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I don’t know about you, but my make-up bag is an absolute haven of grot. Long forgotten relics of exciting products I never use, and a horde of old favourites in various states of malnutrition. 

I used to take a moderate degree of care over my “visage”. Now, I ham up my eyes to stop them looking like pissholes in the snow, swoosh some coloured dust over my cheeks to stop them looking so fat, and off I fucking well go. Actually that’s not quite true – I wish – I also try and do something about the bastard t-zone and the bristly brows.

Here are some delightful staples that I can’t even recommend to you, because they’re probably not on sale anymore. Oh and I’ve done a clock photo effect to try and be clever.

Make up bag with 12 items arranged around the centre like a clock

12 Noon InstaBlur by The Body Shop
Now, this is actually pretty good at filling in those cracks and giving you an even base to work with. The only issue is that it’s a bit of a funny texture, not quite a liquid but not really a pliable substance. It therefore erupts from the tube and catches me unawares, like the end result of a disappointing first date.

1pm “Some kind-a gorgeous” foundation by Benefit
Oh how I want to love this. The coverage is decent and the colour is multi-seasonal, but in truth, it gives me a spotty forehead. Probably because of the applicator sponge, which is surely crawling with christ knows what.

2pm Full Flawless Face brush by Bare Escentuals
When I’m doing powder, I use this brush, which tells all sorts of lies because my fizzog is certainly not flawless after application. I read anecdotally that you can use baby shampoo and warm water to “gently” wash your brushes every fortnight, which I translated to a vigorous squeeze under the hot tap with some Fairy* when I remember.

* Don’t be so silly! Aldi own brand, natch.

3pm Stroke of Light eye brightener by bareMinerals
Doesn’t bloody work. My eyes still look vaguely dead. Sort of effective as a concealer for small-time spots, not your angry Mount Etna ones.

4pm Brow Satin by Maybelline
I’m going to tell you a secret. Once you start “doing” your eyebrows, you will not be able to stop. Because suddenly, your brows in their natural, unfettered form will just look shite. They will be the most disappointing focal feature since Gary Lineker wore actual SHORTS on Match of the Day. This jobber is double ended (hello!) – one end is a fine pencil to make a bit of a mess with, and the other is a very forgiving pre-loaded powder sponge tip which smears everything together beautifully and gives only a mildly alarming shape.

5pm Eyeshadow quad palette by L’Oréal
Four delightful shimmery nude shades with a handy guide on the back to tell you how to utilise all of them in one go. Fuck that. There are always two duff shades in these things but mono pots never come supplied with a brush so that’s where they get you. £8 for one good shade and one special occasion shade, which I drag across the entirety of my eyelid with the teeny tiny unfit for purpose brush.

6pm Waterproof kohl eyeliner by bareMinerals
I can confirm that this is indeed waterproof, clap clap. However, it’s so soft that it’s basically falling over itself to get on your face, and a subtle little dash of definition with a cute flick is like trying to do one of those adult colouring books with a fat Crayola. Still, she works hard for the money, and a slick of this on top and bottom lids ensures popping peepers.

7pm Dodgy old pencil sharpener from The Body Shop
Had this since about 2001. The chamber is completely misaligned from the base and I’ve lost the lid, so all pencils come out sharpened with a distinct wonk and the shavings go everywhere. For about four quid you’d think I’d just get another one but frankly, I’d rather buy carton of Celebrations for the same price.

8pm Clump Defy mascara by Max Factor
I was never entirely sure whether this bad boy was supposed to GIVE defined clumps, or define existing clumps out into actual individual lashes. In any case, they say you should bin your mascara after 6 months, or sooner if you’re a contact lens wearer. I say, they can fuck right off. I’ve had years of use out of Old Faithful, and I’ll only consider retiring it when I need to commence a pumping action to get any product on the brush.

9pm Bog standard lip balm by Nivea
Mouse has an obsession with lip balm. I keep some on my bedside table and she’ll routinely wind it all the way up and mash it into her chops, quickly followed with a declaration of “oops, your lip balm just broke Mummy”. After one ruined stick too many, I asked my husband to pick up a cheapy thing from Superdrug that she could have. He returned with one of those red tinted balms in a tin. Yeah, ‘cos that’ll be more user friendly! Men. Honestly.

10pm Work the Colour lip butter by Collection
When did it stop being Collection 2000? Anyway, forever regarded as a bit of a shit brand, it’s actually got some half decent stuff now. I own three shades of this: your non-specific daytime nude, your flirty teenage pink, and your devil red that I always put on and then attempt to scrub back off pretty bloody quick. If I could hone a look, it would be alabaster skin, huge red pouty lips, wingy black eyeliner, and thick black-rimmed glasses. Yes, I would basically morph into Dita Von Teese at the library. I’m not holding my breath, tbh.

11pm Plumptuous lip gloss by 2true (who the actual?)
This is the pièce de résistance. Nothing says 32 year old Mum-of-Two than a clear lipgloss with discernible glitter, right?

-SJW September 2016

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