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This photo illustrates my current problem quite well, I think. It’s got to the time of year where I’m at my palest (and least interesting.) My skin hasn’t encountered any meaningful sun for so long that I have faded past the lightest of my foundations. Even the splendidly colour-matched Hourglass Veil Fluid Makeup in shade Beige has made my face take on an orangey look, which means that it is too dark.

I am, by the way, quite embarrassed at how wrinkly my hand appears on this photo. Obviously my hands are not HD ready.

As the Veil Fluid is so expensive, (and I want to go darker later in the year if necessary rather than lighter with that) I cast around looking for options from the dozens of bottles of very similarly hued foundations that I currently own. I settled on Chanel’s shade 50 Beige. I have this shade in three different Chanel foundations. In the photo from left to right observe the Chanel Vitalumière Loose Powder Foundation; Chanel Vitalumière Aqua and Chanel Perfection Lumière. We’ve already established that the Chanel Vitalumière (not Aqua) was too dark or rosy for me, which is why I looked for the Hourglass in the first place. Are you keeping up?

They are all supposed to be the same shade but observe the difference in them! How annoying. You’d expect that foundations marked with the same shade would be the same actual colour! And the wrong shade of foundation can make the difference between carefully matched natural colour and the story of orange tan that one sees on a reality show.

In the end I’ve settled on the Vitalumière Aqua for the time being. I’m making a big fuss of a triviality, I know, and it matters not a jot in the scheme of things but I actually removed my make up in the middle of the day yesterday because I was so self conscious about resembling a satsuma in my fruit bowl. This stuff matters to me, at least.

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How nice it was that we sang Happy Birthday to our lovely Choirmaster, Simon, last night at the end of choir practice. He has a Big Birthday coming up in the holidays apparently. 40! I’m amazed that he’s still so young. Goodness. I remember when I was so apprehensive about hitting 40 and it’s nothing. In fact I’m sure that my fifth decade has been the best one yet. He wants to try facing the NEXT Big Birthday.

Speaking of which I’ve finally acknowledged that our joint birthday party, planned for July, is not going to happen until later in the year. Our builder, bless him, was trying so hard to get it all done for us, but he was really working up to the wire, besides which the kitchen would not have been finished in time. Better to do it a few months later at our leisure and hope that the early autumn rain will hold off.