– or shopping with Swimming-D –
I don’t wear make-up.
I was going to add ‘ever’ but that would be lying. I dabbled in it a lot, or rather dabbled in a lot of it, as a toddler, smearing lipstick over my forehead, cheeks and chin while my mother wasn’t looking*, and again as a teenager, for parties where I had to be a pirate or a goth. I’d even tried ‘normal’ make-up a couple of times, but it hadn’t been a hit – my boyfriend at the time said he preferred me without any – and I was too lazy to learn to do it properly and/or fast enough for it to be an integral part of my being. I decided at some point that it’s much better to be “naturally beautiful” [insert cheesy smile here] and banished all things make-up related from my vocabulary and thoughts.
Recently though, I was caught on camera wearing make-up at a wedding.
Apparently going to weddings not only calls for pretty dresses, it also calls for make-up. Even if you don’t wear any the rest of the time.
Swimming-D told me this.
She was at my house to help me choose a dress and shoes and jewellery (serious business this wedding lark I tell you!) and asked where my make-up was. When I finished searching through my [newly organised] bathroom cupboard and [not so organised] jewellery box and presented her with a mascara, a bottle of bright red nail varnish and a couple of eyeshadows, she was appalled. Even more so when she discovered that the mascara had dried up (probably years ago) and most of the eyeshadow had seen more solid days. She decided we were going shopping.
This wedding had better be worth it – I’ve already been dress shopping this year!
SD went home, more in despair than disgust, having arranged to meet up in town the next day.
I wore one of my other new dresses to go shopping in. SD had said I should wear it “just because”, instead of just on ‘special occasions’ so I did. I figured going shopping for make-up needs different attire than my usual plain T-shirt and floppy skirt. One obviously can’t go out in a posh(ish) dress without wearing matching shoes (obviously!), so I wore the sandals I’d bought with E last year and hadn’t worn properly since, and I left my hair down. I hardly ever leave my hair ‘open’ because it flops in my eyes, gets in my way, makes my neck sweat. In turn, these factors have a tendency to make me aggressive. I’d only just had it cut though, and both Swimming-D and my DB (= dear Boyfriend) had told me I had to leave it down for the wedding. So I was practising.
She only just recognised me when we met up in town. Her bf had no idea who I was until SD made a beeline for me and hugged me.. To be fair I’ve only ever met him a handful of times, and if he stood with his back to me outside a shop wearing an army uniform (as an example of something I can’t imagine him ever wearing) I almost definitely wouldn’t recognise him either.
It’s quite disturbing how much of an impression clothes make.
There we both were in town. Me dressed up in a dress and high-heeled sandals, SD in her usual ‘chic-but-not-too-chic’ going shopping clothes.
As we made our way through the crowds of milling-about-people towards the closest make-up shop, I felt like a small child being dragged somewhere it really doesn’t want to go, but knows it has no choice. I generally steer away from the sort of shop that sells make-up, feeling out of place among the thousands of scantily-clad, but thickly-masked ladies, but on this occasion I was a woman on a mission. Or at least WITH a woman on a mission. SD led me directly to mascara aisle. Okay, so the aisle wasn’t entirely devoted to mascara, but every shelf along the aisle had its own mascara section. Why they have to sort the shop out by brand and not by product I don’t know. It seems a silly idea. If they tried doing the same thing in a supermarket they might as well open a dozen smaller shops inside the main building, as well as a load of stalls for the companies too small to warrant a whole shop.
Apparently mascara-application is a science. Each manufacturer has a range of brushes and they’re accompanied by a variety of silly names.. volcano for example. I think I’d actually rather not look like a volcano, nor would I like one to go off in my face. But there we are. I don’t have a clue.
Once we decided Volcano Mascara was the one to go for, it was time to look at face powder. I’ve never been at all convinced it’s necessary, but even I could see it was sneaky stuff. You can make the bags-under-your-eyes blend into the rest of your face, so even though you look worse close up, from a distance no one can see you haven’t slept enough for the last 3 years.
We chose one that doubles up as foundation if you apply it wet. It hadn’t got nearly as interesting a name. Not even the colour was exciting. It appears my face is beige. Well isn’t that dandy?! I’ve always wanted to know I have a beige face.
Next we moved onto nail varnish. I’d brought my dress with me, so we colour matched. The best match was naturally on the shelf marked ‘expensive nail varnish’ (or numbers to that effect),
I added it to my basket, along with a white pearly one, and 2 different clear lacks. Yes, I suppose I got carried away, but nail varnish is something I know more about, and actually wore on a regular basis until I started school here and my mother gave them to my aupair daughter. Okay, I didn’t wear them plain, the way most people do, I wore multiple colours, or stripes, or spots, or flowers or anything else I could be bothered to paint with them. I didn’t ever go as far as getting them done professionally though.
SD dragged me away from the brochure telling the world how fantastically cool it is to wear a different colour on each finger (amen!) with the words, “ARGH! You’re going to a WEDDING…”
The finishing touch was provided by an ‘enhancing’ lipstick, supposed to amplify your original colour. SD was more taken with various shades of pink, but I was adamant.
I paid, and the contents of the barely lined mini-basket cost as much as, if not more than, a weekly grocery shop.
Next stop perfume.