#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)

 

#testingbutchface (reviews)

latest in beauty review

I’m torn on the concept of subscription boxes. On one hand, presents for me? Fuck yeah! On the other, how much gold to shit ratio are we talking? And why does every subscription box come with a generic black mascara and a fruit scented handcream?

However, I am totally in love with the Latest In Beauty subscription box. I pick the Beauty Guru monthly box, mainly because the idea of me being in any way referred to as a Beauty Guru makes me smirk. It’s £18.00 for nine products and the best thing is that you pick the products! You could have, like, nine generic black mascaras if you wanted! Continue reading “latest in beauty review”

mental health · satire

depression beauty tutorial

Hi guys! Come on in, today we are going to do a depression beauty tutorial! And uh, can you close the blinds please? And maybe like, stop smiling because I can see your teeth and that is reminding me that there is a skeleton inside all of us, which reminds me that we are all going to die. Thanks!

So the first step of our tutorial is to make sure you’re alone. If there are people around who “love you” (as if that’s possible) they might ask unhelpful questions like, what the fuck are you doing or maybe you’d feel better if you went outside, yes? Urgh, haters!

try hiding!

The best thing about this routine is that it is so versitile. You can do it anywhere, like your bed, or the bathroom floor, or even sitting in the bottom of your shower.

its like a spa!

Okay, so let’s prep your face. Smush all your hair out of the way as best you can. Think about the can of dry shampoo in the other room. Remember that the other room is, well, the other room. Forget about the dry shampoo.

Mist your face with your favourite spritzer. I recommend the half empty glass of water next to your bed. Or if you’re in the bathroom, just wipe your face with that damp towel you left on the floor some time ago. See how easy this is?

make sure you have lots of half full glasses to choose from!

Dry your face on the shirt you slept in. Or, use that towel again! I love multi use products, don’t you? 

pretend it’s a friend and then violently reject it

The next step really depends on your budget and commitment levels. Dental care is super important, you guys! You can brush your teeth the regular (boring) way, but why not save time and just rub some toothpaste around your mouth with your finger? Tip! Try not to think about death. If you haven’t splurged on toothpaste, gum is affordable and can usually be found in the bottom of your backpack. 

Time to tone! Here’s my secret product for toning and hydrating your skin. Tears. Hot, wet, salty, lonely tears. Make sure you pat them in. DO NOT RUB, JESUS, ARE YOU AN ANIMAL?

Note – if your meds have run out, this is a great time to try the famous 7 Skin method. Just have a really good think about how alone you are and how you wish you could just unzip your skin and walk away. Voila!

every. fucking. month

If you’re feeling tired, now is a good time to nap. I recommend sixteen to twenty hours. You can multitask by pulling the cleanest part of your bed sheet over your face. Your tears will cling to the sheet, creating your own personalised sheet mask for long lasting hydration.

As all us beauty gurus know, the last and most important step in a routine is SPF. HAHAHA. Only joking! You’re not going outside, or within six feet of a window. Do something fun with that time you saved, like read concerned texts from your friends and family. Don’t reply though. They’ll only text back. Total haters!

Thanks for joining me for this depression beauty tutorial! I hope it was helpful.

Now please leave. I have a wall to stare at and I’m way behind.

my actual staring wall!

(Disclaimer – this. is. a. joke. Mental illness is serious, deadly and frankly, deserves to be mocked. People with a mental illness do not ever ever ever deserve to be mocked. See the distinction? Oh and also that’s not my actual meds. I’m not putting that online, thanks #boundaries)

#testingbutchface (reviews)

april 2017 – empties

A quick round up of products I finished in April 2017! Clockwise from the top…
Skin Food rice mask – oh, so basic. Physical exfoliants, how very 1995. *rolls eyes* But I liked it a lot!

Repurchase? Fuck yeah 

Sephora Supreme Cleansing Oil – FINALLY. IT’S OVER. I bought this during a trip to Paris, in a frenzy of excitement. It doesn’t emulsify, it stings and it made my face sad. I used it in the shower on my magnificent body and it is finally finished.

Repurchase? I’m dumb, I’m not that dumb. Naw.

Banila Clean It Zero, Biore 2015 sunscreen, Cosrx Hyaluronic Acid Intensive Cream – omg such rare and undervalued products! But I love them. 

Repurchase – yas queen.

Sunday Riley Good Genes – I bought a sample of this because it’s so so spendy. And I’m glad I did because this fucker tore my face to shreds. Also, it smells like the underside of an eleven year old boy’s watch, or the butt of a nurse after a double shift in the emergency unit. I actually woke up in the night wondering if Death had come for me because the stench was so bad. Very bad no good (for me).

Repurchase – there are cheaper ways to self harm

Liz Earle exfoliator – yeah, I was trying to get through some old products. It’s fine. *shrug*

Repurchase – tbh, I’m not even sure I bought this. Where did it come from? Did Liz sneak it in herself? 

Peter Thomas Roth masks – oh my god, I have such a love for PTR. This month I finally used up the three Sephora minis. In order of adoration, from restraining order to mere obsession – rose stem cell bio repair mask, pumpkin enzyme mask, cucumber mask. The rose one is what I used to repair my screaming face after the Sunday Riley fiasco.

Repurchase? Sure. When I’m a millionaire. *cries quietly*

Oskia Radiance mask – dudes. This smells like Turkish Delight, no joke. It’s creamy and buttery and plumping and yes, I’d drink it in a smoothie.

Repurchase – fucking A yeah

Cosrx 96% snail mucin – another rare product, worthy of a 4,000 word review. Or, not. But yeah, this is one of the products I’d stockpile in case of a nuclear attack. Pretty sure it would sort my radiation burns no problem.

Repurchase – duh

L’Oreal Pure Clay Glow Mask – usually L’Oreal makes me roll my eyes but this actually delivers. Hypothetically, if I’d spent the night before drinking tequila in a bar and woken up in a stranger’s garden (not a euphemism), this would make me look like a human being instead of a pathetic waste of skin. But that’s hypothetical.

Repurchase? Yes and I’m not even ashamed. Well, I’m ashamed about the garden incident. Well, I’m not really. I should be. Anyway. Moving on!

satire

we have gone very wrong 

Ladies, please don’t get your nipples out at the beauty counter. It can’t end well. We know this, right? Like the song goes…

Look
If you had
One shot
Or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted
In one moment
Would you capture it
Or just let it slip?


Yo
Her pores are sweaty, genes weak, concealer heavy,
There’s blackheads on her forehead, bangs are messy,
She’s nervous, but on the surface she looks calm and ready
Steps to the counter, but she keeps on forgettin’
The shades she wrote down, the lifestyle brands allowed,
She opens her mouth, but the names just won’t come out
She’s chokin’, foundation slippin’ down her brow,

So many shades, liner too, need a colour match, now!


[*SMACKS TIT ON COUNTER*]


Yeah it’s real heavy, it’s a thing called gravity,

Oh, there goes security, she hoped so bad,

But she won’t give up that easy

No

She won’t have it, she knows the whole lip secret’s dope,

It don’t matter, it’s cold, she knows that and she’s freezing…


WE HAVE GONE INSANE, ABANDON THE WORLD TO THE TREES


PS. Writing white girl rap parodies is shameful, but just spare a thought for that poor bastard PR person who probably worked super hard in college but then had to write a press release about lip shades and nipples. The real hero of this story.

#testingbutchface (reviews)

bring your money, leave your self-restraint

EDITED 15th May to put back the formatting, cheers WordPress, appreciate it.

Living in the UK isn’t a utopia, you know. Sure, we have the National Health Service, which provides free medical care to anyone regardless of income. Yeah, we gave the world a couple of cool people like Shakespeare and this Northern band called the Beatles. Oh, true, while we may not all love our robotic overlord Prime Minster, we aren’t run by a terrifying screaming Cheeto who thought the Handmaid’s Tale was full of great, really good, superb ideas.

flags

But really, it’s hard sometimes. For example, when I want to spend my money on frivolous gloop to smear on my face skin, I… I… I sometimes have to get on a bus.

Sometimes I have to change buses.

virgin

The struggle is real, fam.

Continue reading “bring your money, leave your self-restraint”