So yesterday morning I went along to a photo shoot with A Modern Mother - check here to see why, and who else was there. (I didn't want to go, you understand. Just like her, I felt this really was taking things a step too far, but for her sake, I did it. Oh, the pain...) And the immediate upshot was that I ended up with a face-full of make-up by 11.30am.
Anyone who's met me will know that cosmetics and I are not the best of mates. Admittedly, I wouldn't be without my close personal friends, mascara and eyeliner, but as to those trollopes eyeshadow, foundation, lippie? No better than they should be. Oh, I've tried to make nice with them over the years, really I have, but every time I think we've worked things out and are getting along well they double-cross me and I end up looking either as if I have two black eyes and smacked cheeks, or so understated that nobody actually notices I've bothered with them...
However, make-up artists don't earn that title for nothing, and after the initial shock of yesterday's experience - who the hell is that woman in the mirror? And what happened to her hair??? - I actually decided I quite liked the effect. I have no idea how to reproduce it, mind, and was far too overwhelmed by the whole thing to do anything sensible like make a note of what product and colours were being applied, but still, I thought I looked OK.
Amazingly, by the time I got home it was still in place (the reasons for which became clear yesterday even when I had to remove the mascara with a pick-axe, but there you go, you have to suffer to be beautiful - or so I told myself), so I was interested to see my family's reactions.
Husband was gratifyingly impressed. I suspect he was also wondering why I don't make this level of effort a little more often, but I didn't like to open that particular can of worms.
The Boys, however...
Well, Boy #2 took no notice whatsoever - until at lunchtime, sitting next to me, he spotted a glimmer of lipgloss left on my mouth. His expression became more serious. He stood up in his chair. He leaned over - and wiped it off. "All better now!"
Maybe not quite the reaction I was hoping for.
Boy #1 walked straight past me when he got home. When asked by his dad if he could see anything different about his mum, he gave me a cursory once-over and shook his head dismissively. Later on though, when I bent down to help him with something, he did a classic double-take. "What's that?" "What's what?" "That. Stuff." "Oh, it's make-up. Do you like it?" "It looks spikey. All pointy around your eyes." "OK. But do you like it?" "No." "No?" "No. There is no way I am wearing that to school tomorrow."
He has a point, I suppose.