I remember when I was younger I saw an Oprah episode called “Are You Cute As You Can Be?” I loved the premise because many have stated that they don’t find Oprah to be a traditionally beautiful woman. As an aside, I never understand what people hope to accomplish by telling someone that they find him or her to be unattractive. Now what? That person just disappears.
Back to beauty, the idea is you should strive to look the best you can possibly look still keeping who you are. The idea was further defined by a Vogue article I saw years later that gave 5 ways you can always be attractive even if you aren’t beautiful:
- Get a great haircut. Ponytails are for the beautiful
- Wear clothes that accentuate your figure. Down with sacks and lumpy sweaters
- Be well groomed. Get your eyebrows arched. Use makeup to enhance your best features
- Have and maintain great skin
- Have a great smile and smile a lot
I love this advice. I live this advice. Plus, it works. Following it makes does indeed make you your cutest. If you follow it well. Hardly, any fault can be found in a polished, well put together woman. This can be difficult in the well-scrubbed world of Washington, where women believe the key to being treated seriously is to look serious. Lotions, potions and notions have always made me happy. However, wearing lipstick in certain DC environments can make you look absolutely frivolous. Does that mean you should wake up, wash your hair and secure it with a clip everyday? Of course not. What’s the fun in that? So for this I’ve started Stay Cute Mondays. Enjoy.
For Rule 5, I have naturally dry everything—skin, scalp, lips. Therefore I developed a wonderful daily three-step system to cure my least favorite beauty faux pas: chapped lips. I hate chapped lips. And the fix is super cheap. So when I see someone with chapped lips, I often wonder where her life went wrong. Supple lips are the key to a great smile.
This trick always works. Always! Rub a little lemon juice on your lips. It may sting if your lips are cracked, but melts away all of the dead skin.
A good second best is a lovely lip scrub from Lush. I like Mint Julip. I’ve seen recommendations to scrub with a toothbrush, but I don’t find this particularly effective.
My next step is to soothe my lips with a solid lip balm. Amazingly my favorite lip balm I received free. I love Fresh Sugar lip balm which I got as a free birthday gift from Sephora. I just love it. It gives my lips a great base for the next layer. Another favorite was another serendipitous find—Panama Jack vanilla lip balm. It was another freebie as it was a bonus to a sunscreen purchase. It’s so soft and smoothes on easily. I find that important in a lip balm for those of us with full lips.
This is odd but true, but I am not fond of the color of my lips. They are a soft brown, not a vibrant pink. Because of this I always wear a tinted lip gloss with moisturizing ingredients. My personal choice for years was Kiehl’s Lip Balm SPF 15. However, I discovered that my beloved standby has been discontinued in September 2012. A good runner-up is the Mentha Shimmer Tint from Bath and Body Works.
These steps will ensure one aspect of your great smile looks great. Even through winter’s cruel, cold months.