Monday, June 14, 2010

In Which I Endeavor To Do the Opposite of Letting Myself Go

I suppose the opposite of letting yourself go might be "getting yourself together", but this title uses more words. Also, I like to create obstacles for myself by trying to do a negative action as opposed to a positive action. Don't try this in rehearsal, actor kids! Always with the positive action!

Anyway. I don't think I've really "let myself go". I think that's a phrased designed to make women feel insecure and for publishing houses to continue to sell magazines after the women who buy them have already achieved their major life goals of getting hitched and having babies. But I have always yearned to be a little more put together.

Let me explain. My mother doesn't wear makeup. Well, she does if you count that she pencils in her eyebrows, because my mother is eyebrow-bald. Or extremely eyebrow-receding. Being a little gifted (one might go so far as to say overachieving) in the eyebrow department, eyebrow pencils weren't really high on my list of priorities. But the point being that I think a lot of ladies learn about make-up from their moms, and we had nothing in the house. Ditto with hair-- my mother wears her hair short, wash-and-wear. I get the sense that she thinks that primping is impractical and not for the smart girls.

But I want to primp! And though I have lived with many roommates who spent hours in front of the mirror, or wouldn't go out to get the mail without lipstick, I never really learned anything about putting on makeup. I remember envying my cousin's turquoise eyeliner! The Cover Girl ads in Seventeen that showed people whose eyes were lined in four different colours. On one eye!

Same goes for clothes. Now, I have always been a bit of a fat, insecure kid. Even when I was skinnier, I still felt like the fat kid. And so clothes shopping became a little bit of an anxiety trigger for me. Sure, I went through a brief faux-goth phase (well, probably more artsy than goth), loving that it stood out at my Catholic high school. By the time I moved on to the artsy-fartsy school, I embraced grunge, which was super comfortable, but not exactly body conscious. And now I find I love vintage clothes, bold prints, quirky stuff, classic stuff. And although I could probably put an outfit together for someone else, I never feel confident in what I wear.

In fact, I think I probably dress a little bit... frumpy... at the moment.

So it's time for an intervention.
And I'm not saying that figuring out how to pick out lipstick will change my whole life, but I have a feeling it could sure improve my confidence to feel like I look kind of good. That I put some effort into getting up and facing the world every day.

I have a pretty strict budget, but I'd like to do some stuff like:
*get my eyebrows done professionally
*figure out what lipstick looks good on me
*get some cute shoes
*start remaking my wardrobe, whether I'm skinnier or not
*get a pedicure
*try out a couple of vintage-y, pin-up-y hairstyles

And so on.
Where do you guys go for style tips? Whose style do you admire? Whose style do you hate? Any girly stuff I should absolutely try at least once? Any girly stuff I should absolutely avoid?



gingermilk said...
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gingermilk said...

1) If you choose to get your eyebrows done, ask the person who is doing it for tips on how they shaped your brows. Then maintain at home with a good pair of tweezers. Or you can do this at home by yourself with the method I mentioned to you.

2) Go out and find a copy of "FaceForward" by Kevyn Aucoin.

3) To find your lip colour (or a lip colour that looks good on you because there will be many) go to the lipstick counter at a place that knows what it's doing (I like going to Holts because the ladies there are trained but Sephora, Lux on 124th or The Bay are good too - the prices will be the same), find the brand you want to purchase, ask for some assistance by saying, "I'm looking for a new lip colour." and then have fun. If the person helping you is inexperienced, she might say, "what shade do you like?" instead of being able to size you up immediately. It is perfectly acceptable to say you have no idea. Know the difference between lipstick and lipgloss. Know if you have dry skin (i.e. a super matte shade will make your lips look wrinkly if you have dry skin). Know if you want to wear it everyday or for special occasions only (I recommend an everyday lipstick for you so you'll wear it more). I also suggest Nars for you. Or Stila. Or Bobbi Brown. Do not be shocked if the lipstick is around $35. If you're getting something that you will wear everyday, it's worth it. Tip - if you don't like the way the lipstick smells (different shades have different ingredients that give off different scents), don't go for it. That smell won't go away and you probably won't get used to it. And then you'll never wear it. If you get a darker shade, you may need lip liner. That can also be expensive. But it lasts longer than the lipstick so that's okay too.

4) You only ever really need lipstick and eyeliner to look made-up.

5) Don't get super cheap makeup but don't go for the most expensive either.

In terms of building a wardrobe, select basics to build off from (i.e. one pair of excellent black pants, one pair of jeans that you look awesome in, a few good quality basic shirts - i.e. a short sleeve -shirt, a long sleeve t-shirt, a button up - good basic pair of shoes, a skirt or dress you can dress up or down - shirt dresses are awesome for this - and a basic cardigan). You can think of everything else as accessories. And anything new you acquire needs to work with what you already have. You're then maximizing your wardrobe and making the most of your budget.

Cute shoes - it's worth it to spend money on your shoes. Or at least get usually expensive shoes on sale.

Hope this helps!