Maybe you launch into the world like a fresh-faced nymph about to be fingered by Zeus. Or maybe the current experience of your face is a little more Medusa. And because you don’t want to turn yourself into stone first thing in the morning, you are a bit creative with the mirror situation. And because of this, the mirror has four phases…
The 7am One
The 7am squint into the condensation covered bathroom mirror gives you a kind of ‘That’s not too shabby’ vibe – probably because you are delirious with sleeplessness and you have not, in fact, turned the light on. You know you’re supposed to put your make up on in daylight with a magnifying mirror but how much difference can it really make? And also, you have to, as discussed, emotionally limber up to face a magnifying mirror. And you have neither the time nor the resilience. You’ve been doing pre-work morning make up for years….How bad can it be?
The 9am One
Quite bad. At 9am, when you are in the office loo with the smear-test strip-lighting, you realise that your mascara has already migrated down your face and you still have a streak of dried, white moisturiser around your temples. In your haste you didn’t blend the concealer on the right side of your nose so it looks like someone has drawn on you. Or drawn you on. You also notice that you are using the ‘wrong season’ shade of tinted moisturiser so are either too wildly orange or too deathly pale. You furiously blend, making your skin look patchy and red like you’ve developed instant rosacea. Which you also have. You develop a nervous hive that turns into a spot over the next 24 hours. And a tick
The 11am One
The lift mirror. You make a catastrophic error between the 2nd and 3rd floors and look up. Suddenly an inner monologue begins: ‘Twas Thursday when she sickened. Her decline was swift. They buried her on a frosty morning, planting fragrant herbs around her grave.’
The 5:30pm One
You manage to spend the rest of the day avoiding reflective surfaces like a vampire. But, at 5:30pm, while walking past a shop window on the way home…you catch sight of a Broadmoor escapee. You have now reached the ‘scaring small children and animals’ phase of your day. All day long you’ve been going around with a weird matted lump at the back of your head. You’ve got seeds in your teeth from lunch – they may not be seeds because you’ve forgotten what you ate for lunch so maybe let’s just call them ‘matter’. And no one told you. You have no friends. Your skirt may or may not be tucked into your knickers. And there’s a stain. On your boob. A stain. Holy hell.