Monday, 2 July 2007

#36 Sister Act

I've just had the most self-indulgent weekend on record. I snoozed, watched movies, revisited my favourite novel, organised my magazines and managed to spend almost an entire 48 hours in just three rooms. Ordinarily, I'd have been climbing the walls, but there was something about the sodden streets and humid air that had me yearning for some quiet time – I think I uttered no more than twenty words in total as the hubby was work-tied all weekend. Last night's guilty pleasure was a re-run of Mean Girls – which, despite the tenth viewing, still has me howling with laughter in parts. It also got me thinking about The Plastics – the perfectly polished clique of girls at the movie's centre. Ironed hair, glossed pouts, airbrushed skin and hollow heads. It's hard to argue that the triumvirate's queen bee doesn't look good – even if she's full of matter so superficial (and artificial) that she'd give a bag of turkey twizzlers a run for their money. Her brand of beauty – the teen queen look – can be spotted every Saturday on most high streets around the country. I've always been intrigued by this look – knowing just how much intensive work goes into it. Clump-free lashes, flawless foundation (utterly unnecessary given their naturally peachy skin), pencilled arches and watermelon mouths… growing up, it was my sister, not me, who fitted into this category. She would set her alarm clock an hour before mine every morning, wash and blowdry her hair, spend thirty minutes perfecting her kohl-rimmed eyes and powdered face and skip breakfast as she was too busy tidying her brows. The routine gave her confidence – she was always a hit with the boys – whereas I found it irksome. I just wanted to roll out of bed, dab on some lip balm, pull my hair into a ponytail and go to school. The difference divided us for years. I could not see past her maquillage mask. She could not understand my naked face. At some point our paths crossed. I started to care about my skin. I read up on balms, creams, serums, gels and oils. I bought beauty magazines and earmarked the pages with good advice. Then, along with my first crush, came make-up – and, embarrassed as I am to admit it – it was my younger sister who guided my hand. She showed me how to pull an exaggerated smile and brush a pop of colour onto the part of the cheek that appears the most raised. She traced an expert line across my lids with Guerlain Terracotta Loose Powder Kohl Eyeliner – a seriously extravagant purchase for a 15 year old – but one that she uses to this day. She dabbed Shiseido Lipgloss in Champagne onto my lips and curled my lashes, before defining them with YSL mascara – I think it was Everlong. She introduced me to Juicy Tubes, Face Powder (jn a square box, decorated with the face of a geisha) and Bourjois blusher. As I evolved (or regressed – it is, I suppose, a judgement call) so too did our relationship. Funnily enough, the tables have now turned. She still knows her stuff, but with hundreds of new products launching every year, she loses track. I'm paid to be on the ball – and enjoy pointing her in the right direction and filling her bag with products whenever she pops over for a cuppa. She still pokes fun at me – the clueless, tomboyish, trainer-wearing big sister who has somehow managed to metamorphose into a 'real' girl… a real girl, who, occasionally, develops a penchant for the plastic.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like these ideas of beauty metamorphose:)
And the story of sisters relationship is so lovely:)