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No, I’m not talking about getting a bargain or your belief system.  Not values, but value.  Do you value yourself, and what are you worth?  Again, not in dollars, but in time and a bit of self love – no, not that kind of self love, although…

Throughout my beauty career and also in my personal life, I have come across many women who question the need for beauty products, often citing vanity, of which they claim to have none, as the only reason to indulge in such frivolous luxuries.  Some women, especially those of a certain generation, don’t want to admit to being vain.  For them, it has negative connotations and often comes with judgement from their peers.  I tried to make them see that although there is nothing wrong with a bit of vanity, there’s another V word that puts the joy of pampering in a much better light.  Value.

Valuing yourself is very different from vanity, but the two can often work beautifully together.  Vanity on it’s own can be destructive for a woman’s self esteem, if she feels her appearance is all she has to offer.  This is often the case when the signs of aging start to appear and you see knee jerk reactive surgery, or a continuous need for cosmetic procedures.  With vanity comes pressure, but with self value comes pleasure.  How you look has nothing to do with your worth, it’s how you treat yourself.

I’m a big old dag most days, hermitting away with my girls in our apartment or taking a walk to the park, (can I just say that when I talk about ‘my girls’ or ‘the twins’, I’m actually referring to my daughters, not my boobs – that was my former life).  Carry on.  It’s a far cry from my full face of makeup, regular hair wash, high maintenance days, but I still manage to treat myself each day with a simple beauty ritual, because dare I say it, ‘I’m worth it’.  When the twins go down for a nap, I hide away in the bathroom with You Tube makeup tutorials playing on my iPad, and I set to work.  It may only be as simple as bothering to use an oil cleanser for a quick massage before jumping in the shower for my twice weekly hair wash, or I may go all out and do a face mask, hair treatment and put on some makeup.  Either way, I’m not obsessing over the way I look, but the way I feel, and since caring for others is my job, it’s important to take the time to show myself I’m worthy of care too – going out hair and makeup is a different story, that’s all vanity, and super fun.

You don’t need a lot of time or expensive products, just a shift in perspective.  Oil and balm cleansers, hand cream, leave in conditioner, tinted lip balm, cuticle oil, combing your eyebrows, filing your nails – none of these are necessities, but they make you stop and focus on a part of you for just a moment, allowing you to value yourself with that little bit of extra care.  The intention of our beauty rituals is more important for our self esteem than the outcome.  If we approach our personal care with kindness, love and a sense of worthiness, the results will come, and eventually satisfy our ever demanding vanity.

Beauty shouldn’t be a chore, but a pleasure, so be kind to yourself and enjoy the benefit it brings to your well being as well as your reflection.