Those that know me off-screen (that sounds a bit swish!) know that I have, in recent months, developed a noticeable penchant for lipstick. What started out as a desperate attempt to distract from the haggard mum bags I carried under my eyes on really crap days, has slowly developed into a daily habit. Lipstick makes me feel confident but I had to get over the self-consciousness first. Drawing attention to any one part of myself didn’t sit well with me (regardless of how sanguine I come across!) but I am so glad I persevered.
Apparently, red lips give the impression that you’ve got your shit together and can face anything. The likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Charlotte Tilbury have spoken about the power of lippie, and its uplifting effects have been traced back to the Great Depression in the 1930s.
Having said all that, I would now like to dispel this myth and reassure any school run mums that see me scoot in and out of the gates (literally – I commute on a kick scooter!) with my red lips and work clobber , that I absolutely do not have my shizzle even remotely together…
It all started a week or so ago when I was invited to join some successful local bloggers for an informal evening of sharing hints and tips. Despite my Imposter Syndrome bubbling up, I accepted and began to rack my brains for any slither of insight I might be able to bring to the table. The event was on Tuesday at the fabulous Greenway Hotel and Spa in Cheltenham and, not wanting to turn up completely unprepared, I decided to paint my toenails (my advice might be massively limited but no way was I sporting battered toenail polish too!)
As any good mum does, I rolled up my trousers (work ones – no time to change, obviously) found a polish which looked vaguely similar to the two-month old remnants that currently adorned my foot digits and coloured in the missing bits.
I grabbed my bag, coat and shoes, tip-toed to the car in bare feet, whacked the blower on my feet and drove barefoot to the spa (if it’s good enough for Alan Partridge, it’s good enough for me).
My confidence was growing as I ran through my spiel, turned into the fancy hotel driveway and parked next to a rather swanky car that probably cost the same as a small house. I checked my lippie (obviously), popped my socks back on fumbled around for my shoes. And then the tidal wave of ‘oh for fuck’s sake’ engulfed me as I realised I had left my shoes on my driveway.
I had two options – drive home, get my shoes and come back; or suck it up in my pink socks (with dogs on them) and stride in with my lippie on, head held high! I chose the latter, ignored the odd looks and scrambled for the changing room before my fellow bloggers could see me!
And then, in true British Maple style, proceeded to tell them all my ridiculous story before plunging into the pool and enjoying a thoroughly chilled out evening. As expected, I was way out of my depth on the blog front but a [small] glass of fizz and some great chat made for an awesome evening.
Moral of the story – just because she’s got lipstick on, does not mean she’s got her shit together (or her shoes on!)
Big thanks to Places With Ed and Mama Bear of One for organising and to Jess Cantoni, Thrifty Mumma Thrifty Bubba, Cheltenham Foodie, Earth Lists and The Cherry Mama for the awesome company. Catch you next time Are We British, Lady Janey and Totally Mum, Totally Me.
Even bigger thanks for The Greenway Hotel and Spa for treating us so well.