But yesterday I had a breakthrough. A bit of background: I work in The Blue Fin Building, home of IPC Media. It is a big one, there are 12 floors, lots of offices, lots of lifts, lots of bumping into people you used to work with or from another office etc. So I was in a particularly crowded lift, resplendent in Amber and my second proper outfit in two weeks. My friend Sam got in - we worked together when I was an intern at B magazine years and years and years ago, and now have a 'hello by the microwaves' kind of friendship that comes with a big building and busy lives.
"Wow, the hair! It looks great, when did you get that?" At this point I'm presented with the usual conundrum:
a) I hate and am rubbish at lying.
b) That is an ambiguously phrased hair question, does she know? does she not know?
c) There are a lot of people in the lift who don't need to know I'm having chemo
d) I'm crap at compliments at the best of times.
"Oh, you know, erm, a little bit ago, not long. er, how are YOU?" The nice thing about this one though was the follow up email.
From: Sam Trotter <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 03 Mar 2011 15:51:19 +0000
To: Sophie Beresiner <firstname.lastname@example.org>
How come whenever I see you , you look rather fabulous and I look well I look like sh!te??
Loving new new hair though!
I still wasn't sure if she knew, so I pointed her to this blog. There followed several lovely heartfelt emails where it turns out she didn't know, and resulted in her trying to speak to some people to speak to some people to get me some face time with Jamie Oliver.
So, now I have reached full and proper acceptance, I guess I'd better share what I'm putting my (geniune! yes!) compliments down to: Beauty nous.
Hair aside, lets start with the most common one, whether the kind complimenter knows or doesn't.
COMPLIMENT OF THE DAY
"You look glowing."
Exhibit A: The Megablush. - Duwop Blushbooster in Mango
This illuminating blusher has seen me through countless hangovers, very pasty days, photo shoots - I even used my own pot on 27 models at last seasons LOOK fashion show, when the makeup artists expertly applied powder got blanched out under the catwalk lights.
Mango is simply genius. Its the perfect shade of coral that I believe works on everyone (bronze and pink you have to be more careful with). It has shimmer in it which I normally hate, but is subtle enough here that is makes your cheeks look plump and dewy, even though its a powder - weird. You can't seem to over apply it, and it just makes your whole face look warm and, well, glowy. I swear by it - its like Berocca in makeup form.
Get it here, and stock up like I have. If they ever discontinue it I will be more heartbroken than when Robbie left Take That. OK, I wasn't so heartbroken then, but trust me, this time I would be one of those girls tying up the Samaritans phone lines...