Why every woman needs a dress­ing ta­ble It’s your spe­cial place

They’re the ul­ti­mate piece of fem­i­nine kit, ar­gues Rosie Green, who has just taken pos­ses­sion of hers for the very first time

Woman & Home - - In This Issue… -

As a fully fledged grown-up there are things that I feel I should be in pos­ses­sion of. a friend fully com­mit­ted to pluck­ing out chin hairs, self-con­trol (as­sum­ing no al­co­hol has been con­sumed) and a car that doesn’t re­sem­ble a skip (still wait­ing). oh, and an­other one, no the ma­jor one, is a dress­ing ta­ble.

oh, how I envy those of you with this vi­tal piece of boudoir kit. I dry my hair in my liv­ing room, look­ing into the man­tel­piece mir­ror. the hairdryer cord is not quite long enough and thus ne­ces­si­tates a stooped po­si­tion and in­evitable flat­ness on one side. every time I do this (thrice a week) I get the hump. my make-up is done in any room, gen­er­ally where I can mul­ti­task, that is, ap­ply eye­liner and si­mul­ta­ne­ously bark or­ders at fam­ily mem­bers. I trans­port my sim­ple­hu­man sen­sor mag­ni­fy­ing mir­ror, £169.99 at John lewis (which, with its 5x mag­ni­fi­ca­tion, is in­sanely good for spot­ting whiskers and un­blended con­cealer but ter­ri­bly de­flat­ing for the ego) to the re­quired lo­ca­tion.

Need­less to say, none of this in­vokes feel­ings of calm. It does not make my groom­ing rit­u­als feel like “self-care”, in­stead more like an­other job to get done. It does not en­cour­age me to linger over my maquil­lage, to ex­per­i­ment with a braid or anoint my­self sen­su­ously with body lo­tion.

I long, not for a room of my own, but a beau­ti­fy­ing zone of my own. a dress­ing ta­ble of my own. Where I can re­treat to pre-work, pre-party, to fo­cus on me.

my great aunt had the most glo­ri­ous

one. she would al­low me to sit next to her while she buffed in blush and blow­dried her sil­ver hair. I would mar­vel at the pots of colour, the pearlised pink No7 nail pol­ish. I’d turn her sil­ver hand mir­ror over in my hands and run the brush through my hair. Her toi­lette took no more than five min­utes and would come to an abrupt end when she gassed us both with an ozone-de­plet­ing cloud of el­nett/rive Gauche. so why have I been de­prived?

We’ve lived in a suc­ces­sion of do-er up­pers. and we like/have to do the do­ing up our­selves. We go through the houses room by room and once we have rollered on Far­row & ball’s ele­phant’s breath and re­placed rot­ten sash win­dows, there’s lit­tle money left for fur­nish­ing frip­peries such as a dress­ing ta­ble.

and so, for my birth­day, my beloved, my mother and my mother-in-law have bought me my very own dress­ing ta­ble. (Not sure I thought I would still be crowd­fund­ing for presents in my fifth decade but there you are). It’s the alexa by John lewis, £299.

and, it’s a thing of beauty. mir­rored so it bounces light around the room.

I’ve al­ready gath­ered (col­lect­ing since ’96 if you’re ask­ing) a se­lec­tion of gor­geous bot­tles and pots. some can­dles are ob­vi­ously re­quired. a deca­dent tub of body lo­tion. then there are jars for cot­ton wool.

the White com­pany’s chrissie rucker ad­vises me to get a mir­ror that tilts on its axis “so you can work from every an­gle”. (their sil­ver-plated dress­ing ta­ble mir­ror does this and is £220.) and some trays to “scape” your dress­ing ta­ble with dif­fusers, can­dles and per­fumes. to “scape”, by the way, means to imag­i­na­tively ar­range ob­jets ac­cord­ing to height, colour and de­sign. I know be­cause I looked it up.

the dec­o­rat­ing of my ta­ble is a joy­ous thing. I place the pots with pre­ci­sion, I bring out a jew­ellery case I was given decades ago, and some chanel wet wipes. I put my make-up neatly in one drawer and my hair tools in an­other.

then I sit at my sheep­skin stool, con­tem­plate my re­flec­tion and feel a rare and fleet­ing emo­tion. seren­ity. w&h

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