There is a special sort of woman, often an English woman, who always looks fabulous at a wedding. You know the type. In the perfect Marni suit, with the perfect fascinator into which Philip Treacy has cleverly incorporated a perfect piece of heirloom family jewellery...
Well, I am not one of those women, I’m too idle, too messy; but when I got an invitation to the wedding of one of my very, very best friends in the world I knew I was going to have to pull my finger out. So off I trotted to Marni to get me a suit, booked in with Jack at The Atelier to get a big fat blow-dry and Karina at Daniel Hersheson in Harvey Nichols to do my nails.
And then I thought, hell, if I’m being such a spoilt princess about it why don’t I just go all out and get my make-up done too? Although make-up obsessed as a teen, I don’t wear it much now, partly out of laziness but mostly out of the fear of looking too “done”. Amongst too many of my friends not wearing any is a bit of a badge of honour (shows such confidence going out of an evening bare-faced, and so forth) and as such I always try to keep it to a minimum: a bit of eyeliner and mascara, a bit of concealer, a bit of gold kohl on the inside lid, that’s plenty for me. Any more than that and I begin to feel a bit like a tranny, especially with a blow-dry and especially during the day. I truly feel, though, this is an appropriate time to go all out, especially with a black tie do afterwards.
Up then, turns the wonderful Amy Conway from Bobbi Brown, an hour or so before the weddings and lays out her carpet of things to get to work. Bring on the Carine Roitfeld eyes, I tell her, bring it all on, I want to go full-tilt this time I say. And while she is at it could she give me some fake freckles? The Obagi Nu Derm, sob, melted them all away.
Half an hour later we are done, and she gives me a mirror to have a look. Oh Lordy. That’s a LOT of make-up. “That’s a LOT of make-up,” my other half not very helpfully agrees as we get into the car to drive down to Hampshire. Oh dear, I panic, what shall I do, and when we stop for petrol I desperately try taking some of it off with a tissue in the front view mirror. Sunglasses. It couldn’t be a greyer day, but thank God that I brought them - that’s all I can think when I arrive at the church.
And then I see all my friends, and guess what? Not only are they all wearing big fancy hats, they’ve all had their make-up done too.
That evening, at which some people, hooray, are actually wearing ball gowns, one of those make-up hater people comes up to me and says she has never ever seen me looking better, what the hell have I done to myself? And my freckles! Have I just been away?
How Amy did it:
â€¨Step 1: Apply Hydrating Face Tonic , £19, after cleansing to calm and soothe skin before make-up.â€¨â€¨