Amy is a high school English teacher, coffee addict and Bikram yoga lover from Sacramento, CA. She blogs about her life at Just A Titch.
Confession: I used to take great pride in putting together an amazing outfit, in doing my nails and taking good care of my skin. I read fashion magazines and accessorized and wore heels to the grocery store, just because. But then life happened and I had a few rough years.
As cheesy as it sounds, I didn’t like myself very much, and taking care of someone you’re not too fond of, dressing her up and painting her face and caring about appearance seems like a lot of work. Somewhere along the way, I stopped relishing in those girly pleasures. I recently found a series of old pictures, in which I was perfectly coiffed and my bag matched my heels and earrings and to be quite honest, it felt like looking at a stranger. Suddenly, I found myself longing for the days of fanciful makeup, well-placed accessories and high heels.
It’s not that I am a candidate for “What’s Not To Wear” or anything, but I definitely don’t feel pretty, or even beautiful’s naughtier cousin, sexy. I feel sort of frumpy: between gaining weight, spending most days covered in Vis A V pen at my teaching job and forgetting to do myself up in the midst of struggles (and let’s be real: a long-term relationship—what they say about love making you fat and increasing your love of sweats is true!), I just don’t feel like I’m at my best.
While being a teacher—and on a teacher’s budget—makes it a bit impractical to have lavish shopping sprees or dress to the nines for everyday, there is something to be said for putting thought into outfits and playing the part of the girly girl. It’s not about acheiving a certain weight, style or competing with others, but simply feeling pretty in my own skin.
I’ve made a list of things I’m hoping to do that will make me feel more beautiful:
Find a signature scent. Typically, I rely on body spray from Victoria’s Secret for my scent needs, but I’m hoping to find a more grown-up scent. Bonus points for pretty bottles.
Rock gorgeous unmentionables. You just feel prettier, even if no one sees them. Plus, a well-fitting foundation makes any body and outfit look better.
Institute weekly beauty rituals. I’m thinking a face mask during a guilty pleasure TV show might do the trick, plus Sunday night mani-pedis.
Finding reliable professionals.I’m far too neglectful of getting my hair done regularly, and while I regularly praise getting my brows done religiously, it’s been FAR too long since I let someone else wax them. It’s a little bit of money, sure, but it goes a long way towards making me feel pretty.
Bubble baths.I could sing the praises of a hot bath for days, but it’s rare that I add anything special to the water. I’m hoping to stock up on some bath bombs.
Wardrobe re-mixing.I’ve got some good stuff, and while there are holes in my wardrobe, an afternoon playing stylist and mixing things up would pump new life into the things I’ve already got.
Thrifting.I like a unique touch to my outfits and I’m good at finding skirts, belts, and jewelry that liven up older pieces, without breaking the bank. Since I’m in the throes of weight-loss, I’d rather not blow tons of money on clothes, but a few pieces to tide me over will definitely help.
Finding a red lipstick.I’m wary of lip color, mostly because I tend to play up my baby blues, but having a killer red lipstick just seems like such a lady-like thing to do. I’m hoping to head to Sephora soon and let the ladies their have their way with my lip color.
Wearing high heels.While it’s doubtful that I’ll ever be one of those stylish mavens who teaches all day in heels (I salute you, ladies!) wearing heels out to dinner or for a night out with friends seems do-able. I’m tucking some money away for a little shoe shopping spree.
Mental pep-talks.Good LORD, I am mean to myself. Instead of internally harping on a blemish or my wobbly upper arms or frizzy hair, I’d like to focus on my big blue eyes, my bright smile and curvy figure that looks good in a dress.
I’m feeling more beautiful already.
Tell me: what are your secrets to feeling beautiful? What beauty rituals do you engage in?