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Dreadful Nonsense

"I've read your blog. it's really funny. you should write a column." - Jon Ronson

I went into Boots in my lunch break to pick up some cleanser, so that my three-step skin routine isn’t interrupted unnecessarily (because, ladies and gentlemen, your skin is your best friend). I managed to deflect the Clinique sales lady with a curt and insistent “no thank you” to her offer of help, because any time a Clinique lady “helps” me, I end up spending about £5,000 on moisturisers I seriously don’t need. I love me a moisturiser, though. I’m a sucker for new things I can rub about my person.

Wandering off wondering what I was going to do with the rest of my lunch hour, I accidentally walked into the make up section and started staring blindly at the mascaras on one counter, while thinking of all sorts of other things - ponies, flowers, butterflies, the usual things girls think about. As if from nowhere, a frightening thing dressed in a feather boa and incredibly ugly shoes loomed up behind me.

“You have the same colouring as me!” she shrieked into my ear. Dear Lord, I thought, I hope not, staring at her ultra-orange complexion.

“Can I help you?” she asked, with all the false bonhomie of those people who stand on the high street with clipboards.

Caught in a moment of weakness, I said I was looking at the mascaras. She immediately grabbed me by the arm and dragged me off to the side.

“We’ve got a new product that was just launched today!” she yelled, pushing me on to a stool with one arm and sticking something into my eye with the other, “It’ll make your lashes look about ten feet long!”

I looked desperately around, trying to attract some assistance, but soon stopped doing that as she continued to stick things in my eyes. “It suits your complexion!” she yelled again, “I’m wearing it right now, and we’ve got the same complexion!”

Tears streaming down my face, I blinked her briefly into focus, looking at the dead, buckled spider legs that were apparently attached to her eye lids. “Really?”, I murmured.

“Yes!” she exclaimed. “Are you Welsh?”

I was stunned.

“Hm?” I said.

“You must be Welsh!” she said, and stuck a mirror in my face.

I immediately noted two things:
1. I had mascara running down my face as far as my chin.
2. What mascara had managed to stay on my eye lashes, was, as she had promised, making them appear to be about ten feet long.

“You’re very pale!” she was continuing, grabbing a tube of something else, and smearing it all over my face in one swift move that I didn’t see coming, and that I was completely helpless to prevent, “we’ve got the same colouring! Black hair, blue eyes! Are you Welsh?”

“I’m Irish,” I muttered from underneath the cake of makeup she was applying, noting that her hair was not in fact black but actually grey with some badly applied hair dye over it.

“SO AM I!” she screamed triumphantly, grabbing another six bottles and emptying them all over my head.

She continued to gibber away at me about the importance of eye gel and moisturiser and colouring, and being Irish and Welsh and pale, and telling me she could cover up the “terrible” dark circles under my eyes, and constantly making reference to how young I am in comparison to her, seemingly oblivious that we were in fact almost exactly the same age. I let her carry on because at that stage I was too frightened to move and was in any event having an out-of-body experience, floating up towards the ceiling and looking down on myself as this horror of a women threw completely inappropriate colours all over my face. All I was thinking was, I have to go back to the office looking like this woman.

“There!” she screamed, finally finished, and thrust the mirror in my face again.

I was astonished at the result. I looked, for once, not like I’d just crawled out from under a stone, but actually healthy and alive. The ridiculous colours she’s been producing actually complimented my skin colour and did not, as I had first feared, make me look like Coco the freakish killer clown.

I was so relieved I bought £50 worth of cosmetics then and there.

I’m such an idiot.


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