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17-71: Meet the two Scarletts

October 10th 2012 / Scarlett Curtis, Scarlett Edwards-Jones

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Scarlett Curtis is 17. Scarlett Edwards-Jones is 71. They both want to look their best, but it isn’t always easy... here, the pair introduce themselves with a brief beauty CV

Scarlett Curtis, aged 17

I started collecting lipglosses when I was eleven. I guess at that age it was either lipgloss or Tamagotchis and I couldn’t manage to make my Tamagotchis stay alive for more than a day, so lipgloss it was.

I built up my collection using my pocket money (and maybe stealing a few from my mum’s dressing table), storing all my Lip Smackers and Juicy Tubes in a little purple handbag from Claire’s Accessories that I carried everywhere, because you truly never know when your going to need 40 melon-flavoured lip balms. Six years later, I have just finished building yet another set of shelves in my bedroom to house my slightly embarrassing
and ever-growing make-up stash.

Get the Gloss_Scarlett Curtis beauty shelves_1.jpgFor teenage girls, make-up is so much more than simply a nice way of highlighting your best features. It’s something to discover and explore. Fashion and make-up are the first real opportunities that girls have to think about who they are and how they want to present themselves to the world. In my case, after 12 years of doing everything my parents said and having all my clothes bought for me from Gap, the discovery of liquid eyeliner, Topshop and blue nail polish felt like a liberation. It was the first time that I had been able to make an active decision in the way I wanted to look and while it may seem silly to some people, those little black tubes of ink were magical to my 12-year-old eyes.

As far as make-up goes I like to think I’ve been through a lot of dodgy stages and come out pretty safely on the other side. There was the year of the electric blue eyeliner (on my top and bottom eye lid of course). The “cram as much glitter as possible all over my face” stage, which got me through a lot of pots of £4.50 Barry M Dazzle Dust. And finally the “smudgy black eyeliner” stage, which was unfortunately less “stylish, smokey eyes” and more “even a panda wouldn’t wear that much eyeliner”.

It took a while for me to figure it out, but I’m still not done exploring. At the moment I generally stick to powder foundation, concealer, black liquid eyeliner and lots of mascara. I still like to break out the glitter on weekends, just not in such vast quantities as before.

I think people can often be too quick to judge teenagers on their fashion and make-up. There are so many stereotypes – too much foundation, too-short shorts, and much too much Impulse fruit-gum scented body spray. But what people tend to forget is that all these supposed “mistakes” are all decisions that have been made for a reason and are all a vital part of growing up. We wear too much foundation because often what’s underneath is truly worse; our shorts are that short because in reality there are only a few years of your life where you can get away with the pants-as-outerwear look and you might as well take advantage of it. And as for the Impulse body spray… well, that’s always a mistake.

Scarlett Edwards Jones, aged 71

Last week the death was announced of a well known man at the age of 68. While eulogising about what a charming and great guy he was, no one mentioned how sad it was that he had died so young! That woke me up a bit, realising that I was the only one who thought that he had died young. Sixty-eight is hardly young to most people.

So, I suddenly find myself aged 71 but I don't really feel much different from when I was 41. Of course, being this advanced age can hardly come as a surprise, as I have had exactly 71 years to think about it. Nevertheless, I can't quite believe this is me and this is where I am.

The Tuscans have a wonderful saying: “the old bird makes the best broth”, and being Italians I don't think it means boiling all us old birds in a cauldron to make soup. It's encouraging and Italy is a good place to be for women of a certain age – they do know how to make women feel good there. Every little girl is brought up to think she is a princess, even the plainest little child holds herself up and smiles as she knows she is beautiful and of course she is, that's what everyone keeps telling her. I have never seen such sunny, happy children as there are in Italy.

The key is taking care of yourself; I think there are a certain number of things we can do, relatively easily and without too much effort, to try and keep ourselves up to scratch and without resorting to the rather scary and exceedingly expensive world of the needle and knife.

There is no excuse not to sit and stand up straight. Round shoulders give you even saggier boobs and add years to your age. There is no excuse either for carrying too much weight, unless you suffer from some medical condition; we just eat too much. There are loads of diets out there to follow, it depends on what suits you but, more of those later.

We all know regular exercise is good, just a matter of making oneself do it. I like to swim every day, it makes me feel so good afterwards. I think it firms up the body and helps keep muscle tone. I can certainly do with that. Walking is good too, and free. Having a selection of dogs who are always on for some exercise means I do get pushed into it. Particularly in the winter, when they start agitating for a walk from after lunchtime onwards. In the summer, fortunately, they are not so keen. Far too hot and they make do with a short trip round the lake after supper.

I am sure manicures and pedicures are great things to have too, but I am rather embarrassed to admit that I have never had a manicure in my life! Maybe writing for Get the Gloss will inspire me to try one. Recently, I had my first of only two pedicures in Khan Market, Delhi as a treat from my daughter. With some trepidation I bared my feet in front of the very beautiful young man who had the unfortunate task of dealing with my European winter feet. "Long time, madam," he said. I wanted to reply: "Yes, 70 years!" But I did not want to put the poor guy off the job any more. He actually did a great job and they felt wonderful; I am not sure quite why it took me so long to have a try.


I have always been a sun worshipper and never feel better than when I have a tan. I can't imagine going through the summer without brown legs. I invested in a sun bed in the eighties and spent far too many hours lying on it! This has not helped my skin. Yes, my mother was right always saying my face was too brown but I was happy with it. I have no regrets over all those glorious summers on Greek and Italian beaches, they were magical and all such fun. Now I have plenty of what I prefer to call sun spots, I also frequently hear them called age spots. Anyway, same thing, different names, and I have them.

I have just started testing several rather exciting products on different parts of my face and hands, which promise to eradicate everything! Can't wait to see what happens. More of that later, I will keep you informed on the progress.

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