Keep young and beautiful…
I know it’s imperative to look after your skin. Obviously. People like to look young. Or rather, I think people are scared of growing old. I think that may be more the case. I personally just like to look healthy. Not easy when you’re naturally blessed with the complexion of a three-day-old corpse. Okay, so perhaps I am exaggerating a little but let’s just say… I’m pale. Very pale.
I come from a generation where, as a child, you would sneak into your mother’s room and see all the little miraculous pots and sticks and stuff. Particularly that ubiquitous little pink pot with the black lid: the Oil of Ulay. What a magical sound it had. And you would always try to sneak some on but it smells so much like baby powder that you knew you would get found out.
Mother had a big thing about skincare; she felt it was vitally important. I grew up in the wilds of West Wales and at the time I lived in a windy, hilltop farming community. You were constantly blasted by wind and rain and leaves. So keeping any skin on your face at all automatically put you ahead of the game.
Mother was always on at me to keep my skin nice. She would say to me “You must keep your skin nice. Boys like girls with skin.” Yeah, I think that goes for most humans, Mother. Of course she could have been pronouncing ‘skin’ with a capital S. I’m not sure. That could of course have had a completely different meaning, one that even to this day totally eludes me.
Her next gambit would always be “Nobody will look at you if you don’t have nice skin!” She would be quite emphatic about that. My response was always the same: “Mother, I wear glasses. Skin is irrelevant at this point!”
So, growing up I saw all these wonderful articles in the teen magazines in shops, things like ‘10 tips for fantastic looking skin!” and ‘Get glowing skin – now!’, while my mother’s magazines said things like ‘moisturise your way to younger looking skin!’ – you can see the shift in emphasis right there, can’t you?
When I was a teenager, I thought well, perhaps when I hit 30, then I’ll consider having a skincare routine. I’ll be old then. 30 came and went. So did the skin care plans. My actual aim for when I hit 30 was to avoid growing up as much as possible. Growing old didn’t bother me. I just didn’t want to grow up. I still don’t.
I thought that when I hit 30, I would have to cut my hair, start wearing suits, and start listening to Beethoven. As it turned out, none of those things happened. Okay, I will listen to Für Elise if it’s on. But that’s it.
And then after I hit 30, I thought perhaps when I reached 40 I really had better do something with my skin. Then 40 passed. To cut a long story short (too late!), I thought perhaps I better do something…
Going off at a tangent slightly, Helena Rubenstein said that in terms of make-up, all a truly beautiful woman needed to wear was mascara and lipstick. I think Mother must’ve adhered to this but she was of a generation they didn’t have 20 or 30 different products you had to slap on before even thinking about leaving your room in the morning. Personally, I reverse think this one. I wear only lipstick and mascara on the premise that… oh, well… you know.
Back to Mother’s dressing table. There was the old cold cream to cleanse; followed by this magical little pink pot (which was the height of luxury in those days). Of course in her day, makeup was basically a bright red stick of some sort of fudgy lipstick (always bright red) and mascara took the form of the dolls house pot of shoe polish (always black) and a tiny dolls house hairbrush. And that was make up for her. I never dared trying the dolls hairbrush and shoe polish thing but I did, on occasion, risk trying the red lipstick. As you can imagine, I was not expert at putting this stuff on! I’m still not, come think of it…
There was only one problem: it readily smeared and it did have a tendency to stain. You could never quite eliminate all evidence of it on your face. So of course when Mother would see me standing there with the bright red smears running down my chin, she would ask me in an agitated manner, “Have you been trying on my make up? “ I would always deny it vehemently.
Just picture it – a small vampire child (with fangs now very much apparent), stands there with a red dribbling down her face from her mouth, desperately trying to deny that no, no, no, those red smears aren’t make-up. What conclusion what would you come to?! Not the smartest answer I could’ve given, thinking about it. I’m sure she probably went around and checked all the pets and the neighbours’ children. I guess that’s probably why I wasn’t allowed to bring anybody home to play with. I suppose she always had a thing about me not playing with my food…!
But here’s where I share another secret… Coconut oil. Cleanser, moisturiser, face pack. And you can eat it. If you can’t play with your food, then how about eating your beauty products..?
What would Mother say? Pfft.
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