Beauty - it’s a price we’re happy to pay

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Annoyingly catchy pop song by One Direction. And £18,000. That’s what makes you beautiful...

Superdrug has totted up the sizeable fortune we spend to boost face and ego. Over the course of our lives, we women who are blessed with neither radiant natural beauty nor the couldn’t-give-a-stuff approach to grooming chuck away £18.049.89 on muck for our faces.

A sizeable sum on stuff that goes down the plughole every night. Though I think they were daft to look only at what we spend between the ages of 18 and 82. Girls start trowelling it on aqed 12 these days. True, the gaudy gubbins they spend all their pocket money on is far less inexpensive than the luxe lines vanity tricks us into believing is going to make a difference just because it’s expensive. But what the kids don’t spend on quality, they make up for it in quantity. My nieces buy cosmetics by the bucketload.

I can’t carp; I did the same. Though in my day there was less choice. It was cardboard pots of Bourquois blusher, sparkly eyeshadow, spit-on mascara blocks and sticks of pancake foundation from Boots 17 and the all-essential Miner’s Kajal (highly appropriate brand name; it made you look like you’d ascended a seam at Silverwood),

But what I spent the bulk of my Saturday wages on was stuff to get rid of acne. Such was my hatred of what my brother cruelly nicknamed my ‘spotty-dog face’, I considered nothing too hardcore. If they had invented a mini pneumatic drill that could bore the pimples straight out of your cheeks like maggots from an apple, I’d have jumped at it.

Consequently I also needed a make-up bagful of stuff to cover up the belisha beacon glow the scourers, squeezers and pore-leachers left behind. Major problem, though. Spot camouflage products were always orange. It said things like “fair” and “skin toned” on the tube, but clearly they’d been skin-matched to George Hamilton.

Once you hit your late twenties, you get a few halcyon years when spots become a rarity, you look the best you ever will and cosmetics are purely for gilding, rather than shrouding, the lily.

And then you get wrinkles. The blemish-banish spending, that endless search for the holy grail of skin perfectors, begins in earnest all over again. We’re caught in a trap. And for me, it will never end. Come my dotage, I will not be Dab of Nivea Lady. I’ll be Joan Collins; all black eyeliner, red lippy and pink rouge. The cataract haze will work like a soft-focus and finally, I’ll be beautiful.