Tag Archives: make-up

Nice Face, Shame About the Makeup

bad make upI sat down to write my list of things I must do, hugely inspired by comments from the last blog post, completely forgetting that I had actually attempted something for the first time ever last week.

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…

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Putting On Mascara With Boxing Gloves

Ever tried putting mascara on wearing boxing gloves? Or holding a lovely cup of hot coffee? Pretty tough. My last relapse affected my hands and just for a laugh, they still play up every so often and this weekend was no exception.

Like most relapses, it came out of the blue. One day I was elegant(ish) and my hands were just things that did things hands normally do. I didn’t really give them much thought.

Until the morning I flicked the kettle on and knocked it over, swiftly followed by my cup. Odd. When I left the house that morning, I missed the door handle. Odder.

I tried to explain to the MS nurse that my hands were either a few seconds too quick or a few seconds too slow, they drop things unexpectedly and sometimes they’re so numb, they feel like boxing gloves. It doesn’t sound like such a huge problem, but socially it’s dire.

Putting on make-up is comical – I gave up on eyeliner months ago and mascara wands hurt like hell when they’re poked in the eyes. Lipstick goes on well until, blam, whoops, dodgy line – The Rocky Horror Show’s got nothing on me.

Wine glasses are a minefield. I’ve smashed countless. Be warned, never clink glasses with me, just say cheers and nod. All my plates and bowls are chipped and you can hear me doing the washing up a mile away.

If I’m walking through a cutesy, arty gift shop, I have to keep my hands rigidly by my side or ever so carefully reach out, inch by inch, to pick something up. I can clear a shelf of pottery in one fell swoop. And my days of playing KerPlunk and Operation are long gone.

I used to like craft work but can’t knit any more and the glue gun’s been in the drawer so long it’s seized up. I tried to make a Christmas wreath out of paper hearts and glued everything except the paper. The cat made herself scarce so now I scroll through Pinterest and sigh wistfully.

I persevere though. I am going to invest in melamine plates and plastic wine glasses and I will make that wreath by next Christmas if it kills me. If you see it, be polite and please don’t snigger….

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BareFaced Cheek

make upGreat news girls! Children in Need is launching its first ‘BearFaced Day’. On this day, you go without any makeup to help raise money for disadvantaged children, so put down that mascara and hang fire with the lippy.

To persuade us, Louise Redknapp, Lulu, Julia Bradbury and newsreader Sian Williams have been photographed by Rankin, (apparently) without a scrap of makeup on, ahem. Rankin, the world famous photographer. These woman no doubt also have access to world famous beauticians, facialists, dieticians. Who wouldn’t look radiant? I’m sure they don’t do their own housework or ironing or cooking either. They have no money worries, no fear of redundancy, no anxiety about retiring on a decent pension.

So why are they pulling rank and shoving this quite literally in our faces? Is it not enough to flaunt their exalted status to us minions, now they want to strip us of our one last defence against an often cruel world? Is it a case of, ‘see how beautiful and rich I am, you common little peasant, you?’ It is certainly a case of extreme vanity, if nothing else. There is something quite uncomfortable about rich people asking us hard-pressed peeps to part with our money. And in such an audacious manner.

There is a charity which visits woman undergoing breast cancer surgery, giving them makeovers. This has been shown to improve their self-confidence and feelings of self-worth. Can you imagine the uproar if a breast cancer charity fundraised by asking women to go without make up? Women going make-up free and raising funds for disadvantaged children is a very tenuous, slender link, based solely on the double bear/bare sound. Very clever, marketing guys, just jog on, eh?

In my case, I would frighten children and sentence them to years of therapy if I went without my daily slap, which kind of defeats the purpose. I don’t have cancer, but with MS ravaging my confidence, I rely on my box of tricks to set me up for the day. With a bit of makeup on, I can walk (stumble) with my head held high.

However, I would take part in ‘BearFaced Day’ on one condition. That I could wear a Pudsey costume the entire time…

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Interview nerves

Is it just me or are job interviews like blind dates? You need to make a dazzling impression in 3 seconds flat, you spend ages on your outfit and you practice your witty laugh and come-back comments in the mirror. I had an interview yesterday and I always reckon Friday interviews are a good bet – everyone’s looking forward to the weekend and we can just kick back and chill. Wouldn’t you know though, it was a job I applied for and promptly forgot about as I was only asked to submit my CV and a covering email. Yet I can spend hours and hours on carefully-crafted, 10-page long personal statements and not hear a peep.

I took an inordinate amount of time selecting a suitable outfit, painstakingly applied make-up so that it looked like I wasn’t wearing any, teased my unruly hair into bouncy waves and applied perfume very liberally. I read up on the company, memorised facts and wrote a few tiny crib notes on my wrist, carefully hidden under my watch. Unfortunately, as this whole process took over two hours, I downed gallons of coffee to steady my nerves. By the time I left the house, every nerve was buzzing, but, hey, I was on form, I was flying.

At the reception desk, a jaded receptionist slapped a very large ID sticker on my coat and commanded me to sit and wait until I was ‘collected’. I was then lead to the most open-plan office ever designed where the workers were handing round birthday cake, casting sad little glances in my direction,  as I huddled in the tiny corner sitting-area.

Finally I was called in to The Panel and an hour (an hour!) later, I was led back to the lift and sent on my way. I won’t be cracking open the Champagne just yet, but I think I have a good chance. If I am successful I get called back for a second, then a third interview, gulp. Wish me luck and watch this space…

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Friday…at last

I only work a couple of days a week, having dropped some hours (thanks, MS!) but I still get out-of-proportion excited whenever Friday rolls around. Only one problem with that. My expectations way exceed reality.

I sit there in work, idly scrolling through events listings, checking out the live music pages, the theatre, the cinema, new restaurant openings and all the rest of it. In my mind, I am dressed up like a goddess on steroids and even have some fabulously high heels on. My hair is swishy, my make-up is flawless and I have a zinging, Friday-night energy. I can picture myself surrounded by glossy, admiring friends, casually toasting each other in some brand-new bar, attracting envious yet welcoming stares from handsome men. I will be on top form, wowing my friends with fabulous stories gleaned over my busy week and perhaps impressing them by throwing a delicately-spiced wasabi nut in the air and catching it in my mouth.

Or I will be hanging out at the more alternative arts place, with my black polo neck and smart, slightly-distressd jeans on, accessorised with chunky, hand-made beads from a women’s collective in The Gambia. With my beret at a jaunty angle, I will toss out witty remarks, only pausing to applaud the experimental jazz band playing in the corner. We will drink Belgian-brewed gooseberry cider and dip artisan bread in olive oil flavoured with crushed Chilean peppers.

Which one do I choose? Well, neither. At the end of the week I am shattered, my sofa has been calling me and I just about have enough energy to peel the lid from a microwave meal. Oh, and childcare is a nightmare. The Teenager is at that awful age when he still needs a babysitter but doesn’t want one, unless she’s that blonde girl from the sixth form. The one with the big, you know. Brain.

So, the reality? Me, in pyjamas, facepack on, watching other people have fabulous nights out, on telly. Has no-one set up an events company, where they can bring the party to your house……?

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