Wednesday, November 16, 2016

An Autumn Day in London, Part 2

Julia Roberts and Princess Di

By Michelle Bowles

Michelle before Harrod's and before her makeover
Michelle before Harrods and before her makeover
We got to London in two cars, M and me in one, the remaining four in the other. By now, I had been “dressed” and conversing with others for almost two hours and felt very comfortable in the role. So much so, that when I parked and emerged from the car. I didn’t even think about anybody giving me a second glance and sure enough, they didn’t ― they just carried on with their conversations and totally ignored me. (I must be losing my touch, I had hoped some of the men might have given me a second look.)

We had a 5 to 10 minute walk to the tube and this involved walking past a queue of hundreds of people waiting for an exhibition to open. In the past, I would have been daunted by this, but once again, I was not even aware of a second glance as we did so.

Our first stop was Peter Jones in Sloane Square, an upmarket area of London and we went up to the café on the shop’s top floor. Here the assistant said, “Yes, Madam?” as I got to the front of the cake and coffee queue; the first “Madam” of the day is always nice.

I recommend this café if you are in London. If you’re lucky, you can get a good view over the rooftops and the coffee and cake was wonderful. Suddenly though, it was after 12 and we had under an hour to get to Harrods. With one of our number not able to walk quickly and finding climbing the stairs on the tube difficult, this was cutting it close.

However, we arrived outside Harrods just in time. I did delay the group a little more by insisting having my photo taken at the entrance. Now, I know I need to work on my stance for photos, but at least I remembered to smile. I also look a little black and grey (M suggested some good alternative clothing ideas which I have noted), but generally I was happy with what I wore. The only exception to the black and grey was the red bag, which I had seen at an exhibition the last time I was in London and had to buy it; this was its first outing.

In hindsight, I should have worn a red coat I also have, but I’m always worried about standing out, so I took the “dress down” option. My wife paid me a great compliment by later wearing the same outfit except for adding the red coat, my black jumper and her shoes rather than my boots. I got a number of compliments on the boots. M even compared me to Julia Roberts!

We went to the fourth floor where Marcello, my makeup artist, was ready for me. M came along to advise.

Michelle after her makeover
Michelle after her makeover
Marcello asked what makeup I was wearing and then asked which celebrity’s look I most liked. I really couldn’t think of anybody, but I did say I liked the way newsreaders present themselves. M suggested Princess Di. What!?

Now I realized why M came with me. First saying that I reminded her of Julia Roberts - admittedly it was mainly the boots – and now saying I could be made up with a Princess Di look. Women are so nice to each other sometimes, I just can’t believe a man would complement another in the same way unless there was a put-down at the end of it.

Marcello was a master and he worked his magic as he removed my make up and applied moisturisers, foundation, blusher, eye shadow, eye liner and mascara. I paid deep attention as he went about his work and he was always discussing what he was doing and what I wanted.

What was a one-hour appointment had taken an hour and a half. Finally, we had to decide on the lipstick. We went out to the main beauty area and discussed the various shades and options and he used the lipsticks on my hand to demonstrate the best color. We went back into the room for the application of the lippy. The effect was quite stunning; the smartphone photo doesn’t do it justice.

While I took in the final effect, Marcello took out a drawing of my face and applied the makeup on the drawing indicating which products he had used where. This too was a work of art.

By now he had spent almost two hours with me. We finally went to the till to buy some of the products. Although the charge for the makeover is deducted from the price of the makeup, the makeup is not cheap. Buying everything would be out of the question, so I resisted the temptation and limited myself to foundation and some concealer.

Other makeup artists came over to discuss what Marcello had done and I felt a bit like a model. We said goodbye to Marcello and as he hugged me, he seemed close to tears and I think M and myself were not too far off doing the same. It was an emotional experience. I e-mailed him later to thank him again and he replied with some really nice and encouraging comments.

We rejoined the others, who had been waiting for far too long, but they all said it didn’t matter when I apologized for the delay and some nice comments were passed on my new look.

Part 1 of Michelle's day in London appeared here yesterday and Part 3 will appear here tomorrow.

Source: Fashion to Figure
Wearing Fashion to Figure.

Femulating in the 1970s
Her slip is showing (Femulating in the 1970s).


  1. Great post! you have such a lovely blog!!


  2. Thank you. It was great day, made all the better for having to wait a while. I'm very lucky to have wonderful family members and friends. I was still feeling "good inside" well into the next week.

  3. Wonderful story. I had a makeover in Tampa While at a convention. The MAC artist was wonderful and we also exchanged notes afterwards. At that time the makeup artist noted that she saw few if any femulators she seemed to really enjoy meeting me. Walking through the mall I did receive some once over looks from the civilians. It was a fun outing.

    Patty O

  4. What a sweet story. That's always been one of my fantasies.