Hello and Happy New Year!
I hope that 2015 has started on a high for you and that you are sticking to your New Year’s resolutions. I sure am!
First a caveat though! I am not one for New Year’s resolutions. Making them is not something that we used to do in Bulgaria whilst I still lived there (which is now a long time ago, so things may have changed there since). In fact, I only came across the notion of ‘New Year’s resolutions’ once I moved to live in England back in December 2000.
Year after year people around me would be making them, discussing them and trying to stick to them. I never did and would get slightly bored by all the talk about them, especially in the media. OK, it is possible that once or twice I might have made a New Year’s resolution just for the sake of feeling like I belonged. By the following Christmas though I wouldn’t even remember what my resolution was, so uncommitted I was to the cause.
Well, this year I decided to be different.
I decided to make a resolution that resonates with me and that I can pursue all through the year, slowly but surely getting better in the chosen field of action. I decided to challenge my limitations and step out of my comfort zone.
As such, after much thought and deliberation, I decided to become a Yummy Mummy!
You see, I wouldn’t say that I am a ‘Slummy Mummy’, but I have always been a ‘brains over beauty’ person. I would quite happily spend my time reading books, rather than getting excited over ‘superficial’ things like appearance.
Sure, I like looking good, but wouldn’t go to extreme measures to attain it. The proverb ‘no pain, no gain’ certainly was not invented for me. I like having facials and the odd massage, I like perfumes and lovely creams, but I wouldn’t spend an hour each morning applying a coat of make-up, when I can have a lie-in instead. A quick brush of mascara and a slick of lipstick would do just fine.
For ‘Beautyland’ to work for me, things needed to be easy to apply and to remove and they couldn’t be time-consuming, fiddly or complicated. And yes, I liked treating myself to some fabulous cosmetic products, but, in all honesty, most of them would simply end in the bin only slightly used. I once went for a manicure, got chatting with the helpful girl who was working on my nails and ended up pre-paying for three more sessions, only never to set foot in the salon again.
Perhaps it was pure laziness or simply my priorities were different, I am not going to overanalyse past events, but I was the girl with the smallest make-up bag. As for my nails, well, at the time I had gotten seriously into my hobby of jewellery making and was spending long hours happily polishing my silver pieces away, which is a recipe for disaster where nails are concerned. The compounds used turn your fingers black, the polishing wheel buffs just the nails of the fingers that hold the piece against it and it is enough to say that any manicure I might have had done (even Shelac) at the time would get ruined very quickly and look unsightly, so I stopped bothering with that.
Then I was pregnant and then I had a baby. I remember the last cosmetic products I bought were from a great natural skincare company called Handmade Naturals in the UK. When my cream and other products from them finished, I didn’t buy any cosmetics (apart from a shampoo, a conditioner and other such basic stuff) for a really long time. Close to a year. Or maybe over a year…
You see, I love holding my baby, kissing her head and her little cheeks. I would have hated it to be covered in make-up or to be wearing a heavy cream or face oil only to smudge them all over her delicate skin. I was also very busy with motherhood, getting used to the idea that someone depends entirely on me and I need to satisfy her every need. So, I dropped myself off by the road and after squeezing the last drops off my beauty products, I discarded them, too, never to be replaced again.
I lived like this quite happily for some time. Close to a year or maybe just over a year. Occasionally I would look at celebrity mothers in the press and sincerely wonder where they found the time to look so spectacularly polished and raise one-two-three-four children at the same time, too. Other than that I was OK.
Then several things happened. We moved to Italy, where women seem to be super skinny, stylish and understatedly maintained. Slowly but surely, I started to aspire to look better and to make more of an effort with my hair and my skin. The local pharmacies and beauty shops also seem to burst with some fabulous, never heard of in the UK products and my curiosity was piqued.
Then, in October 2014, I married my fiance and right before the wedding I got a disastrous haircut. I wanted to book my usual hairstylist, but she had gone on a maternity leave. The salon where she worked recommended that I book their top stylist. He spent 20 minutes of the appointment asking me about the hairstyle I wanted to achieve, then produced the most uninspiring and harsh bob that exposed my face in a really unflattering way. At the end he complimented me and I honestly thought he was making fun of me. Suddenly I needed something to hide behind, I was feeling so uncomfortable with my rudely chopped off hair, and make-up seemed like the ideal remedy.
Lastly and more importantly, recently I have noticed how my little baby girl has started to imitate me. She is still only 18 months old, but she is a keen observer of the world and I can see myself reflected in her gestures and her actions. As such, I would like to give her the best example possible.
So, the decision was made. It was time for me to start making a proper effort. Time to leave my comfortable shell behind, time to tear the cocoon and open my wings to their maximum span.
Although I have never really been a ‘Slummy Mummy’, I made a resolution to explore my potential and see where it takes me.
The world of ‘Beauty’ has advanced by a gazillion light years since I was last a semi-willing part of it. There are so many new products and new ways to apply them, I felt a little bit lost at first. Where do I start?
After some thought, my first decisions crystallised. First, I wanted to do something about my hair, which tends to get a bit frizzy and I want it to be smooth and sleek. Then, I would like to plump my skin up a bit, as it looks a bit tired and unhappy. I would also like to re-establish a simple beauty routine that takes me from morning till dusk. Finally, I would like to start experimenting with make-up, add some colour and even a bit of glamour.
I have started to accumulate a little haul of products, as demonstrated by the picture above. Most of them are presents (thank you so much!!) and some I bought.
Let see where all this will take me.
Hopefully, by the end of the year, I will be a bona-fide ‘Yummy Mummy’ and if I have failed, at least I will have tried.
Wish me luck and let me know your recommendations for beauty products to experiment with in the ‘Comments’ section below.
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