Posted by: Admin | April 11, 2012

Hello, Gorgeous!

Well, that’s what Husband of my Heart was supposed to say after I’d had my make-up “done” by an “expert” recently. What I actually got was silence and a look almost of fear in his eyes. Which was puzzling as I thought it looked quite good. Then I put my glasses on and checked myself out in the car mirror and – OMG!

You see, I don’t generally wear much “slap”. I’m a run my fingers through my hair, put on some lipstick and run kinda gal. (OK, as I’ve got older I’ve added “fill in my fading eyebrows and dab a bit of foundation on the broken veins” to that routine, but that’s a bit wordy, isn’t it? Loses impact.) I feel I need to look a bit more “groomed” though – apparently research has shown that women who wear make up earn more than their bare-faced sisters and lord knows I could do with a bit more cash. So I thought I’d have myself “updated”.

Anyway, the girl I was talking to on the make up counter looked impressively dewy, so I trusted her to make me up with a light touch. Only she had to do something else, so she went to find a colleague. The second girl was a slightly alarming shade of orange, was wearing false lashes and had eyebrows that were a work of art. I could hardly back out when I saw her though, could I? What would I say? Sorry, but I don’t want to look like you, darlin’?

So, a good half an hour later and I was concealed, foundationed, powdered, bronzed, blushed. My eyes had been outlined, contoured, highlighted, mascara’ed and my brows “defined”. They felt heavy and when I opened them wide the lids stuck briefly to my lower brow. My lips were so sticky I felt as if I’d eaten a whole sachet of sherbet dib-dab but, as I say, the mirror reflected a pretty “groomed” woman, so I was happy.

“It makes you look flat,” said Husband of my Heart. “Everything that makes you ‘you’ has been ironed out.” What? Freckles, wrinkles, broken veins… is that the sum total of what I have become? Then I put on my glasses, looked in the mirror and saw how the foundation was caking over my chin, how my eyeballs looked slightly yellow against the eyeshadow and my eyebrows gave me a slightly quizzical, demonic air.

“She’s made your eyes look worse,” he said, getting into his stride. Worse? Worse? I didn’t know they were “bad” in the first place! “Your crow’s feet are deeper.” Okay, I have to concede he had a point, but what woman wouldn’t sulk a little at that remark? It’s almost as bad as telling me a top I was trying on “Made me look good from the front.” Oh yes, that’s another of his gems.

scary, huh?

So, I went home and washed it all off. But not before taking a snapshot so you can see it. I’ve already got rid of the lip gloss, but still – scary, huh?

Thing is, that girl made me up the way she would make up a 20 year old. It’s not her fault, she doesn’t know any better. No one has taught her that older skin reacts differently, or that more mature eyes need a lighter touch. All the magazines she reads and the conversations she hears are probably about older women wanting to look younger.

I don’t. Honestly. I’ve done 15, 25, and 35 and 45. I don’t want to cover up the age I am – I just want to look like the best version of me. What does that mean? Well, to me it means smoothing out my skin tone, defining a little the features that have faded and adding a little colour. It doesn’t mean obliterating what my husband calls my “natural beauty”. (Sometimes he actually says the right thing.) What do YOU think?

Have you looked at the Gallery lately? There are a few perfect examples there of “mature” beauty. Now that my shoulder is healing I plan to crack on with my 50 Portraits Project, so if you’d like to be a subject, or would like to nominate someone else, please do get in touch in the usual way.

Now I’m off to wash my face, run my fingers through my hair and add a dab of lipstick before I dash out of the door…



  1. Thank you for the smile. We, as women know who we are. We don’t need to hide behind layers of slap. Yes, a touch up here or there and the ubiquitous lippy is always in my pocket. Maybe the time has come to shout out- we like who we are- inner beauty is not manufactured, like Neil says ‘ natural beauty’ – now that rocks.

  2. Good on you, Gilly. Trouble is, shout all you like, but we have to truly BELIEVE it – don’t we? 😉

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