Tuesday, 8 May 2007

#19 The Fairer Sex...

I’ve not had much experience with men as Mr Malcontent was pretty much my first love. We met when we were still young in mind and body, fresh of face and hopeful of heart. Many years have passed and things are still pretty darn good. The inevitable things have changed – nowadays I rarely bother with the good underwear, he wears a pair of pyjama bottoms with more holes than fabric – in fact, wardrobe-wise, Mr Malcontent is not too bothered. I don’t mind – he has a good eye, skilfully skirting the line between scruffy and sexy and besides, I’ve never really wanted him to be a Hugo Boss man. I’d rather have a H&M boy any day of the week. In fact, the only fine-tuning that Mr M has proved susceptible to is not of the sartorial variety. The change has, in fact, taken place within his cosmetic closet instead. Sod’s Law dictates that Mr M has impeccable, beautiful skin. Clear and temperate with an outdoorsy smattering of freckles across his nose and cheeks – boyish and youthful. He does not look his age. Sod’s Law also dictates that he had never taken an ounce of care with his complexion – when we first met, he was using shampoo as a face and body wash. I think it was Vosene. He was prone to dryness, a bit of eczema and as I entered the beauty arena, my knowledge and access to information filtered down to him. As did my continual product passover. You see, he would never spend more than a couple of quid on himself, but his eyes light up like fireflies when I hand him a bag of new booty. He gets face creams, self-tans, firming gels, eye lotions, lip balms… he has become my official male tester. There have been a few hiccups along the way. He’d been using self-tan as an everyday moisturiser, rubbing it into his eyes and wondering why his hands had turned a bizarre burnt-ochre colour overnight. So now, along with pricey products, I also pass on foolproof instructions first. When something’s good, he’s eager to tell me about it. He really liked Lush Afterlife – a cream that I hadn’t high hopes for. He said it made his dry skin feel comfortable and improved it within days. He also loves Nickel Morning After Rescue Gel. He uses it after a night when he’s struggled to sleep and insists that it makes him look fresher. He’s currently using The Sanctuary Cleansing Facial Wash and Protective 24 Hour Moisture Lotion SPF 15. Sneaky of me to give him an SPF-laden lotion, as he’s loath to apply suncare during the day, but the combination is working well. His skin has been clear and blemish-free for a couple of months now – he used to get the odd spot almost fortnightly. He also favours Caudalie Lip Conditioner (having tried Clarins, Chapstick and Neutrogena) and liked Lancôme’s men’s range too – in particular the face wash. New likes include Kiehl’s Eye Alert, which he’s been patting on in the mornings and the Shu Uemura Depsea Moisture Replenishing Cream – which he went through at an alarming rate. If it weren’t so expensive, I’d have bought him a new pot. At bathtime, believe it or not, he’s cleaned me out of MOP Basil + Mint Shampoo and Conditioner. It’s a great formula for his fine hair and he likes the herby smell (that’s his stifled chef talking), even if I’m not too fond of it. That’s another bonus, not only does he provide me with valuable male insights, but he also Pac Man’s his way through my growing giftbags – clearing space for future finds. And though these insignificant scenarios do not form the core of a stable relationship, it is certainly a flawless foundation for a marriage of cosmetic convenience. A-men.

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