Lies, I tell you, it’s all lies, lies, lies – far from having radiant, dewy prenatal pores, my skin has never been worse in my life. In fact, generally my skin is pretty good. I have even received compliments on it in the (what seems very distant) past. But now, every morning seems to bring some new unsightly horror right up close in the bathroom mirror. Ugh – combined with the hideous effects of winter, when the acute desiccation of my skin already serves as a daily reminder of why I loathe the cold, it’s just awful. Right now I have a bolt on my neck that would give Frankenstein a decent run for his money. It’s like having a huge panic button conveniently located on the underside of my chin – and I’d press it, I really would, except I’m afraid of making my head explode.
I was hunting a new moisturiser the other day, because my old faithful clearly isn’t up to this particular challenge, and my Man Town writer friend L dragged me into her beautician to consider the options there. The woman came out from behind the counter, peered at my face for a long, uncomfortable moment, and basically pronounced my face dead on arrival.
I was a little taken aback. Next she started on a blunt riff about the need for me to have an hour-long facial – at least – because there was so much hard work for the emergency recovery team to do. Her brow puckered in concern while she continued staring at me – and I have to say, her scrutiny made me feel like I was ageing on the spot. You know in Indiana Jones when the bad guy chooses the wrong grail and his entire face and body disintegrates in a few violent seconds? I felt exactly like that. There was a good deal more head shaking and tut-tutting thrown in, and at the precise moment my bottom lip practically started trembling – because she’s not silly, she’s shrewd – she started piling product into my arms.
The transaction itself went by in a bit of a blur, but when L and I emerged, I felt as though I’d already had my face pummelled. We stood blinking on the footpath for a moment, both a bit stunned by the force and speed with which the beautician had stripped me of my beans. I think I was paying for my freedom – I just wanted to get OUT of there. I wanted to get as far away from her as possible. What is it about these women in white lab coats? Why do they make me feel so vulnerable? And what’s so hot about a total stranger touching my face, anyway? I’m not sure I like the sound of that at all.
Because you see, I’ve never had a facial. And why the hell would I start now, if all they’re going to do is insist I look like shit? I mean, really, who needs it? I’ve been feeling lousy enough about the state of my skin without some lineless freak enumerating my many faults while I am paying for the privilege. It sounds like a form of assault, and I can’t think why I’d invite it.
Anyway, the new moisturiser is a couple of days in and making zero irrigation impact on these arid, uneven plains. If anything I think my skin’s looking slightly worse. I know it’s hormonal, and I guess it’s my payback for dodging morning sickness – although personally I thought sleeplessness was a fair trade. I don’t have the luscious locks, either. My hair is as thin and dull as ever. I’m also back on the loo every several seconds. My legs ache like I’ve been on the rack. And my gums are bleeding. But hey, there’s also a whole list of possible side effects that I don’t have, and I’m grateful for these many mercies. At least I’m not constipated.