In Partnership With
Beauty for Dummies: Becoming Benjamin Button

It’s a good thing, I swear.


In partnership with Somme Institute

While I have historically eschewed the prospect of skin maintenance (“I don’t wear makeup! My skin will be fine!” “I am too low maintenance to accede to face wash!” I used to contend when my mother would warn me of the lone side effect of a successful youth, which is a cold case of adulthood), it occurred to me in August that I am not 15 anymore and as such, do not boast the tight pores of a blissfully naive teenager.

And not to sound morbid…but neither do you.

Earlier than you believe will be the case, you will wake up one morning, look into the mirror, which is supposed to reflect an image of you, and wonder who that woman is. The bags below what are ostensibly your eyes will look slightly more pronounced. Your nose may appear off, but that’s only because the dark pores look even darker and from at least one vantage point – for me, this is the left profile angle – you really very truly won’t be able to believe how much you’ve grown, literally grown — old and stuff, to look just like your mother.

It will be unfortunate if your mother looks younger than you on most days but stop distracting me – I’ll get there.

It is a universal truth that the greatest gift of childhood is that unshakeable sense of invincibility that comes veiled by what seems like infinite time. If at 15, I earnestly believed that I could make it through the duration of my whole life looking fresh-faced without the help of the products I had until three months ago disdained, at the midway point through age 24, I looked like Carrie Bradshaw’s New York Magazine cover (question mark, not exclamation point) – and not even a minor fling with Bradley Cooper could assuage that damage.

So what did I do? I called my mother, who is the unofficial spokeswoman for hydrating oils and anti-aging masques and what-the-hell-is BB cream, etc.

I asked if there was anything I could do that did not involve maintenance. The answer was no. And because just a week earlier a barrista actually confused me for her mother (“you treating your daughter?” she asked), I was in no position to shun whatever advice she’d dole. She mentioned that the whole Freaky Friday ordeal had probably transpired as it did because of her recently beginning to use a product that I had recommended: Somme Institute’s five step skincare regimen. It was effectively turning her into Benjamin Button while I languished, arresting sun spots permeating my face.

Talk about feeding the hand that bites you.

dsuECG on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs

I started using it soon after – all five steps – face wash, exfoliating pads, serum, moisturizer and SPF, every single morning and night. Almost immediately, I detected a difference. My skin got softer, looked strangely more…alive, I felt pregnant (people tell me I am “glowing”) and now, three months later, I am happy to report that I, too, have begun Benjamin Button-ing. Just look at this photo, shot of me at a ballet recital last week.

Screen Shot 2013-10-29 at 12.30.05 PM

If you didn’t know better, I bet you’d assume that I was six. Seven tops. No?

Everyone deserves to experience this sensation at least once so I’d highly recommend the product. At the risk of sounding like a seasoned expert which I certainly am not, or too much like a club promoter (SNL’s Stefon would have a field day on “the hottest nightclub in town called Tight Pore”), Somme is offering a 40% discount for Man Repeller readers (promo code: ManRepeller) because five products = not cheap and I am all about preserving your money for sweaters and shit. Also, I know the story didn’t follow the usual Beauty for Dummies format (though Photobooth as a mirror does seem slightly in line), can we agree that He or She Who Shall Not Try Somme is a…dummy about beauty?

Go on, now.


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  • Ah you just made me laugh outloud Leandra, love your picture from last week! You are… Glowing!

    Mafalda ❤

  • AshleyOlivia

    I feel ya, sister. I, too, have a mother who looks annoyingly young. I watch in perturbed shock when we are together as men of all ages hit on her and blithely ignore me. Hello??! 26, single, and ready to mingle over here! This broad, on the other hand, is 50 and doesn’t know what waxing means. Sigh. No matter.

    I also hate the beauty regime routine. I love makeup, but skincare products are most definitely not makeup. They are soap pretentiously dressed up in bottles, which somehow equates to a you-have-to-see-it-to-believe-it outrageous price tag. My skin should just take care of itself, damn it! I do religiously apply Clinique’s SPF 25 beneath my makeup, especially around my eyes, and I almost as religiously (think attendance as more than just on holidays, but still a few noticeable absences here and there) apply eye cream.

    And when will skin blemishes go away?? Menopause?

  • Hollie

    omg you always make me laugh! and fortunately I still have my glowing skin, and clearly so do you!

    Hollie xoxo

  • CarolinaG

    I’m posting looks from Los Angeles and accessories:

  • norwegian

    People tell my mom all the time that she doesn’t look old enough to have children my and my sister’s age… I never know how to take that…

  • This is, above and beyond, the best skincare line and the only skincare line that I let touch my (now) ageless face. I too find myself looking at pictures of myself at 6 and wondering if selfie in question was taken 20 years ago or just last weekend. Somme is one hell of a miracle worker. This also this reminds me that I’m out of transport pads, so thanks for the 40% off code!

  • Sarah Fentem

    cetaphil, eucerin, SPF. Anything costing more than 10 dollars has always melted my face right off. (I’m sure other girls with rosacea feel the pain that is walking by the saks skin care section and wondering what we’re missing out on.)

    • Kirsten

      I completely agree!! I suffer from dermatitis and eczema and use the thick cetaphil cream as as facewash, make up remover, and moisturiser for face and body. Nothing else works. And I feel your pain in wishing I could use a product with a fresh fragrance that comes in a pretty container.

      • Kate Barnett

        i’m told somme is actually really good for rosacea (they have before/after’s on the site, too), so i’m about to send the products to my aunt who’s dealt with that for years. i’ve been using it for six months to helps with acne scars and continuing acne and have since abandoned all the rx products i was using daily. its sooooo good. like, surprisingly and infinitely better than all the retin-a and clindamycin gels i was on.

        • Kirsten

          Ooo I’ll have to have more of a look at the website. Thanks for the heads up!

      • Sarah Fentem

        Also, Into the Gloss is the WORST. All those tiny chrome pots! Maybe I should just get fancy containers and put my eucerin in them.

      • Gabriela

        I too have

  • L

    You and Into the Gloss have me sold. My skin needs some help!

  • It’s really is horrifying when life hands you a situation like the barrista confusing you as your mother’s mother…the summer before college I went to a parent/student mixer for incoming students, and one (rather strange) mother asked me, “Do you have a son or daughter going to school?” I wanted to cry….

  • carol

    I’ve been using these products for a
    year and I have never seen anything like it. the dots don’t do it justice. I’ve
    tried everything, I’ve went to derms and nothing helped until someone told me
    about it and ever since I get compliments on my skin all the time .

    my mom started using it and she loves
    it. the only thing is the price but I really don’t care. I’ll do anything
    for beautiful skin

    • Hollo

      I’ve been on the Somme regime for around three weeks and… my skin is BREAKING OUT something fierce. Is this normal? Somme website says it’s a good sign, but I’m wary because the break outs are really bad and all I wanna do is cry. I’m getting pimples along my jaw and chin, (where I never get pimples), so need some reassurance that this is GOOD and clear skin is just around the corner?????!!

      I’ve searched the webs looking for reassurance that my reaction is normal, but all blog posts/ reviews/ comments just talk about how great the regime is and noone mentions break outs…

      Can you tell me if you experienced a similar reaction?

      PLEASE HELP! I need Somme to work and give me the great skin everyone else seems to be gettin.

  • Olga

    this is nice. travel-size would be nice too

    • Diana

      they actually have a mobile kit with travel sizes but it’s sold out right now! i bring it to the gym with me and just keep re-filling the containers with my full size jars.

  • youre so adorbs lol i just recently started taking care of my skin too since turning 25, i got really bad hormonal acne so my skincare routine has changed dramatically! No more sleeping with my makeup on because I pass out drunk, I always have to take everything off and it just feels so much better, kind of when you take your bra off after a long day. Love the feelings of clean skin 🙂



  • catface

    My skin gets so itchy when I use this stuff…but it does work! Just wish I wouldn’t get so itchy. I wish I could also turn into a baby after a few

  • lena kamhi

    I love somme ! Been using it and highly recommend it

  • kforkarli

    I like that you’re not wearing any makeup in the pic – so natural. Really brings out your inner child.

  • Cait

    I love this stuff. Seriously, it is amazing. Somme is a pretty expensive habit, but it works well and hopefully it is cheaper than major dermatalogical interventions later in life?

    I’ve been using the transformer, serum and a-bomb since August and my skin feels smooth and soft and looks glowy. If you don’t want to shell out for the full 5 steps, those are the key pieces of the Somme regimen. I cut the transport pads in half to make them last longer.

    • cutting them in half is a genius move. I’ve never thought to do that!

      • Cait

        I accidentally called Transport transformer before, probably because it is transformative, and also because I was commenting before coffee.

        Elizabeth, I followed the link to your blog and ended up in a serious procrastination rabbit hole; It is lovely! I am really enjoying the music suggestions!

    • Hollo

      I’ve been on the Somme regime for around three weeks and… my skin is BREAKING OUT something fierce. Is this normal? Did you experience anything like this? Am I alone??

  • Leila

    You know what sucks? I was at checkout and then I realized it only ships within the US -_- Think they can fix this little problem? Us non-Americans would like some of that goodness as well!

    • barbara

      hopshop.go! freight forwarding service so the shipping price can be a bit steep (and you won’t know how steep until your order arrives to your US address) but it’s nearly always worth it if you forward a massive order (i.e. consolidate packages from other US-only retailers!)

      • Leandra Medine

        Oooooh, this is a fascinating piece of advice! Did not know such sites existed.

      •…this just changed my life! thank youuuu

    • Diana

      Email them at…they might be able to make an exception.

  • Amused

    this. rules. also: hahahahahaahahaha

  • lex

    annndddd buying this asap

  • lex

    andddddd buying this asap

  • Lindsay

    40% OFF?! excuse me while i go buy the next two years worth of somme….thanks team mr!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dani

    Thanks, sister-friends! I love that you all are venturing into skin care. Very cool!

    • Dani

      Also, muchas gracias for the code. Y’all rock so hard.

  • Cloe

    I had given up on products because nothing worked for me but
    I saw an interview on TV with some dr saying that it wasn’t a generic product but a new molecule that Harvard developed so that’s what made me buy it. I didn’t think it would work but the guy was a dr and it wasn’t his line so I gave it a shot.
    All I can say is ill never use anything else on my skin again. Amazing stuff!! Now I’m focusing on other problems like my thinning hair. Help!!!!!!!

  • Hi

    I believe vitamin A (an ingredient in some of the creams) does work, but it’s also possibly unhealthy esp. If pregnant. I know because I looked into the cream I was using (which actually made my skin look great) when I was pregnant and I believe the vit a was listed as something to avoid and I stopped using it. Hmm…

    • Hi

      (A in the form of retinoids, that is. But I don’t think dr.s are sure it’s an issue topically yet… Just some food for thought.. For the pregnant old looking set)

  • Gloria

    I read about this line a while ago but I didn’t take it seriously because of the color dots. It looked like a makeup line but after I read an article in into the gloss when the editor said she used it and got dramatic results I bought it and I’ve seen a big change in my skin. I get compliments all the time about my skin which is quite surprising because I never did before. Best products I’ve ever bought and will never use anything else but these people should change the packaging

  • lemkam

    It’s a sad day when you look in the mirror and realize you will never look as good as you already have. Aging sucks…

  • Isabel Kieszkowski

    Love this post! I must say I have read a lot about Somme, from ITG and Sophia Amoruso… and I wish my broke ass college budget could afford it. especially with the discount code you gave! (*sigh) one day baby, one day.

  • sherry

    a derm put me on this line last year. unbelievable product! changed my skin! i hope you always have these promotions because im jobless now and i cant go back to the crap ive been using for years. anyone hiring??

  • Jocelyn

    No lie, Ladies, Somme is awesome. I have absurd skin: at 34 I am still prone to cystic acne and I simply CANNOT wear sunscreen-correction-I HAVE NOT HAD ANY OF THE CYSTIC ACNE since I started using Somme three years ago. And if I’m “good” about not falling asleep in my makeup (oops) and using it regularly, I don’t need to even wear (much) makeup! Hop on this right now. You’ll be so glad you did. And no, I don’t work for the company. I wish I did, though.

    • Hollo

      I’ve been on the Somme regime for around three weeks and… my skin is BREAKING OUT something fierce. Did you experience breakouts initially? And then you skin started to clear? I really need some reassurance that the breakouts are a GOOD sign as no blogs/ comments/ reviews mention anything about spots.

      • Kate Barnett

        So, yes, i very much did. And it was hugely frustrating, but I’m also so so so glad I stuck it out. Both with Somme and prescription acne meds I used for years there’s supposedly a ‘purging’ period for some people (it was definitely true for me with Retin-A, as well). By weeks 6/7/8 I was so thankful I powered through, but I almost didn’t make it. Granted everyone’s experience is different, but you’re so close! You can do it!

        • Hollo

          Thank you! Your comment has made me very happy!

          Bad skin sucks balls

  • Jess

    How long is the coupon code active?

    • Leandra Medine

      Through Nov 27!

  • Amelie

    I’m a model and I tried both lines but I prefer , same steps: you wash, deep wash, apply skin conditioner, and then moisturize. They have the famous Marine Lotion for the famous GLOW, you-have-to-try-it-to-believe-it.. I never break out.

  • Victoria

    Leandra where is your case frooom?

  • habitatus

    same lesson by way of opposite approach: my mother looks prematurely old, and has for a while. when she was forty was courted to join the senior center in her ‘hood – based on looks alone! harsh. my sadness for her alighted to a wake up call & I have been a devotee of the wash/tone/serum/moisturize/spf ritual for about 15 years. results: I am approaching 40 (and a smoker to boot..yuck, i know) and the facialist today thought I was 30. No senior center for me, ma!

    on the topic of facials, btw…mix them in to your regime every 4-6 months. worth the splurge in the long haul. (i.e., 2-3 facials a year now saves either vanity or botox – or both – in the future).

  • Gabrielle

    Wow you are really pretty!