Boris Johnson had finally announced that bars and restaurants were allowed to open.
“FREEDOM!” I yelled, as I opened the door to the garden. My eyes started to water.
No, don’t worry, I’m not THAT emotional.
It was hay fever season. Damn. I forgot that I can’t go outside without looking like I’ve cried for 3 days straight. Perfect. I sniffed and rubbed my nose as I went back inside to search for some tissues.
The girls’ group chat was already blowing up with ideas for where to meet tonight, even though it was only 3 pm, it had been so long since I had done a full face of makeup, I decided to start getting ready.
First stop, fix my patchy fake tan from last night. I had never quite mastered the knack of how to cover your knees and elbows without making them 2 shades darker than the rest of you. I grabbed some exfoliating scrub and got to work. I hoped that if I could lighten it a little, I could smooth over it with a tanning mitt lined with tinted moisturiser. After more than an hour of trying from all angles, I decided to opt for a long-sleeved crop top and jeans. Maybe I should have done that in the first place or maybe I should have booked a spray tan…
Next up, nails. I stared down at my chipped, broken nails. Oh, dear. At least it wouldn’t take too long to remove the tiny amount of polish that was clinging to them.
After I had filed them and clipped off any sharp edges, I was ready for my fresh coat of polish. Naturally, after waiting for so long, I had to go for an O.P.I classic cherry red. Sorted.
I looked at my phone.
“Oh my God! Is that the time?”
It was 5:30. I was meeting my friends at 7 and I hadn’t even primed my face yet. I dropped my phone back down on the bed, not quite noticing the bright red nail varnish streaks on my phone case and on my white bedding.
My nose was still running, and I couldn’t get through more than 2 words without a sniffle in-between.
After dosing myself up with the last of the nasal spray from the allergy cabinet, I went upstairs to the bathroom and laid out all my makeup products along the shelf, scraping off the layer of dust that had accumulated on top as I went.
I switched on my ring light and looked in the mirror. My nose was glowing like Rudolph. I prayed that I had enough concealer left to make my problem go away. As I grabbed my makeup brush I noticed my nails.
Bits of white fluff, dust and glitter had attached themselves to my cherry red nail polish.
Erm, maybe I was just really excited for Christmas?
Somehow 6:30 had rolled around.
It was time to face the enemy. My eyelashes.
My lashes have always been pale, short and flat. But after being in a lockdown they were in crisis mode. Ideally, I would have booked lash extensions like I used to, pre-pandemic but right now my only option was strip lashes. I needed some falsies. NOW. I ran back to my bedroom and grabbed my lash bag. After 5 minutes of pulling out old empty bottles of lash adhesive, I finally felt the edges of a set of lashes.
“A-ha!” I said, triumphantly.
But my face dropped when I pulled the lash set out of the bag, revealing the tattered remnants of a full Russian volume set. Three fans were hanging on for dear life. The rest of the lashes were dwindling at the bottom of the bag. My eyes wandered to the old bottles of lash glue and back to the lash set.
No, no Louise that’s not an option. I said to myself.
I sulked back to the bathroom.
“Ugh” I grunted as I took my eyelash curlers out of my makeup bag.
I hadn’t used them for ages. I couldn’t even remember the ‘correct’ method. All I knew was I needed length and volume, ASAP.
I had heard somewhere that you weren’t supposed to put mascara on first… or maybe it was don’t put mascara on last? I decided to do both.
I pressed the curler down on my lashes within an inch of their life. Now for the mascara. I slathered on two thick layers, using a different mascara brush I separated my lashes to try to avoid any clumps. I let them dry off for a few minutes.
Now for the moment of truth.
I pressed the curler down over my lashes and summoned the strength of a professional wrestler. I squeezed and tugged as hard as I could to try and persuade my lashes to curl upwards.
As I pulled the curler up to release it, half my eyelashes came with it!
I looked back into the mirror. My left eye was now almost bald. By some cruel twist in fate, my lashes now looked worse than ever before. I text my best friend an SOS message to get herself down to the nearest supermarket and pick me up a false set of lashes, like her life depended on it.