The Best Beauty Advice You’ll Ever Get

Beauty is indefinable. Some people find moustaches undeniably sexy and others believe that bald heads really will keep them warm at night. Regardless of how blasphemous it is to perm your hair in the 21st century, it’s whatever sets your love buds tingling.

The problem is that everyone seems to be looking for the latest ‘beauty tips’. They buy Heat magazine in the hope that Kim Kardashian has laid her DNA all over it ready for them to ingest or they crack eggs over their hair because some prankster on Google tells them it’s healthy. But this, right here, will lay bare the real ‘beauty tips’ for one and all to orgasm over on a Saturday evening.

Hair. Everyone has it scattered across their bodies in great, jumper-like thickness but most tend to whip it off quicker than you can say Pussy Galore. Whether it’s under your armpits or under your bellybutton, allow nature to take its course until its protruding through your clothes. At least then, you will have an extra layer for when the winter truly takes charge.

Make up. When used correctly, it can transform you from Ann Widdecombe to Kate Moss but when it’s not, hello Pete Burns. There is nothing attractive about pouring foundation over your face until it becomes Niagara Falls. Mascara is a nice subtle friend to us; do not use it to make your eyelashes look like long, thin spider legs. If you decide that lipstick is the way forward, be sure to stay within the lines. Practise using paint-by-numbers if you struggle to do so.

Skin. We have bad patches and imperfections but scrubbing your face with muesli isn’t appropriate. Forget buying mud masks, why not nip out into your garden after a fresh storm and face-plant into the soaked soil. You will save endless pounds and eventually come to realise that it makes you look more like something out of Texas Chainsaw Massacre than ‘ten years younger’.

Clothes. I have a phobia of suits with trainers. Don’t do it; it wasn’t cool in the eighties and it’s almost illegal now. Kitten-heeled shoes are forbidden and if you still decide to wear them, you belong in Back to the Future and should be locked in that terrible franchise forever. Sunglasses inside are not even awful, they’re just idiotic so don’t be like Kanye West all your life and put them away. Deciding on a white shirt out? Superb but don’t wear a black bra and think we all want to see two bobbling nipples darting through the transparency.

You. As long as you don’t believe in nasal hair and cropped tops in January, you don’t need all these endless beauty regimes that take up more of your time than an X Factor finale. Your eyebrows are fine, crayons are best left for the colouring book, and no doubt your eyes are already dazzling. Let’s forget about face contouring like we’re suddenly part of Mount Rushmore and focus on what really is beautiful in life – watching footballers run around in slow motion.

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New Year, Old News

2015 has arrived in the usual unexciting, mundane New Year’s kind of way. January offers little and takes a lot; we get a new series of Celebrity Big Brother’s human hamster cage in exchange for giving up Cadbury’s chocolate and bad men or Cadbury’s chocolate on bad men depending on your taste buds.

In the dying months leading up to a new year we indulge in alcohol, yule logs and Bruce Forsyth’s ghostly face only just visible on the latest Strictly Come Walking. We allow ourselves to parade around in reindeer onesies with wine-stained teeth safe in the knowledge that next year, we could run for the president of the United States of America.

In December, we decide to make ‘New Year’s Resolutions’. It takes a while to start writing as our E.T looking hands fiddle with a pen that we haven’t held since 1997 until we get into the rhythm of writing. Optimism begins to flow as we imagine marital bliss on the beaches of Mexico having secretly eloped with a bigamist George Clooney. We see our dreams coming true because a new year allows for change and we can morph ourselves into anything; we could wake with Kim Kardashian’s buttocks.

Most people opt for the obvious; dieting or sucking on anything other than cigarettes. Others decide it is time to throw caution to the wind and do obscene, nearly-time-to-be-sectioned kind of things like botox and growing moustaches. Just remember that we have to be realistic when deciding; Madonna’s armpit hair was grown for artistic purposes and should never be imitated as part of our New Year feminist empowerment.

With the lists ready and January coming to unpack a hamper full of success and orgasms, we wait patiently until it begins. We cram in any last minute gorging of cheesecake and One Direction because after, we shall no longer be these sad, depressing, I-heart-Harry kinds of people.

All of last year’s disappointments are left behind as we try to forget exes, the World Cup and the continued existence of Kanye West. We can disregard the momentary joy we felt that Take That might finally be breaking up and the chance that X Factor would fall further than Louis Walsh’s reputation as a talent spotter. 2014 is long gone and we no longer have time for it.

So here she is one and all. Her majesty, January, with nothing but rain keeping you wet when you would rather it came from elsewhere. We’re only a week or so in and we could still marry Prince Harry, travel to Jamaica on a banana boat and befriend King Kong but maybe one less tube of Pringles on our hips may be a slightly more realistic prospect.

The Best First Date Advice You’ll Ever Get

First dates are like losing your virginity; painful and awkward. Forget the rules Sex and the City taught you – happy hour cocktails are out and an influx of what the ‘urban’ kids call ‘banter’ is in.

The issue is that most people find a date on Tinder. This dating platform is where you ‘swipe right’ if someone looks remotely like a human or ‘swipe left’ if they’re deemed below par. It sounds simple enough until you’re interrogated by the Karma Sutra police about your ‘experiences’. Ignore these nymphomaniacs immediately and stop posting pictures of yourself delicately nibbling a banana.

Once you have arranged the date, be sure to prepare yourself mentally. The person you believe to be ‘Robert Daley’ is probably ‘Ken Bridge’ who likes to collect toy soldiers and watch Countryfile. Any photograph that has been ‘cropped’ or distorted in any way means they are either acne-ridden, twenty years older or are simply Frankenstein’s brother.

More importantly, have a plan in place if you’re stood up otherwise you will be left with nothing more than a peanut-sized ego. Just think of it this way – either they turned up, saw you and left or they couldn’t prise themselves away from the Vaseline pot.

When the first date arrives wear appropriate attire; clothes are a good suggestion. Meet in a place that is bustling with people so you can run away if a monobrow replaces the man you were meant to be meeting or if he turns up wearing socks with sandals. Greet him with a polite smile and silently judge his entire existence.

There is nothing worse than going on a first date to a restaurant so most people generally decide to go to a restaurant. Always say no to a curry house; spicy foods and a nervous stomach is the perfect combination for an hour in the lavatories.

With the two of you sat opposite each other at the table, you can determine if the person in front of you looks like a married father of four or if he’s a suitable match for the rest of your life. If you’re sat across from someone who is sporting double denim, enjoy a slurp-fest of a dinner because you can’t possibly take that bad boy home for ‘coffee’. If the heavens have blessed you and Ben Affleck’s lookalike shows up, stop drooling before it stains your dress and get your act together.

Discuss anything other than what your ‘type’ is; if he has nasal hair sitting on his top lip, he knows he’s not your type. Forget mentioning exes or what horrendous heartbreaks you have powerfully overcome; it’s boring and no one cares. This is your ‘swipe right’ match so find out more about each other; preferably if he’s a Dexter-style serial killer or a completely normal person.

After the date, say your goodbyes and keep your lips to yourself. Remember all those scary news reports you’ve been reading lately about Ebola; no sharing bodily fluids until the new year. Take yourself home and shower the date away with some strong disinfectant. If you had a good time, you can feel optimistic about the prospect of further dates, a wedding and eventually marital flatulence. If not, you got out of a night in front of Eastenders crying into a bucket of KFC hot wings. After all, just because he’s your ‘swipe right’ it doesn’t mean he’s your Mr Right.

I Saw My Neighbour Naked

I saw my neighbour naked. There were nipples bobbling, a free fall of pubic hair and a hint of a vaginal lip. I didn’t know whether to scream, faint or declare myself blind forever. All I did know was that I had seen a forbidden forest and things were never going to be the same again.

My neighbours have always been an acquired taste. They’re the type to knock on your door just to say ‘hi’ which I’m sure hasn’t been legal since the 1960’s. They like to leave jigsaws by the front door in case anyone is feeling, in their words, ‘adventurous’. It’s as adventurous as discovering a verruca. They like to put the post in alphabetical order for all those that, I can only assume, can’t read their own name.

One such neighbour that lives directly below likes to announce what he’s eating as he’s eating it. I always get slightly concerned when the word ‘fish’ is screamed. Next to him lives a couple that seem to be able to set the fire alarm off using only two slices of bread and a piece of ham. At the bottom of the stairs are a group of souls that regard themselves as ‘hippies’ which I’m sure is a more politically correct term for having a gang bang. On ground floor, there’s a man that seems to dial an 0800 number for all those lonely nights and next to him is a woman that is more Sweeney Todd than Nigella Lawson in the cooking department. The house smells like dead people.

This is all part of living in a block of flats in an area where foxes are allowed to sit on your doorstep whilst your neighbours strum a guitar singing Kumbaya.

I, too, have my faults. I like to play Westlife at a night time to remember the glory days of the nineties. I can also hold my hands up and admit that I have cooked a fried egg or two at an inappropriate time on a Saturday morning however, no one has been scarred by the sight of my au naturel under parts.

I always knew she was one of those ‘open’ women who shared their deepest darkest secrets with the entire population from the moment she moved in.

“I just love watching Countryfile.” She said on introduction. I bowed my head in embarrassment, had she no shame?

After this came the washing machine incident. My clothes were in the middle of their weekly spin, enjoying themselves no doubt, when they were stopped by her. She wanted to know what was in the washing machine. It doesn’t exactly take a trip from the phantom of Einstein to reveal what was in the machine but she had to be sure. When I came down to see her fondling my sopping underwear, it became one of those socially awkward situations where there was nothing to say but ‘erm’.

“Lovely bras.” She said, smiling with her I’m-a-pervert style lips.

This could only mean one thing, she was either simply commenting on my fantastic taste in women’s lingerie or she was having a jolly old time with my smalls.

I decided to let that slide. After all, she hadn’t done the worst thing in the world and stolen my two pounds out of the machine door. But then came that fateful Sunday evening.

All was well in the house. I was enjoying a repeat of Golden Balls and everything was just as appropriate as a church sermon…until the screaming began. It was a high pitched scream as though she was in pain but enjoying the rollercoaster of life at the same time. I pondered whether to ensure her safety from what could possibly be an attack from the jigsaw maniac or ignore the rude interruption of my programme. Suddenly, without a thought for my own wellbeing, I hurtled across to her flat with my dressing gown floating in the distance. This was finally the moment that I could be a caped hero. What greeted me next was only for Hugh Hefner’s imagination. I saw things that fully grown men would weep at having come face to face with and I, for one, was ready to weep. As I squinted my eyes and slowly walked backwards, some Golden Balls that didn’t quite match what was on my television appeared.

After that, I remember nothing. It’s like a sordid cloud of smoky perversion sent me into a coma. When I woke, I knew I never wanted to see nipples darting towards me ever again. I knew I never wanted to help a neighbour in need ever again. But mostly, I knew I would never trust someone that liked Countryfile for as long as I live.

World War Retail

Firstly, what is Paisley? Secondly, I don’t care. Don’t get me wrong, I like clothes. In fact, I really enjoy wearing clothes because they hide the fact that some of us just haven’t had time to shave our legs and my personal areas are well and truly under wraps. After all, it’s better to be wearing clothes than to have your everything hanging out when strolling around Oxford Street on a nipple-decreasing January evening. However, there’s some very trouser-demonic people out there; the FSS – Frantic Scavenger Shoppers that are taking their idea of ‘fashion’ too far.

I work in a famous clothes shop that showers customers in ‘pleather’ and velvet that likes to stick to your hand as though someone’s sweaty armpit has been smothering it seconds before. It’s labelled ‘fashionable’ and I can see why. It has floral prints and maxi dresses and a whole wardrobe full of clothes that will fall apart within an hour of squeezing your arse cheek into them. Yet somehow, in some crazy way, I was born without the ability to orgasm over a fifty pound skirt that can only be described as genital skimming.

            When I process a transaction for said skirt through the till point, I can see the woman before me almost teary with happiness. Finally, every man will be able to see the exact place he will end up if all goes well that very night. I try to hide my dismay with a swift ‘lovely skirt’ comment.

It isn’t really the length of clothes that bothers me. It’s the continuous care and consideration that people are putting into what material they’re made of.

            “Is it real sheepskin?”

I want to respond saying that I haven’t seen a sheep stroll in and shed its skin in the last day or so but I opt for a casual,

            “I’m not sure.”

The customer seems horrified as though everything she’s ever believed in has come tumbling down around her in great lumps of sheepskin and suffocated her into a retail coma. It is at this moment that I want to take off my lanyard mid-shift and demand a trip to Primark where I can buy fake everything with a happy, content heart.

Whenever I admit that I’m partial to a Primark trip now and again, someone gasps in a but-that’s-not-Dior kind of way. Why is it that people are willing to pay tens of pounds more for something that is much more reasonably priced elsewhere? Some are quick to answer with the words ‘the label.’ I know, it’s great, every piece of clothing has a label telling you which shop you had walked into, strolled around, seen an item, found your size, picked it up AND purchased yourself! It’s always good to know there’s a reminder for when you forget where you spent your life savings on a skirt made of real sheepskin, sewn together with cotton and short enough for a man to know whether you’re au naturel or not. It’s a shame when really we all know that a label does nothing but sit against your back irritating you to the point where you’re curving your arm in the most unattractive form of acrobatics and swearing as you do so. 

When you work in retail, you have to abide by strict rules and regulations that make you seen ‘polite and professional’. You can’t speak of customers that smell like they’re fresh out of a brewery and you can’t retaliate when someone throws a scarf directly into your face. However, I will admit that retail is ruthless. It’s full of low cut tops with peeping nipples, over-tight trousers displaying the whole of life and a Gucci-loving set of people ready to throw their money away like we’re stood in a strip bar. It’s a high street war out there and I can’t wait to get out of it.