Friday, March 14, 2014

Lessons from That Fabulous Girl

Have you ever met that girl? The one who, no matter rain or shine, headache or heartache, always looks so well put together?  I know I've met that girl - she was in my school, and in college, and at work, and on the street... That girl is everywhere!

I always thought that I have not been blessed with the gift of being that girl - it is too often that I have a bad hair day, or barely any make-up on to cover my lovely age spots, and, unless I'm off to a party, I don't put mascara on, so I don't have to wash it off at night.

Earlier this week, I sat in front of my computer and googled images of Jackie Kennedy-Onasis, Kate Moss, and Victoria Beckham, the ultimate That Girls! Always put together, always effortlessly fabulous.

Agh... How do (or did) they do it? 

Ok, after an extensive research, here are a few skills I need to master on how to always look stylish and put together. There are only 5 Skills, but there is a lot of information and links, so grab a cup of coffee and get comfy. Here we go.

Skill #1: Know what works for your body type and have fun.
Whether you are edgy or classic, romantic or gothic, bohemian or timeless, you really must know what works for your body. Whether I like it or not, I don't have a body of Victoria's Secret Angel.  I must work on my hourglass shape, and enhance features that I have, not someone else. Here is the guide to understand your body shape from T-Styled Me.

While that girl has a lot of basics in her closet, she also loves LOVES to accessorize and experiment ~ mix and match clashing styles, colors, and brands. Here is a great presentation on How To Put Together A Wardrobe from IFB.

Read "The Bible", i.e. Vogue (or Elle, or Bazaar) for ideas. But when recreating the look, be true to yourself, find your favorite things, so they can become your signature pieces and people will start to associate you with them. Wear it, own it, love it. And please, always dress according to your destination ~ no 9" heels at the airport.

And, finally, if you stumble upon a bad day (a common state of mind for me), have an "emergency" outfit that you can just throw on and be fabulous. Headache? What headache!

Skill #2: Create a skin care and make-up routine.
I do have a well established skin care routine, and I take my facial appointments very seriously and have a pretty good skin. But does that mean I don't need much make up? Absolutely does not!

Putting make-up on is a skill that must be learned. In no way I say to doll-up for an everyday look, but I say to smooth and even up your skin tone, give it some color, enhance cheekbones, highlight eyes! It almost looks like there is no make up on, but there is. That's the "effortless" look. So get in a habit of applying make-up and, after a few tries, it will not take more than 5 minutes.

Learn how to apply make up from the pro, a very lovely Tanya Burr.

Skill #3: Pay attention to your hair.
Really? To get to work on time, I get up at 5AM, and, believe me, I have absolutely no desire to put make-up on or to style my hair. That would wake up the entire house! So I end up getting out of the house with shapeless hair.

But now I know that there is a way to avoid styling my hair at 5AM and still look great. Yes! I don't know about you, but I wash my hair only twice a week.  There really is no reason to wash hair daily. (Did you know that Audrey Hepburn washed her hair only once a week?) And I already invested in my hair appointments with Patrick every 8 weeks for color and trim, and I invested in a good shampoo, so all I need is to take five minutes and style (in my case it is to straighten) my hair twice a week. When hair is washed and styled, there is really no need to do much until the next wash.

The real trick is, though, when hair is out of shape, that girl knows what to do - wear a hat, or pull her hair into a neat ponytail, or to make a beautiful bun. Here are links to the perfect blow out from The Londoner and how to make a bun from Wendy's Lookbook.

So, figure out what works well for your face structure, set up an "emergency" hairstyle for the days you have no time, and voila!

Skill #4: Proper posture.
Well, proper posture is something that can take some time to get used to.

To get good posture, you need to walk, sit, and lie in positions where the least strain is placed on supporting muscles. Proper posture keeps bones and joints in the correct alignment so that muscles are being used properly.

Core strength is the key. Any exercise that focuses on core strength and body awareness is great, especially Pilates and Yoga. So go ahead and make a call to the nearest studio. And while you are dialing, don't forget to sit up straight! Here are some tips and tricks on how to keep good posture from Huffington Post.

And last, but certainly NOT LEAST,
Skill #5: Beauty starts within - self-contentment.
While it may seem that being self-content has nothing to do with fashion and style, but it does. How many times do we hear that that girl's look is so effortless, that she looks like she did not spend much time thinking about her look and just threw something on and left the house.

Well, maybe that's exactly what she did! Being self-content means accepting and acknowledging who you are at your core. It's about being satisfied! That girl knows who she is, she knows what she wants. She exudes that quiet confidence that makes us feel her effortlessness.

Here are more thoughts about Self Contentment Leads To Confidence.

Oh, I have a lot of homework to do, but I think I can master all five skills. I can be effortlessly fabulous. Yes I can!

What are your tricks and do's for being that girl? Please please please share!

xo, Zuma A.

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