Monday, March 06, 2006

It's Hard Out Here for a Chick


This weekend was a breathless rush of activity in which I had the distinct honor of teaching my favorite ten-year-old how to knit (she is off and running!), staying in a house approximately 11 times the size of my 900-square-foot apartment, meeting elephants, tigers, alpacas, goats and red pandas, trying to cook gluten-free meals for a seven-year-old without a kitchen, being a substitute soccer mom (and thinking the whole time what they must be THINKING about my oxidized black Altima which was also covered in road salt), and watching the 2006 Miss America pageant (don't ask).

Someone sent me a picture of myself at the arena game. While I'm slouching terribly, I do have to say that I have a nice profile. I didn't realize I have a cool nose. But I do!

I'm really wiped out today. Something I meant to blog about last week - it's a very strange thing to meet with the envy of another person. Not joking, I'm-your-friend envy, but catty, woman-to-woman, "I hate you" envy. Someone I met last week assumed I am in college. When I let her know I wasn't she was just strange and weird to me. She was older, and clearly her eyes are bad and she couldn't see the wrinkles in my forehead - they are a dead giveaway. The next time I saw her, she was wearing tight clothes (great figure) and had this crazy hairdo (disaster).

(Honey, I have spent the last seven years of my life shooting pictures of 16-year-olds with perfect bodies and skin. A 45-year-old with a self-styled fright wig doesn't quite do the trick, I don't care how much botox is in there. )

Really, there are four tricks to looking younger than you are. Hair dye, sunscreen, teeth whitening, and being a young soul. None are obligatory, but if you're going to do the no-makeup-weekend-hair thing they will make you look fabulous while you do it. Grey hair, sun damaged skin, outdated fashion and yellow teeth do more than make you look old. They make you look tired. (If you are lucky enough to have salt-and-pepper hair instead of the yellow-gray mess most of us get, you get a pass on the hair dye. Rinse with shampoo for grey hair and you'll be stunning. In this way I am envious of Sheila, but in an I'm-your-friend way.) Beauty is about looking like you, but polished. Natural and pretty is best. Some days that means lip gloss and a baseball hat. Other days it means more effort.

Personally, I'm all for minimal effort. Yes, I straighten my frizzy hair and cover my bad skin and freckles with makeup. I get my roots dyed, and I've been known to use some whitestrips in my time. But I'm also out of the bathroom in 40 minutes from start of shower to finish.

Your hairdo and skin regimen should be working for you to the point where this is possible. If you are more than 20 minutes away from looking great (the other 20 minutes is for shower and hair drying), then you have the wrong haircut and makeup.

Seriously. Don't be envious of others, don't wish you had something you don't. Do the best you can with what you have. You'll look great. 100% of you (including me) are never, ever, ever going to look as good on your own as I can make you look with a makeup artist, a stylist, a hair stylist, photo lights, a forgiving camera setting and the magic of Photoshop. I absolutely promise you that you will look stupid if you try.

Knitting content later.


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