Style is a acidic mixture of adult self-expression with childhood inferiority complex.
Being stylish is a tricky task. Children are filling and curving all mom’s space and time. That’s why fighting irresistible aging, overwhelming fatigue, mood swifts and unconscious desires to balance these swifts with protein an carbons becomes c h a l l e n g i n g. Yet, a mom still wants to be on the stylish side of life
even when stylish blends with foolish.
The stylish realm encompasses a lot of features, but this post is only about hands
shoulders knees and toes and face (namely manicure and makeup). Clothes, shoes and bags will appear in other posts sooner or later.
Just a short stylish observation
Before talking about style… For the last several months I’ve been spending a considerable amount of time in the baby swimming pool changing room. It has given me an unforgettable chance to enjoy the full spectrum of bodies and tattoos. Why so many moms choose to decorate themselves in such versatile ways is en enigma. How come some moms wear makeup while in the water with their baby, too, remains a mystery.
Staying aside from judging, this changing room has been quite a remarkable observation. Why did I mention it here? Well, it’s a bit disturbing and curious why cover gentle body areas with tattoos? Here is some history of tatoos – to remove all remnants of ignorance. Some details are shocking, even if to consider it refers back to centuries ago.
The stylish (rubbish) queen
What is style anyway? Harmonic self-expression or épatage? I’ve seen moms that color a clap of their hair into magenta or pink, light blue or purple (and it’s not even Halloween). There are moms wearing aggressive nail-shaped ear piercings, cute silly teenage hand-made bracelets (nothing’s wrong with that, just funny), offensive neon nail polish and so on. Some wear waterproof boots with mini skirts. Others put on luxury suede shoes while splashing in autumn puddles. There are moms swaying on 12-cm heels while their toddlers help them keep the balance holding their hands from each side.
Being far from a perfect looking mom myself (alas, no), these moms are rated somewhere between artistic and pathetic. One thing is clear: most moms crave to look cool and stylish even at the cost of broken ankles and pierced body parts.
A few stylish ideas
After watching all these moms in action, I asked myself again – where am I in this kingdom of weirdness? How to balance parenthood and stylish experiments? My growing children are following my looks carefully, putting notes into the operational memory cells of their brain. So I’d rather put thought in the way I appear.
Here are a few ideas for ultra busy moms who want to look stylish and attractive without looking like the pink panther.
Bright (but not nude) nail polish or nail polish with sparkles (indispensable, when there is no time to refresh it). These are must haves for any female homo sapiens. White, off-white of nude polishes require skills and extra time if you want your nails to look decent. Every smallest flaw is immediately seen. Therefore, in my opinion, the best choice for a busy mom is natural light colors or machine made gel nails.
For special occasions (a good mood is a special occasion) classic red is my favorite, but imperfections are easily seen here as well. Experimenting with 3D-art-nail, stickers, glitters, patterns is not the best choice for moms of young kids, as I see it. The more versatile the look of your hand is (color diversion, abundance of glittering attractions) the more vulnerable your manicure is and the less time it will last.
To protect manicure simply put on gloves when dealing with water and cleaning agents. However, this advice does not work for moms of very small kids who need to be separated from dirt on a regular basis (the kids, not the moms. Or both?)
A few more words about manicure
As mentioned earlier, another method to obtain stylish nails is using a nail gel machine. You buy the top and bottom coats, the desired gel colors, the machine, the gel remover liquid and – voila! 15 minutes of your time are worth a 2 week lasting manicure. Even if it’s a one-week manicure (let’s be realistic), it’s still worth it.
You can reach the same result for more money by going to beauty salons, but from personal experience (tried different salons, gel brands, polishing techniques etc.) I figured that the money is not worth it. The salon manicure does not last longer than home machine manicure (if you find a salon master that does it perfectly so that gel nails stay fresh for two weeks, please let me know in comments, I will be grateful).
Make up should be light and focus more on hiding the undesired details rather than highlighting face features. For example: dark circles, spots on face, signs of
wear tiredness, capillaries on the skin surface and so on. All these can be easily masked with toner, make-up and concealer (not necessarily in this order). If you think you have nothing to hide and your face is clean as your conscience then I would not use makeup at all.
The main disadvantage of make up usage is the cost and, the most valuable asset, – time. It takes time to apply the make-up in a professional way so the skin looks natural. There is no much to add, except that the more expensive brands are, usually, nurturing the skin and hence are less visible after a considerable amount of hours. In the humble opinion of the author of this post, make up should be used on exclusive events (where a mom wants to forget she is a mom) but not on a daily basis. However, I realize how wrong I might be in the eyes of the always-wanting-to-look-perfect moms.
Waggles eyebrows have never, but never flattered anyone. Bad-looking pieces of hair stuck in different directions, scarce eyebrows, messy eyebrows, badly shaped eyebrows – there are lots of variations. What I know for sure is, that neatly made eyebrows have the magic of turning a tired, exhausted face into a much more appealing one. The power of stylish eyebrows cannot be underestimated and that’s why every mom should learn the craft of making her eyebrows look the best way they can. I mean learn, and not trust beauty salons, because eyebrow correction sometimes needs to be done on a daily basis.
Here is an example, before and after – just look at the difference:
The personal stylish “secret”
And now I will get directly to my own personal “secret” of looking good.
I almost never use any of the camouflaging techniques to hide face imperfections. Not because I am a 16-year old porcelain doll (huh?) or a forever-young nymph. Here are two main reasons: first, even if you use expensive high-end brands that “moist” and “nurture” your skin – the treacherous micro-wrinkles will show up within X hours.
Second: the amount of money, time and energy invested in the process are just not worth it (for me personally, of course). Eventually, your life scenario will bring you to a point when you will have to show up without the mask and people (or even one most important person) will be surprised to see you “unmasked”. Who would want that to happen?
So the “secret” is: the easier I get used to my own unmasked look, the more comfortable and confident I feel about myself in any circumstance. By showing up with minimal cosmetic camouflage I send a message to others: “this is me”. There are no psychological pits to plunge into, there are no awkward situations (melted mascara, too much eye shadows, “eaten” lipstick and so on).
Being “permanently” stylish
Most moms will argue and agree, that mental comfort will not replace a good looking frontier. A good night’s sleep is only part of the solution, but it won’t make my eyelashes look black if I was born with light ones. And a good mood will not remove face spots and capillary. Well, here is some gray area about that. Permanent make-up, permanent eye-lash color, light simple lipstick. This is the every day style of an every day mom. Simple, easy, dispensable, not requiring too many hand-movements. Being stylish doesn’t necessarily means layers of concealer.
Style shines from the inside
Style can shine through reflecting your inner state. State of calmness and security or state of hesitation and vacillation. Benign manners and confident look or a sense of hidden fear and overwhelming thoughts. The true style equals to the genuine authentication of who I am in this world.