Imogen Edwards-Jones is middle-aged, not middle-of-the-road. This week: putting waterproof "clubbing" makeup to the ultimate test
In the olden days when blackberries and apples were still fruit and hipsters used to drive around the M25 clutching their pagers looking for parties, I was the rave correspondent for The Independent. I used to party on a professional basis. And I took it very seriously indeed. I had my red dungarees, my Aciiid smiley-faced T-shirt, my whistle, my Red or Dead wedge-heeled brothel creepers and my shades. The shades were essential. For not only did they prevent terrible eye-strain after you emerged, blinking into the sunshine, with pupils the size of jaffa-cakes at around 8am. But they also covered post club panda-eye; an inevitability after ten hours of throwing shapes on a podium.
So you can imagine my surprise/joy when I came across a fistful of products at Gloss HQ that purported not only to be waterproof, stay-on 24-hour make-up but was also "club-proof". Sadly, I no longer go clubbing. Not since a feather-spitting queen tapped me on my shoulder during my signature ‘big-fish, little fish, cardboard box’ routine on a podium at Pacha, Ibiza, three years ago now. “Budge up, babe,” he yelled above the chunes. “You’ve had your turn.”
My whistle may be packed away, but now I have a new dilemma, which is equally as sweaty and equally as prone to panda-eye as those podium days – bikram yoga. As someone who has a touch of the Boris Becker about them I simply won’t leave the house without my lashes and liner and as a result every time I go to Bikram yoga the stuff pours down my face, smears all over the towel and ends up all over my forehead and actually, more often than not, in my hair. I persist all the same and every week I leave the studio hot, bothered and a filthy shade of grey.
So last week I pinched Lash Perfect La La 24 Eyeliner (£11.95, lashperfect.co.uk ) for my right eye, Bourjois Clubbing Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil (£5.49, boots.com ) for my left eye and an Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Singulier Nuit Blanche (£23.00, yslbeauty.co.uk ) for my lashes. I used an Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place Lipstick in Stay Blush (£18.50, 0870 034 2566) on my lips as well as their Double Wear Stay in Place Makeup (£26.50) on my face and their Double Wear Stay In Place Gel Eyeliner (£15.50) over the top of both my eyelids.
I have to say, for the purposes of this experiment I did look a little odd. I was in full doors-to-manual make-up for an hour and a half of sweaty bikram and a couple of the rexy gym-bunnies in the hot corner shot me an odd look. But in the name of science I persevered.
During the initial breathing exercises when the little rivulets of sweat normally begin to form, my eye make-up looked fine. Come the first permitted water break; all was in place. Next came the terrible upside-down forehead-to-knees movement, which I know has got some complicated name that despite hearing every Tuesday for the past seven months I still can’t remember. Anyway, this position usually has me suffocating on my own breasts with sweat coursing down my cheeks, up my nose and into my open gasping mouth. Then panting, I usually grab my towel, rub my face and it’s game over, as all the black smears over my face and I have to spend the next hour or so staring at my own reflection, looking like I’ve been cleaning chimneys.
However this week was different. I came up for air, covered in sweat, but this time I rubbed and wiped and I looked at the mirror. Nothing. Not a shift, or a smudge, or a running dribble anywhere. I looked fantastic (well, ish). I could still have served chicken, or beef, and pointed out the emergency exits with the best of them.
And at the end of the class? When I’d normally have to hang my head in shame as I sloped off to the car? This time I popped straight into Pizza Express and chomped down an American Hot with extra cheese – my head held high.
All I can say is clubproof make-up - you’re genius! Where the very hell were you in 1989?