A good friend of mine once said, that money spent on your face was never money wasted. I had two words for her. Face tattoo. She said this to me shortly after an eighty quid meltdown in some Whole Foods-organic-yoga temple. You know the place. A place where I had managed to spend my entire shopping budget... on face lube. I can't even remember why I did this. Perhaps I had been dumped. Maybe a vacuous Tatler article had finally pierced my badly exfoliated cynicism shield. Whatever the cause, I had forgotten that I was 'Stand up comedian Amy Howerska' (of limited budget) and thought that I was in fact Gwyneth Paltrow, award-winning domestic goddess, lolling around rubbing bee's jizz and rubies on my face whilst extolling the virtues of quinoa and... not having a real job.
I was brought up by a woman who told me that all you needed was a bit of mascara. I later came to realise that anyone who grows up with a hot/low maintenance mother is ill-equipped for life as a female. Especially if, intermittently, throughout my non-airbrushed existence, your skin is having a post-punk rock revolution all of its own.
"How dare you have an audition, a date or a wedding! Anarchy, ANARCHY'!!! (I hate you)."
It seeks to remind you that however far you've come, you're still a spotty teenager from Swansea attempting to pull off a Lycra boob tube. (I've since dropped the boob tube).
I've tried everything for my skin: expensive facials, crystals and chick peas. Now I love hummus as much as the next single female Londoner, but I don't want to exfoliate with it. I even tried the pill. Now that's an awkward teenage conversation with a family doctor who has known you since you were a bump,
"No, I'm not getting laid Dr Jones, but I want to... Please may I have some hormones?"
Hurrah for the pill! Which worked amazingly, apart from the swollen boobs and the bursting into tears at leaves. Well that couldn't go on. Who can afford to replace all of their bras?
The only solution? Make-up - and it had better do the bloody job. I could never buy the cheap stuff - foundation designed for girls who don't need make up. I need the stuff that will cover this Sex Pistols gig that is happening on my left cheek. I hate buying make up. For example:
"I don't want to go one shade darker. I want face paint that's the colour of my face. Do you have something in Ivory, Bone or Cadaver?"
"What about a light beige?"
"I'm not beige! I'm pale and interesting. Goths love me. That's why I moved to Camden. Now give me Drowned Corpse Matte So I can get out of here?"
"What about a light beige?"
Cosmetic counter assistants always want me to black up. I blame Britney and Christina because they were always covered in orange make-up. Now there is the current fashion for shading, circa Kardashia 2013, with the result that most young ladies look like they need a good wash. Such a look does not work for me. My heritage is Polish-Irish. The only look I can do is pickled consumption and actually I'm fine with that. Are you shocked? I don't want to look like I've just come back from holiday. I live in London. Looking harassed and ill is the uniform. That's the London look.
Something happened. After that fateful day in Whole Foods, I realised that my friend was right. Money spent on your face is never money wasted. Moisturiser and make up have become a meditative experience. Everyone has to grow up some day. You can't live on Wotsits and vodka forever. To look good and feel good, you have to take care of yourself. Worse, the stuff your mother called "expensive rubbish" does work. (Bloody smug Gwyneth). Perhaps if I spent less money on cocktails and more money on good products, my visage would be less punk and more soft rock. The solution to this niggle? An early night. And bees' jizz.