Many times I've heard women say that they wish they could be more elegant, but they just can't seem to find the time in the morning to try. They don't have any time between throwing on the first item on the clothes rack and rushing out the door to even eat breakfast, much less choose a lipstick shade.
This excuse is completely understandable, but it isn't just an excuse. Spending time in the morning is a real issue, especially when time is so little and precious in the clamor of our crazy lives. If you feel rushed, and guilty for neglecting elegance, here are a few tips you might want to hide away for the next crazy day, and eventually get into the habit of doing.
1. First, a WARNING: It won't go right immediately.
When I first started getting interested in makeup, I spent seeming hours in front of the mirror.
I thought everything needed to be so perfect and so particular that I was fearful to waste a moment. I vividly remember waking up two hours early one morning freshman year of high school to look "really good", but looking back I really should have used that hour and a half more of sleep. What I didn't realize was elegance doesn't take hours, like we are told by the hours of pampering and posh lifestyles we see on television. Rather, it can be small, simple steps that can take 5,10 min, maybe even less depending on the habit you'll master. If you feel you try to go quickly and yet still feel rushed and a hot mess, don't fear. It takes time and commitment, and that's time and commitment you'll be thankful for in the end.
2. Broad Blush and Brows
If you were anything like me and felt that elegance equaled perfectionism which in turn equaled time spent- do not fear! Elegance is not about perfectionism- in fact, far from it. When in a rush in the mornings, or you don't want to spend time, heres a tip I discovered: stay away from sharp makeup lines. This would mean anything that takes a careful hand and laser focus. For example, stay away from eye liner (especially liquid) and bright lipsticks. Liquid eyeliner is infamous for winding up uneven, smudged, or helping you to resemble a panda when not done meticulously. So when it comes time to decide, will I take the time today?, DO IT. I dare you. But go for nude colors, a tinted moisturizer to keep your skin glowing, a little highlighter, blush, mascara and a brow brush. There you are! Easy peasy. You put in a little effort and it goes a long long way.
3. Prep the Night Before
Of course you have heard this tip- my mom told me every night before school to lay out my clothes for the next day. Not until I was older did I recognize the inherent value of her encouragement. Standing in a bombarding closet, with 10 minutes to go, is an incredibly intimidating task. How easy would it be to have thought carefully through your day the night before, and right after stepping out of the shower then donning your favorite ensemble for the day? You've had time to iron, consider your color schemes, and dress for the appropriate task for the day... instead of scrambling.
To take it a step further, some people have created a fashion lookbook for their wardrobes. In their closet sits a scrapbook, filled with images of all the combinations of outfits in their closet. This book is organized by season, colors, and styles. When in a pinch, they grab the book, flip to a desirable page, and then dawn the outfit in the knick of time. I have tried to do this in the past, but you must allot time to compile this book in order to save time. Seems like quite the project for the type-A's among us!
4. Time is of the Essence
Everyone desires more time. No questions. More time to read, talk to a loved one, goof off on break, complete a project, and so many more deep and useful reasons. Time management is a difficult and precious skill to accomplish, and it is important to learn how to cut corners when necessary.
On thing I have found important is during low times of activity-eating breakfast alone,
waiting at the train stop, watching paint to dry- there is ALWAYS something better than staring at your phone. Part of being elegant is giving yourself opportunities to grow your mind, engage with new ideas, and work on yourself. I often regroup with myself and ask, "will this have made a difference to me positively tomorrow?" If not, or if negatively, I try to change course or come up with a new plan. This includes reading challenging books while waiting for something, watching sermons or reading my Bible while I eat alone, or considering how to grow my business instead of letting my mind wander away to unwholesome ideas. That too is elegance- challenging yourself to ever be growing and flourishing. An accomplishment you have time for if you purposely make time for it. Oh yes, and eating breakfast after you shower to save time drying your hair and letting the bathroom de-humidify. Its all in the details, my friends.
Next time you find yourself in a time pinch, don't toss out the elegance factor.