This is the result of my very first pedicure. It was prompted by the receipt of a voucher for what, to me, is that most foreign and intimidating of establishments: the beauty spa.
It`s not that I am averse to the application of beautifying treatments. Exfoliating, fake tanning, hair dyeing, are all part of my DIY beauty repetoire, after all. I have even tried home waxing (with alarming results) and eye lash tinting(didn`t make any difference).
But the key aspect to all these ventures into vanity is that I do `em myself.
Well, I am not called Little Red Hen for nothing, y`know.
Once upon a time, I had a voucher for twenty pounds(yes, that long ago) for another beauty establishment. I booked a facial, only because it matched the price on the voucher. This entailed a younger, and far more beautiful, woman telling me how she had just managed to rescue my skin in time because it was seriously dehydrated. Or some such similar schtick. And, of course, recommending a whole course of therapies so I could continue to hydrate my face. And pay her wages.
Having a stranger stroking my face was not my idea of fun. I`m lying there, bored out of my skull, feeling fingers creeping around my forehead and worse still, adding some smelly gunk on the false promise that it is going to make me look wonderful.
Make up free shiny skin and mushed up hair is not my best look, lady.
I couldn`t wait to rush home and shower the lot off.
Anyway, there`s something really annoying about younger, more beautiful women telling us uglier, older gals how to look younger and more beautiful. Like as if as a women, being beautiful should be our only goal in life.
Indeed, in the beauty salon it seems brains are a burden. They won`t stock copies of National Geographic in their waiting areas but only glossies which obsess about Paris Hilton`s shoes or Jordan`s latest boob job. And don`t expect conversation any time soon about the state of the nation. It`s the state of your make up and the size of your wallet that matters.
Not, mind you, that I have allowed my inner ugly girl full reign.
It`s one of the reasons I run after all. I like to think that my years of pavement pounding are having a positive beauty effect.
For the first time in my life, I am sporting a light tan on my shoulders and arms with zero effort. No more boring lolling about on sun loungers for me. I get my tan on the run. And I`m vain enough to sunblock my face, wear a visor and sports glasses while I`m at it.
My body is much more toned of course. And stronger. And that`s definitely more rejuvenating that pouring oil on my face. Or bathing in asses`milk….
This kind of ass…
This kind of bathing..
My vanity extends to the wearing of make up most days. In fact, I never go to work without my `face`on.
But running in full make-up look ever so ridiculous. Especially when the mascara starts to run and the foundation streaks. So running without trowelling on the plaster first has taken some getting used to.
I`ve watched other women at the race start up. Fake tans in running gear looks utterly ridiculous. A made up face and running gear looks like you were about to put on an evening dress but changed your mind on put on your running gear instead. The only beautification efforts that work are dreadlocks, major bling and gel nails a la Florence Griffith Joyner.
But it`s only a look that Florence Griffith Joyner herself could pull off.
Though maybe there`s hope with the nail thing.
See, I also got my fingernails done too. Yes, same effect as the toes. It`s a French manicure-that`s what they call that white nailtip and pink polish look here. The finish is supposed to be extra long lasting too because it`s shellac. That involves using various extra chemicals apart from the usual nail varnishes and drying the whole lot under UV light.
I am pleased with the effect. Though it cost €70 and took one and half hours for the whole pedimani thing. But the pedicurist really did her thing with the foot scrub and got all that nasty hard skin off. She didn`t even make it seem like the worst job in the world. She even managed to do all that and have a really good chat at the same time. In fact, she was almost challenge to my prejudice about beauty therapists being brainless.
I emerged from the salon in time to collect Teen Sons from their different activities. Neither of them noticed my blingy nails. Until I waved them in front of my face.
“Honestly, I wouldn`t have noticed them if you didn`t point them out” said Teen One.
And, always tuned into the logistics involved in any operation, he added
“How much was it anyway?”
He turned a ghastly shade of pale when I told him. His brother gasped.
I kept my smirk to myself.
Learning happens in all sorts of moments. The two boys had, with one sentence, absorbed an important life lesson:high maintenance women are maintained at a high cost.
And often, with very little effect for all the expenditure. They would be better served pursuing brains over beauty. Someone who could hold a conversation about lots of things apart from the shenanigans in Celeb Land. Someone who wasn`t an airhead but who thought Jimmy Choos were maybe some kind of toy train. Someone who could earn her keep and run a house at the same time.
Someone, in other words, like their mother.
And yet, as I admire my French tips and my toes wiggle happily in my sandals, I amuse myself by thinking about my look for next race day. Multi-coloured gel nails and a red lycra one piece, maybe? Kelly green shorts and top with matching visor and nail art tips?
Or just go all out and dress up as wonder woman.
Plainly, this beauty lark should just be just a whole lot of fun.