#testingbutchface (reviews) · skincare

the charlotte tilbury sheet mask – a horror story

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.

gratuitious nicki picture

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.

Unsupervised.

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.

sweaty disheveled ed sheeran, i feel you brother

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.

i know and i am sorry

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.

please note the look of horror in my eyes and how red my lips are

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.

another high quality photo by me. can you believe ive had no formal training?
#testingbutchface (reviews) · routines · skincare

huxley secret of sahara sleep mask – a love letter

Hey! Listen, I have a treat for you. It’s an ice cream sundae. Yeah, the real kind, with layers of fruit and cream and a cherry on top. I even put in a little cocktail umbrella. It’s yours! For free!

Oh, apart from a third, which I’m going to scrape into the garbage. Oops, sorry, your cherry fell in and your umbrella is kinda floppy now. What do you mean, you wanted the whole thing? Tough, that’s the way of the world, kitten.

See, this is how I feel about sleep. You have one beautiful life, full of sweetness and delight. But then you have to… give away a third of EVERY DAY? I am sorry, but there is a word for that where I am from and it is thievery. Sleep is a scam. It is boring and I reject it. Nothing good ever happened when you were sleeping. 

look at this koala, wasting his life away

The ice cream theory of life is why I reject and refuse sleep as much as possible – also because I have insomnia and as we all know, there is a dignity in rejecting the fuck-boi before he rejects you. This isn’t healthy but HI HAVE WE MET. One day I’ll tell you about the exciting time I hallucinated because I hadn’t slept for three days. It’s a riot!

Those of you who have kids, you think it’s hard making a three year old sleep? Try making a pissed off thirty five year old with a phone in her hand drift off. Good luck. Every night I need the following – a fan for white noise, an eye mask for utter darkness, a lovely Russian woman whispering about folding towels in my ears and pharmaceuticals. This works. Sometimes.

wake up sheeple, you’re being ripped off

The ONLY good thing about sleeping is sleep masks. I am a fan. I have convinced myself that they are magic and if I don’t lie down and sleep they won’t work. I’ve tried dozens but sweetheart, we have a winner.

Please let me introduce to you, the Huxley Secret of Sahara Sleep Mask.

fuck, that’s sexy

I purchased this mask from BeautyinHanguk as I have very little self control. I love products that look like this, you know? Simple and gorgeous. Even the tag line speaks to me.

“great things never came from comfort zones”

True, that.

I had high expectations and dudes, I was not disappointed. You know it’s good when you’re frantically DMing people on Instagram, as you pee, to report in (sorry dudes).

The ingredient list is solid AF. I was slightly concerned about the walnut shell powder, but I can’t feel it.

The scent is, well. You know when you were little and there was that one teacher who was way too glamourous to be hanging out with you brats? The one everyone was in love with (shout out Miss Murray, holla!). Other teachers smelt like coffee and cigarettes and grim determination, but this teacher smelt like… a grown up lady. 

It’s not floral or citrus or woody, but it is kind of all of those things. I love it. 

Check out this texture. I mean. That is a fucking delight and I want it all over my face.

also i have no idea how to do these smeary hand photos, god my hand looks weird

Best of all, I woke up this morning looking like I’d had eight hours sleep after a day of green juicing instead of three hours sleep after drinking vodka and talking shit online.

It’s super hydrating so best for my lizard people friends and I have had real life confirmation my cheeks are smoother, clearer and plumper. 

I don’t usually review single products because I am lazy but this? This isn’t a review, it’s a love letter. Screw Holy Grail, this is the pot of the gold at the end of the rainbow. I can’t see why I’d ever stray. Please leave us now. We are going back to bed.

skincare

BeautyinHanguk review aka unapologetic fanmail

Dudes, I am super excited today and it’s not because I drank six espressos before noon (although, also that). My order from BeautyinHanguk arrived! *runs face first into wall, shrieking*

Normally I do pictures of pretty new things on Instagram but this is something special. I heard whispers about a password protected site that was selling bespoke, custom created subscription boxes and I was immediately outraged and reassured. Outraged because why didn’t I know about this!!omgwtf!? and reassured because as Groucho Marx famously said, “if you don’t know about the club it’s because it is cool and you are not, therefore it is good”. Or something.

I begged the lovely CEO, Shereen to let me in and she graciously accepted. Then I got to know Shereen and guys, she is straight up ADORABLE.

I filled out the cute little form so my box could be built – I wanted zero make up, nothing too gender specific and products for my dry and dehydrated lizard face. 

WELL. Shall we see if my requests were listened to? (Spoiler alert, fuck yeah they were!)

I guess the two big ticket items are the Goodal green tangerine moist cream and the Hanyul red bean peeling mask.

I haven’t tried anything from either range so I am very excited. I also have a huge, nostalgic love for red bean after growing up in Singapore and eating red bean desserts far too much. Ah, #fatkidmemories

Sheet masks? Oh we got those too.

Moisture moisture moisture, are we seeing a theme? I don’t think Shereen could have known how much I love the Damask Rose Etude House mask, or that I’m on my last packet as we speak (the horror). I’m curious about the Goodal mask but anyone who has spoken to me for more than thirty seconds knows rose is one of my favourite scents and NO IT IS NOT A FEMININE SCENT AND LET ME TELL YOU WHY – me, after one cocktail.

Adorable little things! Look at that black salt cleansing water. How boss does that sound? It also explains Shereen sliding into my DMs late one night to demand my thoughts on cleansing water.

Body washes! Because I do in fact shower frequently and without resistance, like a normal person. Yup.

But can we get a close up?

A BODY WASH CALLED SWAGGER?

SCREAMING. There was a tiny note attached explaining that they were all gender non specific (which I mentioned multiple times in my form) and IT’S CALLED SWAGGER – RULEBREAKER.

Seriously dudes, I’m seen. This makes me happy.

I wanted to finish with a very rare and new product, which summarises exactly why I love BeautyinHanguk. I made a sarcastic comment on Instagram about a product looking like a nose scarf. And I can’t be the only one whose nose gets chilly when they sheet mask so, actually, it’s a great idea and I’m patenting it.

Shereen knitted me a nose scarf. 

This, on top of all the lovely handwritten notes and instructions, actually makes me love my order just as much as the products themselves. You’re buying from a real (super cute) person who knows her shit and wants you to be excited by what she chooses. Every single choice she made was perfect and honestly, I don’t know how she makes a profit because I couldn’t buy this for the price I paid.

BeautyinHanguk is launching properly soon and I’ll be the first person in the queue. This is a store that the AB and skincare community needs and I hope it will be a wild success.

Thanks Shereen.

(Oh, and no, although this reads like a fawning love letter, this isn’t a sponsored post. I just have a lot of feelings)

mental health · skincare

how i fucked my face (1/2)

I can be relied on for a number of things. Not like, remembering birthdays or being where I’m supposed to be, when I’m supposed to be there. I can be relied on for important stuff, like the lifting of heavy-ish boxes and remembering exactly why we hate Carol from your office (you know what you did, Carol).

Most of all I can be relied on to take a bad situation and make it immediately ten times worse. It’s a gift.

Last week I was pissed off. A new product had caused a very minor break out on my jaw line and because I don’t patch test, I didn’t know who the culprit was. The betrayal stung worse than the break out.

Okay, time for a full disclaimer. My skin has always been okay, aside from some hyperpigmentation issues and the usual dryness/dehydration complaints. But because I am not wired quite right, this means any tiny perceived imperfection must be obliterated with extreme prejudice and no mercy. I like to think of it as the slash and burn approach to skincare and indeed, my life. Complete and utter overreaction, every. single. time.

Decisions were made that I’m not proud of. Put it like this, do you remember Roald Dahl’s George’s Marvellous Medicine?

George’s Marvellous Medicine is a whimsical and light-hearted children’s book about a boy called George who mixes up his own brand of medicine to give to his nasty old grandma. The medicine is made up of all sorts of  household goodies, like gin and shoe polish and anti-freeze, yum. Spoiler alert. Grandma blows up.

Silly George. 

George, however, was eight years old. I am not eight years old, so I’m at a loss to understand why I take a similar approach when approaching a pretty minor skincare issue.

What I’m saying is that everything went on my face. Acids? Fuck yeah! Physical exfoliants? Bring it! Just slap it on, mix it about and BOOM.

Yeah, boom is about right. Three days ago I had fairly normal skin, with a few blemishes you could barely see. The good news is that you can still barely see the blemishes. My raw, chapped cheeks are much more noticeable.

It’s interesting to me, how I am unable to to cope with any imperfection. And how I immediately panic and end up making it a hundred times worse. Right now I’d trade my sore and painful cheeks for those blemishes in a heartbeat.

I’m making a note of this because it could have all be avoided by one simple step. Being kind to myself. Hopefully I’ll remember next time.

(Spoiler alert – next post is how I unfucked my face)