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Dear Mary

Dear Mary: How do I fake sleep?

25 May 2013

9:00 AM

25 May 2013

9:00 AM

Q. It is occasionally necessary for me to pretend to be asleep. What technique do actors use, when feigning death or sleep, to ensure their eyeballs are still and their eyelids do not flutter?
— Name withheld, Hampshire

A. To pre-empt fluttering, let the actual eyeballs look downwards behind the closed lids. 

Q. Your correspondent in Bombay had trouble with teenage houseguests who were unaware of the convention of tipping. My recent problem was the reverse — my fellow guests and I wanted to tip after a long weekend abroad in which staff had done a lot of different things for us, but our female host refused to give us any guidance about the going rates in the country where we were staying. Instead she came over coy and said it was entirely up to us and she would not dream of telling us. As a result we overtipped (we found out once we had got home). How could we have forced an answer from our host?
— Name and address withheld

A. You could have assumed an urgent demeanour as you took her to one side and, waving a debit card hissed in panicky tones, ‘I have run out of cash so I must quickly rush to a cash machine for tips. Where is the nearest one and how much should I get out?’ Caught off guard like this, she would be more likely to speak her mind, at which point you could say, ‘Oh phew. I’ve got enough then, I won’t need to go out after all.’

Q. At university I began smoking, because all my friends did. I always planned to give it up but it has taken ten years for me to get over it. I now have tiny but observable lines in the space between nose and upper lip. As I have stopped smoking, I assume they will get no worse, but what can I do to cover them? As a woman of only 28, I do not want to start having cosmetic fillers. What do you recommend, Mary?
— S.H., London W12

A. Like many women, you have probably made the mistake of depilating this area. The baldness, where nature intended there to be coverage, leaves the skin more susceptible to sun damage, and when such lack of protection is combined with smoking, to the proliferation of the barcode-type lines you mention. Now the damage has been done, your best bet is to screen off these lines from view by implementing a sort of facial set-aside policy and letting the hair grow back. Obviously your new moustache should not become over-luxuriant, and may even need to be dyed, but you should aim for a peachy down if you are blonde and a dusky down if you are dark. Such a look can be strangely appealing and you are likely to find you have new admirers. Incidentally, the Italian word for a woman with a faint, but not unattractive, moustache is ‘baffona’.

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