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.
“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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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.
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!
Being an introvert has been a lifelong challenge. As a child, I was so shy I wouldn’t speak to strangers. As an adult, sometimes I’m the same way, though not so much now. Some extroverts have a difficult time understanding me. And that’s ok. But if you’d like to get a little understanding of an introvert’s life, read on.
In the role of Office Manager at my church, I encounter people all the time. Friends, acquaintances, and strangers are all in my office from time to time. I’m perfectly fine with one on one, or maybe as many as five people at a time. If there are more people than that Who are strangers to me, I start becoming uncomfortable, at a loss for words, I get quiet.
In small group situations, I’m ok if I know everyone pretty well, but if I’m in a room with twenty or more, and many I don’t know, not only am I uncomfortable, I get nervous. Like in church on Sunday morning, I need to sit at the end of a pew close to an exit. I need to know I have a way out. Put me in the middle of a pew with people on both sides of me and I feel trapped. It’s uncomfortable, and a little scary.
I avoid functions where there’s going to be larger groups of people. It’s not that I don’t like people, I just find the situation difficult. The entire time I’m wishing I was home reading a book. Yes, I can be there and talk to people one on one, but I don’t want to be. There are too many sounds, voices, that make me want to retreat to my own quiet space.
I’ve had people tell me I’m crazy, that I’m unsociable, and that I don’t like people. That’s not it. I’m an introvert who likes peaceful surroundings and situations. I love spending time with my pets, reading books, knitting scarves, and watching movies. I just do. That’s how I am.
It’s frustrating for me to have folks try to change me into a more outgoing person. I’ve been pushed, pulled, coaxed, and tricked into going to different functions because someone else thinks it would be good for me to get out and about, to party and have a good time. But that’s not who I am.
In my mind, I get plenty of social interaction at work and with other encounters throughout the day. Then I’m done. It’s such a nice feeling to get home to my pets, put my PJ’s on, and curl up with a good book. Sometimes I’m writing instead of reading. That works for me, too.
Being an introvert does not mean I hate people. It just means I like being with them in smaller doses than others might. In most cases, an introvert just wants to be an introvert. Don’t try to change me, just let me live life my own way.
Thank you for letting me share a bit of my life with you.
Are you an introvert or extrovert? Do you want to change who you are?
In my late 20’s, I began losing my hair. After seeing multiple dermatologists, they all determined it was hereditary female hair loss. So, I had an answer as to why I was losing my hair, and there wasn’t anything I could do about it.Years went by and slowly, my hair became thinner and thinner, to the point I was embarrassed to go out in public. I considered hair transplants, minoxidil, and various other concoctions that claimed to regrow my hair, make me look younger, and have handsome men swooning all over me. On my 50th birthday, I wore my first wig.
I remember walking into a restaurant that day feeling very self conscious. Too embarrassed to go to a local shop that sold wigs, I had ordered one from an Internet website. I wasn’t even sure I had it on right, and thought everyone was staring at me. On the way home, I cried.
A man can lose his hair, shave it off, and still look fantastic. A bald woman…not so much. Add to that being a larger size woman, and bald just wasn’t going to be the image I was going for. I wanted hair.
I ordered a couple more wigs in different styles and colors. They were more comfortable and looked better on me. OK, maybe I could do this. Maybe I could wear hair after all.
A dozen wigs later from the Internet, I finally worked up the nerve to visit a wig shop. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be. There was a private area with mirrors, brushes, and pics where I could try on the wigs. The lady helping me was very kind and compassionate, which resulted in a sales of two wigs for me.
It’s been six years now and I’ve probably purchased about twenty wigs in various colors and styles. Some I don’t wear because they are not as comfortable or I just got tired of them. A couple have fallen apart. I’ve learned what brands I prefer. Eva Gabor and Raquel Welch have been my two favorite brands so far.
I’m more aware of what styles and nape lengths suit me better. It’s been trial and error for the most part. Most of my wigs are comfortable and can be worn all day with no problem. But one of first things I do when I get home is take off my hair.
For myself, it was VERY traumatic to lose my hair. It contributed to depression and low self-esteem. Many times I have opted to stay at home rather than go to social functions because I didn’t want people to see my pink scalp glowing beneath my sparse hair. I’ve gotten mad, I’ve cried, and I’ve asked God why I had to lose my hair.
While having my natural hair would be a certain blessing, there are a few advantages to wearing wigs. I can have a different hair style every day, if I want. It’s fun to be able to go from brunette to blonde in just a few seconds. There’s no lengthy style time of a morning; they’re quick to get me out the door. I shave my head now, so there’s also no lengthy hair washing and conditioning. I towel off my head and I’m ready for my wig.
I’ve adjusted somewhat to my hair loss. I can talk about it now. I no longer care if people know I wear wigs. When someone compliments me on my hair, I just say thank you and leave it at that. But probably the nicest compliment is when I tell someone I’m wearing a wig and they look shocked because they couldn’t tell. That is definitely a feel good moment.
This has been one of those days. Yes, one of THOSE days. It’s the kind that my momma never told me about, mainly because she didn’t know about this kind of day. It’s one of those “No Makeup” days, the kind when I’m running short on time and I figure the most important thing is to get to work, even if I don’t have my makeup on. And I did.
I’ve had these kind of days before, so I came up with a plan to rescue myself from the horror of being seen with a naked face; the Emergency Makeup Bag. This bag holds an entire face in it. Everything I need to cover up and pretty up my face, and yet it’s still pretty basic. It contains foundation, face primer, eye primer, eyebrow powder, eyebrow brush, eyeshadow, blush, eyeliner, mascara, lipstick, and a sample packet of facial moisturizer. I don’t leave home without it.
In addition to my emergency bag, I have some items in my desk drawer; just in case. I have a tiny pouch in my bag with a lipstick and tweezers in it. And this doesn’t include all the makeup I have at home for when I’m not in a hurry and can put it on before leaving the house. Sometimes, the makeup application takes place in the car while it’s warming up. I’m flexible like that.
I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup before I was 18. By that time, I didn’t know what to buy or how to put it on. I went to a Merle Norman shop and had a gentleman give me a makeover. The only thing I loved was the lipstick. I would look at the makeup in drugstores and department stores and just window shop. It was like pretty candy I was afraid to touch because it wouldn’t be good for me. Makeup baffled me.
I was probably in my early 20’s when my mother-in-law gave me a Christmas gift of an Estee Lauder makeup set. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen! All those colors of eyeshadow were like an artist’s paint palette. I just knew they would make me beautiful! As soon as the stores opened after Christmas, I was at that Estee Lauder counter getting coached on how to put on my foundation and apply eyeshadow. Of course, the makeup was guaranteed to apply better if I purchased all the skin products, too. I spent most of a pay check at that makeup counter, but I couldn’t have turned it down even if I had wanted to. I was hooked. I’ve never been without makeup since. It doesn’t all come from Estee Lauder, though. My mascara comes from the drugstore by using coupons and sales. Revlon makes a great lipstick. The special Christmas kit Estee Lauder puts out lasts me all year with blush and eyeshadow and is a very good value. I will buy my foundation when they offer a free gift with purchase. I do try to makeup shop responsibly.
Some people carry around emergency telephone lists, emergency first aid kits, or emergency chocolate. I don’t even own a Bandaid. But if you ever need a blush or mascara fix, I’ve got you covered.
With all the mail the U.S. Postal Service delivers, all the documents, papers, cards, catalogs, periodicals, and junk, there is one piece of mail I never mind receiving, and that’s a card.
A card of greeting, a Birthday card, Valentine card, or just a generic note card with a few hastily scrawled words on it. It can be of any size or shape. Some are small, some are large, some are very fancy with many bright colors and charming words, and others are relatively plain and simple, a bit on the frugal side of decoration. But what they all have in common is the ability to bring joy to the receiver.
Several years ago, I was in the hospital for a few weeks. It got really depressing after only a few days of being sick with no immediate hopes of going home. But then it started; the arrival of the cards. Each day, a nurse or aide would bring me a card, or two, that had arrived in the hospital mail with my name on it. It was the highlight of my day! Reading the words someone had chosen to send me to show they were thinking of me, and that they cared, really made me feel special for a moment. I would handle them gently, read them slowly from front to back, and even make note of who the publisher was if I really liked the card. I especially loved when someone took the time to write a few words themselves before they signed it. That personal touch always had the power to make me smile.
Our church will often send cards to wish someone a quick get well, or “I’m thinking of you”, or “I said a prayer for you today.” It doesn’t take long to send a card, but the lasting effects of the card can change someone’s day in the blink of an eye. For maybe only a few moments, they will forget about their troubles and relish in the warm feeling of being remembered by someone.
Cards are not only beneficial to the sick, homebound, and elderly. Folks of all ages enjoy being the recipient of them! Even children love receiving a card in the mail!
There is also a bit of adventure in shopping for just the right card for someone. Just the right picture on the front, and the right words inside, to make it the perfect card just for that person. The thrill of the hunt!
Sending a card can be a wonderful way of offering encouragement, congratulations, hellos, goodbyes, and well wishes. The joy they give offers tremendous benefits not only to the recipient, but also to the sender. When you think of someone you haven’t seen in a while, send them a card. Let them know they were thought of, and I can guarantee you much of the happiness will be yours.