Dan Wainwright, owner of the same comb for ten years, says spray tan is as fake as those 'real men', while Liz Joyce, lover of wine, sufferer of two-day hangovers, says the only way is expense when being a bridesmaid.
Spray tan is as fake as those ‘real men’
I had to do a double take when I saw pictures of Louis Tomlinson from One Direction.
For a few seconds I thought the Oompa Loompas had abandoned Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory and branched out into pop music.
But it turned out that the international heart throb was just sporting a spray tan he had done while partying at the V Festival.
Now, call me old fashioned, but rock festivals aren’t meant to be about pampering and preening.
They’re for dodgy disposable barbecues, beer cans and communal latrines. If you come home a funny shade of orange it’s because you’ve spent three nights sleeping face down in a bag of Doritos, not because you’ve been trying to copy the cast of The Only Way Is Essex.
I suppose I shouldn’t judge Louis too harshly.
He’s a product of his time, who grew up in the age of the metrosexual where cosmetics companies would take their ladies’ wrinkle cream, slap a butch name on it like Power Boosting Man Mousse and expect us to buy it.
These days a bloke is told he has to have more in his bathroom cupboard than paracetamol for hangovers and a can of Lynx Africa (Alan Partridge’s scent of choice).
Spray tans are just par for the course in an age of moisturiser, facial scrub and eau de toilette.
I never thought I’d find myself mourning the passing of “real men”.
I hate real men. They’re the ones who always picked me last for football teams at school and laughed when I ran the wrong way to avoid being tackled playing rugby.
And I’m all for equality of the sexes - sharing the housework, looking after the kids, the cooking and the washing up.
But have we really reached the stage where couples have to have his ‘n’ hers tans, eyeliner and manicures?
I’m no expert on women. I somehow convinced one to marry me last year and I’m still waiting for her to inform me she’s recovered from the concussion and wants a divorce.
However I think it’s pretty safe to say that most of them would rather not be with a man who spends more time in the bathroom than they do, unless they’re cleaning it.
The only way is expense when being a bridesmaid
Beauty is pain. And, after standing in a pair of paper knickers being hosed down by a freezing-cold brown substance, I can add humiliation, awkwardness and discomfort to that too.
Last weekend my best friend got married and I followed her down the aisle as bridesmaid.
But, what preceded that happy and joyous day, was a week of torture. Expensive torture at that.
I was plucked and painted, sheared and sprayed to within an inch of my sad little life.
Things were glued on and things were ripped off. It wasn't pretty. Nor was I particularly, when all was said and done.
My floppy-haired friend Daniel over there might be moaning about the rise of the metrosexual man but he has no idea what us girls go through in the name of beauty.
In the run-up to the nuptials, as well as aforementioned spray tan – a rather fetching turban complementing the paper pants - I had my eyebrows threaded (ouch), nails painted (costly), false eyelashes glued on (fiddly), make-up applied (thickly),hair coloured (boring) and then put up into a style so grand it required no less than 43 pins (impressive).
Add to that a Supermarket Sweep-style dash around the make-up counter of Beatties and I spent a grand total of £190 on a look that lasted less than 24 hours.
So was it worth it?
Well, the bride was happy with my new-and-improved image and that was the main thing. And it's not as if I could glide down the aisle with greasy hair and wearing trakkie bottoms.
But I felt a little strange about it all. The girl fluttering those extra-long lashes and sporting suspiciously-orange feet and hands wasn't ‘me’.
It emphasised just how many hoops we women have to jump through to get the socially-accepted look.
There's a lot of pressure on us to look perfect, not just on those big occasions, but each and every day, at work, down the gym, at home for our other halves. It's exhausting.
I'm also a little bit ashamed of myself for getting so carried away – but, after clearing out my bank account, a month of beans on toast and Basics ready meals can be my punishment.