pink lipstick with green case
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I am a sucker for beauty products. I have, shall we say, a fair few in my cupboard under the basin. Thankfully the Colonel and I do not share this cupboard. Indeed, if we did, he would be allocated two and a half square inches, or if you’re metric, ten square centimetres … or something along those lines. I know not; I am old school, or perhaps just old, hence needing the beauty products.

I see these sumptuous creams in their heavenly packaging with promises to erase lines, cellulite and imperfections and I drool. And from time to buy, when I’m feeling flush, I open my dusty purse and buy them.

And, as the Colonel waits for me to come to bed, I am still applying cleansers, toners, creams and serums as he scowls and harrumphs and the usual, “What are you doing in there?” can be heard through closed doors, occasionally, though not always, with volume.

I must be the only woman in the world to have cycled for twenty six days non-stop from the north to the south of France with the entire Clinique range in her panniers.

Why? Vanity, delusion and a smattering of hope.

And do they make any difference? I know not, but if I didn’t use them, I might look considerably worse and that’s too great a risk to take for a muppet like me.

Yesterday, I allowed myself an afternoon off from writing (and reading your blogs, sorry) and mooched around the beauty counters of Peter Jones in Sloane Square (the posh bit of London). No, of course I don’t live there before you even start to ponder. I’m from Wandsworth and not the smart part.

Peter Jones for the non-UK residents is middle class shopping for the yummy mummies, the rich, the poor-who-want-to-be-rich and now even for those who own a dog and can’t bear to leave ‘Fifi’ at home. This has allowed many a handbag pooch to enter and generally speaking they behave far better than the majority of the children.

It’s a safe haven where the older staff have worked there for donkeys years and the younger ones are doing a ‘season’ whilst on their gap year having finished at private school. Not quite the same as a ‘ski season’, but with equally well-off customers but obviously with less snow.

You can buy everything and anything there, and to be fair, it’s not all expensive. They take into account every type of bank account, healthy or ‘minimalist’ shall we say. (Although if you bank privately, you’ll feel more at home – handing over your Coutts card will give you no better attention from the staff however, but you’ll feel part of ‘the club’).

Sadly, I did my mooching yesterday whilst having a rather empty bank account moment. Of course this is a guaranteed disaster, for as soon as I have no money, everything looks so appealing. When on the other hand I’m feeling flush (a rarity I hasten to add) I can never find anything. C’est la vie.

So I went from one counter to another and foolishly let each and every beauty sales person try their hand and products on my unfortunate face. They rejoiced after having given me a full makeover at the transformation in my skin, spoke of how my eyes were ‘popping’ (WTF) and were craving for me to hand over my purse. I simply looked in the mirror and muttered about how lovely it was and that I should now see how it looked in the outside light, and hurried onto the next counter, begging them to repair the damage. And then the process began all over again.

Eventually I left Peter Jones, empty-handed, but with a face so covered in serums, moisturisers and foundations, that I resembled an oompah loompa who had fallen into an oil slick.

I welcomed the Colonel home who peered at me, frowned and looked faintly fearful as I kissed him hello, but was wise enough to say nothing, probably quite difficult anyway as our lips stuck together with my peachy lip gloss entitled, ‘Glamour Puss’.

That night however, whilst scrubbing my face clean of all the muck, which was quite some feat, there were no questioning words of why I was taking so long. Instead, as I did my usual leap into bed, putting my freezing feet between his legs to try to warm them up (NB The higher up your husbands/partners legs you can get your cold toes the better, but you may meet with resistance as apparently it’s painful in many ways). So with a yelp of apparent agony from the Colonel, he then turned to face me, breathed a sigh of relief, stroked my cheek and whispered, “Hello beautiful.”

Gosh! I think in future I shall stick to au naturel.

Katie xx

Ladies: Are you comfortable without makeup?

Gents: If you’ve read this far, your thoughts please.

35 thoughts on “Vanity?”

  1. I’ve spent my fair share trying desperately to regain my youthful face, but to no avail. My fiancee loves me just the way I am. He said that if I wear all that crap I look like I’m wearing crap. So I don’t.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I used to always wear eye makeup to make my eyes “pop”, but I no longer have the energy or the interest for popping of any sort. I do still like my moisturizing potions, though, because without them my face (and the rest of me, for that matter) turns into the Sahara desert.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oohhh I’m with you on this one! I didn’t start to care about these things until well into my 30s (which, irritatingly, seems like a long time ago now, eesh). Until then, I used the same body lotion on my face as for the rest of me and didn’t even bother washing my face before bed, happy with just the morning shower. To be fair though, I’ve never been big on make-up beyond a tiny bit of foundation and mascara. Now I do wash my face before bed, but just use standard shower gel. I’m all over the day and night creams though and get the serums too in the vain hope it’ll make me less wrinkly. 🙂 Having said all that, I think this has become more the case since I stopped drinking – I’m looking after myself more in every way really: I floss every day (hardly ever bothered before and unfortunately have the teeth to show for it, yikes), wash my face and use good facial creams, I eat much better and I exercise by way of a long run every other day. I credit sobriety, actually. But yes, I totally get the whole cream/serum/toner thing because I’m like that too now!

    And can I just say how I love your little Colonel stories any time they appear here in your blog. It’s just so cute and I literally sat here swooning over the “hello beautiful” after you’d washed all the make-up off. That’s just too lovely and made my heart ache a little (in a good way). And accurate too – you are beautiful and putting make-up on your lovely face seems a bit daft as you’re so utterly magical au naturel. So hello beautiful from me too, the Colonel is quite right.


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Awwww! Bless you! Sending you a smacker of a kiss! Thing is though, that I guess we all want what we don’t have … I’d love to have your skin, Jennifer Anniston’s hair, anybody else’s feet but mine, and the legs of Elle McPherson. You have a darn healthy lifestyle now and it shows, which is annoyingly admirable … If I didn’t like you, I’d be jealous of you! I think I need to take a leaf out of your book. Right … I shall begin tomorrow with a kale and cucumber smoothie. It’s no good, I want a coffee already … Help me! Xxxx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. As you may guess, I am a fan of the natural woman, appearing as nature intended. It saddens me to see young girls plastered in orange make up and looking like they’re heading for an audition for a Fanta ad… On TV those who appeal most are those who look most natural too. Claudia Winkleman for example, lovely as she seems, I would suggest needs some serious advice on how to do make up and hair in a minimal way, or not at all, to stop her looking like a circus performer.

    I certainly understand the allure of new products in beautiful packaging… And why any of us want to look and feel healthy. But natural is the key word!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh the orange look. Terrible! I’d love to see what Claudia Winkleman looks like without any makeup on … probably quite unrecognisable. I think she might be rather beautiful …
      So here’s a question, if you could photograph any woman in the world who would it be and why?


      1. Oh that’s very, very lovely!
        As regards Claudia Winkleman, I was going to write “you hold her down and I’ll cut the fringe” but on hindsight that sounds a bit aggressive … but I’d still like to do it.


  5. I do not wear make up very often. When I do it is a special occ. I do think I should wear it more often, because, I think my husband likes it. Plus he made me this really nice make up station in our bedroom.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh how sweet he is! I do find that when I’ve got a bit of makeup on, I feel better. A bit like not wandering around in pyjamas all day, and whilst I’d love to own a duvet onesie, I know that I’d spend all day doing nothing apart from holding the tv remote! Katie x

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes I’m in the natural camp. It takes so much effort. I’ve only put makeup on once (with help) when I went to Rocky Horror Show. It’s not a pleasant feel – well not to me. Took days to remove of all the makeup. I think I have been in that London store, it was an eye opener.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh, well I’m beginning to doubt that there is such a thing. Perhaps in New York there will be something that us Brits are oblivious to! I do sometimes look at unlined people and huff and puff and am determined that they have simply never laughed in their life, or they’ve had Botox from birth. Actually, I’m just incredibly jealous … 😩

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Where I live, a lot of people have good looking skin because they have never smoked or drunk alcohol or even coffee. Besides that, someone on Facebook was saying that she’s having a Botox party (y’ know, like an MLM Tupperware or makeup gathering). I didn’t know there WAS such a thing, so that shows that I’ve got plenty of laugh lines, myself.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Botox Party?! Oh gosh! In Glasgow where I lived before, everyone had awful skin because the weather was so dire that it deterred everyone from going out. Instead the temptation is to sit in pubs and drink and smoke. There’s in fact a real drinking problem up there. I loved Glasgow to bits and really miss the people, but I found that because I always had on about 36 layers of clothing at all times, I started to forget about what sort of shape I was really in! Thank goodness I took to tennis! (Albeit indoor tennis!) x

        Liked by 1 person

  7. So funny! I haven’t been to that store, but then it’s been ages since I was in London, I live near Newcastle, so we have pretty much everything here. I loved the comment about cycling round France with all your Clinique! I am your twin! LOVE make up, creams, serums etc.. and all I ever want for Christmas is anything by Chanel, especially No 5 ! does feel good to scrape it all off at the end of the day though! (I won’t step outside to even weed the garden without my full face on!!!) xx

    Liked by 1 person

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