I consider myself to be a low maintenance individual. I don't wear makeup, don't own a hairdryer, and never buy designer label clothes. However, I have of late found myself paying an increasing degree of attention to certain aspects of my appearance.
It started with my hair a few years ago, when I finally decided that I was no longer blond and would have to commit to highlighting. Once my best feature, my hair had turned ordinary, and once I came to terms with the fact that my 'natural look' was in fact hideous, I embraced the prospect of regular salon visits. This strategy was of course helped by the fact that I could now afford it.
This progressed nicely for several years and continues to do so. But a recent spate of cosmetic parties and the close proximity of a day spa a few doors down from work have caused an escalation in my beauty regime. Daily facial cleansing, lip gloss and mineral foundation have been added to my repertoire (the latter two still in the early days of actual usage).
Moreover, a few months ago I commenced 4-weekly eyebrow waxes. Not only am I now saved the hideous task of plucking with tweezers, but I need no longer glance in the mirror and cringe at the shaggy state of my brows. There was a time not so long ago when I would scrutinise the eyebrows of every woman I came across to see if I could find anyone with brows as dreadful as mine - to make my own slackness appear justified.
Most recently -- today in fact -- I have embarked on the next phase of my beauty therapy. Eyelash tinting.
It was my eyebrow groomer who first suggested it. My lashes are fair and not very long, and since I never wear mascara (glug) I daresay my eyes were a bit of a non-event. It is something I have considered in the past and discarded, never really knowing how to go about it. But, finding myself on my back in a day spa, a few doors down from the office, I found myself agreeing to give it a go. After all, it only takes 15 mins.
So there I was today, giving it a go. It's an interesting experience. You have to lie there with your eyes closed -- complete with goop and gauze and stuff -- for 10 mins while the dye processes. But the brain is weird. One moment I'm lying there quite relaxed with my eyes closed, the next I'm struggling not to open them, just because I know I CAN'T. Instead of leaving me alone in my private darkness, Virginia massaged my hands to distract me (do you have trouble relaxing? Your fingers are like sticks.).
And then my eyes started stinging a tiny bit. Not enough to be painful, but . . . these are my EYES for heavens sake. Did she say there was peroxide in that dye? That can't be good. Peroxide in the eyes. Oh god, what have I done? Is this safe? I'm going to go BLIND!
Um . . . I say. My eyes are stinging a little bit.
Don't worry that happens. Soothing.
So is there any chance I could go blind?
No, no, no, impossible. Pause. Hmmm, maybe there's merit in not talking you through every step.
There's only 2 minutes to go.
OK. Breathless. Calm. Calm. Be calm.
Of course I'm not blind. And my lashes look brilliant, even if I say so myself! I've had them tinted blue-black and I think might be addicted to my new look already. I daresay I will never be considered 'well groomed', but I'm happy with these few small steps along the way. Who knows what will be next -- regular manicures?