Cate doesn’t believe she’s beautiful. How could she when she has the worst skin in high school? But when a lady at a skincare kiosk gives Cate a magic cream, her face clears up. This gives her more confidence to handle the newly acquired attention from her crush.
But her best friend, James, who always thought she was beautiful, becomes frustrated and worried that Cate’s crush is only paying attention to her because of her perfect skin.
Cate seems to have everything she wants until the Dorian Gray Effect, the warning for using the cream past the allotted nights, begins. As Cate reads the assigned novel for English, The Picture of Dorian Gray, her life seems to match Dorian’s. Her face continues to stay perfect, but her inner beauty grows meaner and she loses those closest to her.
For Cate to get her friends back, she needs to return the cream, which will bring back her blemishes. Only when she truly sees her own beauty, despite her acne, will she be able to give up the cream. Or she will continue to push those who love her further away leaving her dark and ugly like Dorian Gray.