Don’t laugh. I went for a make-up consultation. Yes, I entered the Glossy Hall of Terror and lived to tell the tale, albeit with a slightly bruised ego. I had done my research, knew which counter I wanted and marched with purpose towards it, then stumbled past the perfume-sprayers, the ladies who lunch and the gaggle of make-up ladies, in whose über-manicured hands my fate now rested.
At the counter, I nonchalantly pretended to examine the nail varnish until an assistant (Hi! I’m Carly!) with thickly-troweled-on make-up, surprised brows and a blowfish smile wobbled over to me in her 6 inch heels (jealous, much?). Out came my sorry tale, the heat intolerance, the cold intolerance, my poor, ravaged complexion, my battered soul. She nodded sympathetically, head cocked to one side as I pretty much flung myself at her feet, begging for help.
‘Now, do you want the ‘no-make up, make up look, just like I’m wearing?’
‘Oh, um’ (a quick glance at her face confirming my worst suspicions) ‘Well, I was hoping to , er…..’
‘Don’t you worry pet, my auntie had cancer, awful it was, so I know just what you’re looking for. You want something to help you fight back, face the world, feel strong and feminine again!’
‘Well, honestly, I’m just looking to, um, freshen things up a little.’
‘Super duper. Now, here’s our colours, our brushes, our pots, our testers, our dvd, our loyalty card, our massively overpriced eye cream. And what we do, what’s really special, is that I will call you next week, see how you’re getting on with your new make up. Isn’t that lovely? A nice little phone call. Should cheer you right up!’
Desperate to leave, I selected the make-up I wanted, chucked in a moisturiser and a primer and wangled some microscopic free samples, then diligently wrote down my telephone number and fled.
It was nice and girly to do something different, and some compensation for having such a limited range of shoes to choose from. Sadly, I still haven’t got the hang of blusher quite yet – less English Rose and more Spanish Beach Holiday Mahogany. And I’m still waiting for that special phone call from Carly…