In 2007, against her
better judgement, Her Gracious Majesty Queen Elizabeth II extended to
me an offer of citizenship which I duly accepted. There was a
ceremony at Lambeth Town Hall, and I came away with a souvenir photo
of me looking like I’d accidentally joined the Hogwart’s branch
of the BNP.
To receive this honour, I
had to sit the “Life in the UK” exam, thus satisfying the British
government that I did indeed know the date that women gained the
right to divorce their husbands and what percentage of the population
identify themselves as Muslims. There was a study guide! I made
flashcards! But to get to the really useful stuff, you just have to
learn by trial and error and the occasional raised eyebrow at the
pub. Here’s a few of the things I wish someone had told me when I
arrived at Gatwick fourteen years ago:
When your friend
cancels your plans at the last minute, he hasn’t blown you off,
he’s blown you OUT. The former means something completely
different and is best not discussed in front of your mother-in-law.
Do not be tricked
into ordering Pimms and lemonade simply because the sun is out. It
is essentially a non-alcoholic beverage with added hedge trimmings,
and you will need to build up your alcohol tolerance if you ever
hope to truly fit in.
People will make
assumptions about your social class based on the word you use to
refer to your evening meal.
People will make
assumptions about your social class based on the daily newspaper you
People will make
assumptions about your social class based on the supermarket you
Superdrug is the
best chemist on the high street.
The last point eluded me
until about six months ago. It only dawned just how much love there
is for Superdrug when I realised that people were genuinely excited
for their 50th anniversary product editions. It seemed
that every woman who spent her formative teenage years in this
country had a happy memory of spending Saturday morning with a coven
of girlfriends, happily wallowing in the cheap and cheerful nail
varnishes and lipsticks at her local branch. I, on the other hand,
had pretty much ignored them for the past 14 years, having been
impressed by the fact that I could buy a lemon-flavoured yogurt from
their main competitor on my first visit to these shores. So exotic! I
now see the error of my ways.
cosmetics range Makeup Revolution definitely falls into the “cheap
and cheerful” category, but that’s no reason for letting the
teenaged girls have all the fun. I have, of late, been extremely
impressed with the colour and longevity of both their powder blusher
I tested All I Think
About Is You from the Vivid Baked Blusher range (£2.50, above right)
and Now from the Powder Blusher range (£1, above left), and found
that they performed as well as blushers at twenty times the price.
The packaging is nothing to write home about, but for the price of a
Diet Coke, I’m not complaining.
Now is a soft, rosy pink
with an almost undetectable shimmer, while All I Think About Is You
is a brighter candy pink with swirls of tawny gold. They both give a
pretty, sheer wash of colour that looks beautiful on my ghostly skin,
but without making me look so flushed that fellow Victoria Line
commuters ask me if I’m okay. Despite the shimmer, Now actually
goes on quite matte, giving it a low-key yet polished look that’s
perfect for work or general daytime wear. All I Think About Is You is
now my go-to blusher for a fast casual look. It makes my cheeks pop
without looking too “done”, and the golden highlights mean I can
skip the highlighter altogether. I get a good nine hours wear from
I’ve not seen the range
in store yet, but it’s available to order online. Get stuck in –
cheap make-up is a great way of trying out a new look or colour
without worrying about wasting your hard earned cash. Any other
questions, give me a shout: I’ll be the girl on the houmous aisle
at Waitrose with a copy of the Guardian tucked under my arm.
Makeup Revolution is
available at www.superdrug.com.
The Fine Print: Purchases.
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