Thursday, 4 August 2011

It's all over for the pale and interesting

A while ago I got an email from Boots asking if I'd like review samples of their products for babies. I looked at the Littlest Latte, who was running around the house collecting bits of loose change in order 'to save up for a goldfish', and emailed back to say thank you, but the baby part of my life was over. If they ever had anything for older children, or for grown-ups, I'd be happy to hear about it.

And then a parcel came.

It contained two different bronzers, two lip-glosses, some nail varnish and suncream. It was much more exciting than anything they could have sent me for a baby.

I've never used bronzer, so to have two lots of it at once was a bit of a shift. I prefer a more peaky look - I know this, because once I asked a saleswoman at a make-up counter to help with me with some foundation I wanted to buy, and she looked at my choice and said 'Well, well, someone likes to look peaky."  And I looked at the colour of her face in comparison to mine and thought "Yes, yes actually I do."

The internet is a lovely thing, though, and is full of videos showing idiots like me how to use bronzer. It turns out you can use it not only with a big brush, to add colour to your peaky self, but with a smaller brush as eye shadow and even on your lips. A plan began to form.

When I packed for my holiday last week, I decided to leave all my usual make-up behind. If bronzer was so damn versatile, I'd just use that instead. And the nude lipgloss. On its own, the nude lipgloss made my lips so pale it looked like I was close to death, which is never a good look for a woman over 40. But with the bronzer underneath it was lovely, and smelt absolutely gorgeous, and my hair didn't stick to it if I went out in a wind.

I was very happy with my minimal holiday make-up kit. I used the bronzer with the big brush and on my eyelids and under the lipgloss. Nobody saw me in the street and ran away, shouting 'beware the orange woman!' which I count as a win. The fact that the colours in the No7 Bronzer were separated out in the palette made it easier to use for different things, and I really liked it. Also, it has a little mirror and is pretty. I don't think it will ever leave my handbag. (The Miami Pop bronzer wasn't quite so versatile. It was very glimmery, and when used on my eyelids made me look vaguely like something from 1970s science fiction. As a basic bronzer it was fine, though. (To be honest, if I'd been choosing a bronzer for myself I would have chosen the Miami Pop one, purely on the basis that it was £4.99 instead of £13. (Being a skinflint is how I make most of my decisions.))

We all used the children's sun lotion constantly over the week, and I'm really glad they sent it because it was much better than the stuff I usually buy. It rubbed in really easily, it didn't irritate Littlest's occasional eczema, and it claimed to have insect and wasp deterrent in it. Now we didn't see any wasps actually fly up, sniff the air and turn away again, but this was the first holiday where we didn't spend all our picnic time watching wasps eyeing up our food. We've gone so far in the past as to make the wasps their own jam sandwich, placed at a slight remove, in the hope that they got the hint.

The pink lipgloss, frankly, I found terrifying. Littlest saw it and clasped it in her little hands, remarking on how similar the colour was to her Hello Kitty lip balm. This says all we need to know about the pink lipgloss.

The nail polish, though, was not terrifying at all. Look, how summery it is on my toes - still all pink and unchipped after a full week. (That's enough now. Stop looking at my feet.)


  1. I'm off on holiday tomorrow, with my mosquito repellant suncream and I just *know* I am going to be watching out for mossies flying up, having a sniff and buzzing off again now!

    Must remember your make-up tips : )

  2. Where are the toes? I would have had a brief glimpse at the toes??

  3. laughing at the thought of the sniffing insects!

  4. Those You Tube makeup people really like making videos, don't they. I watch, even when I have no desire to copy. Oddly compelling.

  5. If "peaky" means "not dayglo orange" then I'm with you! (Mind you, I have never worn foundation in my life, so what would I know?)

  6. yeaaa... where are the toes?

  7. Ever so pleased to finally know how best to describe my desired look. Too scared to do the Youtube demo thing. I have it in my head that those are aimed squarely at orange persons. Not peakies.

  8. Oooh Lovely! Bronzer makes me nervous but if CL can do it maybe I can too :-)

  9. Are you sure Boots didn't intend for you to try these out on little people? Positive? :-)

  10. I'm So Fancy - the children both have pink toenails. I have done my part.

  11. I can't see your feet. Which is good because I have a thing about toes on blogs.


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