moisturiser madness

I’ve just updated the current affairs / state of the frivolous nation sticky post. Here’s for why.

The following probably sounds mad. Or merely feminine / femininely mere. At a rough guess, cause and mechanism = hormonal. Sometimes at certain times of the month, I have a preference for flowerier and “more natural” skincare. I’ve been tracking the pattern with interest. Seems to be towards end of cycle. Mid-cycle, and indeed most of the time, I feel more minimalist–maybe trying to release more of my own scent? yummy–but also sceptical, bitter and twisted, and prone to saying “bah, humbug” especially on questions of beautification.

Anyway: at the flowerier times of month–in months where there’s a flowery phase–this is what gets substituted:

  • FACE MOISTURISER: Dr.Hauschka Rose Day Cream Light
  • EYE MOISTURISER: Dr.Hauschka Eye Contour Balm

I realised this was going on quite recently, following the CeraVe disappointments and a return to a good old conservative policy of Back to Basics. Yes, I did use the words “good” and “conservative” in the same sentence, alongside something related to “politics.” That will only ever happen on sensitive-skincare issues. Promise. Sorry if that caused any panic or other palpitations. This realization on the scent front was quite aside from the usual irritability towards certain scents, which doesn’t change; and another regular one, I know I’m more scent-sensitive at certain times of month and year. And depending on other environmental factors such as what I’ve eaten beforehand, other surrounding smells, presence of rotting fruit nearby or other causes of nausea and enhanced scent-sensitivity, etc. Lovely stuff.

I haven’t tracked this very methodically–heck, there’s more to life than doing a self-portrait on an Excel spreadsheet. Taking the image further down as a better model to follow. Were Montaigne around today, I’m sure he’d be blogging. The blog-post is the present and future of the essay, and the blog the future of the book–and you’re in it right now! Scary: postmodern, hyper-realist, a hair-raisingly shiversome historical moment (and moment of presence and all that). With apologies for hyperbole and pomposity; but who cares about seeming ridiculous when this is deadly serious important stuff, or at least dear to my heart; which as we’ll see tomorrow can be two things intricately entangled and hard to untwine without breaking both. C/o Montaigne and that pretty picture of a pretty page, I was going to make a comment about moisturisers (natural/unnatural) and dry, dusty old tomes: crumbly paper, desiccated ink flaking off, dust going up your nose, and then the contents–oh, those delicious delightful dry dusty contents. Human sebum bringing old stuff like this to life, greasing it up, absorbing it into the skin, and also thereby destroying it molecule by molecule. Unfortunately, all the extended metaphors that came to mind ended up going off in Derridean directions. Which isn’t necessarily a good thing, and wasn’t the case here. Papier machine and the earlier stuff, with the lyrically beautiful but distressing passages about reading: the act of reading and its physical contact with the book as a gynomorphic fetishization of the object of desire, breaking the spine, forcibly opening up the pages, licking fingertips first–but not being too bothered about ripping corners–after all, there’s no useful usable concrete content there–etc.

Urgh.

As it so happens, IRL I’m working on related matters and materials, which is why these ideas and images are kicking around in my head a lot (Derrida; reading-reception stuff; Butler and embodiment/body politics stuff; but also, to my mind more importantly and interestingly, alternatives and rethinkings). Maybe too much. In attempting to conceptualize, formulate, and express–or at least “explore,” as the jargon would have us say–new ideas on feminine literary criticism: on writing, discussion (hence my fascination with MUA and BBB and suchlike), reading, reception and rereading and commentary and all those things that happen in and after and between readings, and the larger implications of reading. Like any lit crit stuff, knowing deep down in your bones that literature–writ large, so anything that involves observing and interpreting–is the most important thing in the entire universe ever, since the beginning of time and forever more, so there, nah. And translating that into the how and why and what’s next.

Meanwhile, happy moistuirising. If you can think of where I might take the oily-fingers-on-dry-pages metaphor next, drop me a line… so long as it’s not spam about, ahem, “personal lubricants” and fear-mongering and other evil manipulations around “intimate dryness” and, indeed, “manipulation” itself.

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