: It’s like a spa for pirates. Spaaaa-r.
E: Good try. No. It’s like a shop, but for people who hate shops. And humanity. So, where in a normal supermarket, you would normally have a tube of inoffensive, cheap and cheerful Nivea moisturiser, next to the shampoo and toothpaste, there is NOTHING. Nothing but vast packets of condoms and pregnancy testing kits and verucca burning kits.
E: Whatever. I survived, like a Ray Mears style survivalist, by rubbing lip salve on the worst of my peeling skin, and Laura Mercier tinted moisturiser on the rest.
E: Yup. I liked the way the peeling skin rolled up into little grey balls with the lip salve.
M: That is all very well, but what does this have to do with the jar of honey/beeswax/bear bait?
E: Well. I finally returned to London and fell, like a dying, er, beauty bloggist, upon my step-mother’s beauty supplies That is to say, this:
L’Oreal “Age Re-Perfect” Which is a stupid name, L’Oreal. Sort it out. M, if this is ageing, I want no part of it.
M: It looks like butter mixed with honey. Did you eat it? With a spoon? Or spread it thinly on toast? Can old people eat toast?
E: Maybe after they use this. It is “anti-slackening + anti-crinkling”. Since you have asked, and I am always pushing the boundaries of beauty blogging, I have just tasted it. I can confirm it is definitely not set honey.
M: What the hell is wrong with you? STOP EATING FACE GOOP.
E: IT IS MORE NOURISHING THAN ANYTHING I ATE IN BUTLINS, M.
M: Ok, ssssh. There there. It’s over now.
E: I put it on my skin too. It feels heavy and greasy, like a Tory MP. Not that I put Tory MPs on my skin.
M: So what’s it doing to your face then? Is it taking it out for a stroll at 11 every morning to look at the gardenias? Is it promising lower taxes if you get married?
E: Frankly, M, I’m tempted to say fuck all. I am quite flushed, but that’s probably the wine. Maybe I am not combining it with enough Sudoku and Ovaltine?
M: Maybe. When you look into the pot of bear bait, do you see your future?
E: I really hope that isn’t my future I see in there, because if it is, my future is peach and greasy.
M: Like a peach and bacon sandwich?
E: Exactly. I think they had that on the menu in the Skyline Cafe in Butlins, actually.