Make Up Your Own Rules

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Marilyn knew

After spending quite a lot of time away from home with family over the Christmas period, it was really lovely to be back in our own flat. I’ve talked about being a homebody before and this is never truer than in the Winter months when it’s cold and wet outside, and my sofa is willing to hold me while I watch Netflix.

But this is not a post about home comforts, it is a post about warpaint, or lack thereof. On returning home on the 27th, I half-arsedly unpacked my fluffy cat shaped travel bag, only to find that my make-up bag wasn’t there. No need to panic, I thought, it’s obviously in my handbag, where it normally lives.

Why I was expecting to find it in my luggage, I don’t know. Except, it wasn’t in my handbag either…

Not that long ago, this discovery would have send me into a tailspin, or at least straight to the nearest make-up selling establishment. I did send a text immediately to my mother, suspecting that it had fallen into the boot of her car (it had) but then I really started to think about make up and why I needed it so much.

I came up with this. I need it because I love and want it. I don’t need it because I can’t conceive of leaving the house without it. This is not something I would ever have been able to do a decade, even five, three, two years ago but now I can and do.

There is a freedom in being able to operate without having to think about your face, it’s true and weekends are usually spend bare-faced and slouchy. I like the feeling of being fresh and clean. I don’t run from people I know should I bump into them in the street.

But, and here’s the big but (tee hee); I love make up and really enjoy wearing it. When people describe it as warpaint, I know exactly what they mean. I’m just not myself without my signature liner (even when I’ve fucked it right up).

That can never be a bad thing as far as I’m concerned, knowing what works for you and which bits you love, therefore want to play up. It’s not vanity to want to present the best of yourself. Plus, for me, it’s about ritual and I have a pretty non-negotiable one:

Wake up at 7am
Hula hoop in front of the TV for 30 minutes
Do make up with a cup of tea
Get dressed
Brush teeth
Watch about 20 minutes of bad TV (I live ten minutes from work)
Leave for the day

My make up applying session is the only time I really spend with myself. It’s just about the only time in the day that I really look at myself and I think it’s important.

I mean, I wear glasses all the time and I love how cute (and smart!) they look but I do miss my face. I haven’t really shown it to the world without specs for two years and on the rare occasion that I have been caught off guard without them, I’ve been complimented on my eyes or make up, and that feels bloody great. Like I’m no longer invisible.

Continue reading “Make Up Your Own Rules”

Cartoon Me

2014-06-23 03_27_40I have lots to blog about this weekend but had to mention this. How’d you like my portrait by Rachele of Fat Babe Designs?

I commissioned a small illustration for my blog a few months ago on Etsy as they had caught my eye somewhere and I am very pleased with mine! Rachele takes a look at your blog and any images you wish to share with her and then she makes these lovely drawings.

I so wish I had a talent for design but it turns out that I really don’t.

I’m actually not sure where I will put this image on my blog after all but I do love it very much.

Specs Appeal

glassesgirlMy friend Sammy has a gorgeous young daughter named after my favourite season (Autumn). I don’t know Autumn personally, but from what I have gleaned via my chats with Sammy and the wonderful world of social media, she is a sensitive, thoughtful girl with a beautiful smile. She also has good t-shirt game and happens to wear glasses.

The other morning Sammy posted an update that said she had been showing Autumn pictures on the internet of actresses, princesses and pop stars who also happen to be spectacle wearers. This had come about because poor Autumn had come home upset that she “isn’t pretty and doesn’t look like the other girls at school”.

Well, we all know I’m not the most maternal woman in the world, but for some reason this damn near broke my heart. Lovely girls at this tender age shouldn’t be feeling that way – ever, really – but certainly not as they embark on their first days of school.

As they navigate the thorny pathway through friendship and independence, wouldn’t it be nice if these things never came up? But, of course they do. Most of us have felt different at one point or another and I think any woman who says they haven’t felt uglier than their counterparts at least once is probably fibbing.

When I was around the same age as Autumn, my family and I arrived in England from Canada. One of the first memories I have is of putting up my hand in my new class to ask if I could use the bathroom. The teacher said I could, but first I would have to come up to the front and read something out to the rest of the class. Well, let’s just say when you gotta go, you gotta go and for a long while I was simply the kid who wet herself in public.

It didn’t get better for a while. I didn’t have it as bad as most, I wasn’t the Smelly Tall Girl (Samantha) or the Poor Kid Who Always Puked on School Trips (Janette) but I was ginger and clumsy. Somehow the combination of the two meant I was less graceful than some of the ‘popular’ girls. The Kellys and the Gemmas and the Michelles.

My self-consciousness was further compounded the day they cast Hansel & Gretel for our year and I, along with another poor super-ginger was thrust into the limelight as one of the doors to the gingerbread house. Yes, my 15 minutes of fame were spent giving my all to the role of door.

(There is a Polaroid of this somewhere in my mother’s possession and it is epic).

My point is, I had a thing that made me feel different and it has taken me several decades to come to terms with the fact that my hair colour is actually pretty great.

I am also a proud glasses wearer and have been for two years, ever since I finally admitted to myself that it’s so not cool to be squinting and accidentally ignoring people in public.

Some days I miss seeing my whole face but for the most part, I love my glasses. I feel they add something to my look and are part of what makes me me.

But back to Autumn and her own bespectacled adventures. It seems she felt better when she discovered an image of Jessie J rocking awesome spectacles and is coming around to the fact that being one of the only ones wearing them makes her special, not ugly.

On the topic of successful celebrities who wear glasses, I compiled my own list of favourites. Any excuse to include a picture of The Goose, right?

PicMonkey CollageFrom L-R, Top to Bottom:

  1. Mindy Kaling – Actress, comedian, writer
  2. Tom Hanks – King of the World
  3. Rashida Jones – Film & TV Actress, screen writer and comic book author!
  4. Anne Hathaway – Actress and Academy Award winner
  5. Tina Fey – Actress, comedian, writer, producer; babe
  6. Lauren Conrad – TV personality and fashion designer
  7. Dallas Green – Musician (City and Colour) and all round hottie
  8. Leighton MeesterBlair Waldorf, yo!
  9. Ryan Gosling – needs no introduction…

So if you ever read my blog, Autumn – you will see how proud I am to wear glasses and250720_10152083754445018_181621175_n how much I admire other people who wear them. And you know what else? Not only are you completely adorable, you will also grow up to be sensitive to other people because you understand what it feels like when you feel different. And different is ultimately a great thing.

As for me, I feel like this has given me pause for thought when it comes to the younger people in my life. It’s all well and good to be talking and thinking a lot about my own self-esteem project but what am I doing to make sure they know that they are absolutely fine just the way they are? Not just fine, but pretty bloody wonderful? From now on, as much as possible.

Thanks to Sammy and Autumn for letting me talk about them.

NB: Some names in this post have been changed to protect the innocent. Not you, Popular Girls.