To the shock of nobody, I can say that I have done a number of very shameful things under the influence of alcohol. For example –
1. Charming a group of six Russian sex workers by announcing LADIES, I AM THE GUARDIAN OF THE INTERNET, YOU ARE WELCOME! on a City roof top bar. They were delightful and kept patting my cheek and saying, handsome malchick, vey handsome.
2. Making my very irritated boss pay for a private dance at a strip bar so Diamond could finish writing out the vegan lasanga recipe we had been talking about. No shame, that lasanga was superb, the trick is to soak the cashews overnight. Listen to Diamond.
3. Being barred from a bar near work for insisting that Nicki Minaj’s Girls Fall Like Dominos be played seventy nine times in a row, as a tribute to my glory. Oh, and yelling that this song had been written to me, personally, a middle aged IT manager.
I know, I am a dick.
However, there is one drunk escapade I am most ashamed of. Gather round, kittens and learn from my mistakes. And please drink responsibly. Because being an obnoxious dick isn’t nice.
I was very unhappy in my last job (understatement of the year). However, so were the rest of my boys so we fell into a pattern of going out on Friday nights to drink the week away and yell motivational statements into each other’s desperate faces. IAN, YOU ARE SO GOOD! SO SO GOOD! FUCK THEM, YOU’RE SO GOOD AND YOU WORK SO HARD, OH MY GOD!
Unfortunately this often meant I was prowling the streets of central London by myself, late at night. Well, 8pm. All my boys had to be home for 9pm or their wives would pack up and move back home with their sister.
On one debauched night I was tripping down Covent Garden, singing a happy little tune under my breath. It went like this.
They are bastards
They are bastards
I wish they’d die
I wish they’d die!
I am lovely
I am lovely
La la la motherfuckers
Good times. I looked up and blinked, dazed. I was in front of the Charlotte Tilbury shop. Dudes, it’s beautiful. I was like Tiny Tim, my face pressed against the glass, watching the beautiful people laugh their beautiful people laughs.
Suddenly, I was in the shop. Oh dear.
The most beautiful woman I have ever seen spoke to me. She was half supermodel, half angel, with an Essex accent and a sales quota. I was putty in her beautifully manicured hands.
Twenty minutes later I was stumbling out of the shop clutching a bag containing ONE SHEET MASK.
ONE SHEET MASK THAT COST EIGHTEEN POUNDS.
Oh, god. And… this is so gross, I can’t even say it. And… I walked straight into a line of people waiting for a free dinner at the local soup kitchen. Clutching an £18 sheet mask I bought because a pretty lady was nice to me.
Advanced white privilege achievement UNLOCKED.
The Charlotte Tilbury mask is pretty fucking hyped up. Lemme quote.
“Darlings, introducing the dry mask of the future! Inspired by the technical innovations of Korean beauty, my Instant Magic Facial DRY Sheet Face Mask, with its revolutionary biomimetic delivery system is the Magic Facial DRY sheet mask of the future! It features ingredients which are clinically proven* to reduce wrinkles, smooth, brighten, lift and hydrate your skin exactly where it needs it. Make all your magic skin wishes come true!“
With sober eyes I can say – bullshit. Red flags-
– “inspired by Korean beauty” aka, we took this and made it more expensive for stupid rich white people.
– “magic” formula aka, does you work in Hogwarts bitch cos if not, why you lying.
– “clinically tested*” = 30 women self reporting isn’t a clinical test, even if you made them wear white coats.
And there is more.
“Because it isn’t a wet formula, it doesn’t harbour bacteria, so you can use this up to 3 times!”
Oh god, really?? Well, £18 over three uses isn’t that bad, right? (No, it is still bad)
So you peel this off your face, with your dirty hands (all hands are dirty, it’s fine) and pop it back in the packet? Fuck off, love. I’ll eat chips that fell on the floor if it was five seconds and nobody is watching but this makes my skin want to crawl off my face.
But yes, I tried it. Welcome to your new nightmare.
Luckily I live texted the experience so I can just cut and paste my real time reaction.
I only lasted ten minutes before ripping it off. It had started to heat up and I genuinely thought I would have a panic attack.
The “magic formula” meat grease had melted, running into my eyes. See how red my lips were? That’s not normal. My whole face was red, sore and greasy. I looked deep fried, the grease pooling around my eyes and in my (suddenly huge) pores.
I may have sobbed a little because that’s when it started to hurt. Really hurt.
Look at this ingredients list. I assume one of them is lard. Again, total red flag I ignored.
STEARIC ACID, BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII (SHEA) BUTTER, GLYCERIN, OLEA EUROPAEA (OLIVE) FRUIT OIL, MANGIFERA INDICA (MANGO) SEED BUTTER, PERSEA GRATISSIMA (AVOCADO) OIL, PEG-20 METHYL GLUCOSE SESQUISTEARATE, CETYL RICINOLEATE, HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OIL, CETYL ALCOHOL, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, SORBITAN OLEATE, SORBITAN STEARATE, GLYCERYL STEARATE, GLYCINE SOJA (SOYBEAN) OIL, ACACIA SENEGAL GUM, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, CETEARYL OLIVATE, NIACINAMIDE, BENZYL ALCOHOL, SORBITAN OLIVATE, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, ARGININE, LEONTOPODIUM ALPINUM CALLUS CULTURE EXTRACT, PENTAERYTHRITYL TETRA-DI-t-BUTYL HYDROXYHYDROCINNAMATE, CALCIUM TITANIUM BOROSILICATE, DISODIUM EDTA, MAGNOLIA OFFICINALIS BARK EXTRACT, HELIANTHUS ANNUUS (SUNFLOWER) SEED OIL, XANTHAN GUM, DICAPRYLYL ETHER, ROSMARINUS OFFICINALIS (ROSEMARY) LEAF EXTRACT, CARBOMER, ALGAE (DICTYOPTERIS MEMBRANACCA) EXTRACT, POLYSORBATE 20, SODIUM LACTATE, MAGNOLIA GRANDIFLORA BARK EXTRACT, LAURYL ALCOHOL, CROCUS SATIVUS FLOWER EXTRACT, CITRIC ACID, TOCOPHEROL, PALMITOYL TRIPEPTIDE-1, PALMITOYL TETRAPEPTIDE-7, TIN OXIDE (CI 77861), TITANIUM DIOXIDE (CI 77891), MICA (CI 77019), CARMINE (CI 75470).
Question. What was the last sheet mask you used that had hydrogenated vegetable oil in the first quarter of ingredients? Let me know.
It took three weeks for my skin to stop chafing and calm down. I can say that this sheet mask is the worst thing I’ve ever done to my face, and that includes every single drunken bad decision I’ve ever made.
Worst thing is, six months later and I still have the fucking packet. Because I’m Northern and it feels like throwing money away. But after reliving this experience, I’m happy to say I finally put this “magic” dry sheet mask where it belongs.