Discover more from The Rhubarb Society
Vol.14 - Starting On Social Media & Skincare Secrets
Happy Sunday! How is everyone? What have you all been up to? I can’t believe it’s already February?? I’m pleased to say that some of the ‘habits’ I implemented at the start of the year are still going strong. I still use my Athena Diary religiously to track my tasks, habits and goals. It’s also just been great for organising myself and holding myself accountable for the things I told myself I’d get around to. Henry and I are still bumbling through our weekly Italian lessons. I understand what people mean when they say languages are best learned as a child. My brain seems to be absorbing and then rejecting the information in the space of 24 hours. As I write this intro, I’m listening to the hold music for HMRC (currently 49 minutes and counting). My thoughts are with all of my fellow self-employed brits who have been bent over by the government this week. I don’t think I’m particularly naive, and I always tend to ere on the side of caution, but I had a mini heart attack when my accountant told me my tax bill was DOUBLE what I’d initially (over) estimated. ANYWAY, on to more fun things. I’ve been heavily considering the idea of starting a YouTube channel because A) I love posting Tiktok vlogs, but they are never long enough, and B) it’s something that I get asked to do daily. I bought a Sony ZV-1 with the tripod thing, which I’m practising with. I don’t know if or when anything will go up, but my channel is here should you want to subscribe and find out. As the paid subscribers found out last week, Henry and I are finally starting the process of having Rhubarb Society merch, and whilst we are taking some time with it to make sure everything is perfect and the quality is top tier, please enjoy some sneak peeks of the renders we received from our wonderful illustrator below! With that, let’s begin…
In last week’s issue, I spoke about going through quite a significant personal change. It was one that I had been stressed about for a while; however, as somebody who is very good at suppressing any strong feelings and convincing myself that I’m completely fine, I hadn’t realised the side effects this would have. Of course, my body needed to find another way to release said stress and anxiety, and it chose my skin. I’m very lucky in the respect that my skin is pretty good, even when it’s ‘bad’ by my standard. However, when it is bad, I tend to stress over and fixate on it, making it ten times worse. Over the last few weeks, I’d been having consistent breakouts around my cheeks and jaw, which were very unusual for me outside of the few days leading up to my period. I hadn’t put two and two together that my stress was impacting my hormones and my skin until it started to clear up after I was on the other side of my big, stressful, personal transition. Whilst products and treatments are crucial to good skin, it’s also essential to figure out what is going on internally, as so much of our internal is reflected in our external. For this segment, I want to discuss various tips and tricks I use for my skin, as well as products and treatments I love.
Face Mapping - I’m a big fan of face mapping, and I often use it as a tool to figure out what’s going on in my body. People often talk about hormonal breakouts around their chin and jaw, which stemmed from Chinese face mapping!
Lymph and Neck Massage - In recent years, I’ve learned how important it is to support your lymphatic system and keep it drained, particularly when it comes to your skin. Massaging your neck whilst applying your skincare is such an easy way to open up the channels to allow everything to drain from your face, and even better, it’s something you can do at home for free. There are loads of great guided Youtube videos, but Lisa is one of my favourites to follow on IG, and I love her routines.
Food - It sounds obvious, but you really are what you eat. Many foods can cause inflammation in your body and, as a by-product, cause inflammation in your skin. For women, it’s even more important to ensure we are keeping in tune with our cycle and eating and moving appropriately for each phase. It’s crazy that as A) someone who is nearly 30 years old and B) someone who went to an all-girls school, I’ve only learned about this in the last year or two! I love the Amina Mundi products, but I love their blogs even more, and they have a great article about food to eat and ways to take care of your body during each phase.
Supplements - This kind of goes hand in hand with the above, but I like taking herbs and supplements for additional support alongside eating correctly. I’m a big fan of Organic Olivia’s herbal tinctures (the liver juice, digestive juice, and thyropro are my faves). I take a myriad of tablets and gummies, but in terms of actual herbal formulas, these are the best ones.
Lasers & Peels - Now, onto the treatments! I love the PRX-T33 peel at Dr Tatiana’s clinic. It’s intense, and your skin will flake and peel a few days afterwards, but it’s amazing for glowy skin. I’m also going back for some lasers after over a year, as I have pigmentation and minor acne scarring around my jaw and chin from where I’ve picked at my skin. My next treatment is on Monday, so I’ll ask Liz exactly the type of lasers she’s using on me, and then I’ll update this newsletter with her answers.
Vitamin C - I use this every morning and have been for the last two years. I didn’t realise what a difference it would make until I stopped using it. I ran out of the Murad Vitamin C & Glycolic two months ago and started using others I had been gifted. They were nowhere near as good, so last week, I topped up on my Murad and started introducing it to my routine again.
SPF - You need to wear SPF 50 every day. I don’t care where you live or how old you are; this is the one thing I wish had been forced upon me as a teenager. My favourite of all time is the Bondi Sands SP50+ (only £6.99 too). It’s moisturising, doesn’t leave a white cast, doesn’t smell and doesn’t do the weird peely thing. A slightly more expensive option that’s also really good and has the benefit of a little added glow to it is the Ultra Violette one. I got a sample in my advent calendar, and I’ve been loving it as a base under makeup.
Vichy SOS Sulphur Paste - This is my holy grail for those big, annoying blemishes that come up out of nowhere. It’s amazing at shrinking spots overnight, and it’s also a good deterrent for not picking at them. Obviously, it doesn’t smell great, but who cares if it helps your skin out?
Sudocrem - I know this is going to be controversial, but let me SPEAK MY TRUTH. When my skin is red and bumpy, or I’m having a real meltdown over an aggressive breakout, I slather this all over my face (RIP my pillows) and sleep with it overnight. Also, it’s sub £5 and lasts forever. I swear on the good lord it saves me every time.
Okay, so what the hell is everyone watching right now? I ask because Henry and I made the grave mistake of watching The Last of Us before every episode was out, so now we’re stuck in this episode limbo where we desperately wait for every Monday night to come around so we can get our fix. In an age of convenience, where everything is delivered instantly, and we no longer understand what delayed gratification is, it’s actually been quite refreshing to have something to look forward to every week. I remember playing The Last Of Us years ago at a friend’s house and not getting very far into the storyline because, frankly, it scared the shit out of me. It was strange watching the first episode because, all of a sudden, after years of completely forgetting about it, the gameplay came back to me. The show is impressively accurate and spot-on when it comes to replicating scenes from the game. I know there have only been three episodes, but this show is fucking GOOD.
Henry had never heard of the game and went in blind, and he loves it. It’s not ideal if you don’t like a jumpscare, and yes, the show is creepy and hits a little too close to home with the multiple mentions of the ‘pandemic’, but the storytelling is phenomenal. They do an excellent job at making you care about the characters involved (Pedro Pascal was a brilliant casting choice), and the pacing is perfect. At the end of each episode, Henry and I often say, ‘is it over already?’ which, in my opinion, is a good sign. The latest episode was beautiful and unexpected. I enjoyed the focus on two people trying to live a normal life, despite the abnormal circumstances. Many horror or ‘zombie’ tv shows and films rely on high-stakes drama, gunfire, and violence to keep viewers engaged, whereas episode 3 of The Last of Us chose to follow a love story (much to many angry, online, homophobes dismay). They even get bonus points for playing On The Nature of Daylight, which hit just as hard here as it did in Arrival (I’m embedding it below because I think everybody needs to hear this song). I hope that The Last Of Us continues in this vain and doesn’t suffer from The Walking Dead syndrome.
In other film news, there’s been an investigation happening in regards to Andrea Riseborough’s Oscar nomination this year. I remember first hearing about the film ‘To Leslie’ on Twitter. I’d seen a few major actors and actresses praising her performance on that silly little bird app (Cate Blanchett tweeted something along the lines of ‘it is the greatest female performance onscreen I have ever seen in my life.’). Whilst it certainly caught my attention, I didn’t think too much of it, and instead I just mentally added it to my ‘must watch’ list. I then started seeing celebrities post about the film on Instagram, talking about hosting private screenings and singing the praises of both Andrea and To Leslie itself. Then, the Oscar nominations came around and out of nowhere, Andrea was suddenly an Oscar nominee. For a film that made only $27,000 at the box office during its initial release, the whole thing just seemed odd. Fast forward a few weeks, and all of a sudden this celebrity driven ‘campaign’ is being investigated by The Academy. After looking into it more, it really was obscene. There were at least 15 A-listers, using the same buzz words and sentences to describe Andrea’s performance in this film, and they were talking about it at any given opportunity.
The Academy recently came out to say that after said investigation, her nomination wouldn’t be rescinded. There is a ‘proper’ way to campaign when it comes to Awards season, and this was clearly not above board. Investigation aside, this begs the bigger question (or questions) as to why this level of co-ordinated, celebrity campaigning hasn’t been done on this scale before and why it hasn’t been used to bolster previous deserving nominees who are often overlooked? I’ve seen a lot of discourse around this issue online, and the central debate is that of race. Why is it fair that phenomenal actresses like Viola Davis have been snubbed for their performance this year because they didn’t have a circle of wealthy, white, influential celebrities at their disposal to praise their performance publically and incessantly? I’m in two minds about this because I am thrilled that this years nominations are actually diverse (with thanks to Everything, Everywhere, All at Once) but it also feels insane that it has taken so long to get to this place when there have been countless Oscar worthy performances over the years from POC that have been overlooked. When you add an issue like Andrea’s campaign to the mix, it only adds to the sense of injustice when someone can get fast tracked, seemingly because of their race and their connections to other wealthy, white, influential individuals. I’m not saying that Andrea’s performance isn’t great, nor is she unworthy of the nomination, but it seems as though this may set a new precedent as to how future nominations might go which will largely only benefit a certain group of people.
THE CLUB CORNER
a feature in which I take recurring topics and questions from my DM’s and try my best to answer them - on today’s menu, we have;
‘Any advice for someone wanting to start on social media/their own substack?’
So for ease, I’ve condensed many versions of the above into one question. People often ask for tips on starting a Substack/how to be a better writer/how to grow their social media/how to even start their social media etc etc. I personally see Substack as an entirely different platform to the rest of social media, so I’m going to write about them separately and the things I’ve learned about each.
To be honest, the hardest bit of starting a Substack is actually starting it. When it comes to writing, I think it’s easy to be overly critical of yourself. What if I’m a bad writer? What if no-one reads it? What if everything I put on here is just complete and utter rubbish?? You have to remind yourself that the first draft is not the final draft. Whatever you end up putting down onto this scary, blank page can alway be edited again, and again, and again. You do, however, have to think about why you’re starting one in the first place. One thing that really surprised me with Substack is truly how long writing takes. It sounds ridiculous, but some weeks it can take me upwards of 6 hours to write, edit, and beautify an issue that is read in less than 15 minutes. If you’re starting a Substack and it’s not coming from a place of love or genuine passion, it’s very quickly going to turn into a labour. In my mind, writing should be an outlet that ‘sparks joy’ (love you, Marie Kondo), especially if it’s one you’re sharing with a community.
This is why I love to write about things that inspire me or intrigue me because my favourite thing is being able to share them with other people and have them share back to me. Maybe you want to use Substack as a personal outlet where you discuss things that are weighing heavy on your mind? Or perhaps you want to explore a topic in depth that you haven’t seen written about anywhere else? Whatever your reason, it has to be coming from you and it has to spark something inside of you. Also, find a style that works for you. I always think it’s very generous when people ask me how to be a better writer, because frankly, I don’t think I’m an entirely good one. I like to write as I would to a friend, and it’s often just a more edited version of my stream of consciousness. I am also a visual person which is why I spend extra time finding the right images, commissioning illustrations of Rhubarb, formatting my posts, and combing over the links to all of my recommendations. On the flip side, you have someone like Emily Mariko who is straight to the point with her writing, her style, and her visuals. Stick to what works for you because there will be plenty of people out there who it will also work for. Don’t put an inordinate amount of pressure on yourself, just start the process and the rest will come naturally.
When I do Instagram Q&As, a lot of people ask me how to grow on social media quickly. Yes, there are strategies you can implement, and it doesn’t hurt to know how the algorithm is working (although it seems to change with the weather) or the best time of day to post, but as I’ve already mentioned, you have to think about the reason why you’re starting a social media. Do you want it to be your full time job? Are you using it to promote your business? A product? Are you simply looking to make a little bit of money on the side? I know it’s incredibly tiring to hear, but you really do have to post authentically to you. Post the things you enjoy and that you would want to watch. When I first started posting satirical sketches back in 2020, I did it for my own amusement and because I also love storytelling. I hadn’t seen anyone doing anything like that at the time, so I didn’t expect anything to come of it until the videos started to go viral and my following grew.
Most ‘influencers’ I know didn’t start social media because they wanted to be an influencer, and usually the ones who do are the ones who burn out quickly or fail to have longevity. I also know influencers with massive followings who haven’t been able to monetise successfully and make it a viable career. Why? because they haven’t fostered a community. A lot of creators fall into the trap of posting things they think will go viral or garner attention/followers without being truly authentic to themselves or thinking about building a real community. Social media is so saturated, yet there’s still space for people to rise and succeed with popular and widely done formats. Let me give you two relevant examples. Alix Earle is the recent name that has been doing the rounds as she has had a stratospheric rise to ‘fame’ in such a short amount of time. Her format? GRWMs. How many people have we seen do get ready with me’s in the history of the internet? What makes Alix any different? Part of Alix’s popularity is simply because what she’s doing seems relatable. She talks about personal things, her life is pretty chaotic, she doesn’t sugar coat and she can be vulnerable at times. She engages with her community and in turn, they love and trust her and the word starts to spread. Same goes for Matilda Djerf. She hasn’t reinvented the wheel in terms of her content and there are thousands of girls doing it like her, but they’re just not quite her. It all goes back to…that’s right…authenticity and community. On the flip, I would take someone like Tinx and argue that she has suffered from the reverse (feel free to debate me on this, but in my honest opinion it’s crazy to see how she has gone from one end of the spectrum to the other as an avid follower of her from 2020).
If you want to start on social media, or continue to grow on social media, never feel embarrassed for putting out the content that makes you happy and that you enjoy. Post the things that you would want to see and don’t worry if it’s something you think has been done before, because ultimately, nobody is going to do it like you…you’ll always bring a unique spin to anything you put out. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, just try and post consistently and authentically. It’s okay to take inspiration from the creators you love, but it’s also very obvious when you’re directly copying and it’s not coming from you. Also, overnight sensations are a dime a dozen, so don’t feel disheartened if you’re not going viral or growing as quickly as you’d like. We all have our flop era’s (can you tell I spend too much time online?) but they don’t last forever. It’s also worth thinking about things that you’re not willing to bend on. Personally, for me, it’s showing friends/family/henry in my videos, and on the rare occasion that I do, I have always asked their permission first. I also have a strong boundary when it comes to working with certain brands or discussing certain topics. I think it’s always easier to introduce things overtime as you feel more comfortable, but it’s much harder to take things back. For some people, their relationships and parts of their private life are a big part of their content and that’s great if it works for you, but just be mindful as people can be awful online and feel entitled to those intimate parts of your life.
So, in last week’s issue, I included this section, but as the newsletter was for paid subscribers only, I thought I’d also include it again for everyone else to use. Brands often give me codes to share, and I either A) forget I have them or B) never know when they expire. So, I thought keeping a list would not only keep me accountable for checking on these but would also be a good opportunity for you to share brands with me that you’d like me to try and ask for discounts for. I recently spoke to Rowing Blazers, who said they’d get back to me on providing a personal one, so hopefully, other brands will have the same reaction! Perhaps this is a section that’s included and updated monthly. Let’s see how generous the brands are feeling.
ESPA SKINCARE (‘TAMSIN’ FOR 15% OFF) - ESPA are fantastic for bringing the spa experience to your home. You can buy everything from silk pillowcases to candles (they recently sent me this frankincense and myrrh one, which is gorgeous) to body polish…the fact this exact one has 2070 5-star reviews says it all.
BYROTATION (‘TAMSIN15’ for 15% OFF) - Where I rent all of my clothes for events (including that purple Willy Wonka suit you guys loved).
PERRICONE MD (‘TAMSIN’ FOR 30% OFF ALMOST EVERYTHING) - This shit is expensive, but I get why because it works. I’m still religiously using my neck serum and my cold plasma face serum (currently scraping the ends out of the jar, I need to top up using my own discount code, LOL).
BEAUTYPIE (‘TAMSINSENTME’ FOR £10 OFF ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP) - I remember being a member of BeautyPie when they started with a small selection of skincare and makeup. Now they’re becoming a one-stop beauty destination with everything from supplements (love their new vitamin gummies and green powder), to cashmere accessories (Henry stole my beanie) and candles (because, iykyk).
CHRISTOPHE ROBIN (‘TAMSIN’ FOR 30% OFF) - You guys know the drill by now, but it’s always worth reiterating. The salt scrub and the regenerating masks are the GOAT. Nothing makes my hair as soft as the regenerating range; it’s INSANE. Also, their serum has heat protection in it, so it’s a win-win.
ILLAMASQUA (‘TAMSIN’ FOR 25% OFF) - I was introduced to these lipsticks on a brand trip last November, and they are so, so beautiful. I can’t vouch for any of their other makeup, but their antimatter lipstick range is amazing.
IRIS AVENUE (TELL THEM RHUBARB SENT YOU FOR 10% OFF) - This is obviously very London specific, but it is my favourite salon ever (also one of my favourite bars too, weirdly). You can’t use this as a code online but when you go to pay, just tell them you know Rhubarb, and they’ll give you the discount. Also, order a Pandan Latte.
ROWING BLAZERS (‘SIGNUM’ FOR 10% OFF) - Okay, technically not my discount (although I’ve just DM’ed them asking for one), but it came with my last order from them, so I thought I’d share it anyway, as I love this brand, but their stuff is expensive, so, every little helps.
And that’s all from the fourteenth issue of The Rhubarb Society! If you’re keen to get ahead of next week’s segment of ‘The Club Corner’, please feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments below, via email or in my DMs. If there’s anyone you think would be an excellent fit for The Rhubarb Society, please do extend the invitation below.
Lots of love,
Tamsin & Rhubarb