The Real Worth of Beauty

To quote one of my favourite movies {don’t judge}, Confessions of a Shopaholic, “cost and worth are two very different things”.  I’ve most recently made the sort of resolution, if you will, to save a little more money.  Who doesn’t want to save a little more money?  I guess I’m not unique in my resolve, however for me it was going to take a few adjustments; I’m a pretty frugally minded person as it is, and tend to operate on a budget, set money aside for retirement, and closely monitor my discretionary spending.   In doing so, I was able to discover that there really are some things – beauty wise – that are worth their cost to me and I thought I’d share.

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When initially starting on this journey, I made the commitment to myself that I would reign in my spending on miscellaneous beauty products and do my best to “shop my stash” or use up what I have on hand before purchasing an alternative.  “But you’re a beauty blogger!” you say.  Yes, that I am.  I am starting well ahead of the curve, though, and have lots on hand to test and choose from.  Besides, that whole discretionary spending I noted above, that includes the occasional beauty product splurge.   What it didn’t include, though, were things like getting my nails done.

Call me superficial, call me what you want, but I’ve had my nails done in some capacity {mainly a gel French manicure – formerly white tips, but these have been replaced, thankfully} since I was 14.  If math isn’t your strong suit, I’ll save you the trouble: that’s a long time.  So, I decided that it was an expense I could do without, give myself a manicure, and look just as good as I did before.  Off I went for my regularly scheduled nail appointment and proudly announced to my beloved nail tech that I would like to take my nails off; I’m turning over a new leaf for 2017.  He made a face and simply said “are you sure?”  I proudly said that yes, I wasn’t wavering and I’m sure this is what I want to do.  Off they went.  I left that day feeling almost, well, naked, for lack of a better term, without my nails on.

Never one to turn down a challenge, I decided to do the best with what I had, painting my nails on my own with a light pink and a gel topcoat – practical, understated, and would keep me from biting my nails.  More than appropriate for my day to day corporate job, and the price was right. Well, that lasted a day.  Evidently, I’m far better at my day and night jobs, neither of which include manicures.  The nails chipped, I started picking off the polish, and within a few short days I was back to my 13 year old self, all nervous and weird, biting my nails down to the quick sometimes drawing blood.  Gross?  Yep.  Gross.  I was constantly hiding my hands from people, ashamed to show them the bloodied nails with cuticles.

 


 

It’s hard to explain.  Without my normal French manicure and gel overlay, I felt naked and vulnerable in some small capacity.  I don’t know what it means.  Does it mean I’m superficial?  Maybe.  Does it mean I tend to let my appearance greatly impact how I feel internally?  Yes, I’d say so.  The most important question and seemingly the easiest answer, though it took me a few months to realize, was this: is this a worthy expense to impact my overall spirits on a day to day basis?  Yes.  Absolutely.

It became clear to me that this was something I needed to make room for in my discretionary spending.  I needed to have my nails done and pretty hands.  It wasn’t just something that looked nice, but instead, I soon realized that it forced me to take some time for myself, a break I wouldn’t otherwise take.  You see, I not only run a freelance beauty operation, but often work 8 or 9 hour days in corporate Canada, at a job that demands a lot of me mentally, with little time for outside breaks.  I then go home, hit the gym or have a meeting for a volunteer position I hold, cook dinner, go to bed, and prepare to do it all over again in less than 24 hours.  Getting my nails done allows me to be pampered for a short hour, carve time out in my schedule for me and only me, and when I’m at work, I’m not hiding my hands; it’s almost like my nails became some weird extension of myself.  Strange, I know.

Am I entirely weird?  Is there something that’s worth just more than a face dollar value for you – beauty or otherwise?

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