"Wow! You look fantastic!"
Everyone loves to hear that. Everyone loves to feel that they look fantastic. And looking fantastic is different for everyone. For some it is looking fit. For some it is looking healthy. For some it is looking well-dressed. For some it is looking happy. For some it is looking fatter than usual. For some it is looking slimmer than usual. For some it is as simple as not looking tired.
For me, it’s a combination of things. Looking good has always been important to me, but over the years, my definition of looking good has changed quite a bit.
Now that I’m a mum in my 40s, I don’t have the time, energy or money to dedicate to being gorgeous. So I’ve developed a loose regime of tips, tricks and products to make the best of what I’ve got in a time-poor, cash-poor lifestyle. I play to my strengths, don’t sweat the small stuff and always remember that attitude is everything.
I love my shoulder
I was out with my chicks a couple of weeks ago and one of them commented that I always have my shoulder out at parties. It’s true. I love my shoulder. I like to show it off. One of the all-time, greatest pieces of advice any stylist will ever give you is ‘dress to your strengths’. For me, my strength is my shoulder. Either one, it doesn't matter. I don’t like my legs. They’re dimply and one of them has a varicose vein the size of a rope running along the length of it thanks to my second pregnancy so I’m not keen to get the pins out. My arse is tired and my tummy has more hang than pot these days so I wear tights pants and long, loose, off-the-shoulder tops. My particular favourite is a batwing. Peplums can go fuck themselves unless you’re really slim and 25 years old. Which, clearly, I am neither.
|Pre Beyonce Blonde|
Exercise: What part of your body do you love? Do your clothes show it off, or hide it?
I’ve got good boobs
If I’m not rockin’ my shoulder, then I’ve got the girls out. Gravity has taken its toll on my boobs, but a good push-up bra creates magic. Magical cleavage. I head to David Jones once a year to be measured properly for a well-fitted and flattering bra.
Exercise: When was the last time you were measured for a bra?
Hands are always on show and, having European heritage, I use mine to talk so I keep them looking good. I keep my nails short so that when I have time to paint them, they don’t chip too easily. One of my pet-hates is chipped nail polish. That goes for toes too. My other pet-hate is different nail lengths on the same hand. You know, when someone has 3 long nails and 2 short ones. Those broken nails aren’t going to catch up lady! Cut them all the same length and start again.
Exercise: Is your nail polish chipped? Are your nails the same length?
Embrace the mid-heel
I walk like a bloke. It’s true. I do. So sky-high stilettos and platforms don’t really feature in my wardrobe. I bought the sexiest, most delicious gold pumps for my 40th birthday party but I’ve never worn them since. Sometimes you just have to make peace with what you know and what I know is the mid-heel is my friend.
Exercise: Be honest – can you walk in heels? If you can, I’m EXTREMELY jealous because they look sensational, but if you have not yet tried the mid-heel... I urge you to.
Often times, when you talk, people look at your mouth. So I wear lip balm to bed every night to keep my lips from drying or cracking. I also hate too much colour on my lips. Oh and I’ve tried because I love colour on OTHER people’s lip, especially red lipstick but it looks horrendous on me. I don’t bother anymore. Instead I buy variations of the same colour time and time again. Don’t believe me? Check out some of my current collection...
Exercise: Do you have a favourite lip colour? When was the last time you bought yourself a new lipstick/gloss?
Addicted to Accessories
I’m an accessory addict. I love necklaces and handbags and scarves and big earrings and bangle arm parties. I like to jingle. It’s the gypsy in me. A pair of hoop of earrings can make an outfit. Honestly.
Exercise: Do you like to accessorise? Be brave and start with a bangle or two, maybe even a statement earring. It’s fun and a really cheap way to lift an outfit.
I am INCREDIBLY grey. True.Story. I’ve been dying my hair for 21 years. In the lead up to turning 40 I had a ‘hair plan’. I would go Beyonce blonde for 10 years to help with my maintenance. Grey hairs aren’t so noticeable when your hair is lighter and when I turn 50 I’ll go short and grey. There. I’ve put in writing. If I’m still blogging in 9 years you can hold me to it. In the meantime, I’m at the hairdresser every 6 weeks getting my roots done. But I really should be going every 4 weeks. To extend the time in between, I have a secret weapon. If you have grey issues, you must purchase one of these. $10 from Priceline.
|The miracle stick|
|The RIGHT SIDE [as you're looking at it] done - see the difference?|
Exercise: If you struggle with keeping up with the grey hair regime, then get one of these sticks.
Make up with make-up
I was HOPELESS at applying make-up, so I took a course and now I’m really confident. I buy the right shades for me and know how to bring out my best features. Because I don’t wear it often, I invest in the good stuff and a tube of foundation can last up to a year for me.
Exercise: Is your foundation the right colour for you? Do you know how to apply your make-up properly? If not, why not book a session at a professional make-up counter [like MAC] and have them show you how to apply and then purchase the product they choose for you. You won’t regret it, I promise.
I spent a small fortune on braces in my 20s. It was the best money I ever spent. I don’t wear make-up every day. I don’t have the time or the energy and my hair is usually in the same twirled up bun I’ve put it in the moment I drag my tired arse out of the bed in the morning all day. So sometimes, all I’ve got for you to look at is glossed lips around a big smile. I reckon that’s what growing up is about. Realising that life is about feeling awesome, finding happiness is every day things and wearing your best smile.
So there you have it. If you see a jingling chick with tight pants and an off the shoulder bat-wing top in a mid-heel with glossy lips, short painted nails with a smile from ear to ear – be sure to say hi :)
What are YOUR cheap and cheerful look fantastic tips?