Contributor Andrea Pflaumer shares a surprising take on how to be lazy but still beautiful! Enjoy, dear reader.
“Beautiful.” Now that’s a loaded term. Ask 20 people what is considered beautiful and you will get 20 different answers. Contemporary ideas of beauty are often skewed by cultural and commercial influences. So let’s consider some fundamental principles from the world of art to help frame what might be considered beautiful.
What is Beauty, What is Laziness?
There is a sense of harmony and balance in beauty. That doesn’t mean that all beautiful things, places, and people are the same or similar, nor are they boring or predictable. It simply means that none of the elements that make up the image overwhelm or mask the others. Each part refers back to or complements the whole in a pleasant or engaging way.
Also, there are elements of beauty that simply resonate with us on a gut level. Beautiful things make us feel joyful, elevated and hopeful. If we simply apply those terms (“does this make me feel joyful, elevated or hopeful?”) we’re off to a pretty good start.
Next, what is “laziness?” Often, what we judge as laziness is simply someone’s self-preservation response to uncertainty, confusion, and resignation, which is certainly understandable these days.
Laziness in how we dress or present ourselves to others can also be a symptom of depression. Depressed people can be easily led to believe that the latest greatest “thing” will solve all their fashion and beauty – and life – problems. That’s how they end up with a closet full of “nothing to wear” and a cabinet full of half-used makeup and skincare products.
Depression and resignation are not good strategies for beauty.
You Have to Work Harder to be Lazy
So, with all that in mind let me offer the following counter-intuitive suggestion: it actually takes more energy to be lazy than it does to be beautiful.
Here’s what I mean. When you give up on putting your best foot – and face – forward that can reinforce any underlying negative feelings and beliefs you have about yourself. You feel heavy and hopeless.
Heaviness saps your energy. It makes life harder and will drain you. But beauty is energizing and uplifting. That’s why we try to surround ourselves with beautiful artwork, furnishings, gardens, music, etc.
So with that let’s look at some practical ideas for how to stay beautiful without having to put in a lot of effort.
The Efficiency of the Lazy
Some of the most productive, efficient, and creative people I know might be considered lazy because they don’t spend a lot of time “prepping” themselves for their day. They know how to spend their time and energy wisely.
When it comes to their attire, they create the perfect lazy person’s wardrobe. Initially, it takes a little bit of effort but saves them huge amounts of time afterward. What they do is hang entire outfits together or take photos of entire outfits (including shoes, outerwear, and accessories) to refer to when they dress for any occasion. They don’t waste time staring at a confused, jumbled, overstuffed closet for ten minutes, shut the door and then say, “I have nothing to wear.”
They make sure that anything new that they buy goes with some items they already own. And when they do buy something, it’s often to replace a tired-looking similar item with something of higher quality. A higher quality piece of clothing or accessory can make you feel beautiful every time you wear it.
Many of these “lazy” people have a uniform: they will wear the same thing or the same type of thing every day. In fact, some of the hardcore among them own multiples of the exact same items that they wear on rotation. But still, they always look fresh and together because they have studied what looks good on them and then they simply repeat that. And what they repeat is of high quality.
Many a lazy fashionista knows that they can’t accomplish all of this on their own. So they enlist professionals to help them understand the best silhouettes for their body shape, and most of all, the most flattering tailoring points for their clothing. The right hem length for any garment can make all the difference in the world when it comes to creating visual beauty, harmony, and balance.
They also get help honing their closet and perfecting their style. Having a stylist or fashion consultant – or an objective and honest friend with a good eye – go through a closet periodically can help weed out extraneous pieces and create a few great new combinations. This can be a real revelation as often we just can’t see ourselves as clearly as someone else can.
And when all else fails, simply wearing the right colors is the easiest way to create beauty. Lazy people don’t buy things in colors that jump out from the rest of their wardrobe simply because they don’t go with anything else.
So, having a professional color analysis can be a huge time saver and will make your shopping choices easier and less stressful. You will start to see only the things that you know will work well with your coloring and you avoid those that don’t. A flattering color worn near your face can really make you look healthier too. And you’re not likely to have a fallback wardrobe of all white and all black, which, frankly, does not work for a lot of people.
“Facing” the World, Beautifully
Then there is grooming. A good haircut is as important as anything you wear. Over time hairstyles change and we change. Doing an honest assessment of your face and your hair – its texture and color – from time to time is a way to stay authentic. Authenticity is a hallmark of beauty, and self-knowledge is crucial to authenticity.
It’s also a very easy way to stay current and to feel more beautiful. Making sure your haircut, color, and style reflects your current age and lifestyle ensures that you are moving forward in life and aren’t stuck in the past.
The same is true for skincare and makeup. As we age our skincare needs to change. What worked for us in our 40’s or 50’s needs tweaking over time. That’s why it’s valuable to see an aesthetician periodically to determine whether you need a different kind of moisturizer or protection for your skin.
But any skincare routine should be simple. If someone tells you that you need five or six or more products to apply every morning and evening it’s less likely you will continue that routine.
As for cosmetics, your makeup routine should also be simple and easily repeatable because getting in the habit of applying makeup is easier if the process is not time-consuming. Those days of spending hours experimenting with sparkly eyeshadow or exaggerated cat-eye makeup is the playground for younger women. Keep it simple.
The Best Reason to Stay Beautiful
Many scientific studies show that the primary key to longevity is to have strong human connections. Human connections make us feel wanted and attractive and they bring meaning to our lives. And whether we like it or not, physical attractiveness is highest on most people’s list for why they are attracted to others.
But frankly, when someone has put in the effort to present themselves to us in a good light, we get the sense that the relationship won’t be one-sided. That makes it easier for us to get to know them.
So, ultimately, you are doing these things for yourself. But it’s a gift that makes you more emotionally accessible to others. And when you have an easy routine, when you don’t have to think too hard or work too hard at it, you are more likely to repeat it.
Most importantly, an easy routine that makes you feel attractive will energize you, make you feel more optimistic, and then leave you time for more important things: like learning, growing, and loving.
Do you have a defined go-to look? Do you think that makes you lazy or brilliantly beautiful? Please enlighten me in the comments!
Andrea Pflaumer is the author of the Amazon best-seller Shopping for the Real You: Ten Essential Steps to a Perfect Wardrobe for Every Woman: Fashionistas, Fashion-phobes, and the Over 50 and She’s Got Good Jeans – a guide for how to shop for and where to find the perfect jeans for your body and budget.
Her new online course is called: Discovering Your Inner Style: An Adventure in Dressing Authentically.
Andrea does in-person and online wardrobe and shopping consultations for women worldwide and blogs at Shopping for the Real You. She is the host of a video collection entitled: Vital, Vivacious, and Visible after 50 and Shopping for the Real You: Expert Edition where she interviews women in the areas of fashion and beauty.
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