Looking in my mirror (the magnifying one which blows my face up to the size of the Isle of Wight so that I can put my mascara on without ending up looking like the Bearded Lady) I pondered on how long it takes me to get my face ready to greet the day. Almost ten minutes of scraping, smoothing, cleansing, drying, moisturizing etc etc, finished off with some colouring in. It wasn't always like that you know, and I have worked out that as every decade as passed, so has it become necessary, if not vital, to introduce another layer of skin care to stop me looking like one of those Shar-Pei dogs (see picture below for clarification).
If I go back to my teens, it was just Clearasil. Not the modern one you get now. Oh no, this was just like paint stripper, so moisturizer had to be applied almost immediately afterwards, before the face got an almost papyrus feel to it. I always used to nick the Mother's face cream. Oil of Ulay as it was known before the marketing department got hold of it. This was runny and pink, and you had to slap it on and rub it in before it evaporated or ran down the insides of your sleeves.
Moving on to my twenties, I could now afford a better cleanser, and I took the massive step from Clearasil to Ponds - a thick creamy cleanser in a little china pot. There was also a richer (more expensive) moisturizer, but I had fallen victim to the marketing chaps once again, and installed a 'toner' between the two. This was basically watered down paint stripper, but was guaranteed to keep the blackheads at bay, so completely necessary. I think that around this time, I started to apply pressed translucent face powder, to take the 120 watt glare from my forehead thanks to the greasy moisturizer..
In my thirties, instead of the three applications of cleanser, toner and moisturiser, a fourth tube made its appearance. Eye cream - to avoid the under eye bags. Patted on with your ring finger, to avoid dragging the skin and making the bags even bigger (well that worked...) this wasn't a job which could be done quickly. Time was necessary so as to avoid putting on too much (this was as bad as not enough) and to make sure you didn't poke yourself in the eye. Foundation cream joined the dressing table line up during this decade.
Fast forward another ten years, and then the serum tipped up. After thirty years of buying into almost anything which was going to keep me looking younger for longer, I swallowed the sales pitch of 'feeding your face' (not that kind of 'feeding', that's a whole different issue). The problem was where to put it in the regime. Slotting it between the toner and moisturizer seemed the best idea, but I now found that I had to reintroduce the pressed powder after the foundation cream as the glare would blind you.
And what about now? Well, here's how it goes every morning
Cleanse with exfoliating face wipe (double sided to sooth the sandpapered skin after)
Serum (toner has been ditched as a fire hazard around my hair straighteners)
Filler (or smoother as they like to call it - this fills in all the nooks and crannies rather like Polyfiller)
Foundation (Factor 20, light reflecting, matt, lasts for three weeks, chisel needed for removal)
Pressed powder to 'set' my face into something which can barely move till around 9.00am
But I am worried about what the future holds for my daily routine. Artex and wood chip perhaps? You laugh, but at least I'll only need to apply it once every ten years.
Think of the time saved...