It’s the final week of Pippa Evans’ biscuit challenge.
Well, well, well, only seven days left as a biscuit and what do you know? The last week is the hardest. I feel like a child who has to wait ’til Christmas Day to open their presents. Trying hard not to peek, knowing that the first makeup day will be so much better if I just resist for a little bit longer. But would anyone notice a tiny bit of concealer? PUT THAT DOWN, PHILIPPA!
To celebrate the end of 100 Days as a Biscuit, I had a biscuit party. Guests were invited to my home and told they could either wear no makeup or bad makeup. We had nibbles – biscuits, of course, and it was a reminder of what amazing people I know. Well done me. I am the best.
The majority of my friends chose to attend with the no makeup rule. It was great to have people come around, in full party gear, but without any fancy bits on their faces. But it made me realise the majority of my pals don’t really wear makeup. I know their faces and so no one came through the door who made me go, “Crikey! Is THAT your face?” which I thought might happen. But despite people not looking majorly different, some of them felt incredibly different.
Jinni Lyons, fantastic improviser and fanatic foodie, said she hadn’t been wearing makeup all day but as soon as she went to leave the house, she felt odd. To go out to a party without makeup on, she was suddenly self-conscious, as if something was missing. Having been perfectly happy all day with nothing on her face, suddenly her face wasn’t right. Despite having permission to attend with total naked face. See! It’s not just me!
Almost every male guest said “I’ve been joining in with you for the whole 100 days. Not a lipstick has touched my face!” Good one, lads. Don’t men say the funniest things?
The couple of pals who had opted for bad makeup noted that they felt like clowns. Possibly enhanced by the fact the other party goers were bare faced. Natalie had applied a huge amount of blue eyeshadow – think Barbie circa 1985 – but it actually quite suited her. What can I say? I watch a lot of RuPaul’s Drag Race so it’s hard for me to see much makeup as over the top.
One badly-made-up pal said, “I feel ridiculous, but no one has said anything”, which sort of proves the point: that most of what we think about our face is exactly that – what WE think about our face. Perhaps what you think is ridiculous is not as ridiculous to someone else. Unless you’re Barbara Cartland.
It was a very civilised and philosophical gathering. Questions fluttered around the room. Why do we wear makeup? What is the point of this face paint? How can we have come so far and yet still be controlled by some pretty chemicals in a pot? What is pretty?
Then people drank more, lipsticks came out and the men got manicures. It ended as all good parties should; a 4am sing-a-long to Simply Red’s Fairground and a dance interpretation of Baby It’s Cold Outside.
Did you take pictures, Pippa? Yes! Did your good friend Phil Whelans ruin them all? Yes! Here you go!
Of course, when you throw a party, everyone there is your pal (apart from perhaps an awkward tag-a-long who has no idea what’s going on, but that’s ok. You can make them feel welcome by forcing them to read all your blogs before they enter the flat). When everyone is your pal, wearing no makeup feels a lot less weird. My friends have seen me glamorous, they’ve seen me weeping, they’ve seen me fall over and projectile vomit everywhere because I challenged a barman to “do his worst” when creating a cocktail me (I apologise, Britain. I am singlehandedly the reason we have a bad reputation in Prague).
My friends are now used to my no makeup face, but I don’t think it has caused them any great distress, these last 100 days. Because they are my friends. They judge me on my choices, my thoughts, my ideas and my cooking. But very rarely do they ever judge my face. I think. Or maybe that’s why there aren’t that many photos of me at group outings.
So it’s over. 100 days as a biscuit has come to a close. I am free to do what I please with my face. What will I choose? Tune in next week for the grand finale. The epilogue. The buttery biscuit basics.
Biscuit I most resembled this week: Rich Tea – my classic look.
Time spent thinking about makeup: Quite a bit of time as I start to reflect on what this project has meant to me
Enquiries into my health: Nopes
Pippa Evans is a comedian, improviser and the co-founder of Sunday Assembly. She lives in London.