Recipe Rifle goes shopping: FACE

In the last two months of my pregnancy I went quite bonkers about stuff. No wait, not just stuff, but the right stuff, quality stuff. I think this is what some people refer to as “nesting”, but my house was already totally nested-out, I didn’t need any more muslin squares and a new baby bouncer had been purchased. So my mad, rolling, panting, grasping eye turned to dresses, bags, sandals, jewellery, skincare…

The moment I had Sam, at 4.45am on Bank Holiday Monday, 6th May. I ceased to crave any of it. I’m really, really pleased that I have it all – (I don’t think I bought a single new item of clothing after Kitty was born that wasn’t just hateful, draggy Mum-Wear) – but I no longer just sit about wanting things. No more this “fiesta” shirt from Anthropologie will change my life, this bright green box bag from Zara will change my life.

It’s nice. Peaceful. Like being unchained from a different lunatic.

It coincided, in some kind of cosmic dream, with a lot of companies wanting to send me things to write about.

I don’t know why people want to send me things in the post to write about. All I ever talk about is how shit I am, how ugly fat and useless – this is hardly an “aspirational” blog, but nevertheless I have started to be offered some stupendously wicked stuff that I can’t turn down.

Anyway it comes attached with a certain moral tricksiness – is it okay to accept things for free and then not write about them if they are no good? Or what about if you’re a bit ambivalent about them but you say you like them because, fuck it, why not?

What I have decided to do – and I’m sure you are fascinated – is take everything, with egregious thankings, but only put things on here that I like, that I would spend my own money on. I also feature here some things that I have, actually, spent my own (or my husband’s) money on, which I can recommend to you or warn you off accordingly.

We start today with the FACE – i.e. cosmetics and gadgets.

I say gadgetS, I really mean gadGET – the Clarisonic face thing, that my husband bought me for my birthday. I love it: get it. Like a massaging, rotating brush for your face. You only need to use it once a day, keep it in the shower, run it over your visage once you’ve massaged a bit of cleanser in. It’s about 1m% less hassle than cleaning your teeth and it improves skin tone, clarity, colour, all that bullshit. DO IT. If my husband hadn’t bought one for me, I would have spent my own money on it. Get the most basic model if money IS an object – you don’t need anything more snazzy.


Next, please turn your attention to Benefit. They very kindly sent me all sorts of stuff, the best of which was this very pleasing crease-free eyeshadow in Bikini-Tini and, below, a lipgloss in Fauxmance.

The eyeshadow is the sort of thing that you can smear on with a finger in 2 seconds that helps you look less dead, without making you look a bit inappropriate and drag-queeny for a day of gooning around with a two year-old or lying prone under a 3 day-old. On my favourite TV series ever, Friday Night Lights, they coat the lids of their lady stars with something very similar and it looks terrific. It looks a bit orange in the picture below but it’s not really, it’s a sort of pale gold.


I don’t, generally, like lipgloss because it’s a it drying and your hair gets stuck in it. Plus my mouth is massive and I don’t need to draw attention to it. This is moisturising with a nice sheen rather than sticky shine and my hair doesn’t get stuck in it. The colour really suits ME, but I have got red hair and sort of weird bluey-yellow skin and purplish lips (think Eddie Redmayne) so maybe visit a counter before buying. Unless you are Eddie Redmayne, in which case, this is the colour for you.


I bought this Garnier BB cream in total despair when still pregnant and my face was simply some eyes and a nose painted on a balloon. Since having Sam, my face has changed beyond belief – I no longer face the morning with weird bloating and blotching, an oil-slicky sheen and terrifying blue-black circles under my eyes.

But when I DID have all that going on, this BB cream helped smooth things out and made me less suicidal. I never really understood BB “beauty balm” or CC “colour correcting” creams before, but they just sort of make you look better, in a way that foundation doesn’t and can’t. So, I like this as an entry-level BB cream, (I picked slightly the wrong colour, a bit too pale, but this is a constant hazard when you have red hair because your colouring is inconsistent to put it mildly), but I can see myself spending quite a lot on something highly recommended – the one I keep hearing good things about is by YSL – called something like All-In-One BB cream or something.


I hope you enjoyed that. I did. Next: Recipe Rifle goes shopping for CLOTHES.

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