I am sitting on a very high stool at the Bobbi Brown counter in John Lewis, in London's Oxford Street. My legs are dangling and I'm feeling nervous. As a rule, I'm not into beauty "events" - they are seldom more than a thinly veiled marketing exercise. I prefer to cruise the beauty counters incognito.
This event is called Be Who You Are Beauty, and it's on Bobbi Brown counters throughout September. But instead of trying to convince you that orange eye shadow really is for you because they've just had a job lot delivered, this is about celebrating and enhancing your features - sort of like a Dove campaign, but more glamorous and with lipstick.
Paul Herrington, Bobbi Brown UK education manager, has just come back from BB boot camp and is giving my make-up routine a once over. I tell him I'm weaning myself off face powder with varying degrees of success, but that the result has been a desire to get to grips with concealer. Have I swapped one crutch for another? "I want to get my concealer right," I tell Paul. "Anything else?" he asks. "No. Actually, yes, can you give me a new daytime look. I need updating." "Sure," says Paul, "Anything else?" "Well, now you mention it, I'm going to be a bridesmaid in a month's time and would love a look for that too ... it's a red dress." He doesn't ask if there's anything else, which I think is in case I ask him to fix my plumbing or lend me a tenner.
The magic Paul does with the concealer instantly makes me look younger, fresher and less knackered. He doesn't put foundation on top, just a light dusting of loose powder on my nose and chin, which makes me love him even more. On my eyes he puts Chocolate and Banana, two shades I'd never pick, with Plum on my cheeks. I love it. And then for the evening/wedding he beefs up my eyes with a black liquid eyeliner, my cheeks become Chocolate Cherry and my lips a Deep Cherry.
I'm so pleased with the results, I end up forgoing my planned night in and heading out for cocktails.