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Going South: Men and their beauty product thieving

November 26th 2013 / Imogen Edwards-Jones


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Imogen Edwards-Jones will share anything except her beauty products. If only her husband would understand that rule...

I like to think I’m a generous person. I’m quite kind; I’ll lend you a tenner, buy you a drink, let you smoke all my fags and I might even lend you my best Valentino party dress (I know, I still can’t believe I actually have one either!). You can borrow my bathing suit, lounge on my sofa, suck on my last Rolo, keep my children (I’m over them), have three whole Cheese and Onion crisps; but don’t you ever, EVER come between me and my goddamn face creams!

I don’t know what it is, but there’s nothing that makes me growl and snarl like a scorned she-wolf than anyone so much as poking their sweaty great conks into my creams. Hands off the Clarins! Paws of the Estee Lauder! It’s mine, all mine and your wrinkled old crepe-face can go begging elsewhere! To say I am a cream possessive is something of an understatement.

Since I have been working for the unctuous Gloss, a few girlfriends have tried; they dropped a few hints, popped round, but ultimately, they’ve failed to come away with much more than a lipgloss. My family have swung by and attempted to lift a thing or two. So has my mum. But the worst, by far, is my husband.

He’s a cream thief. A terrible one. Early on in my Gloss career he developed a taste for Simon Therapie’s Gold Acid Free Micro Peel, £120, which is a little piece of beauty gold-dust, or actual gold. It smooths, plumps and perks your skin and at £120 a bottle, is something you use sparingly, frugally and in little pearl-sized drops on your face in the shower perhaps once, or twice, a month.

But a bloke doesn’t understand that. A bloke doesn’t understand abstemious. A bloke doesn’t nibble a bar of chocolate so that it lasts all night. They’ll wolf it down like a chum-starved Labrador and are a bit bewildered to find out they’ve finished the lot.

“This is good shit!” My husband yelled one morning from the shower as I heard him squeeze vigorously on the bottle. “Can you get some more?” I ran in like a scalded cat. “Get off! That’s mine!” “Or was,” he said, lamely shaking the empty bottle at me. Turns out he’d been using a palmful, every day on his fat face, for the past month. The profligate bastard!

Next, the Elemis Pro-Intense Lift Effect Night Cream, £95, caught his eye and it wasn’t long before he’d managed to scoop at least half, or £45 worth, of the deliciously thick cream up with his chunky finger. “This is nice,” he’d say as he slathered it all over his face, neck and hands. Following that he steamed through the Skinceuticals, had most of my Caudalie Premier Cru and he’s even had a go at the “Princess” Enzyme Mask by Harley Street Skin Care and pronounced it: “Not bad, not bad at all.”

His man-theft was getting out of control. Nothing was safe. Until about two weeks ago when he rang me up in a bit of stew.

“I’ve got acne,” he proclaimed. “It’s everywhere! And it’s definitely one of your bloody lady creams.”

“What did you use?” I asked gently punching the air, believing there was a God, after all.

“I can’t remember.”

“Poor you! Did you follow the instructions?” He was too cross to hear the sarcasm.

“What instructions? It’s a cream. You just put it on.”

“Did you use too much?”

“I don’t know! I need help!”

And help eventually came in the form of some proper bloke creams that are instruction proof, fat finger proof, and the perfect way to safeguard your own stuff this Christmas.

So if you’re territorial about your potions, or a bit of a Cream Bitch, and happen to be married/living with a product-pincher; fill his stocking with some butch unctions, get some bloke cream and safeguard your own Clarin’s collection.


My husband’s verdicts on the following:

Tom Ford Collection: “The Bronzing Gel, £35, is great, a bit of sunshine in a bottle, the Skin Revitalising Concentrate, £110, is also fantastic, the packaging on the Purifying Face Cleanser, £35, is a bit condomy and life is too short for Anti Fatigue Eye Treatment, £55.”


Sisleyum For Men: Anti-Age Global Revitalizer, £160: “This is the best stuff I have ever put on my face. Ever. I love it. But at £160 a tube, it works out at about £4 a pump so you have to use it sparingly.”


Malin + Goetz Detox Face Mask, £29: “From the New York apothecary, this is good on the skin and sensibly priced so you don’t feel like you are being too fleeced. Proper bloke stuff.”


Liz Earle for Men Cleanse and Polish, £13.25: “This smells nice and feels good on the skin, I am not sure how often you are supposed to use it but it’s currently sitting in the shower and being shoved on every day.”


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