Added: Sakina Whitehorn - Date: 05.07.2021 11:09 - Views: 27202 - Clicks: 1556
I can barely see through the thick false lashes glued to my eyelids and my hair is so voluminous that if I turn around too quickly I may suffer whiplash. I look like a Quality Street.
And yet, as I peer at the women tottering around me in Loughton, I seem to fit right in. Around me are dozens of perfectly-groomed Barbie dolls. How long will it take?
How much will it cost? And, more importantly, will my skin, hair and nails survive intact?
My own basic beauty regime involves brushing my hair and moisturising my face. First stop, fake tan — no Essex girl worth her St Tropez will be seen dead without one. Last time I saw a colour like this, I was watching my neighbour creosote his garden fence. First stop, fake tan - no Essex girl worth her St Tropez will be seen dead without one. Almost every woman I meet in Essex has them. First, Julia finds extensions to match my own brunette shade, then sections off top layers of my hair, back combs the bottom and clips in the extensions so they sit unseen close to my scalp.
Those take an incredible four hours to attach, but mine require only 30 minutes. My hair is instantly thicker, fuller and eight inches longer, now stopping just below my breasts. For an hour — yes, a whole hour — I have to lie down and keep my eyes closed while gel p hold down my lower lashes and Jordaan glues individual acrylic lashes to my own. It is fiddly, uncomfortable and demands a lot of patience. But the are astounding.
My lashes actually resemble those in a mascara advert. The next feature we tackle are my eyebrows. Instead, I opt for La La Brow treatment to give me a thicker, darker shape.
Powder, not a pencil, is used to give a more realistic look. Laura gets an eyebrow treatment left and has individual acrylic lashes glued to her own eyelashes right. I have Gelish nails applied — like a nail polish — in several layers, each dried under a UV lamp. Next I see MAC make-up artist Andrea Louca, who tells me her clients like smoky-eyes and as dramatic make-up as possible. One of the biggest clothing brands in this county is Forever Unique — beloved for their flattering, figure-flaunting frocks that cling to the body and usually bare breasts or legs or both.
Subtle is out tonight. Then comes the kind of torture I thought had been banned under the Geneva Convention. My hair is wound into rollers, backcombed, scrunched, straightened and sprayed for more than 50 minutes. I crush my feet into a pair of sparkly skyscraper shoes — so much for walking anywhere — and then pour myself into the tight rubber-like gold mini-dress.
Finally, my make-over is complete. The result is, frankly, shocking.
Instead, I meet an extremely done-up, over-glamorous, unrecognisable version of myself. Even though I feel conspicuous, my waitress assures me much of the clientele sport the same, over-the-top look.
Diners turn and stare. Another, Barry, breaks off from his 40th birthday celebrations to come over and kiss me on the cheek. Unfortunately, female diners look far less friendly. My hour stint as an Essex lady is nearly over and it has been. It will be a relief to get back into my own clothes — and the shower. Although it might take a Brillo Pad, and several weeks, to rid myself of this tan.
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