Sunday, September 5, 2010

Six Ways to Make Yourself Feel Prettier.

I’m going to be totally honest here. This is a somewhat superficial post. Yes, beauty is on the inside. And yes, confidence is the best way to feel fabulous. But there are simply some days when I feel tired, frazzled and just NOT sparkling. On those days if someone were to say to me, “Just smile! Be confident! You’ll look GREEEEAT!” I think I might slug ‘em. So here is a list of practical tips you can employ to make yourself feel just a wee bit prettier. Use ‘em all together. Or just do one. I guarantee it will help pull you out of the doldrums, pronto!

A women who doesn't wear perfume has no future.” Coco Chanel
Oh Coco. I love how she throws down these missives with such authority! Well, whether you love perfume or hate it I think we can all agree that smelling nice is a very good thing. Even if you’re an obsessive showerer or someone who favors a more “European” approach, an added little spritz of something can be just the thing. Don’t over do it, of course. A little dab in the crook of your arm or behind the ear—or heck, even just a spritz in the hair—and you'll smell lovely. I like to choose nice light scents, nothing too powdery or cloying. Nothing is nicer than giving someone a hug and have them says, “Oh, wow. You smell great!”
Oh and if you’re someone who can’t do a scent, try a lightly scented body lotion or a nice smelling hair product. I love Bumble and Bumble Brilliantine for hair.

Ya know, I wish my fingernails always looked good. But honestly if you are at all crafty or have kids or like to cook or garden etc….its tough to maintain. That’s why I love pale polish. Even if it chips just a bit, you don’t really notice it. And for those who say you don’t have time? I discovered this genius Sally Hanson polish that truly dries in 60 seconds. Like REALLY.
Your toesies on the other hand? Those suckers can last for quite a while. Treat yourself to a pedicure or simply paint ‘em yourself. I personally lerve candy apple red or hot pink on my toes—but whatever floats your boat! And if you’re a guy, you know what to do. Just keep ‘em trimmed and tidy.

Wear something colorful. I’m always amazed when people say to me “I love that hot pink on you….but I could never pull it off.” Sure you can! I admit my taste is a little louder than most, but color is always a good thing. If you’re already playing with color, then BRAVO! But if you’re a bit shy about dipping your toe in the rainbow try some little accent pieces. Tights in a pretty robin’s egg blue or vibrant pink, flats in Kelly green or yellow, picking that red bag instead of the classic black. I promise you’ll have an extra spring in your step!

“When accessorizing, always take off the last thing you put on.” — Coco Chanel
"It’s better to have bad taste than no taste at all!” — Diana Vreeland.
There is a saying that the devil is in the details, and I couldn’t agree more! I think accessories are where it’s at, my friends. You can be wearing jeans and a tee, but add a sassy little scarf or a fun necklace and suddenly you have an “outfit”. Accessories are a great way to show off your personality and add pick me up to an old outfit. But mostly I think they are FUN—and dare I say a compliment magnet. And who wouldn’t feel better when they have people telling them, “Cute necklace!” all day long?? A bold piece of jewelry, a sparkly hair clip or flower, a fun cocktail ring...and honestly you can get some really fun affordable pieces at stores like Forever 21 (or as I like to call it, Forever 31. *cough*) or go the vintage route.
Now, with regards to the quotes. Coco is right. Let your accessories be the hero and don’t make them complete with one another. Especially if you're a little nervous about mixing up your usual look, go for one big statement piece. Then again, I think Diana is right on the money too! I have to admit I'm a "More is MORE!" kinda gal. Hey, at least an over-embellished person has character! So don’t be afraid to go bold or experiment! If you’re even concerned with overdoing it, then you’re probably not the kind of gal who has anything to worry about. Knowhuttamean?

This one might surprise you, but I think a heel makes you walk a little bit taller and feel a little sassier. Let’s be clear, I’m not advocating crazy stilettos, but I know whenever I wear a touch of a heel I feel just a wee bit fancier. Trust me, as a mommy I’m not tottering around in crazy sky high heels…I’m talking a low wedge, a chunky heeled boot or a mid-heel girlie shoe. Even a flat with a kitten heel. I love sneaks and ballerina flats, but I rarely feel “sassy” in ‘em. Take a look at these and you’ll see what I mean!
Images from these lovely ladies: frecklewonder, graygoosie, bitsandbobbins

Some people love makeup. Some people think it’s a chore. I truly think a little bit of makeup can make you feel just that much more put together. If you are a lipstick lover, then I know I’m preachin’ to the choir. For those of you who claim they just don’t have time I say: LIP TINT! These are those colored lip balms that come in a convenient chapstick-sized tube....and the best part is it can be slicked across your lips in 5 seconds flat, without a mirror. My faves are Laura Mercier HydraTint in Crimson. It looks bright red but actually just gives your lippies the sheerest little blush of color. It also has a yummy fruit smell. Tarte makes a very pretty one as well. Another fave (and even cheaper!) are the Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmers, which you can get at the drug store. These smell pepperminty and make your lips tingle a little. Merlot and Raisin are my faves. Seriously, even if this is ALL YOU DO, I bet you’ll look cute.
When all else fails, go out and buy a big bouquet of flowers are a whole mess o' balloons. You'll bring a smile to your face and everyone around you. Guaranteed!

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  1. You are seriously adorable.

    Also, thanks for the lip tint suggestions. I use Kiehl's, but it's lip gloss and I would love to have something matte like the ones you recommended. So, thanks!


  2. love the flower pin on the cuff of the jeans!!!

  3. favorite post ever!!!!!!!!! thanks for your tips. I have to remember to wear color.

    which reminds me...i can't wait to see you next!!! you are absolutely adorabs!

  4. Okay Strawberry Lemonade...if you do not tell me right now where you got that owl purse and the big white bag with all of those pockets I think I am just going to have to dive into this computer and come and see you in person!!!!
    And you are killing me with all of those totally incredible vintage outfits!!!!!!!!!!
    I am lovvvvvving you in those fun funky clothes!!!
    Oh yeah...all of your tips....were just what I needed!
    I've had the been through Jan and Feb and looking like CRAP blues!!!!!!
    What a fab post!!!!
    Oh oh oh how I want those bags!!!
    Please make my day and tell me they are within reach to purchase!!!
    And all of your shoes...don't even get me started...I think I'm about to pass out right now!!!!!
    ...passsssssing out right now! You are just too much for me to take!!!!

  5. You look AMAZING in that last photo. Those colours are beautiful on you! The 'wear purfume' tip is sooooo right. My ridiculously rushed morning this morning was dramatically improved by an overspray of Harajuku 'music'..... and actually, a bright orange singlet, lol. There you are, you're a genius! Ha, ha, ha...

  6. Oh my Alex you are the cutest thing ever!!! Can you please come over and redo my closet with all the fun things you have. Also where did you get that fabulous owl bag just love it!! Your tips are wonderful and your clothes and accessories are even better:)!!!

  7. Such a fun post!! Love your zaniness. I too have that Orla Keily purse, lover her. See you around in blog class

  8. you so cute!

    and i will add my personal fave: BODY GLITTER. during halloween i just stock up in the aerosol cans of the stuff and go to town all year!!

    i love that vintage flower print dress!!

  9. Hey I love that owl purse as well courtesy of some serious late night scouring on ebay :-) It's my go to happy accessory of the moment. And I'm absolutely coveting that fab pineapple purse and all its awesomeness. Your posts just always make me smile and encourage me to be more daring (cause the electric yellow tights and neon pink cardi combo isn't enough!)

    Given my love for that awful gem Valley of the Dolls 2, I am doubly psyched to be on of your Valley of the Blogs minions. Just wanted to say hi xo

  10. Thank you everyone! Oh, so for those of you who were asking about the bags. The OWL bag is the elusive Paul + Joe for Target bag that came out a few years ago. It's a huge and cute bag that people seem to love! They pop up on eBay every once and a while. The Cream Colored bag with pockets is Marc by Marc Jacobs. I got it 2 years ago, but I know he still has similar styles out there! I warn you the damn thing weighs about 20 pounds empty!! And finally the pineapple bag! It's an Enid Collins vintage bag. I did a post on her a while back!

    thanks again for all your sweet comments ladies! xoxo

  11. Wow, if I did all these things, I'd look like a totally different person. I grew up on the tom boy side and have always been struggling with the whole looking more feminine thing as an adult. Some days, I just don't know how to do it, but you really break it down. Thanks! (Go Team!)

  12. what a great post! Its so personable, which I love, as well as all of the colorful photos! Very creative!!! Here via "Valley of the Blogs" =) see you in class...

  13. Love love love the accessories part. Those feather hair clips are calling my name. Oh and the paint your nails. Yeah, I need to do that, the other day I was totally jealous of a 2 year-old who had a better pedi than me!! I love that I found your blog!

  14. How cute are you!! Thanks for your fun post, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it! It has inspired me to be a bit more brave rather than beige (which is my usual colour) xx

  15. LOVE IT ALL! annnnnd, I'm gonna use this one, "It’s better to have bad taste than no taste at all!” — Diana Vreeland

    SO TRUE!


  16. This is a such a great post. I love your style! Love the flower on the jean cuffs, love that hot pink essie nail polish, love your white hand bag... This post is such a nice pop of color too. :)

  17. ohhh... i love your post and i am starting to feel pretty already!

  18. your post is so nice. :) i love the "wear color" part since it reminds me why i do it. haha! ^_^ i'm going to try out some of your tips!

  19. LOVE THIS! Brought a smile to my face. So true, sometimes as a mommy you just feel bland. Nothing is more fun than gettin the mini men lookin sharp, putting on something cute with color and shopping for cupcakes and flowers! Hmmm. think I'll do that today actually!

  20. This was great. I am going to post this to twitter just because the pics made me smile. I would also love to repost to my blog, Please let me know if that would be ok.