As I write I feel a sense of impending failure in trying to respond to a colleague's request: do a post on the different kinds of shaving cream interpreters use. You know, the nitty gritty - he said one day. I have put it off long enough, and as professional friends are thin on the ground and I can't afford any more of this haemorrage, here goes. For being an age where essentials have so much momentum, we are certainly obsessed with detail. Even the plural form of the word sounds like a problem. I naturally confess I have not been immune. From these very pages I have portrayed scenarios where "the website makes the man" and secretly - as must be - I acquiesce in the face of clear marching orders from a range of sources. Some come from the ladies in my life. Let's see...avoid beard trimming too close to mujaheddin protocol; jeans in boots only if your name is Jack Sparrow; any leather tucked inside said boots only if it is Keith Richards; going back to captains, airline pilots make a lot of money, which entitles them and them only to wear a tie with a short-sleeved shirt; shorts are for scouts and little boys...the list goes on, and it has been helpful over the years. The same trends are reflected on social media and advice fora, but again I have had a dig at them from elsewhere on this platform. The thing about following instructions, for example directions on a GPS device, is that you are really following the device and not the road. Even when these two coincide (and she is not in the car) they are not the same, and this is important. Because it is all about that crucial discrimination between make up and mask we have evoked (yes, on these pages). Whereas a surgeon's knife slices when we are asleep, and we really have not the required knowledge to make *informed choices about our appearance, applying cosmetic foundation is in fact a beautifying action from the inside: we learn to look at ourselves, we touch, we feel, we perfect. We accept, appreciate and love. What does that all mean? Well, look at it this way. The article you are reading could have been written long ago and the author now be pushing up daisies, having set a timing device to this day for its publication. The result would be the same. But not the process. Which is where caring resides. We play a lot with new forms of survival in these turbulent times. What won't change is that someone whose existence means focussing only on the bottom line will and can not be different in other domains of life. There is only one true soul in the human tree. We can wear different clothes, but what drives us deep down is not endowed with an on/off switch. Or should I have two Facebook accounts, one for each face? Well, there's something in that... Survival is not mere presence. And though the gusts can be bitter, we still have a choice as to how we deal with this fact. Turn windward. Wear your colours on your countenance. Apply generously and evenly. Such is the one and only emulsion of life. Now you are ready for the blade.