The other night, while in a haze that I’m completely blaming on back-to-back episodes of BBC’s ‘Sherlock’ and a healthy serving of Connoisseur Strawberry Ice cream, I stumbled upstairs to wash my face before bed. It was one of those rare days during the holidays when I’d felt the need to don eye makeup (as opposed to my usual, let’s call it, ‘beachy and relaxed’ no makeup look) and I thought I should dig out the remover and to try and make good on my ‘remove makeup and cleanse face every night’ New Years intention.
Splashing some of the liquid onto a cotton pad, my head filled with highly important thoughts (did I remember to bring a bottle of water upstairs? Will my toddler wake at the glorious hour of 5am and sing the dawn song of his people or deign to sleep a little longer?) I vaguely registered the strong, acrid scent of the substance on the pad but didn’t think much about it until I raised it up to my eye and happened to glance down at the bottle of acetone laced nail polish remover standing open on the vanity.
It took a few more seconds to compute that what I was about to position over my highly sensitive, already kind of wonky eye, was not in fact a gentle, alcohol free solution designed to remove mascara but a potent, chemical dense concoction capable of removing shellac, and possibly small amounts of skin. I dropped that pad pretty quickly after that and retired to bed, eye makeup removal completely forgotten.
It occurred to me the next day that the sheer amount of ‘stuff’ littering the shelves of our admittedly small bathroom vanity might be partly to blame for the mistake of the night before. While there are a number of logical reasons for the level of product accrued (a previous life as a magazine beauty editor, current role as a sometime beauty blogger, general buyer of makeup and makeup related items), there was one, slightly more illogical reason that I suspected had encouraged me to hold on to the bulk of it; motherhood.
In a way, a bunch of those delicate bottles with their whispered promises of glowing skin, contoured cheeks and prettily tinted lips were a visible reminder of life ‘pre baby’. Of a time when I delighted in trying out new lip shades and tricky little eyeliner flicks of a morning in preparation for a day of work. A time when I had both the time and inclination to spend 30 minutes of a morning blow drying and highlighting.
While I like clothes, I’ve never been a die-hard fashionista, beauty has always trumped fashion in my life. Four plus years of working in a predominantly female populated industry, in a role that not only expected but actively encouraged an interest in all things beauty and makeup only added fuel to the fire.