Make Up Your Own Rules

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Marilyn knew

After spending quite a lot of time away from home with family over the Christmas period, it was really lovely to be back in our own flat. I’ve talked about being a homebody before and this is never truer than in the Winter months when it’s cold and wet outside, and my sofa is willing to hold me while I watch Netflix.

But this is not a post about home comforts, it is a post about warpaint, or lack thereof. On returning home on the 27th, I half-arsedly unpacked my fluffy cat shaped travel bag, only to find that my make-up bag wasn’t there. No need to panic, I thought, it’s obviously in my handbag, where it normally lives.

Why I was expecting to find it in my luggage, I don’t know. Except, it wasn’t in my handbag either…

Not that long ago, this discovery would have send me into a tailspin, or at least straight to the nearest make-up selling establishment. I did send a text immediately to my mother, suspecting that it had fallen into the boot of her car (it had) but then I really started to think about make up and why I needed it so much.

I came up with this. I need it because I love and want it. I don’t need it because I can’t conceive of leaving the house without it. This is not something I would ever have been able to do a decade, even five, three, two years ago but now I can and do.

There is a freedom in being able to operate without having to think about your face, it’s true and weekends are usually spend bare-faced and slouchy. I like the feeling of being fresh and clean. I don’t run from people I know should I bump into them in the street.

But, and here’s the big but (tee hee); I love make up and really enjoy wearing it. When people describe it as warpaint, I know exactly what they mean. I’m just not myself without my signature liner (even when I’ve fucked it right up).

That can never be a bad thing as far as I’m concerned, knowing what works for you and which bits you love, therefore want to play up. It’s not vanity to want to present the best of yourself. Plus, for me, it’s about ritual and I have a pretty non-negotiable one:

Wake up at 7am
Hula hoop in front of the TV for 30 minutes
Do make up with a cup of tea
Get dressed
Brush teeth
Watch about 20 minutes of bad TV (I live ten minutes from work)
Leave for the day

My make up applying session is the only time I really spend with myself. It’s just about the only time in the day that I really look at myself and I think it’s important.

I mean, I wear glasses all the time and I love how cute (and smart!) they look but I do miss my face. I haven’t really shown it to the world without specs for two years and on the rare occasion that I have been caught off guard without them, I’ve been complimented on my eyes or make up, and that feels bloody great. Like I’m no longer invisible.

Continue reading “Make Up Your Own Rules”

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Proud Pleasures Part 1: In Praise of Miss Swift

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I don’t believe in guilty pleasures, I believe in Proud Pleasures.

If I like something, even if it’s just a Shaggy record from 1998, why not admit it? I don’t care what the cool kids think. When all is said and done, I know who I am and who I am has horrific taste in music and LOVES pop.

Candy striped, sickly sweet pop music that gives you toothache.

Which leads me effortlessly into my love for Taylor Swift. I know she’s in the press a lot, that everyone loves her for her autobiographical songs and her full skirts. I like these things about her too but if I’m honest, I’m mainly in it for the Muzak. That girl can make a damn good tune.

Music is not my first love (film is) and although I do of course listen to and enjoy it, I’ve never really got into the Indie albums my friends love. I don’t know the latest bands or who’s the best performer at a live gig. I’ve never been a festival goer and I don’t spend my money on concerts.

Maybe I am musically stunted, I know there is a whole aural universe out there just kicking it’s heels waiting for me, yet I’m stuck here on Planet Pop – and I’m okay with that.

So Taylor, I like you. I really like you. Red was fantastic with strong songs in I Knew You Were Trouble and We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together and 1989 – 1989 is a perfect slice of steaming hot pop pie! Not a foot wrong as far as I’m concerned.

(Vintage looking Polaroids included with the physical CD? Genius!)

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I love you more than PSLs

I’m in love with Welcome to New York, Blank Space, All You Had to Do Was Stay, Bad Blood and Shake It Off, it’s hard to pick favourites on an album, as my friend Lightle says, full of tens.

As for my personal feelings about Tay, she seems okay. Nice enough. I assume the saccharine girl persona is just that, and that there is probably more to her than we know but she’s obviously self-aware and I like that. Anyone who can poke fun at themselves is A-OK by me.

So, in closing, I want to hark back to my favourite T. Swift era: the Dawn of the Woolly Hat and Jake Gyllenhaal in Coffee Shops Swifty. I wish he had never pissed her off and that they had stayed together. Sure, we wouldn’t have WANEGBT but we would have Jaylor Swyllenhaal!

I’ll get my coat now.

Incidentally, this is the first in a series of regular posts I am going to call Proud Pleasures.

Update: AND How You Get The Girl and New Romantics. So good. So so good!