Resisting the impulse beauty buy
Are you an impulse beauty shopper? Do you find yourself buying stuff in a desperate attempt to look and feel better, only to find yourself crushed under the weight of your credit card bills?
It doesn't have to be that way.
It's been said that luck favors the prepared. What that essentially means is, the prepared are merely better equipped to deal with life. And being prepared is the ultimate weapon in the battle against the impusle buy, especially those purchases pertaining to personal appearance.
Here are two problems and two solutions that I have come up with to help me save money and save my sanity when it comes to beauty.
Problem: You feel bloated, gross, and generally unattractive. It's a bad hair day, your fingernails are dirty, and you're finding wrinkles around your eyes that didn't used to be there. You woke up too late to pull a proper outfit together, so you're wearing unwashed clothes, and you forgot to reapply deodorant, so you are struggling to keep your arms at your sides.
You feel, in a word, icky. And OF COURSE everyone around you looks stunning.
Old Solution: You book yourself a haircut and manicure during lunch, and drop by Target (or Saks Fifth Avenue) for some new duds on your way back into the office.
New Solution: I used to have this problem all the time. Sometimes, I still do. If I oversleep, or underestimate the amount of time I need to get ready in the morning, I might end up dashing into the office wearing yesterday's outfit with paint in my hair from the remodeling that I've been doing. Man, it can be tough to get through the day when you feel and look like crap.
Just in case I wake up late and don't have time to look my best, here's what I've come up with to keep my morning mistake from turning into a spending disaster.
I carry some supplies with me: small travel pouch with makeup, antiperspirant, styling product, blemish control, and nail clippers. These items can help me go from looking and feeling grimy to looking and feeling normal. I also keep some baby wipes in a little plastic baggie - sort of like a portable sponge bath. These are especially helpful during sandal season, when my toes get all gross and dirty by the end of the day, and I still have a night out with the girlfriends planned.
Problem: You're flipping through a fashion magazine at home, admiring Gwen Stefani's abs, Jessica Biel's posterior, and Rosario Dawson's flawless skin. You get up for a drink of water and catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror. You just about fall over from fright. Your hair is limp and lifeless. Your eyes have dark circles underneath them. You have wrinkles. You have flab.
Old Solution: You don a baseball cap and sprint to the nearest drug store. Armed with microdermabrasion kits, hair masques, cellulite-dissolving cream, and nail polish, you return home to fight the battle against ugly. You find a cosmetic surgeon online and book an appointment for some collagen and Botox while you're at it.
New Solution: It's time to let go of the magazines. Magazines cost you a lot every year. Not just in the cost of the newstand price or the subscription, but in what magazines drive you to purchase.
Memorize this little fact - celebrities and models are human, and they can look as ugly as you and me. My mother used to scoff at my fascination with celebrity glamour, and tried to downplay my resulting dispair over my own fully human appearance. "You think that's natural? That's airbrushing!". I didn't believe her then, but thanks to the internet and a few years of experience, I now know that NO ONE looks as good as they do in the magazines.
Celebrities and other "pretty" people have TEAMS that prepare them for every outing, every event. Even the more 'candid' photos you see in magazines of so-and-so at a charity event are touched up, removing cellulite from Giselle's buttocks (yes, Giselle has cellulite) and erasing years from Goldie Hawn's mug.
Jamie Lee Curtis graciously posed for More Magazine a couple of years ago, showing what she looks like before and after she was 'done up' by the More team of beauty magicians. Jamie Lee Curtis is a really cute lady, and even her before pictures look fine, but it's NOTHING like the after picture.
There's nothing wrong with trying to look nice, but those of us who spend hours obsessing over our perceived imperfections are wasting our time, striving for a beauty ideal that doesn't, CAN'T exist outside of the glossy pages of a magazine. This is two-dimensional beauty at its worst.
If you find yourself trapped in a vicious beauty circle, spending your way into debt while striving to attain a perfection that is unreachable, consider a different form of entertainment. I love me some magazines, but I'd rather read the ones with more content - news, travel, cooking, or home decor. Branch out a little. Read a book. Don't let Vogue tell you what you need.
Picture by Clean Wal-Mart.