A few weeks before I had been sent this by email.
These are the A/W looks from the Boots 17 range. A/W, I'll have you know, stands for Autumn/ Winter, even though for bimbos like me it looks as if it might be something written on the back of an electrical appliance. At the time I thought that whatever the colours, 'Enraged and Fury' was a look I might be able to pull off, since I spend a good deal of my time being furious anyway without even owning the designated eyeshadow.
As it was, it was 'Broken hearted and Sulk' and 'Vengeance and Revenge' that arrived. I am here to tell you that these eyeshadows make me look neither vengeful nor emotionally tormented.
The green one, particularly, is fab. I wear green eyeshadow a lot - alarmingly this first took place when I was 18, but more recently a lady at the Clinique counter covered me in the stuff and I loved it; at least until they discontinued the one that she sold me. It was a lovely emerald, and came in a little compact with a glittery highlighter shade. I have lost count of the eyeshadows I have tried in order to replace it.
However. The search is over. The green eyeshadow trio above is perfect - two shades of green and a silver with a bit of sparkle. And it stays on, which considering the time I spend during the day with my face in my hands in despair is amazing. Very tired people do not wear make-up well, I have found; but this trio has the right balance of bold colour and sparkliness to prevent me looking like a woman who really needs to crawl into a hole and sleep for the winter. I love it.
The purpley trio is very good, too. Recently a make-up demonstrator woman in a shop gave me what she called the Classic Smoky Eye, which I'm sure I could have recreated with this if one of the three colours had been a little bit lighter. They look more contrasting in the packaging; but even the lightest colour is still quite dark, so I've had to work a bit harder at not looking like I've been punched in the face. But now I've learned to avoid its pitfalls, I wouldn't be without it; it's really very subtle and flattering. And used sparingly it creates a plum-coloured effect - certainly not as frighteningly purple as the vengeful woman above would suggest.
Two matching nail varnishes were also sent. I often paint my nails during the Lattes' swimming lessons; it's a race against time that, so far, No7 nail varnishes have won hands down. The big test - getting Eldest in and out of the shower and back into her shoes and foot splints - has defeated many lesser nail varnishes, including the two in my parcel, even though they did claim to be Fast Finish. I loved the purple colour, though, which is just the right amount of shimmery for regular wear. I model it above; be aware that all my nails broke off last week when I was struggling to get into the wheelchair store, so only two nails are visible: the rest are ruined stumps.
The final item from Boots was 17 Blemish Balm. I have to admit I read the information several times and was still no wiser. Was it foundation? What was it for, exactly?
A quick google revealed that Blemish Balms are a combination of anti-blemish skincare, primer, foundation, concealer, moisturiser, and SPF. Well, why didn't you say that? It has SPF25, which is always something that attracts me to a product since I'm freckled and sun-ravaged even though I've spent most of my life in the shade.
The Blemish Balm has a bit of colour - though not the choice you'd get on the foundation counters. With it on, I don't really look like I'm wearing make-up, but neither do I look like the walking dead, which is a bit of a miracle. And though all the talk of 'wonder cream' and 'imperfections' dances around the issues, it is certainly very good over spots.
Without a doubt, Blemish Balm is the stuff I will definitely be putting in my bag for the two weeks Eldest and I will stay in hospital after her surgery. Two weeks on a ward. I will probably be tired, wan-looking and sporting the 'imperfections' which inevitably arrive with stress and fatigue. I'll likely be thankful for "magical 'no make-up make-up".
Also I'm taking whisky. You think I'm kidding.
I wasn't paid for this article, but products were were provided free for review by Boots.