Raccoon-eyes and shiny lips are now the back-to-school style
THOSE nice people who invented helpful things like Matte Mousse Foundation, body-magnifying volume styling spray, or raspberry-flavoured Pump 'N' Plump Lip Gloss no doubt did so with the best intentions.
They surely never imagined any of their products becoming a catalyst for the kind of knock-out-drag-down arguments which take every biscuit in the tin and end up in a storm of tears, a mascara-streaked face and a blizzard of outraged ultimatums.
But there you have it; the leaves fall, the swallows depart, the new school term begins and the Wolverine must put on her make-up.
Mum and Dad have to get to work, little brother is required at school but nothing and nobody will rush our friend.
Breakfast over, she announces that she will be unavailable to help clear the table this morning -- there's other, more important work to be done.
For starters a thick layer of foundation mousse has to be applied to the face, then a crucial Miss Sporty white fibre mascara base coat on the eyelashes, followed by black mascara, a touch of some Bright Eyes Recovery Gel and gallons of eyeliner. The mouth, she explains, requires simply buckets of strawberry flavoured lip gloss.
Too bad, we respond, the kitchen needs tidying, and the wearing of make-up in school is strictly prohibited.
Shortly afterwards, as the rest of the family are leaving the house, the Wolverine suddenly appears now sporting suspiciously shiny lips, raccoon-eyes and a bulging tote bag.
Her father takes a stand and she reluctantly hands over the bag for inspection.
Alas, the Wolverine's carry-all doesn't contain extra textbooks or supplementary mathematical equipment. It contains three tubes of mascara, two eyeliner pens, four different combs and brushes, several containers of styling mouse and one gigantic can of firm-hold, extra-body hair spray.
The Wolverine is 16, not 21, declares her Dad with a frown, and she's meant to be going to school not off to work in a beauty salon.
Give her a break, she wails, she'll do her hair in the car and won't delay the family any longer. She's sorry.
But tears and pleading cut no ice with a man who is already late for work and all too aware of the consequences if this isn't nipped in the bud now.
The bag of make-up is confiscated and the weeping Wolverine is handed a pack of baby-wipes and hustled to the car.
As she gets into the back seat, one of her shoes falls off.
"Where are your school socks?" her father asks.
Eh, with all his fussing over make-up, she, eh, sort of forgot to put them on.
Jeez, what's the big deal, no one will see her bare feet anyway.