I recently discovered an app called 'Faceover' which is a work of genius, enabling a reasonably neat photoshopping of someone's face onto a celebrity body. This was a source of huge amusement particularly during Bernie Sanders' #mittensgate, when I got carried away inserting Bernie into various photos from friends' birthdays, and this escalated into transforming my best friends into Destiny's Child, and zhuzhed up the Daily Briefing from Downing Street to include the highly entertaining Boris Becker and Jonathan Van Ness where our bumbling PM and his sidekick Jonathan van Tam should have been.
This got me thinking about Queer Eye: the show in which the very excellent Jonathan Van Ness and his four compadres transform not only the image of the person who's been nominated, but more importantly their outlook on life. They do this by showering them with relentless compliments, gently unearthing insecurities, helping mend broken relationships, and empowering them to embrace their best qualities (and I'll write more about confidence and mental wellbeing very soon, friends). This really is the ultimate feel-good show. It's like the Repair Shop for people. In fact I had the idea of writing to JVN to ask him for tips on how to replace all those sachets, bottles, and plastic tubs with stuff that's still good for our skin, but kinder on the planet, when lo and behold (um, yes way that's still a phrase) they did the perfect episode! It featured a young climate activist in Philadelphia, and everything they did was using sustainable brands, reclaimed furniture or upcycling. And they even switched their gas-guzzling 8-seater stretched-nav-esque behemoth for bicycles! I was in Heaven!
So I did a little research into what similar skincare items are available in the UK. Fortunately this coincided with a Zoom facial girls' night (I amused myself rearranging those first three adjectives. Waay too much spare time). Initial fears over the potential to be interrogated about my non-existent morning skincare routine (snorts into coffee) were quelled by the fact that the skincare range in question was Neal's Yard, which I already knew had an eco slant to it, and hence I would be able to deftly redirect questions to this topic. Let's gloss over the fact that I didn't have a non-carwash sponge to use to apply the creams, and only managed to find a rather grey dishcloth. Well friends, relax a while because Neal's Yard use ethically-sourced and often Fairtrade ingredients, providing jobs for local communities in countries like Nepal, Uganda and Mexico. They don't use plastic microbeads (um what are these even?) and they fund our sadly dwindling but still very epic bee population! Bees are so great. Let's come back to them one day soon, yes?
You can bet I asked about plastic tubs and what's their plan for the way forward there. Clearly it's better to refill your own tubs if you are lucky enough to live close to a zero waste store. And shampoo bars are a very excellent and portable alternative to squeezy bottles. Though if like me, you are optically challenged, ensure you don't get muddled during a sleepy early-morning shower and apply a bar of shaving soap to your locks by accident. Nobody really wants a barnet smelling of Old Spice, especially if it's already been a stressful peak-bathroom-time boobs-first into a surprisingly cold shower. You're gonna need the comfort of a nice eco-friendly moisturiser waiting for you on the other side of that nightmare.
And finally I can recommend ditching the cotton wool and greasy make-up remover. I'm not suggesting you go au naturel (*winks*), just switch to a washable pad like the amazing Face Halo, which you just wet with water and it even removes mascara. Gasp! You can buy this from Boots, and Holland and Barrett. And you can use your redundant make-up remover bottle to make a bee hotel! See how this loops round nicely?
Well stay safe and keep smiling, and I dare you to try and replace just one of your usual cosmetic range with something that's a bit more planet-friendly. Either in its ingredients or packaging. Or both! And remember, all that alcohol gel and hand washing can be really harsh on our hard-working hands right now, so don't forget: moisturiser is your friend. Just let that sink in...