Got Caught Slippin’!

April 6, 2013

One of the suggestions I have adopted from BWE discussions is to never go out looking less than “done”.  I go for a very natural look, but I don’t go further than the end of the driveway without it.

I’m pleased to say that I have maintained this habit for years… until one day this week. 

I was running late to take my children to an activity, and could still make it on time–if I didn’t take the seven minutes or so to put on my makeup.  Well, not wanting to make them late because I couldn’t get my act together, I went out barefaced.

Clearly I need a backup bag.  Something small that can hold the essentials and fit in my car.

I’ve already gone online and started ordering one or two things.

Do you carry a makeup backup?  What’s in it?

It's a New Year. Are you ready to go to the next level?

It’s been a pretty good year for improving my self-presentation.  I’ve lost 16 pounds, found a fabulous eyebrow threader and developed a habit of not leaving the house without my (very natural) makeup.

I’ve bought some clothes (to shrink down into) and I can get into the clothing I couldn’t wear last year. YAY! (Alhamdulillah)

This year’s goals:

1. Keep a basic mani/pedi

2. Lose the last of the weight

3. Develop my “look”.  I’ve given this alot of thought and am most of the way there.

4. Buy/make my basic pieces/accessories.

5. Keep up on accessory maintenance (shoes/bags polished, knowing where my earrings are!)

6. Try tumeric for fading dark spots.

7. Get rid of everything that doesn’t fit and flatter, unless it’s for scrubbing the house/gardening

8. Put another few inches on my hair length.

9. Keep up on Mr. Foreverloyal’s shoe/belt polishing

10. Iron shirts/skirts/pants weekly in one session to make it easier to get out the door looking pulled together.

What about you? How did you do last year and what are your goals for this year?

Have you decided to go forth and be gorgeous?

We had a lovely Thanksgiving yesterday.  Roast turkey, cornbread dressing, mashed potatoes, all that.  Pumpkin roll, pumpkin pie, apple cobbler.  I didn’t stuff myself but I did eat whatever I wanted.

Today, it’s back to the eating plan that has had me dropping weight as easily as falling off a log. Why?  Because as my husband wisely said, “It isn’t Thanksgiving that’s the problem.  It’s the three and four days after of eating the leftovers.”  So no leftovers for me (except turkey).  It’s back to mesclun salad, sauteed spinach and fresh berries.  It’s about 5 weeks to the new year and I intend on being substantially smaller on January 1st.

So you, there. Yeah you with the leftover mac and cheese.  Put it down and pick up the salad fork.

Go forth and be gorgeous.

Glowing skin and a tiny waist on a plate!

I Love me!

“When it comes to other adults, I refuse to be more invested in an issue than the people who are directly affected by it. So, in your case, if you don’t value your health, I don’t care about your health either. It’s your party, you can unnecessarily die an early death if you want to. Your free and voluntary choice to set yourself up for unnecessary health problems does not trouble me. To the tune of the Isley Brothers: {“it’s your thang, do what you wanna do…”}”  –Khadija of The Sojourner’s Passport blog, http://sojournerspassport.com/

What does the world see when they look at you? 

A woman who holds herself in high esteem, or one who doesn’t necessarily think she’s worth a whole heck of alot?

And how does that influence how you are treated?

I was going to do a longer post, and maybe I”ll flesh it out a bit later.  But, in sum:

If you keep yourself at a healthy weight, step out always with neat hair, groomed nails, makeup, and flattering clothing, you are telling the world that YOU MATTER.  After all, you put in the effort to take care of yourself.

If you are significantly overweight and disheveled, you are telling the world that you don’t hold yourself in high regard and can’t be bothered to treat yourself well.

Don’t be surprised if you are treated with a little more or less regard, accordingly.

Decide you are worth it, and

Go forth and be gorgeous.

So I just got through reading Khadija’s latest post: http://sojournerspassport.com/killing-ourselves-softly-part-1-recognize-that-nobody-is-coming-to-rescue-you/ .

I’m really, really glad I didn’t have any chocolate yesterday or today.  I took a walk and drank a bunch of water, too.

A little inspiration for you and me.  I’m going to think of this every time I’m tempted to skip a workout or eat chocolate on a non-treat day.  I’ve changed the words, though:  “You’ve got big dreams, you want to be a size 0… Well size 0 COSTS! And right here’s where you start paying.  Now pick up the weights!”

Sometimes, you have a plan for how you want something to turn out (makeup, hair, clothes) and it just doesn’t look right once you execute.  This seems to happen often when you have someplace to go and don’t have a whole lot of time to re-curl your hair, fix your manicure, or go shopping for something that fits.

At that point, it’s take a deep breath and (to borrow a phrase) “make it work” time.

I am pleased to present you with a real life example.  Queeny had a huge event (graduation, congrats Queeny!) and had spent time with all manner of deep conditioners and setting techniques in anticipation of wearing her hair out.  http://insidequeenysworld.blogspot.com/2010/05/some-hair-pics.html

Unfortunately, the result was too Diana Ross.

Not to be discouraged for too long, she pinned it back and ended up with a neo-soul-forties-glamour effect.

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try a bobby pin.

Fitting in with the fly crowd

I hang out with some fly mamas.

No, really.  Annie has 4 kids under age 10  and still manages to keep a fresh mani/pedi and go to the salon every few months at least for a haircut.  She switches up her haircolor sometimes too.

Mary has 3 as well, and the only time you might catch her out without her makeup is if you run into her at the grocery store at the crack of dawn on a weekend. 

Lainey  is trim enough to look like she never even had children, and “mom jeans” are out of the question.

They are all stay-at-home moms with husbands and young children who particpate in many activities.

They give the lie to the assertion that frumpyness and dumpyness are an inevitable part of mothering young children, to the idea that it just comes with the territory the way cold air comes with winter.  Such an idea can be easy to cave to.  Especially if all of the women you socialize have.  Sitting on the bench at the playground watching your toddlers, you commiserate.  “The baby spits up on me all the time.  I don’t bother with nice shirts anymore.”  “Who has time for a manicure?  It’s all I can do to get a shower everyday!”  “I’m just too busy.  I’ll wear makeup again when the kids are older.”  And so you give each other permission to settle for the “not-as-bad-as-I-COULD” look

It’s a different scenario when you hang out with fly mamas.  You all have little kids and husbands and houses.  Everyone has diapers to change and dinner to make.  They manage to bathe the kids, do the laundry, cook dinner AND step out of the house with an attractive, casual “mommy on the go” look, so why can’t you?  You start to think about trying for “As-good-as-I-can” look.   The three ladies I mentioned above are proof that it can be done, a subtle message to the less-fly mommies around them:  “You could look like this, too.” 

And if you want to look like that, it’s encouraging to know that it can be done.  If you befriend a fly mama, she’ll probably be willing to help you out.  Recently Lainey helped a friend clear her closet of all unflattering and hopelessly outdated clothing.  Next, she and Mary teamed up to take the friend shopping and critique outfits, Clinton and Stacy style. (Meaning, the friend agreed not to buy anything that Lainey and Mary deemed unattractive on her).  I wouldn’t be surprised if a trip to the salon for an updated cut and makeup consultation was next.

Then there will be yet another certified fly mama in the area.  If this keeps up, it could really catch on.  “Pssst.  Come with us to get mani pedis.  Throw out your mom jeans.  Let’s meet for pilates at my house.  Come on… all the cool moms are doing it.” 

Sure, it’s peer pressure.  But it’s the positive kind.

So, I was talking to my BFF about the ongoing     <a href=”http://muslimbushido.blogspot.com/2008/11/inner-sanctuary-part-4-are-you-ready-to.html“>Feel Flawless</a> effort. 

The topic, this time, was shoes.  I’m often out and about with my children, and I had fallen into the bad habit of wearing sneakers with my long skirts.  Nice heels aren’t really practical as one of my children has the nasty habit of running heedlessly into the street if his hand is not held.  If he gets a head start on me or breaks away for a second, I need to be nimble and quick to catch him.  Yeah, heels aren’t so good for that.  I commented that I had crossover Mary Janes, something like these:

Much better than sneakers

But so often I just grabbed the sneakers.  I wondered aloud exactly  how bad it looks.  She pulled no punches. “Really bad.”  she said.  I think she went on to use such words as “clunky” and “ridiculous.”

See, a real friend will tell you when you are slipping and need to step up your game.  They’re not going to tell you that all is well when you are busting the seams on your favorite jeans.  She’s not going to pretend that new foundation flatters you if it makes your skin look like you’re wearing a Halloween mask.  She’ll tell you that stylist jacked you up and she will not, not tell you that you look ok wearing some running shoes with an ankle length skirt.

Here’s to all the real friends out there.

I went to get some maintenance done on my face at the salon the other day.

A basic face takes only 5 minutes. And you're worth it

I didn’t wear makeup there, and once done, I would ordinarily run my one or two post-salon errands makeup-free as well.

But, in the interests of looking polished at all times, I implemented a new policy.

After I was all done, I went in the salon’s restroom and took 5 minutes to do my everyday routine.  As Khadija said, we should strive to always step out looking our best.  Or, as Miss Monica Mingo puts it, “Be more vain!”

I AM talking about how many Black women’s exteriors reflect a total lack of self-worth.  –Khadija

 

You may have heard a woman refer in old movies to getting made up as “putting her face on”. 

As a child and young woman I thought this phrase was silly.  After all, one already has a face.  Makeup is merely an enhancement.

Reflecting on the issues raised in Khadija’s essay about black american women and presentation, (http://muslimbushido.blogspot.com/2008/11/inner-sanctuary-part-4-are-you-ready-to.html ) I’ve completely changed my mind.  When you step out of the house, everything about you from head to toe conveys a message to the world.  Clothes matter. Grooming matters.  People are going to look at you, and the conclusion they reach WILL affect how they treat you. 

You my be kind and intelligent and well read and funny and have a high level of self-respect, but that’s not how it appears to those observing you at the grocery store in a spit-up spotted t-shirt and frayed jeans.  The face you present to the world says alot about who you think you are and how you expect to be treated. 

Here’s blogger Monica Mingo sharing a relevant experience:

For comparison, Monica usually leaves the house looking something like this:

Ready for the world

Ready for the world

Like it or lump it, you can get alot further in life if the image you present to the world is a near-flawless version of yourself.  Even when you keep it casual, you should still polish it up a bit.  You can certainly leave the sparkly eyeshadows and shimmery glosses in the drawer if you are going out to the store.  But dabbing on a bit of foundation, powder, mascara and a smudge of natural lip color will take 5 minutes or less and make a dramatic difference in your appearance.

Be comfortable at home.  Relax at home.  Look sloppy…. yeah that’s right, AT HOME. 

Before you open that front door and step out into the sunshine, make sure your shoes are polished, your teeth are clean, your shirt is ironed, and your “game face” is on.