My makeover was just too subtle for some

Kate Livingstone
Kate Livingstone

Whenever someone starts a conver-sation with ‘I don’t mean to insult you, but’, you can be certain they are about to really insult you.

These are the words that came out Emma’s mouth last week as she handed over her Christmas present.

Not what you want to hear from someone you’ve put so much effort into bringing up. I didn’t hold out particularly high hopes for my gift.

They were the same words uttered by my ex-husband once as he gave me an anniversary present. A present that turned out to be membership to a weight management club.

We didn’t celebrate another anniversary, but I did mark the next year, becoming 15 stone lighter after getting shot of that useless lump.

Anyway, I digress.

So, turns out my gift from Emma was a voucher for a make-over at a swanky Edinburgh salon.

‘‘I don’t mean to insult you,’’ she said, ‘‘but you’ve had the same hairdo since I was 10 and I just thought it would be nice to have a wee change.’’

I couldn’t argue with that, a quick look at baby pictures of the kids reveals that not only has my hair style remained the same but I still regularly wear some of the clothes from the 1980s too!

Embarrassingly, my favourite item in what I refer to as ‘house clothes’ – those that are too hideous to be seen in public but too comfy to throw away – is a pair of trousers I bought as maternity trousers.

So my weekend was spent in the salon, getting a lengthy consultation involving a hairstylist, colour expert and make-up artist.

They clearly had a mammoth task ahead of them but, after four hours, a few tears and enough cosmetics to make Estee Lauder blush, I was done.

My hair was highlighted and the cut updated, which I was assured took five years off me, and I ended up spending a fortune on make-up they told me I needed to keep up my glam new look.

I was pretty chuffed with the new me. At least until I bumped into my elderly neighbour on the way home and she asked me when I was going for my