While the beauty industry may try its gosh darnedest to pretend the business of beautifying is all primping in a perfectly coordinated boudoir, and joyfully splashing water onto your face (seriously that’s not how to cleanse correctly), we the consumers all know that’s a dirty lie. We know that trying to look like the most conventionally attractive version of yourself is actually really fricking hard, and involves some of the most convoluted routines that only a sadist would think up (that’s you, waxing) and some activities which polite society may consider quite uncultured.
This is a shame, because these secret, shameful and sometimes downright undignified activities are often the most interesting. Because I’m a total grot, I’m going to introduce you to my very favourite products, those that are probably the grossest beauty tasks one can undertake, and in their own unsophisticated way are deeply satisfying for the soul. This is the icky, gritty side of pretty you’ll never see on a commercial or lauded in a women’s mag, with products that are functional as they are deeply unsettling.
Oh, Biore pore strips! I have loved you since I was a wee 12 year old and commandeered my mum’s collection to not-so-expertly apply to my friend’s poreless baby faces during the makeover portion of our sleepovers. Now that I’m older and my face has become a collection of festering holes full of oxidated make-up and keyboard grime, these little strips of wonder provides minutes of entertainment. For the uninitiated – you apply a strip to a wet nose (I normally steam my face for maximum blackhead carnage), wait about 10 minutes for it to harden, then slooooowly peel off and enjoy inspecting the thin threads of pore gloop standing on end. Total bliss.
For extra satisfaction try using one on a guy’s nose. There always seems to be mountains of gunk stuck in their skin and it’s empowering to recruit a newbie to the pore strip
cult club. Plus, this is my favourite way of testing exactly how much a man likes me. If he sits through this If you feel inclined to hunt around in your local Asian beauty supply store, you may be able to nab the awesome black strips, which show up whiteheads like whoa.
Why give yourself a regular facial when you can pop one of these babies on and scare the motherloving daylights out of your boyfriend/housemates/piles of cats. Bonus points for answering the door to the pizza delivery guy and managing to keep a straight face. Be careful about the active ingredients – I once tried one based on snail mucus, which is firmly in Nopetown.
Foot peeling treatments
A warning; this treatment is a serious exercise in perverse pleasure and will sort the ladies from the slightly more iron-stomached ladies. Simply soak your tootsies in the active lotion for about an hour, rinse, and wait a few days for smooth soles. Great, soft feet, I’m sure that’s something that might be nice to have. However, I don’t really care about the end result. I care about the wondrous journey that is having glorious giant chunks of skin peel off my heels for several days. It is both super gross and the most satisfying thing ever.