In this biscuit instalment, biscuity beauty Pippa Evans faces up to a Beast in a drama she’s tagged The Chin And I.
For many years, my chin and I have been at war. It began when I was eight and I was given an orthodontic metal facemask to get my chin to retract. I was born with a massive underbite and the ability to put my top teeth into my bottom teeth – if only I’d been born in Victorian times – I could have been in a freakshow. Though incredibly tidy it’s not much use when it comes to basics like chewing or chattering your teeth to show that you are cold.
A quick and easy* way to look like John Lithgow rather than Jimmy Hill
*Neither quick nor easy
By day I was your average chubby female child: not a girl, not yet a woman, to quote Britney. But by night, I was a Transformer: less Optimus Prime, more Hannibal Lecter. I slept with this contraption on my face and took great pleasure in moaning about it. But eventually my chin was considered to be in the correct position and the mask was removed. Without that mask, I would look like Jimmy Hill, not John Lithgow, which I think we can all be grateful for.
My chin and I got along for several years after that. I could chew and it was free to sit and do chin stuff: wag, goat impressions etc. Then suddenly my HORMONES decided that to make sure I knew that I was about to be visited by the crimson wave, it would break out once a month. And so every three weeks, my chin resembles a cherry garibaldi.
I controlled it with the pill for a while (12 years), but this year my ovaries decided they didn’t like the pill anymore, so I now get to alert the world to my hormone balance. Out pop the pimples, like mini-sirens declaring that yet again I have failed to impregnate myself (personally, I see this as a win, but having been married for four years, I have reached the stage where I get asked almost every day if we’re ‘thinking about kids yet’ and when I answer ‘no’ it is usually met with disappointment or the eternally frustrating phrase “You’ll change your mind.” Maybe I will, punk, but not because you smiled at me sideways and squinted your eyes. #tangent)
Occasionally though, one beast chooses to hang about outside the allotted time. Last week was one of these occasions. Mickey Noonan, the editor of this fine online magazine, asked me if I had a name for this beast, as she always calls hers Geoff. Personally, I don’t name the beast. It’s just Beast.
“You, Beast!” I say, looking in the mirror as its red head glows at me. “When are you going to piss off and die?”
Beast sat on my chin and waited. Not wearing makeup meant I was a hell of a lot more aware of him than normal. When it’s a Beast, you can feel it more than you can see it, which makes it seem much bigger than it actually is. Had I been in a makeup wearing situation, I would have covered it up with three kinds of concealer: Clinique tinted moisturiser, followed by MAC concealer and then Soap and Glory Kick Ass Concealer.
Run, don’t walk from… THE BEAST
Years of searching have led to the discovery of these products that totally hide a Beast (unless it’s a big old white head, in which case you might as well just draw a ring around it and put an arrow saying “HERE IT IS”. You just can’t hide those bad boys). But I couldn’t use them. So I didn’t. What a great story, Pips! Any more like that?
Beast has started to retreat now and I am grateful to the no makeup law, which has meant that it’s just been left to heal, instead of being covered up every day. It took two weeks to begin its retreat. I wonder how long it would have taken if it hadn’t been free to breath? Smug, smug me.
When this experiment is over, I know I will totally cover those Beasts up again. Not if I am in my house, nor even if I’m just meeting a pal for coffee, but if I am going out-out. And I feel like that is what makeup up should be for. For those moments when you just want to cover something up and look like a movie star. Even movie stars don’t look like movie stars all the time. So why should I try and look like one every day?
I’m on the home stretch: I am so used to not wearing makeup, the spots are not as annoying or upsetting as they used to be. I really have got used to going out with them on display. But still, twice this week I almost folded: the usual culprits, a party and a show, where everyone would be looking their best. But I didn’t. Because it is just one spot. One Beast and if I cave for one Beast, what am I saying? That beast controls me? YOU DON’T CONTROL ME, BEAST! Netflix does.
Biscuit I most resembled this week: Jammy Dodger.
Hours spent thinking about makeup: About an hour.
Enquiries into my health? No enquiries, but a weird interaction with a beauty consultant that I shall go into more detail about…
Pippa Evans is a comedian, improviser and the co-founder of Sunday Assembly. She lives in London.