Sunday, November 13, 2011

Day 233: Monday's Mantra - Boring is Beautiful

Boring is Beautiful!

This is my weirdest mantra so far, but I'm warming up to it.  

Several times in the past few weeks I've felt painfully bored by my morning makeup routine.  It's been almost identical each day (except No-Makeup Mondays!!) since the project started, and I've missed the creativity involved in asking myself: is today a "dramatic eyeliner day"? Is it a "plummy lip-stain day"?  Is it a "dramatic doll-faced pink blush day"?  Instead, it's been a "lightly-applied foundation, sheer blush, neutral eyeshadow, and Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof mascara day"... for the past 233 days!  I'm starting to feel not just bored, but (gasp!) boring.  

I've been lusting over makeup and makeovers, feeling somehow less-than-glamourous without the flexibility to play around and actually see the results.  Last week I tried to quell this feeling with a box of hair-dye from Walgreens, but with only so-so results.  (FYI, from what I can see, the drabness has washed out and my hair and it's back to... well... normal. Which is, again, kind of boring!) My wedding day was an exception.  And a welcome one at that!  I admit to oggling my photos frequently these past weeks.  I've become particularly attached to the makeup-application pics. Seeing that wash of violet eyeshadow and the vibrance of a berry-stained lip... delight!  But the wedding is over and I'm back to softly (blindly!) blended sheer neutrals.  Poor me, right?

But I had to check myself.  Something about this I'm-so-boring angst feels wholly antagonistic to the intentions I've had and the lessons I've learned in the past months.

When I came up with my no-mirrors makeup routine at the start of this project, I remember feeling gloriously beautiful.  I was proud I'd learned to apply makeup without a mirror, and even more proud to have cut back on the number of products I used.  I remember thinking I was on my way to becoming one of those sexy women who have their own "look" and own it, every single day.  I'm determined to get back to that kind of thinking.

Jackie Kennedy didn't become a style icon for mixing things up all the time.  Neither did Audrey Hepburn.  (Or Katherine Hepburn for that matter!)  Even modern fashion icons, like Gwen Stefani, or Alexa Chung, seem to own a signature look.  Sure, Carrie Bradshaw had a new pair of shoes and a new crazy-cute hairstyle for every day of her (fictional) life, but who has the time - or the budget! - for that?  Besides, the constant change was her signature, no?

Anyway, what I'm getting around to is this: consistency in one's style can be just as glamorous as changing it frequently.  Maybe even more glamourous if you can cultivate that quiet confidence that (I assume) comes with knowing yourself, your features, and your style well enough to BE that person every day.  I imagine this type of woman has a closet full of "quality" instead of "quantity".  She has signature scent, a signature lipstick (or perhaps a signature smudged rocker-chic eyeliner!), and doesn't change her hair style or color every time she goes to the salon (or Walgreens!).

I know I'll never be 100% "that woman".  I find enormous pleasure in trying new things, and I'm not going to ignore that side of my personality.  For example, tonight, I decided to quell the crazies by painting my fingernails with my usual pedicure polish, and my toenails with my usual manicure polish; it was a fun (free!) change, and yet, the same. But there's an important lesson to be learned about coming back to things that work, and not getting caught up in the endless hoopla of chasing trends.  So, for this week, I'm reminding myself to attach feelings of glamour to my daily routines.  

Do you have a "signature" anything?  Do tell! :)

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  2. I have my signature no-make up face, and that works just fine for me

  3. i have super short hair and whenever I think of growing it a bit longer I realize I wouldn't feel like ME.

  4. I always go for the tawny colored eye shadow, and Carmex Moisture Plus balm instead of lipstick.

  5. I have a signature toenail polish. A dark blue. It happened by accident 13 years ago - I found a bottle of blue and it happened to go with the outfit I was wearing that day. I discovered I really liked the look on me. A week later I went out on my first date with the man who is now my husband. I had already known him for years and we were close friends. I was about to change polish for the big date (because I thought it might be too weird) when I recalled that it was his favorite color. So I took the risk. He thought it was cool. We both still do. Now 13 years later we joke that I was a fashion trendsetter. Once, a few years back, I tried a different color. It looked so strange, like I was wearing someone else's feet.

  6. My signature look? No makeup. I've only worn it once, and that was when I was in my brother's wedding! I also don't do my hair. The most I do is a pony-tail or a bun, but I really like it down! Some people might call it laziness, but I prefer looking (and being) natural!

  7. I have a hair clip that is a long talon type thing that I usually have on me and at the end of the day or when I am hot or stressed, I pull my hair back in a low ponytail and twist it up and stick my talon in it. My students (high schoolers) are always amazed when I do this in class and ask to see me do and try themselves. I have had this for 15 years and can't find another hair clip like it. I love it:)

  8. my signature thing would be my perfume. 'pure grace' by philosophy. the best thing about it is that my husband picked it out for me. he was shopping for me for christmas several years ago and ended up in a sephora smelling perfumes. he smelled this one and said that both the scent and the description on the bottle reminded him of me. it may sound silly, but after i read the description, i felt so loved. "pure grace is the clean smell of soap and water; the memory of fresh air woven into a set of crisp, white cotton sheets; a cold deep breath on a snowy winter night; the best summer morning you have ever known; the one white t-shirt that feels better than all the rest" i mean my husband is awesome and he thinks i'm beautiful and tells me so all the time, but for some reason that present/compliment has been one of my favorites that he's ever given me. (he gets me a new bottle for my stocking every year. :)) anyways, the scent is seriously perfect for me. it smells just like it's described. i love it. i don't think i'll ever use another. and he loves it on me, too. :)

  9. i like girls who doesn't wear make-ups at all only on special occasions. its the only you can tell your self how pretty she is without the help of cosmetics.

  10. Mine would be my glasses. I have been wearing since I was 8 years old and when I was old enough to decide if wanted contacts, I realized that glasses were part of my personality. Also I own Vera Wang Princess. I got it for Christmas the first year it came out and it's the first scent my husband remembers of me. Anytime I wear it now, it reminds us of when were dating.

  11. I can understand feeling stuck in the same ol', same ol' look. I'm often bored with my hairstyle and make-up routine but when I try something different I discover what felt boring to me was really my best look. I might be bored with it but it's how I look my best.

  12. Oh, man... I am loving the number of women with a "no-makeup" signature! I doubt I'll ever claim that for myself, but I aspire to have a signature scent. Right now I have too many that I love!

  13. When I was younger, I used to change my hair colour and style all the time, and experiment with clothes. I've never worn much make-up, though...
    These days I limit myself to white eye shadow around my eyes - it makes my eyes pop out a bit - and black mascara to thicken and curl my eye lashes. I think it makes my eyes look bigger and gives a bit of a romantic look. For special occasions I add some dramatic black eye liner.
    I've never really used foundation and blush and stuff... I tried foundation for a couple of weeks when I was in my early twenties, but I immediately broke out in a rash and got more and more pimples - which I didn't used to have. Apparently I have sensitive skin.


    I actually don't experience my look as being boring - that's what I realize now. Funny. I never really thought about it before.

    I must admit that I would like to have some more time to try out different clothing styles, but with a kid and a job and a house renovation going on, I'm just too preoccupied, I guess.

    Maybe it comes down to realizing that you can look just as beautiful without the make-up? Probably the image we have of ourselves is just in our heads...

  14. by the way -
    I don't use deodorant or perfume either -
    which is quite hard to grasp for many people.
    I believe it is full of harmful stuff that may or may not hurt you, but definitely hurts the environment.
    I do hang my clothes outside to dry or air them, it makes them smell like soft outside air. I love it.
    And last week a friend said that she really loved my smell. "You always smell nice and fresh".
    Funny, no?

  15. I used to be a Vanilla Fields girl. Everybody knew it and bought me so much as gifts that I got tired of it. :(
    For the last few years I've been in love with White Citrus....yum! My best compliment was when my daughter said "mmm, this pillow smells like mommy". <3