Taming the Beast

It happened this morning, while in the car. I glanced in the mirror and noticed that my eyebrows, which are usually tame and well groomed, resembled an overgrown shrubbery, vague strips of hair that had no real shape and did nothing for my overall appearance.

Come to think of it, my elbows have been kinda dry and my feet look terrible – cracked heels and chipped nail polish taking the place of my trademark pretty peds. (That’s right, I said peds.)

So what’s with my sudden beastly appearance? Obviously I love grooming myself. I mean, I write a beauty blog! It dawned on me today, as I stared in horror at my brows, that I am guilty of a classic girl-in-a-relationship crime; I have let myself go.

Not in a spandex-wearing, ate-too-many-buckets-of-chicken kind of way, but in a way that is noticeable to me and, over time, to others. My boyfriend and I are apartment hunting, and for the past couple of weeks I’ve pretty much been living at his house, a sort of trial run for when we finally get to co-habitate for real. It’s been great, but the unfortunate side effect of nearly 24/7 togetherness is that I stopped doing the things I normally do that I don’t necessarily want him to see me doing. Like tweezing my eyebrows and scrubbing dead skin of my feet.

Which brings us to the present, where I am soaking my foot in a peppermint foot bath as I type. In an effort to tame the beast that I have become, I have also tweezed my brows and trimmed my nails, and will be giving myself a full blown pedicure momentarily.

For anyone else out there who has been neglecting herself and just wants to feel pretty again, here is my favorite 30 minutes or less beauty routine:

Fill up a big bowl or  foot bath with hot water and a foot soak. Remove all nail polish from nails and trim both finger and toenails. Soak feet for 5 to 10 minutes, or until your skin has been softened and you feel relaxed.

While feet are soaking, I like to do eyebrow maintenance. Using a hand mirror, remove any obvious stray hairs. Using an lash comb, comb brow hairs upward and tweeze any hairs that are outside your lash shape. Then comb brows downward and do the same. When finished, comb brows back to their normal position and make sure you didn’t miss any obvious strays. This is a simple way to touch up between waxes or heavy-duty tweezing sessions.

When brows are done, remove feet from soak and use a generous amount of foot scrub on each foot, concentrating on any especially dry areas. Once you have scrubbed away any dead skin, rinse feet in the soak, and then pat dry with a towel. Immediately slather foot lotion on each foot.

If you have the time and would like to add nail color, swipe each nail with polish remover and then paint. The polish remover will remove any soak/scrub/lotion residue and allow the polish to stick to your nail. Your skin will be soft and your feet will look lovely.

My hooves look like feet again. Thank God.

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What’s in a Name?

A few years back a friend of mine pointed out that the majority of the makeup I buy comes with a cool name. She laughingly pointed this out one day while we were getting ready to go out for a night on the town. While she painted her nails a color named something like “brick” and dusted on eyeshadow in a shade called “desert brown,” I was happily painting my face with my all time favorite makeup palette, Too Faced’s “The Temptress.”

It got me thinking, particularly when it comes to makeup, what’s in a name? Obviously the chicest, most fun name can’t make a lousy product a good one, but, I have to admit, I’d rather apply a product whose name is dripping with sex appeal than one whose name conjures up images of vultures and a cactus.

I have collected a variety of sass-inducing beauty products over the years, and I will confess to using them to boost my mood and confidence in addition to whatever increase in beauty they can contribute. Here, a few of my favorite sexy products:

– I’ve mentioned it before but I have to bring it up again. Ladies, if you don’t own Nars Orgasm blush by now, do yourself a favor and buy some. Yes, it has a naughty name, but the truth is this sheer pink blush looks fantastic on every skin tone I’ve ever seen it on. It goes on light, and you can layer it on for a darker glow or keep it sheer for a subtle one. There’s a reason it’s been a cult classic for years. It’s the second best way to get that glow.

– Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Lust. A metallic purple eyeliner might sound scary, but trust me, it’s not. This stay-put liner is one of my secret beauty weapons. Smudged lightly under the eyes it’s a subtle way to make my eyes pop. Or, when I’m feeling more bold, I use it to create a cat eye. Either way, who wouldn’t feel sexier after lining her eyes with lust?

– Too Faced Lock Down Ultimate Creaseless Cream Eye Shadow in Bedroom Eyes. One of my more recent beauty finds, this cream shadow is made with Too Faced’s Shadow Insurance, a primer that keeps your eyeshadow from creasing and smudging all over your face. Bedroom Eyes is a shimmery golden brown that stays put, even in hot and humid weather. And every time I wear it someone tells me I have beautiful eyes. Sold.

– My last pick is brought to us by OPI, a brand that in my opinion has mastered the art of naming products. My current favorite is their Nail Lacquer in An Affair in Red Square, a vampy red that stays put and looks absolutely fantastic, the perfect blend of classy and sexy.

And really, isn’t that what we want from our makeup?