Thursday, September 20, 2018

To My Girls - Part 1

I wasn't blessed with a daughter. Instead, I got something else. I got beautiful nieces; amazing cousins young enough to be my daughters; and then in mid-adulthood when I'd stopped dreaming of a daughter, three wonderful #NotMyDaughters. Most of "my girls" are grown or close to it.  (Except the youngest, not pictured due to age.) 

My girls, it wasn't always possible for me to be a daily part of your lives, but I did what I could from wherever I was (picking you up at school, having you  overnight  - 529 accounts for some, helping some get into and succeed at higher education, and the care and feeding of all of you whenever possible.) I promise I was always there with my heart open, whether you realized it or not. As you blossom into amazing women, I know you have less even need to me. But, I am here at Bunny Haven Manor when you do need me. You have my number, and my home is open to you, as it has always been. I'm here when you need me. That's what #NotTheMommas are for.

When you go out in the world, I always want you to remember to be 3 things above everything else:
- Be smart
- Be kind
- Be brave

However important those 3 things are, they are not everything you might need to be or know in this world. Sometimes I worry that time or distance may mean that you will need something and I won't be there to help or you won't think to turn to me. The best thing I can think to do is to "arm" you with knowledge to succeed on your own terms. So, I'm going to do a few posts on what I consider basic life knowledge you should have. You spent enough time with me that you were not raised by wolves - however, there may be subtleties of life knowledge still to explore.

We'll start with 11 rules for being and staying prettyNot because it's the most important, but, because in many ways it is the easiest. There will be other parts where we'll tackle finances, cooking, and cleaning - possibly more. (And you all know I have my own life rules. ) But we will start here, with being and staying pretty.

Some of what I'll tell you is common sense. Some of it science will prove wrong. It's okay, later science will prove it right again. 

1) Pretty is as pretty does. In the end, how people will remember you has less to do with how you look than how you treat them. And ugly shows through. Practice being gracious. 

2) Sunscreen. Every burn and tan ages your skin. Especially areas that don't have much natural protection - like your neck and chest and the top of your hands. Every day. Hats when you can. Sunglasses. The sun is changing. It will not be kind to us at any time soon.

3) Don't contaminate your skin. What you put on your skin is absorbed into your body. Synthetic fragrances can disrupt your hormones (and more importantly, potentially your children's). Have care in what you buy with fragrance - perfume, make-up, skin care.

There are so many options for natural perfumes! Sometimes I wear them and you tell me you like that scent. Lucy B, Margot Elena (Library of Flowers, Toykomilk, Love + Toast, Lollia, The Cottage Greenhouse), Tsi-La, In Fiore, Strange Invisible Perfumes, and many more every day.

From point 2, look at natural options for lotions, soaps, and sunscreens as well. Zum, Mrs Meyers, Jason, Alba, Kiss My Face are fantastic options. 

Many of the colors in cheap make-up have toxic elements. No reason to use those when you live in what is the golden era of natural makeup! Au Natural Cosmetics, IT Cosmetics, Iila, Bare Minerals, Tarte, Laura Mercier, 100% Pure, Juice Beauty, French Girl - and those are just a few I've tried! (You can order a good number direct and others via Ulta. Some, like Burt's Bees are mostly natural and available from the drug store.) There will be more. The world is awakening to how to use the gifts we've been given on this planet. (Yes, darlings, I know about Vapour Beauty. Their customer service is rude and the product has issues with tubes. Nope.)

You can buy expensive Lush masks or wasteful single use sheets. Or you can buy good quality clay + matcha dry and add a few things.... honey for moisture and anti-bacterial; strawberries for moisture, antioxidant and mildly astringent; yogurt (plain) for moisturizing and skin brightening; egg white for skin tightening; maple syrup (organic) for anti-aging; a simple addition of rose water to add scent to a dry mask.  Dry masks (a mix of clay, etc.) are economical and last a good bit. Then you just mix them up when you want them.

4) Wash your faceCoco Chanel once said something to the effect of "A woman without perfume is a woman without a future." She didn't just mean scent. She meant self-care. Even if you didn't wear make up, wash your face at the end of every day to take the day off (sweat, dead skin, dirt, etc.) This small act of self-care means something. (And you don't have to wash your face 2x a day, especially if your skin is dry - just a simple splash of water and a swipe of witch hazel prep your skin for moisturizer.)

Keep point 3 in mind when you pick what to wash with. And make sure you have something to delicately remove your eye makeup because of point 5.

5) Your skin is not infinitely elastic. You will find that out in your 40s that you should've done, so start doing them now:

     - Use your ring finger to pat creams and lotions into your eye area. 
      - Remove your eye makeup gently. Without rubbing and pulling.
     - Whatever cream or lotion you put on your face, put on your neck as well.
     - Use an upward motion to put on creams, lotions, oils or make-up.
     - Frownies are a fairly awesome way to help keep between brow lines down
   - Sleep on your back. Side sleepers will get wrinkles on that side first (uneven wrinkling, weird - and let's not talk about what it does to the chest area.) Stomach sleepers will age/wrinkle even faster.

6) Your hair needs good care. Quality shampoo and conditioner is required. Cheap hair care can give you issues with color and breakage. (Reminder - dry shampoo only goes on the roots for oil, unless you need texture.) Have a light hand with the amount of extra heat (drying, curling, straightening) and chemicals you use.

7) Lasers and tweezers are your friend. (Also good light and a strong mirror. Make sure you have those.) Threading is also good. Wax can be weird, especially if you have wavy hair. (But NADS are good in an upper lip emergency.) Shaving - and don't be fooled by micro-dermabrasion facials, it's a razor - is a last resort. And never the chemical options - see point 3 if you have forgotten. (I'm not telling you this to make you attractive to men - or women - I'm telling you this because some of us just don't like dark hair on light skin. And I've tried nearly every option on the planet.) The faster you get it permanently handled, the faster you can get to quick showers and faster prep time. Life enhancing!

8) Drink water. Preferably without fake crap in it like flavors and artificial sugar. (Also stop with the diet soda! Gallstones. Gout. Cancer. Use sugar or stevia or honey.) And if you drink tea - drink organic, as it doesn't get rinsed off of pesticides before being made into tea. (You don't want to drink hot pesticide water.) Eat fruit, but not too much, and plenty of veggies. Yes, this is a beauty tip. You can eat crap in your teens and twenties. But by your thirties, they start to show up as extra weight and wrinkles. The easiest beauty tip is to eat better things and better quality younger.

9) You are prettier than you realize. Stop using filters. Just take your picture. Someday you will realize you are beautiful. 

10) Don't spend too much time on trends like those strange overdone, painted in eyebrows. They aren't flattering and don't look natural. And my glory - the upkeep! There are better ways to spend your time.

11) Always do something you love. If you can't make a living with it, then give yourself time to do it. That happiness will show on the outside!

Please remember 3 things, my darlings: I believe in you. I love you. And, I am proud of you. Always.

Pictures are via Instagram, Gingertown photography

And for 100% transparency, I think I'm supposed to mention that:
1) I do own stock in Hain Celestial - which creates the Jason and Alba lines. I own that stock because I like the products. That's how I invest and also why I share.
2) I do get an affiliate link benefit from this link Skin Care by Juice Beauty 

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