Sixties model Verushka, from 'The Women We Wanted To Look Like'
You may have gathered that I’ve never been a frills and ribbons kind of female. But I do have a penchant for one thing that’s very girly: make-up. I like to think of it as an art form. From those first playful experiments in pretending to be a grown-up with my mum’s lipstick smeared on (mostly around my chin) to the drawing on of black and red geometric lines in my punk heyday, wearing make-up has been fun. When I go out it’s a part of my identity, still a bit of a statement perhaps - a little 'art' on my eyes being very much a feature of the total look I want to achieve.
But I’m getting on a bit now and I wonder for how much longer I can keep applying my usual amount of slap without ending up looking like a drag queen’s impression of Barbara Cartland. I question how much I use it as a confidence-booster too. It doesn’t help that I need glasses a lot these days and I can’t see what I’m doing half the time, jabbing my pupils accidentally with a mascara stick (that’ll really help the failing eyesight), whilst my kohl line goes astray in an Alice Cooper stylee. I’ve asked Mr SDS to tell me if he ever thinks I’m heading towards the dreaded mutton-dressed-as-lamb scenario, but I’m not sure he’ll see that through those old pink-lensed spectacles. And rather shockingly I realise there are a few friends who haven’t even seen me with a completely nude face before. Maybe they won’t recognise me?
I'm a tiny bit heartened though by this page from a book I've had for many years ('The Women We Wanted To Look Like' by Brigid Keenan, 1977). Here is the stunning sixties French model, Nicole de la Marge, undergoing her own make-up transformation.