Like you, I used to find it exhausting trolling the internet all day for pictures of houses I’ll never own, recipes for food I’ll never make, links to brilliant things I didn’t write and ideas for DIY crafts I couldn’t pull off even if Martha herself were barking the directions at me.
Then I discovered Pinterest.
After waiting an entire fucking week, my invitation arrived. I was in! You can imagine how giddy I was to find all of the above things and and more all in one convenient place. Think of the hours I’d save every week! Did I care that my gleeful dancing left scuff marks on my coffee table? I did not! Thanks to Pinterest, I already knew that vinegar would take that shit right off.
I started with one simple board (“stuff I love“). Before long I realized that many of the things I wanted to repin didn’t fit neatly into that category , so I began to add other boards: “Shit I’ll never make but that looks crazy-good” (am I right?), “don’t let the tiara fool you” (well there actually are a lot of good cleaning tips on there), “me, myself and I” (because face it, we’re all out here to pimp our shit at the end of the day), and “I’m not sure how to categorize this crap“. I created the last category when I discovered this:
Looks intriguing, right? I thought so, too! (It’s probably worth noting here that I have no idea if I have a right to post that photo, but it was right here on this gal’s blog, which I am pretty sure means it is in the public domain, but just in case please don’t narc on me, okay?)
The original pin was titled “how to make your own pore strips” and I love me some pore strips more than my kids love saying “Mom, did you see? Did you see that? Did you see?” so I couldn’t resist it. I wish I’d pinned it right onto the “shit I’ll never make” board, but I didn’t. I pinned it to “I’m not sure how to categorize this crap“, where it taunted me for a full 24 hours before I decided to give it a whirl.
The gist was simple: Mix two whole ingredients (I could handle that!), apply to skin, allow to harden and then peel away to reveal youthful, glowing, gorgeous skin.
(I’ll add right here that I am a worthless sucker when it comes to any sort of marketing claim. I’ll buy your goddamned blackest-black mascara every fucking time because I can’t bear the thought of not having the pinnacle of the spectrum of blackness in my makeup drawer.)
So I mixed, applied and allowed. As a dedicated disciple of the If A Little Is Good Then A Lot Must Be Better Institute of Beautification*, I went a little apeshit** with the stuff. I spackled it on good and thick, and then I decided that nothing would be worse than having a young, glowing face and an old, dull neck, so I smeared that sticky, stinky goo all the way down to my collarbone.
Within the first three minutes, I felt the mask begin to harden. It became difficult to lift my eyebrows after another five. At the fifteen minute mark I literally could not lift or lower my chin. I felt like this gal:
I was pretty sure it was time to peel.
I began with the neck. I scraped at the edges, trying to get something to tug onto, but I couldn’t get any traction. Each tug felt like an army of fire ants were extinguishing their tiny cigarettes into my jugular. Imagine you’d smeared, say, six tons of cement onto your face and allowed it to harden for seven years. It felt just a tiny bit harder and more impossible to move than that.
Now, the blog-lady’s peel slipped off easily like this:
Mine, not so much. I scraped and I scraped and with each tiny flecklet (I know it’s not a word, but these pieces didn’t deserve to be called flecks) the fire-sensation on my neck continued to build. Every once in a while I’d get a dime-size fleck(let) and pulling it off would bring tears to my eyes. The flecklets themselves had the consistency of shellacked corn-flakes, and a few had a strange pink tint that could only have been because of the blood.
Please understand: I have undergone laser hair removal and laser facials, I have two tattoos (only one of which I got in Amsterdam, ahem) and I have brought two nine pound babies into the world through my vagina. This pain ranked right up there with the lot of them. On the holy redeemer’s grave, I was genuinely afraid to look into the mirror for fear I’d see an exposed critical artery or possibly even bone.
An hour passed. I picked and peeled. My face felt like I’d plunged it into battery acid. My flecklet pile continued to grow.
Why didn’t I just rinse it off, you ask? You see, blog-lady had specifically instructed to concoct this mess in a disposable cup and apply it with a disposable stick, but I didn’t have either of those things handy so I’d just used a ramekin and a spoon. Within seconds of concocting, the mask residue was petrified to both ramekin and spoon in such a way that no amount of bleach plus an industrial chisel would have removed it. (And yes, I applied it to my face anyway but quit judging me because the Pinterest people said this shit was the bomb.) So I already knew that water was not going to help me.
After a fucking hour and twenty minutes, I had most of it off. I ventured a peek in the mirror. White scaly patches hung around my eyebrows, nostrils and lips. My neck and cheeks were fire-engine red. I looked like a century-old, poorly preserved mummy. I grabbed a washcloth and soaked it in warm water, dying to apply some soothing moisture to my face. I laid the towel over my face and could feel the rawness of my skin. I let it sit for a second and then swiped it around, marveling at the fact that I couldn’t feel the calciferous mask parts that I knew were still clinging to me. I swirled the cloth a few times for good measure, rinsed and looked in the mirror.
The mask was totally gone. And my skin looked FAN-FUCKING-TASTIC. Like, ten years younger fan-fucking-tastic: Dewy. Glowy. Pink (not red). Hairless (yes, hairless). Smoother than any baby’s ass I ever wiped.
So obviously now goddamn it I am going to have to do it again.
Please drop off booze.
*not a real Institute or actually a real anything
*a real state of activity
p.s. I know you’re totally going to do it, so at least please a) avoid your neck area and b) use the disposable cup/stick like the lady told you to do, okay?