Becky says things about … the extreme perils of home beauty remedies

I love a quick fix. I love websites that tell me I don’t need to go and spend 80 quid on a miracle cream that’ll make my skin glow and my eyes sparkle and my boobs inflate or whatever, and that I actually only need to go to my kitchen cupboard for things that’ll make me beautiful.

So yesterday when I read that a paste made with lemon juice and turmeric will help fade acne scars, revitalise my pores and generally make me look fabulous, I thought

“Well hey, I have those things! What a super smashing idea! Let’s definitely do that!”

Turmeric. You know, turmeric – that yellow spice that makes curries yellow and that stains your fingers yellow when you cook with it and you can’t get the yellow out of your skin for ages because it’s really, really yellow – that turmeric.

So, after checking through many, many websites that this was a genuine remedy and that it actually worked and that nothing bad would happen, I happily mixed together one tablespoon of yellow turmeric and a squeeze of highly acidic lemon juice to form a smooth, yellow paste.

And I happily patted it all over my face.

“Goodness me, that really is very yellow”

I thought.

“I certainly hope it comes out!”

So I left it on for the suggested 10 – 15 minutes, looking forward to my impending glowing and vibrant skin and complete disappearance of any acne scars lurking below the surface.

And after 15 minutes I washed off the slightly crusty yellow paste, filling the bathroom sink with nuclear yellow water. And looked in the mirror.

“No matter, I just need to scrub it with a hot flannel for a bit”

I thought.

So I scrubbed at my face with a flannel that was hotter than the sun and waited for the yellow to come out. I scrubbed and scrubbed my delicate face with this coarse scalding flannel and waited to not be yellow anymore.

After ten minutes of hard scrubbing, and definitely having gone from being happy to not happy at all, I looked in the mirror.

This was getting serious. My face was nearly bleeding, I was nearly crying, and I was still yellow.

There was only one thing for it.

I had to rub lemon juice on my face.

Stick with me on this one – it is a natural bleaching agent, which is why it was in the paste in the first place – there are lots of websites confirming this and as I’d had such brilliant luck with following websites so far, why would it be any different now?

So I got a bowl of lemon juice and some cotton wool, and proceeded to scrub my face.

Seriously, Kevin from Home Alone had nothing on me.

It hurt. Really hurt. Rubbing lemon juice into your face isn’t something that should ever be done. ‘Do not rub lemon juice into your face’ is one of the rules in the Great Book of Life, somewhere between ‘Do not eat needles’ and ‘Do not sit on fire’.

But, it was working.

Very, very gradually I was becoming less jaundiced and more red raw and bleeding.

Eventually, after several extremely painful minutes of rubbing acid into my face, I looked almost normal.

Well, kind of.

So, f*** home beauty remedies. Go out and spend 80 quid on a chemical-crammed lotion and rub the hell out of your face with it. Whatever you do


Trust me.

Becky says things about … pretending to be in a film

You’ve all done it. I’m certain of it. You’ve all been listening to your Walkmans, or Discmans, or MP3 players, or iPods, or iPod Shuffle 23rd iGeneration iPodPad Super iPhone Players, or whatever, and a particular song has filtered into the entangled coils of your brain, and before you know it you are in your own film with its own soundtrack.

I do it all the time.

Yesterday, during my bike ride, I was listening to my iPod (technically dangerous, I know – sorry) and Firestarter by The Prodigy came on. Within seconds, I was no longer cycling amiably over Kingston Bridge, but I was hurtling through a dark, monstrous city in hot pursuit of an evil overlord who had done something very naughty.

It made me peddle like a mentalist, I’m telling you. I only became aware I was doing it when I felt a strain in my face muscles, and realised I was pulling a devilishly determined expression quite suitable for pursuing evil overlords, but not so suitable for cycling through a sunny town centre on a Sunday afternoon.

I have quite a comprehensive catalogue of songs that have provided soundtracks to my life. I used to lie on the floor of my bedroom and enact a dramatic death scene involving lots of gasping and whispered last words to my empty room with this playing on my CD player:

Unfortunately, as the piece is only a minute and a half long, I had to keep rising from my death bed to press the rewind button to replay the track, which kind of dampened the drama. (The familiar among you will know that as  Gladiator only came out in 2000, and I was born in 1985, I could have been no younger than 15 at the time of this little playacting, which is probably far too old for that sort of thing and I will almost definitely regret revealing this silly information.)

During reflective times at university, I would lie on my bed in my cell-like room in halls, and listen to this (while a camera did a close-up of my emotion-strewn face):

And this is particularly good for a moody walk on a dull depressing day, with lots of pausing to gaze out at the grey landscape and reflect on the futility of life:

But the best, the absolute best, for pretending you’ve come face to face with your arch enemy, exchanging a few intensely dramatic looks with each other, and then breaking into a Bruce Willis-style run while you chase your enemy through burning buildings and leap off rooftops and your sweaty muscles are bulging through your ripped t-shirt and you’re covered in bloodied cuts from recent fights-to-the-death and then everything explodes (while actually only going for a jog through the park), is this:

So, if you ever see a 27 year-old woman sprinting down a high street with teeth bared, eyes fierce and fists clenched, or standing on the banks of a river gazing dramatically out at the water with hair whipping round her face, it’s only me having a bit of an act.