Like a wedding day I believe a girl can throw caution to the wind and spoil herself with frivolities and vanity for a big birthday. If I were rich and less afraid of any kind of beauty establishment I could be waxed and buffed, mani-ped’ied, plucked and made over. Unfortunately I can’t quite pluck (pardon the pun) up the courage to enter a place, let alone ask for a treatment.Once a year (on my birthday) my husband sends me for a massage or a facial and I have been known to enjoy it, not least because I just walk in, remain mute and leave an hour later. One year he sent me to a very exclusive manicurists and that experience underlined my innate fear. First of all if you are not a seasoned regular of a nail ‘salon’ you don’t know the etiquette, add to that not being able to fully speak the language therefore unable to converse or read any of the glossy mags provided and you are left with a highly uncomfortable and tedious couple of hours whilst two glamorous women grate your feet and tut at your cuticles. I left their salon on the edge of tears and vowing never to put myself through it again. I also had to thank my husband genuinely whilst hinting that next birthday a simple dinner out would be more acceptable. I wonder where my fear came from because I am no shrinking violet. Maybe it’s just because it makes me feel like I am on show and these beauty professionals are judging my lack of beauty. So many women enjoy these treatments, I really think at my age I should grow out of it.
Once I was in a French pharmacy and one of the assistants came up to me and asked if I’d like to be tested for which range of skin products would suit me. I had time to kill before my next meeting so duly put my face in some ultra violet machine and then listened as she told me some shocking truths. Imagine the French accent (and please don’t be offended),” I sink zat you mebee do not drink enough watter, no?”, umm correct, “you are also a little tired I sink” umm definitely (I’d been out on the lash with co-workers the night before), “also I sink mebee you smoke a little” well at that she could have sold me the whole chain of pharmacies, my not so social habit was clear to see on my face so god knows what my insides looked like. I left the store with an expensive and tiny pot of serum which she promised would work over night and unbelievably, it did. I was even complimented on how ‘fresh’ I looked the following morning. For years I bought it and only when I stopped living a jet set (ha ha) life and could no longer justify the expense of something so small (£42 for 15ml) did I stop. Must invest before my celebrations begin. By the way it was Darphin Aromatic Purifying balm.