For the Wardrobe Architect series, mostly we are discussing what we wear–the color, print, shape, and size of our clothing, shoes, and accessories. But the original series hosted by Colette Patterns also covered hair, makeup, and beauty. I wouldn't have thought to discuss this topic, and trust me, this is the only time you will ever hear about my hair and makeup routine on my blog. I won't suddenly be posting about my teeth whitening or age-defying moisturizing regimen ever again. But as I'm following the original series, we too will discuss the topic of hair, makeup, and beauty!
I find that a person's identity and self-esteem is hugely attached to their hair and makeup. It's a place where you can say so much about yourself. Perhaps you have to wear something classic and conservative to your day job, but you can show some sense of personality by wearing cat eyeliner, or bright red lipstick, or glitter nail polish. All little glimpses into the person behind the office-appropriate wardrobe. I was talking recently with some friends about our hair, cutting it out of rebellion, and what we looked like when our significant others fell in love with us. It is a huge part of who we are and influences how others see us.
Think about a group of men in suits. Each man is telling us something about their personality by the way they have chosen to style their hair and their beards. It's the same with hair and makeup for women. One day I might want to wear something bold; the next something soft and romantic. It's all about what you want to project to the world.
Hair and makeup can also really change the way you look. A great example are the recent images of Uma Thurman, like this one here. When the images of her recently surfaced on the internet, people went wild, claiming that she had "changed her face" and accusing her of getting plastic surgery. Now, maybe she got a little somethin' somethin' done. But I don't see a big change here in her face. What I do see is a big change in her makeup and hair style.
When it comes to your own beauty routine, think about how you want to look, how much time you want to dedicate, and what kind of investment financially you want to make.
Let's talk about hair. I have had long hair most of my life. There were the infamous permed bobs of the 1980's, and the Rosemary's Baby Mia Farrow crop of the mid-90's that took most of the 90's to grow out, but other than that, my hair has always been past my shoulders. That is, until last summer.
I was in Paris and was fantasizing about a messy chin-length cut. I've had those bobs in the past I was just referring to, but never with a blunt bang, which I've been sporting for many years now. I did my research, found some great images, knew I could pull it off, and had an adorable 20-something Parisian boy chop off my hair. It looked great, and people loved it. But I didn't. I didn't hate it, but I didn't feel like me, which then leads to a sense of insecurity. I know it's healthy to mix things up and not to get stuck in a massive rut, so I don't regret doing it, but it taught me that I do much prefer myself with hair past my shoulders. But thankfully, it just grows back! And voila–it's long again!
After my first trip to Europe, when I came home my friends all commented on my hair and how it had gotten messy. I knew what they meant and that they were saying it in a positive way. And I agreed; I had learned a thing or two about pulling off a messy 'do. My late man and I talked about this and he gave me great insight into why a little messiness, instead of a perfectly coiffed hairdo, was appealing to him–because it's approachable. Now, I am not doing my hair to please a man, but yeah, I want my man to want to touch me! Also, as much as I admire ladies who have perfectly made up hairdos and faces, that's honestly just way too much pressure for me. I'll feel uncomfortable, making sure everything stays just as it should, but then I don't look pretty at all, I look uncomfortable! We're all different (thankfully!), so this might not be how you feel. That's just my own personal style choice. So while I was overseas the first time, that Parisian messiness wore off on me and has stuck.
Something big to consider when deciding how you are going to wear your hair is the time and money it will take to do and maintain your cut and color. If you have a shorter hair do, it's probably quick and easy to wash and style in the morning. But it will require more frequent cuts to maintain the shape, which can be costly. Long hair can take a while to do when you wash and blow-dry it, but the joy of long hair is that you don't have to get it cut as often as short hair, and you can go many days between washes. Personally, I take both of those factors as a win. I shower everyday, but I only wash my hair 2-3 times a week. It just doesn't need it! In fact, my bangs are WAY better on day two!
Color is another huge cost and time commitment. I don't color my hair, but many of my friends do, and I know that it is an expensive and time consuming process. And it must be done many times a year to maintain. That's just honestly more than I can commit to. But color might be a big deal for you, as I know it is for many of my friends. In which case, this is something you just choose to splurge on as the color is part of your identity. These are all those choices we have to make to look the way we want.
For me, I like to wear my hair in the four main ways: loose and down past my shoulders with blunt bangs, a high bun, a messy low bun, and milkmaid braids. All are quick to style, easy to have a messy/non-messy balance, and are good for all kinds of occasions. Check, check, and check!
Much like my hair routine, I like my makeup to be simple and not too fussy. I love adventurous makeup on other people, but I've found that really there are two ways I like to do my makeup: warm pinks, and bold red lip. Basically my routine for either look is more or less the same, just with slightly different colors involved.
I really don't want to spend more than about 5 minutes on my makeup, and I don't. Here's my routine:
- Wash and moisturize my face. (I use pretty intense under eye creams as I'm aging!)
- Put on concealer under my eyes, on my eye lids, just under my lower lip, and on the sides of my nose, blending into my skin. I don't use foundation.
- Apply cream blush to the apples of my cheeks.
- Fill in my brows with a pencil and set with a gel.
- While the gel is drying, I apply mascara to my upper lashes only.
- Fill in my brows with a second darker pencil and brush the hairs in place with an eyebrow brush.
- Set my face with pressed powder.
- Apply clear lip balm, then top with lipstick of my choosing, or leave as is.
That's it. Now, to someone like my BFF Jenifer, who wears literally no makeup at all whatsoever, this might sound like a lot. But I assure you, it's not. If I were blessed with thick full eyebrows, my 5 minute routine would take 3 minutes. But I was not given lush brows and must make them on my own!
What's your routine? Do you like it? Are you looking to change it? This really works for me, and now that I'm 45, I feel like it's who I am. But when I was younger and in art school, the fun of doing something different to my hair and face everyday was a wonderfully awesome way to express myself. I'm not saying I've gotten old and boring, rather I've found a classic look that works for me and I stick with it.
Other than hair and makeup, there are only a few other things that fall into "beauty" in my mind. Nail polish is a fun way to add some spunk into your look. Like with my makeup, I tend to stick to classics like deep red, dark brown, light and dark gray, or nothing at all.
Scent and fragrance isn't something you "see" when you look at a person, but it is a part of their beauty routine that taps into one of your senses. I actually didn't wear a perfume for many many years, but recently found one that I truly love, and am now wearing everyday. It's called Winter and it's made locally here in LA by Dasein. I love it because it smells like me. But it took me 40+ years to find something I like that much, so if you haven't found your scent yet, you will!
With clothing, I feel like I'm finally embracing elegant classics as my routine. But with hair, makeup, and beauty, it's something that I kinda figured out a while ago, and have been more or less sticking with what I know works for me, and feels most like "me". How about you? What is your hair and makeup routine? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this! Please share in the comments below!
In the next segment, we will talk about creating a capsule wardrobe, which I must say, I'm already struggling with! Join me here in two weeks to see how I do!
The Wardrobe Architect Series:
2016 Wardrobe Architect Project
Wardrobe Architect Week One: Making Style More Personal
Wardrobe Architect Week Two: Defining a Core Style
Wardrobe Architect Week Three: Exploring Shapes
Wardrobe Architect Week Four: Proportions and Silhouettes
Wardrobe Architect Week Five: Your Color Story
Wardrobe Architect Week Six: Organizing Your Palette
Wardrobe Architect Week Seven: Exploring Solids & Prints
Wardrobe Architect Week Eight: Hair, Makeup, & Beauty
Wardrobe Architect Week Nine: The Capsule Wardrobe
Wardrobe Architect Week Ten: The Capsule Palette
Wardrobe Architect Week Eleven: Planning Your Pieces
Wardrobe Architect Week Twelve: Adding Accessories
Wardrobe Architect Week Thirteen: Overcoming Editing Hurdles