Lightbulb moment: they don't just magically have lovely hair, they go to the hairdresser more than twice a year. Duffer. Hang about, that means people aren't born magically well-dressed, naturally fragrant or genetically glossy either. Those people are that way because they makeabitofaneffort.
Six weeks of night feeds, nappies and walking to school in the rain is not conducive to effort. I look and feel like a shambles and it's time to do something about that. The haircut is a good start. Well, it's a mediocre start to be honest but at least my hair got washed before it walked off by itself.
I book my next appointment before leaving the salon and capitalise on this newfound cleanliness with a squirt of their perfume tester on the way out. Mmmm, feeling more like J-Lo by the minute.
|the five-day lipstick fix|
Day 1: Friday
Most of the really well-put-together people I can think of do the following: red lipstick, statement glasses and headwear (not necessarily all at the same time). A 61cm head rules out most hat options for me, statement glasses involve shopping (not up to that yet), but red lipstick? Can.
Vow to wear it all week.
I dig a tube of dark red lipstick out of the bowels of an old makeup bag. With a smear of tinted moisturiser and a smudge of grey eyeliner, two minutes effort does make a remarkable difference. Teamed with tracksuit bottoms, a stretched old t-shirt and snow boots, remarkable really is the only word for this get up.
Day 2: Saturday
Something's got to be done about these clothes, and there's a voucher kicking around in a drawer somewhere for a shop that's w-a-y too young and trendy for me. On close examination, none of their tops are suitable for breastfeeding (surprise surprise), except perhaps a soft flannel girly lumberjack-ish shirt. By some minor miracle, the larger size is too big. Flattery will get them everywhere, the deal is done and the medium-sized shirt is mine.
Decide to unzip the vac-packed bag of dreams that is my pre-baby wardrobe. Wasn't going to do so 'til Christmas (too soon = tears) but the shirt success breeds contempt for the rules...
WHOA cowgirl, step away from the skinny jeans. Technically they do "fit" (the fly will close) but dove grey drainpipes are a tough look at the best of times. The dark blue bootcut ones are more forgiving, despite having cashed in their fashion credits long before the recession. There's still an astonishing muffin top though, testament to overindulging in its namesake during the pregnant months.
Day 3: Sunday
No more cheating on the diet - this week will be exemplary. The weight is falling off pretty quickly (thanks to constant breastfeeding), but there's a lot more to go. Plan: weighed portion of All Bran with raisins for breakfast, ham salad sandwich and a clementine for lunch, moderate portion of usual family dinner. Nothing to eat in between. NOTHING. Most diet plans seem to advocate eating little and often, trouble is eating a little bit too much a little too often gets you nowhere.
Absolutely starving by the time the children are in bed. Amend my plan: a couple of dates and a handful of walnuts are preferable to eating one's own fist during the night feeds.
Day 4: Monday
The red lipstick thing is a weird one. The other mums at the school gate have only known me heavily pregnant (grey-faced, massive and exhausted) or during the infant phase (grey-faced, massive and exhausted). They're gonna think there's some kind of bizarre nervous breakdown going on behind these lips. Well, get used to it ladies, because today is diy home manicure day. Naturally the baby wakes up just before the varnish is completely dry so will have to take the whole smudged lot off later on. At least I tried.
Day 5: Tuesday
Back at the school gates with my lippy on. And my jeans. In the pouring rain. Fleetingly long for my comfy old leggings or tracksuit bottoms. But lipstick and stretch waistbands together do not go, so the jeans it is. The trip to school is a kilometre each way, so between drop off and pick up I'm striding out 4km per day at least. That's got to be good for the muffin top, the saddle bags and the love handles, especially as there's a big hill involved. However, on sunny days I could push the buggy further and decide to invest in a cheap pedometre to help with goal setting.
The grand old age of seven weeks approaches, and I'm on the road to recovery. I'm getting used to how my face looks with red lipstick on, and I know those grey jeans will look good again one day. The Dragon Baby has his first official check up with the doctor tomorrow, and in order to avoid the appearance of an angry skin condition (on account of Revlon smooches), I'll need to leave off the lipstick in the morning.
I might even miss it.
That's progress right there.