Image from Moonpig
Image from Moonpig

I was SO late to the Instagram party – now I’m on it, I absolutely love it, but mostly I love the filter that’s probably the best anti-ager I know. I used to have a camera that had a *beauty flash* button on it that threw extra light and pretty much erased every wrinkle known to man. I always used it for profile pics until one day someone I’d never met before said, “You don’t look anything like your picture.” I knew I didn’t and yet thought I could carry on getting away with it until in the cold light of day someone pointed out the absolutely bleedin’ obvious! So, the beauty button was no more. I thought maybe it’s better to be realistic. And then, along came Instagram and I can’t help myself when it comes to the filter!

But, I’ve got a job coming up with a brand that requires me to go make-up free. Completely no filter, make-up free. To be honest, I am absolutely dreading it. I’m one of the older beauty bloggers in a sea of very young and very pretty bloggers, so it’s a huge ask to strip down to the nude, so to speak. Not so long ago, I was just a beauty writer whose picture was never required – only words. Since then, I’ve conquered *the profile picture*, conquered You Tube and mastered the Instagram filter but I never thought I’d have to face myself no frills. I have to be honest and say I have begged for kind lighting (they’ve said no to Vaseline over the lense ;-)) but it’s preying on my mind to the point that, when a reader stopped me in the street the other day, I felt I must have been a terrible disappointment.

So, it’s not really a pity-party, it’s stone cold fear! On the one hand, I want to tackle it head on and not give a flying hoot what anyone thinks, but on the other, I’m a human not a robot! I’m not embarrassed or ashamed of how I look, but I’ve never been in the position of knowing that a pile of people will see me exactly as it is. I love make-up – it’s completely a way of life for me and I rarely go a day without it. The very least I will wear is a base, blush and gloss or tinted balm. But even stripping back those three elements is a whole different me. Make-up doesn’t cover wrinkles or signs of ageing really so I don’t care about that, but it gives colour and definition to a face that bare, has nowhere to hide, and I’m realising that what I like best is when I’m hidden. Eek. I’m trying to put my finger exactly on what it is that upsets me about it – not dark circles, not creases, not un-even tone – I’ve got all those things and I really don’t care – I think maybe it IS that I feel I look so lifeless and drained without make-up. More tired, less animated and, bottom line, far less acceptable to others.

What do you think? Would you style it out or bottle out?

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