E: Do you want to get clean, M? Do you wish to get back the baby soft feeling of when you were hoovered with diamonds?
M: Hmmm, maybe. But it’s the recession, you know, diamonds are dear.
E: That is very true. But what I have here is made of, hang on, let me check: rice.
M: Ooooh. Rice. That is an excellent exfoliant. Also, a great constipator. Tell me more.
E: Well, it also contains: oatmeal, papain (isn’t he a french footballler?) and salicylic acid. Oh, also, green tea and gingko for the HIPPIES. Are any of those great constipators? I need to know before I eat a handful.
M: Dude, this is sounding better by the minute. You know how excited I get about skincare. Oatmeal – that’s for horses, innit. Makes you soft like a baby foal. TRUE FACT.
E: True fact. Real talk.
M: Papain… err… that’s the weird fruit acid stuff? From papaya? possibly?
E: Or the distilled essence of Jean Pierre Papin.
M: Gingko. That’s not even a real nut. It just sounds like one of those spangly new baby names. “Oh yes, Little Gingko’s already at nursery, he can read in two languages you know”.
E: I love a mad baby name. Chard. Fenugreek. Colostrum.
M: OK, focus E. I don’t even know what we’re talking about. WHAT IS ITS NAME?
E: All in good time, M. Firstly, I should say, I do not “get on” with most exfoliants. The granular ones sit on my face, despite attempts to wash them off. I find granules behind my ears for weeks after I have used them.
And often, they make me shiny like a conker, and red. But this one? This is good. So good, I have not shoved it to the back of the cupboard after one try.
M: TELL ME WHAT IT IS CALLED. I NEED TO KNOW ITS NAME.
E: You are going to be disappointed.
M: Oh god. It’s St Ives, isn’t it. The great grandmother of scrubs.
E: Nope. None of Granny’s apricot kernels here.
M: It’s like exfoliating your face with a squirrel. Angry. Harsh. Bit nutty.
E: Health and safety announcement: do not exfoliate your face with a squirrel. Ok, anticlimax name the product moment… drumroll. …
M: *holds breath*
E: “Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant”.
M: Ah ben bien sûr. BEN BIEN SUR. Pfffffffff.
E: Do you “do” Dermalogica, M?
M: I don’t, but I probably should. It looks good.
E: It looks … reassuring. Like it’s saying “with this boring grey and white packaging, we’re saying, we’re not here to look good, we’re here to make your SKIN look good”.
M: Medicinal. It reminds me of the sour faced dermatologist public servants I used to visit in my youth in France.
E: Yes, but it does not ask about your contraceptive routine, or tell you you are fat.
M: Or say “I’ve seen worse. I’ve seen better”. You do know St Lisa of Eldridge recommended this stuff, right?
E: No! I did not! Now I feel all vindicated in liking it! It is really very good, I must say. It is a powder. You add water to a bit of the powder to make a paste (like pre-school craft, basically), then you slap it around your face a bit.
M: Do you tell yourself off while you are doing it?
E: You can. That’s optional.
M: And the result?
E: It makes my face soft as a wobbly-limbed newborn foal. Really, tangibly softer. My face feels so delicious afterwards that I stroke it like I am on ecstasy. So sooooft. I don’t know how much it costs though, because I got given it by a nice lady who looked like an angel.
M: Were you on drugs at the time?
E: I don’t think so. Maybe a little Prosecco. I remember the nice lady shone a very bright light on my face though.
M: Erm. E? Were you… abducted by aliens? Is this ALIEN TECHNOLOGY?
E: I didn’t think so, but I have just seen on the bottle that it is “researched and developed by The International Dermal Institute”, which sounds a bit alien. Imagine working there.
“Hello, International Dermal Institute, how can I help you?”
“I HAVE A SKIN EMERGENCY”
M: Intense sobbing. Hyperventilating.
E: People pressing the Dermal Code Black button. This ‘International Dermal Institute’ thing has got me worried. It’s definitely aliens, isn’t it?
M: Maybe you are currently in an alien pod, and they are actually exfoliating your spinal fluid.
E: Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. I bet that makes a good face mask, actually, spinal fluid.
Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant, £38
M: E, I need to show you something before I pass out.
E: Will I like it? Is it an eagle? Or a pony?
M: Unlikely. And no, it is neither an eagle nor a pony.
E: Uh oh. Go on.
M: Do you like belly button fluff?
E: NO! I don’t like where this is going.
M: Right. Well, check this out:
E: Eeeeeeeeeew! What in the name of holy hell is THAT?
M: Yeah. That shit came off my FACE.
E: OH GOD.You’ve been back to the diamond hoover, haven’t you?
M: Yup. That, my friend, is the shit that’s been hoovered off my face. Dead skin cells. Makeup residue. Crud. The nice lady gave it to me in a little plastic zip bag to take home, when I asked if I could take a picture of it.
E: Oh GOD. You took your dead skin cells home with you. That’s gross
E: Though, I suppose I am carrying mine around with me too. ON MY FACE.
M: It’s my new pet. I talk to it at night.
“Hey you. How are you doing? Aren’t you much happier in this little plastic bag?”
E: You’ve managed to gross me out. I thought I could withstand any amount of gross. I live with two small boys and a dog. Eh ben, bravo.
M: “My face is so much smoother and cleaner without you”.
E: If I’d known this would happen, I would never have started this stupid blog.
M: “My pores are smaller. My angry monkey face has gone. I don’t really mind going out with no makeup”
E: You’re talking. TO DEAD SKIN CELLS.
M: You saw me recently though. Isn’t my skin much better? ISN’T IT?
E: Yeah. Your skin looks great. Glowy. Fresh. Really really good. It’s your brain I’m worried about.
M: It’s a small price to pay, E, it’s a small price to pay.
M: I fear I’ve been suckered into a cult, E. The cult of… what? Vanity? Old age? Smooth face? Unnecessary cosmetic procedures?
E: Oh no. NO. Next time I see you you will be a frozen faced Nicole Kidman-alikey. Do I need to send the deprogrammer in?
M: Yes. I will in fact be wearing Nicole’s face, like a balaclava. Do not worry. I am not a scientologist.
E: Hmmm. Tell me more.
M: Due to temporary insanity, I have booked myself in for a course of six microdermabrasion sessions. They have a magical name: DIAMOND TOME.
E: DIAMOND TOME. WOW. I can see how you got sucked in. That sounds… SHINY. Are you shiny?
M: Their motto? “Beauty is only skin deep”.
E: Do you sparkle like a 4ct very very clear baguette cut? Or something?
M: I’m not sure what that even means, but yes, I am shiny. So shiny and smooth my boyfriend has remarked on the clarity of my complexion. WITHOUT PROMPTING.
E: Whoa! You need to tell me how they did that. It sounds amazing.
M: Well, imagine if someone had a tiny Dyson, made of diamonds, and used the precision attachment on your FACE. That’s what it feels like. A sort of hoovering scrubbing action.
E: That sounds scratchy. Was it scratchy?
M: No, not scratchy and certainly not painful.
E: Didn’t your face go all angry monkey?
M: No. Afterwards it felt a bit raw, but not red. It was also unbelievably plump and smoothed out.
E: Wow. How long did it take?
M: 30 minutes. After that I had a lamb kebab. I’m all about the class. The thing is, I LOVE it. It’s been days now and my face is so much better. Makeup goes on smoothly. There’s been one angry spot but no other ill effects.
E: Wow. I am in serious danger of joining your cult. As you may have noticed by now, Facegoopers, M is not easily impressed.
M: Also, the perky snake-tongued facialist talked me into buying some product.
E: What product? Diamond paste?
M: Dude, this is hardcore medical grade thermo-nuclear skin care business. Actually, I’ve never heard of it before. It’s Priori bioengineered skincare. It’s made by people in lab coats.
E: Those hazmat suits, probably. “Bioengineered”. What does that MEAN exactly? Engineered by humans? And not by space lizards made of unobtainium?
M: I have the face wash, and the barrier repair complex cream. Both have LCA COMPLEX in them. You know how I love me some lactic acid. And Advanced AHAs. These are AHAs who have postgraduate degrees.
E: AHA PhD.
M: Their website is funny.
E: “Idebenome superceuticals”. Even for a cosmetics bollocks term, that is pretty special. And look! “The triathlon of skin fitness”! Wow. my skin can’t even run the 100 metres. It gets a stitch halfway.
M: It is bollocks, isn’t it.
E: Sssssssssssshhh. We believe in superceuticals, M, like demented single ladies of a certain age who wear a lot of chiffon believe in fairies. We’re doing noone any harm. Except HSBC and they can fuck off. So to summarise: you have joined a cult, but you are HAPPY, SO HAPPY.
M: Yes. I am happy. I will take photos after every session, and report back at the end. I’m hoping I will look like a nubile teenager.
E: Well, I am properly excited by this. I suspect HSBC aren’t.
M: HSBC can go fuck themselves.