SOME SECRETS ARE MEANT TO SHARE...ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY'RE FROM MY UPCOMING BOOK:"SILVER POLISHE".
I haven’t always enjoyed sharing my secrets but the longer I live and learn…the more I want to “go public” with all the “shortcuts” and “savings” I’ve applied to my life.
For more than fifty years, I’ve cut and colored my hair. Not only has it saved me thousands of dollars but it’s also allowed me to be stress-free from the horrors of my childhood.
I was not-quite-two years old when my mother took me to a beauty shop for my first permanent-wave. In those days, beauticians used a permanent wave machine and, trust me; it looked like a torture chamber from Hell.
I was permanently traumatized when the beautician sat me under a steel “tree with long, flexible limbs” and attached the steel rods at the end of each limb, to my thick, long hair. I was forced to seat under the “tree” for nearly one hour. I easily recall my fear as I smelled the heavy chemicals mixed with the smell of my burning hair.
Growing up, I experimented with my hair until I learned to cut it and style it to suit me. Later-- in my thirties-- when I was bombarded with gray-- I learned to color my hair. Gray is beautiful on some women but for someone like me… who has very white skin….gray hair only made me look like a washed-out clown wearing too much makeup so…I experimented until I found the recipe for blending a variety of colors to different strands on my hair to add depth. My hair is a now a mixture of “lowlights and “highlights” which blend with my gray.
One important fact: NEVER color your hair using only one color. One all-over color makes you look older, makes your complexion appear dull, and your hair looks fake… like you’re wearing a cheap wig. For me, the mirror is my best critic. When it’s satisfied--I’m satisfied.
I’ve learned to make frugality…fun. About the time I was divorced….when I had to work fulltime for a very small salary yet was still expected to have a professional “business wardrobe”--I chanced upon a world of beautiful clothes--by accident. In search of an inexpensive desk lamp, I decided to “checkout” a Goodwill store just one block from my new job. Not only did I find the perfect lamp for one dollar, I discovered Anne Klein cashmere sweaters with matching skirts; designer suits and coats for two dollars each; and leather dress shoes, by Andrew Geller, in exactly my size! I was shocked to see that most everything was marked—one or two dollars. From that moment…..where-ever I lived….I shopped Goodwill and other classy thrift stores….but I never shared my secret. I wasn’t ashamed…I just didn’t want other women mobbing my favorite shops and getting all the bargains!
Of course, each piece of clothing I purchased from a thrift store or consignment store was immediately dry cleaned or washed before it ever touched my body. It was surprising how many of my purchases were new and still had price tags. When stores go bankrupt, close their doors, or have overstock goods…they usually donate their items to popular thrift stores and take tax write-offs.
Regardless of where clothes are purchased or how much they cost, it’s smart to purchase a classic look in everything, including jewelry, shoes, and bags. Trendy fashions change like the wind but classic styles never go out-of-style.
For me, if there’s any doubt about what to wear…I’ll choose an all-black or all-white outfit then….add pearls. It’s amazing how a simple strand of pearls can add elegance to any outfit…at any age.
Now, you know a few of my best-kept secrets. I trust you are wise-enough to know that hair color, clothes, and accessories can only do so-much for your appearance.
What you carry in your heart and share with others….is most important.