Friday, October 20, 2017

Made-up

Hi,

With summer over, I've moved away from my trusty CC cream, and switched back to foundation. The colour corrector is a little darker than my, shall we say politely, Celtic skin tone (translation: are you secretly a goth? :-) ). With my Clinique foundation almost out, and looking like it was not it's best, I needed a replacement.

The thing is, what do you do when you need a bare-ish face to try on new product, but if you want to be out & about, but your confidence is held up by not being bare-faced? Hmm.

In years gone by, Boots had visited Chameleons and they'd said they had a Beauty Room. You had to ring ahead and book an appointment with a specialist. So far, so good! This I did.... and found the room had long since gone. So much for the Room of Requirement coming to my rescue :-)

After battling with the phone system, and explaining my plight, the Beauty Manager said she'd sort something out and get back to me. A few hours later, I got a call from beauty specialist, and we'll call her M, to preserve her anonymity. M asked a few key questions about skin tone, coverage, and whatnot. Afte that, it was time to book something in. Result!

So, it was Wednesday morning and I strolled in, in Richard mode. The usual work clobber, and a small rucksack with make-up remover, plus existing slap. I was early as the Traffic Fates had been kind, so I hung about waiting for my appointment. I met with M (not the lady from 007, I should add :-) ), and off we wandered away from the shop floor, and into the backroom offices.

We set up in the Beauty Manager's office (bless her), and then M and I spent about an hour plus testing foundations to find what worked for me. We chatted a little about what had led M into this career (I'm curious), and her thoughts on what worked from a sales point of view. I found all this very interesting, not just because I'm a nosey cow, but I love to hear from interesting people. In turn she asked a little about me, and what I was after from the session.

Skip on some time, and we'd sorted out a foundation that worked with my existing primer and powder. I know the latter may be old school, but a light dusting of powder really helps set my makeup. Oh, and if you're not using a primer, you're missing out. In addition to that, I quizzed her about lip liner, and after some pro-tips, I had improved my lipstick technique too. What's not to like?

When asked what look I went for, I said that I tend to swing between daytime and a nighttime look, depending on what we get up to at Chameleons. Cue a quick look on Facebook, to show her my profile photo, and the glam shot of me from a few Christmases ago. "How'd you get that shape?" she asked, and off we went in to talk about padding and corsets.

Throughout the session I never felt odd, nor that I was making M uncomfortable. We did talk about the vibes customers give off, and when it's a good time to be a little more relaxed than too serious. M's professionalism and friendliness really added to the experience, and last night, I wrote a quick thank you to Boots praising both staff. I hope that the Store Manager sings their praises.

Back downstairs, I paid up and gave my sincere thanks. Given this was an 'off week' (i.e.: no Chams), this experience really put a bounce in my step, and when I think back on the experience, it brings a smile. Good stuff.

Next week it's Chams again, and I'm hoping M's boss gives me a call, so we can try and plan a make-over night. You can but try!

So, if there's any lesson to be learned from this little jaunt: do ask (and always politely). The better beauty staff are here to help you, and not to make a sales target. If you don't get want you want, move on to another store (Leicester Debenhams, you lost out, as you ignored me!) and ask them nicely too.

Perhaps the Ever Lovely Mrs J's words to our nippers apply to me too. No, not "have you got your socks on", but you never know until you try.

Take care,
Lynn
x

Friday, October 13, 2017

Recharging

Hi,

Earlier today I was out at lunch, walking through the leafy suburb of West Bridgford. Given that it was Chameleons last night (woo!), I make the short journey over in the car to pay the group's money into the bank. Not that the walk lets me people watch and chance to pop into my favourite fancy sandwich shop. I should add this is *after* I've paid the money in, not before. ;-)

As I walked back I stopped by a jewelry shop to pick something up for the Ever Lovely Mrs J. Give it a few weeks and we'll have been married 20 years. I don't say this as a brag, but with thanks and gratitude. I'm thankful for her love, beauty, wit, and wisdom, not to mention the two kiddies we've somehow managed to raise. Over the years, I sometimes hear of couples having difficulty and it makes me glad that we're a family. Perhaps doubly so when I think that she didn't sign up for a cross-dresser as a husband. Still, in sickness, in health and en femme, eh? :-)


I had a slight wobble on Wednesday night as I packed my bag. Picking out a bright top, and my trusty knee boots, I found myself sat, well, despondent about the whole thing. Really, this is just plain daft, given that I was going to be out in about 24 hours, and - unusually - I had a good idea of what to wear. Why the wobble? I don't know, although it may be wrapped up with a slight feeling it's been a while (there's a worrying trend). Still, stiff upper lip, Jones. :-)

At Chams we had a visit from Nicola & Steph from TrendCo, and they kindly bring along plenty of 'hair' for us to try. Not only are they both lovely, and provide fantastic customer services, but they know just what most of our members like. Styles to suit the variety of ages, and excellent prices too.

I tried a few on while we chatted. One was a human hair wig with colour like my own had been. The cut and feel was very good, but the choppy bob made me conscious of my jaw. I tried a black curly one just for fun. It was just a bit too Bellatrix Lestrange, which may have been grand for Halloween, but a bit much for daytime. Well, unless you're knocking off Gringotts Bank, but a part-time lady never gives up her funding secrets. :-)

Nicola asked about how the group was funded and when I explained, she asked if it felt like a lot of responsibility. Well, in truth, the room booking has been handed over from Sandy, so all I need to do is handle the cash, answer emails and deal with the website. I've been doing the latter two for a number of years, so the payments aren't a hassle. Plus, it's not like I'm on my own, as Val and Diane both kindly help too. Steph asked what did I get from coming to the group. That's a question I'll pick up next time, because I need to give it some thought.

I wondered, is it a burden, doing the admin? The answer came quickly, which is no. It's more that I'm lucky there is a group. We all chip in to keep it going, what with bring & buy, discussion groups, party nights, researcher panels, and vendor visits. I know this may sound like a broken record, but I'm incredibly thankful to those at Chameleons who help keep the group going. It's not always about activities, but the simple act of making the effort to attend, and keeping the group running.

With TrendCo packing up, there was time for a few snaps (thanks Val), and then try on a blouse I'd picked up at last time's September Start-Up. Suitably officey, and I guess we all have our own favourite styles. Afterwards, it was time to head back home. I may miss the next meeting as it's half-term, but last night's outing was just what I needed.

Take care,
Lynn