I had a very affecting message the other day from a woman who seems to be having a terrible time.
“I am very stressed,” she said, “I am not sleeping. My eyes have dark circles and are really puffy. I’ve got about £50 to spend – is there any cream you’d recommend to help me?”
Fuck the cream, I said. Save your money. I gave her the following advice.
1 Take your vitamins, even if just a Centrum multi-vit. In winter, I also take A Vitamin D spray from Better You, available from Amazon here.
(Off topic but quite amusing… Amazon recently signed up to an affiliate link programme, which is where if you click that link above and buy the thing I get a payout from Amazon. This was briefly great news for people like me – until it turns out that Amazon have not been paying out on their affiliate link cuts to influencers! 5% of me quite admires what massive awful badasses Amazon are. Feel free to buy that spray elsewhere, that link was really just to give you the exact name, what it looks like and how much it costs.)
2 Drink water. I don’t mean pints and pints, but when you are stressed and tired the last thing you will do is drink water. I have in my life gone weeks without water, just tea, tea, tea, noodle water, tea, diet coke, gin. If you are drinking none, just drink some. I will leave exact amounts up to you.
3 Keep the eyes hydrated. One of those heatable eye masks that you can bung in the microwave and heat up and lie down with over your eyes I think really help. For treatment for acute puffiness, one of those gel eye masks you keep in the fridge may do something.
4 Staying on the theme of hydration – moisturise around the eye. I often use either Eight Hour Cream or Lansinoh before bed. I have also discovered a really good new Argan Oil supplier – recommended to me by a mum at school. If you have dry or unruly hair it’s really transformative a as a hair mask – put it on 30 mins before you wash your hair. Otherwise you can use on any dry areas and also around your eyes. If you don’t like putting sticky cream on your face just before bed, wash your face as soon as you’re at home for the day and put it on then. By the time you go to sleep it will have absorbed but will still get the effect of any few snatched hours of sleep you’re getting.
5 It’s not for me to tell anyone to lay off the booze in times of stress. But it will make you look shit.
If you really, really want to just throw some money at the problem, I have found Elemis SOS Emergency Cream to be genuinely effective. But nothing can totally mask the ravages of total self-neglect, especially at my age – an expensive cream can only build on solid foundations.
Another side, side topic… I have been totally engrossed in the Clemmie Hooper drama recently – where she went onto the discussion forum Tattle under an anonymous handle and was mean about her peers.
Not very nice for people she was mean about, (reading horrible things about yourself is, well, horrible, especially as it turns out it was from someone who actually knows you), but I really felt for her. It was such a risky and desperate thing to do – it struck me as just the sort of total, massive loss of sense and perspective that Instagram encourages. I have had a glimpse of what those major instagrammer lives are like and the pace is relentless, the online abuse is relentless. I actually reckon that she wasn’t the only one driven to it, she’s just the only one who has been caught.