The Ghostly Lass Who Wanders the Cliffs Reveals Her Skincare Secrets: A Beauty Satire

Amy haunts the shores of Salmsille, a seaside town, in search of her lost beloved, and uses a foaming cream cleanser despite very serious misgivings.

by amy zimmer
Jul 24 2018, 6:46pm

Hey! I’m Amy, and when GARAGE asked me to detail my skincare routine, I jumped at the chance. Skincare can be such a source of comfort and renewal for so many out there, so I’m excited to share the routine that works for me, with the products that keep my skin fighting fit.

Before I begin, I’d like to mention I am of sound mind and body. I know the difference between reality and fantasy, no matter how thin the veil gets. Usually this doesn’t interfere with my skincare, but I think it’s worth mentioning.

My morning routine begins with cleansing, one of the most important steps if you’re looking to rid your skin of its past. I start with a foaming cream cleanser.

I’ll say that foam has always been a bit suspicious to me. So has cream cleanser, but I won’t explain that now. Foam is a pitiless mistress––she reminds the mind that one can both exist and not all at once. Jets of seafoam spray me often when I walk the cliffs of Salmsille, the place where I live currently, and currently live right now. I walk the cliffs because that’s where I last saw my lost love’s shadow, some years ago.

The fishmongers tolerate me, (what are fishmongers if not tolerant?), though most of Salmsille thinks me mad. Still, I know I saw my love’s apparition there. So I walk to see it, one last time.

Oh. And I wear sunscreen. I prefer one that’s multi-functioning—something that won’t aggravate my already skittish temperament, or smudge when I retch over old love letters my jealous guardian’s kept from me. I wear an SPF of 30, minimum, and if it’s a sunny day on the crags, I’ll throw on a depraved little sunhat for extra protection.

Salmsille is a small coastal town, but I see it changing, much like the rest of the world. With my lover gone, I’ve time to worry. I worry we’re building things faster than our minds can understand, and, in a way, we’re doing this with the unconscious hope that what we build may take over entirely, as if this might solve a self-inflicted destruction. The impulse seems almost psychosexual. Much like my exfoliator––I use a glycolic peach scrub. It’s gentle enough for sensitive skin, but effective enough that my dermatologist said not to use it on sensitive skin.

Toner follows. Toner is so important, because it’s one of the last assets I have to my name. Toner balances the skin’s PH and shrinks the pores, something my lover would’ve appreciated. My lover had haunting pores, like yogurt lids.

I reach for a balancing toner with hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, and cherry cordial. In the morning, I take a few drops and slap the thin water into my face. Nights are different–in the sun’s absence, I can more clearly see my lover, a flash of brocade against the coastline. My lover wore brocade. When I remember this, I go completely numb. I feel lost and unknowable, like a puzzle of a race car. My breath quickens, chest heaving beneath my bias-cut maxi dress, my razor-cut layers clinging to my sweaty temples.

This goes on for hours. When it’s over, I apply toner with a cotton pad. I work in an upward motion, avoiding my eyes––but if I’m being honest? I’ve been avoiding my eyes for decades.

As for serum? Mine is a retinol. I’ve spent many nights awake in bed, wondering what that says about me. The serum is slick and heavy, like my neighbor’s eyes the night she found me caught in her Bougainvilleas. I tried my best to explain that I’d taken a midnight stroll, lost track of my thoughts, and stumbled while in my espadrille pumps, but she wouldn’t hear it. My explanation was not nearly as effective or nourishing as my daily moisturizer, which I’m excited to tell you about next.

I use an inexpensive, drugstore moisturizer. It’s “an emollient with ceramides,” a phrase I like to repeat to myself whenever I feel I’m losing myself to the passions of the past. It’s also super hydrating, and won’t dry out when the loons urge me back to the cliffsides again.

Ok! That’s it for me. I hope you enjoyed this routine, as it’s been a real process of testing many different products, and just general trial and error. If you’re interested in any of the products I’ve mentioned, I’ve listed them on a scarf I know I buried somewhere. And if you’d like to hear even more about my skincare journey, follow Roy, the gentlest fishmonger. Roy is remote and strong chinned, and offers me cockles when I’m out walking. If there’s been any change in my skin’s evenness and overall texture, Roy would absolutely be the first to say.