Discover more from The Rhubarb Society
Vol.30 - Taking Advice From Strangers
wedding planning, wes anderson, and what to expect from skincare treatments
Firstly, a big fat happy Pride to all of those celebrating in London this weekend. I assume by the time this goes out I will still be recovering from an evening of dancing and celebrating. Henry is on a golf weekend so I am making the most of my weekend with the girls and the gays (and Rhubarb, of course). Yesterday, I asked my sister to be my maid of honour, as well as two friends to help, forming a sort of ‘maid of honour committee’. I personally did not want (and have never wanted) bridesmaids so this union felt right. If you are nosy and want to see what I put in their ‘proposal’ bags (aka an excuse for me to shop and curate a gift bag) you can watch that here. With the first thing ticked off on my growing ‘wedding planning’ to-do list, I thought it was apt to cover some of the fabulous advice some of you shared with me in regards to wedding planning. Whether you’re already married, planning to get married, or could not give a rats squiggly ass about getting married, I would love to hear all of your thoughts and advice in the comments! First though, let’s talk about treatments. I recently spoke about my Morpheus experience on IG and my DM’s were flooded about questions regarding the process and some of my go to places for skin in London. So, let’s start there…
The Skinny On Skincare
I love beauty! I love skincare!! I love treatments where I’m peeled! and poked! and lasered!! I love looking like shit for 24 hours so that I can look like a glazed donut afterwards!!! I’m pretty well-versed when it comes to the weird world of skincare but I still find myself surprised by new treatments and technologies. I recently had Morpheus (which I will talk about in more detail in a bit) but I thought it was worth talking about some of my current favourite treatments and where I go for them. If you’re an OG reader and follower, you may already know some of these, but they’re on here for a reason!
Elemis ProSculpt Facial at Harrods - I usually have my treatments done at The House of Elemis in Mayfair but they recently invited me to try out their treatment room in Harrods (tough, but someone has to be the guinea pig). I think they offer a slightly different treatment menu here but wow this was fantastic. My skin the next day was extremely glowy and lifted. It’s a very gentle treatment that works with different technologies to clean and sculpt. I personally love the cryo section of this facial and if you don’t want anything too harsh that involves peels and lasers, this is perfect.
Morpheus8 - I’d wanted to try this for aaaages but then I let my brain rot from all of the TikToks telling me it was ‘omgtheworsttreatmenteverrrr’ even though multiple people I trust (who are professionals) have sung its praises to me many times over the years. I was approached to do a brand partnership with a very well known clinic (Therapie Clinic, fyi) for something different and I said I would do it if they let me cover Morpheus as part of the video instead. I decided to do the lower half of my face (still erring on the side of caution, of course) just in case it was as brutal as everyone had said it was. Firstly, my face was numbed to the high heavens, and they even use the good stuff because it’s the same brand that’s used for my tattoo laser removal. Morpheus is basically a little device filled with needles that get stamped into your skin with radio-frequency. It’s great for lifting, tightening, acne scarring and stretch marks. The first round was pain free and all I could feel was the pressure of the device on my face. For the second round, the needles went slightly deeper which was uncomfortable at points (mainly on bony areas such as my jawline) but not unbearable. It was also over in 15 minutes so it’s a reasonable amount of time to just grin and bear it. Afterwards, my skin was a little red and felt like it had been sunburned, and for 3 days afterwards it looked like I had fallen off my bike and lightly grazed my face (/it looked like I had five ‘o clock shadow) but then, it was completely gone. It can take a few months to see full results and it works best after at least 3 treatments, but I can already see and feel a noticeable difference after 3 weeks. I am definitely going back for more treatments and I’ve decided that I will be doing my whole face.
Buccal Massage at Cloud Twelve - Damn, I love this place. I’ve stopped going for my buccal massages since I’ve been having physio on my jaw but I cannot wait to get back. Lana is a dream and she has so much knowledge about all things skin and face and, strangely, dog massage. If you’re happy for someone to put their hands in your mouth, I could not recommend a buccal massage enough. Aside from it sculpting your face, it is really relaxing to have the muscles in and around your face massaged. If you suffer from TMJ or anything jaw related, this is godly. Just to warn you, it can be painful if you have a particularly tense face, and as she works with your scalp you leave looking a little dishevelled, so don’t plan anything fancy for after your treatment.
Murad Facial at Hereshons - The Murad Method customised facial is great if you don’t really know where to start with your skin. Carol is fantastic and always knows exactly what to do with my current skin woes. If you want something a little more clinical and heavy duty, the murad facial is fantastic. Mine often includes an intense peel and a hydrafacial using Murad serums which pulls a disgusting amount of dirt out of my face. I also like that you can get a little massage during the treatment and a great smoothie from FarmGirl after you’re done.
PRX-T33 at Dr Tatiana’s - If you want an industrial, melt your face off, kind of peel, this is the one. It does feel very spicy on your skin and you face will peel/shed for a few unattractive days, but the results are fantastic. Liz is wonderful (she also does my lasering, both on my face and my tattoo removal) and if you’re a first timer or you’re feeling nervous, there is no one better to make you feel at ease.
Wedding Advice From Strangers
I don’t make it a habit to ask for advice from strangers, but there are a few exceptions to the rule. Whilst I am very much enjoying the bubble of being newly engaged, at my core, I cannot fight my Type C personality and its desire to organise and get stuck into every minute detail of wedding planning. Fortunately, we are going to save a ton on a wedding planner. Unfortunately, I am going to have my head buried in various Excels, to-do lists, and mood boards for the next two years. As I started the process, I thought I would turn to the wonderful community I have, which is always brimming with helpful tips and advice. I asked everybody the things they wish they knew before their wedding, and the results were numerous and brutal, but, most importantly, impartial. I have come to learn from your feedback just truly how many unwarranted opinions you often get from those close to you during the wedding period, and therefore I cannot think of anyone better to get advice from than strangers with good experience, a wealth of knowledge and zero personal interest! So, I’ve compiled the answers and put them into a more reader-friendly format for you all. I also actively encourage everyone to share more wedding advice and learnings in the comments below :)
Weddings bring out unexpected emotions and opinions in people - This one is going right at the top because of the sheer number of you who said something along these lines. A lot of you also mentioned how you found it was often from the people you expected it from the least. I guess this would be a good time for any brides-to-be to practice their best and most polite ‘fuck off’ smile.
Don’t get married on a Saturday (extra fees) - I’m assuming this is universal, so, duly noted.
Be firm and clear with suppliers because they often take liberties if they know it’s for a wedding - For those not opting for a wedding planner, as someone so succinctly put it, ‘Don’t be concerned about being a bitch because suppliers are like animals and they can sense weakness’. They also hike up the fees.
NO PITY INVITES - Luckily, Henry and I will not struggle with this one as we are keeping things small and intimate, but it’s a good reminder for those who have a hard time saying no. This is your day, and you should be surrounded by the people you love who will celebrate you. You don’t want to look back on your photos in years time and think ‘why the hell was that person even there?’.
Get a separate email address for all email admin - This was a fantastic tip that I have already implemented, so thank you to those who said this. I already have 4 different email accounts so there was no way in hell that my numerous wedding-related emails were going to be easy to find. Keep it all in once place and under one account.
Hire a videographer - As many of you rightly said, having video memories of the day is so special and so important (especially when it comes to older family members) and a lot of you also stressed that you regretted not having one for your wedding day. Although as someone who films and edits for a living, I already feel sorry for my videographer having to deal with me.
Find a photographer who knows how to photograph different skin types - THIS IS SO IMPORTANT! A lot of you said to, A) have more than one photographer, and B) to make sure they understand your style. Whilst those are both important, I do also think their ability to capture different skin types is often overlooked. Frankly, this should be applicable to any wedding guestlist worth going to.
Take time for photos near the beginning, and make sure you have them of all of your guests - Guests either leave at different times, get too drunk for photos or stay in one corner of the venue and manage to avoid all cameras. A nice idea is to have everyone photographed as they enter the venue, looking fresh, with all their senses still in tact.
A lot of people will assume they are invited, and a lot of awkward conversations will be had - This one kind of blew my mind because I refuse to believe that people are this obtuse, but apparently, it’s a big issue. It might be worth figuring out who in the relationship is better at having the tough conversations and assign them to let said people down gently.
WithJoy.com - Apparently, not only a great tool, but extra useful if you have an international guest list. You can do everything from your registry and your wedding website to managing RSVPs.
Use one Credit Card to pay for everything and use rewards points for the honeymoon - This is truly a fabulous idea as we all know that these things cost a small fortune, so you may as well get something back from it. The British Airways Amex seems like an obvious choice, but if anyone who is particularly card savvy has any other options, please let the class know.
Book major vendors as soon as you can (Venue, Band, Dress) - This sounds pretty self-explanatory but it is always worth a reminder as the planning stages can be so overwhelming that sometimes it can be hard to know where to start.
Budget means nothing and everything is 10x more expensive than anticipated - As someone who never sticks to a budget, this does not phase me. For those who do know how to budget successfully, please send tips.
The number of people who will try and make your wedding day about them - Whilst this is wildly annoying and inappropriate, I think it’s also a good time to make a mental note of such people when they are showing their true colours.
Plan one on one time together during the day - A lot of you said you planned an hour during the day where you and your other half had some time together as you actually spend most of the day apart. Again, it seems obvious, but I know it’s probably completely overlooked when you’re both so busy.
Do not underestimate how long dress alterations take - I don’t think this one requires notes.
Choose bridesmaids wisely - I personally am not having any bridesmaids, but I have heard enough horror stories to know that this is a valid point.
Include as few people as possible in the decision making - I guess this reinforces previous points about everyone having unwarranted opinions. If you didn’t ask a person for advice, then whatever they have to say shouldn’t be factored into the decision making. Keep it between your other half and the paid professionals.
Should you choose a planner, vet them thoroughly - There was a split in opinions when it came to hiring a wedding planner and I think you just have to know yourself well enough and your limitations. If you do decide to hire one, your whole day is riding on them so you need to make sure they are helping rather than hindering. If they don’t understand your vision and you can’t work easily with them, you need to replace them ASAP.
Don’t overspend on the little things (in particular, wedding favours that guests are often too drunk to take home) - I’m gonna pretend I didn’t read this one.
Consider the colours that suit you and the groom so you don’t look washed out in photos - Another good point that I never considered. This goes further than what you’re wearing and more about your decorations and mise-en-scene. You want the colours and lighting to compliment you.
Elope - an alarming number of you said this.
Don’t tell anyone anything, but if you have to, make sure that you and your partner have decided on it and agree on it together - So many of you mentioned how important it was to have a united front as a couple when it came to talking about anything wedding related so that there was no room for people wriggle in and intervene. Another obvious, but important point to reiterate.
Have a separate dress/outfit for the evening - I don’t know about you, but I don’t need to be encouraged to have an outfit change.
Create moodboards for everything - Another thing I don’t need to be encouraged to do, but I do think it is important to have a point of reference for any wedding vendors. It can be easy to assume that everyone understands exactly what you want, and at least this way, you can show everyone from the photographer to the florist your exact vision.
asteroid city vs no hard feelings
There are so many films coming out this year that I am dying to watch, and Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City was at the very top of that list. As always, I’d turned to Letterboxd and Film Twitter to get a flavour of what was to come, which didn’t particularly help, but it certainly left me amused.
Broadly, the consensus seemed to be that this was the most Wes of all the Wes films to have Wes’ed. I feel like his later films have definitely catered to existing fans and probably don’t have the same mass appeal as some of his earlier work, so I was kind of already expecting this. After 20 or so minutes, I found myself wondering when the film would end. This is pretty diabolic because, A) it was only an hour and 45 minutes long in total but it felt twice as long, and B) no Wes Anderson film has ever felt long to me before. The whip pans started to grate pretty early on and the dialogue teetered on the edge of Chat GPT generated. Don’t get me wrong, there were great moments and of course, visually (minus the whip pans) it was a delight to watch, but largely, I felt a little deflated. Asteroid City seemed to be an early draft of The Grand Budapest Hotel with half the charm and a fraction of the storytelling. In this case, a star studded cast didn’t cover all manner of sins, and whilst it felt like a real passion project (and probably the most intimate of Wes films), sadly, that wasn’t enough for me. It didn’t evoke any particular emotion from me and I certainly didn’t want to rewatch it, and these are usually my two markers of a good film. If you are an existing fan of his work, go and watch and enjoy it for what it is. If you’re not? Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
I do wonder whether much of my criticism of Wes and his recent work is similar to what Jordan Peele seems to suffer from - a talent so immeasurable that you are always compared to your very best, meaning that even though your mediocre is miles better than the average film, the critics are less forgiving because you are measured harshly against yourself. I mention this because I recently went to the premiere of No Hard Feelings, the new Jennifer Lawrence film about a 32 year old woman who is hired to ‘date’ a wealthy neighbours teenage son in order to keep her house. I had seen the trailer and thought it looked silly and charming (and I do have a soft spot for J-Law as an actress) but my expectations were low. Halfway through the film, I couldn’t stop thinking about how I couldn’t wait to see it again. I had the most fun I’d had in the cinema for a while (it may have been because I saw Jennifer in the flesh, but who knows) and I couldn’t wait to share it with my friends. Despite the premise seeming a little icky, for lack of a better word, the film itself never felt seedy or greasy. It was crude, and laugh out loud funny, with the learnings of an unlikely friendship at its emotional core. Before the film started, the director explained how he had grown up watching British comedies and how the British sense of humour had heavily influenced No Hard Feelings. Perhaps this was one of the main reasons why I enjoyed the film so much, but I do think there’s something more to it. During a time where the world feels more chaotic and unstable as ever, it’s refreshing to have some light relief in the form of a silly, raunchy comedy. Is it going to set the world on fire? No. But for me, it provided two hours of pure joy and a chance to switch off from the multiple streams of consciousness I have going on in my head at any given time. A little escape from reality is important every now and then, and what better way to do it than to see a full frontal Jennifer Lawrence running out of the sea and tackling a group of strangers.
And that’s all from the thirtieth issue of The Rhubarb Society! If there’s anything you’re keen for me to discuss, or if you have a podcast topic you’d like me to talk about, 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.
Tamsin & Rhubarb