According to a seriously depressing new survey, a fifth of girls aged 12 won’t leave the house without full makeup, which is frankly too much effort at any age, let alone when you could still get away with playing with the Sylvanian Families canal boat without society's judgement. It’s vaguely terrifying thinking of pre-teens piling on full foundation, gel eye liner and contouring highlighter, particular when we remember our own, less sophisticated efforts...
1. Orange concealer
The first (sadly not last) time you ever woke up with a huge spot – always a) slap bang in the middle of your chin like an angry barnacle, and b) the day you were due to give a presentation to the whole class on suffragettes/birdlife in the Amazon rainforest/the dangers of smoking – your mum bought you an orange crayon to cover it up. The texture of window sealant and in a shade which could only be considered natural on David Dickinson, you miserably pasted it over the offending area, causing yet more redness, this time with a subtle 'yes, I am self-conscious about this' orange beacon too.
2. Hair mascara
A brief trend for a reason, this was an ingenious method of tangling a strand of hair so irreversibly that the only solution was to cut it off entirely (hiding said strand deep in the bathroom bin so your parents wouldn’t think you were having an emotional crisis). Other advantages included a greyish tinge and – in the case of a very special purchase from Claire’s Accessories – a sophisticated blueberry scent. How I failed to get a boyfriend until aged 15 is beyond me.
3. Kohl eyeliner
Obvs not a problem in general, this was more an issue of how we wore it, i.e. everywhere from smudged thickly under the eyes, drawn carefully – with much crying – along the waterline, and scribbled furiously across the lids. I was frankly fortunate not to be enlisted by Edinburgh Zoo’s panda breeding programme.
4. Nail varnish
The aim? A rainbow of multicoloured digits. The reality? Our Saturday jobs meant we could only stretch to four colours, so we had to raid our mum’s cupboards for the rest. The result? A sickly mixture of hot pink, taupe, neon yellow and nude shades. Also a special mention to glow in the dark varnish, which looked fab in pitch blackness, but like a fungal infection in daylight.
5. Body glitter
Small pots of joy, these cold, sticky fluids could be liberally spread under the eyes for a queen of disco look. Also worked well smeared across cushions, car upholstery and anywhere else you went for weeks on end.
6. Eyebrow plucking
I don’t need to explain this one, other than to say an awfully large percentage of the classroom looked surprised on even the dullest school day.