Not this, writing the post.
When I was little, people used to stop me in the street and remark upon my beautiful long auburn hair. I loved that. It was easy then, I was just me, my hair was, well, there. People liked it.
When I got a bit older, I had to have an eye patch on my glasses. Lazy eye you see. I defy anyone to get through that without a bit of mental scarring.
So, I'm a youngster, in primary, ginger, glasses, sometimes a patch. I don't remember it being an issue all that much to be fair, except when in the company of "the beautiful" people and it was more my problem than their actions.
Comprehensive school was awfully different though. Being a "rocker" or "sweaty" as we were known in our day, this attracted rather a lot of unnecessary attention. Involving pushing, spitting, verbal abuse etc, etc, etc, in addition to the sneering down the noses of the other posh kids that were inflicted on the normal people by the local public school's lack of sporting facilities.
I remember complaining of this bullying to our Deputy Head directly and being told that he was surprised that I was a "sweaty" as I'd apparently always seemed like a "really sensible girl". Clearly the two things are polar opposites. Obviously nothing was done. As a teenager I was awkward, lacking in social confidence and funny shaped. My best friend Emma had to take me to one side and tell me that the reason I kept getting invited swimming by boys all the time was nothing to do with my sparkling wit and personality. I'd not notice my humongous boobs.
I had no idea what to do with myself, to be fair. I tried and failed in copying the current fashions of the day, all a bit crap it was really. I never felt like I fitted in, or had any real talent really. I was "unremarkable". In so many ways.
After I left school, things improved dramatically, but I was very easily led. Naive. Easy to say that now, isn't it? I was still trying to find my niche, but taking on too much of other people's baggage. I remember distinctly just before I gave birth to my daughter, aged just 18, I had to go to Tesco shopping with her father. Her father (note the lower case "f") was always telling me that he didn't like women who wore make up or spent time on their appearance. (When I first met him I wore loads of make up and spent time on my appearance which now makes me think it was a controlling behaviour rather than a fact). On this one occasion, I was in Tesco, heavily pregnant, wearing the scruffy 2nd hand clothes which were the only ones I had, and I caught sight of myself in the CCTV TV that in those days was right by the door. Not a scrap of make up, clean but totally unkempt hair. I could have been of any age, just not 18. 30? 40? easily. I knew things had to start to change after that. And the relationship didn't last much longer. The whole thing was so closely entwined with self esteem that it was impossible to differentiate.
Cool people do my head in. How do they do it? I don't mean celebrities, I mean street people. People you actually know that are just, like, really cool. Alright, I don't place such a high value on being "on trend" or highly polished like other people do, but seriously, some people are, or seem to be, effortlessly cool. Not I. I don't think it helps that I've never really had much money to spend on nice things either.
It has taken me an awful lot longer to grow into myself than other people. The value thing probably has been an issue. I find it amusing now to be in the beauty industry after all my experiences of appearance, but I feel it gives me a holistic approach to it - much more healthy. I'm still growing anyway. Not finished yet. I'm still not very good at it!
So, my make up.
First off, I ain't got a make up bag - it's a genuine vintage chocolate tin. Allegedly older than me Muvva.
As a Make Up Artist people assume I'm MAC up the ying -yang. Nope.
I like Aldi foundation. Great (and cheap) for daytime providing you can get the right colour match. Mine's perfect. At he moment I'm wearing the lightest e.l.f. flawless finish. e.l.f. are just fantastic. I have three eye mini pallets I'm still working with two Cliniques and an Estee Lauder - all from Bonus Time! They last ages!
Mascara to die for is Max Factor Masterpiece FX. I just love it. Blush is an Accessorise one that Pricey gave me - and I use the flat square brush that came with it. Either that or an orangey Liz Collinge eye shadow and a rounder brush - I love that too.Every day I use e.l.f. high def powder to seal it all in and make it look more vibrant for longer. Is epic. My highlighter of choice currently is the MUA range (Superdrug) "Undress your skin" although when I need to replace it it will be with MAC skinfinish equivalent.
Skincare. I love Clinique Take the Day off make up remover, the new L'oreal micellular cleanser/toner or Avene cleanser - depending on how I feel. I then use the L'oreal pink toner and Avene light moisturiser. At night I use a Dior overnight serum who's name I can't remember or Clinique turnaround cream. Eye cream is Benefit "it's Potent" which is the most wonderful thing ever in the world ever. As a primer I use the L'oreal Nude Magique CC in lilac - is a great primer and gives skin a lovely brightness.
Want to know a secret?
I am the world's WORST for not taking my make up off before I go to bed. I know, I know! Do as I say, not as I do people! And for me the having lovely hands thing is good after 20 years of nail and cuticle biting.
I read an interesting article recently. For the life of me I can't remember where, typical. It talked about "excess". Apparently, the psychological reason we find glamorous people so attractive (generally) is because of excess. In order to be "glamorous" it requires an excess of energy. The implication that these people have an abundance of energy in addition to what is required to fulfil their daily tasks. That is enviable. Also often untrue. The same can be said in respect of monetary issues. The reason flash cars are so attractive is that they show an excess of funds available after looking after daily family monetary needs. This bit perhaps not so surprising but you can apply the "excess" logic to lots of human needs and wants.
This is a great article about beauty and perception...
The Perception of Beauty
So what's next?
The Big Shoot! I can't decide whether it's fortuitous timing or bad timing that the make up free selfies are so popular at the moment. Either way, up to today I think they raised £8million or something so I don't think our opinion matters too much!
So in a couple of weeks time, all the ladies you've met will be doing a photoshoot. Well, two, in one. Once looking as good as we can possibly look - and once with no make up whatsoever. Nothing. And no glamorous clothing either. Just a white bedsheet. We can do this! We've all been through our own stories - we're all comfortable in our own skins. We're all beautiful! As are you!
Will you be looking out for us?
Just a reminder too...