Sunday, April 19, 2009

Beauty tips Smeauty Tips

Thanks to Copperwitch from many moons ago, here's a few of my practical and achievable grooming ideas that so many of you have been begging me for for so long. And so often.

I've never bothered with it because it just makes me look as though I've done a runner from Madame Tussaud's or people look concerned and offer to get me a sugary cup of tea and make me lie down. It seems pretty handy stuff to have under the house though.

I probably should use it, if only to prevent myself from looking like a wet chicken but to be honest I can't seem to apply it without ending up with a jokey extra pair of lashes being smeared onto my upper eyelids and big snotty black chunks on the few tiny hairs I have on my lower lids. And nothing says 'Erk' like staring at someone with black boogers of mascara stuck in their tearducts or having the wrinkles under their eyes emphasised with cartoonish fillers of black.

Day Cream:
Mum was and still is a Nivea Creme afficionado, and due to my fairly English-rose-like complexion as a child I soon had the entire year 5 class rushing out to buy their own blue and white pots. These days, I'll slather some on my face and neck straight after the shower. It's getting to be like a challenging cross country skiing race these days though, because I have to dab it near but not on my pimples. I blame writing (not chocolate) for these, as I tend to sit at the desk with my chin and jaw in my hands, fiddling, picking and encouraging more zit bulbs rather than bonafide literary ideas to bloom. Sadly, Clearasil still stinks as badly as it did in 1982 and the check-out chick was cheeky enough to snigger when I said it was for me.

Essential Beauty Product:
Apart from being an expert in Photoshop, I'd say sleep. It's sad that my face still bears the crease marks of my pillow even an hour after a strong coffee, shower and breakfast and is even more unwilling to fully unfold if the little sleep I did get wasn't refreshing. As it is, my eyes already look as though they're two tiny currants pushed too far into some bun dough, but one day I'm sure my sagging eyebrows will outdo even Clive James's and permanently overshadow my pupils like an awning of ageing flesh, joining up with the bags underneath.

Favourite Makeup Product:
Money in my wallet, not spent at any stupid cosmetics counter. Whatever cream is on special at Coles, especially if it smells nice and isn't instantly licked off by Milly the dog. A good BO-repellent, especially in this era of clingy tops, crowded public transport and being crammed into synthetic sleeping bags.

Lagerfeld's Chloe. I've been wearing it for twenty years and still love it. I go through two bottles a year and it is my only real girlie indulgence. I'm sure it must look/smell a trifle unorthodox to see a woman wearing grey marle trakkies, a bloke's oversized t-shirt and unbrushed hair holding a full dog poo bag yet smelling like a Parisienne model.

I cut them as soon as they're long enough to gather any gunk underneath or when Sapphire says, "Ouch Mum, you just scratched me," when I was in fact trying to tickle her instead. Those outlandishly long, rectangular stick ons with painted white stripes on them give me the absolute heebie jeebies and send out a clear message that their owners don't do any work that extends beyond applying polish or opening up a can of Pringles. Invariably too, the more stupid the nails, the fatter the owner: in a desperate effort to detract the viewer from their bulky bodies I presume.

A blob of whatever's cheapest rapidly rubbed in as I climb into bed. Love Chunks quite often has the lights turned out, only to hear me:

1) click in my mouthguard (I'm a grinder)
2) kick off my ugg boots
3) have a nice long honking blow into a tissue
4) slip slop slap my hand cream on
5) fumble around trying to set my alarm
6) knock the pile of books on my side table over and
7) invariably fart as soon as I bend over to retrieve them.
......and who said romance is dead?

My nails are kept extremely short so that they don't carve up the other toes in my running shoes or bash up against the edge which turns them black before they die completely and fall off, which is not a good look in summer sandals I find. My actual feet are rather large (Dad used to say, "Hey, you'll always have good balance", whereas my brother would crow that I was Ronald McDonald's love child) and are permanently covered in blisters and loose, peeling flaps of skin that, if dried, I can rub up Love Chunks' legs in bed and give him a tiny sanding down of sorts. Overall, they are best hidden in running shoes, uggs or Crocs, which isn't saying much.

Three products to bring on a deserted island:
30+ sunscreen (I burn just thinking about it, and my legs have been known to glow in the dark); dental floss (for all those sand grains and coconut shreds) and soap.

Women I admire for their beauty:
Kate Winslet. Yes she's gorgeous, but she admits that she has to diet like a mad monk and exercise like a Tassie Devil on acid to look the way she does. My Mum - great cheekbones, beautiful eyes, kind smile and a natural dignity and grace that only increases with the years. Sapphire - when she giggles all I see is light and stars.

Woman with the best sense of style:

Any woman who is confident enough to not be sucked in by uncomfortable stacked heels, tight belts wrapped over bulky cardigans, too-skinny jeans, fake-straightened hair, butt-ugly ankle boots, orange tans, stupid scarves that threaten to overtake the entire body, freezing mini skirts, exposed bra straps or hoop earrings wider than their necks.

My ultimate dream:
To win lotto. Oh, you mean beauty wise? To never look older than my age or ever be described as having a 'lived-in face' - ouch. Looking my age is OK, but I don't want to be handed out retirement village brochures or be offered the handicapped parking spaces just yet. I'm also not interested in having Elle's body, Paris's fortune or Madonna's fame, but a mortgage-free life with opportunities to buy a new car and travel extensively wouldn't go astray. Neither would regular weekly deliveries of fresh Haigh's chocolate.

How do I define Womanhood:
Being a grown up who knows the value of a good bra, a good laugh and the confidence to enjoy her own company. Ask me tomorrow and the answer might be - writing all bad behaviour off as PMS-related, laughing at fashion-fraught teenagers and only looking at my reflection in the sliding door that makes me look skinnier. The day after will be a different story again: a happy child, a one-pot meal that's edible and enjoying easy access to wine.

Favourite fashion publication:

Marieclaire, but just for the laughs. At least once in every page I'll look at a $13,000 handbag and say, "Yeah, right," or the eleven year old anorexic model wearing a bespoke designer kaftan made from cobwebs and coffee dust and think, "Yep, she represents their 30-something readership spot on." Or their hilarious green fashion page which exhorts the reader to plonk down $400 for a bamboo-derived organic t-shirt: that's about my yearly clothing budget!

Any hints you wish to share?


Baino said...

Excellent although you're very disparaging. I wish I had skin that didn't need 'smoothing' with foundation . .I too have a particular sliding door that makes me look like I've shed pounds and can only extoll the virtues of Nivea. Although I do wear foundation and mascara. Try Maybelline .. the green one with a little comb. It doesn't splotch!

Oh, you're tagged! ner ner!

River said...

Here's my tips. Well, you did ask for tips......
Foundation, it's almost impossible to find one that matches your skin tone and most of them are too thick and dry streaky. after applying, go out into the sunlight and check for streakiness or patchiness. Or do as I used to do, choose the closest possible colour match, mix about 1/3 of the bottle with a giant bottle of moisturiser and use that instead.
Mascara, forget black. Use brown, and after applying, straight away brush the lashes with an old mascara brush which you have thoroughly washed and dried. This removes "chunks". Then put on your pair of $2 magnifying glasses and check the look.
Daycream, nivea is excellent, ditto Johnsons Sorbolene lotion which comes in a 750ml bottle for about $5.99. I mix this with a bottle of Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula, (don't get the unscented variety, it smells awful), in a big jug with a whisk then pour through a funnel back into the pump bottles. Clearasil is useless. Dab each spot with a little witch-hazel instead and DON'T PICK!!
Essential Beauty Product, sleep. Yes, but cut out that one last coffee and drink a largeish glass of water instead, this will help to re-hydrate you from the inside while you sleep. A side effect of less coffee is clearer brighter skin, same as when someone gives up smoking.
Deserted Island, why would you need soap? The place is deserted, no-one there to smell you, it's an Island -surrounded by sea- just dip in whenever you might get a bit sweaty....
You have a $400 yearly clothing allowance??? Heh, i'm still wearing t-shirts and trackies that I bought when working in the shoe factory. I hate clothes shopping and rarely do it.
Had to laugh at your fashion magazine bit. Anorexic 13 year olds wearing cobwebs....And surely people don't pay $13,000 for a handbag??? Truly?

franzy said...

Here's my tip:


............ be a bloke. No jealousy, no introspection, no paint. Stumble out of bed, pat down chicken wings up the back of head and awayayayayay we go.

Sorry ladies!

Kath Lockett said...

Baino, I have used Maybelline when forced to, and yes, I will get to your tag thingy soon.

River, you're a legend and surely a blog is in your future?

Franzy you are very lucky. Even when a bloke is rumpled and unshaven, we're still attracted to him!

Helen said...

You never fail to make me laugh! I must admit though, I tend to get quite girly at times, particularly between my 3-month stints living in the bush all by myself and generally covered in mud, oil, dirt, blood...

As I get your feed though email I never coment anymore :( so here is a long one to mke up for the last few weeks!

Foundation: I don't use the stuff, as my skin tone changes a lot with the way I move from working outdoors to indoors so it's either too dark and I turn orange, or too light and I look pasty-green. I won't leave the house without sunblock and I've found a great tinted sunblock/moisturiser that works quite well t evening things out, I fix it with some MAC (one of my indulgences) fixing powders and occasionally some bronzer when I'm particularly tired and need to feel good about myself.

Mascara: One of those essentials, I actually use it quite often, although I look for the mascaras that arent 'super-lengthening' becuse those tend to clump. I find that if you focus on the base of the lashes and only put a little bit on the tips it makes them look thicker without you ending up looking like you mashed spiders over your eyes. I find that light mascara with some charcoal eye-shadow and white eyeliner underneath (once I've concealered-up the huge dark rings that are permanently under my eyes lately) blended with some fairly neutral brown tones... oh my gosh I sound like a girl! But it works for me and I find it makes me look much more awake than I really am!

Day Cream: My tinted sunblock moisturiser. It's fantastic and totally not available in this country so I'm not sure what I'll do when I run out.

Essential Beauty Product: Hair straightener. I don't properly straighten my hair often, but I usually run a straightener over the worst of it a few times a week and it tames the frizz and makes me feel all pretty... that and silicone-shine spray! Also decent lip-gloss for the instant mood-lift!

Favourite Makeup Product:
I love my brushes at the moment, although my angled brush is dying slowly. I can't believe I ever used those little sponge-on-a stick things they give you with the eyeshadow, it makes putting on makeup SO difficult!

Perfume: Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess (Dumb name I know, but I got it during a long layover at an airport where I tried EVERYTHING and I really like it, and still do!)

Keep them short, I work with my hands way too much to have the long talons. I paint my toenails various bright coours, but if I paint my fingernails my birds freak out!

Hands: Whatever's around at the time.

I have pretty big feet and so I battle to find nice shoes so I usually stick to all-stars and the like, so the most I do to my feet is paint my toenails bright colours. I do walk around barefoot a lot so I should probably take better care of them.

Three products to bring on a deserted island:
Shampoo, conditioner and toothpaste?

Woman with the best sense of style:
Anyone who can feel comfortable with themselves, who can look stunning in jeans and a t-shirt because they sort of glow from the inside.

My ultimate dream:
To travel the world for years and years just ging where the mood takes me! Preferably on a quad-bike!

Fashion publication: I don't read them unless I'm stuck in a waiting room or somehting. If I have money and time I buy travel magazines to plan the next great trip pipe-dream!

franzy said...

Shouldn't that be "especially when a bloke is rumpled an unshaven"?

That's the principle I've been working on my whole life!

Kath Lockett said...

Helen, your advice is awesome! Not bad for someone who works with lizards and helps out the monkeys at the zoo.

Franzy, yes, you're right. It's a look that does work, even when you're not.