“You know, the important thing is to be finished. If everything is perfect – your nails, your hair, your makeup – you can show up for a meeting in jeans and totally get away with it. In New York, that’s really what people are looking at anyway…”
That’s what a friend of mine was telling me a few weeks ago, and my eyes immediately went from her bright red nails to my natural ones . And I mean natural natural. Not “natural” as in fresh “Sugar Daddy” manicure.
Oh really? That’s what people are looking at?
In short, there was nothing on my nails, my hair in a free flow, and my makeup was… Well, my makeup was ok.
I had 1/3, that’s not bad, right?
However, the idea of being perfectly finished got me thinking endlessly and started slowly taking over my brain. It’s true that in France, we don’t really pay much attention to the little details.
Had I spent the last five years shocking everyone with my natural nails and breezy hair?
A few days later, I had an important meeting, so not only did I make sure I had the most perfect hair and makeup possible, I also got my nails done right before the meeting.
Later in the week, I had a conference, and same thing – I went to see Clyde the day before to touch up my hair, and I arranged to have a manicure right before the conference so it would be fresh, clean, and New York.
It’s not like the audience was going to be able to Instagram my nails, right? In the conference, the audience is far away. But still.
What my friend said had sort of freaked me out.
There are positive things about being perfectly done up. It’s true, it makes you feel good.
Like, you’re the woman who’s got it together.
It even gives you a weird energy boost. All of a sudden, you’re not the normal, imperfect woman who slips and falls on the ice in front of a fashion show (—> everyday life, right).
You look like a page out of Vogue and suddenly you feel powerful, in control.
It’s kind of like when you wear heels (even if I happen to feel a lot stronger in sneakers)(heels make me feel sexy – it’s different).
Like, it’s suddenly a lot easier to say no to cookies, you suddenly think so highly of yourself. Maybe I finally found the perfect girl that was dormant inside of me that I hadn’t ever been able to wake up before.
Until this morning, when I found myself waiting at the door at 8am for someone to come do my makeup before I went out to film a video, and by 8:30 I was made up like a stolen car.
My nails weren’t done (reality and laziness always catch up with me) (and plus, constant manicures ruin my nails) my hair was ok, but if you saw my face, you’d think it was Alexis Carrington Colby on her way to a gala at the Ewing’s.
I freaked out (without saying a word! With a smile on my face!) and took it all off (after excusing myself!) and even after taking off as much as I could, I still felt like I had way too much makeup on.
I know what you’re going to say: this never would have happened with a good makeup artist. If it had been Tatyana, my favorite makeup artist – the one I tell you about all the time, I would have looked fresh and naturally gorgeous (she’s a magician).
But that was also when I realized that when you raise your standards too high, you always end up crashing miserably.
So, starting tomorrow, I’m going to go back to how I was:
Nude nails, done myself.
Taking care of my hair without going crazy over it – definitely not having it styled by someone else.
Makeup by me, with a little coaching from Tatyana.
That will be my version of being done up New York-style.
And as for cookies, I’m going to have to find a Plan B.