When you're a woman of a certain age (and by you, I mean me) and you hardly ever wear make up, knowing you're going to be photographed and gawped at for a whole day next month finally propelled me into the make-up artist's chair for what they call a make-over. I call it slapping on a load of gunge and trying to grin and bear it, but whatever floats your boat. Call it what you will.
So, makeover number 1 - which I've blogged about here.
I'm familiar with advised me to go to Bobbi Brown. I'd heard of them, so that was a start. I schlepped over to Newcastle with my sister in law for moral support and to look after my handbag. Well, you never know. The make-up artist was the same age as me, so that was a promising start, and to be fair, she didn't once try the hard sell, which I was expecting.
She explained in clear and easy terms what she was going to do, what she was doing, and what she'd done. She encouraged me to hold and use the mirror to see exactly what was happening every step of the way. She concealed things that needing hiding, corrected things that were deemed wrong, and laid a wonderful base of mortar and cement for the colour to go on the top. I was impressed but also, I looked somewhat blank.
Ok, so she'd taken away the redness from that bit on the end of my nose that's always, always red. But she'd also taken away any colour in my cheeks. I was a blank slate ready for the colour to go on. And go on it did. I had red rosy cheeks, which we had to tone down as I felt like I looked like an Aunt Sally doll. But the best bit of the makeover was the way she did my eyes, all smokey and grey with black eyeliner in places I've never worn it before. With lips all done, I was ready after about almost an hour. My sister in law kept nodding encouragingly and the final effect was rather lovely, I have to admit.
But after I'd slid off the chair and done a bit of shopping, the heavy foundation started to 'melt' and every time I caught sight of myself in a mirror in the shopping centre, all I could see was a drag queen looking right back, and by 'eck, she wasn't happy.
The make-up came off as soon as I got hom. Or at least, I tried to take it off but the eyes wouldn't change. The mascara remained, the eye-liner stuck and it was mid-day of the following day when I finally felt like I had a clean face.
I'm not knocking Bobbi Brown, I just don't think it was the right kind of make-up for my kind of skin and for the kind of look that I had in mind. The make-up artist was excellent and I was very impressed with her knowledge, caring attitude and expertise. And another good thing about Bobbi Brown, which I shall most definitely be using, is their YouTube How-To videos.
Makeover number 2
I told her what I wanted and that I was familiar with No. 7 cosmetics as I'd used them all my life and that all I wanted was her advice on colours I should use. I was hoping to cut and run without having to suffer another makeover all over again. But she really was good, encouraging me to sit down and giving me the full going over. I was putty in her hands. She brushed, she painted, she put stuff on, all stuff that I've used before in the past, that I knew worked for me from a brand that that had covered up my spots and blemishes, painted my face since 1978.
She choose my colours carefully, and the end result was a much more natural look than I'd had at Bobbi Brown. It was still slightly heavier than I would have liked but at least I know what to put where now, what colours to use, what to do when. The plan now is to practice with all my new toys - yes, I did end up buying the make-up and brushes, spending more in one transaction today than I've spent on make-up in the last 12 months. And with practice comes perfection, which isn't the look I'm aiming for on my wedding day. I just want to look like a really nice me.