When makeup artist Heather B went to see new British rom-com Man Up, she found herself inspired to share some handbag essential tips to eliminate the longing for a visit from Gok Wan before every first date.
But in true makeup artist style, a scene in the film where the main character Nancy (Lake Bell) is trying to refresh her look in a bar loo got me thinking. Mainly about the handbag essentials most women would appreciate if found in a similar impromptu date situation, and when embroiled in modern dating in general.
It’s easy to relate to the film’s 34-year-old Nancy, who is sick of being endlessly set up on blind dates by well-meaning friends, and declares she is d-o-n-e with the dating scene.
After being repeatedly told by her sister to “man up” and get out there, a twist of fate sees her on the wrong date with 40-year-old Jack (Simon Pegg). She decides to take a risk and run with it, resulting in consequences which are hilarious and heartwarming in equal measure. That’s a couple of staple boxes for a rom-com ticked right there.
By many accounts – Man Up being the latest fictional one – dating in the 21st century is hard, especially if you are a single woman in your 30s.
Yes, there are many people having much fun, frolics and one night stands via dating apps such as Tinder, but what about when you’re looking for The One? Is there such a thing anymore? Was there ever?
“Not feeling like you need to put yourself through a gruelling top-to-toe makeover every time someone has liked your profile (but ends up being a chump taking you to Greggs ‘for a bite to eat’), means those impromptu invitations for a drink after work from the non-chumps would always be an option too.”
One girl recently said to me: “It’s like a full time job. Majorly admin heavy,” when talking about sifting through the profiles and messages on her chosen dating website.
“And then there’s the preparation,” she continued. “Pfft… the dressing up, the makeup, the hair. They all have to be sorted every time you get ready to meet a potential suitor… only for it to feel like an utter waste of time, energy and product.”
This can’t be good. So, I’m thinking, wouldn’t it be better to be ready for any social opportunity at a moment’s notice, rather than spending ages getting ready? (This does not only have to apply to first dates of course, but I’m trying to stay on message as far as I can.)
Just think of the savings on time and effort which you could bank for later.
Meanwhile not feeling like you need to put yourself through a gruelling top-to-toe makeover every time someone has liked your profile (but ends up being a chump taking you to Greggs ‘for a bite to eat’) means those impromptu invitations for a drink after work from the non-chumps would always be an option too… even if it all turns out to be a hilarious misunderstanding and you end up inspiring the next hit rom-com.
This is all my very long-winded way of saying I have some cast-iron recommendations for you when it comes to a handful of handbag essentials which combine to offer a lightning-quick injection of confidence.
A bit of this applied to the face will give your skin a gorgeous natural glow. It can also be patted on top of existing make-up, which is perfect for boosting radiance at the end of a long day.
This cream blush can be applied to cheeks with fingers for a subtle flush and also on lips for a bit of colour.
Eve Lom Lip Mix £16
Keep lips moist, glossy and kissable with this premium lip balm.
Perfume: A handbag sized spritzer like Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Twist & Spray (£76) means you can smell delicious at any time.
And finally a piece of advice, loosely linked to the film I was supposed to be reviewing before I got sidetracked by cosmetics (an occupational hazard): If you are single and looking for love, take a leaf out of Nancy’s book and take risks, put yourself out there. It can happen and it will. Just be open to it and give people a chance. You’re not going to meet the love of your life eating ice cream at home watching Game of Thrones. Although that does sound like a treat. Wrapped in a bow.
If you love a good British rom-com then you’ll love Man Up. Lake Bell and Simon Pegg are brilliantly believable, natural and relatable. It’s a real heartwarming story about taking chances and finding love.
Man Up is out in UK cinemas on 29 May.1997 Views
A make-up artist, all round creative consultant and friend. Whoever said ‘Jack of all trades, Master of none’ was clearly not a master multi-tasking woman. Made in Yorkshire tha knows, resides in London Town. @HeatherBmakeup