Will the fes­tive face­paint last longer than Christ­mas it­self?

The fes­tive sea­son is a time for fam­ily, fun and ... face­paint, says DAWN MILL­WARD

Ashbourne News Telegraph - - MUM’S THE WORD -

CHRIST­MAS: here to­day, gone to­mor­row. Not the face­paint though.

The mud­died tones of yel­low, red and green re­main with the odd speck of glit­ter – in situ, not in the face­paint box.

Christ­mas isn’t com­plete with­out a mega box of face­paint. Santa had the fore­sight to leave a box of it for Min­nie.

Min­nie adores face­paint. Any fete, fair, fes­tive oc­ca­sion will have a face­paint­ing stall. A trip out is made com­plete with face­paint. Min­nie will find the stall and watch and wait and be pa­tient for her turn.

Min­nie will stand in the queue, bounc­ing with an­tic­i­pa­tion of the forth­com­ing makeover. Face­paint heaven.

But­ter­flies, tigers, white with pink whiskers with a dab of glit­ter.

Dolly and Min­nie had a run of us­ing Sharpie per­ma­nent mark­ers in place of face­paint. The traces of vi­brant Sharpies would re­main for days. Re­sis­tant to soap, make-up re­mover and Swar­fega.

Orange eye­brows, Sharpie whiskers, I thought we had seen it all, as in, the re­sis­tance of ei­ther Sharpie or face­paint to re­moval.

We had a swift walk in heavy De­cem­ber weather. Mist, driz­zle, damp and grey, low-level De­cem­ber light. It ap­peared to be a good idea prior to set­ting off, in the lull sep­a­rat­ing Christ­mas and New Year. But with cabin fever and late nights, tired­ness had set in.

Ilam park was busy. The over­flow car park was in use and the park had a fes­tive abun­dance of vis­i­tors.

The mist, the driz­zle, and cross­ing the fi­nal field en route back to the car park was one field too many. An up­hill muddy trudge and a silent oath not to re­turn to Ilam Park dur­ing the school hol­i­days. At least we had made an ef­fort.

Boots off, muddy clothes in the back of the car and home.

Min­nie found her face­paint. Pete found a bot­tle of Jack Daniel’s. Not a whole bot­tle. The Christ­mas Elf on the Shelf had thrown a daily party ev­ery De­cem­ber evening, help­ing him­self to lib­eral quan­ti­ties of JD.

It was Pete’s turn for the face­paint. Bunny ears? A pi­rate? An alien maybe? Dolly and Min­nie could not agree and played safe with just white, a lit­tle orange and a dab of yel­low. Play­ing safe ended in 30 sec­onds.

Min­nie quickly emp­tied the pots of pink and white, leav­ing be­hind the sub­tleties of yel­low, green and red. The face­paint had a thick, heavy con­sis­tency. Think warm Vase­line, with pig­ment.

I did think this would, maybe, be dif­fi­cult to re­move. I did think, I did hope, the chil­dren’s skin would be safe. I needn’t have wor­ried.

The face­paint by this time had been lib­er­ally ap­plied to Pete. Mean­ing the chil­dren were safe from an ad­verse re­ac­tion to the face paint in­gre­di­ents.

Safe on this one, a tick in the cor­rect place. Min­nie us­ing a sponge to spread the alien (or was it a witch?) over the top of Pete’s head. The green ran out, so Pete’s ears were yel­low, in­clud­ing in­side of his ears. Odd how the hair no longer grows in abun­dance on the top of his head but, in­stead, out of his ears.

A mix­ture of orange and red stripes over the top of his head, two tubs of glit­ter­ing “Vase­line” and the whole box of face­paint was empty.

And the bunny ears? The ears would not stay in place amid the mul­ti­ple lay­ers of paint. The blue and sil­ver glit­ter adorn­ing eye­brows, beard and neck hair. And ear hair. Dolly and Min­nie did laugh. The back of Pete’s neck had a com­ment, Dolly read the first few let­ters, start­ing with up. Noth­ing springs to mind.

Ob­jec­tive. Face­paint re­moval. Time? A few min­utes. Dif­fi­culty? Zero. Method­ol­ogy? Aldi shower wash. Post-shower, Pete had a sub­stan­tial green­ish tinge, yel­low ears and had found an al­ter­nate ver­sion of Just For Men hair dye. His eye­brows were black, beard darker, after the glit­ter spread fur­ther with the wash­ing. A few min­utes and sev­eral ap­pli­ca­tions of shower gel and the dif­fi­culty in­creased from zero to need­ing make-up re­mover. Not to worry, I said to Pete, make-up re­mover will be the knight in shin­ing ar­mour. Pete was the only one shin­ing at this point – from two sources: from the glit­ter and from the re­moval of a layer of skin!

So to plan B: Baby wipes were surely the an­swer and suitable for sen­si­tive skin. A min­i­mal ef­fort for max­i­mum re­moval. But the face­paint layer out­did the sup­ply of baby wipes.

Time for plan C: surely good old-fash­ioned make-up re­moval lo­tion would not be beaten by face­paint?

Three days later, Pete looks ar­ti­fi­cially healthy. Apart from the in­ter­mit­tent re­flec­tion of light from glit­ter, and yel­low ears and his grey­ing eye brows hav­ing a darker hue, all is well.

A happy, healthy new year to all.

Surely good old­fash­ioned make-up re­moval lo­tion would not be beaten by face­paint? Dawn Mill­ward

Min­nie Mill­ward goes to town with the face­paint on her dad Pete’s head

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