satire · skincare

the joy of doing it wrong 

Breaking news. It’s moose counting season again. And also, your roving reporter at the award winning Daily Whogivesafuck brings you worrying news.

*shuffles papers sternly*

I have checked and rechecked the measurements and… god, this is hard, but… data doesn’t lie. We are fast approaching maximum bullshit levels. Don’t believe me? Check out the evidence.

see??

Please, don’t panic. Perhaps it’s not too late. If Jake Gyllenhaal can survive an Ice Age by burning a couple of paperbacks, we too can avert our very own Shitocalypse.

I was disappointed to read an Instagram post by one of the people I most look forward to hearing from. I did DM and ask if I could reference them here but I didn’t hear back so, welcome to VagueTown. This person is smart and funny and does excellent no bullshit reviews. Plus they are super cute.

This person, let’s call them… Cute Face. Cute Face posted asking, much more politely than I would, for people to stop messaging them to tell them they aren’t Doing Skincare Right. Apparently Cute Face doesn’t understand anything. How lucky for Cute Face that people will take time out of their day, to tell a STRANGER that they are the experts in Cute Face’s skin.

the fuck you say?

I have a terrible habit of remembering quotations but not the person who said it and one day someone is going to be like, “… like Hitler said?” and I am going to die. But I am 99.99% sure Hitler didn’t say this.

UNASKED FOR ADVICE IS CRITICISM IN DISGUISE

right??

I keep seeing this. The ten rules of skincare. One essential rule you HAVE to follow. The eleventy million step routine that if you don’t follow, well, I can’t help you.

much love, damien, much love

Dudes. I am human garbage. I just ate a jar of capers for dinner. My phone rang yesterday and I was so startled I shoved it in a drawer until it stopped. I genuinely do not know how humans interact. I wish everyone as a dog. Or subtitled.

So why the fuckity fuck am I, human garbage, having to get drunk and remind people HOW TO BE NICE.

Look, I made a diagram.

god i miss flowchart software

The great thing about this diagram is that it also applies to:

🖕dietary choices

🖕hair and make up

🖕job seeking (PLEASE STOP TELLING ME TO TAKE A TYPING COURSE)

🖕health choices

🖕sexual partners, or lack of, or whatever

🖕anything someone chooses to do with their genitals (unless they are a stranger sat next to you on the bus, unzipped and ready for action)

This post is called the joy of getting it wrong for a reason. Because the fuck ups are important. Hey, I burnt my face off with acids! Do I regret it? Little bit, yeah. Is it a funny story? Fuck, yes. But also – and this is the mind fuck – THERE IS NO WRONG OR RIGHT.

There are no rules. There are no guarantees. And isn’t that the fun bit? Let people do it “wrong”. You don’t have the answers. Let people get their own answers.

*sigh*

Just, dudes. Be nice. Be kind. And keep your mouth flaps shut unless asked to flap them.


satire · skincare

sheet mask organisation for pros

It is so important to keep your stash organised. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can file them by name or height or anything ridiculous. Pros know to organise their sheet masks by type. Please see below for a primer. You’re welcome.

ma bebes

The Free Shippers

You had to buy something to sneak over the minimim spend because it is 2017 and the idea of *paying* for shipping is offensive. Amazon Prime is to blame for this culture of entitlement.

Problem is, these sheet masks linger and breed. Every time you see them you mutter, “I have to use this…” and then pass right over.

One day, you snap and slap one on your face. It’s… okay. You calculate how much money you’ve spent on “okay” masks and realise that this is why you eat instant ramen for dinner three nights a week. Luckily, the guilt lingers about as long as the mask does and fifteen minutes you’ve forgotten all about it.

59 cents, has to be amazing

The Specials

Your discontinued holy grails. You know using this mask would be amazing but you can’t find any more. So you save it for a special occasion. Except you work in an office and your Oscars invite never quite arrives. You hoard your precious specials away, waiting, waiting for that once in a life time occasion.

Newsflash. That occasion will be your funeral because there is no day special enough in your eyes. In a year you’ll realise with horror that the masks expired. It doesn’t matter. You were never going to use them. 

not discontinued but i will never be rich enough to pay £85 for five

The Old Reliables

Like your ex, these masks are cheap, deliver what you need and you can always get another.

But, just like your ex, they can get old, fast. They’re just not very exciting. You can’t post on IG about them because everyone and their boyfie has posted a selfie. You feel guilty for thinking about selfies when you’re choosing a mask and promise that you’ll use it next time. They’re good! They work! But, where is the element of surprise? You just need something… exciting.

This line of thinking is why you have forty nine My Beauty Diary masks in your stash. Also, it’s why you broke up with your ex and shagged that bartender with the tongue piercing. And we all know how well that turned out. It’s lonely at night sometimes.

they’re fine! no, they’re good! they just don’t make me feel… alive anymore, you know?

The Pretties

You bought this for the packaging, you shallow trollop. It’s at the front of every stash picture you post on IG. Sometimes you hold it and think about the sort of person you’d be if you used it. Then you put it back and eat Pringles for breakfast. You’ll use it. One day. When you’re better.

so beautiful, so precious

The Grave Mistakes 

Some people call it optimism. Others call it rampant stupidity. You know that bubble masks make your skin crawl. Or maybe, you know you’re allergic to mineral oil. YOU KNOW THIS. 

BUT.

But.

But maybe not this time?

Good god, even dogs learn eventually. 

These masks were usually bought because everyone else on IG bought them. They’re so cool. God, why can’t you be cool like that? How do they make it so easy? Maybe this mask will help. Best buy a pack of five to cement your cool kid status.

Spoiler alert! This mask will not make you cool, it will make you itchy and sad. You can feel itchy and sad for free. Don’t do it.

Grave Mistakes also include – anything bought drunk, anything bought in person because it was there and anything from your local drugstore labelled “inspired by kbeauty”. 

fucking evil

The Fan Favourites 

Remember what your ma used to say? If the big kids jumped off a bridge, would you follow them? No, Ma, god, leave me alone, I never asked to be born! *door slams*

Your ma was right about a lot of things. You wouldn’t jump off a bridge cos the big kids did it, don’t be silly. However, if the big kids jumped off a bridge wearing a sheet mask and hashtagged it #holygrail, you would be looking up directions to the nearest bridge on gmaps in three seconds.

Why?

If you like it, so what, so does everyone else. If you hate it, be prepared to get downvoted to hell because you Do Not Criticise The Fan Favourite. God, do you even go here?

Fan Favourites often crossover with the Grave Mistakes and both lead to a feeling of disappointment and mild self loathing. However Fan Favourites are worse because you’re just so disappointed. Is everything a lie?

i dont get it… coming soon to a swap post near you!

The What The Fucks

We are an odd bunch in the AB world. Potato sheet masks? Fuck yeah. Snail? Old news. Placenta? Sooo last year. We will literally put anything on our faces. Ingredient sluts seek out the new snail/placenta/horse oil deliberately. And loudly. We’ve all seen the posts.

“OMG dog spit is the new must have sheet mask essence!”

“WOW SO GLAD I GAVE THIS RANCID MAYONNAISE MASK A TRY”

“I’m only using organic wasp jizz sheet masks from now on #holygrail”

“sheet masks are over, I only use actual skin now #hannibalhydration”

Bonus points if the sheet mask is entirely in another language and Google Translate doesn’t recognise any of the words. Extra bonus points if you can only buy them from one seller, who doesn’t speak any major world language and doesn’t have an actual store, just an email address.

Dudes. Just buy some drugs. Guaranteed excitement. Plus you won’t care what your face is like because it’ll occur to you that your face… is what stops… your head stuff falling out… oh my god… we are all just weird skin bags stuffed with goo.

(I am out of What The Fucks! Recs please)

The Ghosts

You don’t remember buying it. You don’t remember adding it at the back of your stash. The name is… kind of familiar but you can’t quite place it. It’s a mystery.

You see the empty packet in the trashcan. You don’t remember using it. Your touch your cheek. It’s damp. You can smell something in the air, but as soon as you try to identify it, it’s gone.

Where did you come from? you whisper into the trashcan. Do you have a message for me?

The empty packet lies, silent and crumpled. Aloof, secretive, the packet cannot tell you – because it’s a plastic envelope you weirdo. Stop talking to bins.

did it ever really exist? you’ll never be sure
#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”