What do you think of when you hear the word “routine”? Do you think of a mundane, day after day series of steps taken to get through the day? Or, do you think of choreographed performance, well-practiced and refined to a stunning, if predictable, end? Unfortunately, every time an event draws near that calls for my best look, I revert to the former and decide that everything I do to get myself together on a normal day is no longer good enough. I have a long and storied history of trying something different when I should stick to tried and true. Hair high-lights applied in a hotel bathroom one day before leaving on a dream cruise vacation. Self-tanner gone madly wrong before an important work function. An episode with an at-home waxing kit of which I will spare you the gory details. When will I learn? If it’s important- go with what you KNOW works. Apparently I have not learned yet.
Yesterday was our second formal event, or ball, this year. As I mentioned before, I had planned for NO formal events when I took on the no-buy challenge. I got through the first event with a lovely, flow-y gown I had worn a few years ago. With four additional gowns in my closet, I felt confident I could get through event number two.
Here was the week:
Monday: Feeling very smart and prepared, I pull my gowns out to make a final decision. I would normally shop for weeks to find a dress. Easy-peasy, I’m all over it.
I find that the dress I was tending toward fit, but looked tired when I tried it on. Following my own rule, if I don’t feel fabulous, I can’t wear it. Panic begins to set in. No gown will work.
Flashback: etiquette dictates that a cocktail dress is appropriate. I dive back in to the closet. A heap of dresses later, I settle on a red, draped-neck dress with a cool detail on one side of the skirt. I have strappy sandals. We are back in business.
Tuesday: Visit my sister to have hair cut and styled. “Nothing drastic,” I tell her. I’m sticking with what I know.
Wednesday: Begin using moisturizer with gradual self-tanner on my legs so I can go sans-stockings. I have just enough left in my lotion stash.
Friday: Practice hairstyle. Let’s keep it drama-free. Continue gradual tanning.
Saturday morning: I start off with a high calorie snack. I’ve been careful with my diet most of the week but I think it’s scientifically impossible to convert calories to flesh in a few hours.
11:30 a.m.: Here’s a fun fact: Shower Power Max Hair Remover also removes gradual self-tanner. A razor does not.
11:45 a.m.: I cross off “deep repair hair masque” from the jar and write in “hard to remove hair gunk.” Return to shower to wash hair again.
Noon: Head out for self-tanner and a mani-pedi.
4:30: Return home to commence preparations. We should be leaving at 5:45 p.m. I wash my hair yet again. I ask my husband to assist with my newly purchased self-tanner. After much deliberation at Ulta, I chose something I have never used before (of course), a tanning mist from a brand called Tan Towel. The product tag-line is “Look Good Naked.” I only want this on my legs but it sounds good, and it’s expensive. My husband carefully applies to my legs which are now unevenly smooth because guess what--- the hair remover is not as smooth as shaving.
6:00 p.m.: I am late, late late. Husband not pleased. A final once over, though, and I feel like I’ve done the best I can and I feel pretty good, all things considered. It takes a while to come down from that panicked, late feeling but we end up having a really, really fun night. When we got home and I took off my strappy sandals, I found this:
For future reference, nix the Tan Towel self-tanner. Nix all the new things. Embrace the routine. Somehow, when I try too hard, I look and feel like I tried too hard and that’s just not attractive.
More about the ball later, today I have a bit of a headache from the indulgence and I have streaked but happily aching feet from a night of dancing.