See the title? I could also be saying, who am I? Wow – that’s a big question, but I’m feeling somewhat discombobulated (I love that word) at the moment. We’ve just returned to our flat, after a week away. But not quite. Our bathroom is a plaster shell and we won’t be in properly for several days as there’s no functioning loo or shower. Basically we’re at the project management stage, so we’ve left our daughter’s house to be on site and staying in the guest suite of our block, but it’s just a bedroom with facilities so we’re treating it a bit like a cruise cabin (one with no glamour) using it to sleep in only. Fortunately we’ll be able to cook in the flat as there is water in the kitchen! However, think about it, we’ll have to rush down the corridor for the loo. Gosh, it’s all a bit disruptive.
Then another reason for my unease: my own version of IBS has kicked in once too often (twice this week) so I’m off to see my General Practitioner as I think this could be my gall bladder or that reflux thing. Really, there’s nothing serious but the symptoms are just enough to make me feel yuck, and not some of the time, but quite a lot of the time.
Then, this. I was having such fun living in my daughter’s house (they’re away). We were discovering Lewes, eating out, going to the Depot (do have a look at the link) which is a newly built independent cinema and really fab too, and generally having a good time, when this happened. Mid-week we were quietly chatting during our evening meal when my nose started to run, so I walked over to the other side of the room, got a piece of kitchen towel, gently blew my nose, walked back, went back to eating and then Mr Frugalfashionshopper turned to me and practically jumped out of his seat saying ‘OMG, what have you done to your eye!’
And there people was when the week really did fall apart as my eye had completely changed to a bloodshot mess with practically no white showing! For one moment I thought I was going to cry blood-red tears! But no, it was one of those spontaneous haemorrhages that occur possibly after sneezing or coughing or high B/P or blowing your nose or simply for no reason at all. I got it checked the next day as it seemed to have moved from half the eye to cover the whole eye, only to be told it was nothing and that the bleed does move when you lie down to sleep. And of course, it will resolve, these bleeds are nothing. But it is practically the whole eye, and from one angle I look like a lizard or possibly an alien with the now purple coloured blood reaching right round the iris. Fortunately, my hair is just getting to the stage of needing a cut so I’m wearing it draped over one side of my face!
But, of course, as you would expect, no contact lenses or eye makeup.
See. It’s this. I am not my ‘self’ at all. Because here am I, someone who has worn makeup for over 50 years, unable to make my face be the face I’m used to seeing in the mirror every day for those 50 years. I do feel odd.
Thing is I always wear makeup and especially eye makeup. My made up eyes are the very essence of me, so when I can’t put on the shadow and mascara, and then also, one eye looks peculiar, I feel peculiar!!!
Funnily enough I was going to write about makeup as I saw my good friend Tricia Cusden of Look Fabulous Forever featured in a recent Observer magazine article on the new vlogging role models and champions of makeup for older women. And I was going to take issue with one small item, the strap-line above the article that said something about them being ‘radical’ voices. Actually, I want to say ‘what do you mean, radical?’ (Please read that out loud with a pained upward inflexion) I did think that ageist.
Look. You, who wrote that strap-line. What is your image of older women? A crone? Who doesn’t wear makeup? It is not radical to wear makeup when you’re over 70, or write a blog, or do video-blogging (which is what I might do at some point – and why not! Always move and develop, never stay still.) Having said that. People, it is not radical, to voice an opinion or write about older women wearing makeup. This is the new-normal. End. Of.
There, I’ve got that out of my system!
And this Sunday Tricia has written a blog on why women don’t wear makeup. I thought as a riposte to that Observer strap-line and as a contrast to Tricia’s excellent post I’d just turn that around a bit and say why I (and that means women of any age but including those over 70) do wear makeup! So here goes!
- We all lose melanin as we age. I certainly have. Without makeup I am very pale and washed out. And I don’t get a tan on my face – because sun-bathing is not what I do! So a little moisturiser plus a foundation or a tinted moisturiser is one way to bring back that colour.
- It’s a good way to protect your skin – that makeup is keeping the sun-rays off your face. Many foundations have sun-protection which is great, and the consequences of me wearing makeup for over 50 years is that I have very little sun damage on my face.
- Preparing my face for makeup: the cleansing; the moisturising; the once-a-week exfoliation; it’s all good for your skin. And btw, I have sensitive skin and the routine I go through morning and night soothes and calms my skin.
- The extras: the eye makeup, the lipstick, the blush and concealers, I have them all. But each one of us is different so I don’t wear lipstick that much as, for me, eye makeup is everything, hence my current discomfort in not putting on the shadow and mascara.
- Finally, it’s a fun and a positive thing to wear makeup. I feel good wearing it. So why wouldn’t I?!
If you say, I have never worn makeup, and don’t intend to start, I’d say never say never! However, if you want some help because you’ve got out of practice do go onto Tricia Cusden’s website to look at some of her videos – because they really are the business.
However, here’s another list showing you what products I use – quite a variety!
- Eye Cleanser Simple eye makeup remover
- Facial Cleanser Simple purifying cleansing lotion
- Toner I don’t. But I do use a cloth wrung out in hot water to open the pores and finish the cleanse
- Serum Boots No 7 Youthful Replenishing Facial Oil
- Moisturiser Boots No 7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Night Cream
- Facial Cleanser Simple purifying cleansing lotion
- Toner I don’t. In the morning I splash my face with cold water
- Serum Boots No 7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum
- Moisturiser Boots No 7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Day Cream
- Smooth Like Silk Face Prime Look Fabulous Forever
- Continuous Cover Foundation Look Fabulous Forever
- Smooth Out Eye Prime Look Fabulous Forever
- Shadows (brown various) La Palette Nude L’Oreal
- Fabulous Lash Mascara Look Fabulous Forever
- Eyeliner Clarins Crayon Kohl
- Fabulous Conceal Look Fabulous Forever
- Fabulous Blush Look Fabulous Forever
Gosh, you might say, what a lot of products, and doesn’t this take up a lot of time? Actually, yes, at night I do take my time to clean off the makeup. But it’s a routine I’ve perfected over the years and in the morning ‘doing my face’ takes no time at all. I mean we are all different and I say be free and do as you please, and that includes not wearing makeup. The only thing I ever take issue with is, if people say, or imply, that it is inappropriate for older women to wear makeup. All I can say is ffs perleeease! And, what?!
And hear this. I lived near a famous potter, Ursula Mommens, and although I adored her work and always visited her lovely house and garden for her exhibitions, what I admired most was that she always wore eye liner. She lived to the age of 101 and whenever I saw her, there was the eyeliner. I thought her a wonderful role model for wearing makeup into a very great age! If I ever get to anywhere near that age (!) I’ll be wearing my eye makeup for sure!
Well, there it is. Always remember these pieces you read here are written by a human being and not an Insta fashionista, so apologies for the slightly tetchy and dejected tone of this post. I mean I aspire to be stylish into my old age, but to be that, and more important to be my own person, I need my eye makeup!!!
With love and, can I say, gratitude, to the many out there reading this post (you are very much appreciated) that’s all for now 🙂
Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper