Thursday, January 28, 2010

It’s no secret…

This week, Girl Talk Thursday asks us to spill the beans on beauty secrets.  Apparently, I’m pretty above-board and traditional in my beauty regimens, because I can’t think of anything that’s really a “secret” per say.  However, as always, I’ll be happy to share what comes to mind. 



I remember sitting in an airport terminal one day, years ago, waiting for my brother’s flight to land and deplane.  Sometimes, as you drift further away mentally from the real world in which you’re surrounded, your face starts to sag and look a bit mopey.  This sweet, unnamed man walked by, with his carry on bag in hand, and beckoned me back from La La Land with the words,”You look much prettier when you smile.”

Wise words.  I have remembered that moment on several occasions since then.  I’m pleased to say that, as a general rule, I walk through the world with a smile on most days, most occasions.  In fact, it’s a quality I’m actually proud of in myself.  (Stop the presses – I’ve just publicly admitted something I like about myself!)  That man was right – any and every face looks better with a smile.

I had this very conversation last spring with a coworker who – believe it or not – actually argued against me.  She can’t stand her smile.  She doesn’t like what her teeth look like and she doesn’t like what happens in the lines on her face.  I say: bull honky.  A smile makes eyes sparkle. It says, “I have good to bring into your life.  Come, speak to me,” to those around you.  That is beautiful.


I also have been trained (That word sounds much nicer than “brainwashed”, doesn’t it?) by My Mama in the importance of proper undergarments.  Foundational pieces are essential in many ways.  (1) Like Colleen, I cannot stand panty lines.  They flatter NO behind.  (2) Droopy boobs are not hot.  Not even close.  I don’t care how big they are.  There are no excuses.  (3) A slip IS important.  Now, I will be the first to admit that there are SOME skirts with which you just cannot wear a slip…knit skirts with roll tops, for instance.  But, in most cases, slips make a huge difference in creating a smooth, soft silhouette.  It makes a difference.  (4)I feel prettier when I look pretty UNDER my clothes, too.  I look for a panty that flatters my own body. I want color, lace, pretty patterns.  Hell, I want my bra and panties to coordinate!  (Let’s get real, I want them to match my outfit, too, when the Laundry Fairies are cooperative.)  All of this matters to me.  I don’t want to feel like I’m hiding something ugly beneath the surface…beauty is subliminal.


Speaking of subliminal, good shoes are SO important.  Not only because your feet need to look pretty…but it is important to wear shoes that are comfortable for you when you’re walking.  By this, I mean if you cannot walk in those stilettos without relaxing your butt cheeks and thighs – do not wear them.  A hobble is not an attractive gait, nor is a wobble.  Watch beautiful women walk.  They walk with a long, but not too long, relaxed stride.  They stretch their legs and open their body, without looking like they’re jumping over puddles.  If your toes are crunched and you’ve got blisters on your heels or you’re about to fall off the pedestal on which you’ve perched yourself for the day – it will show in your every move.  That is not beautiful.


Related to walking, posture is SO important.  One of my best friends used to carry herself tucked up like a little rolly-poley.  Eyes downcast, shoulders slumped.  Beauty (by my definition) is an invitation to the world to want you, to love you.  Carry yourself with pride.  Carry your body like you love it, even if you don’t.  Stand tall and straight.  Not only will your clothes look better, your boobs look better, you will look thinner, but (beauty is subliminal) you will shine to those who see you.  If this is is a change for you, pay attention when people compliment you.  Don’t be surprised if people smile bigger when they see you coming and, perhaps even, call you “Beautiful” or “Gorgeous”. 


As far as wardrobe issues are concerned, choose clothes that make you feel like a million dollars.  If you feel uncomfortable, if your waist is cinched too tight, if you keep tugging at the top of the dress, if you don’t LIKE the way you look – you will not be beautiful.  Trust me.  This is why (personal issue coming out now) I take FOREVER to get dressed in the morning.  I insist on feeling “just right” everyday.  If I leave the house in an outfit that makes me feel frumpy or itchy or fat or anything less than “I love myself today and I can’t wait to wear this outfit again soon” – I will be miserable all day long.  I will think of nothing more than going home, putting on my pajamas, climbing back into bed, and hiding beneath my covers until I get a chance to try again the next day.  Beauty is subliminal. 


My last “secret” to beauty is to be a risk-taker.  You only live once (that we know of for sure), and that life is all too short.  Dare to think outside of your own box.  Dare to try something new.  If you’ve worn the same makeup since you were twelve, it’s time to break that mold.  If you’ve worn the same style of jeans since you left high school, it’s time to hit the dressing rooms.  If you’ve worn your hair the same way for as long as you can remember, call your stylist.  Now.  If you need one, call me and I’ll help you find one.  If you can’t decide which necklace to wear because you love them both – ask yourself how it would look to wear them both.  You never know till you try.  Think you can’t wear green or yellow or red?  Try a different shade…(Need help with color? Call me…I can help you.  Or read this book.  My Mama always had it in our house when I was growing up, and then it was a textbook for one of my fashion classes!)  Wear the flower in your hair.  Choose the red coat, not the black one.  Try it with a hat.  Wear boots with dresses.  Hell, wear pirate boots!  You will be glad you did.  And, beauty is subliminal.


I suppose I could have written a post today listing all the products I use, my daily facial cleansing routine, how I style my hair, and revealing the secrets that unfold behind the doors of the salon.  But, when I really thought about what made me feel pretty, that is not what really mattered. 

A few months ago, FireDaddy and I were looking at old pictures.  (By old, in this case, I’m referring to the beginning of our digital era.)  He told me he’s always thought I was pretty, but he thinks I’m much prettier now than I was back then.  What do I think has changed?  Between those days and these, I’ve worn my hair many ways, my clothing styles have changed, my weight has gone up and down and up and down…but the biggest difference I can see is that I like myself better now.  I really do.  As I age, I am learning to be the person I want to be and love the person I am.

I am convinced, friends, that this is life’s real beauty secret.


  1. Off to buy some pretty undergarments... and perhaps some pirate boots.

  2. Loved this post! You make some excellent points. I love my smile, and I'm tall and sometimes find myself slouching. My mom always tells me to stand up straight! So true....

  3. I definitely think my smile is my best asset and try to use it as much as possible. I also agree that confidence (the walking tall and liking yourself stuff) dazzles more than any product.

  4. Okay, wow.

    I wouldn't have thought of some of this, but you make some excellent points. But, you're totally right, beauty is really subliminal.

  5. this post kind of made me need a tissue girl!

    "s I age, I am learning to be the person I want to be and love the person I am.

    I am convinced, friends, that this is life’s real beauty secret."

    Love this. Love you!

  6. Totally with you on smiling! I actually had a car stop so the passenger could roll down the window and tell me what a beautiful smile I had. Caught me off-guard, but made my day & cemented that smile in place! :)

  7. I just went clothes shopping this week at the mall {which i haven't done in a very long time}. My goal was to finally buy some clothes I can be comfortable in every day.

    I got some pants that aren't JEANS and some tops that aren't KNIT. Yes, some stuff is PLAID, but I look cute in plaid. So there!

    Anyway. I feel more like a mom now, but's about time I start dressing like a THIRTY year old. Since the big 3-1 is creepin on me.


  8. Pretty underwear is so important :D

  9. You said it sister! Feeling good within makes you look even prettier on the outside.


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