06 September 2011

Did you hear? Cath's had a makeover!

Ha! That caught your attention didn't it?

Sorry to disillusion you but no, I've not had a makeover. Ever.

Apparently I looked extra good on ACA last week. I know this because I've had emails telling me I looked extra good. And my dear mother was asked at bowling if I'd had a makeover because I looked "very nice".  Even my father-in-law commented (thanks Grandad!).

But no, it was just little old me, same as always.  Which begs the question: just how do I usually look?

Perhaps the crew used super dooper extra flattering to cranky older ladies type filters and lights. That's the only thing I can think of. It was a spur of the moment interview too, so I didn't have time to even re-do my makeup. What you saw was my get-everybody-out-the-door-and-to-school-on-time weekday morning face and hair.

I am just me. Not frilly at all, rather plain and conservative. I don't often wear bright colours (although today I am wearing a fushia pink t-shirt). I tend to stick to black, white and beige. Throw in the denim blue from my jeans and that's my colourful wardrobe.

I try to take care of my hair and skin, but I certainly don't spend a fortune on potions and lotions. In fact right now I'm using a day cream and a night cream from Aldi, Covergirl foundation, Avon mascara and Elizabeth Arden lipstick (and it was given to me by my friend Kate who bought it and didn't like the colour).  Sorbolene cream is my favoured cleanser. It's reasonably gentle, gets gunk off, and is cheap.  A two litre bottle is around $8 and lasts for about 10 months!

My hair gets cut every four weeks or so, sometimes it stretches out to six weeks because the best hairdresser in the country, Tracie, only works on Mondays. And some Mondays I just don't have time to get to the salon to get my hair cut.  I buy the cheapest shampoo I can find and use white vinegar as a rinse. The old adage "squeaky clean" certainly is true when vinegar is your conditioner.

Every now and then I treat myself to a homemade face mask.  I mix a little mashed avocado with a teaspoon each of  honey, natural yoghurt and lemon juice.  It's just lovely (and a great way to use up avocado) and leaves your skin soft and moisturised. If you try it leave it on for about 10 minutes and then rinse off with cool water. 

I'm telling you this because I had a birthday last January, a rather significant one, in that I turned 50. Which is supposed to be the new 30. Except that I don't want to be 30 again - I've lived the last 20 years with it's ups and downs and round-abouts and once was enough. I like being 50. It doesn't feel any older than 49 did last December.

So why am I so perturbed? Well on top of the lovely comments I had an editor wanting me to take my glasses off (doesn't she realise I'll be blinder than the proverbial bat without them?) and wear something a little more  "youthful and glamorous" than my usual shirt and jacket for a photo shoot.  She suggested I also wear something colourful, to look more successful.

Before she'd finished the first sentence I started to feel old and frumpy, and not worthy of having my photo taken. And then I realised this shoot is to show the world how I live (and look) the Cheapskates way. Now I don't think I look too bad for my age (is this a case of 'vanity, thy name is Cath?'), there are a few wrinkles and more than a few grey hairs but it's all genuine, one-of-a-kind material. It may not be her version of youthful and glamorous (or colourful) but it's the way I look.  And if the compliments from the last few days are anything to go by, I'm looking better than ever.

It's fun and laughter and love and hard work and some not so hard work and non-stop  living. It's who I am and what I am: wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, Cheapskate. My hair, my clothes and my glasses are all a part of me.  Sometimes my eyes are bright, that could be good health or it could be tears. And sometimes my hair is messed up, that could be that it hasn't been "done" or that I've been busy working on the website, running my fingers through it. And sometimes my clothes are daggy and  old. That's usually because I've been working in the garden or cleaning the house or washing the car.

Don't be misled, I love clothes and shoes and handbags. Attractive jewellery always catches my eye. I'm even fond of hats. And I love labels, and have more than a few in my wardrobe; a wardrobe that is full to overflowing with my clothes, shoes, handbags and hats.

But I'm realistic enough to know that I only need one or two good suits at the most.  And the one formal dress I own (which is a designer label, bought on sale direct from the designer) is a classic style and colour. It was elegant and stylish ten years ago when I bought it and it will still look elegant in ten years time (and hopefully I'll still fit into it!).

My suits are black, grey and navy blue. Why? I know they're boring colours but they are a great base for other colours, they don't show the dirt (OK, I'm clutching at straws with this one), they are slimming (now I'm clutching frantically), they don't date and always look smart.

I like tailored dresses, trousers and jackets for work and jeans for around the house and yard. I prefer natural fibres and love to wear linen, even with the creases.

I buy good quality, brand name shoes when they are on sale (I love David Jones' Boxing Day sale for shoes) or direct from the factory. And I look after them. They are cleaned regularly and stored carefully in their boxes. My boots are stuffed with pool noodles to keep them in shape. Again I tend to go for classic styles and colours and I can wear them for years.

The perception that a Cheapskate gets around in daggy, dirty, old tracky dacks, with unkempt hair, grungy fingernails and worn shoes is just plain wrong.

I've met hundreds of Cheapskates since August 1995 and I can tell you that each and every one of them was beautifully groomed and attired,  and proud of their Cheapskates style wardrobes.

So I have made a decision. I am not going to change who or what I am just for a photo or a compliment  (although I'll always accept them gracefully). It wouldn't be me and it wouldn't be real.

I don't want or need a makeover.

I am just me, I am happy and I am real .  Don't believe me?  Well if you pinch me I bet I yell!

PS:  I cancelled the interview and the photo shoot. I don't need a fake story with fake pictures to show the world just how great the Cheapskates way is.


  1. We love you the way you are Cath! And yes you did look good on ACA too! Keren

  2. I really admire your sentiments Cath - congratulations.

    When my hair turned grey I allowed it to continue doing so!
    A large circle of my friends did and still do, dye their hair
    and at times, IMHO really look ridiculous at their given age.

    Whatever happened to growing old gracefully?!


    1. Cath i love you just the way you are, otherwise you just wouldnt be you. And you always look good on the telly to so i dont blame you for cancelling that interview, Good on YOU xoxo


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