It worries me sometimes, you know. In a lot of respects, I'm quite a girly woman. I've no particular desire to do sports, I don't hanker after cars, I don't yearn to do woodwork. I like cooking, I like sewing, I like sad films that make me cry, and happy films that make me cry, and honestly any sort of films that make me cry. So you see, I'm properly girly.
So why is it that I find it so difficult to take an interest in cosmetics?
Virtually every woman I know, and every woman I see, wears at least some form of make up. Bit of mascara here, bit of lip gloss there, bit of concealer all over for all I know. Not me though. Virtually never. Unless I happen to be going somewhere grand, for the majority of the time I look exactly the same when I go out as when I get up or go to bed. And that's not good.
Part of the problem is I don't really know how to use it. My mum's never been a great one to wear make up either - I remember when I was just a little girl, looking through my mum's cosmetic bag and discovering something called Panstick, I believe. At least it appeared to be a cosmetic sort of thing, and looked like an American Tan coloured big fat lipstick. I think it might be some sort of foundation affair, but truthfully with a name like that it could be a saucepan scourer and just kept in the wrong place.
When I try to put make up on, it just looks wrong. I poke myself in the eye when I put mascara on, and then it ends up in one of the eco-friendly bags for life under my eyes. I don't know whether eyeliner's meant to go on the inside of your eyelashes or the outside - either way it makes me look like an auditionee for a stop motion Tim Burton film. I have no real idea of where blusher goes.
So this year, with 42 behind me, I've decided it's time to make an effort.
I've decided to start using moisturiser.
I know, I KNOW. How can I not have used it before?
Because, mainly, well, you know. Mainly because I can't be arsed.
It just seems like a huge load of faffing. When I went to bed before, I could just take my clothes off and be in bed and asleep inside 5 minutes. Now I apply moisturising, anti-wrinkle, pro-age, anti-death cream, and some gucky stuff that's meant to get rid of the dark circles under my eyes, and hand cream like there's no tomorrow. Which there might not be, if all the advertising is true. I'm now a firm believer that if I stop applying it for just one night (or morning), my face will either crumble to dust or implode in on itself, leaving me with an inside out face or just a neck, depending on which cream stops working first.
And does it make one bloody jot of a difference?
Well, here's the strange thing. Actually, it seems to. I've never had so many people tell me how fresh I look. Or how well. And even I can see a mild improvement in the corpse circles under my eyes. Now, I suppose you can take that with a pinch of scepticism - I mean, it could be that some of those people at least are saying that I look fresh now because I looked like a pile of crap before. But it's all relative, innit?
And it makes me feel womanly too. Because now I feel like a proper woman, because this is what they do. I sit happily in bed, applying the creams to my face and hands, looking at the gleaming little pots containing their fresh smelling magic and I'm proud.
Even though it does take me 20 minutes to assume the appearance of a greased-up pig.