While trying to maintain a contented life amid the milieu of our consumerist, capitalist end-days, sometimes, you just stumble upon something really bewildering. Face primer. I have now met face primer, and it’s a real thing.
Does my face need priming? I did not know. I just did not know. Face primer made me feel a bit sad. What exactly was wrong with my face, and what would primer do to fix this ongoing disaster? Take it away, Vogue.co.uk:
“Primers do for your skin what lingerie does for your figure – they smooth, flatter, conceal and hold things in place”.
Let’s stay right here for a moment. “Hold things in place”. All I can really gather from this explanation is that Vogue magazine (which used to be all about le chic, back in 1958) is now recommending magical face bras to the monstrously slack-jawed masses.
As well as being, essentially, face-lingerie, I would also like to describe face primers as a monumental waste of time. A completely unnecessary cosmetic frippery, invented to fix an invented problem. Before primers, did you think you were satisfactorily human-shaped and acceptable? I certainly did, most of the time.
I suppose it’s an inevitable tide-change of feeling, but even before the primer encounter, I had parted ways with beauty trends. It was a love affair of the worst kind: a forever discontented romance. We had the best of times, we had the worst of times. At my lowest point, I tried to turn my skin orange by using creams that smelled of biscuits. I’m not proud. But it’s over now, and I’ve moved on. I’ve healed. It just took me a few years to realise that beauty products are mostly nonsense, and that it’s not a good idea to use make-up to draw a nicer face over your actual face. Y’know, because people can see what you’ve done there.
So now I find myself staring at things in Boots. Brow-defining powder. BB creams (which Maybelline promises will ‘blur’ your face. That’s… dubious). Holding up crease-control concealer and Clarisonics, accosting strangers: ’Are you seeing this too? Is this not the maddest thing?’
I draw your attention to a recent splendid column by Oliver Burkeman, which brought us the heart-warming news that people will rate you as more attractive as they get to know you better. I mean, if you’re actually a nice person. With layers of surprisingly lovely personality traits. Layers worth knowing. Also (optional) layers of woollens.
Turns out , having a lovely personality is what really makes a person want to rip off those woollen layers and spend some time with the real (naked) you. Not how well you are ‘holding everything in place’ with that lovely face of yours. Who knew!
Let us therefore talk about how to be sexy. Yesssss. Only your very favourite person can be so excitingly sexy that you want to hug them in public and not let go. Best of all, the judgement you make on how much you rate another person is, of course, yours alone; a private decision, untouched by consumerism, advertising, or the juggernaut of fashion trends. There’s a whole lot of mysterious stuff going on in your brain and body that leads you to decide you want to spend time naked with someone, and then maybe also have them around all the time to talk to, and ask things, and so you can eat noodles and bitch about the neighbours together. Tis the fabled Spark, and to this day no perfume advert has successfully commandeered the power of The Spark; although by god, they will keep trying.
Let us commence a quick round of the things that are sexy*, which have nothing to do with any of the aforementioned beauty products, which we can now confidently dismiss as a load of consumerist BS.
Disclaimer: I don’t pretend to have successfully mastered any of the following, and I’m still partial to mascara and an occasional red-lipstick sojourn; in fact, I probably should not be trusted to advise anybody on anything, especially because my style choices, notions of beauty and occasional fashion outbursts can be a bit alarming.
Still, it’s nice to have ambitions for better.
Sexy things: A List
Glowing skin from exercising and eating your 5-a-day
Great posture. Like Grace Kelly.
Crinkles from laughing
Signs that you kinda rate yourself: like cleanliness, and wearing a crown sometimes
Being strong enough to comfortably carry furniture home that you just found in the street
A twinkle in your eye from a nice secret
Fearless sober dancing
Telling your new super hilarious joke to a room brimful of drunk party-goers
Kindness to ladybirds, bees and other small, often-squashed animals.
A way with words
Layers of woollens
Funnily enough, all of these genuinely brilliant things don’t get a lot of ad-space in Vogue magazine. Maybe because nobody can make any money out of them. Also, it’s a lot harder to drain the wallets of people who are already pretty damn happy with their own particular brand of sexiness. In conclusion: high five for anyone who doesn’t need a face-bra. We’re all sexy here.
*I’m not trying to leave anybody out here with these choices; obviously the point is that we all differ in what we find sexy (layers of woollens, anyone?). The internet is 90% taps aff, so I’m sure you’ll find a kindred spirit out there for your massively weird, unspeakable predilection, whatever it may be.