I’m almost 30, so I don’t know know what’s cool anymore. I can barely keep up with what’s going on in my own life, let alone Steph Curry’s shoe line, Reese Witherspoon’s daughter , and some frog on a unicycle.
I have no desire to download Pokemon Go, or to post shelfies (ugh) on Instagram. And, I don’t even want to get into the hornets’ nest that is Snapchat. I learned about how it works from an article where a 30-year-old man followed around his 13-year-old sister and made observations.
I guess you’re supposed to use Snapchat to document how hip you are to millions of people #blessup.
Right now, the only person I follow (am friends with? Snap at? What’s even the right terminology here?) is my friend from college. I send her videos of my daughter laughing for 40 seconds.
I am pitiful and ancient, and someone needs to take away my rights to my smartphone and any applications that allow me to send YOLO stickers to other human beings with actual jobs and mortgages.
So I cling to my youth the only way I know how: by reading about trends. For example, last month, I found out that Korean beauty products have been a Thing for the last two years.
Two things appeal to me about Korean skincare.
First, it involves not wearing any actual makeup, which suits me fine, because I hate everything about makeup: picking the right kind, putting it on, taking it off, and actually wearing it.
The deal with Korean products is that them is apparently that Korean women are really into skincare. Like really. Like 10 steps or more every day. Actually, researching the specifics made me wonder of Korean women have time for anything other than constantly moisturizing.
The average Korean woman uses fifteen- fifteen! - different skincare products on a daily basis. The Korean skincare industry tried to sell more facial products to Korean women, but realized if it tried to push them anymore, their faces would all melt off. So the industry has started exporting, and the U.S. is now its third-largest market.
Second, all of the products are mildly creepy. For example, there is donkey milk, a cream extracted from snails, and facial masks in the shape of tigers that would scare the living hell out of an unsuspecting visitor.
After reading about this, I decided I would finally get on the bandwagon, and I did some serious research (aka skimming a couple of linked NYMag articles.) I bought a bunch of stuff on Amazon. And then, because I didn’t want to be the only person putting snail extract on my skin, I called my mom. “Hey, want to come over and try some skincare products,” I asked her.
(please disregard the sippy cups and stray toddler arm imagine I’ve staged these products according to the unwritten rules portrayed in this Tumblr.)
- Egg White cleaner
- Sherbet Cleanser
- Creepy Sheet Masks
- Snail repair cream +Peel-off Charcoal Mask
- Bubble Clay Mask
Knowing my mom’s perpetual disappointment in a daughter who hates anything to do with cosmetics and would rather talk about the latest book she’s read (Digital Apollo. Seriously. Read it. I need someone to discuss it with and Mr. B is tired of hearing about the AGC ) than the latest skirt she’s scored at TJ Maxx, I thought this would go over well.
“What do you have,” my mom asked suspiciously.
“Just some Korean beauty products,” I said nonchalantly.
“Oh, don’t you know, they’re the latest rage. EVERYONE uses them. I’m surprised you haven’t heard of them,” I admonished her, closing all the tabs I’d been frantically scanning for the past half hour.
“Ok,” my mom said. She came, we put the toddler to bed, and I presented my range of wares to her.
“Which one do we do first?” she asked.
I faltered. “I’m not sure.”
“I thought you were the expert?”
“Oh, I have no idea actually, I just looked some stuff up online. Which one looks like the creepiest to you?”
We paused, examining the merchandise. The charcoal mask looked super-creepy, but we didn’t have time. We opted for the bubble clay mask. (“The Amazon reviews say that it grows right on your face and fizzes!”)
We opened the container. We had no idea how to use it. We had to find video.
We watched the video of the girl applying the mask, and did the same. We sat in contemplative silence, broken only by the occasional fizzing of the mask, making sure our faces weren’t falling off.
“I’m so glad I have you to find out all this cool stuff. This is fun, “ my mom said. “Oh yeah, I know everything, I’m so hip,” I said, glamorously, before I had to shut my mouth as my foamed over onto my lips and nostrils.
In reality, I was already thinking about all the new stuff I have to keep up with (David Cameron’s voice as a ringtone), and how soon I could enlist Miss B in the process.