Image: a box of too cool for school’s All-in-One Egg Mellow Cream.
Friends, I bring you important knowledge, because I love you and I want you to live your best selves, be your best lives, take time for roses, and smell the you.
Especially that last one.
I have face skin from hell. My face skin is what face skin people call “combination” skin, which is a charitable way of saying “nope, it’s fucked, you’re fucked, everything is fucked up and by everything we mean your face, it’s hopeless, now please go somewhere else to cry because crying is going to make your skin look even worse and nobody needs to see that.” My skin is simultaneously oily and peeling, translucent and freckled, scarred to hell and smooth as a baby’s behind except when HA HA YOU STILL HAVE THE SAME ACNE AT 35 THAT YOU DID AT 15.
So naturally, I shop pretty hard for my face lotion, and when I find one I like, I don’t let it go. Until it betrays me by being discontinued by its capitalist pig supplier, like Burt’s Bees did by ending its standard day lotion about a year ago.
I straggled through with Clinique’s Dramatically Different moisturizer for a few months, parceling it out in nanoliters because using any amount visible to the naked eye gave me a raging case of subcutaneous hellpimples, but now that that bottle is nearly empty, I decided to see what else was available.
Too cool for school’s All-In-One Egg Mellow Cream sounded pretty good on the Intertubes. It claims to do basically everything all your other over-the-counter facepotions do (except shield you from the DNA-shredding radiation of THAT GLARING BALL OF SKYFIRE, but I digress), only in one bottle. Plus collagen.
So I ordered it.
Friends, I do not know if this moisturizer does all five things it claims to do. I do not know if it does even one of the things it claims to do. I do not know if it moisturizes. I don’t even know if I still have skin.
Because for the past 36 hours, my entire world has been consumed by the Egg Mellow Cream’s smell.
Let me back up.
The Egg Mellow Cream arrives. I put some on my face.
I notice that it has the most unpleasant smell of any face goo I have ever goo’ed onto my face. I say out loud to my husband, “This stuff smells like my grandmother’s closet.”
Because it does. Some 25 years ago, I had the dubious honor of cleaning out my deceased great-grandmother’s bedroom. Among her possessions was a shoebox packed with half-used bottles of perfume.
There were about three dozen bottles in that box. No two were alike, and none of them were younger than I was. The shoebox was tucked in the back corner of a closet stacked with mothballs, old fabric patterns, and medical equipment, and it had been there for about fifteen years.
This stuff smells exactly like that shoebox.
In hindsight, I should have aborted the mission right there, but my face was flaking and I’m a fool.
I decide to suck up the smell. In my experience, the smell of face lotion dissipates within a minute or two. Makes sense, right? I mean, who wants to jam an entire bottle of face lotion up their nostrils every morning?
Egg Mellow Cream thinks you do.
Not only does the smell refuse to dissipate, it gets stronger. I swear this on the River Styx. Which probably smells a lot like this face lotion, only with less despair and fewer crushed dreams.
About twenty minutes in, I decide to cut my losses. I wash my face.
I can still smell this stuff.
I clean my face with makeup remover.
I can still smell this stuff.
I frost my face with Pond’s cold cream and sit around for a few minutes, hoping cold cream has some magic stench-absorption powers I have heretofore left undiscovered.
I can still smell this stuff.
Getting desperate, I do something I swore I would never do again: I wash my face with actual bar soap. Twice.
…And I can still smell this stuff, although now it’s dissipated from my face sufficiently that I can tell I’m not smelling it from my face directly. I start sniffing around.
The smell is in my hair.
It’s on my clothes.
It’s in my bedding.
It’s on my hands, my shoulders, my forearms. It’s on my hairbrush. It’s on my cats.
Basically, if something that smells like this stuff has touched something else in my house that smells like this stuff, that thing smells like this stuff too.
And, weirdly, the smell does not dissipate as it travels. Egg Mellow Cream’s fragrance particles can apparently defy the laws of conservation of matter: whatever I touched smelled as strongly as that drop of this face lotion that I first squeezed out of the bottle, all those long-past and sorely-lamented minutes ago.
I say some swears, stuff my clothes and all my bedding down the laundry chute, and take a shower.
Three shampooings, four full-body soap scrubbings, and one Neti pot incident later, I step out of the shower. I grab a towel.
Halfway through toweling off, I realize: I’m giving off an odor vaguely reminiscent of an opossum, if the opossum had put in double overtime at a perfume factory followed by a wild evening of chewing its way through a roadside deer corpse. And if the opossum was also my great-grandmother.
The smell of this stuff has transferred to the towel I used after I washed my face four times to get rid of the smell of this stuff. And now it’s all over my body. Again.
I get back in the shower.
Tl;dr it’s now 36 hours later, and I’m still catching whiffs of Egg Mellow Cream, despite my valiant attempts to quarantine and clean everything it or I might possibly have touched. I have showered four times and had my hair washed by a sympathetic hairstylist once.
The product my hairstylist put in my hair to mask the smell of the Egg Mellow Cream washed right out in the shower. The actual smell of the Egg Mellow Cream did not.
This fragrance of the damned has been stuck in my nostrils for 36 hell-bound hours, making everything in my world smell like a geriatric Rose Bowl float. I even sought a change of olfactory scene by cleaning the cats’ litterboxes this morning, but according to my nose, my cats poop cursed face lotion.
And, of course, having that many particles of this lotion stuffed in my nose means I don’t want to eat, either, because everything tastes like Egg Mellow Cream now.
Perhaps I should have read the product description more carefully before ordering; I wasn’t aware that “recreate the youthful glow of licking the knockoff perfume display at the 7-11” was one of the five things this product could do for me.
Thanks to all the washings, my face skin is far more rekt now than it was before I tried this product. But I can promise that at least one of its effects will be with you forever, whether you want it to be or not.