Saturday morning, freaked out by my skin being completely washed-out, I decided it was time to take immediate action. No time to get an appointment with the dermotologist. No time to stop and think two seconds about my diet the past two weeks consisting of only choclate and coffee.

I went out to go buy the Turnaround Cream by Clinique, which, if memory serves, has already performed a few small miracles. I get to the Clinique booth and I ask for my cream. A woman with glasses dressed like a nurse makes me sit down. She touches my skin and her face drops.

“Oh yes, okay, I see. You have sensitive skin, type 3 (all dramatic like). Yes, the Turnaround would whip you back into shape. But really (with a reproachful medical look over her glasses), what I’d advise above all is to use our Basic 3 Temps. You see (huge scientific gestures), there is nothing better to clean and reconstitute the lipid film (eeew!) of your skin, because… here watch, (she takes on some kind of tape, puts it on my hand and then removes it, frowning) you see what’s still there on the tape? You have to treat that. And then we have to talk about the contour of your eyes…”

Half-hour later, I’m surrounded by products. If I got all this right, two times daily, I have to apply a cleanser, a tonic, four creams (one for constituting my lipid (eeew) film, the Turnaround, one for shrinking my pores (c’mon, eeeeeewww!!!) and one for the contour of my eyes) and then two foundations (one for the t-zone and one with a mineral base for retouching). My nurse friend is really nice: if I listen to her, she’s about to relieve me of around $500.

I asked her if it’s because it’s the end of the month and she has to get her quota that she’s trying to send me home with a trailer-full of products. I tell her that my dermatologist says that Dove soap is perfect and that all the treatment for the contour of eyes and all is just cosmetic bullshit straight from a horse’s ass.

She says to me, “Ah! But your dermatologist, she’s an herbal tea kinda gal? She makes all her creams herself? She lives next to a stream in the mountains?”

I say to her, “C’mon you’re just blowing smoke. My dermatologist wears Comme Des Garçons. I’m gonna get just the Turnaround and the mineral foundation.”

She looks at me over her glasses, “Well, all of us here wear Margiela, she says showing me her white lab coat and laughing. But I’m telling you: you only need Basic 3 Temps to have sublime skin.”

At the height of complicity, my nurse in Margiela tosses some samples of Basic 3 Temps in my bag and gives me a lip gloss almost with a little bit of lip, “You’ll see. You’ll be back.” Wow. She really believes in this stuff.

I give her a wink and spin around on my heels. And then I hesitate. Margiela or Comme des Garçons?

———–

* The sales people at Margiela wear lab coats.

PS: And let me thank you all for your comments yesterday. It was an indescribable sensation to read everything you guys wrote. Unique. There really is just no other word… Thank you. And I’ll definitely tell you as soon as I know more about the tee-shirts…

Translation : Tim Sullivan