Having reached that "certain" age I'm noticing some unpleasant things happening to my skin. I have developed panda eyes, dry skin on my cheeks and some lines around my eyes that not even Bio-oil eradicates. My shins look scaly and my elbows are horrid. Bea has had a skin care regime since she was 14 and sticks rigidly to it (apart from nights where she can be found face down in a vat of vino or "too overworked darling" to find her bed let alone her night cream) and is constantly on at me to develop my own. "Taking off your make up with baby lotion and bunging on a bit of oil isn't working any more darling, you need to exfoliate, to moisturise, to plump, to get with the whole skin care programme - do you want to look like a hag when you're older?" This latter comment is always, if we're at her house, directed at a picture of her mother in law that resides on the mantlepiece.
Charlie is a fan of Clinique and looks like she has an outlet in her bathroom - Lydia, on the other hand, comes from the School of Slatternly Skin Care Regimes just like me. "Erm, some avocado face cream that I got from Avon about five years ago" she answered to my question of "what beauty products do you use?"
David hasn't said anything about my careworn appearance apart from asking me if I was tired not two minutes after I got up on Sunday despite the fact that I was wide awake and raring to go. It was at that point that I decided to do something productive. Janey dragged me to Bluewater on Monday and forced me into a makeover chair. A twelve year old glossy haired minx appeared with a magnifying mirror and a very bright light and made tutting noises for a full fifteen minutes. She then proceeded to slather me in various lotions and potions, one of which made me feel as if my face was on fire. "Ids nod a facial peel ith id?" I asked through clenched teeth. Twelve year old minx shook her head and started totting up the total of everything that "a woman of your age and - eeeeesssshhhhh - skin condition should require". The "eeeeessssshhhh" was a sharp intake of breath that made me feel incredibly guilty and ancient.
The total cost of everything I should require made me feel very glad I was seated. I wiped everything off my mush, thanked her politely, collected Janey from the perfume counter where she was complaining that "everything smells like freesias now I'm pregnant" and we came home. For a sulk. I was obviously so beyond help that it would take a good few hundred quid to put right. David tiptoed round me all night but, helpfully, bought in a bottle of Olay.
Talking to Jane Opposite yesterday morning (hiding my hideous dry and scaly complexion) we got talking about my awful trip to Bluewater. "I tell you what, you don't look a day over 30" she said, peering at me closely. "Really?" I enquired brightly. She then went on to recommend Philosophy "I've been using it for ages, it's bloody fantastic" she added, giving me her face to study. I have to admit, she's got a few years on me and looks as fresh as the typical daisy. "No make up on today nor nothing" she went on. "I only tend to put the slap on when I go out these days and as I hardly go out then I hardly ever wear the slap!". I left her musing her lack of social life and got surfing.
QVC. Where would I be without it?