Shaky foundations

September 12, 2012

You know how some things become your own personal Holy Grail? The search for the perfect handbag/bra/man, which starts with high hopes and often ends in disappointment? Well, I’ve just had one of those moments.

Ever since my teens, I have sought high and low for the right foundation. I know this makes me sound ridiculous, especially as I am lucky to have quite good skin anyway, but somehow I have fallen for virtually every single foundation ad ever made and convinced myself that each new product will somehow transform my life (already pretty great, I have to say) into a veritable Nirvana. Naturally, the collateral damage of this obsession has been a whole bunch of bottles, powders and creams over the years – matt, light-reflecting, SPFy, oil-free, mineral, BB, you name it – which regularly get dumped in the bin.

Today, I’m afraid I succumbed yet again. There’s been an ad on TV for a while now with a very big chain of chemist swearing it can find your perfect colour match with just a waft of its clever new computer thingy in your general direction. My girls had asked if we could have this done at the weekend, and I’d told them, with my sensible mother hat on, that it was unnecessary, they both had peachy perfect complexions, foundation never looked natural anyway and it was all just a big waste of money.

Could you stop me buying any more of this, please?

If only I had been listening to my own words of wisdom. For today, when I was out and about doing a lot of boring chores, I passed a big branch of the chemist. There was a poster in the window offering the colour matching service. Before I could say to myself, ‘don’t do it, you fool!’, I was sitting on a little stool with a white-coated shop assistant hovering over me. One click of her clever machine somewhere close to my jaw and she intoned, ‘calico,’ rather as I imagine the Oracle at Delphi would have done.

I left the shop with some hope in a jar, only to discover, of course, that it did much the same as other foundations do – make me look like a washed-out, 10-years-older version of myself, necessitating heavy use of blusher and mascara to bring me back to life. End result: Coco the Clown’s less glamorous older sister. And then I remembered that Prescriptives started offering the exact same colour matching service about 20 years ago – and that didn’t work for me either.

Just two questions for you:

1. Why do they test the colour around your jawline, when the rest of the face, which is usually more trouble-prone and therefore actually needs the foundation, is a darker shade?

2. Why do I keep on falling for this silliness?

Answers on the back of a bottle of foundation, please.

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  • Potty Mummy September 12, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    And have you come clean to your daughters about this one? (ha! I wouldn’t have. Or at least not until after they started picking up their laundry from the floor…)

    • Dulwich Divorcee September 14, 2012 at 1:13 pm

      I haven’t said a word to them!! Actually I’m using it as a kind of test to see how often they read the blog …. and of course now, thanks to your clever idea, as a weapon in the pants standoff 🙂

  • Nicola September 13, 2012 at 12:16 am

    Hmmm… Just when I thought this service was going to be the answer to my foundation problems.

    • Dulwich Divorcee September 14, 2012 at 1:14 pm

      Well, it might be …. if you need foundation on your jaw …. and the machine-thingy is fun 🙂

  • Naomi Richards September 14, 2012 at 11:32 am

    We get sucked into the marketing don’t we. I tihnk many women are on the quest for good foundation but personally I would rather not use it. I look less plastic without it

    • Dulwich Divorcee September 14, 2012 at 1:15 pm

      Well, you don’t need it, Naomi, you have lovely glowy skin and such positive energy around you. The rest of us (ie me) need a little help now and again!