Friday Photo: My Other Obsession

When I wrote about my shoe collection earlier this week, Madeline had an interesting question for me. Well, it was interesting to me, anyway, because it was about mascara, and I find almost EVERYTHING about mascara interesting. Madeline said:

“ Now, i’ll throw a really hard question to you: how many individual tubes of mascara do you have? I know now you’ll be counting till tomorrow (i’m evil, i know )”

Oh yeah: THAT. The mascara. Oh my holy hell, the mascara:

THE MASCARA

Oh, hai, everyone! My name’s Amber, and I’m a mascara addict.  Actually, in my defence, I have to point out that at least half of the FOURTEEN TUBES OF MASCARA you see before you were sent to me as review samples, so I didn’t actually go out and buy all of them. I mean, I may be crazy, but I’m not THAT crazy. Well, not yet, anyway.

My addiction to mascara has been with me since my early teens. It began at roughly that point life when you start to become aware of your appearance, and one day you look into the mirror, and think, “Damn, who stole my eyelashes, WHO?” In my case, no one stole my eyelashes: they do exist, but, as is the case with many redheads, they’re so pale that they may as well NOT. I guess the correct term for them would be “strawberry blonde”, but mine are more blonde than strawberry, and if I wasn’t wearing mascara, and you were standing close enough to see (or rather NOT see) my lashes, you would probably think I was some kind of half human/half reptile hybrid, and you would call up Will Smith and ask him to take me down.

That would never happen, though, because there is basically NEVER a time when I’m not wearing mascara. (And also because if you ever try standing that close to me, I will cut you. I really hope you’re reading this, woman at the gym who got onto the treadmill right next to mine yesterday when there were TEN OTHER COMPLETELY EMPTY TREADMILLS AVAILABLE… ) Seriously, my mascara consumption is the stuff of legend. When I lived in halls of residence at university, the fire alarm in our building would frequently go off in the middle of the night, and we’d all have to pile outside to stand in the freezing cold until the fire brigade arrived to switch it off again. With just a few short minutes to prepare myself for this ordeal, my choice was simple: I could either throw on some clothes, or I could throw on some mascara. That’s why, every single time that fire alarm went off, I would be found standing shivering outside in my dressing gown: but by God, my eyelashes looked marvelous.

These days, of course, I dye my lashes, so I’m less likely to be mistaken for an alien, should anyone ever see me without makeup.  Dying lashes only changes the colour of them, though: it doesn’t lengthen them, or curl them, or volumise them, or do any of the other wonderful things mascara can do. This was the truth I learned as a young teenager, when I would leave for school in the morning completely bare-faced, and mysteriously manage to arrive there with half of the Cover Girl counter on my face. My plan, if my parents ever found out about this, was to claim to have been mugged by a makeup artist. Because, seriously THAT’S WHAT IT LOOKED LIKE.

That’s why, throughout my formative years, my most frequently asked question wasn’t “How many pairs of shoes do you have?” but “Are you a drag queen?”

It’s also why I have a Sephora loyalty card, even although I don’t live in a country they deliver to. GOD.