I still remember it — two years ago — when Sheila Gregoire launched her Fight the Frump! week. She kicked it off with a post I much admired, in which she showed before and after poses of herself getting ready for the day. With a little effort, she “unfrumped” — thus looking and feeling better about herself.
Even then, I remember thinking that someday, when I revealed myself, I’d present my own version of before-after photos. Why? Because not only do such photos show what a little effort can do, I’ve learned how quickly and easily you can pay a little attention to your appearance and feel more beautiful.
But I don’t have time!!! you say.
And believe me, I remember the days of lugging the infant bouncy seat into the bathroom and my ever-so-colicky baby crying while I tried to get a rushed shower. Then when you were sure baby was going to spit-up on it anyway, why bother wearing something nice? And didn’t frump-wear make more sense if you were just doing laundry and cleaning toilets that day? And the irony is that as I sit here writing this, I’m in yoga pants and a sweatshirt, though I promise they are properly fitted, I did my hair and put on make-up today, and after all, I took a nap this afternoon so I needed something I could snooze in.
You don’t have to look ah-mazing every day and I’m not opposed to comfort wear, but you won’t feel good about yourself if you don’t put your best foot forward more days than not. Let me show you want I mean.
This is me at the beginning of a day — in my PJ’s. Truth be told, I stay in my jammies and work for a while as everyone else in the family gets out the door before I even begin my morning routine.
Even if I looked okay, during the day, pajamas are what preschoolers, hospital patients, and unemployed slackers channel-surfing for conspiracy theories wear. Since I want to feel good about myself, I don’t stay this way for long.
Through the magic of motherhood, I’ve learned how to shower in record time, but for this experiment I went at a steady, purposeful pace. And 8 1/2 MINUTES LATER, I was showered and dressed:
If it was summer, I could have gone faster. But it was cold (okay, cold for Texas — like 40-50° F), so I put on a turtleneck and overshirt. Both of these are cotton, and I’m just wearing jeans. Although I make sure to buy clothes that are both comfortable and flattering.
(And yeah, if you don’t have a good pair of cowboy boots, you are missing out. Easy on, easy off; comfortable; and stylin’. And when my hubby gets home, we can even do a little two-steppin’ across the kitchen floor if the mood so moves us. )
But my hair’s still wet and my face still . . . well, there’s no closeup, but trust me . . . plain and blah. So 4 1/2 MINUTES LATER, I had my makeup on.
YES, you can put on makeup in less than five minutes. I remember when I first started wearing cosmetics, it seemed like I’d need a half-hour to get it all just so. But I now have my repertoire down pat, and I know what I want to apply if I only have two minutes, if I have five minutes, if I have ten minutes, etc. Sure, with more time, I can do better. But I’m simply looking to enhance my features, not pose for Vogue magazine.
Also, one of the best things I’ve done is visit a makeup counter and get tips from a few pros. Once I had a better idea how to apply the cosmetics, it was easier to do. And I’ve learned what to focus on and what’s no big deal for my particular face. (I love you, eyeliner!)
What’s next? Well, my hair is still damp. So 2 1/2 MINUTES LATER:
I admit my hair is easier to wrangle than some others’. But a couple of things to remember: (1) My hair is very fine and I live in a super-humid climate, so I wash my hair almost every day — which adds to my shower time. I think that’s sort of true with everyone; you may have it easier in one area of getting ready, and harder in another. (2) I’ve learned to stop trying to do things my hair won’t do. That is, once I realized my hair is straight and will always be straight and doesn’t like to do anything much but straight, I stopped wasting time perming and curling and whatever else every day. I learned to style the hair I have.
Also, get good hair products. Find out what the shape and texture of your hair requires. For me, it’s a bang-up can of hair spray. Give me a brush, a hair dryer, and hair spray and just over two minutes later, I’m good to go.
What’s left? Accessorize! For me and this outfit, it’s pretty simple — a necklace and earrings. I also spritzed myself with body mist spray (extremely light perfume) from Bath Junkie. So 30 SECONDS LATER:
By the way, those are not actually earrings. I can no longer wear earrings, and instead wear dangling ear cuffs I buy from Etsy. (If anyone wants vendor information, I can answer in the comments section.)
TOTAL TIME TO GET READY: 16 MINUTES.
Do I look ready to walk a runway? Of course not. If my husband called and invited me to spontaneously join him for lunch, could I go? Absolutely.
Moreover, I feel good about myself because I took a few extra steps by:
- Making sure to shower and get dressed every day.
- Wearing clothes that fit and flatter my body.
- Styling my hair and putting on cosmetics.
- Adding a few extra touches to make me feel feminine and special.
- Smiling in the mirror!
And in case anyone’s wondering what that piece of paper is at the top left corner of my full-length mirror, it’s a scripture. Your mirror is a wonderful place to put a scripture to remind you of whatever you need to work on in your life. If you’re struggling to feel beautiful, click on the following image, print it out, and slap it on your mirror!
Then go get ready, and as Sheila says, “fight the frump”!
Now let me know your secrets to “fighting the frump” and taking a few steps to feel better about yourself and ready to greet your husband when you come together again.