Tag Archives: Beauty Regimes

No.74: Put Off Doing Something Until It Becomes A Crisis

From calling off a wedding to having a poo, there’s nothing like a brazen IGNORE to allow initially insignificant business to escalate into full blown nightmare, just to give your day (by which of course we mean life) purpose.

Deadline of three months? Drink coffee and watch Only Connect until you suddenly realise you have 37 minutes in which to research, interview for and write up a 2800 piece on the history of the Lathe for Machine Tool Weekly (and if you’re wondering why you’re doing this in the first place, see post No.31). There is no better way to imbue your extraordinarily dull commission with all the immediate magnitude of a haemorrhaging eyeball.  Every PR you frantically telephone will hear the rabid urgency in your voice and the assumed significance of What’s Going Down Here will blow up like ankles on a long-haul flight.

Because urgency is acutely catching, people. Others want in on the sense-of-purpose gig.  Lathe-experts are literally being physically hefted out of their beds by ruffians employed by PRs for specific from-bed haulage purposes and onto the phone to offer last-minute Lathery comment because this situation is now SERIOUS. An APB goes out on all (three) Lathe-operator organisation websites. Emergency Lathe-spokespeople are mustered. Families of Lathe-operatives risk starvation as machinery lies abandoned, such is the stampede to contribute before time is up! Soon, forty-six people are swept up in your shit storm. And loving every moment of it.

At pains to further labour this point, which of these conversations is more interesting?

(a) I switched the iron off and went to Tesco

Or

(b) I thought I’d leave the iron on until I’d returned from Tesco. And unpacked the shopping. And written a sonnet. I  burnt the house down and am now as homeless as …well, the two people who live with me, actually. Except the one that died of his injuries.

Ladies, isn’t it just vastly more satisfying to shave your legs when they look like something pulled from Mumford and Sons’ plughole? Leg shaving is a faff and doesn’t feel necessary until it starts feeling *medical*. 

On a daily basis, leg shaving can never be classed a bona fide crisis situ until you are in a taxi with a recently-met Handsome Young Man  you spontaneously decided it would be ace to have sex with. You’ll suddenly remember that bristling beneath your 40 denier is the sort of thatch that would give Richard Keyes’ forearms an inferiority complex. At this point plotting how to discreetly dehair or incorporate keeping your tights on into some hot sex stops being vanity and starts being a character-building situation to be passed onto the grandchildren. Anyway, your soon-to-be-naked comrade probably isn’t noticing that behind your pouty, sexy exterior the words: ‘fuckfuckfuck I seriously hope he’s got a Bic lying on the sink or his ex left some Immac knocking about’ are going on, as he at this moment is urgently planning how to hide the Nicklebackrecords he left on the side before going out this evening.

Nickelback: crisising all over your record player

People in soap operas have long understood the power of the last-minute, crisis-engendering reveal. If you can avoid sharing the fact that you used to be a man from your 19-stone, balding mechanic, Australian fiance until, say, the honeymoon night, things prove way more invigorating than if, at the end of date two, you decide to divulge the  information that a Serbian doctor rather than your DNA provided you with your vagina .

Important information. This practice of crisis-generating avoidance is not ever applicable to: administering mouth to mouth, injecting Insulin, addressing your financial situation if you are the country of Greece and turning off Robbie Williams.

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No.70: Help a family member

When there’s nothing else to do except eat and cry your way through your perpetual lack of employment sabbatical, it’s sometimes a relief to do things for other people that would usually make you go ‘JESUS H. CRUMBS CAN’T YOU SEE I’M BUSY!?!’

Right about now however, even Stevie Wonder in a backwards balaclava can see that you haven’t been busy for about 18 months and so assisting in your father’s removal of rotting leaves from the conservatory guttering and backing his car into the garage offer a welcome escape from listening to politicians talking about how ‘disgusting and unacceptable’ the London rioting is. And other variants on the words ‘disgusting’ and ‘unacceptable’. This is why they are doing absolutely nothing. All their physical energy and time has been channelled into ferreting through Thesauruses 24/7.

‘How about ‘we cannot countenance?’

‘Nah.  Boris used that yesterday.’

‘Filthy?’

‘Too coarse.’

‘Beyond the pale?’

‘I LOVE it.’

Etc.

I digress. One of this bloggers favourite things to do when otherwise doing shit-all, is help out in her sister’s excellent hairdressing salon. As luck would have it, she owns an old-school-still-offers-perms type salon as opposed to those shiny chrome-and-house-music heavy ‘studios’ called ‘KUTZ’ or ‘STYULZZZ’  where all the aphonic staff are given pay rises based on a pout and weight loss sliding scale. And can only cut your hair so that you look like the drummer from an emoband.

Directional: but ridiculous on a 3-dimensional human

Sweeping up bits that have been shaved off other people is satisfying and slightly sickening at the same time. Like squeezing out ingrowns from your bikini line or sitting though a whole episode of ‘Police, Camera, Action.’  But better than that is What Old Ladies Talk About. One, a 68 year- old woman, feared getting fag ash on her i-pad and  her online Solitaire habit (“I only smoke menthols though dear, they’re not so bad for you, are they?”). Meantimes,  her 74- year old husband – renamed Mr Teak due to his year round Menorcaised hue – is bemoaning how long it regularly takes to load his Facebook page from behind the latest copy of Reveal.

The one-liners you catch whilst passing through en route to the kitchen for yet more tea are superb. Honestly, you couldn’t make them up (and believe me my dear readers* – I haven’t.)

‘Oh yes, the end of her nose is fake. A Jack Russell bit it off’

 ‘There were 4 lesbians in here last week. It wasn’t as glamorous as it sounds.’

Lady 1: ‘He’s my best mate you know.’  Lady 2: ‘Except that time he sent you a text , saying he wished you were dead.’

‘She fell in the gap between the bed and the wardrobe.  Paramedics needed a sling to get her out. She was there until 4am. Literally wedged.

‘My grandad drank all the Sambucca and started harping on about his sex life’

Lady1: ‘My mate did this tattoo for me at home.’  My sister: ‘Ooh lovely. It’s a flower!’  Lady 1: ‘No, it’s a red indian’s head.’ My sister: ‘…would have been my second guess.’

And so on. I was especially fond of the fierce middle-aged woman that worked the Debenhams perfume counter and saw off a serial flasher by squirting his nob with CKOne.  ‘I hope it stung’ she snapped from underneath a magnificent crown of highlight foils.

Add to this the chap with 5 strands of hair and a crush on the junior stylist who pops in to book in a trim once a week and then runs away when anyone speaks to him. Oh, and the man who regularly pops by wearing nothing but a tee-shirt. Even in winter. Much to the concern of the ladies who – despite the fact there’s a bloke there with his John Travolta swinging free – care only about the pneumonia risk.

Once he’s back off-of his holidays (and so on), David ‘extra from a televised Jilly Cooper adaptation’ Cameron could do with visiting the nation’s hairdressing salons for a bit of policy inspiration. Therein lies the sort of  blue-sky thinking you’d pay middle-aged men who would like to pro-create with a whiteboard, tens of thousands of pounds a year for. The London riots, the NHS, care homes, the death penalty (most wouldn’t hesitate to erect makeshift gallows for the teenagers continually kicking their footballs against the side of the garage during Emmerdale), how to manufacture dog poo bags your finger won’t go through. All of it is covered amongst the roar of dryers and Radio 1.   

Actually, they should scrap the whole Tory party and just move my sister’s clients into parliament. Food for thought Mr Rupert Campbell-Black,  food for thought indeed.  And at least they’ll all have Newsnight-ready ‘dos.

TODAY’S FOOTNOTES

*I am aware this plural is a little optimistic.

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No.56: Fake Tan Yourself

If you ask a person who fake tans themselves, ‘why do you do that?’ they will reply: ‘because it makes me look more healthy’ or ‘because I am a flancer and have nothing better to do that make myself look more healthy’ or ‘because I like smelling of dry roasted peanuts.’

It’s quite an ordeal fake-tanning yourself, an ordeal that doesn’t end anywhere near making you look more healthy, but only more poor* and more as if you have ankle-and-wrist-specific vitiligo.

‘What’s up with your feet?’

‘Nothing’

‘Why are they all – ?’

‘ – shut UP.’

Fake tanning is a great boredom-ouster, replacing endless hours that would normally be spent staring at an email inbox with no job offers in it with OCD-esque pre-buffing and moisturising and laying-down of plastic sheeting followed by nail-biting flusteration and marginal panic that you will have an orange upper lip and sink taps (and now mobile phone.  Bloody features editors.  Can’t they call when I’ve NOT got my foot up on the windowsill tanning my thigh crease?) for the next five days. You will consequently seek various orange-patch removal products and, after trying and dispensing with an emery board, bicarbonate of soda, real ale and Cillit Bang, simply  decide to stay indoors for a week, eating.

No change there then.

You can waste effectively utilise up to two hours Googling product reviews online so that you definitely do not get exactly the same sort of tan as Kerry Katona and end up sporting (hopefully) the sort of all-over warm chestnut coverage that would make a walnut sideboard fall in love with you at fifty paces. If inanimate objects could feel hormonally-based love for organic beings, of course.**

In the main, the instructions take only minutes to read but do not seem to correlate to the item you have in your hands. ‘Remove ring’ [which ring? This ring – oh SHIT that’ll never come out of the carpet.] ‘whilst holding can upright [Ah.] ‘Hold an arm’s length from the body [does this mean I get a deeper tan if I am short-armed?] ‘and apply in short bursts. If the product feels wet you have not applied it evenly.’   [Do I move the can whilst ‘bursting?’ Ok, I am very wet. What do I do? Hello? Help! Shit again! I touched the curtains!]

You will then have to stand in a peanut-aroma-ed star-shape for three hours on a sheet of newspaper before still ruining your bed sheets and the next four towels you use.

When caught in a downpour, it will appear to bystanders that you are rusting.

Once you have fake-tanned you will feel better. As if you have had a holiday in Minorca or Cornwall for three days.

Or maybe not.

[NOTE] Apologies to male readers. But perhaps this insight into the mentally unstable personal grooming habits of female flancers has at least been entertaining. If nothing else,  you’ll now know what that weird peanut smell is when the office heating comes on.

TODAY’S FOOTNOTES

*Fake Tan costs a chuffing fortune. Unless it’s cheap of course. Unfortunately, the amount you pay for your fake tanning product is directly proportional to colour of footballer’s wife you will be. IE Lancome = Chelsea WAG bronze. Netto’s Own = Notts County one-night-stand mandarin.

**Too much coffee.eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.ee.

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