This post really got away from me. It’s very personal and kind of gross. Consider yourself warned.
My person beauty routine is one of those things that I still feel a little bit immature about. Perhaps it’s the vast array of things women can participate in, or the extravagant amount of money they can spend without thinking, or maybe just the fact that my ‘beauty mentors’ didn’t really buy into much of that stuff that leaves women walking around on the street like they just stepped off the page of a glossy magazine.
But I also feel like nature has dealt me a few disadvantages to boot. (*Pout*) I do what I can to work around them, but some facts still remain:
My skin is unruly and super sensitive. I first started seeing a dermatologist a couple years ago to get some relief to my decidedly adolescent skin. I’ve tried every single product in the store, with results ranging from seriously enraged pores (and worse acne) to extreme allergic reaction and eyes swollen shut. My doctor is pretty cool (I think I tend to crush on anyone who actually helps me) and my skin is officially “Okay”. Not really close up worthy, but relatively blemish free. I still battle my pores (they’re so big & unsightly), and shiny skin on part of my face while the rest is dangerously dry and needs constant moisturizing.
Note: I feel a little self conscious about how vain this post is getting. But hell, we’re talking about beauty. And weddings. Ok, carry on.
Hair removal is a seriously frustrating topic for me. (And awkward to discuss, too.) I don’t wax. (Gasp!) I’ve tried it on my eyebrows and it seems like a lot of pain for not much in return. Shaving is a mixed bag. No, that’s kind of a lie. Shaving my legs is probably the only area I feel I’ve mastered. Everything else results in varying degrees of irritation, due to skin sensitivity (see above) and being blessed with ridiculously coarse curly dark hairs. (Yes, gross, moving on.) Under my arms is only a little tricky, but results aren’t lasting. And then I have to wait a couple days for irritation to subside before I try again. Not ideal, but I’m not huge on the sleeveless tops anyway, so oh well. I’ve pretty much decided I will be waxing the armpits before the wedding. I have not yet decided at what point I will begin subjecting myself to such torture, although I hear it gets better the more you do it. Yeah, uh huh.
Finally, the ‘lady bits’: I think my age group is one of the first to go through puberty with the impression that pubic hair is to be removed. As a teenager, I tried shaving. Holy hell. I won’t even begin to describe the results but they were ghastly. At some point in my 20s I gave up. I keep things trim and tidy, but coupled with my self consciousness over my weight, I’ve managed to steer clear of bathing suits altogether for a while now. This seems particularly childish. But I’m mildly terrified. I’m still not sure about facing the dragon before the wedding, but I know at some point, I should. Maybe. Probably. Anyway.
The least of three evils is my hair. In general, I actually really like it. It’s pretty healthy and very shiny. I’ve definitely mastered using a few basic products to keep it that way. I’m completely obsessed with the girl who does my hair. She is a genius with color and cut. This has allowed me to keep my hair long and wear it down most of the time.
Putting it up in any way besides a variation of a ponytail is still a challenge, though. It never turns out looking polished and tidy, the way I envision when I first reach for a stack of bobby pins. This might be easily remedied by using hairspray, but I have a serious aversion to it. This might be a product of growing up in the 80s and early 90s, when every Sunday my head was doused with the stuff until I emerged a giant pouf of girls and soft waves. Regardless, I like to touch my hair. I like it to move and look natural. But naturally free of little baby hairs and frizz poking out is eluding me. This, clearly, is the least of my problems.
All of these issues that I manage daily seem to be utterly daunting on the one big day that I’m supposed to look perfect. Yes, there’s Photoshop for the pictures, but I’m still going to have to face real people. And while day to day, I’m pretty sure I look fine, this one day I want to look radiant.
Thankfully there are professionals, otherwise I would collapse in a heap of tears by mid-afternoon on that day. I’m still toying with things like teeth whitening, tanning or spray tan, spa treatments and massages. Other than brighter teeth and more even skin coloring, I am definitely getting my butt back to the gym. I lost a solid 25lbs between getting engaged a year ago and mid-summer. But I’ve been slacking off pretty bad, and (I think) it shows.
I don’t actually know how to sign off this post. I suppose the only way I can is by taking a second to realize that the wedding is still just about marrying the man I love. And who loves me, exactly the way I am.