Posted by Kay
My earliest make up memory is also recorded by some photos which help add colour to the memory bank. A dear artist/film maker friend of my mother’s Marie-Louise Ekman (then De Geer) took the photos.
I was 4 years old in full make up. Toy watches-loads of them on my arms. Eyeliner, lips, lashes painted onto eyelids, and a magic black spot in eye pen just to the right of my nose over my mouth.
I remember (more than anything else that day) wanting a black spot like that. I loved it, when I was 7 I got one!
In my 1st grade school pic it’s not there, but in my 2nd grade one it started to appear…
I can’t really remember noticing the mole I’d wished to materialize. One day it was just there but now, I wouldn’t know myself without it.
Feeling your own beauty is a subtle, almost sacred thing. Sometimes I feel sad by how low my self esteem has been throughout my life. I look at pictures from my youth and see myself in a way that I couldn’t feel and appreciate in the moment. Thinking I was fat when- oh my god- was just a young wee thing….hmmm.
But there is another side to the coin-freedom. Freedom felt through music for instance. That kind of empowerment is beautifying. I have fed off it much. My friends make me beautiful. My daughters, my grandson, my man. Dancing really hard with people I love. Being in love. Making love. Giving love- getting older, accepting unavoidable decay. I’m looking forward to the future times ahead…good food. And of course, great hair and make up!
For nearly as long as I can remember my mother had hennaed hair, a deep, deep red. I can also see in my mind’s eye Moki (my mum) putting mascara on with a little brush from a box . You had to add water first then apply-really old school.
A lot of my mother’s beautifying was about the clothes she made and wore, all created by her. Truly original.
She was a very creative human, she used to say “I am a fiend for beauty”. Oh yeah, she always had red or burgundy lipstick.
I don’t really wear make-up everyday so when I’m being made up for work etc I love it!! It’s like a face lift. Having said that, red lips on days when I’m consumed by dullness works a treat! So no, it’s not really a chore..
Oh god…getting ready to do kids TV somewhere outside of London. Hideously early on a Saturday morning- pregnant (Buffalo Stance days). The TV make-up lady destroyed me- I mean she killed it (not in a good way). Don’t think she had ever made up a person with any colour before! I looked like a was going on a minstrel show! Judy Blame (legendary stylist/accessory designer) took a rag and wiped it off. The show had to go on- me with no make up….!!
NEEH CHERRY NENEH CHERRY NENEHYou can buy Neneh’s new album ‘The Blank Project’ here
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