When I was a kid, I was desperate to wear make-up.
I was fascinated by the way my Mum would sweep blush on her cheeks, delighted when my Grannie came to visit and let me apply her compressed powder to hide her liver spots and always slightly perplexed by the blue eyeshadow that my sisters furiously painted their unsuspecting eyelids with (it was the 80’s, just to clarify).
I longed for the day when I too could have this morning ritual. It seemed such a miraculous transformation.
Now of course, I sigh as I sit down daily to paint my face into something that looks vaguely symmetrical and awake. What a pain ‘getting ready’ has become.
“But Em, if it’s such a hassle why not just go make up free?”
Yeah that’s funny. Once you start wearing make-up it’s pretty hard to stop, a bit like smoking meth really. Very quickly, that lick of mascara and layer of BB cream becomes the mask that makes you ready to face your day. And on those days when you manage to get both of your eyebrows looking like an actual pair that belong together? Well that my friend, is a glorious day.
I, like most women my age are happy to spend a portion of their time and a great deal of their income in making their faces look a certain way.
(Side note. Is there an opportunity here to open the discussion about modern day conformity, social expectations on women and ways in which the cosmetic industry perpetuate the idea that to be loved you need to buy their product? Yes. Am I going to do that? Fuck no!)
Just yesterday I went into my local MECCA to buy every Go-To product by Zoë Foster Blake.
Why? Because I desperately want to be her when I grow up, even though I suspect she’s actually younger than me. All jokes aside, I actually love her (give her a Google Brits, she’s an Aussie legend) and her skin care range is the most delightful thing in the world (I am a marketer’s wet dream).
But as I handed over my credit card, it occurred to me that us humans are funny things.
We are content to spend our time and money ‘getting ready’ for life, sacrificing minutes in bed for make-up and skipping breakfast for hair styling. Yet so many of us refuse to spend the same amount of time and effort in making sure their minds are ready and we wonder why cracks appear.
I wear make-up because it makes me feel more confident.
And as humans we like to feel confident because we feel more in control.
But make-up doesn’t protect you from the frustration you feel when your boss is a dick. A nice moisturiser won’t help you heal your heart when your ex moves his stuff out. That amazing Go-To lip balm won’t have you speaking words of kindness to your fellow humans.
Now I’m not saying ditch the cosmetics. You should totally go and buy the entire Go-To range (and if you know Zoë Foster Blake then please let her know I love her and I champion everything she does and I would love to meet her and she should read this blog and all my other blogs too and invite me to her fabulous parties and tell her I’m writing a book she can read it when it’s finished and not be scared at how hard I’m girl-crushing on her) and you should spend time making your face feel like it’s ready for whatever the day has to throw at you. But if you could just find the time to dedicate to prepping your mind as well, you might just be surprised at how the world responds.
“How you wake up each day and your morning routine (or lack thereof) dramatically affects your levels of success in every single area of your life.”
– Hal Elrod
What’s that? How does one go about preparing their mind, you ask!
Well here’s the run-down of what works for me every morning.
- I wake up and make a coffee, because, coffee.
- I exercise. Why? Because if I don’t do it first thing I have the whole day to convince myself I don’t need to do it. And I am very convincing. Exercise regulates my mood, keeps me strong blah blah blah. You know it’s good for you.
- I shower because it’s polite not to stink and because I’m time efficient, I take this opportunity to visualise how I want my day to go (and sometimes how I want my life to go), throw around some gratitude and belt out some Madonna tunes circa 1984, to put me in a positive, peak state.
- I meditate because if I don’t, well nothing happens. But if I don’t meditate today, I’ll be less likely to meditate tomorrow. And then even less likely to meditate the next day. And then when I totally lose my shit in a colossal public display of rage, I realise that I haven’t meditated for a week. So I meditate. Even when I can’t be arsed or I don’t think I need to or I don’t have the time.
- Then I put my face on, slathering my skin with Go-To products (have I mentioned that I love them and their creator? Is it getting weird yet?) and then drawing out my eyes from the hollows of my face with too much kohl eyeliner and some mascara before high-fiving my eye brows for looking like they belong on the same face! Good job team.
Does it always go this way? Nope. I’m human and life is a thing. Sometimes I run in the afternoons if I don’t hit the gym in the morning. Sometimes I have early clients and meditate after I speak to them. Sometimes I have two coffees because I worked too late the night before.
But I see the difference in my success when I make the time to prepare myself internally as well as externally on a daily basis.
I know my soul feels a peace when I meditate consistently that no amount of make-up can give me.
I speak words of love, kindness and creativity when I am emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually strong.
And this, along with some fantastic skin care products, means I find myself needing to wear just a little less make up.
Because beauty really is an inside job.
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