Showing posts with label Madonna. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Madonna. Show all posts

Sunday, 11 March 2012

What are eyebrows for?

“I’m just off to have my eyebrows shaped,” I told my teenage son.

He looked up momentarily from his Xbox game, an astonished look on his face. “You’re having your eyebrows shaved?” he said. “Isn’t that what happens when people get drunk at parties?”

Well not at the parties I go to, it doesn’t. But when I quizzed my son he told me about a friend of his who’d fallen asleep at an all-night do and woke up a few hours later to discover some mean person had shaved his eyebrows off. The effect was so dire that the poor boy resorted to drawing them back on in black felt-tip pen, which of course looked a million times worse.

Anyway, that unfortunate incident got us to discussing a thorny issue. What exactly are eyebrows for? Whether they’re bushy (à la Denis Healy) or sleek (à la Madonna) they’re pretty odd things really. Whatever beauty writers say about them framing your face I’m not at all convinced.

My son quickly got on the case and came up with the following answer. Apparently eyebrows are there to keep water, sweat, dirt and debris (yuk!) out of our eyes. So when we sweat or get caught in a downpour the arch shape of our eyebrows cleverly diverts the rain to the sides of our faces. How smart is that?

My son is the finest finder-outer I know. He troubleshoots my regular computer crises, suggests new music I might like (Lulu and the Lampshades for one) and can give an hour-long lecture about the origins of Aerogel.

Even more useful, his IT know-how is second to none.  When I got a new computer recently I didn’t have to lift a finger. He and my daughter unpacked the box, set it up in ten minutes flat and then typed out an idiot’s guide for their techno-dinosaur mum to follow. The way things are going they’ll be running the entire household single-handed in no time at all.

PS. After my recent post about London's Big Egg Hunt I've just spotted my second giant egg. Only 198 to go!

Friday, 2 September 2011

Madonna and the secret of youth

From facelifts to Botox, we’re all preoccupied with capturing the smooth brows and wrinkle-free skin of our youth. None more so than Madonna, who appeared at the Venice Film Festival yesterday looking barely a year older than her Papa Don’t Preach days. Wearing a gorgeous butterfly Vionnet dress, sky-high scarlet stilettos and a slash of red lipstick, she could have passed for a decade younger than her 53 years. She swears blind it’s all down to her religion, Kabbalah, strict macrobiotic diet and even stricter exercise regime but I have my doubts. How many other 50-somethings have a complexion so silky, skin so unwrinkled and eyes so clear and bright?

I’m as obsessed about how I look as most women I know. I’m forever asking the lovely assistants at Space NK in Leamington Spa about new products to try, booking teeth-whitening and eyebrow-shaping sessions and seeking my teenage daughter’s advice on whether I look “old.”

But the one thing I draw the line at (metaphorically speaking) is cosmetic surgery. Why? Because after three scary eye operations there’s no way in a million years that I’d go under the knife just to look younger. At the risk of sounding “preachy,” surgery is intimidating enough when you need it – without going through the experience when you don’t have to.

Whether it’s actress Leslie Ash and her “trout pout” or the terrifying-looking Bride of Wittgenstein, the newspapers love reporting cosmetic surgery that hasn’t gone according to plan.

And it’s not just facelifts either. Botox terrifies me - even more so after a highly-respected beauty journalist wrote about a bad Botox experience that left her with terrible headaches, swollen eyelids and looking “like a train wreck.” When the effects finally wore off five months later, she said it was such a relief to get her smile back that she’d never have Botox again. I’d rather put up with a few wrinkles and lines than go through that.

PS: Madonna was in Venice for the premiere of WE, her second film as a director. And just to show you can’t have everything, the word from the critics is that, Andrea Riseborough’s superb performance as Wallis Simpson aside, it’s awful.

PPS: “I have been having a nostalgic day and am looking at some old photos tonight. You probably have the attached but they bring back lots of lovely memories so I thought you might like to see them again.” That’s the email that pinged into my inbox yesterday from my old friend (and my son’s adored godmother) Wendy Holden. The 80s picture above (showing me with fellow Evening Standard reporter Peter Gruner) was one of them and I laughed like a drain when I saw it. What on earth did I think I was wearing?

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