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The Tweakment Tart: An Introduction

Grazia's new weekly column, in which Polly Vernon considers the best, worst, most bizarre and most effective tweakments on offer and answers the perennial question - is it worth it?

Do you like looking pretty? I do. I mean, I’ve (sort of, briefly, vaguely, ish) struggled with it from a feminist perspective; with this endless, constant, dominant impulse to lovelify the bejesus out of myself; to prod and preen and strip and coat, curl and straighten and push up and cleanse, needle and fill and slather and dye, spritz and sprinkle and freeze and fluff. Clearly, I should be doing better things with my time, money and mind. Investing in Art. Thinking Great Thoughts.

Unfortunately, I’m too shallow, with a job that’s given me too much intel on the rapidly developing health and beauty industries, and anyway: I gave up trying to be a better, more serious person ages ago, sometime in between discovering pop music, boys, that an antibac face wash could take the edge off teenage acne, and that a well-shaped brow is more than worth the pain and faint undercurrent of fear involved in getting it threaded in a dim-lit walk-in salon somewhere up a Soho backstreet.

And the things they can do, now! The tech, the infra-red, the Active Ingredients! The lasers, the fillers, the Botox, the iifts! Now is an incredibly exciting time to be in possession of a face! It’s also an incredibly complicated time to be in possession of a face. One filled with internet hype and unrealistic promises made by unscrupulous companies hell-bent on translating your Selfie-exacerbated anxieties about what’s definitely very wrong with your head (hair/ body / etc) into a hard, fast buck. I, for example, am entirely capable of going from mega-chill to being utterly convinced my nasal labial folds are out of control in the time it takes me to read some spite-addled internet comment lurking beneath a pap snap of Tess Daly.

And so it was decided that, as a woman in possession of a face and a body and not inconsiderable amounts of vanity, a woman, furthermore, who gets offered an absurd amount of free lotions and products, sessions and “tweakments” – the cosmetic interventions which are more extreme than facials, yet don’t count as surgery, after which this internet endeavour is named - I am qualified to share with you my best, worst, more hilarious , most bizarre and most effective forays into the world of whatever it takes to maybe look a bit hotter (without entirely losing your marbles to body dysmorphia. Hopefully).

This is an introductory post, so I’ve no space for an actual review; I will, however, tell you that my fave mascara right now is Clinique’s High Impact, the one in the bottle-green tube. I like it so much I pay for it with my own money, don’t even bother blagging it as a freebie. I KNOW