Monday 22 December 2014

A high-definition make-up malfunction

'So, do you moisturise?" I must admit I squirmed a bit. "Yeah, sure I do," I replied, hoping my blushes wouldn't be sensed by the listeners.

The programme's host, Ivan Yates, knew he had just tapped a rich seam of radio gold. He didn't waste any time digging deeper.

"Ah, Darragh, what would the lads in the IFA and the Farm Centre think if they heard you saying that?" he said with unrestrained glee.

"We don't all make a living out of being wrinkly, grumpy old men, Ivan," I countered, hoping, nay praying, that he'd drop it if I swung low enough.

But what was my problem? After all, are we not living in an age when men talk about their feelings, sport pink shirts and... moisturise?

Maybe my discomfort stemmed from another recent incident involving facial creams.

My producer on 'Ear to the Ground' had been on to me for some time to use make-up on shoot days. I'd gotten away with it for years on the basis that no farmer wanted to be caught on camera in one of his fields talking to a lad with make-up on.

But the ante was upped significantly when he informed me that we would be switching to HD cameras next season.

"HD -- you know, high-definition," he said. To my shrugs he continued: "That means the viewers can see everything, like, I mean every little detail."

Finally, exasperated with my blank stares, the producer cut to the chase. "You're gonna need make-up. You're a bit too rosy in the cheeks, and it shows up big time when you're on-screen with the girls."

I was shocked. Make-up? Surely, my skin wasn't that bad.

But if that's what the bosses wanted, that's what they'd get. I headed for the pharmacy, and made a bee-line for the girl with the heavy make-up. You know the ones. They smell as if they've bathed in a pool of perfume for the previous 24 hours.

"I need make-up," I blurted, hoping the furious blushing in my cheeks didn't look as bad as it felt.

She looked at me initially with surprise, and then what I thought was a hint of pity. "O-kay," she said slowly. "What is it?"

This close scrutiny of my facial pores, combined with the pharmacy's lights, which suddenly felt very warm, had me breaking out in a sweat.

Five tortuous minutes later, I was walking out with tinted moisturiser. I was relieved with what I considered a good compromise.

Guys moisturise, and nobody will even notice that this has a bit of colour in it. Nice one.

Weekend Magazine

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