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Friday, March 28, 2014

Sticks and Stones

“Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt


Let's say you get to a place where you're ready to make some changes in your appearance; you do a little homework to find out where you want to go with this, get out there and find what you want and start doing your new 'thang.' People start to notice. First it's a little double-take here and there in the hallway. Then the occasional 'well don't YOU look nice today!' Even a wolf whistle.

Then there's that certain someone, or if you're really lucky, more than one special someones that just looks at you a little curiously the first few times. Then after you've been test driving your new look for a while this person might hazard a snide remark. This remark might take you unaware, leaving you without a quick comeback. Have to remember this person has had some time to think up this nasty little dig, so best to just smile politely and keep going. 

We all know this person. They're as common as mold, flu and Mondays, unfortunately. I don't know why they seemingly feel so threatened when someone improves themselves, but they do, and they apparently feel it's necessary to do their best to drag you down to their level. Often they'll start making these snide remarks on a regular basis.

I don't delude myself into thinking I'm capable of changing these people, nor would I most likely be willing to invest the time if I could. That's not my job, or my point here. 

Of course your real friends will be very happy for you, and will care most of all that you're happy- you may have even gotten them involved in the transformation process you went through, so they're invested in the outcome. But these other people-? You'll never get anything but a snide remark. You'll never please them. 

Their input is valuable, nonetheless. Think of it as a kind of guage- as a general rule, the nastier the remark, the better you look on a given day. The better you look, the more it bothers them. :-)  See? If they're going to make the remark, you might as well find a way to make it work for you.

Think of it this way- if someone keeps giving you crap, why not make fertilizer?

Happy Dressing!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Spring Blooms


 "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." ~Theodore Roosevelt

My son, who's in grade school, told me recently he'd had a girlfriend last year. That was the first I'd heard of it- he tends to keep things to himself. 

I should have known something was up, though. Last year for the first time he started getting picky about what he'd wear. Up until then he couldn't have cared less, and honestly would have been perfectly happy going to school in pajamas. 

I guess he got a positive response from this newfound fussiness because it's gotten more pronounced this year; now he has a little collection of sunglasses which he wears with the leather motorcycle jacket that I gave him for Christmas. (His request.) He's quite the stylish little dude now, and is developing the 'tude to go with it. 

As children we often took joy in expressing ourselves through how we dressed- and sometimes our parents would even let us wear our often peculiar creations. 

Then adolescence strikes and suddenly WE MUST LOOK EXACTLY LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. Finally we settle into young adulthood and we begin to find our individual, creative voice again. 

WIth some of us that enthusiasm dulls a bit as time wears on; maybe we've had kids or have a very demanding career. In short, our priorities change. The normal wear and tear of life. 

But one constant in life is change, and sooner than later you may find yourself at a place in life where you'd like to reassess how you dress, and you now have the time to devote to it . Our tastes change over time, sometimes drastically, sometimes in a more subtle way, so this is always an interesting process. One great thing is that if we do fall into a rut and lose our expressive voice, no matter how old we are or what we're doing in life, we can find our way back to it. We may have limitations due to budget or career needs, but one way or another, there's always some sort of wiggle room. 

There's always room for self expression, and life is a better, brighter place for it. Not just because finding enjoyment in it makes you happier, but because your happiness will show, and potentially make others happy too.

Happy Dressing!

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Eyebrows Have It


"My eyebrows could do with a trim." ~Arthur Smith

I found a lovely little book that I must share- it's a little gem for the makeup fanatic or makeup artist alike. It's 'Beautiful Brows' by Nancy Parker (co-founder of eyebrowz.com) and Nancy Kalish.  It's the most comprehensive book on eyebrows I've come across. And if you read my blog you know what a fanatic I am about the importance of eyebrows.

This book is your basic how to and is broken into 3 sections.

The first section starts with an explanation of the parts of the brow, and then the five basic brow shapes. She then goes into different face shapes and which brow shapes work best on them, and which are the worst, and why. The then has you define your 'signature' feature, and ways you might tweak your best brow shape to accommodate it.  Lastly she helps you work out how 'strong' your brow should be. 

The second section gets down to the nitty gritty- first up are the basic tools of eyebrow grooming, and various methods for hair removal. Then there's 'brow shaping 101'-  with common brow problems, followed by detailed info on basic clean up, where to 'start,' 'arch,' and 'end' the brow, shaping, trimming, tweezing and other forms of removal. Lastly, proper use of pencil, powder and gel is covered.

The last section is different famous faces and analysis of their equally famous brows.

I just looked at Half.com and as of right now you can get this little book for less than a fiver, plus about $4 for shipping..

If you're going to go to the trouble of putting on makeup, make sure you include your eyebrows. You'll definitely add balance and symmetry to your face. And who doesn't want that? 

Happy Dressing!!

Friday, March 7, 2014

A Paradigm of Kindess


"My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness." ~Dalai Lama

The Oscars were on last weekend. I've always found awards shows boring. There. I said it. And I know that there'll be a billion trillion pictures of all the pretty dresses all over the media for the next 3 weeks, so it's not like I'm going to miss anything. I also know in the following days there'll be a lot of unpleasant and  nasty comments about how people looked. Which I see no point in.

Certain garments or ways of dressing have a sort of universal connotation- when a woman shows a lot of skin, it's often considered intentionally 'provocative' or intended to signal a 'sexual' or perhaps 'sensual' message.  If she wears certain jewelry and brand name clothes and accessories she might be broadcasting a 'status' message, and so on. These things may or may not be something that appeals to me or be something that I'm interested in wearing myself. But even if it's something that I'd never feel comfortable wearing, there's no point in saying negative things about it. In fact, I prefer to champion the individual aesthetic. I enjoy trying to see things through the eyes of someone with a totally different sense of beauty than mine. To simply appreciate the variety we all display validates us all- and to badmouth other's aesthetic validates their right to criticize your choices, too. And what's the point in going there? Maybe I think I'll feel better because I've demonstrated evidence of my 'good taste' in comparison to some clearly 'bad' taste, when in reality I've just demonstrated my poor judgment and character by attempting to build myself up by tearing down another.

And that's a really ugly kind of bad taste.

Happy Dressing!