Make-up for Dogs

Dog lead

Or newsagents, or dry cleaners. Fiona Gibson on why the minimal makeover is a personal must

It goes like this: dab of BB cream, smudge of nutty brown eyeshadow, bit of sheer lip colour. Then I clip on Jack’s lead – he’s my bouncy three year-old Collie cross – and off we go for our walk.


Make-up, you’re thinking, for walking the dog? Er, yes. And for nipping out to the library, buying a loaf, or even when I have no plans to leave the house. This is everyday make-up, as essential as shoes or cleaning my teeth.


A full-on face for a night out feels less right these days, partly due to my fear of looking too try-hard or a bit like a bloke in stag night drag. Smoky eyes and red lips just seem a bit scary and the precision application required too much like hard work. Dog-walking make-up, though, is never scary – it’s so light, you can barely detect it. And it represents the crucial difference between feeling drudgy with pores agape, and ready to face the world.


It’s that age thing again: my 48 year-old skin doesn’t look all that fantastic stark naked. Bit porey, the odd broken vein, a few blotches here and there – nothing horrendous, but so easy to sort that I can’t imagine not bothering. While my eyes haven’t yet disappeared into tiny peep-holes, they do look miles better with a bit of definition (no mascara though – too faffy for everyday). Lipstick is a must – even when I was pushing my baby daughter in her buggy, whilst trying to cling onto the hands of my then three-year-old twin boys, I’d still have tinted lip gloss on.


‘Lipstick on the school run,’ my friend Jen and I called it – a basic life essential. Managing that ten-second application before leaving the house seemed to say, ‘I am coping’, even if we’d had the mother of all mornings with everyone screaming and spilling things. I might even have had a little cry in the bathroom and uttered some bad words. But that lipstick said, ‘It’s okay, I haven’t lost it completely. ALL IS WELL’.


It’s not really about trying to appear more attractive. It’s not like I’m going to start curling my lashes for the assortment of Labradors, Spaniels and Jack Russells we meet on our walk. And as for human interactions, I’ve been with Jimmy for nearly twenty years and I’m pretty certain he doesn’t gag on glimpsing my bare face. So my everyday make-up is just about me, really, and feeling all right.


Somehow, miraculously, it does amazing things – like giving me more energy, and making me more motivated and less of a sour-faced hag. I’m more likely to be chatty and friendly to fellow dog-walkers and spend an extra ten minutes throwing a tennis ball for Jack when I’ve got a bit of a face on. So, even if no one else notices it, he sure does.


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