In the week running up to my 30th birthday, I think the Cubs had come to an agreement to make my life as difficult and as testing as they possibly could. They threw day long strops and would alternate hourly meltdowns come nightfall. So by the time I left for London I looked and felt like I was actually heading off to my fiftieth. My first port of call was Liberty; Instead of leaving with the lipstick I'd come for, I walked out with a full face of professionally applied make up. For free.
I love makeup. All the beautiful packaging; the promise of a new, better you. I'm a marketing man's dream - embarrassingly gullible and desperate to believe that it really will make me look like Kate Moss.
My problem is the application. Even though I've had countless lessons and have even worked as a beauty journalist, I can never do it as well as I want to. So before an event, a night out or just when I'd quite like some me time - I often make a detour to the nearest beauty counter for a transformation.
I usually head for a Bobbi Brown or Chantecaille stand; so when I was approached by a beautiful, fresh faced girl from Chantecaille- no hint of orange foundation anywhere - I happily put myself in her hands. She was so unlike any of the make up artists I've come accross in previous department store dashes. After being an account director at MC Saatchi for the last seven years, she- Natalie - decided a change of career was in order and became a make up artist. She was business like, interesting and kind. And incredible at make-up. She got me and exactly what I wanted in seconds. There was none of the awful pretending I liked it and having to rub it off afterwards in secret.
Make-up's never really been of high importance to me - a bit of tinted moisturiser and mascara and I'm ready to go. Though now I'm getting on a bit, I feel that that and the sleep free nights are beginning to take their toll; I need to become a bit more high maintenance. My first step is booking myself in with Natalie for a makeup bag analysis/overhaul/lesson. And then we'll go from there. Hopefully shopping.