The deadly beauty sins that we're all guilty of

The beauty sins of a beauty lover

I had a diary for about two days in the mid-'90s. I wrote nothing of interest or consequence in it because at the time there was little of interest or consequence happening in my life (went to school with weird hair, came home and called my friends who were also in possession of weird hair). In retrospect, I resembled one of those little troll dolls that I collected - all wide-eyed and open-faced with very fluffy sticky-uppy yellow hair.

I did, however, treat it as a type of rudimentary confessional (at least I did up until the day that my brother found it, read it aloud and held it over my head so I couldn't grab it back).

Everyone needs somewhere to spill their darkest secrets so today I'd like you to think of us as your own personal Jesus, your confession box of beauty sins where the penance is more about double cleansing than soul cleansing. If you're doing something sinful, you know that you aren't alone; it is bound to be something that some other sinner is also doing.

It's like that day in school when you hadn't an iota how to do long division but you were too afraid to put up your hand in case the others thought you were a right gombeen and banned you from Red Rover due to your lack of brain. And then Fiachra sticks up his hand to ask what the hell is going on and the entire class breathes a sigh of communal confused relief.

beauty case, make up

We can read all the beauty columns, we can visit the make up counters of every department store in all the land and yet, despite all the knowledge and recommendations, there are still some beauty products and habits that we return to time and time again.

I'll open the floor by saying that I've make up products in my kit that wouldn't have been out of place in the recent 'Older Than Ireland' documentary. I'm just waiting for that eye palette to receive its letter from Michael D, congratulating it on the fact that it's coming up to a Big Birthday. And so what if this eye pencil is from 1999? The bacteria on it probably have great taste in Brit Pop and Britney Pop; I'll get on just fine with it.


And so I threw the question out to the office floor. I am surrounded by people obsessed by beauty products so surely they wouldn't be sinners? Surely?

Ah, surely, they are.

Sarah Jane admitted (under only a little bit of duress) that she loves when her mascara tube mutates into clump right at the end; it becomes rock 'n' roll in a tube. She piles on three to four coats to give her short lashes a grungy (as opposed to spidery) finish. And Aisling didn't blink as she spoke of her love for spot-popping despite knowing that this is the type of sin that can get you excommunicated.

But they weren't finished. Oh no, not by a long shot.

Miriam won't ditch the heavy coverage foundations even if the sun is beating down. Fiona doesn't use any of her make up brushes and uses her digits to apply every product, even eye shadow. And so in a move reminiscent of Ms. Marple, I inspected her fingertips and they bore the evidence.

Sarah saved the best for last, confessing that Rimmel's Heather Shimmer has a place in her own kit. I didn't even know that they sold it anymore. I'm thinking about going all vigilante and protecting the innocents from this type of horror. You'll possibly hear me on Joe Duffy later today discussing it.

And now knowing all their secrets, I'm wondering if I'd like those bacteria-riddled pencils to blind me just a little after all....


So over to you - are you guilty of any of these? Or do you have anything worse to confess? We're listening, my child.

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