My period bluntly announced itself with pangs of pain in the lower abdomen, after a night of Thai food and a couple of drinks. 6:30 in the morning – the mirror sends back a far from flattering image. I run to the kitchen and put a teaspoon in the freezer (more of that later) and rush back for a shower. Unfriendly mirror confirms matters haven’t improved much. I need to resort to the big guns – from the depth of the sink cabinet foundation and lipstick are retrieved.
It might be Shiseido but I am ashamed to admit my foundation has to be 10 years old. I usually bring it out a couple of times a year, for the two black tie events that might require my presence and a bit of effort in the hair and make up department.
Luckily, I live in a warm climate so my already dark skin is naturally tinted all year long – eyeshadow and mascara is what I feel I can get away with on a daily basis. My hair is typically cut in a natural style that doesn’t require styling, an art that still escapes me. But this morning I look potentially scary and the foundation helps a bit in giving my skin an even and smoother tone and the pale pink lipstick brings a bit of color to my face. A definite improvement but I am not used to this polished image anymore.
A friend asked me why I never wear nail polish. For years I could say that, being a chef, I couldn’t keep long nails and certainly no varnish – you wouldn’t want scrapes of it in your food. It’s actually banned in the kitchen along with most jewellery and piercing. But now that I am not at the stove all that often I could find my way to a nail salon once in a while. The truth is I have a bit of an aversion to the Beverly Hills polished look – the hair a touch too perfect, the make up way too flawless, nails much too lacquered. The get-out-of-bed and-look- fabulous look is more to my liking, never mind that it takes longer and longer to achieve it.
I do love imperfections, I find them endearing and they make it easier to relate to people – a skin blemish, a crooked tooth, a not so Roman nose, less than perfect abs – I realize there is a fine line between slovenliness and just presenting ourselves to the world the way we are. But I feel too much perfection inhibits the real personality to shine through. Plus, I would rather spend a free hour reading a book rather than inhaling fumes – but that’s just funky me.
Oh yeah, the frozen teaspoon – applied to puffy eyes it is supposed to constrict blood vessels and reduce swelling. I think it works. Although in my rush to get out of the house in the morning, I forget to do it most of the time such a remedy is called for. And I periodically find teaspoon collections with my ice cream….