Barbara Hannah Grufferman, a nationally recognized expert on healthy and positive aging is the author of “The Best of Everything After 50: The Experts’ Guide to Style, Sex, Health, Money and More,” the best-selling resource book for women. She writes weekly columns for Huffington Post and AARP and is the Positive Living Editor for GLOW Beauty Magazine.
Barbara has a video series on the AARP YouTube Channel called “The Best of Everything After 50″ which focuses on fitness, health, nutrition, style, sex and everything in between.
Expert in all things web, social media and business related, Sarah Von Bargen is the creator and writer of Yes and Yes – a blog that addresses many aspects of modern life but is ultimately about saying ‘yes’ to the things that make you happy. Follow Sarah on Twitter and Facebook or visit her blog and website!
Friends, yesterday I was not a pretty sight. I misplaced my contacts and spent the day rocking some glasses circa 1998, a rather greasy ponytail and a shirt that I thrifted and belatedly discovered was not so much empire-waisted as it was maternity-waisted. My jeans gave me muffin top, my cuff bracelet vacuum sealed itself onto my forearm, and there maaaaay have been a freshly picked spot on my chin. Good lord, the hotness? It was overwhelming. Not surprisingly, I felt as attractive as three-day-old Chinese take out, and approximately as delicious. So I headed home and engaged in some of my trusted ego-boosting techniques. Not necessarily proven to turn you back into your tanned/five pounds lighter/natural highlights/post-vacation self, but they’ll certainly keep you from making a reservation for a pity party for one!
Make a list of all your great traits, physical and otherwise
When confronted with tight jeans and a questionable complexion, it’s easy to get hung up on the ways that your appearance is failing you. But what about your great calves? And those adorable freckles? And your ability to quote the entirety of Wedding Crashers ver batim? Not things to be over looked, friend! Make a list of the ways in which you rock and post it somewhere you’ll see it every day.
Have a one-person dance party
Sure, dancing (and all physical activity) boosts your endorphins blahblahblah. More importantly, it’s wicked fun and silly and will probably make you feel heaps better. I challenge to you rock out to She-Wolf in your ruffled underwear and maintain any sort of grump.
Call someone you love
Your mum, your BFF, your unfailingly positive and funny cousin. Talking to someone that loves you feels good, right?
Have a bit of girly bath time
Maybe immersing yourself in bubble bath and scented oils won’t shrink your hips, make your teeth straighter or cure your split ends, but it’ll sure make you smell and feel good!
Try a different hair do
Hairstyles make a huuuuge impact on how you look. Now, I know that I look better with swoopy side bangs and that sexily messy hair that takes so long to sexily muss. Despite this, I spend most of my life with my bangs pinned back and my poker-straight hair mashed into a messy bun. But on these ugly days, taking the time to actually (gasp!) style my hair makes all the difference. Blowing your mind here, I know.
Or cover it up
If you can’t be bothered to fuss with your hair (or honestly can’t do much with it) embrace the hat! Or the headscarf/head band/fascinator. It’ll make you feel mysterious and new, I promise.
Get a make-up counter make over
Why not let a professional apply your blue eyeliner for once? It’s a fun (and cheap) way to spend 30 minutes and you’ll hopefully come out of it looking like a new woman. Maybe a bingo-playing grandma destined for the early-bird special, but a new woman nonetheless.
Check out this photo shoot
Super models who aren’t super thin? Yes please! Revel in their curvy hips, adorable tummies and non-toothpick thighs!
Reconsider those features you dislike
Now, I’m not one to advocate pinning your self esteem to your appearance, much less how your appearance compares to what we see in the media. That said, it’s pretty likely that the bump in your nose that you hate so much or your wicked curly hair has graced the pages of Vogue at some point. I just googled my abhorred blond eyelashes and found this photo of the lovely Maggie Rizer, sans mascara.
Resist the urge to change into your sweats, try a bit of structure
Sure, your belly roll won’t bother you so much once you’re wearing your size XXL U of M sweats, but I actually feel better when I add a bit of structure. A big belt cinched tight around my waist, a button-up shirt, or a pair of wedges make me feel a bit more human. Devolving into a slob, comfy though it is, generally doesn’t make one feel more attractive, does it?
Play dress up
Remember the dress-up trunk you had as a kid and all the fun you had in those prom dresses? Why don’t we treat our closets like that? I don’t mean that you should do some of that ‘shop in your closet’ sensible-ness. Try on the most ridiculous combinations you can find, top it off with some purple eye shadow, a messy top knot and then try to scare your cat. And devotedly hope that your neighbor doesn’t pop over to borrow a cup of sugar.
Slap on some color
Sometimes just altering your appearance is enough to feel better. I’m a big fan of ye old ‘red lipstick and big sunglasses’ trick, but you can probably accomplish the same thing with a big swipe of blush or some epic eyeshadow.
Reference some cute photos of yourself
When you’re suffering from the uglies, it’s easy to forget that you ever looked hot. This is when you check out those professional photos of yourself I’ve been banging on about! I know looking at myself all well-lit and touched up, certainly makes me feel better. If you don’t have any fancy pro photos, surely you have a few snap shots on facebook that do you justice?Go read Already Pretty or Daddy Likey and remember that your body is your friend and that fashion can be fun (and funny!)
What do you do when you’re suffering from a case of the uglies?
[Originally published on karinachronicles.com July 2013]
Over the last 12 months, we have received so much inspiration & guidance from YOU – our beloved customers & fans – we wanted to share as much of our design process with you as possible. Here’s some thoughts from our fearless creative leader herself about the new Karina Dresses Spring 2014 collection…
“I am super excited about a design first for us- we are printing our own signature fabric! This Spring, our printed polka dot line of fabrics will be used throughout the new collection.
The dot prints will range from a classic pin dot to a light hearted & colorful spots.
There will also be fantastic florals that I selected to coordinate beautifully with our new signature dots fabrics!
Also, be on the look out for a new tea length dress called the Tracy. Its named for our friend Tracy K. Smith, the Pulitzer Prize winning poet, mother & long-time Karina Dresses model.
To round out the new collection, our new dress – the Lucy - will be out this summer. It’s named after one of my personal heroes, Lucille Ball, a strong lady that brought us
so many giggles. The Lucy dress is super fun, sexy and flirty- I think our fans will all be screaming ‘I Love Lucy.’”
We recently donated a couple thousand dollars worth of fabric to a very unique and creative high school in Queens NY. Renaissance High School for Musical Theater and Technology is a unique high school whose mission is to provide a secure, attractive and friendly environment in which students are actively engaged in attaining the skills necessary to ensure a theatrical experience, immediate employment and/or admission to college upon graduation.. You can learn more here
Dear Karina Cousineau,
Thank you so much for your frabric donation to Material for the Arts!
The students at our school are very enthusiastic but unfortunately we do not have the financial support to create a fully produced musical. Without the help of donors like you, our students would not be able to design costumes or sets for this year’s production of Guys & Dolls.
Words can not express how much we sincerely appreciate your support and generosity! We are forever grateful.
Renaissance Musical Theatre H.S.
Well, ladies, 2014 is off to a great start. First, we were contacted by the folks who run the Shorty Awards – an award that honors the best in social media. Those folks were kind enough to nominate us for the Keep Good Going award that recognizes brands like ours built around a core positive, uplifting or philanthropic message.
Now, we are so so proud to have been selected by Shareasale.com to be included in their Spring 2014 Merchant Catalog which is distributed to 10′s of thousands of web site owners interested in joining robust, profitable affiliate programs like the Karina Dresses program.
Have a look, and please share with your blogger friends so they can join our affiliate network & bring our awesome dresses to their audience. Thanks!
A MUST READ FOR ALL KARINA GALS!!! An excellent introduction to many of the ideas that we hold near & dear to our hearts.
Until recently, Elizabeth Cline was a typical American consumer. She’d grown accustomed to shopping at outlet malls, discount stores like T.J. Maxx, and cheap but trendy retailers like Forever 21, Target, and H&M. She was buying a new item of clothing almost every week (the national average is sixty-four per year) but all she had to show for it was a closet and countless storage bins packed full of low-quality fads she barely wore—including the same sailor-stripe tops and fleece hoodies as a million other shoppers. When she found herself lugging home seven pairs of identical canvas flats from Kmart (a steal at $7 per pair, marked down from $15!), she realized that something was deeply wrong…