(About): Why Wonk & Warpaint?


Hi! Let me introduce myself. My name is Louise (Lou) and I’m a 30 something professional woman.

I have a neurological condition and several other chronic diagnoses. At the moment my neurological symptoms are still under investigation although the one which everyone can see is what I call “The Wonk” (note to self: be careful when typing that)

The Wonk affects my face and causes the right half to appear effectively frozen and the left side to twitch and pull. My tongue constantly twitches and has done for two years. My speech is slurred, it makes smiling impossible, communication difficult and painful and often leaves me feeling isolated. I can’t express myself as I’d like to. We say so much with facial expressions and mine are all over the place. I smiled at a child once when it first happened and he buried his face in his father’s chest!

I get frustrated when I can’t engage in conversation. There are text to speech apps, and some days (when my arms are working properly) I can write or type, but often by the time you’ve done that the conversation has moved on and your comment is irrelevant. I often avoid people and social situations because not only is it embarrassing, it is painful to even try to speak. It’s difficult and isolating.

As for how it looks, sometimes people say it looks like I’ve been to the dentist (I can live with that!) and other times friends get upset. I make light of it most of the time – that’s the sort of person I am, so when some of my friends have seen it for the first time they have been surprised by how pronounced it is. It fluctuates with the aid of medication so I do get the occasional reprieve. 🙂

Anyway, that’s one reason for this blog. There are going to be some posts about how my condition affects me and how it progresses.

BUT… I don’t want this to be depressing and I want to combine one of my other passions – all things beauty. I love makeup, nail polish, skincare, perfume and all manner of beauty products.

The two things (beauty and wonkiness) may not quite go together on the face of it (pun intended) but I am still the same person I was before I became ill and I still love all the same things.

Even when I have The Wonk (which I may occasionally refer to as T.W.), if I am able to make a bit of an effort with my appearance, it makes me feel just that little bit better. That might be just plaiting a fishtail braid and sticking on a bit of mascara or I might be able to do more than that and go the whole hog with full eye makeup and lippy. Some days, I can’t raise my arms so can’t do anything, but when I can I like to try.

Recently, a couple of my close friends mentioned that they had worn the same type of makeup for years. They used the same colour eye shadow, the same lippy and one in particular (you know who you are, Mrs!) just didn’t bother with what I regard as the essentials – foundation, eye shadow etc. So, I did their makeup. I’m not used to applying makeup on others and have no training or anything like that, but I made it my mission to get them out of their (dare I say 90s?!) makeup rut.

The first makeover was great – my friend was at my house for hours so I used 3 different colour palettes, applying a day look on one eye and a night look on the other. So essentially she had 6 different looks to choose from. The next day, she went out to buy colourful eye shadow and she’s worn it lots since. Job done! 🙂

The pressure was on a little for the second. A group of us girlies were going out to celebrate my cousin’s birthday and I had told her in advance it was my mission to make her wear more colourful eye shadow. She usually went for the standard beige/browns. I had it all planned out and had taken all my kit! We should have had time to experiment with colour to see which she preferred. However, we had very little time when her hair appointment ran over so most of my plans had to go out of the window. I had to plump for one colour palette and go with it. She looked gorgeous (she is anyway, so that helped!) and was really pleased with the result. I don’t think she’s made any additions to her makeup bag just yet but she doesn’t get to treat herself often enough. She did make a note of a few products she particularly liked and I hope she will treat herself in the future. For now I think she just wants me to do her makeup every time she goes out. If I lived closer, I’d be happy to!

So this all got me thinking – maybe I’m kinda ok at this makeup malarkey.

I’ve contemplated a blog a few times but thought no one would be interested in what I had to say. But my cousin recently suggested I do it so I thought why not? (at least I’ll have one follower!) And here I am… HELLO!! 😀

I’m going to start blogging more frequently in December. There will be periodic posts before that but this year two of my favourite beauty brands have produced advent calendars. First of all (the one I’m most excited about) is the Benefit ‘Candy Coated Countdown’ calendar. A similar calendar was apparently released in very limited numbers last year and was a resounding success so is back for a second year. Behind every door is a beauty treat, so I will aim to blog once a day about the product behind that day’s door.

Boots No. 7 has followed suit and produced their first advent calendar. I am going to resist the urge to open that one and save it for January. Again, I’ll look to blog once a day about the treat behind the door.

I think it makes sense to do it that way around as I anticipate the No. 7 calendar will include a lot of skincare products which might be more welcome during the post-party month!

Along the way, I’ll introduce you to my essentials and teach you some of the tips and tricks I’ve picked up over the years.

I’ll make it clear at the start of each post whether it is Wonk or Warpaint related, so if you’re interested in one but not the other you can easily find what you’re looking for.

I’m happy to answer questions about products I review and I’d encourage you to get involved. I’m hoping to help people like my friends who may be stuck in a makeup rut. I’m also hoping to help people who might be experiencing neurological issues like mine. I want you to know that you’re not alone and you’re not defined by your condition. You can still be the person that you were before – you just have to be able to make room for your ‘Wonk’. Underneath it all, you’re still you – don’t forget that.

And anyway, who doesn’t have their own Wonk?!

Speak soon.

Lou. x

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