My friend Helen

3/10/2016 10:34:00 pm

I have a handful of really wonderful friends. I don't make friends easily, and so my friendships are precious to me (even though, as an introvert and naturally lazy person, I don't invest as much as I should... and I should phone/message/write more often).

My friend Helen is one of this handful. She is a writer, and a thinker, and lately she's been really into pickles. I'm going to guest-post on her new blog, Pick of the Pickles, soon. I just need to decide if I want to blog about pickled baby beets, or red sauerkraut. Heavy questions indeed.

When we were in high school Helen wore Tommy Girl. A signature perfume. I thought it was The Coolest Thing.

Helen also owned the first eyelash curler (it was pink, I think, and from Australis), had the best collection of Cosmo, Cleo and I hesitate to say, Girlfriend magazines among us, and she had a bedroom with 5 walls, on which we were allowed to draw.

That's not Helen, it is Amy. Amy is also wonderful, but that is a topic for another day. 

She could also play the guitar better than me (I never graduated beyond poorly executed block chords). Helen brought out the materialistic envy in me like no other.

Our taste was so similar at the time that sometimes I would buy a pant, a shirt, something, and it would happen that Helen owned it too. We wore matching skirts to Jenny's 50th birthday party. I never had quite the confidence to pull off the tie-died petticoats over jeans with conviction though... You gotta recognise your weaknesses and leverage your strengths, as my boss would say.

Oh, Year 12 English. I spent a lot of time in that room: normal English, 3 unit, 4 unit... plus it was my roll-call room so I was in there first thing in the morning (except I was always late), and then again after recess for 20 minutes of enforced reading, 'DEAR' ('Drop Everything And Read' - never an imposition for me)

And it still happens, although we have diverged on many points now. Hundreds, thousands of kilometres away, we share a magnet that draws us to the same items covered in whimsical animals. Helen owns the same fox scarf, and the same anchor scarf, as me. Different colours though, natch.

 So you can imagine how the other morning went: Helen crashed on the couch on Friday night, and we were getting ready to leave for breakfast on Saturday morning. I came back into the room just after she had sprayed perfume on and it was SO NICE.

"Helen", I asked, "what is that? It smells so good, it smells sort of like something I own. Sort of like Lancôme Poeme. WHAT IS IT?"

And she replied, in reverent tones, "It's a limited edition..." pulling the bottle out of her bag.

But I knew where this was going...

"... a limited edition from L'Occitane.." but I stopped her there and went to my room to pull out a bottle of limited edition L'Occitane Neroli & Orchidee EDP. The very same that I have been using almost every day for about 4 months.

For the record, here is my 30 second review of the above beauty items: Lee Stafford Dry Hair Shampoo is, in my experience, the best one for dark hair and it smells like lavender (but not old lady lavender). That powder brush is a Manicare travel brush and it's ok but not great. The L'Occitane limited edition Neroli & Orchide EDP is very very good and I hope it never ever gets discontinued. Ever. The Garnier BB Miracle Skin Perfection Cream was crap and I stopped using it - it was too sheer and it made me go shiny. The Smashbox High Definition Foundation was not a great colour match - too orange - and it kept separating in the tube, so I eventually threw it out. Benefit Porefessional hasn't seemed to do much really, but it feels nice. Benefit They're Real Mascara is awesome and I love it. The eyeliner is a Smashbox Always Sharp and it was great; I could get a really good line edge with it, but I burned through it pretty quickly because it self sharpens each time you open the lid. That brush is a Priceline one from Models Prefer, as is the blush. The Models Prefer stuff is surprisingly good and I own quite a few bits and pieces. Also, I love peach/coral blush and if that makes me a tragic 80s throwback then so be it. Then end. 

Some things never change.

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