Dr. Cheryl Woodson

Woodsonian Musings on Monday: Manage Stress Through G.R.A.C.E. part 3 A. Accept Yourself. Don’t Hate; Decorate!

Many of us look in the mirror and don’t like what we see, but as I said on September 1 ( G in G.R.A.C.E- gratitude,) feeling down just makes it harder to get up. My buddy, Iris Ade, always said, “Don’t hate, decorate!” Make the most of what you’ve got. When you feel better about your looks, you’ll have more energy to make any changes you want. Save up to give yourself the occasional beauty treat, but also look for coupons and less expensive alternatives.

Get a good haircut. If you like someone’s hair, ask for the name of the stylist. Beauty schools and some of the inexpensive chains often have up and comers who need you to look good so they can expand their portfolios and get out of there. Be honest about your lifestyle, how much work you’re willing to do, and how much money you have for maintenance. Find out which styles complement the shape of your face and your personality. What colors look best with your eyes, skin tone, and personality? Don’t try this at home! Unless you know what you’re doing, leave the cuts and chemicals to professionals.

Get a facial. Learn your skin type and what products are best for YOU. Are you menopausal? Dry? Oily? Both? Do you have breakouts, blemishes, or sun damage? Again, beauty schools might be better for your budget. If you’re willing to wear makeup, make it work for you. I prefer stores that sell only beauty products and carry all brands, but don’t have specific sales people for each cosmetic company. Again, communication is key. Be honest about your lifestyle, personality, the time and the finances available for upkeep. Well-applied cosmetics can appear to change of the shape of your face and eyes, and they can do some camouflage, but your goal is to look like a better YOU, not to channel your favorite celebrity. Learn how to use and clean makeup brushes. Decrease your risk of eye infections by NOT SHARING brushes, or products and, with mascara, ask how often to clean, or change your brush and how long to keep the product.

Support the Girls and yourself. Go to one of the upscale stores that sell only lingerie (for life-sized, non-airbrushed women,) and let them help you find the right fit and type of bra for you. Wear beautiful lingerie, ALWAYS. Your spirits can really soar when you wear diva-level beauty next to your skin. I almost stopped breathing when I saw the prices at some of these specialty lingerie shops, but they have sales; you can find coupons, or save for a treat. Once you know your size, you can also order delicious, affordable underthings online.

Invest in clothes that flatter and FIT. Don’t worry about the number on the size tag, or what you wore ten years ago. Get help to put together a wardrobe that complements your body type, personality, and lifestyle TODAY. You can also change the appearance of features you’d like to ignore. If you’re worried about looking wider, you probably don’t want to wear horizontal stripes. If you want to play down large feet, choose bootcut jeans, not skinnies, or capris. Upscale department stores have personal shoppers who can help, but you could also schedule one, or two sessions with a style coach. Any of these professionals can help you dress for the job you WANT. A few quality, interchangeable pieces are better than a closetful of junk. Once you know your size and style, hit the discount stores.

No matter what, let your personality and inner beauty shine through. Stand in agreement with India.Arie
“I’ve learned to love myself unconditionally, because I am a QUEEN.”
YOU ARE, so don’t cry; ETCETERIZE!
NEXT Monday: Manage Stress Through G.R.A.C.E. C – CHILL OUT!

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