Getting ready for “date night” is a really basic beauty ritual that needs no explaining, in my opinion. We all do it, primp and preen and get our skin glowing for that special someone. But there is actually a lot more to it that flexing our vanity and grooming muscles. There is an order and logic to it. It’s a process, so let’s talk about that process. I will start by talking about my emotional state recently and how getting ready for this one date was so interesting to me.
So I do have a boyfriend. I guess that’s what he is, considering that it we’re monogamous and it’s pretty regular that we see each other. And it’s really difficult making time for each other with our busy adult lives. And the future is always uncertain, in terms of the longevity and meaning of the relationship. I recently feared a lot of things after some revealing text messages from my boyfriend. And I didn’t know how to deal with them. I am a hairstylist in Toronto; my day to day consists of taking care of the business of looking good, and not much else. So there it was–a wall of emotions that floored me and I didn’t know what to do for days. But as a date night with my beau approached, I did what I had to do. What I always knew how to do…prep and get ready. And believe it or not, the process of selfcare and beautification really made me feel more secure of myself and what I want and was therapy in a way.
The Ritual of Getting Ready:
Facial Pampering: I like to do this the night before a date, or the morning of. It’s exfoliating with a gentle face exfoliator. I used Deciem’s Lactic Acid. Then applying a mask. The exfoliating makes the skin cleaner by removing dead skin cells so that it can absorb the nutrients of a moisturizing mask and expel toxins trapped within. It’s also creating the ideal canvas for make-up application. Also the best time to do my nails is the night before!
Cleansing face, body and hair: I like to do this a few hours before the date: I do the whole enchilada; shampoo, condition my hair, shave, brush my teeth. After all the cleansing, don’t forget to moisturize with a nice light body lotion.
Blow Dry and Style hair. My hair style depends on the formality of the night. After being apart for a while from my beau, I needed to have a more carefree, low maintenance look. This was because I wanted to create a more relaxed vibe between us after the awkwardness of the previous week and the messages. So I opted for a tousled look without flat ironing or curling. It was very natural. To achieve this I just blow dry and add a bit of serum for shine and de frizzing.
Decide on outfit: Do this before putting make up on. Even if I don’t dress until right before the date, I still need to know what colors I’m working with. After choosing the appropriate outfit, for this one night I chose a lace turquoise body suit spaghetti strap tank and flare jeans. Casual but stylish attire to match my mood.
Make up time: I decided since few colours didn’t clash with turquoise I would wear a smokey beige shadow with a bit of shimmer. It was perfect. Subtle, but alluring none the less. Liquid line with a pen, my usual day to day make up. Blush, brows, and lots of mascara.
By the time I got picked up by him, I was looking fine. Not overdone…even with all the work and prep it took. I enjoy the process. By the end of out date, after a hard couple of weeks second guessing our relationship, it felt nice that at least I always knew how to put on a good show; even if the future is uncertain with my beau. And well…it’s who I am to put my best face forward.
The end of the year is upon us so what to do? I know it’s a hard time of year for many and here’s the reasons. We feel obligated to make it perfect, magical and happy. Hallmark movies, and ideas of family togetherness. Getting everything on our wish list and giving the best most amazing gifts. Hitting relationship and career goals, anticipating a holiday vacation that is heavy in price tag and planning…etc. Trying not to over eat, but trying not to miss out on holiday treats. Keeping traditions while not really having time or energy for the rituals we once held dear. It’s never ending the way people stress over the holidays. And in my experience it’s almost always disappointing in some way. I call it my Xmas curse, but I guess it’s inevitable that the end of the year in all of it’s hype, is not all it’s supposed to be.
So how do we cope mentally during such a trying time of the year? How do we find balance and peace during a time that is supposedly all of that and more? The solution can be as simple and complicated as one wants it. But ultimately, it’s all about understanding ourselves and reaching out for what will realistically make a simple solution. Here are my go to’s this year for treating holiday blues:
Have time for myself: People are afraid to be alone during the holidays. And working a lot is the norm as well. The pressure to fill every moment and minute with another being or working overtime to make year end goals, is not quality time. Trying not to feel alone; not scheduling alone time for reflection and isolation is a negative thing. Solitude during this time of year when the first snow hits makes sense. Embrace it. People will always be around, but the quiet beauty of being one with oneself is a fragile state that must be prioritized.
Rest a lot: Being stressed and overwhelmed during the holidays is a natural occurrence. Rest and relaxation is not. Which is why I have to work hard at not working hard. Whether it is skipping groceries for a day and ordering take-out or procrastinating on hanging ornaments and xmas lights…it’s really important to rest. It also helps my immune system during the first cold spell and prevents me from getting sick.
Don’t go shopping: It’s really tempting with all the sales and everyone on the list to not hit the malls frantically and spend. Gifts can be simple and don’t have to be perfect. Spend less time buying and more time thinking about the people you want to gift to. Everything tends to fall into place without too much stress/spending usually. Try to remember that.
Don’t over eat: Let’s be honest, food is comforting. Whenever I feel sad or alone, I am reaching for salty noodle soup, spicey condiments, and tons of delicious fried delicacies. It’s relaxing and rewarding for the moment and releases happy hormones. But the aftermath is guilt and disgust at myself when all my clothes are tight, and I’m not as cute and petite as I like to be. Everything in moderation. I don’t want to deprive myself, but honestly, I don’t have to over indulge.
Watch the drinking: Sometimes during the holidays, we are encouraged to let loose and drink. Especially when things are not panning out the way we want. A boyfriend forgets to call, an argument with a sister; during the holidays, these mishaps feel ten times worse. The quick fix is to grab a cocktail. But drinking heightens emotions and subdues restraints. Meaning one can say things one doesn’t mean, or feel even worse about a situation. I’m not saying not to drink. But stay aware of the amount taken and how it may distort one’s perspective on things.
So there it is. My list of things to help me navigate the holiday season, mentally healthy and happy. The end of the year is a time for reflection and no anxiety, so why not make efforts to thwart the tendency for chaos? What better way to right in the new year that to prioritize rest, peace, and self respect? Happy holidays everyone from the bottom of my heart to all this season. And see you on Dreamy Reveries in the new year! I have a lot planned for 2023 here!
So winter is upon us and well, after a few years of lockdown, I feel home clothes and pajamas can no longer be sloppy, ugly or unthoughtful. Wearing sweatpants and baggy t-shirts for home and sleep feels almost like a post-traumatic stress uniform. I don’t want to be reminded of the veggie like state that the quarantine had imposed on the world, and the void it put on fashion over the last few years. Isolation had made people unfit and uncaring about looking gorgeous, whether going out or staying home. Nobody cared about image, and it hurt the beauty and fashion industry for a long time.
So now comes the overcorrection; I find myself dying to look amazing even if it’s my day off and I am doing house chores at home. I ask myself why can’t I look cute for that? For answering work emails at home, or for working on social media content online? Wouldn’t it be more honest for me as a beauty professional to look good at home in real time while promoting my services online in the digital world? But on this same note, I don’t think I will be comfortable dressed to the nines at home while doing dishes and taking out the garbage. I can’t be decked in pearls when it’s evening and I want to sit in front of the tv. with a bowl of noodle soup and watch a scary movie. So, what to do?
How do I fix the gap between the stylishness of my outside/work wardrobe versus my home wardrobe? Time to do some shopping and revaluate what makes certain clothing functional and stylish for use at when being cozy at home is the mood:
Stylish Lounge or Pajama Wear Musts:
Be comfortable. Part of the main function of pjs and homewear is comfort. While at home, the formalities of the work world are far away, loose and boxy cuts can be embraced. But go too oversized and it’s sloppy. There is a fine line between relaxed and just plain messy. Focus on soft fabrics with stretch, breathable cotton and flannel. Imagine a cloud and how to dress if living on one!
Colour: I am not a fan of black for lounge wear. It seems depressing and can look sloppy, because it’s the colour that hides all stains. I like light colours because they are uplifting and remind me of sunny days. They also look fresh and clean and put together.
For the boyish styles: I find lounge wear can be very unisex. Boxer shorts on girls, show off long legs, and waffle henley tees that are fitted show off feminine curves in a rustic, earthy way. It’s a no frills pretty.
For the girly: Sleep dresses come in all styles, lengths and materials. The most casual would be a strappy tank dress style. But for more oh la la, add some lace and satin to the mix. I own a lot of satin/silk camis and find they are so girly while remaining a realistically functional item for sleep and loungewear layering
Stick to the basics: soft leggings, fitted t shirts, body suits, tank tops… if it looks like something American Apparel made, it’ll probably do the job.
Is there any loungewear articles or musts that I have forgotten? Let me know in the comments below and stay cozy and gorgeous at home!