The kindness of strangers
A couple of weeks ago we experienced some particularly awful weather. I had to walk for 20 minutes through some nasty ‘horizontal’ rain which smacked me in the face and literally (because it really did happen), washed off my foundation and blusher.

When I got to work, there was a problem with the heating which was stuck at 26C, I was left with a bare looking, shiny, sweaty red face. I had a much-needed coffee and naturally, my lipstick also vanished without trace.

To cap it all, I’d left my make-up bag at home #firstworldproblems – I know, but I was going out straight from work and just felt (and looked) horrible.

I decided to go to Boots at lunchtime and buy the cheapest make up I could find, just to tide me over. I overheard a booming voice coming from a sales assistant from one of the premium makeup brands, who was tending to a customer. She was upbeat and friendly, so I thought I might hover next to her counter and linger long enough she would come over to me when she finished. This she did.

I explained what happened, she sat me down and said she’d do my makeup, just like that. She spent ages consulting me about brands and shades I like to wear and even went to a neighbouring counter to grab a few different items. She cleaned her hands, cleansed my face, chopped up lipstick so she could use a fresh piece, grabbed disposable brushes and cotton buds and got to work.

When she was applying foundation, her touch was so light, I thought she hadn’t applied anything. But of course she had, and the end result was so beautiful, I immediately wanted to buy the foundation, she wouldn’t let me and gave me two weeks’ supply instead, saying I needed to road test it first. She also gave me samples to ‘keep me going’ (including skin care and a couple of eye masks) and a makeup bag to keep them in.

Of course, I will be going back when the foundation sample runs out and buy the full-sized product. I was very fortunate to meet such a lovely and skilful, woman – who was over 40 by the way.

I decided I would research and buy items for an ’emergency’ makeup bag for work anyway, and it would make a nice little post on budget makeup. But then I thought, hang on, I’ve got so much makeup – new and barely used, I can just put a bag together with products I already own.

This got me thinking about a post I remembered reading about a charity initiative founded by Caroline Hirons, called Give and Makeup. The idea is to donate everyday essentials and other items, for women and children who are forced to flee their home because of domestic violence. They also need makeup – and we all know a little bit of makeup makes you look and feel better.

Read Caroline’s full post in more detail, here.

There’s a lot of information on her page, but to break it down, if you would like to send a parcel, or perhaps fill a shoe box, then use the address below.

PO BOX 855
W4 4AW

Just pay for the postage. If you send it via second class post shouldn’t cost too much.

The post office is going to be inundated over Christmas with parcels, so it would probably be better to send it in the New Year. Sadly, incidences of domestic violence spike during public holidays, Christmas is going to be a nightmare for some people.

I feel fortunate that I have a nice life, with a fab husband who indulges me, and a loving family. I can afford to buy such nonsense as a £40 can of hairspray if I want to. I know how lucky I am, I never forget it.

It feels good to fill a box, or two, (so many, many things, what was I thinking?) with lovely items, knowing they’ll make someone’s day a tiny bit brighter.

An alternative, and frankly easier, way to give back, is to donate to Crisis at Christmas, link here.

Crisis at Christmas

It’s a tough, harsh world out there, pay it forward.

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