This is a weird age. At one point, when I look at it written down – or when I have to scroll back through the years to register online and the mouse is moving like Mo Farah – I feel old. Or rather, I feel I should be old, because most of the time I feel the same as I did in sixth form.
There is a feeling, once you get past 40, that you should start disappearing, blend into the background and let the beautiful young things shine. Don’t wear short skirts; don’t have long hair; wear comfortable shoes…
It’s the feeling when you look in the mirror and think: “A woman nearly 50 should not be wearing that outfit”, as I did a few weeks ago with the get-up below. But then, I think “short skirt, black tights, flat shoes – still got it”.
So much so that I took this lift pic to share with my friends.
I admit, there are moments when I feel that way, when I feel that I should be “classic” (ie. boring) and not draw attention to myself. They last all of a few minutes (except when I’m at the gym and doing my oh-my-giddy-aunt-this-is-heavier-than-I-thought face. Don’t nobody look at me then).
But it’s also affected my make-up. The girl who once wore yellow eyeshadow, with a pink contrast, together with blue mascara and eyeliner (guess the decade?) has a make-up bag filled with neutrals.
So when I was presented with the chance to change it, I grabbed it.
I had the pleasure of being invited to a beauty launch a few weeks ago where the goody bag included false eyelashes to make my eyes pop. A MUA was also on hand to put some on me – she may remember me, I was the one saying: “You’re not going to make me look like Jordan, are you?”
Being downwind of false eyelashes in the past has always made me wary of them. I think they’re responsible for Hurricane Alley – all the women of the world batting them has to have some effect, doesn’t it? But these are lovely, I have to say. They’re nice and natural and not at all Kardashian-like.
And now I must warn you – scary photo alert so you can see what they’re really like.
First of all – what the hell is my right eye doing? Auditioning for the remake of The Shining? I’ve always been told I have the “Thompson eye” – yeah, my mam’s family are that special they have an eye named after them – but I never realized that was “Thompson eye right before they turn into a psycho killer”.
And a word of warning for all you young’uns out there: note the eyebrows. This is what happens to your eyebrows once you get older. They go from Cara Delevingne lush to Wayne Rooney hairline overnight. Stock up on eyebrow pencils STAT.
Anyway, regardless of my personal hang-ups, you can see how lovely the Connie lashes are (oh God, I’m a useless beauty blogger – they’re the Connie lashes from The Vintage Cosmetic Company and they have some of the loveliest packaging I’ve seen. Should have mentioned that before. And mebbes several times).
(Arty shot – with my latest reading material…)
Now, I should really stop here and say: “They’re lovely, I recommend”, but that wouldn’t be honest. I mean, they are lovely and I do recommend them, but it’s never that simple with me.
I first tried these lashes on our weekend away in Bournemouth, when it was windy. And I didn’t realize that the lashes actually came with glue so I’d bought some from Superdrug and it obviously wasn’t that adhesive because halfway down the steps for a romantic twilight walk along the beach, one of them got caught in a gust and half came off.
Yes, half. Not fully, that would have been far too easy.
So there was this set of false lashes fluttering around my eye like a caterpillar on ecstasy and Mr 50 Sense looking equally affected as he creased up laughing.
That never happens to Kanye and Kim, does it?
Not only that, it had taken me best part of half an hour to put them on in the first place. Who can be bothered with that? Which is when I thought, “Oh, well, these are obviously for young people”, but as I said, nobody is putting Middle-Aged-Woman in the corner so I was determined to master the lash for our family meet-up in Newcastle (and no, that had absolutely nothing to do with meeting my cousin’s new, beautiful, stylish Canadian wife for the first time).
So I tackled it like a job interview. First of all: research, research, research. I read and watched everything about putting on false eyelashes. The winner has to be the wonderful Lisa Eldridge, who is one of my goddesses anyway. Her calming voice talked me through every step of the way and filled me with “Yes I can”.
Secondly, I discovered the glue that was in the box (whaddya mean, “When do you need glue preparing for a job interview?”). It’s pretty good stuff, actually, and turns nicely tacky after a few seconds to make the whole process a lot easier. I got it down to 15 minutes, mainly because I kept getting interrupted by Mr and Sister 50 Sense wanting to “help”.
And that was it. After a little practice, I had two beautiful sets of lashes and most importantly, they withstood the wind of North Shields, Tynemouth, Cullercoats, Whitley Bay AND Monkseaton. And not wanting to make this a North/South thing, our wind is obviously better.
I’m never going to be one of the BYTs who have falsies on when they’re travelling on the Tube in the morning, but Imma gonna flutter like crazy on nights out in future.
And I don’t care how old I am.