Foxy by 40 – June 2016


Some updates on Operation Foxy by 40…

This is 66

The Mothership is back into orbit after a month in the UK. The pinnacle of the trip was a jaunt to Manchester to see her beloved band Heart in concert, to belatedly celebrate her 60th.

I had no expectations other than fervently hoping that those giants of 70s rock and 80s balladry would play Barracuda, the greatest song ever about a toothsome fish. They did play Barracuda, plus three Led Zeppelin covers as an encore!

But the best thing (aside from Mum’s deliriously happy face) was simply revelling in the wonder that is the sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson, aged 66 and 62 respectively. Ann is still belting out the tunes and Nancy remains kickass on the guitar.

As well as their enduring talent, I was struck by their style and energy. I’m 24 – 28 years younger but my style and energy levels felt about 24 – 28 years older.

And the chicks in the crowd – mostly Mum’s vintage – were all dressed up. Lots of gloriously enormous hair and tottering heels.

It hadn’t occurred to me to show up in anything but the jeans and top I’d worn all day. When do I have fun getting dressed? Bloody never! I’m determined to lift my game.

I also liked that Ann wore knee-high leather boots, but they were flat. That’s the kind of adulting I aspire to.

Scribbling on my face

“Learn to use eyeliner” was another thing on the perpetual New Years list, so I booked a lesson with a makeup artist. She did one side of my face and I had to try to replicate it on the other. So I was actually putting on makeup, instead of eating toast and watching people on YouTube putting on makeup.

It was a brilliant afternoon. While I can be very lazy about beauty stuff, I love talking about beauty stuff. Tell me about your four-step skin care routine that finally eliminated your dehydrated flaky lizard face, said no one, ever… but Colette politely listened. And she was also up for chatting Japanese sunscreens! And mascaras for sensitive eyeballs!

Putting on the makeup was hard. Colette would do all these delicate ninja moves with the brushes on her side, then I’d be all Slip Slop Slap on mine. She mercifully stepped in to assist on many occasions.

And the eyeliner. I suffer from what I affectionately call flabby eyelid but Colette called a “slightly hooded eye” so I had to learn the voodoo tricks to stop the eyeliner transferring to my eyelids. Basically the key is:

  • lots of practice
  • a good primer
  • keep looking straight ahead
  • take it SLOOOOOW

Ooh there’s your life metaphor!

“So I assume you’re going out on the town tonight with your glamorous face?” Colette asked.

“Suuuuure,” I said, then went home to eat reheated spinach pie in my bathrobe (selfie) and catch up with Countryfile on the iPlayer.

A month on, I’m getting pretty good at doing one eye, but the other one just never quite works out. More practice needed!

Watching the football

Keeping up with the youth

For about a year I’ve been installing Snapchat on my phone, looking at it in confusion, then deleting it again. But I decided I was far too young to be having the 2016 equivalent of a “Can Someone Under 10 Please Programme This VCR” moment, so I read some articles and signed up properly (I’m helloshauny on there).


Snapchat is baffling but utterly compelling. It reminds me of the early 00s of blogging, when everyone was enthusiastic and experimental, and everything looked a bit lo-fi and rubbish. In this age of careful curation, I love the unpolished, tiny windows into my Snapchat buddies’ worlds. Among my faves are:

  • Sara Lando (shipoftheseus) for witty insights into her artistic process and life
  • Caroline Hirons (carolinehirons) for beauty banter
  • Tracy Benjamin (tshutterbean) for food, kittens and hilarity
  • Chris Froome (chrisfroome) for Tour de France behind the scenes
  • Gelato Messina (gelatomessina) for gelato, derr!

I’m pretty much just putting emojis on top of photos, and I still find navigating the app near impossible, and I haven’t figured out the face filter thingies yet. But it is great fun and you can never have to many ways to share your cat spam, right!?

My first Snap
My first Snap

About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m Shauna, an author, copywriter and content mentor. I love telling stories about life and helping others to tell theirs.

Find out more about me and how we can work together – I’m now booking for January 2022.

29 thoughts on “Foxy by 40 – June 2016

  1. So many impressive things covered in this post Shauna- you are becoming my not so secret mentor
    1. eyeliner – I gave up on that and I also discovered recently that waterproof mascara is a downright lie – in 33 degree heat on my slidey lashes anyhow
    2. Snapchat !!! FTW as the youngsters say- like my will I wont I indecision over running a marathon I have been thinking about joining the snapchat posse if only for the stickers and face swapping- but have to hide from my kids of course.

    Anyhow – fab post as always, glad you had fun with the Mothership and keep on writing – it brings me joy 🙂

    1. Thank you Margaret!

      I have the same problem with mascara… grrrr!

      I think you would be a natural at Snapchat… go on! 🙂

  2. The little red dot on your snapchat made me laugh-definitely have been there myself. The first time I tried to ssnapchat I accidentally sent a picture of my baby in her diaper to team snapchat. So there’s that. I’m sure they were thrilled.

  3. I reluctantly joined SnapChat a few weeks ago myself, mostly to follow some guys who were climbing Mount Everest. I haven’t used it much since, and was also confused by the interface, which I’m sure is an indication that I am an elderly woman who just doesn’t understand these kids today. I did however download Pokemon Go and seem to understand how to use that properly, so there might be hope for me yet 🙂

  4. I love snapchat! my kids must send a hundred snaps a day but I usually just life story when I’m travelling. I like blackjaguarwhitetiger and mommasgonecity

    I love this whole entry, btw! heart, eyeliner and down with the kids

  5. A note on middle-aged glamour. I discovered ballroom dancing when I was 32-going-on-33 and it seriously changed my life. There was No Glamour in my office-bound existence. Moreover, there was no *excuse to even try to inject* any glamour, etc etc.

    Mind you this is L.A., where the girls get into full finery for a trip to Starbucks, but I was already sort of middle-aged and cranky besides.

    Anyway, there is a Very Long Story, but the short version is – if you really want some glamour in your life, that comes with – glory be – a pleasant form of exercise and introvert-friendly social encounters (how does this work?! well, you are face to face with an assortment of ladies or gents, but it takes a good deal of proficiency to talk while dancing. Most people don’t.) – give social dancing a try.

    There is simply no better socially-justifiable activity requiring swishy frocks, high heels, styled hair, and – dare I say – eyeliner.

      1. Actually all of the above “requirements” are optional. Many a social-dancing dame goes out in slacks and flats with office hair and no makeup. 🙂

        But given a venue wherein a swishy frock, etc etc is Appropriate … well, I take advantage of it! Because I certainly can’t do swishy frocks at the office. More’s the pity.

        1. Oooh that is awesome. The swishy frocks sound like the best part 🙂 I reckon I could rock some swishy frocks with flats, hehe.

          There was briefly a salsa place where I live but it shut down just as I got addicted! Will keep an eye out for an alternative! Gareth “chooses not to dance” so it would be a solo adventure 😉

  6. You have long been Fabulous dear Shauna! I love the Wilson sisters and your take on their unapologetic rock prowess is so good. How cool that The Mothership could share this with you. I am loving snapchat. The honesty and lack of “curation” is so appealing. I pulled my hip niece aside and got the low down. So much fun. I also second chacha1’s social dancing recommendation. Think you could get Dr. G salsa-ing? I would love to hear about that. Be well you divine creature.

    1. What’s your username on there Kelly? I am just following everyone back but the usernames are so random?

      Be well you too, lovely lass! 🙂

  7. My eyeliner technique is draw a line somewhere near my eye. Get some dark eyeshadow and smudge around it. Call it smoky eye look.

    I have the flabby eye lid too so I figure no one can see it that clearly.

  8. It’s not just you – the Snapchat interface is awful.

    I used it for about five minutes once – naturally took a photo of my cat first thing – and haven’t messed with it since. But I would like to be able to do that face swap thingie…

    p.s. your eyeliner selfie – GORGEOUS!

    1. Isn’t it insane? It doesn’t anything in a logical manner!!!

      I finally figured out the face thingies this morning… so proud.

      And thank you matey!

  9. You look gorgeous in that selfie. I’m sure the makeup is enhancing stuff, but you have the most beautiful deep brown eyes either way. My personal view is that nobody has to wear makeup or dress up fancy, but if it’s fun, why not do it? If it’s not fun, don’t bother yer arse and do something else instead.
    Am terrified of Snapchat. Leaving well enough alone.

    1. Thank you Christine! 🙂

      “If it’s not fun, don’t bother yer arse and do something else instead.” YES! I love this 🙂

  10. Who needs snapchat when they can just spend time with a cat! I suspect I would be more comfortable seeing Heart (not that I know who they are) than snapchat or mascara (why does it go everywhere but where it should!) so I admire your perseverance!

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