Putting on makeup hasn’t always been one of my core daily habits. In fact, four or five years ago, if you stopped by my house without calling, I would look a fright.
So what has changed? Priorities. Realizations. My location. My mindset.
There was never one huge event that triggered my shift, it was done gradually over the course of a year, but here I stand today. And I have on my makeup. Even though I won’t be leaving my house today.
1. When I Feel Amazing, I Get Amazing Things Done
Four or five years ago, I had six children and I was pushing the constraints of time to the very limits by homeschooling my children and running an online business, putting in at least forty hours a week.
If you have children, you know how exhausting just caring for a family can be. But that wasn’t enough chaos for me, so I started a business as well!
Self-care become the very lowest priority on the totem pole. I was lucky if my face got washed and moisturized, much less powdered.
As I continued to work like a crazy lady, my health started to deteriorate. I was sick for months on end and just couldn’t get well. It finally all came to a head on Christmas day when I had to drive myself to the emergency room.
I was twenty-five weeks pregnant with my seventh baby, had had a chronic upper respiratory infection and sinus infection for months, and I was having trouble taking a decent breath.
I was sitting there in the ER doing a breathing treatment, nervous for my unborn baby, and I realized… Something has got to give.
The change wasn’t immediate. I started small with making sure my hair was neat, then going to the salon and getting a cut and color for a boost.
But slowly, ever so slowly, I started to realize that when I took a small chunk of time in the morning to pamper myself and “put on my face”, I was able to accomplish so much more throughout the day.
Every time I would go into the bathroom, I would look and the mirror and get a small mental boost because I looked put together and ready to tackle my day.
I finally realized that when I have on my makeup and my hair is done, it makes me feel amazing. When I feel amazing, I can accomplish amazing things.
2. For My Children
When I was first starting to make changes in how I presented myself daily, it started off really small. I made sure I was neat and tidy, but then stopped.
However! I started to notice a trend. Anytime I needed to leave the house, I spent extra time on my appearance. I’d pull out the curling iron, put on the makeup, change out of my yoga pants, and put on earrings.
I started to realize that I was putting in all of this extra effort for people that I either didn’t know or people that I didn’t spend a whole lot of time with. People at the grocery store, people at the post office, people at church, etc.
I spent all day, every day with my children, but they weren’t worth the extra effort? I claimed that they were the most important people in my life, but they got the colorless, style-less version of me?
This point really hit home when I started putting a little bit of makeup on each day, and without fail, my children would ask “Where are we going, Mom?”
They had gotten the signal, loud and clear, that Mom only fixed herself up if we were going somewhere! Oops!
Somehow this just didn’t seem right! If I was going to put in an extra 15-20 minutes to make myself look cute for people I didn’t even know, should I not be spending 15-20 minutes to look cute for my children and husband, my favorite people in the world?
3. For Myself
I LOVE makeup! I’m a girly-girl, always have been. I love makeup, hair product, nail polish, and LIPSTICK!
It’s fun, relaxing, and most importantly, it feels like something that I do for myself (even though I just said that I put it on for my children and husband too!)
I’ve already discussed how it gives me a mental boost which translates into a productivity boost. But it’s more than just productivity. It contributes to my feeling of well-being.
Makeup makes me feel like I am not being pulled in too many directions, not being stretched too thin. If I am taking the time in the morning to take care of myself, then it feels like I am putting on my oxygen mask first.
You can’t help others if you aren’t helping yourself. And I am helping others all.day.long. With nine children, it’s almost constant.
But if I have my lipstick on, I can conquer the world!
4. Murphy’s Law
I didn’t have this problem so much when we lived way out in the country, but after we moved, four years ago, it started happening almost without fail.
If I didn’t have on makeup, that’s the day someone would just drop by unexpectedly. This has always felt a bit mortifying.
And honestly, this type of thing still happens today.
A month ago, I was rushing around, trying to take care of some Christmas preparations, and I didn’t take the time to get dressed beyond yoga pants, a high ponytail, and some moisturizer.
And almost as if on cue, a man from church stopped by to drop off papers for my husband.
Honestly, he probably didn’t even notice. He certainly didn’t say anything (smart man!). But I was still a little irritated that the one day I hadn’t taken the time to look presentable was the day that someone stopped by.
5. Be Presentable Always
I read a book a few years ago called Lessons from Madame Chic by Jennifer L. Scott.
In this book, Jennifer talks about the style lessons she learned from her host Mom while she was an exchange student in Paris. One of the foundational principles that Jennifer discusses is to “Be Presentable Always”.
This principle has really resonated over the years as I’ve tried to find the balance between looking chic and presentable, to being over-the-top with my daily beauty routine.
Being presentable isn’t the same as being in full makeup with your hair sprayed within an inch of its life with volume that only Dolly Parton could hope to attain. And even though I am a HUGE fan of a good hairspray, I really don’t need or want that look when I am at home.
Being presentable for me means having on light make-up (enough to give me confidence, but not so much that I look like I’m going out for the night, or getting ready to take some Instagram selfies). Being presentable always means having neat hair, and putting on pretty clothes, and even a pair of earrings.
The definition of presentable is different for every woman, and you will have to figure out what that balance is for yourself.
And to be honest, some days, I NEED more makeup, and I pull out my can of hairspray. I need it because I have a HUGE day planned with a to-do list a mile long and I know that if I look fierce, then that to-do list is toast.
So on a crazy day, presentable turns into glam, and it’s a winged eyeliner, double-mascara, red lipstick, hairspray’ed day, and I end up loving every single minute of it and feeling like I conquered the unconquerable!
Putting on makeup every day isn’t for everyone. If makeup has never been your thing, or if it doesn’t give you a boost, then I’m not trying to convince you to take it up.
But if it is something that you enjoy, but you just don’t feel like you have the time for it, then let me just encourage you to make the time.
You won’t even notice by the end of the day that you lost those minutes because I bet that you will have made up for them with the extra pep in your step.