Last Saturday, I had an accidental day of luxury. Well. It started out accidental, until I embraced it. “Today is luxury bitch day”, I declared, and I meant it.
I’d made plans to meet a friend for coffee and a walk in Hyde Park, but we didn’t pass, on our way from Paddington, anywhere to get coffee, so stopped at the Magazine Restaurant instead. We probably could have looked a little harder, but it actually worked out pretty nicely. We got to sit in the sun, and have a gorgeous breakfast (I had scrambled eggs and they were perfect – I’m pretty good at scrambled eggs but I am going to have to up my game), and it wasn’t particularly expensive. I’ve told my mum that we should go for breakfast there soon, and I’ll definitely bear it in mind for the future.
After that, I met Lauren at Waterloo, and we set off on a big walk. I ended up walking eleven miles on Saturday, according to the step counter on my phone. On our way to Oxford Street, we noticed a Pierre Hermé shop. After three years living in Paris, I have a weak spot for macarons – they were an affordable treat, and a simple way to brighten up an otherwise miserable day. Of course, Pierre Hermé is a somewhat less affordable treat than macarons from my local patisserie were, so instead of scoffing the lot there and then (tempting), I took them home to share with my parents.
I got a Laura Mercier Long Lash mascara in SpaceNK – I’d had a sample of it, and really liked how it lengthened and defined my lashes without clumping. I have great eyelashes, but some of them cross over, and so so so many mascaras stick my lashes together so that I end up with three or four spikes that I had to separate with a pin which is a) time-consuming and b) slightly terrifying, especially for my mum. This one doesn’t do that. So when I ran out of my sample and went back to the Rimmel I’d been using before, I was sulky about it, and decided that I would spend a bit more to get an effect I’d be happy with. I got some tweezers, because mine have gone terribly blunt, and that is just no good. I also got a Multiple illuminating stick from NARS, after testing it on the back of my hand and loving how much definition I could create with just a bright line, neatly blended.
Somehow, these purchases felt so much more extravagant than buying dinner (a cocktail and three courses), or even the macarons, did. Often, when I want to justify a big purchase, I divide the cost by the number of uses/wears I’ll get out of it. I bought a ring to remember my nan by, but it took me ten months of being totally in love with it before I could bring myself to spend the equivalent of a month’s rent on it, until my mum pointed out that, if I wore it every day, it wouldn’t be very long before it had cost less than £1 a day. Now, it’s well under 50p a day, and I feel naked when I’m not wearing it. I never take it off except to make pastry or to swim in the sea, essentially.
But for some reason, I struggle to apply that same logic to makeup. It feels extravagant to spend £20 on a mascara, even though I wear it every day. But it doesn’t feel extravagant to spend that £20 on dinner, when I’d get dinner at home. I’ll certainly get more use out of the things I bought in SpaceNK than from dinner.
I’m getting better at spending properly on things I’ll use a lot. I’m in the market for a decent winter coat – though I have just bought a cheap one, it’s also bright orange so unlikely to need to last much longer than this winter. I used the NARS multiple a couple of times and it looked amazing, and my lashes have been beautiful and long all week. It’s good, too, to have a day, when I can afford it, of spending money on things for myself that aren’t “sensible” or whatever, without feeling guilty.