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DIY Beauty

March 29th, 2010 at 10:47 am

One thing I don't talk much about is DIY beauty. Pretty much because "beauty" is low on my list of priorities. I usually contribute to the discussions by saying, "I don't spend a dime on beauty." But for some soap and shampoo, to stay clean, that about does it for me.

Which I find often gets funny reactions, in online forums. As a perfect example, I used to belong to a regional parenting forum and met some great friends through the site. But a lot of the people I did not meet for a long time, in person. It was clear that most of them could not relate to me on many levels. Money and beauty topics always came up. I swear to you, these women must have imagined me living in a shack, driving a jalopy (howsever you spell it) with hairy legs and a unibrow. This is clearly the image I project online.

It was funny because meeting a lot of the women in person, changed their attitudes towards me drastically. The funniest to me was a very volatile and shallow woman. She really hated me online, and suddenly became my biggest ally, once she saw my nice home for the first time. It was just so obvious that appearances were so important to her, and suddenly she looked at me a little differently.

Anyway, my point is, you don't have to spend a fortune on beauty, to look good.

I honestly think self confidence is the bulk of it. I have gorgeous friends who wouldn't dream of leaving the house without makeup, because they would be too embarassed at the thought. Which I personally think is ludicrous. People all the time tell me, well, I am just lucky I can pull it off. Pfffft. Like I Really believe I have more natural beauty than these people. I don't think so.

Regardless, beauty has gotten low on my priority list over the years. It probably doesn't help that my spouse freaks out if I put on tinted chap stick (he just hates make up). I know other friends who are more beauty obsessed would say I "let myself go." For me, I'd say, "I have other priorities." It would be another thing if my spouse really cared about appearances that much. He just doesn't. & on another level, I am more concerned about living a healthy lifestyle. Which keeps me trim and polished, for the most part. I've got healthy teeth, nails, hair, skin. I don't need to paint it all to "look healthy." Exercise and sun takes care of most of it.

BUT, you may be surprised to know I was a beauty freak in my youth. I have actually swing WAY more "girly girl," than tomboy. Which I know does not come across so much in my current lifestyle and blogging.

& I have always been very DIY when it comes to beauty. Always had a styled hairdo, makeup, and manicures when I was younger. All done by yours truly. All I Can say is, practice, practice, practice.

I actually stopped wearing makeup when I developed allergies and could no longer wear eye makeup (I have always been light on the makeup, regardless, though). With age, I kind of found myself shifting to low maintenance hairstyle, though it is important for me to have nice hair. Thing is I can wash and wear the style I have. & I like to wear makeup once in a while. I just can't do the eye stuff every day.

Manicures? It was since having my second child that I have hardly done a thing with my nails. Though, they are always groomed and clean - good enough for me. Though I will often wear clear polish to give them a bit of shine. That takes like, seconds.

Anyway, I saw the cutest "glitter tip" manicure that was apparently all the rage at my bank. I noticed one teller, and then another on another day. "Oooooh - that's pretty," the old Monkey Mama said.

SO, yesterday I finally got around to giving it a whirl. I was skeptical since it's probably been 5 years since I did the whole "french manicure" thing. I went out and bought about $20 in supplies (way more than I needed - but figured I should throw out most of my old polish).

I experimented on one nail at a time until I found the perfect technique.

In the end, painted the tips (with guide sticker) a glittery/sheeny white that I Already had. This alone makes for a really nice manicure. Looks much nicer than the "bright white tips," to me. Coated the whole nail with light blush. Added the glitter polish to the tips, without guides. This is a realy good technique, since it hides a bit if your lines aren't perfect. Finished with a topcoat. I tried a few different strategies, but this one clearly looked the best. & as a perk, it was the easiest too.

3 people already asked me if I went to the salon. I guess I haven't lost my touch. Wink The funny thing is my right hand turned out better since I did it second. I was wary how steady my left un-practiced hand would be.

The only room for improvement would be a higher quality glitter polish. Which I will be on the lookout for. I couldn't re-create the look exactly, but got close enough. Going forward, technique down, I can keep up the look for pennies.

I tried to snap a picture, but they weren't coming out. I will break out my camera and share later.

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ETA: Pictures



7 Responses to “DIY Beauty”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    I would love to see those nails when you get the chance! I can relate to you, I'm not a high maintenence beauty myself but I am well groomed as you say. Too each their own!

  2. MonkeyMama Says:

    True.

    The funny thing is I don't really know many women in the middle. I have always been way more froo-frooey than most of my friends, relatives and co-workers (non-makeup types). While most of my makeup-wearing/beauty caring friends are way extreme on the other end.

    I suppose I am surprised that more people don't just DIY. I suppose I learned DIY from my mother, but one of my best friends as a child, wanted to be a beautician. I remember doing our hair and makeup all the time when I Was just a kid. But it was good practice, so I Was never intimitaded by just going it alone.

  3. ceejay74 Says:

    Wow, cute nail job! My cuticles are usually chewed ragged, so I hardly ever do anything to my hands. Frown Luckily NT has the same bad habit, so he understands.

    Interesting post too. I'm sort of in a similar position, except I'm probably a bit more tomboyish or androgynous. But at the same time, I love wearing pretty sundresses and strappy sandals in the summertime. I go through phases, I guess. Haven't been into makeup since college, though. I was never very good at it. I can't tell if people are just being polite, but I get lots of compliments on my skin, and people always seem (or just act) surprised at my age, including doctors and nurses. So I don't worry too much about wearing makeup.

    It's funny; AS was just saying recently that she wants to get back into wearing makeup, and she's been putting more attention into her clothing. It made me think about it a bit too. I mean, I do nothing for my face, and I'm in my late 30s now...at some point I should probably do something. I wonder if it would be weird if we both started wearing makeup suddenly? NT's a bit like your husband; doesn't care about makeup and might be slightly against it, but I don't know whether he'd mind or not if one or both of us started wearing it...

    If we did, we'd have to learn to DIY, because I can't see putting money toward that, when there are so many other wants that are more important to us.

  4. MonkeyMama Says:

    I always figured I would probably do more makeup as I age. People always tell me my skin is too nice and I have rosy cheeks and lips, of course I don't need makeup. I never found anything extraordinary about my skin - I always took it as other people were just more insecure. But I could see definitely wearing more makeup, with age. Maybe I wanted to look older when I was a teen, and see less point of wearing makeup in my 20s/30s. But I have been telling dh that I might wear more makeup to look younger as I age. He will have to get over it.

  5. MonkeyMama Says:

    ceejay - to add - I also didn't do anything with my nails, but trim and polish. This may give away that I don't do too much "dirty work" with my hands. My life is a littl cushy. Wink

  6. dmontngrey Says:

    What little I may do is definitely DIY. It always has been. My nails used to be perfectly manicured and everyone was so jealous of them. Can't be bothered by it now, so I keep them cut short. It's just easier for me that way these days. NO makeup here! It wasn't something I was ever taught. By the time I was old enough to TRY and figure things out, I wasn't interested anymore. It's just not my style. I think my self confidence adds to a natural beauty and that's plenty for me. I've often been asked why I don't wear makeup, to which I reply "Why, do I need to?" Can't get anyone to say yes to that. Wink I sure wont win any beauty pageants any day soon, but I'm happy with myself and that's all that matters to me. I really do not CARE how other people view me - not one bit.

  7. terri77 Says:

    I can't see them, but I'm sure that they're cute! I used to really be into DIY manicures when I was in middle school. Now I just clip my nails. I sometimes get salon pedicures. I love to wear sandals and it's warm enough for sandals about 10 months out of the year.

    I just realized yesterday that I've had some lipstick for about 3 years that I never used. I don't tend to wear much makeup because I don't really need it. Not saying that vainly, though it probably sounds that way. I do like lip gloss on a daily basis. I don't do full makeup unless I'm going out at night or to a wedding.

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