The fake tan
We’ve been having a bit of a cold snap lately – cold for Dubai, at least. I’m not going to get into an argument with you about what exactly defines cold (especially you Canadian ladies wallowing in your 10-foot snowdrifts) but let’s just say, when you’re acclimatised to spending eight months of the year in 40C+, a lunchtime high of 20C feels pretty nippy.
Usually in winter I manage to turn my delicate face towards the glow of the winter sun a little while watching the children bounce on the trampoline till their guts spill through their noses. The result is that some residue of summer’s tan usually manages to cling on all winter, giving me a reasonably healthy glow for much of the year.
But not this year. This year I’m actually starting to scare the smaller children at morning drop-of, so ghostly is my visage. And I don’t like being too pale. It reminds me of my Northern European roots. Of cold, of rain and of freezing, dark mornings. Of sitting in the fuggy interior of a packed commuter train, a lock of wet hair dripping down my collar and my nose tickled by the wet-wool smell of strangers’ coats drying out.
So I decided to do what everyone else in Dubai does (probably all year round) and slap on a bit of fake tan. But I am not a fake tan girl. Up until the birth of DD, my favourite hobby was sunbathing. To live in Dubai and to use fake tan would have been an unimaginable travesty – so, as I discovered last night, the only bottle of fake tan I own dates back to 1995.
It doesn’t seem so long ago. I remember it very well.
But in terms of cosmetics – cosmetics with colour in them in particular – that’s quite old. It’s like dog years. The fake tan is about 1,390 in dog years.
So what do I do? What would you do?
Well, I shake it up and down a bit, I take off the top and I sniff. It smells alright-ish (for fake tan). I pour a little into my hand. It looks okay, it has not separated, so I slap it on my face with both hands, I smear it over everything from hairline to neck and I go to sleep without giving it another thought.
And then this morning I wake up and think: Oh sweet Jesus, what did I put on my face last night? I rush to the mirror, check my face and….
…… it looks alright; I have a healthy Lancôme glow. Who said cosmetics go off? Cheers indeed to the 18-year-old bottle of fake tan.