There are drawbacks to shopping with teenagers – like the hours spent slumped on the floor in the Top Shop changing rooms while the girls try on skinny jeans I wouldn’t be able to get my left eyebrow into. And then there are the perks, like hanging out at the make-up counters. I LOVE make-up but as a teen I was too shy and scared to do much trying out – the assistants terrified me. They were creatures from another planet, with their multi-coloured eyeshadow and wide, scary smiles.
This fear doesn’t seem to affect my offspring at all, who are quite happy to be daubed with products they have no intention of buying. Also, I do think the assistants have become less threatening, or perhaps there are simply fewer of them and they’re happier to leave people to their own devices. Or, possibly, I look a slightly better prospect nowadays than I did as a penniless teen. Anyway, Child Two and I were having a happy browse the other day. She was scrutinising the nail varnishes, which I find too numerous really to concentrate upon. I blame this on Death on the Nile, one of the few films I saw at the cinema in my youth. Starring the great Peter Ustinov, it also featured Mia Farrow, looking as ever as though she’d just been slapped in the face by a wet fish, and the stunning Lois Chiles as the poor-little-rich-girl. I won’t give anything away just in case you’re the one soul left who hasn’t seen it or read the book, but it turns out the beautiful Lois has a capsule wardrobe of two nail varnishes, one in blood red. I remember thinking that she was the most stylish creature ever, and I have always turned up my nose at weird nail varnish colours ever since. Forget your blues, your matts, even your exquisite decals. I like reds, from chili to Rouge Noir, and clears from French manicure to Nigella white.
So the rainbow of polishes held no appeal, but I was very content to continue my (never-ending) search for a foundation that works/matches/lasts. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. I have an oily T zone, dehydrated cheeks and forehead, and foundations always seem to break up on my nose. As Bridget Jones would say, Gaah! Evenutally, Child Two had had enough and came to drag me away. But, as we left, she suddenly spotted something she’d been looking for – a cream by La Roche-Posay. I know this firm of old, as it was very big in Belgium, and is highly rated in Europe. I was a bit surprised that Child Two was au fait with it. But apparently one of their products is currently the toast of all the beauty bloggers – the oddly-named Effaclar Duo. It’s supposed to wave a magic wand over break-outs and is great for other imperfections, Child Two told me. Oh, and it also refines your pores, moisturises and is a great base for make-up. She grabbed one off the shelves – and I grabbed another. After all, no one’s perfect – my imperfections are certainly many. And I have a duty to you, dear readers, to try stuff out and let you know if it works. So far, I can tell you it’s got a lovely texture, seems to make my oily bits less shiny, and smells lovely. Am I now perfect? Not yet, though I have high hopes. I’ll let you know.