Thursday, 30 July 2015

Bouncing Back Isn't Quite the Right Word



Slowly I am recovering from such an amazing weekend.  I have had a great deal of sleep and a great deal of sitting on the sofa like a lump. I have to say, I think that sitting like a lump might be one of my specialties.  I like to imagine myself draped in a louche and graceful manner but sometimes reality bites, as they say.

If you read my blog, and if I had access to you recently and you had to listen to me, you may be aware that when I am exhausted and feeling unwell I can get a bit blue and when I get a bit blue it always turns and attacks my physical appearance like some sort of sprung from my conscience monster.  It has been that way as along as I can remember, I always recover, but it will happen again.  I suppose, it's not terribly illogical if you think that most of us, do not feel particularly gorgeous when ill.


Hating all (or nearly all) of the images of myself I saw on other people's cameras over the Vancouver weekend, as well as a little bit of direct advice from Sheila...

An aside here:  If you ever meet Sheila you are in for a treat.  She is, in a word, bossy.  But she is the sweetest and kindest bossy I have ever met.  I think that is because her bossy pants are bright pink.  Sheila told me things I already knew but she said them very directly, matter of factly, and with love.  Sheila just wants to make the world a better place for everyone and she has some good ideas on how to do that.

....she pointed out to me that I would be better served by my hair off my face.  She wasn't telling me anything I didn't already know, which is that there is some weight to my lower face and hair hanging there emphasises it, and that due to the way my hair waves, I get what I have always called the earmuff look and she referred to as dog ears.  Sheila did you compare me to a basset hound?  She encouraged me to tuck my hair behind my ears.  She encouraged me to cut it shorter again and I balked.

I have cycled through growing my hair long and cutting it all off several times in my life, and while short and long both suit me, all of the in between stages are less flattering and those in between stages go on for a couple of years.  I am not sure I have the patience for that.

Another aside: Melanie, because she is Melanie, thinks that I should have a selection of wigs to just change up my look at times.  She supports the idea of something mod and sixties in a shaggy, back-combed sort of way.  You cannot meet Melanie and not fall in love with her, but Melanie, dear, I think I'll take my hair advice from Sheila this time around.

So....I cut it.  My hair.  Because that is what I do at 4am when I am not asleep like I should be.   Slowly, a little bit at a time over the course of a day, I achieved a shape I was happy with.  It's not perfect and I will go to see my poor neglected, lovely Jason in about six weeks to get it done properly but at the moment I don't want it any shorter and hair stylists are utterly incapable of not making hair shorter.  I want it cut with a razor.  I want it choppier, edgier, a tad less round and bowl like than what I achieve when I cut it myself.

Last night I looked like the photo at the top of the page.  No makeup, hair in a natural and no-product state.  I am actually wearing my pyjamas in that photo too.


Today, feeling a little more alive. I managed to shower and dress although simply for staying home and warm weather.  I got out the hair wax and my favourite eye pencil.

It doesn't take much makeup to make a difference on me.  I still prefer a natural look and favour a lightly smokey eye and bare face and lips.  I own several lipsticks but usually can't be bothered with them.

A makeup tutorial from me is a rather hilarious idea, is it not?  I won't go that far, but in case you are a minimal makeup wearing person such as myself I will share my favourites for the very soft-natural smokey eye. In this photo it looks like one eye is slightly darker but it doesn't look that way in the mirror. I like something that is my own colouring but a bit darker so



what works best with my colouring is a taupe colour.  I use a shadow from Revlon called Greige which also works really well on my brows though I generally don't bother.  I love a pencil by Annabelle in Rich Chocolate which I find to be a soft, cool brown with an ever so slight purple undertone and it smudges really nicely.  I put a thick link above my eye and a thin one under and them smudge liberally.  I add the greige shadow all over my lid after and the results are what you see in the photos below.  It's not a big difference and I am generally the type to go for a no-makeup look, the subtle improvement.  It would be more dramatic if I added mascara so perhaps I would do that if going out in the evening.  Perhaps.  I'm not making any promises.



And the final point of this rambly post is to demonstrate the effects of good posing as opposed to my usual look.  I am very self conscious about posing and tend to make an attempt to close in on myself, to shrink, to disappear, if a camera is pointed at me.  It takes a great deal of effort not to and so I typically look like a bit of a blob, as in this photo below.


I am squishing my shoulders together, which makes my boobs look squished and my arms look fatter.  Isn't that bra strap lovely?  I wish I could find pretty bras in my size without industrial strength strap widths.

In the nest photo I temporarily took on a different persona.  I pretended that it was quite expected that there would be a camera wanting to take a picture of my gorgeous self.  And I posed. It makes me look slimmer and is generally more flattering overall.   Instead of shrinking I expanded. My waist became miraculously slimmer and so did my arms.  Or as I like to think of it, it shows what I actually look like better than a scrunched up blob pose does.






I would never do this in a candid photo of course.  Most candid photos catch me in the middle of talking and making funny faces.  If asked to pose I tend to get self conscious and go into scrunched up mode like the other photo.  Baby steps.  I may never get it 'right' and improvement may be slow, but blogging is helping me become more accustomed to a camera pointed at me and also more accepting of what I look like in a photograph.

I am inundated with offers now, to become a middle aged plus size model (oh wait no that was just the nightmare I had last night) but I think I will continue instead being a writer and painter who sometimes embarrasses herself on the internet.  It seems to suit me.


34 comments:

  1. Oh jeez, did I say basset hound? That must have been the wine talkin'! LOVE this hair-do on you! It really suits you.

    Thank you for taking my bossiness in the loving and caring spirit in which it was intended - and I do appreciate your very kind words (hee, I forgot I was flashing my pink pants!).

    You are beautiful, make-up or not, Shawna! I love all your poses! I hate candids of me also - that's why I always fall into a pose when someone points a camera at me.

    I am glad you are looking after yourself. I intend to do some serious couch-time/down-time this weekend - I need that recover time as well.

    Hugs to you,
    S.

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  2. It might have been beagle, but no matter. Of course I know that you care and you are so sweet and positive and supportive. Have a great restful weekend! xoxo

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  3. A pixie cut suits you, Shawna! Please consider wigs as useful accessories. I once worked with a woman who had alopecia and so made wigs were a staple of her working wardrobe. She was amused by our male colleagues who named the wigs, the "rich b--ch blonde" being a special favorite, along with the "Irish barmaid red".

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    1. Hi Beth! I am sure wigs are very useful for some people and there could be a time in my life when I'd want one. I have a lot of hair and a very hot and sweaty head-lol. I even find hats too hot although I love them, so I cannot imagine that I'd want a wig on top of the hair I already have. That's so cool that your co-worker had a collection of wigs. What a great way to embrace that and have fun with it. xoxo

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  4. Amusing post. You nailed Sheila. She could run the Army if she wanted to.

    I think "sitting on the couch like a lump" ought to be an Olympic sport. I'd medal in it.

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    1. I have already won gold. I'm tough to beat. ;-)
      I probably need Sheila in my life to boss me around more. I'd like her in Jiminy Cricket size. Just imagine all of the adorable miniature outfits she could have. xoxo

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  5. First, I LOVE your haircut. Seriously, do you want to go to the salon, leave your money there, and come out feeling bad, especially when you already look this good?
    As for wigs, good gawd, I got some awesome shots of you. The beehive was WOW on you. But yeah, natural is most comfortable. It's the Sheila half-bum-cheek-on-a-bed pose that's got me hooked.
    I love your final posed photo. Posing is definitely fun to do sometimes. I even got lessons on it at Holt Renfrew. La-tee-dah.
    I remember the ear comment but not any specific breed being mentioned. Heh. The dangle earrings are great with short hair.

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    1. Look-here it is uneaten! Regurgitated perhaps. LOL. Thanks, re the hair. I don't quite have the skills for the choppy ends/razored look I like but I am willing to just cut it all choppy with the scissors. Brave or stupid? LOL

      Holt Renfrew gives posing lessons? Wow. I guess I will have to go some time. xoxo

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  6. I really like your new haircut....and why hair stylist can't stop themselves when they're cutting your hair? I always wandered that, they always have this need to make it a bit more shorter, while actually it would be more profitable for them to leave it longer, so we have to come in for another shortcut.

    Posing is everything when it comes to photographs...good posture, flattering frames, it makes all the difference. I usually don't think that much about it when I do my outfit posts, my yes I must admit that I do pose, at least on one or two photographs I try to achieve a good look...the rest of them are more about fooling around.

    I can't say that I hate having my photo taken, but it can be a little tiring. It would be great if I could have a model of whom to take photographs of, I think that for me would be more interesting but as I don't know anyone willing, often I'm on the other side of the camera.

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    1. I have thought that too about the model. I would put the clothes I wore on her and take a pic and say look this is my OOTD. LOL I suppose people, or at least some people, want to see what a middle aged woman of my particular shape and size looks like in the clothes. xoxo

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    2. For me it is so refreshing to see real woman talking about clothes and wearing them...that's the best part about blogging. You can actually see people of different sizes, ages and social background...and you can see what clothes means to them and how they use it or adjust to suit their needs. It can be so fascinating.

      btw sorry for the typos above...I had a headache while I was typing that (one that lasted for days) or maybe I was typing using my cellphone and I really can't type on touchscreen, I will never learn that...it should be but yes instead of my yes* and so on but I think you understood me anyway.

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    3. Yes, agree!
      Don't worry about typos, we all make them! I had an awful headache recently too. I am also quite terrible typing on touch screen. I can't do it with thumbs at all and use my index finger. xo

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  7. I really like the short hair, it suits you! Maybe wait a month before you have it cut though so there is more to shape? Some of my best friends are bossy boots,what they may lack in "break it to me gently" they make up for in loyalty and heart I find :-)

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    1. Thanks, Steff! Yes, I will wait about six weeks before I go to a proper salon. Then I can say, take just a little off and keep it like this and I will be okay with how much comes off. There is a difference between bossy people who have a vision and want to share it, or who are good at taking charge and getting things done, compared to people who obviously have a big ego or just like to in charge. Sometimes the friend who breaks it too gently or doesn't break it at all isn't doing you any favours. xoxoxo

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  8. Here's another vote for the new hair cut. You did a great job and it suits you.

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    1. Hi Dawn! Thanks for the vote. I've been told most of my life that short like this suits me, but do I listen? Of course not. ;-)

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  9. You look lovely my dear and I loved Anne's picture of you and Ally!!! Your new hair looks great and I know what you mean about posing. I feel a twit doing it but I want to look back at photos when I'm old and feel wistful about how gorgeous i was (ha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) when I'm grey!
    xx

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    1. Thanks Kezzie. You never look like a twit even if you feel it. I am already in that old and wistful state. I look at photos of myself in my twenties, knowing I thought I looked fat then and pretty much mentally slap myself. You will always be gorgeous. I am certain of it. xoxoxo

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  10. I think we all now know Sheila is THE Ms. Bossy Pants. But as you mentioned...in a delightful way : )

    Love the new hair. You are rather daring cutting it on your own!

    I'm still sick, so you're not only in trying to recover. Chest infection and sinus infection that don't seem to want to go away as well as a lingering flu. I can't party like I used to : (

    I love your pose with confidence. It makes such a huge difference. Playing a role when the camera is on is like "faking it till you make it".

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. I hope you get over all that nastiness soon. I never could party, but I do recall friends dragging me around, a half asleep zombie, and somehow managing to eat pizza at 3am.

      When I first started blogging with outfit pics I had to pretend I was my cousin, the Russian supermodel. Silly, yes, but it was the only way I could do it. I couldn't keep that one up forever though and when I lost my cousin I didn't particularly improve in my posing.

      Thanks re the hair. I have been mostly cutting it myself for decades but really should get it properly done. I am usually just too lazy to go to a salon and don't know what I want unless it is 4am and I am sleep deprived. xoxo

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  11. My comment was eaten! It was really good too, at least in my own narcissistic mind. To recap: I love your new hair!

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    1. It's so annoying when the comments get eaten. Thanks for writing it again. Wasn't it just a wonderful weekend? It was wonderful to me and I didn't even do half of what some of you did. And being the introvert that I am, I really treasure our little room party though I know you were so exhausted. xoxo

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  13. Shawna, you cut your hair all by yourself? WOW! You did a brilliant job!!! I really like it, I would never guess you did it yourself. Though it's always therapeutic to visit Jason, I bet. I know it is with Erica to me. I love my hairdresser!

    I will join you in the sitting as a lump sports, though I am not competitive and will be happy to give you all the golds. But just so you know, pretty much all writers spend time as lumps on a couch, it's in the books of how to become a writer. If you cannot sit as a lump, then don't even try to become a writer.

    I know you don't get around reading blogs every day, so I invite you here - in case you'd be interested taking in a new writing adventure. (And I do hope you will be interested.)

    http://inthewriterscloset.blogspot.com/2015/07/out-of-writers-closet.html

    Much love xxxxx

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  14. Oh, you look too cute with the new do. I play with scissors too, LOL. Contrary to you, I really do benefit from brow colour...something I kept noticing in photos of the past weekend. A drawer full of brow product is never enough, so I'll probably check out the Revlon pencils.

    PS...I'm nosy...your tableau on the sideboard in the background is beautiful!

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    1. Thanks, Sue. Isn't it fun to peek into people's homes? I have done posts of what it's like around my home, and I've only lived here for two years so it's a work in progress. I am quite established as far as my stuff goes-a gazillion books, house plants and pine cones, rocks, assorted branches and bits of wood all picked up outside. I live right near the beach. I hate the colour of my walls, so when I finally get that sorted out I will probably do another tour around my home post.

      I could probably benefit from darkening my brows too but I have enough to get away with not doing it. Does a drawer full of brow products mean you have not yet found something you like? xo

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  15. So lovely to have met you, Shawna! I'm so glad you were able to attend even if it was stressful for you. I think most of us (except maybe Sheila!) are at least somewhat introverted which is why this blog format works so well for us. It gives us more control over personal interactions. Right? Here, have some virtual hugs!!!

    And I love your new haircut. An edgy pixie! Perfect. No dogs anywhere in sight. Sometimes I wish I could cut my own but I love my hairdresser too much to try. (I do my husband's hair though!) The clincher is I've had a couple of unsolicited compliments on my hair from total strangers in the past week so obviously I shouldn't mess with perfection, should I?

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    1. Thanks for the virtual hugs! I am virtually hugging you right back. I have a perfectly wonderful hairdresser but I am just so prone to suddenly taking the scissors to my hair in a fit of knowing what I want and wanting it NOW. Definitely do not mess with perfection. Unless you want to and then definitely do. :-)

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  17. Wow! Your haircut looks smashing. I don't know how you can do your own. Why bother going to a salon when you do it so well? Pose and non pose, I think they both look good, sorry. I know you pointed out you dislikes, etc. but I'm over-riding them, just so you know.

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  18. you possibly would never believe it - but beside of modeling clothes and makeup/hairstyles in shows in my youth - i hate to get photographed! don´t know how that comes. it takes a lot of effort for me to not look very frumpy in pics! and with age smiling gets harder and no makeup pics look really bad mostly.....
    you have great haircutting skillz!
    xxxxxx

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  19. OH... look who is looking lovely!!! Great new hair cut. Sheila was right, short or long, not in between (the hardest stage to get through). This looks so good on you.
    You, my dear are your own worst enemy in critism. Other people just see a fun, lovely woman. They see the package. They do not notice any details like you do. And even if they did, they wouldn't think those things about them that you come up with. I think I have made loads of photos of you, all looking ever so good. If you disagree, ask others (people you can trust for their honesty, preferably Dutch, they are direct ... or rude, whichever way).
    Greetje
    PS that is funny, I always put on lipstick and mascara and I am halfway there.

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  20. Candid shots of me include: looking at pigeons with resentment in my eyes, talking, cleaning my teeth with tongue and often looking puzzled because I thought a thought :D
    Absolutely relate with you on the feeling ill and feeling not that pretty Shawna. Even when I feel sad, I also feel ugly, and don't bother to wash my face or remove pajamas. I did find out that when I take care of myself and put a lil more effort into looking pretty I immediately feel better, not great, but better!
    I love you in a pixie cut, I think pixie is YOUR thing, maybe because I'm a little bit obcessed with women in short boyish haircuts, but you my dear wear it like a model! Natural makeup is perfect on you as well, not many ladies can look so lavishing with so little makeup!
    The last photo, oh la la, will definitely take you home to show you my Witcher Collectors edition, if you know what I mean....Khue khue!

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  21. I like your hair at that length but when exactly did we start calling it a pixie haircut? I sport that type of haircut often myself but I wonder why we don't call it the 'darling' haircut. Anyways I love to read blogs so does that make me a blog-stalker???

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