Saturday 19 May 2012

Going boldly

Hello, hello, hello again. Can I firstly shout out a big 'thank-you' for commenting and entering my funny little give-away here, I was so pleased to read your comments and an even bigger hello to new readers too xox 

Secondly, thanks so much for your comments on my previous post about Alice's sats tests, each and everyone was read and appreciated. I didn't want to start a debate or wind anyone up, I was just writing my feelings in a little poem and by no means was I berating or belittling her Year 6 teachers, who are most divine and have been a loving and caring support to my girl on this year's learning journey. My hat goes off to anyone who teaches children, it's a vocation that needs to be treasured for sure.

This week has been a testing one for me so far, juggling my work-life balance and ensuring that I carve out a little time for myself in amongst all the juggling. I've also realised that for the first time in ages (about 15 years infact !) I have had to be BOLD again. 

When I say bold, I mean that I decided to come out of my comfort zone in my profession and move into a very different arena of work (although still within my profession). This has affected my confidence a little and I've had to swallow my anxiety and any fearfulness and just get on with it. I am setting up a new service within Oncology in my County and it's been a two month roller coaster ride at times. Such highs of sheer excitement and hopes for what can be done and then lows of wondering if I'm doing OK or making a difference in my patient's lives. It's like nothing I have ever experienced before and I have had to learn to let go of "my need to be in control" all the time and ride the wave.

To help myself feel more confident, you're going to laugh at this... I decided to start wearing some basic make-up. Yep, I who only wears the odd bit of mascara, lipstick and blush on the very odd occasion decided to paint my face (simple make-up still, not over the top) and go boldly into my new working world. I know this may sound rather child-like to some of you but I wanted to try it out and it seems to have helped in some obscure way. How shallow can I go you might be saying?

Believe me I am not someone who spends money or time on make-up, I've got 1 lipstick that has lasted 12 years and a blush from my 16th birthday!!! But, this week after work I've spent a little time and money on some basics and really loved the sheer indulgence of it. Each morning has been a revelation at how I can  spend 5 minutes painting my face and feel so bold.... covered in "my warrior paint" how strange is that? It has however, been good fun and I'm enjoying being 'girly' again. Not sure how long this will last but I'm up for the ride.
I've always been fascinated at the cosmetics industry but never been a a partaker as such. It kills me to see so much money being wasted spent on cosmetics and dare I say honing in on young girls/women's insecurities? 

Glittery popstick purchased for Spring glossy lips
I have been surprised how easy it is to find myself being drawn into this multi-million pound industry rabbit hole. I have been watching a few You Tube home-made video's and have found them fascinating and strangely influential in me wanting to go out and purchase this cream, that concealer, this nail polish, that mascara. There is absolutely nothing wrong with them, believe me these young women are pro's at purchasing and putting on make-up, it's fascinating for someone like myself who has never really bothered that much. Being the sado that I am,it feels like I'm discovering something new for the very first time.

I find it almost addictive and I have to be careful not to let Alice cotton on to them to soon. She's only 11 and although I won't make her wait till her 16th birthday, as my parent's did, to wear make-up, I don't think 11 is any where near old enough to start. I don't know what do you think?  

I don't want to get into a feminist/political/body image etc. argument here and I can hand on heart say that I don't have an issue with make-up. I'm just rather pleasantly surprised how it's making me feel at the moment and who knows I might just get used to this ?

Let me know what you think, I'm fascinated. Do you wear make-up?

Anyway, here's wishing you all a great rest of the weekend.
See you all soon with my latest crochet and embroidery project


  1. I very rarely wear makeup day to day, as I find it gives me spots, but also because I have better things to do with my mornings - those extra few minutes in bed! However as I am getting older maybe I do need a helping hand? I wear it on a evening out or an event and quite enjoy it though. And I have a nail varnish addiction, but I think that's because I can admire my hands all day - I mostly don't see my face!

    win a retro sweet hamper in my giveaway

  2. Hi Penelope, I wear make-up to work but rarely at home, I like to give my skin a rest. I had a friend who used to laugh at me for wearing make-up, but when I told her that it was 'my time' time to just be in the moment, have time to quiet the mind or perhaps nut out a thought or feeling that I had with something or someone or just that I was taking 15 mins to pamper myself to set myself up for the demands of the day and life. I then noticed she started taking that little time out too.
    Am liking your little peeks of crochet.
    xx Sandi

  3. Ah, the make-up debate. My girls were happy with nothing more than lightly tinted lip gloss until about age 14. And they have always favoured subtle make-up. I was just in awe of their confidence applying it!

    I wasn't allowed any until I was 16, and didn't bother with it much, parties aside, before my early 30s. Now I wear a tinted moisturiser (is that make-up?), a slick of brown eye shadow, and mascara every day - applying it is just part of my morning routine - and lippy and a dab of face powder if I'm going out. Nothing more on my skin though as it goes all blotchy if I do.

    I think you're right, even barely there it can make you feel bolder.

  4. Congratulations on your new role, Penelope. And I say, if a spot of make-up makes you feel good, and boosts your confidence, then do it - particularly as you are out of your comfort zone every working day. I felt the same when I moved out of the hospital (paediatric nursing) into the community (Health Visiting) I felt like a fish out of water - no uniform, no instantly recognisable role, no raft of colleagues to back me up, working on other peoples 'territory' - all these things serve to discomfit you until you get your bearings. I certainly threw a bit of slap on each morning to boost the old self-esteem! And, like you, not getting into the whys and wherefores of the feminist argument (I am a feminist, for goodness' sake!).

    Now I've retired I mostly don't wear it, but certainly do for going anywhere special.

    I think a little discreet make-up when well into the teens is ok, but you know your daughter, who she hangs out with and so on, context is everything really - if you feel a litttle dab is appropriate then let her. We all know teenagers have a little stash tucked away to be put on surreptitiously and rubbed off before getting home! (I know I did!!) I you and she are talking well to ech other she may not feel the need to do it!

  5. Hello Penelope,

    I totally agree with you about not wanting your 11 yer old to wear make-up so young. I see some girls wearing some really horrendously thick make-up which must be bunging up their pores to the point of suffocation, that can't be any good for their skin. They are so young too. I agree with other comments here in late teens a light make-up and to be discrete is the best. I see make-up as a part of my uniform for work...just a little to help the old self-esteem and face the world.

    Amanda :-)

  6. I can happily say that as I have 5 boys I will never have the worry of when my daughter should be allowed to wear make up... Although my 10 year old son has recently asked to borrow some of his Dad's deoderant!! Does that count? ;-)
    Personally I never used to wear much make up. But in the last few years I found I've been tending to my eye area with a touch of under-eye concealer + eyeliner. Just to help me look less drained/tired. It certainly makes a difference to how I feel... More confident for sure. I think it's wonderful that it has given you a confidence boost for your new career... Onwards and upwards!!

    Hugs xxx

  7. I don't wear make-up. But I have about 20 lipsticks from deep red to light pink and brounish, which I put on sometimes but take away before I leave the house. I'm not myself with make-up.

    Have a nice day!

  8. lushy pink lips- i do love my lip gloss with a little sparkle ;0)
    i wish my mum had given me advise on make up when i was 12...she didnt wear any had naturally tanned skin and beautiful brown eyes- she didnt need any, but i on the other hand blue eyed and pastey skin needed a little make-up- but not sure the green eye shadow was such a great look hehe ;0)...ive worn make up everyday since then...mainly because it makes me feel better about myself- its a boost.
    but ive always had comments from mothers who dont wear makeup saying they dont see the need. but its personal i guess. some love it , some hate it...i on the other hand think its fun to put on and gives you a boost thats a good thing ;0)xx lovely photographs and creative inspirations xx

  9. I've never worn much make-up - have never really quite sussed out what to do with it properly (in spite of my Mum's efforts over the years - she is of the generation where you don't leave the house without your lippy on, even just to nip to the supermarket!) but I think it can make you feel more 'the part' and I do make an effort if I'm doing something a bit out of the norm. I think its like anything else - be it having your hair done, or something new to wear, whatever...if it helps us feel more confident and more in control of a situation (on whatever subliminal level), nothing wrong with that! With regard to girls - I think this is tricky...I had boys so it was not really an issue (there was one brief spell with youngest son and eyeliner...!!!) but as a child who was not allowed makeup I was desperate to have a play once all my friends started to (I would have been about 11 or 12). The end result was that I lied a lot and would go to a friends house to plaster on the blusher and sparkly blue eyeshadow (eek! we are talking end of the 70s...) and then fret that I might bump into my parents when I was out. I think the early teens are a stressful enough time as it is without rules that make it worse. I'm sure most girls are most influenced by what they see most often and if the important women in their life are happy without a hefty dose of warpaint that probably sends its own message. My 12 year old niece is experimenting with makeup now (my sister has never work any make-up to my knowledge!!) and just having fun with her friends. Sorry, didn't mean to write such a lengthy comment! Basically, I think there are no right and wrongs with bringing up kids - you know your daughter best and will be able to decide together when you feel comfortable with it - probably best not to have a fixed birthday in mind!! x

  10. I don't really wear make up now, unless I'm going out somewhere special. I used to wear it religiously when I worked outside the home. It was like a mask I put on, to help boost my confidence and help suffer the slings and arrows of my job. It was the 80s and I worked in the City. Women had to be as tough as nails back then.

    Then the kids came along and who on earth had time. I had 3 kids in just over 5 years!! Now I'm almost in my 50s I have the time but not the inclination. My 20 year old daughter very rarely wears make up. Again only if she's going out somewhere special. Unlike so many young women her age where you often have to wonder how far to poke your finger before you hit skin.

    I was about 14/15 when I first started experimenting with make up. I think that's probably a good OK sort of age. 11 is a bit too young IMO but then maybe I have slightly outmoded views.

    Well done on moving outside your comfort zone. It takes quite a bit of doing but anything that will help you get through the transition period whether it's a new hairdo, make up, perfume etc is quite acceptable. Everybody need s a little boost at times with their self esteem :)

  11. This has taken me back to my thirteenth Birthday during the early seventies. My older sister almost marched me into the bathroom and said something along the lines of 'now you're thirteen, you need those eyebrows plucked!' and so she proceeded to pluck away there and then. I think she was getting some sort of revenge but it was the start of wearing make-up at the weekends, not much, just a little eye shadow, mascara and lipstick, but I got used to applying it and found the best colours that suited me, all before I started work at sixteen. It was expected back then that women wore make-up. I didn't give it any thought. Now, in my early fifties, I only wear foundation (these new mineral ones are fab!) and lipstick. In my forties, I had to give up eye shadow and mascara due to eye problems and, for the longest time, I felt 'nude' and somehow invisible. But, over time I began to experiment with foundation (which I had never worn before) and found that I could look quite respectable with a smooth completion and a slick of lipstick. I'm not obsessed about make-up and will happily go out of the house without any, but I enjoy wearing it, even though its not much, and I feel it does do something to one's mental state. I don't think you need to worry about Alice. You will sit and discuss this subject as it comes up and she will do some experimenting and decide for herself, given your guidance, how much and how often. You know how it has helped you 'face'the world, so give her the opportunity to feel the same if she wants. The best advice I was ever given was to cleanse and moisturise daily. I have done this since I was thirteen and I believe this is how I have kept Age at bay. And one final thought, beauty comes from within. Debs. xx

  12. ha ha this post brings vivid memories of me at 13 experimenting with make-up. Mmm lovely purple eyeshadow anyone? My dad hated me wearing make up and was most verbal about too at the time. i think mainly because my mum never really bothered. In fact she did go through a phase wearing it as me and my sister experimented but to be honest it never really suited her and she did look better without it. She has a darker complexion to me though.

    Then in my late teens it was all about the goth look and make-up does play a huge part in that for that look. I have to say I loved those days! But then you get older and for me more subtle and used to wear only eye shadow, mascara and lippy to work. Fast forward a few more years and at home with little ones then it was just lippy when going out. And that is what I tend to wear, my other half laughs as I always wear lipstick for the school run, popping to the shops. I just say its part of me and how I am, My little bit of war paint to face outside plus I think it protects your lips from cold weather etc.

    I do wear eye shadow and mascara when going out but never really sure if it suits me now or not! But for me its part of going for an evening out.

    I think its great that you are having an experiment with make up. Its funny how we seem to stop ourselves from having a different look, hair etc as we get older. It seems ok to experiment in our teens and twenties not in our 30's and beyond. And this comes from a woman who is soon to be 39 and wants to dye her hair red or blue or purple...... But won't because she is too afraid.....

    What a great thought provoking post!

    P x

  13. Is it ok to have two goes? I've just re-read because there are so many interesting comments after I posted mine. Really, I think we are mostly saying the same thing, and many of us - from my 60 years downwards - have very similar memories of our early teenage years.

    Lovely post, Penelope!

    And can I just say, Paula, that my friend who is 64, religiously dyes her white hair bright red every 6 weeks. She would not look the same without it. She wears very colourful clothes and her hair is just part of her great image. If you fancy it - give it a go. If a bit afraid, try some of the spray on/brush out colours the kids use for a night out. You haven't committed yourself to anything,just have a blast!

  14. Hi Penelope, thank you for your lovely comments on my blog, they absolutely made my day! I had to laugh at your comments about make up. I think I should probably wear more than I do, which is only a slick of lipstick applied in the car at the traffic lights during the school run. On the odd occasion when I go out (!), I put a bit more on, but nothing over the top, my son complains because he says it doesn't look like me!! Whenever I've had make up artists do their stuff on me I've always felt like a clown, despite telling them to go easy. My daughter on the other hand, who is just 9, wants to wear all sorts of stuff which fills me with horror because she certainly hasn't picked up any ideas from me. You would be horrified at what some of her friends have .. we had a party here a few weeks ago and a couple of them turned up with a bag of stuff, including high heels and short dresses. No way is my girl wearing anything like that but that's what I'm up against!
    Oh well, c'est la vie, and the year 2012 I suppose. I'm fighting it, believe me!
    Hoping you've had a great weekend
    Kate x

  15. I wear mascara everyday, my lashes are very blonde and my eyes vanish without it, and I love bright lippy to cheer me up too. I think its fine to do what ever boosts your confidence - clothes, make up, high heels - we all need something to help us from time to time.
    My daughter is nearly 13 and the pressure from her peers, once she started secondary school, to wear make up has been immense and worrying.

  16. I wear a little make up in winter but tend to go bare faced in the summer as a little sun on my face makes a big difference. However the other day I went to work with half my face made up. I was completely distracted by my son at the critical moment of starting on my right eye!!!!! Fortunately I try to go for a natural look so it wasn't too obvious. I think this scatter brained approach runs in the family - my 17 year old daughter went to school with odd shoes on recently (one shiny black shoe and one black suede shoe)!!!!!
    Good luck with your new role xx

  17. Hi Penelope, I wear make up for work....eye liner, little bit of eye shadow, and mascara. I think it helps me feel more confident and I admire others who take a pride in their appearance. On days off I often don't bother. I have an eye shadow brush I got for my's not got that many bristles left :0)
    Jacquie x

  18. I always wear mascara as I have fair lashes and feel naked without it, but no other make-up. I think it takes a while to get used to using it and I never seem to manage that. Perhaps I need to have a make-over! I do dye my hair though, to stop me feeling as old as I am!