Of Makeovers and Eyebrows

Yesterday, I was interviewed by a magazine for a 'life begins at fifty' feature, or to be more precise, about starting a whole new business at fifty. This was mainly because I decided, once I hit the big five-oh, to fulfil a lifelong ambition and open a shop dealing in the antique textiles which have been a lifelong passion for me. The fact that this isn't a real shop, but a virtual one, on eBay (the Scottish Home) only added to the magazine's interest.
Not that I've given up on the writing of course, just decided to divide my time between two absorbing jobs. Which was what the interview was all about.
I can't remember when I enjoyed myself so much. We had lunch in the kind of hotel that most poverty stricken writers can only dream of, a very friendly chat , and then came the pre-photo make-up... What a revelation!
Now I've always loved clothes, handbags (new and vintage) shoes, vintage perfumes (obviously, see The Scent of Blue below), girly stuff. It kind of goes with the territory. But I've never really been into make-up. On the night when my dear late mum first met my (incredibly tall, dark and handsome) Polish dad, at a dance, in Leeds, after the war, she was wearing no make-up and had her hair tied back with a bootlace. Or so family mythology has it. I find myself following in her footsteps. When I was a girl, I used to have long, ultra thick, dark brown hair - so long that I could sit on it. I loved it, and still sometimes dream about it, about brushing it, that feeling of being surrounded by this amazing, dark sea of hair that sparked with static when you brushed it.
I had it chopped it off, of course, while I was still quite young, had one of those shiny, bouncy, bobs that were so fashionable. I even had it henna-ed, when that was fashionable. (Like wrapping your head in something that smells of a warm hayfield). I don't know whether men ever realise just how much women mourn their long hair after it has gone. Now I spend far more on my hair than I ever used to. It's still thick and shiny, but it sure takes work.
And I've become a bit more interested in the make-up counters at Boots, shall we say?
So yesterday, this lovely, cheerful make-up artist sat me down, and looked at my face, and honed in on my eyebrows right away. She said 'if you take care of your hair, you should spend some time and money on your brows. It would make a difference.' Then she set to work on them with a will, as well as some clippers and some tweezers.
Once the make-up was in place, I glanced at myself in the mirror and hardly knew myself. How could somebody achieve so much in about fifteen minutes, including the eyebrows? I looked... well, let's say I looked younger.
Cue forward to this afternoon, when (after all the lovely war paint had long gone) my son came in after a night spent at a friend's house. 'Wow' he said, all unprompted, stopping dead in his tracks. 'What have you done to your eyes mum?'
'Why?' I asked.
'I dunno. They look different!'
'How different?' I asked, anxiously. 'Better, or worse?' Large Viking Like son is not noted for (a) observation or (b) compliments where his mum is concerned. As long as I don't actually scare the horses, pals, or girlfriends, he's usually fine with my appearance.
'Oh better!' he said. 'Yeah. Better.'
I looked at myself in the mirror. I could see exactly what he meant. How could ten minutes with clippers and tweezers make such a difference? I don't know. But it does. Only problem is, now (along with the hair) I'll have to keep up to it.
I seem to be becoming high maintenance. Rats.

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