Sunday, August 24, 2014

What Not to Wear

I recently had my colors done. Do you remember when someone in your family went to the Estee Lauder table in the '80s and were told what season they are? Because I was a ginger it was just assumed that I was an "Autumn" and that meant I could wear brick reds, browns, and earthy tones. What did that mean now that I am a silver? See, I got into this bad habit of dressing per my hair color. I kept the same makeup thinking that it had worked in the past and really I was hit or miss when it came to clothes.

None of this really bothered me until last year when I knitted my first cardigan. I had carefully picked out this super cool yarn, spent countless hours knitting everything and then wore it exactly twice. Two F#@^ing times. You see, the muted greyish purple makes me look like a cadaver. I look as dull as the grey and so it has respectfully been put in the back of my closet knowing it will never see the light of day again.

THAT was what piqued my interest in having a personal color analyst evaluate me. So I drove up with a fellow silver sister to Philadelphia to get a 12 Blueprint analysis. I would like to buy clothes and makeup and yarn that looks amazing on me, not just spend all this time and money and it sit in the back of the closet.

I'm not sure what I expected. I saw subtle differences in the colors on my friend, but even that took awhile for me to grasp. Then more and more you could see how some hues worked and some REALLY didn't. When it was my turn I had nothing but a grey smock and head wrap and a giant mirror. THEN I saw the power of color. The light grey put on me made me look like a corpse. The brown was so awful that both the analyst and my friend cringed and turned away.

Most colors fell under the following: I look like a corpse; I look right out of the Grapes of Wrath; I look like I'm wearing baby Easter clothes; I look like a freakin' rock star. I chose the colors that fit in the latter category and it turns out that this color wheel is Bright Winter. Now some winters and autumns looked okay but the difference lie in colors that made my skin a bit duller, the eyes darker, and the rock star palate which made my eyes a million vibrant shades, my skin luminous, and my fine lines disappear. It really was as extreme as that. And this is what I recommend to you. A color that looks wonderful on you makes your eyes look brilliant.

I would say that it was surprisingly emotional. Knowing that I have never looked 100% my best is well... humbling, to say the least. None of my makeup worked and even the 2% that did never went with the rest of my makeup. More on this in the near future, but here is a look at my drapings. The first pic is that awful brown and look at the difference in how dull my skin looks as opposed to the following pics; it's the same lighting, just the pure effect of color.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Settle Down

Remember when you were a kid and thought the world was yours to grab? It may be a cultural thing but I know Americans are taught that at birth. The higher you reach, the greater your accomplishment. We were expected to dream big and the more obnoxious you were, it was simply labeled "precocious." This might be one of the many things that annoy the world to no end about the US. Because those that continue that line of thinking become quite entitled and vocal about it. For the rest of us we learn at some point that maybe we can’t have the world. Maybe we should settle.

It’s in this phrase that’s been bothering me for a little while. Now that I’m officially 40, do I settle? Should I return interest to that 50-something man who already has grown children and we have okay conversation, and I’m not very attracted to him… should I settle because he’s so into me??? Even writing that down I have a shudder of denial pulsing through me. First of all, I don’t even know if I can have kids. It may be a moot point. Second, I don’t mind if a guy has kids of his own. It’s not ideal but it’s not a deal breaker. But the idea of settling for someone I’m not really into, I just can’t do it.

Recently I posted my type. Those are not hard and fast rules, just what gets my blood boiling. I’ve certainly had just as much interest in someone who doesn’t fit any of those molds. But I had to remind myself of an email I sent to a friend who was dealing with a similar dilemma. Enter Brenda, an extremely successful, beautiful, witty, and adventurous woman living in California. She is always traveling the world, cycling, trying new things, in fantastic shape, and she supports herself to a rich lifestyle. How is this girl available?? She wasn’t connecting with the men in her life on all levels: head, body, and heart. I am paraphrasing from a great book called The Tao of Love of what happens when you have only 2 out of the 3 elements with a partner:

Head and Heart
You become like brother and sister. He may be your best friend but there’s little to no sexual chemistry. You feel like you have to take the reins in everything and become resentful. Your partner now seems weak and you are constantly distracted to men who are the opposite of your partner.

Head and body
This is where most young people get caught up. You have great sex and great conversations but when it comes to hard times one of you grows distant and/or you just can’t connect. You crave a deeper connection and this lacking connection translates as apathetic or even hostile. Any rough patch and your relationship falls apart.

Heart and body
You love this guy, and the sex is great. However he really can’t hold up his end of the conversation. He feels intimidated by your intellect or you dumb yourself down so he doesn’t resent you. Then you resent him. Since you're one fantastic chica, you are frustrated and unfulfilled.

I have been in each of these relationships and I’m glad I’m not in any of them now. I recently have started a flirtation with a very attractive man that gets my blood boiling. Knowing that I can feel that way, why should I settle for a man that I would just go through the motions with? I’m not saying anything will come of Mr. Flirtation but it was a timely lesson to me that I should never settle for less than the trifecta.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

How To Tame Your Cowlick (or Catholic to autocorrect!)

I recently went to see How To Train Your Dragon. It was adorable and I feel no guilt in seeing it in 3D. I love the concept of Medieval Vikings drag racing dragons. Actually when I put the words down it seems downright dorky but it is actually a clever and cute movie.

Much like the wild and unruly dragons of the Nordic world, my cowlick is even more unruly. Any silver sister has noticed a change in the hairline since they stopped coloring their hair. Mostly, they notice a lot more growth. Mine came in the form of a huge white clump of hair- baby fine, and forming at the left corner of my temple. I also have the "wiry greys" that everyone talks about. I call them my wild little forest children. They're absolutely crazy looking until they grow out and become assimilated into the rest of your hairline.

My clump of white hair at the temple has become the bane of my existence. This is also more commonly known as the cowlick. I have done all kinds of bizarre things in order the tame it: I've tried talking reason to it, trying to force it into submission with every styling tool under the sun, and apparently screaming and yanking at it. All to no avail.

So I politely asked- okay, inappropriately cornered and held captive- my hairdresser and asked him how to tame my cowlick once and for all. Basically there are two ways: either crisscross your hair wet and keep them in barrettes and let air dry; or you need to blow-dry it into submission.

Here are a series of pics before and after. HORRIBLE pics but it describes my rather remedial process that everyone on earth knows but me.But for my own sake I will write out the process.

After applying heat protection product, start by blowing your cowlick section to the front. Then blow dry it to the opposite side of your part until it's almost dry, and then finally blow dry it the side you want. As you can see the first pic shows what happens if I leave the cowlick to form a coup. The second pic it's wet and rebelling. But by the final pic- voila! I have beaten it into submission!!