Flash back about three years ago, when I first started noticing more young men and ladies coloring their hair like a box of crayons. Blue, pink, orange, green, purple, and everything in between. Oh my, I thought, why would anyone want to do that? It looks stupid. Crazy stupid!
Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined I would now be sporting purple and turquoise stripes in my hair at age 57. I mean, it is so not like me. My personality is not outgoing and bold. I do not demand or encourage attention to myself. I’m an introvert, more given to staying in a quiet corner by myself, reading a book. Yet, there it is; there’s a purple hair up there.
Searching in my mind for an explanation to my uncharacteristic behavior, I have come up with a few possibilities:
I am experiencing dementia and need medication.
I am overly medicated and sane.
I am going through a mid-life crisis.
I have multiple personalities I’m just now getting around to meeting.
I just don’t give a bunny’s butt anymore.
Ding dong! Number 5! We have a winner!
That’s right…I no longer give a bunny’s butt what other people think or expect of me. Don’t like my hair? Stop looking at it. I’m 57 and I will wear my hair any way I want to. Don’t like me? Stay away from me. Have an opinion? Good for you, but I don’t want to hear it.
At my age, I have earned the right to be unique, creative, offbeat, and a little eccentric. I have earned the right to have fun with my life. I have earned the right to make choices, to play, and today, I choose to wear a purple hair there and anywhere!
Life is short, incredibly short. I have learned that it’s ok to have joy, to smile, to laugh at silliness. It’s ok to want to look at life through multi-colored glasses. It’s ok to make changes, experiment, and try something new.
It’s no secret we live in a disposable world. There’s not much we cannot replace with something newer and better. Disposable plates, napkins, utensils, serving trays, and cups are used every day. Disposable diapers, bottles, gloves, and hygiene items are made by the millions. Cheaply made cars built only to last a few years have been experimented with, remember the Yugo? I have to ask myself, in such a disposable world, how disposable am I?
Early on in life, we learn that pretty much everything can be replaced. A broken doll, a rusty bicycle, tattered socks. Sometimes it hurt to lose the original item, but that pain was soon erased by the excitement of a newer one, maybe even a little fancier. But then, we learn that friends can also be replaced. Your best friend in first grade moves across the country, never to be seen again. Then a new kid moves to town and the old friend’s memories begin to fade. The dog you grew up with ages and dies, leaving a world of hurt and emptiness, but your parents say not to worry, they will replace the old Fido with a new puppy. And they do, and soon the pain begins to lessen as the bond between you and puppy grows.
As a teenager, a boyfriend replaced me with someone who would have sex with him. As a wife, I was replaced with someone skinnier and blonde.
A few years ago, my boss told me that I could always be replaced in my job. He was right, but I wanted to think I offered something special as an employee that no one else did. I felt valuable, even if I wasn’t. I didn’t like to think I was that disposable.
How many husbands and wives have you known that were replaced through divorce? How many foster kids have gotten shuffled from family to family? How many pets are in animal shelters because their owners thought a different pet would suit them better? How many employees have quit their jobs in pursuit of one better? How many employers have fired employees in the pursuit of one better?
I know I am disposable. I know every day I go to work that I can be fired on a whim just because someone doesn’t like me, or they don’t like the disorganization of my desk, or the Christmas tree in my office. I know I can be replaced in every Committee or team that I serve. I know there is no one standing in the sidelines waiting to rescue me or to stand up for me. I can be replaced in a heartbeat, and it feels kind of lonely.
I’d like to think my pets would miss me. But the truth is, they would probably only miss me for a while, until someone else took over my roll as parent and caregiver and friend. There is no “significant other” in my life who would miss me or feel I could not be replaced. There is no family who would miss seeing me. There is no need to replace someone who is already missing.
I cannot say I like knowing just how replaceable I am. But in truth, I’ve done nothing in my life to make myself irreplaceable. I’ve done nothing extraordinary. Nothing unique. I’m not lovable. I’m not beautiful, to be admired. I’ve not devoted the time to cultivate relationships to a deeper level, always distancing myself before that closer bond develops. Yes, I am replaceable.
And yet….as replaceable as I am in this world, I know I am worthy of God’s love and grace. I know that Jesus died on that cross to save me from my sins. And I know God will never leave me nor foresake me. His love makes me feel valuable, worthy, and a little less disposable.
May God’s undying love for you make you feel worthy and unique.
Seriously, what do you do when you cannot touch your toes anymore? I’ve heard about this day, back when I was five and I could pretty much put my toes anyplace I wanted them…over my head, behind my back, on my fanny. My Grandma Petty used to watch me pretend to be a gymnast and just shake her head. “One day you won’t be able to do that anymore,” she said. I laughed hysterically. Not me, I thought. I will do this forever. But now I can’t. Now, I can barely put my shoes on without utilizing the kitchen refrigerator for balance.
Age and arthritis has caught up with me in a race that began in my 20’s. It is a mean and vicious competitor. It will stop at nothing to slow down my body with creaks, snaps, pops, soreness, and stiffness. It easily trips me if I’m not looking, and hits me from behind in the knees. Quite frankly, Arthritis is one mean bastard.
Self-pedicures are now a thing of the past. Oh, how I long for the days of being able to save a few bucks by soaking my feet in a warm bath and then scrubbing them with all the pedi paraphernalia and creamy, perfumed lotions. Thankfully, there are lovely women trained to now do this for me. And it’s wonderful. It is wonderful to be pampered while taking a few minutes of “me” time to zone out to the world. But it does come at a cost.
Shoes that tie? No, thank you. Those have been replaced with mules and clogs and sandals and slip-ons. Bras that fasten in the back? Slowly being replaced by front loaders. Washing my back? Long handled brushes have been made for that, apparently by someone else who can no longer reach places where they once did.
When my mom broke her hip, the hospital equipped her with a long handled device to help her pick up things and to assist with pulling on her socks. I’m about ready to purchase one of those, sans broken hip, but with a stiff hip.
So what do you do when you can’t touch your toes anymore? You adjust. You find alternate ways to put on your shoes and bra. You pay someone to polish and pamper your feet, or beg the help of a friend. You start doing gentle stretching exercises to help with the stiffness. And you keep on keeping on because that’s what you do. You laugh in old Arthur’s face, and you giggle when you start wobbling without a cane. The alternative is not nearly as much fun.
May God Bless all of you, from your head to your toes.
Tonight, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, occasionally clicking on a headline I wanted to read, when I came across a particularly disturbing headline. It was at the bottom of the article I had just read and a few other articles were “recommended.” There was a picture of a young girl and right beside it the same girl as an obese adult woman. The headline stated that she was now a “hideous creature.” Wow. Instantly, I felt a stabbing pressure against my heart. That could have been me in those pictures. It could have been a number of women I know, none of whom I would ever begin to describe as a hideous creature. They are caring, loving, successful women who are wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters.
My own struggles with obesity and self-esteem all came surging to the surface for a brief moment. All the tears, rude remarks, disgusted stares, and feelings of unworthiness again fought for my attention. The men I’ve heard say to me, ” You’d be a nice looking woman if you would just lose weight” echoed in my mind. The refusal of my ex-husband to be seen in public with him because I had become an embarrassment to him ripped through my heart. Watching in my mind a replay of a man at a dollar store hold the door open for the slender blonde woman in front of me, then let it slam in my face, and it was a man from my own church. Remembering an awkward conversation with a gentleman from my church coming into my office to tell me I was fat and needed to lose weight. And then I became angry.
In a society that strives to include all races, nationalities, religious beliefs, and sexual orientations as being equal and worthy, how is it that it is still acceptable to be rude and hurtful to fat people? How is it that it is OK to make a person’s weight the subject of jokes and insults? How is it that a person’s worthiness can be based on the number on a scale? How is it that there can still be headlines describing a woman as a “hideous creature?” Why would any woman be described that way?
So many times I have asked myself these questions with no acceptable answer. These things happen because the word respect has no meaning to a large majority of our society. Overweight people are easy targets because we are so humiliated we rarely strike back. We just want the insults and embarrassing moments to be over. People laugh at all the “fat” jokes, encouraging comedian’s to tell more. Well folks, it’s not funny, and it hurts.
No matter what a person’s size, weight, or shape, they are worthy of respect and love. Our hearts are not immune to painful words. All women are beautiful and deserving of kindness. We are all God’s children in an imperfect world that keeps trying to mold us into a perfect, unobtainable image. We all have love within us just waiting to be accepted by someone else.
Ladies, if any of you ever doubt your worth, let it be only a fleeting moment. Remember that your beauty and strength runs much deeper than a headline. Your dignity cannot be destroyed by the insensitivity of the ignorant and immature. Get angry, get excited, get motivated to stand up for yourself! You are a child of God, and you are worthy.
“Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives.” Wait, I stole that line from a soap opera. But ain’t it the truth? As a child, I was always told that time moved much more quickly as an adult. I had no reason to believe that; I saw no end in sight to Fifth Grade.
The days of our lives turn into the decades of our lives before my crepey eyes blink twice. The sands of time pile up from a play box to barefoot on the beach. Unfortunately, it took a few dump loads of sand before I realized this really wasn’t a dress rehearsal and the time I need to enjoy is today.
It’s been a trip watching and feeling the changes to my body as it has gone through each decade to its current latter side of 50. It has grown wider, heavier, curvier, and given into gravity. It’s been abused, and sometimes pampered. Scars have been carved deep both inside and out. Arthritis has settled in to stay, my gall bladder was sucked out and discarded with the trash, and gravy can no longer be tolerated on a daily basis. I do miss gravy.
I’ve gone through a few identity crisis over the years. One was about six years ago when my thinning hair became so thin I felt everyone was staring at my glaring scalp. So I began wearing wigs, and they saved me for several years. They saved me from self-esteem issues and gave me some peace of mind for a while. They served their purpose and gave me a little confidence in living.
About three months ago, I was sitting on the deck on a particularly warm summer night, and I began thinking how lovely it would be to not have to wear wigs. How nice it would be to experience the freedom of driving with the windows down and not worrying about my hair flying off.
I began asking myself questions, like was I trying to capture the attention of the male species with a gorgeous, Raquel Welch inspired thick mane of hair? Did I care what others now thought of me when looking at my hair? Was I trying to impress anyone? Did my self-esteem lay solely on Eva Gabor? My answer to all those questions was, “No.”
So I began thinking that maybe, just maybe, someone could take a pair of magic scissors and do something with the impossible. You see, only a couple weeks before, I had taken an old pair of dull, rusty scissors and chopped away at my hair with a vengeance. I figured it didn’t matter because no one would ever see it under the wigs. I couldn’t let just anyone see what I had done to my hair. It had to be someone I trusted and knew would care whether my bald spots were showing, and I knew exactly who to call, my cousin-in-law, Kris, hair stylist extraordinaire. I made the appointment.
With quiet observation, Kris looked at my hair, gave it a wash, and then set to work. It had been several years since anyone had touched my hair and the clipping of the scissors made me a little nervous inside, but I trusted her, and I knew the important thing was that I regained my freedom. It was no longer about how I looked, it was about how I felt. Kris made it easy. No judgement, no shocked looks, no screams of terror. She had a plan.
With what little she had to work with, I felt Kris had performed a miracle. I walked out of the salon armed with new product and a sense of freedom I had not had before. Traveling down the highway with the windows down and the warm air blowing against my face and through my hair, I smiled at the absolute joy of it.
Since that day, there have been a couple awkward moments when someone would see me and express a terrified or shocked look. I grew to embrace those looks as much as I have embraced my crown of grey. I am one step closer to being the me God created, and enjoying his creation.
With this new found freedom to be myself, I have discovered that freedom goes wonderfully with a lovely lipstick, in any color that makes me happy at the moment. It’s my life, I shall use all the colors in the box to bring joy to it.
What moment changed your life?
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There’s that moment, when you’re driving and know you’re within ten minutes of your house and sure you can wait to pee until you get there, so much better than using a public restroom….and then you sneeze.
There’s that other moment, when you walk into the kitchen to get something out of the refrigerator, and you stand with the refrigerator door open long enough to get goose bumps under your nightie trying to figure out what you wanted. You don’t really see anything in there you need. You’re not really hungry. Nothing looks appetizing. So you shut the door and go back into the living room to finish watching The Voice, and you reach for your beverage…..and there’s nothing there. Must have been a Diet Coke that you needed out of that refrigerator. Too tired to go back and get it now. Waiting on the next commercial break seems prudent. Same for going to the bathroom. And then you sneeze.
You’re eating alone when all of a sudden something doesn’t go down quite right and the coughing spasms of choking come on strong and urgent, and you cough and cough so hard you think your eyes are going to pop out of your head….and then you sneeze.
Ladies, can we be frank for a moment? This getting older thing has its advantages. AARP has a few benefits and discounts that I don’t mind admitting my age to take advantage of. For the most part, I’m way beyond caring what anyone thinks about me anymore. They can talk about me, judge me, and turn their snooty little noses up in the air as they walk by and I will just shake my head. I’m more accepting of my short comings, usually, and most of the time I’m pretty accepting of the quirky behaviors of others, unless it goes beyond quirky into downright mean, sick, and deranged. There’s no excuse for that. I no longer care who has the best looking hair, wears the prettiest clothes, or check labels to see what designer they have caressing their buttocks. The petty peer pressure of my youth is a distant memory. Should someone decide they would like to be my friend, yet seem to derive pleasure from insulting and ridiculing me, they will not be my friend. At my age, I’m OK with dumping people who aren’t really my friends. Yes, it’s one of the perks of being in my 50’s. I can ignore the best snooty people I know.
But then there are those other things that are not quite so pleasant. Like peeing my pants when I sneeze. That’s just not kosher. Like forgetting where I put my grocery list while I’m walking around the house with it in my hand. Like not remembering if I took my medication or not. Like not being able to walk without intense pain that brings tears to my eyes and knees that snap, crackle, and pop so loud I’m certain everyone around me is wondering what that noise is. I have to gauge the height of the couch seat at someone’s home to guess whether I will be able to get back up off it. Long drives are mostly a thing of the past because of the pain and stiffness of arthritis and fibromyalgia. To be honest, these things just plain suck.
I’ve decided it’s just a play off to get older. I have to give up certain things, like my mobility and memory, in order to enjoy the benefits, like being more comfortable with my likes and dislikes. Is it worth it? I’m not sure. I suppose the alternative would be that I’m dead and gone and wouldn’t have to worry about any of it, which wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing, but I don’t think God is quite ready for me, yet. I’ve still got some unfinished business here on earth, like trying to give myself a pedicure this weekend. I’m getting nervous just thinking about it. Will I be able to do it? Can I bend that far and that long? I’m pretty sure I can at least soak my feet in some delightfully scented foot bath. That’s a start.
Adjustments will need to be made, like longer handled nail files and foot scrubbers. Long handled scrubbers to wash my back. A bench in the shower. And that’s kind of how it is. Each year, I have to make more and more adjustments to get me through to the next year. I’m not overly anxious to see what kind of adjustments I will be making the next ten years. But if the good Lord doesn’t call me home first, I’ll make the adjustments. That’s just how the old life bounces. But I still think it kind of sucks. Now, if I can just figure out how to remember where that “safe place” is I keep losing things in.
How are you handling aging? With eagerness and a sense of fun? Or with a bit of dread?
Do you realize in just over two weeks will be Mother’s Day? I didn’t. Not until I was looking at my calendar for something else did I realize how close we were to that very special day to honor all Mothers. Don’t have any children? Not to worry, it’s YOUR day, too!
So here’s my take on celebrating Mother’s Day, being recognized even if you have not given birth to any children. YOU had a mom. At some point in your life, someone gave you life, and that was your mother. If you are a female, chances are you have some sort of mothering instinct inside you, whether it’s for stuffed animals, live pets, or Cabbage Patch Dolls. I feel young ladies of all ages should be recognized on Mother’s Day because there’s a good chance one day they will be a mother, and they also have mothers. There are women who would have loved being a mom and raising a family, but God had other plans for them and it just didn’t happen, for whatever reason. Maybe you would like to celebrate the life of a woman who has been a mother-figure to you, even though she is not of blood relation. Celebrate ALL women! So for what it’s worth, I believe all ladies of all ages should consider Mother’s Day a day they can celebrate.
Have you been agonizing over what to get that special “Mom” for Mother’s Day? Let me help you a little bit over the next few days. My first choice for a gift is Estee Lauder products. Pictured above is what I have chosen to gift myself in honor of Mother’s Day. Estee Lauder has a little something for everyone, from skin care and facial cleansing, to mascara and lipstick, and everything in between. Right now, Elder-Beerman department store was offering a free gift with $35 purchase of Estee Lauder product. The free gift was valued at approximately $130. Spend $65 on Estee Lauder products and receive that free gift PLUS two additional skin care deluxe samples. So for the purchase of $65 worth of product, you get roughly an additional $150 worth of product. That’s my kind of shopping!
The free gift consisted of a beautiful makeup bag, Take it Away makeup remover, Advanced Night Repair, two lipsticks, an eyeshadow quad, and Sumptuous Mascara. You can take your pick of Subtle Colors or Bold Colors. I chose the Bold Colors. And I am loving the lipstick shades it came with, Pinkberry and Hot Kiss! The Pinkberry is a lovely pinky nude shade that should compliment most women’s complexion. The Hot Kiss is a much deeper, bolder pink that would be perfect at night, or anytime you might want a bolder lip color. The additional deluxe samples I received were the Resilience Lift Firming/Sculpting Face and Neck Crème with SPF 15 and the Resilience Lift Eye Crème. Both are nice, silky feeling moisturizers.
Now, what to spend $35 on to get the free gift? I chose the golden alligator compact filled with Lucidity Translucent Pressed Powder for $39.50. It is very small, maybe 2″ across, and it comes with a felt bag to keep it in so it won’t get scratched up in your handbag. It looks very elegant. To me, it’s the perfect size to carry with me so it’s not bulky or heavy. It will easily slip into a small evening purse or wristlet. I’ve wanted one of these for a very long time. There just always seemed to be something more important for me to purchase before, like foundation. But the timing was right for it this time.
Another suggestion would be the Estee Lauder Five Star Favorites gift set for $35 (pictured above in the red box on the right). It includes a Double Wear All-Day Glow BB Moisture Makeup with SPF 30 in color intensity 1.0, Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick in Dynamic, Sumptuous Infinite Daring Length + Volume mascara in Black, Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II for all skin types, and a small, .14oz., bottle of Modern Muse Eau de Parfume spray (LOVE that scent!)
As you may have guessed, or already knew, I love Estee Lauder products. They are luxurious and high quality. They make me feel like a lady who is being pampered for no reason…and that’s OK! They also have body lotions and shower lotions in some of their most popular scents. And when you get some free gifts with your purchase, it seems economical, too.
We all have our own ideas of beauty. What catches your eye may slip right by mine. How do I define beauty? I’m not exactly sure. I know it when I see it, though.
Planners and notebooks in both bright colors and basic black catch my eyes. Throw in a pretty, comfortable writing instrument and I am in my element, floating high on a writer’s cloud. It’s just paper, you might be thinking. Oh no! It’s not just paper! It is the recipient of my thoughts and dreams. It is the listening ear of my troubles and sorrows. It rejoices with me when I share joys of the days or conversations with friends. It is my traveling companion and my confidante on sleepless nights. These notebooks have a heartbeat of their own, in my eyes.
No, I cannot really define my idea of beauty, but I can tell you my friends are beautiful. All of them. Each one in their own special and unique way. Take my friend, Piccadilly the Clown. Isn’t she absolutely gorgeous! But be assured there is much more than what catches the eyes. Her beauty runs deep, shares laughter, instigates smiles, and warms hearts with her love of people and God. She is generous. She shares of herself and expects nothing in return and that, my friends, is beautiful.
Makeup is beautiful. Oh my gosh, the colors are all over the place! Put a pretty lipstick and blush in a bright, shiny makeup bag and I’m ready to step out the door into the light. Some black mascara on the eyelashes frames the soulful eyes of a woman, and can brighten the sad eyes that cried the night before. Strategically placed color on a woman’s face can change her mood from “all hope is gone” to “I can face anything!” A little lipstick on these pale lips can mean the difference from someone telling me I look sick all day, to telling me I look like I feel better. Oh yes, makeup is beautiful.
Have you ever sat down to eat feeling ravenous, looked at your food, and then all of a sudden lost your appetite? I love salads, but if they look a mess with everything just thrown in with no thought, I don’t love them so much. But I LOVE a pretty salad! I love pretty food! With each topping in its own special place on top of that lettuce, it’s a beautiful thing. The mixture of colors, textures, and tastes can make the difference between just eating and really enjoying my food. And let’s face it, we have to eat. We might as well eat for the joy and beauty of it!
Certain colors are sure to catch my eyes. Pinks and purples will snatch their attention every time. I love bright colors in the Spring and Summer. They make me feel happy and full of hope. The days go smoother when there is a joyful color in them. And if that joyful color happens to be on my handbag, I am one joyful woman. A handbag is useful, yes. It can be a workhorse, an accessory, a compliment to a pair of shoes. But add a splash of color to it and it becomes a work of art. Magenta. I waited weeks for this color handbag to arrive. It’s so beautiful I’m almost afraid to pack it with me fearing that something might happen to it, that it will become covered in grease or tomato sauce or stolen by an art thief. But as I said, almost. It will not be nearly as beautiful sitting on a shelf in my closet, or housed in a dust bag. To really enjoy it, it needs to be close by, in my hands where I can touch it, and let it carry that beautiful purple cosmetic bag full of pretty makeup. It all goes together. Beauty builds upon beauty. It all has its’ place.
Of all the beauty in all the world, there’s nothing more beautiful to me than my fur family. Maggie is beauty in my eyes. She is warm, wiggly, sassy, and smart. She lives and breathes beauty around me. She is full of love and spunk and occasional treats. Her ears have been torn and have ragged edges, but that just adds to her character and charm. She snorts and snores and reminds me in the night that I am not alone. She adopted me and saved my life. There is nothing more beautiful in my eyes.
What is beauty in your eyes? Take time today to look around you. There is beauty in the everyday. There is beauty in our chores and in our play times. God has created beauty all around us, if we will only take a few moments to see it.
It was late summer 1977. I was 18, blemish covered, red faced, and makeup naive. It was time to try to improve my complexion. It was time to try makeup.
I had a job then. Bringing in my own money, and being of adult age, I wanted to try and pretty myself up a bit. My previous clear complexion had decided to go stark raving mad with acne. Pastules and pustules and painful cystic type adult acne. I didn’t know it then, but that was only the beginning of a lifelong battle with adult acne. I wanted it cleared up, and I wanted it covered up. It was so bad I didn’t want to go out in public.
I made my first appointment with a dermatologist at age 18. Diagnosed with adult acne and rosacea, I left with a prescription for an antibiotic and cream for my face. I was instructed to wash my face with my hands and a very mild soap in the evening, like Dove, and to use only water of a morning. Apply the MetroGel both morning and evening. And yes, I was allowed to wear makeup, but it had to be water based.
I headed to the drugstore to get some Cover Girl makeup. I was still a teenager who hadn’t used makeup before. I thought everyone used Cover Girl. Who knew there would be so many shades to choose from? And how was I supposed to pick one if I couldn’t try it on? I left empty handed and more than a little disappointed.
After telling my mother-in-law my woeful makeup tale, she suggested I go to one of the nicer department stores to the Estée Lauder counter and let them help me find a shade, so I did. Back then, there weren’t as many makeup brands on the market, but Estée Lauder was, and still is, one of the best. It’s a brand I’m still loyal to.
The Estée representative was very nice, had her own makeup applied flawlessly, and was very helpful. I had the works done. Starting with the cleanser, toner, and moisturizer, she then picked out a water based foundation and found my shade. She dotted and blended concealer over all my red spots and finished with a very light dusting of powder. A light pink cream blush was next, then on to my eyes with neutral eyeshadow and mascara. I stopped her at the brows. I thought that was only for old ladies. Then a pinkish nude lipstick finished up.
Looking in the mirror, I wasn’t sure what I thought at first. Was that me? Was it too much? I felt like a little girl playing with a forbidden toy. And yet, I felt pretty. I still knew my acne was there, but the makeup helped so much in smoothing out my complexion. Maybe this would work after all. Maybe I could do this.
The Estée rep was good at her job and I was desperate to feel pretty, so I left her that day with a lovely little shopping bag filled with cleanser, toner, moisturizer, foundation, blush, and lipstick. I decided to wait a while on the eye makeup.
A few months later was Christmas. My mother-in-law gifted me with the beautiful Estée Lauder Christmas makeup set with more eyeshadows and blushes than I knew what to do with. And I made every application mistake I possibly could. Too dark, too bright, too blue. But slowly, I learned through trial and error what I liked best. I was feeling more like a lady.
This was a time before foundation primer, eyelid primer, bronzers, highlighters, and numerous other items invented for women to spend more money on. When I get on YouTube and search for all the makeup gurus on what and how to apply makeup, I am just amazed at how much time and product they get into. And I wonder why we need three different kinds of concealers, three cheek products, and five shades of eyeshadow. Really? And their makeup “collections” of not only drawers upon drawers of makeup, but a room of makeup. Thirty years ago I never would have dreamed that to be possible.
As I’ve aged, my makeup and skincare needs have changed. Having rosacea, I will probably always have flare ups of pimples and redness from time to time. I feel that’s very unfair at my age of 56, but my dermatologist says that’s life and hormones for ya. I kind of hate that he’s not only right, but looks like he’s about 18.
Experimenting with makeup is still fun for me, and sometimes I do go all out by applying foundation primer and eyeshadow primer. No matter how hard I try to achieve that smokey eye look, it always comes off looking like I belong in the Adam’s Family photo album. So I mostly stick with lighter neutral shadows, usually only two at a time. One eyeliner. One mascara. And a brow powder, because my eyebrows have become more sparse than they once were. A little blush and always lipstick. Lipstick does wonders for my pale face.
I’ve learned that makeup is to enhance my features, not to dominate them. It should always be fun, and I should always still look like me, only better.
It’s really rather amazing to me all the different brands and products on the market today compared to thirty years ago. But it tells a story about how women are always searching for products to make them beautiful, and will pay good money to get them.
How has your makeup evolved over the years? More? Less? What was your first makeup brand, and are you brand loyal?
Fashion and style are not just for the skinny and young. Plus size women of all ages like to look fashionable, too. And they can now, with more options and with more clothing lines recognizing that beauty comes in all sizes, and so do the women who purchase clothes.
One of my favorite shops for larger sized clothing is Catherine’s and catherines.com. They have surely come a long way over the years. They now offer clothing that is on point fashion, fits well, comfortable, and for all ages of women. The picture above is their Dashing Blouse, $69-$74, depending on the size. Most pieces run in size from 0X, a size 14, up to 5X, a size 34/36.
They carry a couple collections called Perfect Price and Suprema. These are usually comfortable, casual items in cotton and cotton blends at a budget worthy price. The Perfect Price tops come in beautiful colors and patterns. The only con with these is that they are not always included in the frequent sales that Catherine’s has because of their already lower prices.
Now, let’s talk for a moment about purchasing lovely clothes on a budget. I love clothes and being able to wear nice clothing. I feel like Catherine’s is a nice quality, but I cannot afford to pay full price for their clothing. They help with that by having frequent sales. It seems that nearly every week they have some sort of sale going on. I wait for the really good ones where I can get clothing 50% off, plus my 10% off with the store’s Perks Plus discount. That’s 60% off! They also offer what they call Catherine’s Cash at certain times that you can use for shopping at future dates. I suspect between now and Christmas they will have some fantastic sales promotions.
Catherine’s carries a diverse line of styles that should appeal to most all ages and styles of women. My favorite style the past few years is long over lean, as in long tunics over leggings or slim leg slacks. Because of some health issues I have with my legs, this is a very comfortable option for me, and when a black legging is paired with a black ankle boot, you can’t go wrong. And pretty much any color tunic goes with the black leggings. This style is easy and takes me wherever I want to go, whether it’s work, play, or somewhere in between. It just works for me.
Once you try on some of their clothes in the store, you will get a sense of what styles you like and look best on you. Don’t be afraid to try on large prints and bright colors. You will be surprised how great your body will look in them. I’ve also ordered their clothing from catherines.com in my usual sizes and everything has always fit.
This is their Softness Sweater I recently purchased in red. Do keep in mind when you’re shopping online that their models are usually wearing their smallest sizes. This sweater looks much different on me, yet still attractive and comfortable.
Ladies, no matter what your size, have fun with your clothing. Pair a simple sweater with a gorgeously colored scarf. Make a statement with a ruana thrown over your shoulders. Even a pair of soft, supple, black leather gloves from Catherine’s will put the finishing touch to your outfit. And don’t forget to accessorize! Make your earrings tell something about your personality. Carry a handbag that’s going to pull everything together, or make a dramatic pop of color with neutral clothing.
Lastly, but certainly not least, don’t forget that grooming can make or break any outfit. Give yourself a manicure and pedicure, tweeze or wax your eyebrows, shave any pesky facial hair that loves to start sprouting around menopause, and just enough makeup to enhance those beautiful features. A little lipstick and mascara can really brighten your complexion and add a little classiness in an easy and simple way. Or go for a total makeup look! Just don’t overdo. You don’t want your makeup colors to compete with your clothing for attention.
No matter what your size, you are beautiful and worthy of dressing to enhance your beauty.
What is your favorite plus-size fashion look?
Please share with your plus-size fashionista friends!