Go Away!

What’s been your experience with shop assistants over the last few weeks? Helpful? Bored? Can’t be bothered? Kindness personified? Manic expression in the eyes with a few clumps of hair missing? I worked in retail many years back and, I must confess, I can’t help but feel sorry for shop workers in the weeks leading up to Christmas. For this reason I do everything in my power to be patient..

What’s been your experience with shop assistants over the last few weeks? Helpful? Bored? Can’t be bothered? Kindness personified? Manic expression in the eyes with a few clumps of hair missing? I worked in retail many years back and, I must confess, I can’t help but feel sorry for shop workers in the weeks leading up to Christmas. For this reason I do everything in my power to be patient..

The problem is I’m not, patient that is and this morning I found myself having to grit my teeth to avoid screaming ‘GO AWAY!’ at the top of my voice. When you walk into a shop over here the nearest assistant will say ‘bonjour’ and then ask if they can help. As I knew exactly what I wanted I said bonjour’, gave her a pleasant smile and said no thanks (or non merci to be exact). Excellent! This was going to be a quick trip in and out of the store and then home to my blog. Or so I thought…….

I paused to look at some eye shadows (yes I was make-up shopping) and a young woman asked if she could help.

“No thanks I’m just looking” I’d already found what I needed at this point

“Well, you should know today that with X, Y and Z brands we have 25% off”

“Ok, great thanks” Can I communicate ‘I’m not interested’ telepathically I wonder?

“What is it you’re looking for in particular?” We were almost shoulder to shoulder by this point

“Nothing thanks, I’ve got what I need” Smile very slightly strained

“Well, if you’re looking for mascara we have this” Air hostess style pose adopted and said mascara indicated

“No thanks, no, I don’t need mascara, I have what I need” Holding up selected product and pointing at it did not constitute a big enough hint apparently

“Perhaps a lovely bronzer to give you a glow for Christmas” Box of brown dust with suspicious looking sparkles held at smile height and then shoved under my nose.

“No thank you, no bronzer” I decided the time had come to move away with some real purpose so I strode briskly to the other side of the counter and towards the checkout.

She followed me.

“This is one of the brands where we have 25% off today, do you know it” Double handed gesticulation which at once indicated the little counter and blocked my escape to the checkout

“No not at all” My answers were becoming shorter and shorter along with my temper

“It’s marvelous, you really should try it. Would you like me to make you up and you can see for yourself” She reached for a pink jacket thing which resembled a strait jacket and tried to usher me towards one of those tall stools (do you know the ones I mean? About 5 feet high with a three inch round seat?)

“No……thank you” blank stare, no smile.

“Perhaps some perfume? We have a great selection”

I honestly thought this was going to go on all day with my only means of escape being pretending that I was going to vomit or hitting her over the head with a a florescent pink blusher blush which I’d noted in case of emergency. It was then that I heard the words

“Excuse me madame, can you help me” from a very well to do woman standing just behind my stalker shop assistant.

Just like that, the woman turned her back on me and her radiant, possibly surgically fixed smile, onto her new victim customer and departed without a word. Well!

What about you? What’s been your worst experience at the hands of a well to do (or not) shop assistant?

Let me know, I’d love to hear from you

Lisa x

 

Realistic Expectations?

If women weren’t obsessed with trying to look younger and thinner, the manufacturers of beauty products wouldn’t make the billions of $ that they do every year so why do we do it to ourselves ladies? Is it for our own self-esteem, to attract others? Or is it because we are constantly bombarded with images of how we should look and we do what we can to fit within those pre-determined boundaries?

Say Goodbye to aging skin? The models we seen in some of these ads haven’t even said “hello” to aging skin!! Do we really believe that we can slap some cream on our wrinkled skin and we’ll wake up the next morning looking 25 again? I’m not going to say ‘yes’ but we all live in hope don’t we……;O)

I wonder who comes up with all these ideas of what an ideal woman should look like? From what I can make out we should all have long, shiny hair, white teeth, flawless skin, no wrinkles, a toned and perky body, full lips, cheekbones you could shave ice with and legs up to our armpits. In the 1700’s Barbara Villiers was considered a great beauty and referred to as ‘perhaps the finest woman in England’, that’s her in the portrait below; alongside her is Selena Gomez, one of the great beauties of our age. Aside from nose size, the two women are very similar in many ways – dark, heavy lidded eyes, clear skin, rosebud mouth….so does this mean that our tastes haven’t really changed in over 300 years?

Barbara Villiers was reportedly overwrought when Chancellor Clarendon, her great enemy said to her:

“Please remember, if you live, you will grow old”

I believe that she was about 27 at the time (she eventually died at the age of 68 from dropsy). So it would seem that not only have our ideas of beauty not really changed, women’s attitudes to growing old haven’t really moved along either!

If women weren’t obsessed with trying to look younger and thinner, the manufacturers of beauty products wouldn’t make the billions of $ that they do every year so why do we do it to ourselves ladies? Is it for our own self-esteem, to attract others? Or is it because we are constantly bombarded with images of how we should look and we do what we can to fit within those pre-determined boundaries?

Flattered gif.gifI, like everyone else, can only speak from personal experience and, to be honest, I’m not 100% sure that I can answer. Some of it definitely has to do with self-esteem; while this may have feminists scowling at me across the ether, it does boost my confidence if a get a smile from a guy or an approving look. I live in France and I was once the recipient of an oh la la! in a supermarket and that kept me smiling all day! Did I look any different that day from any other? I honestly don’t remember but I do remember the compliment. However, if I was 100% comfortable in my own skin I don’t suppose I would have even thought about it after the event.

IMG_0999 (1)I don’t leave the house without make-up but, if I’m at the beach and go swimming, I don’t worry if it all washes off or leaves me looking like a bikini wearing panda. I’m not overweight but that’s simply because I love exercise and don’t enjoy junk food. I sometimes look in the mirror and think ‘shit! what happened’! but I probably have more confidence in my appearance than I did when I was in my 20’s.  My hair is really short but it looks terrible long and I really can’t be arsed to spend longer than 5 minutes faffing around with it every day. Do I wish I looked younger? Yes. Do I wish I felt as I did in my 20’s? No definitely not! I was a seething mass of neuroses and insecurities.

So what’s the answer??? Say goodbye to a negative self-image, learn to love yourself for what you are, accept what you can’t change and change what you can and just remember that, when you’re really having fun, you won’t give a crap what you look like :O)

Lisa x

 

Beauty and the Bitches

We have only one life. It’s very short. Love who you are and find happiness

THE BEAUTIFUL YOUNG GIRL IN THIS VIDEO SHOWS US, IN THE MOST HEARTBREAKING WAY, THE EFFECT THAT OTHER PEOPLE’S WORDS CAN HAVE UPON   US. SHE SAYS: “SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO LET PEOPLE GO BECAUSE THEY ARE TOXIC TO YOU. LET THEM GO BECAUSE THEY TAKE AND TAKE AND LEAVE YOU EMPTY LET THEM GO BECAUSE, IN THE OCEAN OF LIFE, WHEN ALL YOU’RE TRYING TO DO IS STAY AFLOAT, THEY ARE THE ANCHOR THAT’S DROWNING YOU”.

BE HAPPY WITH YOURSELF.

LOOK IN THE MIRROR AND LOVE WHO YOU ARE.

YOU ARE UNIQUE AND THEREFORE VERY SPECIAL.

REMEMBER THIS, BELIEVE IT AND NO WORDS WILL EVER HAVE THE POWER TO HURT YOU.

If people attack you with words, it’s not because there is something wrong with you but because there is something wrong with them. They don’t like themselves and they can’t cope with that feeling or find a way to resolve the issues that they have so they lash out at others. Often you will find that the people who are the most cruel with words are the ones who hurt most inside.

Young women who are bitchy to other girls often seem to be very popular, not because they have the sort of personality that naturally attracts other people but because it’s easier to show affiliation than to risk becoming a target. For them there is the illusion of popularity which is the very thing that they need to boost their self-esteem but, unfortunately, it  stems from cruelty to others. Therefore, in order to maintain their own self-esteem they must bully others and so the cycle continues; pity them and don’t allow them to crush your beautiful spirit.

In order to be hurt by the words of others we must, on some level, believe that what they are saying is, at least partially, true. If someone says that we are ugly and that’s what we fear ourselves, those words will cut us to the quick. However, if we accept that the way we look is the way we look and there is little that we can do to change it, the cruel words have far less impact. Further, if we are at peace with ourselves and accept completely our personalities, flaws and all, we will find pleasure in the company of others, whatever their faults, and equal pleasure in spending time alone.

We have only one life. It’s very short. Love who you are and find happiness

Making it Up?

It would be wonderful if all women in the world had the confidence in themselves to go every day without any make-up but, until that day comes,…..

Is there any such thing as ‘natural beauty’? Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so they say, and what is attractive to one person will not necessarily be attractive to another. Women are lucky because they have the opportunity to use make-up to disguise their flaws or, more accurately, what they see as flaws. Using make-up to feel better about yourself, more confident is great but to use it to try and be beautiful for someone else is a bit of a waste of time because of the laws of attraction. Older women often use make-up as a disguise to try and recapture what they see as their ‘lost’ youth but is it really effective?

In these two pictures of Nicole Kidman, a truly beautiful woman, we can see how make-up can change our appearance. In the first picture the make-up is soft with colours blended perfectly, not applied to try and make the actress look younger but to enhance her natural beauty. In the second picture, the colours used are harsh and separate from each other leaving poor Ms Kidman looking a bit clown like and definitely older than her years.

Unfortunately many of us stick to the make-up habits we have acquired over the years and, as a result, we may be doing ourselves a disservice. Our faces change as we get older and so what we need to enhance and what we need to disguise will change as well. Many of us used make-up, when we were teenagers, to try and look older and more was definitely better – heavy foundation covering our pimples and heavy eye make-up to try and create and air of sophistication and mystery. Once you are into your 40’s and 50’s heavy foundation will settle into the lines on your face making you look much older than your years and heavy eye make-up will enhance crows feet and can make hooded eyes look far worse.

Try using a tinted moisturiser rather than a foundation; the coverage will not be quite as good but your skin is being moisturised, the product won’t settle into the lines on your face, it will give a healthy glow rather than acting as a mask and you won’t need to worry about applying it perfectly as you do with foundation so it will save you time too! As the products are moisturiser based they also contain anti-oxidants which help to fight free radical damage which leads to signs of aging. You may decide to use foundation for an evening out where there will be no natural light but for every day a tinted moisturiser is definitely the way to go for a healthy, dewy look.

This make-up tutorial shows how to make hood eyes appear wider and less sunken. The skin on our eyelids and around our eyes is very delicate and, over time, it will become wrinkled and will start to sag making us look older than we really are. Cosmetic surgery is always an option but it’s painful and expensive so why not get good with a make-up brush and see what a difference you can make.

As we get older black is bad; black eyeliner, black mascara etc etc. will not make us look any younger, they will just look harsh and make our eyes look over done. Stick to subtle, neutral shades which blend well together.

It’s also worth asking an expert. We don’t mean spending an hour on a stool at a cosmetics counter in a department store necessarily as, in this environment, you often feel pressured into buying things that you don’t really want but it is definitely worth getting an objective opinion. We are often very critical of ourselves and don’t really see our faces as other people do therefore it’s difficult to know what to enhance and what to disguise – what we think of as a flaw others may see as the thing that really brings character to our face.

Try a consultation with a make-up artist, yes it may be expensive, but a trained professional may be able to help you really make the best of your features and will teach you how to apply make up properly.

It would be wonderful if all women in the world had the confidence in themselves to go every day without any make-up but, until that day comes, find the products that work best for you and take the time to learn how to apply them properly. Also bear in mind that pretty much everyone looks better when they smile!