Thursday, 30 July 2015
Bouncing Back Isn't Quite the Right Word
Slowly I am recovering from such an amazing weekend. I have had a great deal of sleep and a great deal of sitting on the sofa like a lump. I have to say, I think that sitting like a lump might be one of my specialties. I like to imagine myself draped in a louche and graceful manner but sometimes reality bites, as they say.
If you read my blog, and if I had access to you recently and you had to listen to me, you may be aware that when I am exhausted and feeling unwell I can get a bit blue and when I get a bit blue it always turns and attacks my physical appearance like some sort of sprung from my conscience monster. It has been that way as along as I can remember, I always recover, but it will happen again. I suppose, it's not terribly illogical if you think that most of us, do not feel particularly gorgeous when ill.
Hating all (or nearly all) of the images of myself I saw on other people's cameras over the Vancouver weekend, as well as a little bit of direct advice from Sheila...
An aside here: If you ever meet Sheila you are in for a treat. She is, in a word, bossy. But she is the sweetest and kindest bossy I have ever met. I think that is because her bossy pants are bright pink. Sheila told me things I already knew but she said them very directly, matter of factly, and with love. Sheila just wants to make the world a better place for everyone and she has some good ideas on how to do that.
....she pointed out to me that I would be better served by my hair off my face. She wasn't telling me anything I didn't already know, which is that there is some weight to my lower face and hair hanging there emphasises it, and that due to the way my hair waves, I get what I have always called the earmuff look and she referred to as dog ears. Sheila did you compare me to a basset hound? She encouraged me to tuck my hair behind my ears. She encouraged me to cut it shorter again and I balked.
I have cycled through growing my hair long and cutting it all off several times in my life, and while short and long both suit me, all of the in between stages are less flattering and those in between stages go on for a couple of years. I am not sure I have the patience for that.
Another aside: Melanie, because she is Melanie, thinks that I should have a selection of wigs to just change up my look at times. She supports the idea of something mod and sixties in a shaggy, back-combed sort of way. You cannot meet Melanie and not fall in love with her, but Melanie, dear, I think I'll take my hair advice from Sheila this time around.
So....I cut it. My hair. Because that is what I do at 4am when I am not asleep like I should be. Slowly, a little bit at a time over the course of a day, I achieved a shape I was happy with. It's not perfect and I will go to see my poor neglected, lovely Jason in about six weeks to get it done properly but at the moment I don't want it any shorter and hair stylists are utterly incapable of not making hair shorter. I want it cut with a razor. I want it choppier, edgier, a tad less round and bowl like than what I achieve when I cut it myself.
Last night I looked like the photo at the top of the page. No makeup, hair in a natural and no-product state. I am actually wearing my pyjamas in that photo too.
Today, feeling a little more alive. I managed to shower and dress although simply for staying home and warm weather. I got out the hair wax and my favourite eye pencil.
It doesn't take much makeup to make a difference on me. I still prefer a natural look and favour a lightly smokey eye and bare face and lips. I own several lipsticks but usually can't be bothered with them.
A makeup tutorial from me is a rather hilarious idea, is it not? I won't go that far, but in case you are a minimal makeup wearing person such as myself I will share my favourites for the very soft-natural smokey eye. In this photo it looks like one eye is slightly darker but it doesn't look that way in the mirror. I like something that is my own colouring but a bit darker so
what works best with my colouring is a taupe colour. I use a shadow from Revlon called Greige which also works really well on my brows though I generally don't bother. I love a pencil by Annabelle in Rich Chocolate which I find to be a soft, cool brown with an ever so slight purple undertone and it smudges really nicely. I put a thick link above my eye and a thin one under and them smudge liberally. I add the greige shadow all over my lid after and the results are what you see in the photos below. It's not a big difference and I am generally the type to go for a no-makeup look, the subtle improvement. It would be more dramatic if I added mascara so perhaps I would do that if going out in the evening. Perhaps. I'm not making any promises.
And the final point of this rambly post is to demonstrate the effects of good posing as opposed to my usual look. I am very self conscious about posing and tend to make an attempt to close in on myself, to shrink, to disappear, if a camera is pointed at me. It takes a great deal of effort not to and so I typically look like a bit of a blob, as in this photo below.
I am squishing my shoulders together, which makes my boobs look squished and my arms look fatter. Isn't that bra strap lovely? I wish I could find pretty bras in my size without industrial strength strap widths.
In the nest photo I temporarily took on a different persona. I pretended that it was quite expected that there would be a camera wanting to take a picture of my gorgeous self. And I posed. It makes me look slimmer and is generally more flattering overall. Instead of shrinking I expanded. My waist became miraculously slimmer and so did my arms. Or as I like to think of it, it shows what I actually look like better than a scrunched up blob pose does.
I would never do this in a candid photo of course. Most candid photos catch me in the middle of talking and making funny faces. If asked to pose I tend to get self conscious and go into scrunched up mode like the other photo. Baby steps. I may never get it 'right' and improvement may be slow, but blogging is helping me become more accustomed to a camera pointed at me and also more accepting of what I look like in a photograph.
I am inundated with offers now, to become a middle aged plus size model (oh wait no that was just the nightmare I had last night) but I think I will continue instead being a writer and painter who sometimes embarrasses herself on the internet. It seems to suit me.