Monday, July 7, 2008

Help Me De-Frumpify

I'm going through the post-baby “I look frumpy” stage of life. I've been ecstatic to have my clothes back and not to have the remnants of winter clothing/maternity clothes to limp by on, but now my own clothes have reminded me of the sad truth; I don't look like I did before the baby. I've gone through this before with Lydia, and I know that eventually my old clothes will not only fit on my body I (which for the most part they do), but actually look flattering while doing so (which for the most part they don't).

This has all emphasized the greater frumpiness I feel; It's something about having a baby. Both times in the months afterwards I've felt this. It could to do with the almost permanent spit-up adorning my shoulder (and sometimes hair that happened to be on the unfortunate shoulder). Maybe it's the bags under my eyes from night feedings. Not to mention the previously stated clothing problem. All this together makes me want to do something drastic, something exotic, so I'll feel human and attractive again.

Hence, I've decided to wear make-up.

What, you say? You don't wear make-up? Umm, no. I actually can't remember the last time I wore any. In fact, I don't even own any make-up any more, it's been so long.

Normally I feel confident in my own “natural beauty” (actually normally I just feel lazy), but at times like these post-baby ones, drastic measures are needed.

So, for all my female readers, what make-up do you wear and adore?

I'm pretty minimal, usually (well, when I used to wear make-up at all); I like foundation, mascara and eye shadow. Occasionally I'll wear eye liner, and even less often lipstick (I hate how it tastes, and so does Avram), and I never wear blush. I've never put any on that didn't look powdery and fake on me.

I like natural colors, like shades of pinks and browns; not blues and greens. (For the eyeshadow).

Anyway, please, someone with some fashion sense tell me what to get and where. While you're at it, tell me what to do with my hair so it has some volume while growing it long. And what to do with it every day.

For that matter, would anyone like to volunteer to be my personal fashion assistant? I can pick out my own clothes, but I'd need you to do everything else that I'm to lazy to do on a daily basis so that I look put together. The pay stinks, as do the rewards, but the thanks will be high.

After all, a well intentioned woman around my age and from Montana recently told me that I would love it there. Here words paraphrased: They don't keep up with national styles, and are all natural and don't wear make-up. It would be perfect for me! She meant this in a positive way; she loved growing up there. But for a moment it did sound to me like, “You wear ugly clothes and don't do anything with your hair or face, you'd love it there!” And this is how I come across to people who like me. I can only imagine what strangers see.

Not that I believe that make-up and nice hair and clothes do a nice person make. And I would never want to be so dependent on make-up that I wouldn't leave home without it on.

Stopping wearing make-up came very naturally. The first boyfriend I had in college commented shortly after we started dating that my face smelled like make-up (he had been in plays in high school, and so had worn stage make-up, and so had some intimacy with the product). He also asked me what I did to my eyebrows, which were plucked, and was horrified by the reply. Both led to my demise of facial products and manipulation. Avram told me he wouldn't kiss me on our wedding day if I wore lipstick. Guess who wore no lipstick on her wedding day?

Avram seems to be generally oblivious to how I look; he always thinks I look beautiful, even when I'm nine months pregnant and have a cold. I do appreciate this; I'd rather have this end of the spectrum than husbands who have standards their wives have to live up to, weight-wise, or looks wise. But sometimes it makes it hard to remember that just because Avram always thinks I'm beautiful doesn't mean that I feel beautiful if I feel frumpy.

By the way, I really like the word frumpy in this context. It sounds like what I feel.

What do you all think about make-up? What's a nice amount for day to day? Would you leave home without wearing any? Are there any others like me, who don't even own make-up? And remember, tell me what brands and kinds of make-up are good, because in case you haven't figured it out by this point of the post, I'm basically clueless on the matter.


  1. ooo makeup. I like to play with it. But normally I'm like you and never wear it. I have a basic set that I do wear somewhat often, and I love that Samuel can't tell whether I'm wearing it or not. That is the trick of wearing makeup daily, I think. To look like it's all natural, but at the same time, knowing that you like the way you look and spent a bit of time on it.

    I have some ideas that I think you'll like.
    1. mineral makeup instead of wet foundation. I can't stand foundation. It feels so yucky and it looks like paint. I use Physician's Formula mineral makeup powder (just a drugstore brand, nothing special). It is a powder that, after a few minutes, will not look powdery or leave dust on places. "Mineral" means that it is made up of special minerals that supposedly won't be bad for your skin. Talc, which most powders were made of in the past, is bad supposedly, so this makeup is "talc-free". This stuff takes literally seconds to apply, with a little brush that it comes with. It gives you a bit of coverage without looking like, well, foundation, or mask-like. Also, it doesn't cake up in the creases on your face as the day goes by.

    2. Lip stain, as opposed to any of the other various sticky nasty lip color products. This stuff is completely liquid. It is a dye for your lips, or cheeks, to give them a natural-looking (non-sticky or glossy, or powdery for cheeks) rosy color. It dries very quickly. The kind I have tastes bitter at first (it is made with rosewater too, so kind of tastes like that) but the taste goes away soon. I love this stuff. It makes your lips feel a bit dry at first, but chapstick soon corrects the problem. I use Benetint, from the company Benefit. It is quite expensive up front -some $20 for a little bottle- but I bought my bottle about 3-4 years ago, and with some periods of daily use, I still have 1/3 bottle left. I have heard that Maybelline has a limited-time product available now in drugstores, called "just bitten" or something like that. It's probably cheaper, but supposedly will not be available soon. I have never been lucky enough to find lip stain at a drugstore.

    For mascara, I use that stuff in the pink/lime green bottle because it's cheap and works well for me. Some people have complained about flaking, though. I think it is Maybelline.

    That is what I wear when I wear makeup. 1. Physician's Formula mineral makeup -about $5 from any drugstore; 2. Benetint lip stain from Benefit -about $20 from their website; 3. mascara from the drugstore. In all it takes less than 5 minutes to apply. If it is a fancy occasion I might throw in a little eyeshadow and eyeliner, which I did for my wedding, for example. Eyeliner is tricky to make it look natural, though, as I'm sure you've noticed. I think the trick is to get the pencil kind, and smudge it with a Q-tip once it's applied. I spent most of the period dating/being engaged to Samuel wearing eyeliner, and I'm pretty sure it was natural-looking because I know for a fact that he hates the look of eyeliner, yet he didn't seem to notice.

    For hair, I find French braids to be very nice for having the appearance of volume. Also, If you part your hair *wrong* while it's wet, and then when it's dry correct it with a comb and a tiny bit of water, that will give you some volume on top. If you don't want to look silly with a "wrong" part, you can comb it all back while wet, and use a small claw clip to hold the top half of your hair back until it dries. This will give you more volume when you let your hair down again.


  2. p.s. if you have worn pressed powder foundation in the past, like the kind in a compact, I must say that mineral makeup powder is still better, at least, I think it looks more natural, and supposedly it is better for your skin.

    Wow I practically wrote a blog post of my own!

  3. I was actually thinking about makeup the other day. I too was anti/lazy.

    For the last long while I was wearing Maybelline mousse both foundation and blush. It's covers without being too thick, which I appreciate.
    Mascara I like Almay, and I usually get the purple color. (It supposedly brings out the green - I like it for the novelty of people, when we're standing in the sun, saying, "Do you wear purple mascara?")

    Lately I've been on a, if I'm going to spend money, I'm going to get something decent that will last awhile, and be better. The latest foundation is actually a tinted moisturizer. I love it! It has sunscreen, and moisturizer and it evens out the skin tone just enough. And if you feel you need/want more coverage, it works underneath it all. The website that I found it at was Be warned, most are horribly expensive! And there are no reviews, but I they are decent products. [Side note: my dad introduced me to this site.]

    I hardly ever wear much eye makeup anymore, but when I do, it's just the cheap stuff. I tend to look at the Almay colors for the ones that 'emphasize' certain eye colors, and then find the same colors, in a cheaper brand. (I know I just said I'm goig for higher quality stuff, but it's a work in progress. :) )

    About minerals: I have tried mineral; I used Bare Minerals - it worked, and was fairly easy, but it took too much time for me on a day to day basis.

    I too am done with my blog entry. :)

  4. Oops.

    One, I like your title.

    An, about hair - I don't know if this applies, since I usually have the opposite problem: too much volume! But, I have a special towel (i.e. no terry - at least for curls, the terry makes your hair frizzy. It's really just a glorified flour sack, and if I had noticed, I would've just used the flour sack towels!)
    I like hair cream.... ya know, I think I should stop giving hair advice. I know absolutely nothing about long straight hair since I have the opposite. Now if you were to get a perm....

  5. Thora,

    To channel my old Jewish woman self, honey you look gorgeous. I realize you may feel frumpy but a mother is among one of the most beautiful things in the world.
    My recomendation is to focus on eye makeup. While foundation can be nice you have very nice skin so there is no need for much in that way. Addtionally I would shy away from blush or rouge as they also hide the naturally beautiful skin that you have.
    On the eyes,

    I would try out some things and see what you like.

    A little bit or eye liner and some brown colored masuuera(though not much it's primarily bat guano)
    Avoid black in eye liner and keep to warmer browns. A little eyeshadow can be nice but i'd recommend only as you have chosen tans and pinks. I think the shimmer looks nice but it's not for everyone.

    Okay there is your old jewish woman advice. Which you can take or leave.

    Thora you are a beautiful person and Avram knows that as well as many other people in this world.

    Okay that's all I have to say over and out.


  6. Oh I had other advice besides makeup.


    Look at structure in clothing as it draws the eyes along lines and shapes. Though it may seem counter intuitive buy clothing that fits not tight but the fits properly. In some cases you may want to whip out the sewing machine and do a few alterations.
    Jackets/vests also can add structure but I would avoid patterned jackets or vests leave this to shirts or skirts.
    Pants with pleats I don't know how often you wear pants but pleats can add a lot to the look.
    Good shoes it's important to be comfortable but choosing the right shoes can do a lot to the defrump. Choose shoes that match the activity and that fit many of your old shoes may not fit as well. Additionally give your self a little lift with a slightly higher heel. I'm not talking stilettos just something that will give a little height while strengthening posture.

    Things not to do outside the house.

    Big T-Shirts nothing screams frump like baggy t-shirt once again fitted is the key.

    Let me make a side note that fitted does not mean tight or saran wrap just fit or tailored this gives a crip appearance.

    I would recommend golf shirts, collared shirts like the blue oceany looking one you made at BYU

    Okay on the defrump train.

    Sweats are out as well unless you're working out or going to a pj party.

    Jeans are fine but once again fitted. Consider boot cut which adds a little shape to the leg without looking like a sailor.

    Avoid cargo pants/stretch pants/spandex/Hawaiian shirts(nothing screams tring to hide how frumpy I look like a brightly colored Hawaiian shirt which is one step away from a Moo Moo)

    Okay I'm out of ideas for now but I might have more

  7. Amy recently posted something about a natural kind of make-up she thought was wonderful. I don't remember the details so you may want to ask her directly.

  8. well i for one get that frumpy mom feel all the time.. i hate it. I dont get make up on much anymore.. I put it on for church. when we were first married i put on everything, eye liner and shadow included. Now i throw some foundation on to hide my sunken eyes and age spots and then maybe some blush to look alive and a touch of mascara. I really like a eye shadow by mabeline.. i think... its called champagne and is a little bit shimmery and a light cream color. I use a bronzer instead of blush on my cheaks. helps me not look so sallow. mascarra just buy the cheap one, they are all the same i swear! also you might try plucking your eye brows again as this can make you look more made up with no make up at all!

    I just get my make up at walmart.. i am cheap, no forking over money for the expensive stuff for me!

    about the hair, no advice really since i have never had long hair. I have thin hair, and frankly it just looks thin! cory likes if i pull it up and pin it with parts around my face staying down. i guess he thinks it looks less thin then and more elegant or something. If i really really really have a reason to look nice ( which rarely hapens these days!) i put some moose in and blow dry it upside down to get some body. this is something i did every day before i got married... now i think its maybe once every few months?? lol. oh well. I am just a frumpy mom.. who is about to have a baby and get a nice frumpy belly to go with my look. *sigh* Unlike you i dont lose the baby weight while breastfeeding so i cant wear my old clothes either. I am a big fan of the new shirts in style that are all loose and flowey. I think i may invest in some!

    i am sorry this is so incoherant.. kids are fighting... better go referee. I need to call you. its easier to communicate.

  9. I second the vote on Physician's Formula Mineral Make-up, that's what I wear and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. It never looks cakey or fake, and I've never been able to find a liquid that looked natural. This stuff is like magic, you can't tell you're wearing anything, but your skin looks almost airbrushed perfect! (If you have any acne though you might want to try a mineral liquid to cover those up.) For me the big plus of the minerals is that it doesn't dry my skin out like talc based powders do. If you want the best results get a better powder brush, it makes a big difference, more even application and faster, but it's certainly not required. And wash the brush frequently.

    I also second what Camilla said about bronzer instead of blush, I do the same.

    Those two with a bit of mascara is all you need. Add a little neutral colored eye shadow (I love what Camilla wears, and it would be good with your skin too!) and eyeliner for special occasions (whether that's dinner with Avram, or an especially frumpified day) and you're good to go. And I get everything at Wal-Mart too. I use Rimmell Mascara in Brown/black, Wet n' Wild eye liner in dark brown. Cheap, cheap, cheap.

    Oh, and tweeze your eyebrows. That will do wonders to open up your eyes with no makeup at all. If it's been a LONG time, you might want to actually pay someone to do it, then you can just do upkeep, and it's not bad at all. You can handle pulling out a hair or two every week, right?

    And Thora, I don't wear any makeup most days, and I was a makeup addict before I became a mother. It's just not practical to spend the time or energy, or money, to wear it every day! And yes, I go out most every day without it.

    Oh, almost forgot hair tips: You can get those velcro rollers, the big ones.Then you just blowdry your hair and roll it up. It doesn't take too long, and you'll have lots of body.