Let’s chat beauty! (As if I talk about much else. Well, I talk about teen television, especially Pacey’s Creek; sci-fi and fantasy; my desire to open a bakery with my dad where we only open when we feel like it and you’re only allowed in if you’re a socialist and read the correct type of poetry; the word “ninja”; and my undying love for Tindersticks. But I digress.)
I work on a fashion magazine. It’s not quite The Devil Wears Prada (as if they’d let you just nick off with thigh-high Chanel boots from the cupboard. AS IF!), but there is a handy-dandy amount of access to beeyooty products. Unfortunately I’m massively allergic to most stuff, so I buy my skincare – like a fucking civilian, ugh – from Liz Earle, rather than rolling around in tubs of Creme de la Mer like Scrooge McDuck (that notorious beauty-product aficionado, I don’t know).
[INSANE FANGIRL PAEAN TO HOW GOOD LIZ EARLE IS REDACTED BECAUSE I SOUND LIKE A HOT CLOTH CLEANSER LUNATIC]
Anyways, despite working in an industry where appearance is top of the pops, I wear the same shoes every day, shop exclusively in charity shops (and by charity shops I mean I nick stuff out of the church donation box*), I wear cowboy boots like I think life is an am-dram production of Brokeback Mountain, and Rayanne Graff is still my number-one style icon.
*This is a LOL. I’m an atheist.
Where my anti-appearance appearance is most apparent is in my beauty regime. (“Regime” is a bit strong. “Hose down in the prison yard” is more accurate.)
Much to the amusement of my hair and beauty journalism pro friend Rachael, I cut my own hair with nail scissors. I pluck my own eyebrows, have had one manicure in my life (cut short by a freaking panic attack because the manicurist basically holds your hand down, yeah? Well, what if ninjas attack? I’m not interested in any beauty treatments that prevent me going all Buffy Summers, yo).
I laugh in the face of bikini waxes (what’s wrong with nicking your housemate’s rusty Gilette and hacking through your pubes like a medieval farmer harvesting with a scythe, when you’ve a hot date approaching?), find getting a massage equivalent to a rub-down from a sexual predator who gets off on pan-pipes, and basically don’t care to be groomed by other human beings at all, actually.
I have (limited) funds and access to Sephora and B&Q for all my DIY grooming needs. Nothing’s more joyous than giving yourself a really good pluck, or hacking at your toenails with the self-same nail scissors you use to cut your hair/gouge dry skin from your heels/deal with that one weird thing on your skin, you know the one/chop sellotape to wrap a birthday present.
Unfortch for me, I also have alopecia. Gone are the heady days of a thick head of hair that I could wilfully abuse. When I was 15 and had just finished my GCSEs, my school had one of those shitty fake prom things, that awkward English cross between a school disco and a prom only we don’t really understand the concept so we just get drunk and wear polyester. Anyways, there were awards and I got the award for “most different hairstyles in a school year”.
I’ve had a Flock of Seagulls cut, gothic black wings, a Phil Oakey fringe, 1920s Lesbian Brylcreemed bob, a crop (courtesy of my ma, even I’m not that stupid to DIY), an Audrey Tautou; I’ve been blonde, ginger, magenta, black, brown, ombre, pink, auburn, chestnut, purple, pink…
Right now, my hair idols are Tavi of Style Rookie – the fringe, the colour, the everything!; Rooney Mara’s wig on the set of The Bitter Pill; Drew Barrymore, like, all the freaking time; and a girl on Twitter who I won’t name because how fucking creepy is that? But she’s beauts and has great hair.
What they all have in common is that their hair is THICK and LUSTROUS and you can’t see their SCALP. My alopecia isn’t on Gail Porter levels – touch wood, thank Elvis, etc – but my hair is way thin and my once pert and bouncy…ponytail is but a limp shadow of its former self, like a little flaccid hair-penis on the back of my head. Woe, etc. This means it is an ill idea indeed to splatter-bleach it with toilet cleaner (yes, I did that once. PUNK RAWK); dip-dye it with hardcore bleach from Sally’s Hair and Beauty (guilty as charged); spend my paycheque on Manic Panic (yup); or attempt a blunt fringe with my old friends the nail scissors (too many times to mention).
So. I’m going to turn myself over to The Man and get me a proper grown-up haircut. Payday is Friday, then I will let another human being touch me. Something something a lol about prostitution here, I refer to paying a hairdresser to chop my barnet. Before and after pics will be posted. Wish me luck…