Written by Celia Pacquola


What’s My Secret?

If you have flawless skin, the chances are Celia Pacquola’s already noticed it. The comedian talks beauty notions, strange lotions and itsy, bitsy pots.

What’s My Secret?

I’m aging gracefully. By which I mean, I’m aging.

I know I’m aging because I have become preoccupied with other people’s skin. I’m pretty sure I never used to be. But now, oh I don’t stop! On a bus. In a queue. My eyes narrow, ‘look at your skin…’ I think. ‘It’s perfect. You probably wake up like that don’t you, you animal.’

As far as I can tell, no one knows what the ‘secret’ to youth and beauty is. All we know is that if there IS a secret to youth and beauty, it will definitely come in a teeny tiny container.

Yes. The secret of youth and beauty will never be in a two litre, pump action, poorly labeled bottle in a specials bucket. No. It will be tiny. Sexy lady scientists in white lab coats, or someone kneeling beside a rare plant on a mountaintop will discover it.

Don’t worry guys, ladies magazines will tell us when they find it. Forget the three thousand other times we’ve said this: THIS new one is THE one. THIS is the secret.

Women’s magazines are really bad at keeping secrets. Often ’X number of beauty secrets revealed!’ will be emblazoned on a front cover, whilst somewhere a furious scientist screams ‘I TOLD YOU THAT IN CONFIDENCE! Alright I’ll give you one more chance…’

But it will be in a tiny container. We know that much. It must work, look how small it is. It must be a ‘miracle’ because they can only portion it out in these miniscule pots. The same applies for clothing shops: the less clothing in a place, the more expensive and fancy it will be. Quality, not quantity. The smaller it is, the more precious it must be.

Why can’t someone answer the simple question, YES BUT WHICH ONE ACTUALLY WORKS?!

But no, clearly all the laboratories and companies got together and thought, ‘Here’s an idea, let’s say, THEY ALL WORK!’

But what if, maybe, just maybe… none of them do?

Full disclosure, my medicine cabinet is crammed with miniscule pots and tubs and tubes of these serums, solutions and ointments. Each and every one of them, a self-proclaimed ‘miracle’. Often at nighttime or in the morning or whenever I catch my reflection and think, ‘Mum? What are you doing here?’ I will smear, dab or plaster them on my face. Though most of the time I sleep in full makeup, waking the next day determined that from now on I will follow a strict beauty regime.


Worryingly, it seems to be getting worse too. There’s a new trend on the market, of ‘blurring’ make up. THAT’S RIGHT. Women’s faces have become such a problem that we must try and ERASE THE FACE. Is this the type of conversation we’re heading towards: ‘Was she hot?’ ‘Nah, she was too in focus.’

I’d love to tell you that I don’t care, that I don’t need to hide behind make up. But I can’t. If none of this applies to you and you are perfectly happy with your appearance and you have no idea what I’m banging on about, well done. Please let us know how the heck you did that. I’m not proud of my insecurities, not proud to say that in the beginning of dating someone new, I will get up early, sneak to the bathroom, adjust myself with makeup, slink back into bed and when he wakes up, be all, oh this? Cue eyelash flutter. I’m just like this when I wake up… GUYS, I AM NOT LIKE THIS WHEN I WAKE UP.

Thanks, EVERY MOVIE for perpetuating the lie that people wake up beautiful and can kiss immediately without then vomiting because of two people combining their morning ‘maybe I did eat a spider in my sleep’ breath.

Can the pattern be changed? Would it work to scream, ‘Oi women! If none of us did it, then none of us would have to. Why don’t we ALL just stop with this? Stop caring. Stop wearing makeup! Stop buying the treatments!’

Of course not. Because it’s there. I imagine most of us would think, Ok, I’ll stop doing it, if everyone else stops doing it first.

So. Here we are. I still don’t know if anything works. I DO know, that you get one face and that’s pretty much it. As the great Salt-N-Pepa said, ‘opinions are like arseholes, everybody’s got one.’ Wise words. Sure, they also said ‘Shoop, shoop e doop, shoop e doop e doop e doop’ so beware false idols I guess, but my point is, appearances are also like aresholes, everybody’s got one. You’re the only one with yours. Do what you like with it, but it shouldn’t be your whole world. You wouldn’t let your arsehole run your life, so maybe your appearance doesn’t have to either.

Just to be clear, I’m not saying you look like an arsehole. You look like you look. I also know that you see yourself differently than other people do. No one else is staring closely at your pores – except for maybe me on a bus.

I guess we’ll never know. I’ll probably keep buying this crap. I’ll probably always put some makeup on before I leave the house.

What’s my secret? I have insecurities about my appearance.

What’s my solution? To every now and then try to laugh at this stuff, instead of buying it. No matter how tiny the container is.

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Written by Celia Pacquola

Celia Pacquola is an award winning stand-up comedian, actor and writer in Australia and the UK, across television, the live stage and radio.