by Hayley Doyle
Who else sleeps with their makeup on? Come on. Hands up!
When I was about 13, the cool girls in school were wearing clear mascara, sponging their complexion with a powder compact and covering their pimples with thick, gloopy concealer. I simply HAD to be like them. Now, my mum was not averse to makeup. She has always prided herself on never - never! - going downstairs in her own home without her “face on” and has had an evening skincare ritual ever since I can remember. To be fair, her skin is completely flawless. So when I splashed my pocket money on a basketful of the best of Boots, the mother-daughter chat went like this; “Whatever you do, don’t ever sleep in your makeup.”
Aye, aye, captain!
Until I became a student. It was remarkable how awesome my makeup looked first thing in the morning, after pound-a-pint-night at the union and a garlicky-mayo monstrosity of doner meat and chips. The smudge of my eyeliner would be exactly how I’d intended it to look the day before! But in the cold light of day, away from the glow of my student halls bathroom strip light, it was another story. Like Cinderella, the products on my face had a ticking clock. By the last stroke of midnight, the painted doll I’d believed I was had morphed into a pasty goth. Mascara will always find a way to crackle and crust. Still. I wasn’t the only one wearing yesterday’s makeup, was I?
If you’re firmly in this camp, do you tell people? Blurt it out, ensuring everybody knows you are judging yourself before others have a chance to silently pass judgement? Or do you keep schtum? Is wearing yesterday’s makeup a weird little secret you like to keep? And if so, what other everyday things do we do that we’d rather not admit? And why, if we’re all doing them, is it so hush-hush? I can’t be the only person who checks super-simple maths on a calculator, just to be extra, double sure. And as much as I wind myself up waiting impatiently for a reply to a text or an email, everybody else isn’t going around totally carefree, are they? Perhaps we are all just constantly doubting ourselves. Terrified of judgement. Friends and colleagues ridiculing us. Family downright disgusted. Yet, here’s the thing. They’re all doing it, too!
So read on, soul-sister. And if any of these weird habits resonate with you, I promise I won’t tell. Your secrets are not only safe with me, but they’re my secrets too.
Fake laugh when you’ve completely zoned out and stopped listening to someone when they’re talking. Or raise your eyebrows and just say, “Wow.”
Hold your breath on the stairs when somebody walks past you, to look like a healthy individual when in truth, you’re knackered from racing up just one flight.
Nip off to the work loo for a power nap. And it never ever does the trick.
Pretend not to notice the cash inside that birthday card from Auntie Pat. It’s best to read and react to the heartfelt message first before getting all cha-ching.
Spend an hour psyching yourself up to go for a wee in the middle of the night, then give in and stumble to the bathroom with your eyes shut tight. Because that means you’ll stay asleep. Sure.
Pass wind and then join in with the group “eugh” and the collective, “who did that?” But you never admit it was you. In fact, you might even blame somebody else.
Send an emoji of a face crying with laughter, when really, you’re not laughing. You’re not even crying. You just want to look like you’re getting involved in the group chat.
Turn the radio down in the car when you’re looking for a parking space.
Your online shop comes to hundreds, perhaps thousands. But the delivery cost is like, 4.99. So you cancel the order.
Play the ultimate victim when you can’t find the remote control. It’s never your fault. Ever. Somebody hid it on purpose just to spite you.
Trim your toenails while watching TV. Killing two birds with one stone. Only you conveniently forget to pick up the pieces.
Only shave your legs if you’re going on holiday.
Or only shave around your ankles if you’re wearing cropped jeans.
If there’s a reflection of any kind, even in the window of a parked car, you check yourself out. Then think you’re fat. And measure your worth by your weight.
Talk to yourself. Often. And sometimes in a totally different accent.
Randomly imagine yourself kissing the person you’re talking to. Even if you’re not at all attracted to them.
Cyber-stalk an ex from time to time. Or that girl you went to school with. Or that woman you met once or twice. Or that person you don’t know at all…
Alone in a coffee shop, eavesdrop, while you’re pretending to be reading your emails.
Pose in the mirror, imitating influencers and celebs. Then take a mirror selfie and instantly delete it.
Pick your underwear up with your toes and toss it into the air to try and catch it. When you do, you feel like a goddess.
Pick your nose and really, really enjoy the process.
Never wash your makeup brushes. Okay, you might tonight. For the first time in like, forever.
And never wash your bra.
Only fake tan the bits everybody will see.
Pick up a grape, a raisin or a Cheerio off the kitchen floor, then eat it, without even contemplating how long it might have been there. Well, it’s easier than going all the way to the bin, right?
Pull your eyelashes out. You don’t know why. It’s like they’re asking for it.
Make excuses for being on your period and hide tampons up your sleeve.
And speaking of periods, poop way more during your time of the month.
Chip a nail and then zone out for an hour picking off all the remaining nail polish until your nails are brittle and bare.
Use dry shampoo for two, three, no four days on the trot.
Well, well, well. The cat is truly out of the bag now, isn’t it? So let’s just agree that yes, we all do weird things that we might deem embarrassing, but in reality, they're actually very common. Hey, we’re only human. Even Beyoncé farts, so…It’s okay. And if you were about to raise your hand and shout YES, THIS IS ME, but still don’t feel comfortable admitting it, just allow yourself to be safe in the knowledge that you’re not alone. And you’re not gross. Well, not that gross (because it wouldn’t take a minute to hoover up those toenails, would it?)