E: Lucky me. I suppose it’s better than your bowels. Is this punishment for the perfume talk? It is, isn’t it.
M: My pits. They are problematic.
E: I’m not surprised. I keep hearing how armpits are the new focus of body SHAME.
M: I can believe it.
E: You can? I don’t get it. I cannot fathom it at all. If mine disappeared entirely I wouldn’t notice. Well, I suppose I would if my arms dropped off.
M: Shut up about your armpits, we are talking about MY armpits. First of all, I have, how shall I say, more armpit than strictly necessary. Fat Armpit Syndrome. FAS. So, they are a bit lumpy. Which means it’s a bit difficult to, errr, shave.
E: Right. Got it.
M: They are also prone to ingrown hairs.
E: Ok. More Goop oversharing, right here.
M: So, if you could imagine, plump unevenly hairy pits with little lumps. That’s the situation right here. And here. *Points at armpit*
E: Ok. I’m conjuring it up. I’m not saying I’m loving it, but I’m doing my best to conjure it up.
M: But on top of that! They are also grey. I do not know why.
E: The skin, or the hairs??
M: The skin.
E: Whoa. That’s fucked up, M.
M: I know. I can scrub and exfoliate until my fingers bleed, but they remain grey. Why are my pits grey, E? WHY?
E: A complication of FAS? Or elephant poisoning. Is there any cure?
M: Yes, there is DOVE. Dove whitening “original” deodorant. I don’t know what’s original about it.
E: Whitening? As in SKIN whitening? Armpit whitening?
M: Yes, you know how in Asia everything is whitening this and whitening that.
E: I can’t cope with beauty these days. In my day, it was all fields round here.
E: Yes. beauty fields. Golden, ripe, waving fields of Nars pencils and Chanel lipsticks.
M: Don’t worry E. It doesn’t really MEAN whitening. Just sort of softens excess pigmentation or something. Also, it claims to “restore underarm’s natural skintone”. What is, I ask you, underarm’s natural skintone?
E: Erm. Something other than grey, hopefully?
M: Indeed. Though yours must be cadaver blue, I suspect.
E: Let me check. I have “never look at underarm” syndrome. NLUS. Yup. Blueish. Like a supermarket chicken thigh.
M: This would sort you right out. I now have perfectly normal underarm colour. Just as nature intended. The end.
E: WHOA. That’s witchcraft. How does it work? What does it do? How many goats did you have to sacrifice?
M: I don’t know. The grey is gone, that’s all I know. Let’s check the hilarious teeny tiny copy on the back label
“now you can get softer, smoother, and lighter underarm skin in just 2 weeks”
“it’s the only deodorant with 1/4 moisturising cream proven to lighten darkened underarm skin caused by underarm hair removal”
M: WHAT THE… Now we know why your pits aren’t grey.
E: No HAIR.
M: You have NO HAIR!
E: Hmmm. Do you think if I painted it over my whole body I would no longer be Anglo-Scottish blue-grey though?
M: You’d need a hell of a lot of deodorant for that. So there you have it: Dove Whitening Original. Actually does what it says. It’s just a shame I don’t really use deodorant anymore, what with the constantly being covered in head to toe sweat.
E: It’s what humanity has been waiting for, right enough.
M: I have Narta-style pits. Remember the Narta ads?
E: Oh yes. Does that stuff still exist?
M: Don’t know. NARTA! clap clap
E: You’re just flaunting your armpits now. Put them away.
M: Don’t you want to do a happy armpit dance with me?
E: Does it look like I want to do a happy armpit dance with you? I just want to lie here with my face on this keyboard until you stop talking about deodorant.
M: Sounds like you’re in the pits. He he he.
Dove Whitening deodorant. Apparently not available in the UK. Sorry, you grey-pitted freaks.
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.
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: 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: Who is Jergens? Should I be aware of his work? He sounds like a Danish exchange student. I bet he’s probably a mate of the freakishly youthful looking Ole Henriksen. Or do I mean Henrik Olesen? Who knows. They are probably raising money to go interrailing by selling beauty products.
M: Finnish, perhaps. In any case, he probably eats a lot of herring.
E: I should imagine so. His essential fatty acids would be through the roof. And they’re cheap when you’re saving to go to Amsterdam. Tell me more.
M: Well, you know how moisturising and I do not really see eye to eye?
E: I am aware of this. Moisturising isn’t a close friend of mine either.
More one of those people who you have to do a fake smile at across a busy bar, then ignore and pray they don’t come over.
M: Moisturising, in a nutshell, is a bastard.
E: Yeah. Boring too. A boring bastard.
M: So, you will imagine my surprise when I bought my third bottle of this.
E: Bloody hell. What is it, exactly?
M: “Jergens Naturals Skin firming body moisturiser with pomegranate extract”. I realized the other day that I have been using it every day. And do you want to know why?
E: Of course I do. Tell me!
M: It claims to “visibly firm cellulite prone skin”.
E: Yeah, and allow you to fly to work on a gilded unicorn. How many times have you heard that one?
M: Well, let me tell you, my friend, it is TRUE.
E: True? Truly truly true?
M: TRUE. TRULY TRUE. I mean, I’m no leaping gazelle. I am very very far from being a leaping gazelle. All smooth, furry lithe limbs, delicate face and golden eyes.
E: Mmmmmmm so pretty.
M: To give us some background here, I had foie gras and bakewell tart tonight. For dinner. Again.
E: Good dinner. I applaud your choices. Not unsalted plaice fillet en papillote with some steamed spinach?
M: No. My thighs. They are dimpled. And this, THIS! This makes them less dimpled.
E: I am quite amazed. Totally amazed actually. I mean, you know how much I want to believe.
M: Actually, they are not really less dimpled. The fat is still there. But it strengthens the skin and firms it and, what, thickens it? So that the fat is less visible.
E: Smoothes it perhaps.
M: Yes. VISIBLY. The bottle says in 2 uses but that is a lie. I noticed the difference half way through the second bottle. Coincidentally, during water week.
E: Ssssssh we will not speak of that.
M: Do you want to know how much this costs?
E: Of course I do. £100 for 30ml? Rodial stylee?
M: No. It is cruelty free. And Paraben free. And Made in the UK for low carbon miles whatever the fuck that means. And it’s… £4.99.
E: Ha! Less than FIVE of your British pounds! A cheap, non planet flaying cellulite remedy.
M: This, my fellow cellulite miracle searcher, is a HG. I mean, it’s obviously made of embryos or something (“96% natural ingredients”). Stolen embryos bought on the Chinese black market.
E: Too dear. Probably pigeon embryos.
M: I have used many cellulite creams. MANY.
E: Ha. I think we can agree we both have.
M: Tell me about some of the crap you have used.
E: Well. I have used Vichy Lipometric, Caudalie Firming complex, Shiseido Body Creator, Sisley Celluli-Pro, the collected works of St Jeanne de Piaubert.
M: Did she burn your cellulite at the stake?
E: No, she made me wear ill-fitting cycling shorts. And her pump dispensers kept breaking. The only one that did anything was the Vichy. And it just gave your skin a metallic sheen. I liked the metallic sheen. I felt a little bit robotic.
M: I had a rather expensive Karin Herzog duo that was made of oxygen and old grannies. That’s what it smelled like, at least. Various sticky ones. I hate those sticky ones. Those stupid tubes with the tiny tiny plastic massage heads attached to them. And the serums, that you have to keep in the fridge.
E: I had those big patches you stuck on your bum cheeks, like nicotine replacement therapy.
M: And, of course, there was the infamous Philips Celesse of DOOM.
E: Ah, yes. The Philips Celesse is probably a post in itself. And do you remember when I wrote to a cellulite pants doctor to try and get him to send us some? He never replied, bastard.
M: We would have tested them faithfully.
E: You realise we could be richer than oligarchs if we had never embarked upon cellulite treatment madness.
M: Yes. Especially considering that most of my cellulite treatment madness took place in my late teens and early twenties, when I had perfectly acceptable thighs.
E: It’s probably best not to think of it. We’ll cry. Where do you get Jergens from? Your local youth hostel? Hanging out with Ole Henriksen and Dr Brandt? Did you take off his backpack and coax him out with the promise of a can of cider and a tiny joint?
M: Yes. You will find him filling up on the free Danish pastries in the tawdry canteen. Boots, dude. Boots. Always freaking Boots.
E: Wow. Boots. 4.99 and. IT. WORKS. I need a lie down.
M: One last thing.
M: I think I’ve found the magic ingredient on the back label.
M: It says it has: “Helianthus Annuus seed oil”.
E: Ahahahahhahahaahaa. Anus seed oil????? You can see why it’s cheap.
M: Yup. Whatever, my thighs are smooth.
E: I’d keep that hidden in your backpack under your crumpled miracle towel, Jergens.
E: Why? What did you put on it? I’ve told you about trying to wash your face with Mr Muscle.
M: Nothing. I have gone back to a minimal, gentle routine because it is so ANGRY.
E: I wonder why it is angry? (WATER)
M: I blame all this stuff I’ve been poking for Face Goop. And Laura Mercier. And a virulent Ren mask. And Belgeland water.
E: Not the itchy nude minerals?
M: No, I have new ones that aren’t itchy and that seem to calm it down. But it’s basically super dry.
E: Strange. Verrrry strange (WATER)
M: I don’t think I realized how dry it was getting when I was cycling throughout the winter and now it is DAMAGED. It’s dry, spotty, lined, red, and it BURNS.
E: Hmmm. What miracle remedies do you have?
M: Nothing. I have NOTHING. No holy water, no tiny scientists in a tube, no elk-musk-testicle ointment. I am in pain and I have NOTHING.
E: When I was having a dry skin emergency earlier this year, someone told me to take those Imedeen capsules. She said they sound like bullshit but they really work.
M: Oh? Use them as in eat them?
E: No, dance the fucking chachacha with them. What do you think?
M: Listen, punk, sometimes people squeeze those capsules onto their faces. I have seen it. I might have some somewhere actually. I need something to tell my skin to sit down and shut the fuck up, and then to give it a nice pat on the head when it starts behaving.
E: Can I just take a moment to say water? You are shite. M is hot and burny and dry. I am spotty. And I am doing nothing else different at all. It must be the badness coming out. Turns out the badness was just fine where it was, wasn’t it, water? I’m keeping my badness next time, thanks.
M: Don’t anger the badness.
E: Yup. No good can come of this watery exorcism, as evidenced by my face from HELL.
It is supposed to be genius, but I am suspicious of it because it has patchouli in it, which is basically squeezed out hippie.
E: Essence of hippie. I knew it. Neal’s Yard. You try and make out you are like, proper, mainstream beauty industry sell outs, but scratch the surface and you are still a bunch of tofu knitting, tiger balm, incense freaks. I get possessed by the unquiet spirit of Richard Nixon every time I see one of your blue glass jars.
M: I smell white dreadlocks.
E: You don’t want to squeeze a hippie. That’s what you get when you squeeze a hippie.
M: Or how about the Weleda rose cream? Someone wanted us to test that.
E: That would probably be cheaper. Because we got told off yesterday for only testing expensive stuff.
M: Yes. £9.95. Pas mal, pas mal. But I might try the almond one instead because it is for sensitive skin. What are you going to do about your face spottiness?
E: Nothing. Ignore it.
M: That sounds reasonable.
E: I have covered it in Armani Luminous Silk and Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage.
M: What happened to the magical Laura Mercier powder of fluffy kittens?
E: Yeah, that’s still good. But I was in the bathroom and the Armani was all there was to hand and it has, ‘ow you say? Coverage.
M: Coverage, innit. Hmm, looking at this Weleda again. Why do people put witch hazel in everything? Witch Hazel is EVIL. It has witch essence in it.
E: Oh? I have not had problems with Witch Hazel.
M: Pah. That is because you are 37% witch yourself.
E: Now you are just getting mean and abusive. It’s your face of fire doing that. Hey, we could ask readers for advice on your dry face.
M: SOS dry spotty skin of doom emergency! Red, hot, and burny. Grrrrr.
E: Please, Facegoop readers, help M solve her red hot dry spotty skin disaster before she hurts me. This morning she sent me a picture of a two headed kitten. I am afraid of what will happen if it doesn’t improve.
E: Good morning M. There is something strange happening in the skies of Belgeland. A fiery orb has been sighted. We do not know what it means, but we are very afraid.
M: I don’t think we have one of those in Scotchland. What colour is it?
E: Sort of grey, actually. But with a tiny streak of yellow. And even the tiny streak of yellow is enough to BURN my celtic papery skin to dark red farmer-ness. BURN BURN BURN.
Unless I do something, soon my neck will be burny red, I will be taking an interest in motor sports and arable subsidies, and my face will be covered in freckles like something from the Dukes of Hazard. Hazzard? Whatevs.
M Whatevs. I feel I should say something about pixies, and sandpaper, and maybe acid.
E: Why do you need to talk about pixies and sandpaper and acid?
M: That’s what it feels like, when it burns.
E: Oh yes. I never get enough actual sun to get to that stage. I just go red and blotchy around the collarbones after 2 minutes exposure to the grey orb with a tiny yellow streak.
M: Something I only discovered after 5 long winters of living in Scotchland, when my skin started to transform into FREAKY PALE(R) SKIN THAT DOESN’T TAN QUITE SO EASILY
E: Oh holy fuck. Your skin is going native!
M: Yes! Soon it will be drinking buckies and eating chips with “sauce”. Mind you, it already looks like it drinks buckies and eats chips with “sauce”, but we can save that for another post.
E: Soon you will be craving cans of Irn Bru and having the life expectancy of a man in Sudan.
M: Ha! A man in Sudan would outlive me. And his skin would not burn.
E: I hadn’t thought of that. Very true. He would not need the topic of today’s post.
M: Which is what? How DO you protect yourself from this fiery orb?
E: Duh. Sunscreen. Face sunscreen. Face and collarbone sunscreen.
M: Mmm, sunscreen.
E: Obviously, I pretty much hate sunscreen, because it’s a bit like moisturiser but even more annoying, what with the crappy smell, the whiteness, the general smeariness.
M: The stickiness.
E: Yes. But. A couple of years ago I found a sunscreen I do not hate.
M: This cannot be true.
E: True. Totally totally true. In fact, I positively like it. It is in a small enough tube to put in your handbag. The tube does not misbehave and leak. It smells nice. It is very liquid and sinks straight into your skin on application.
M: Does it give you the dreaded sweaty spots of death?
E: Nope. Not a single sweaty spot of death.
M: Is it a stupidly low SPF? Like, SPF 2. Which is a bit like sticking your face in an oven.
E: No! It is SPF 40. Though I do not actually believe it can be SPF 40. it is TOO EASY. TOO TOO EASY. It is probably made from, hmmm, milk.
M: GIMME. Human milk. The human milk of embryo stem cells.
E: You know how I like stem cells. They are my weakness. Stem cells, bowls, gin, Cadbury’s Caramels, Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Ok, I have lots of weaknesses.
M: OK, E, shut up and spill the beans. Because I need this sunscreen. Soon I will be visiting my mother, and it’s 46 degrees there and won’t rain for 6 months.
M: Do you put it on top of your normal cream, or instead of?
E: Oh, instead. My skin is already alarmed at getting one cream in the morning. I am a lazy asshole remember. However, because it is light and not difficult to use, I slap some on top when I go out at lunchtime into the pale belgo-sunlight to prevent FRYING and turning into a farmer called Jean-Yves.
So. The Clarins stuff is magic. I find it hard to believe it is proper SPF 40 due to its very liquid texture and ability to sink into your skin rather than sit around like a greasy, nagging irritation. But hey, I figure rather possibly fictitious sunscreen than nothing at all.
I got a bit distracted on the Clarins website and saw that they have a weekly Sensory Test Panel. I love the sound of that. I want to be on the Sensory Test Panel. I imagine they are all blindfolded and rubbing each other with cream, like something from a French arthouse film.
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.