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tertia - you got to do what feels right to you. do you feel better all made up and such? if you do, then do that. if you feel better made down, then do that too. personally, i don't wear make up (i don't even know how too), and i don't style my hair (it's straight, no bangs, and naturally blonde).. but, i got a breast reduction NOT because my back hurt (i'm freakishly strong), but because i didn't like the way my big breasts looked. i absolutely hated the way they looked. i felt like i looked like the venus of willendorf. and i hated it. so, i went through surgery that took me 2 weeks to heal enough to go back to work (okay, i was back 2 days later, but it wasn't a smart move), 4 weeks to get outdoors with the teens i worked with, and, really a year to feel fully healed. all for my own vanity. and, i'd never change what i did, i'd do it again. so, it's really all up to you, what makes you feel like you, what brings you joy about your body. you've been through too much in your life, be happy.

tertia - you got to do what feels right to you. do you feel better all made up and such? if you do, then do that. if you feel better made down, then do that too. personally, i don't wear make up (i don't even know how too), and i don't style my hair (it's straight, no bangs, and naturally blonde).. but, i got a breast reduction NOT because my back hurt (i'm freakishly strong), but because i didn't like the way my big breasts looked. i absolutely hated the way they looked. i felt like i looked like the venus of willendorf. and i hated it. so, i went through surgery that took me 2 weeks to heal enough to go back to work (okay, i was back 2 days later, but it wasn't a smart move), 4 weeks to get outdoors with the teens i worked with, and, really a year to feel fully healed. all for my own vanity. and, i'd never change what i did, i'd do it again. so, it's really all up to you, what makes you feel like you, what brings you joy about your body. you've been through too much in your life, be happy.

I say fuck it, be yourself.

No matter how tired and old a man looks, no one would dream of telling him to wear makeup! The whole "women need makeup" thing is a big sexist plot to (a) make women feel insecure, (b) waste women's time and energy on frivolous endeavors, (c) earn profits for cosmetic companies and the fashion magazines they advertise in, and (d) distract women from more important things.

Now, that doesn't mean wearing sloppy sweatpants in public, dear! There are plenty of cute and comfortable fashion options available. I think men and women alike suffer no harm by dressing in clothes that fit well and aren't ratty. Whatever works with your personal sense of style is fine.

On the shoe front, there can be no compromise. Shoes can be cute or they can be (subjectively) ugly, but they MUST be comfy.

I also hate the feeling of makeup. Have you tried the mineral makeup (I use bare escentuals)? I seriously cannot feel it at all, and it does a great job. I'm 30 and this is the first time I've worn make up in my life because the rest feels to bad. And here's the best part, busy mom - you can sleep in it. It won't mess up your skin or clog pores or make you break out of you sleep in it. They even advertize it as such. I highly recommend it. I get a full application in under 5 minutes. Give it a try.

I'm with Egg Donor - a little Bare Escentuals goes a long way. I have zero eyelashes and if I actually look in the mirror and realize how bald my eyes look, I do tend to feel better once I've put on mascara. How about tasty lip gloss - or is that too sensory overloading?

As for the comfy clothes - I upgraded my comfy clothes - better yoga pants, cuter shoes etc. Still just as comfy, but I don't always have to wear my 13 year old ripped up sweatshirt. And if I want to leave the house I don't feel like someone will mistake me for a bag lady.

And Orange is right - comfy shoes are a must. High heels can make for some seriously ugly feet.

Well, how about a boring compromise, like no makeup but a nice pair of jeans and a nice shirt? I for one think most ewomen look better without makeup!

Also, a great haircut you feel good about makes a huge difference to a woman's state of mind!

I hardly ever wear makeup. Not to work, not on the weekends. When I do it better be a damn special occasion, a wedding or the likes and even then its a bit of foundation (if I have one that hasn't gone gunky and separated in the bottle) and a smudge of mascara, no lipstick, no blush, no eyeshadow. I always wear comfortable clothes, not 'bag lady' comfy when I go out (that I leave for when I am at home) but comfortable, I cringe when I see woman walking about in stiletto heals and pencil skirts, perfectly made up and hair just right, what a waste of time (and it cant, just cant take them 5 minutes to throw that look all together), I would rather it take me 5 minutes to get dressed and ready and be comfortable than torture myself everyday.

That being said, getting a bit glammed up every now and again (even if its not a wedding) definitely does the ego some good, but only once in a while, when I really really need it, its just so much easier being comfortable.

Oh good lord, lady.

GO GET PERMINANT MAKEUP. Tattoos. Tattoo a wee bit of lipstick. Tattoo a light eyeliner. Tattoo a faint blush and if you need it tattoo some eyebrows. Wake up every morning with your "face" already on. Go get your hair cut. Short. Something fun and flirty and easy to "do" with a wee bit of mousse and your fingers.

Keep the sweatpants and slippers. Really, when your face and hair look great, when you FEEL great about how YOU look, your clothes don't matter anyway.

I wear makeup maybe twice a year.

My theory is that eventually, the people closest to me will figure out WHAT I REALLY LOOK LIKE, therefore it's certainly not fooling or impressing them. If I'm not doing it for them, and I'm not doing it for myself (I'm pretty sure I know what I look like), then who am I doing it for, strangers?

It's a fuck of a lot of effort to go to for total strangers, if you ask me.

I do wear makeup everyday but its mostly to keep from scaring anyone. I have to say, me done up is still bitterly like a before picture.

I actually think there is a such thing as stylish and comfy but I bet its pricey.

My advice, not that I follow it myself (I find it all very overwhelming) look the best you can in a way that you are comfortable. For example, maybe a short, easy haircut, keep your at home lay around clothes clean - buy new ones often so they don't look tired and like they've been balled up in your closet for a month. If makeup really bothers you, I wouldn't torture yourself. You can't see your own face anyway, right? I would just optimize the comfy and feel good about it. I hear confidence is very high fashion.

I try to brush my hair, put a bit of concealer under my eyes and maybe lipgloss. If it's just me and the kids at home I'm in daggy tracksuits with birdsnest hair and no makeup. To me makeup is about making YOURSELF feel good. I don't do it for anyone else...well, sometimes I do. But mostly to make ME feel good.

I'm more one for the comfy look and feel, but am also still pretty self-conscious about being in public that way so I like the statements above that say make sure the comfy stuff is at least new and nice. I tend to keep my favourites for years and then suddenly realise they're looking shabby.

Forget heels! I'm tall but you're TALL. Heels and tall just don't work. Something else I've learnt to do is absolutely just NOT to look in mirrors or windows at the shopping centre. As long as I keep my focus on how I feel on the inside (which is generally pretty good and if not, I know how to shift that) then I'm ok. The pressure to conform to the magazine look or the majority of made-ups glamorous girls around (especially the 20-somethings who just good no matter which side of bed they get out of) is so huge that I prefer spending time in the less glamorous areas. It's impossible to avoid in the malls so I avoid the malls.

A question: I find going to bed with cream on my face incredibly irritating. Can't sleep as I feel unwashed. I also seldom put cream on my body and have been fortunate enough to have a skin that doesn't seem to mind (not my face - my face has aged badly.) I have heard the Dr Haushka people say no cream at night is actually better for your skin as it allows it to breathe. Any thoughts?

I'm a big believer in dyeing my eyelashes and eyebrows (instead of mascara etc) and it looks great, and NO worries about rubbing my eyes....I hate wearing makeup also -- but have a similar uneasy feeling that I "should" make the effort.

Personally I think foundation is just plain icky, not to mention bad for your skin. Maybe a light powder instead? I think high heels are bad enough at formal events, they don't belong at the mall!

Feeling G&D inside is the most important.

Personally, I find myself in sweatpants most every day. They are black, however, and cut in a 'yoga' fashion, which I think is somewhat nicer than regular sweatpants. I also keep my hair back on a normal day, usually because I haven't made any effort with it in over a week and it looks awful down.

I do try to make an effort and wear some powder on my face (really, a good powder that will conceal at least some of the acne and dark circles does wonders - I wear MAC Studio Fix and its very lightweight but actually covers stuff up) and sometimes lipgloss/lipstick/chapstick and maybe even mascara. Other than that, I don't bother. And some days, I don't bother with anything. I go out of the house with yuck hair slapped up in a knot, lime green hideous sweats, grubby old flip flops, and not one speck of makeup. And people look at me like, umm.... did you forget to put yourself together today? But those days, I just don't care.

IF I go out with friends though, I try to at least look decent. Make sure there is no baby food splatted on my pants, and my hair is clean and at least put up smoothly, instead of falling all over the place.

I do however love heels and would wear them everywhere except I look a little like an ass wearing heels and sweats.

i also use the mineral makeup bare essentials. i had not worn makeup for 15 years when i discovered it, couldn't stand the feel of it on my face. you can't feel this stuff, it is basically loose powder, takes about 3 minutes to put on, and looks wonderful. if it's not in sa, go to their website and have it shipped over, it is worth whatever the shipping costs are!

I do wear make up and blow dry my hair everyday. Where I work I get to wear comfy jeans everyday. A nice pair of jeans and a nice top looks good and you feel comfortable. I like to look nice. Not only for myself but for my husband too. My husband has a saying about relationships "You have to do today, what you did yesterday, to keep tomorrow".

I wear make up to work every day, and even *gasp* wash my hair. There used to be a time when I wore a suit to the office every single day, but I find myself making excuses in the morning, so I can wear jeans and a nice jumper instead. And weekends, hell, it's just sweat pants, hair in a band and maybe, just maybe some mascara to take the edge of feeling completely unattractive off.

I live in an appartment "above" a huge market and when I go out to buy fresh bread and cheese on Saturday morning I can't believe how many women are all tarted up as if they're on their way to a party. And then I catch a glimpse of my slightly greasy hair, my not-so-flawless skin and my over-washed t-shirt in a mirror in the drugstore and I feel bad for not making an effort, at all. But I just hate wearing a bra, heels, ironed trousers/blouse, make-up, belt, my hair loose when it's not exactly necessary. I feel your pain :-)


I am 23 and I still walk around with my hair tied up and no make up on. The first thing I do at night when I get home is slip off my clothes for nice soft comfy sweat pants and a t shirt. So my point to you is, I don't think its an age thing. It is obviously an un-coo-girl'ish thing.

We simply prefer comfort, thats all


I totally understand what you are writing about. I hate makeup! When I go to the mall on weekends I try to a wear nice pair of jeans and a nice top, a bracelet or a necklace but no makeup. At least I look a litte bit better than the "comfy-at-home-me" and I feel a little bit better about myself. And high heels? No-no. I am too tall, 178 cm...

I couldn't agree more with the other commentators who recommended bare escentuals - I loooove it! I try to just get it on and a little eyeliner (I can still run my eyes that way). I look much more "after" with just those 2 things.

I gave up wearing make-up 20 years ago when I got a whopper case of adult acne. Initially I looked like a washed-out rag. But my skin "breathed", my acne cleared up. I now have naturally pink cheeks. Make-up is only for high days and holidays. Most of what I have has gone all gloopy. When wearing make-up I feel as if I've wrapped my face in cling-wrap. Hate that feeling!! My local pharmacy has home kits for dying eyebrows and eyelashes. Love that.

Clothes.....oooeeerrrr......love my grotty old rags. But I have some lekker jeans (stretch denim is best) and t-shirts/blouses. I only wear flat shoes. My feet are happy in them. But take heart, I also possess THREE pairs of slippers hehehehehe.

Life is too short to spend one day looking ugly! My gran used to say you should put an extra 10 minutes of effort in in the morning - you never know what the day may bring (or who you might meet), and this way you will be prepared for anything that comes your way...

Tertia, you don't have to be "dressed up" to look nice. A pair of Levis, comfy but unscuffed boots/shoes and a neatly fitting longsleeve T-shirt always looks good. As for your hair. Get some cheap but funcky grips/clips and put your hair up - wear lipstick, you'll feel a million dollars with little effort.

On my at home days, I have a magic minimum. It's not as dolled up as if I was going to work, but I don't do sweats/yoga pants unless I'm working out or going to bed and I'll put a little makeup on. Usually just dabs of foundation under the eyes, some powder, and lip gloss. I've also found that if my hair has lighter highlights in it, I look less tired and washed out, so I keep up with my blonde root touch ups at the salon every 6-8 weeks. I find it makes me feel better and more energetic.

I REALLY never have time to look cute and 'after-ish'. I think that I have a permanent 'before' look and it works well for me. Life is too short to comb my hair 'nicely' and wear nice girlie clothes.

But once a month (or once every 2 months) I comb my hair, slap some lip balm on, wear a skirt and holy moly I look like a ctually own a mirror :)

I say do whatever makes you feel comfortable

T - my dear you are not alone. the other day i got home, jumped in the bath to get all the filth of the day off me, first to go ofcourse my makeup. Then i realised, i finished my gin yesterday... i need a g&t every night, it's a rule, so you know what i did? i jumped in my car, with my pj's and i went to buy me some, hehe, hell life is too short, do what your guts tell you 2. a good thing maybe is to ask hubby, you usually get a straight answer there, if he in any way suggests that it may not be such a bad idea, listen to him. anyhoo, toodles.

Dressing up means different things to different people.
I am more of a "whatever is comfortable" type of person. Don't like too much make up. Simply do not have the time for it. I think that every woman needs a couple of basics in her wardrobe i.e. jeans with a good cut, white shirt, some great quality basic t-shirts, a stylish pair of boots, a classic winter coat etc. These basics can be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion. As for me, I don't really do make up. Not even concealer. I do make sure that my brows are always waxed and I use really great (expensive)stuff for my skin. You really do get what you pay for in this regard. People always compliment me for having beautiful. I wear a high SPF lip gloss everyday and occasionally I would wear some lipstick. This all depends on my mood. I also buy really good hair products and try to go to the hairdresser at least every second week. A good hair cut can take about 10 years off you. As a mother and wife I hardly spend any money on myself as there are always other priorities so this is really my treat to myself for working hard.
I don't really wear heels. Only very occasionally for functions where there ain't going to be any dancing. I would say that I am a girly girl only when I feel like it.
I would think that you must just go back to the basics first before making any drastic changes.

Oh, and track pants (the funky yoga-style ones) and huge slippers are definitely my weekend uniform but only for when I'm vegging out at home.

Sorry, I meant to say people always compliment me and say that I have beautiful skin.

I'm like you Tertia. I'm a "scrape your hair into a ponytail, splash water on your face and out you go" kinda girl. I just can't find the inclination or energy to beautify myself!! Hell - I didn't wear make -up or glam myself up when I had no kids - I'm hardly about to start doing it now that I have 2 and a half kids!! Anyway - for the rear occasion when I do put some slap on my face and do my hair - I get so many compliments about how good I am looking! If I did that all the time, no one would ever say that I looked nice!

I find that when I'm at the mall I'm not generally judging other people there - I'm just trying to get my errands run! So I don't worry about it too much.

However I did throw out my baggy old sweats. I have jeans and I have two pairs of yoga pants for working out in that occasionally get worn elsewhere. And I have pjs for bed that are really PJs and would not get worn elsewhere.

I'm really not big on the makeup thing and my hair has its own will and sometimes I don't have the energy to tangle with it, but I do find that sticking to jeans and reasonably nice ts rather than sweats does keep a bounce in my step. As silly as that is.

I've been down a lot lately. I resolved to stop showingt the world. I went out and bought all new make-up and make myself put it on everyday. Seeing myself in the mirror makes it worth it. being able to walk past a mirror without noticing how tired I am makes me fewel less tired. it really does help me.

I hadn't worn eye makeup in over a decade because it always made my eyes water (I have sensitive eyes, apparently). I heard about the talc-free mineral makeup concept and bought some eye shadow—and it also makes my eyes water. So no, eye makeup is not for me.

Sure, I could tattoo pigment onto my eyelids, but good gravy! If I'm going to go through the pain of tattooing, I want it to be obvious that I have a tattoo. Permanent "makeup"? Ick.

Permanent makeup via tattooing is a bad idea, and here's why: your face changes shape over time, but the tattoos will stay in the same place on your skin. What starts as, for example, nice eyeliner may wind up being several millimeters lower in ten years' time.

On a similar note, stylish short haircuts, if properly maintained and styled, are not necessarily easier than long hair. Long hair, first thing in the morning? Pull it back if it's in your way. Short hair, first thing in the morning? Total mess. Short cuts need to be trimmed every 3-4 weeks; long hair can linger.

Sheer lipglosses (feel like lip balm), tinted moisturizer (feels like face lotion), semi-permanent mascara (lasts 3 days).
Well-cut jeans, a cute top, comfy shoes.

i also use the mineral makeup bare essentials - I have VERY acne prone skin and between the scars and the hormonal blotches I really needed to wear something out of the house and not look like the witch of the west. (Seriously, I have a major mole on the tip of my nose. MY NOSE. getting it removed next week! Then I'll have stiches on the tip of my nose. Love-ly)

Anyway, I *was* using the color stay type foundation because it has the same active ingredient that is in anti-persperant (which keeps the skin from sweating, and make up from sliding off). It works. BUt it is kinda gross.

So I broke down and ordered Bare Minerals. After a month, I don't have break outs (except one pimple during PMS) and it really does have amazing coverage for a poweder. I don't feel it, though I do sweat it off some (because I use so much to make that flawless look). But I urge you to try it, just once. If nothing else, you can buy a set or a powder on ebay without committing to the club and see if you like it.

As for the rest - I live in the Southern US where hot and humid is a way of life. I come home from work and I put on a T-shirt and boxer shorts. Because I can. piss on everyone else.

Just a powder, in lieu of foundation, some all day wear lipstick and a little mascara. That's all it takes to feel a little more put together. Take you five minutes at most. If you want to.

Women who work outside their homes often don't have casual wardrobes and looks -
they have working wardrobes and comfy stay at home wardrobes -
what you need is a middle one.
What about some comfortable trousers or jeans and a pretty top?
Don't 'do' your hair as you would for work but find a way to pull it up that is pretty.
You needn't wear heels, but don't wear bedroom slippers.
I know lots of working women who just don't own any casual clothing.
As for makeup, maybe some pressed powder (not so heavy) and matte lipstick (which you might not feel is so greasy).

I'm a realtor, and I have a professional photo that is on all of my marketing material and my business cards. The professional photo is great, I'm smiling, my hair is fantastic, perfect makeup, (it's on my website, www.juneheller.com). But in real life, I don't wear makeup, my hair gets its style by going to bed with it wet and waking up the next morning to it looking alright. I'm usually in sweats in my home office until I have to show houses, then I throw on a skirt and a top, but here in Miami, in the summer, I'd be insane to wear makeup just to sweat it off.
Still, it kills me when people look at my business card, look at me, then look at the card and say, "wow, is this you?". The picture was taken last year, it's still me. That's when I really feel like an old hag.

Totally with you, Tertia. Makeup, fixed up hair on days at the office. No makeup, barely even bother to dry my hair (just shower, comb, and let it dry on its own) on the weekends/stay at home days. My "working wardrobe" is supposed to be professional looking, but it's getting more and more casual over time. Skirts are basically out, except for long summer skirts. I REALLY can't deal with high heels, nylons, etc. ANY time, never mind on the weekends. My standards for looking decent when I go out on the weekend (like to the grocery store, or whatever) are slowly slipping. I still can't bring myself to actually wear sweatpants, but that's about the only thing that doesn't fly at this point. This is partly because I used to think, gee, you might actually MEET someone at the store so you better make an effort... but now that I'm happily married, with a toddler and another on the way... it just seems a little pointless. Not to mention that my husband thinks that makeup or people getting "dressed up" is shallow and a waste of time and money, so I haven't got a lot of external motivation. Remember, too: if your husband and your children think you are beautiful - tired, old, and "before"-looking as you may feel - then you are!

Please let us have a "before" and a "after" photo! I'm sure the medication will also make you feel not so tired. Good luck!

I also agree with the "middle way" approach -- yoga pants sound like a great idea. There are lots of clothes that are comfy without being dumpy -- Lycra is your friend! And how about tinted moisturizer? You can't feel it but it gives you a bit of a glow.

Must chime in as loving loose mineral foundation; however I have switched from Bare Minerals to Bare FACED minerals (barefaceminerals.com). Bare Escentuals' Minerals contain bismuth, which can irritate my extremely sensitive skin during hot weather months. Bare Faced has a truly awesome "Velvet Plush" foundation that I just love love love, takes all of thirty seconds to swish it on, just enough to even out my skin tone. I also think just a bit of the right color lipstick lights up a woman's whole face.

As far as clothing, clean and comfy is my only rule. I spent years decked out in heels, hose and suits for the office. Now that I'm in a casual dress atmosphere I don't even OWN a pair of hose, or heels for that matter.


Sorry, that's barefacedminerals.com

There are days when I don't even get out of my pajamas (and days when my pajamas are the clothes I wore the day before), but since I bought Sheer Cover (a mineral make up) two months ago I almost always take the 3 minutes and do my face. I hate the feel and look of traditional make up, but I LOVE this stuff. And it does make a difference in how I feel about myself.

From your pictures you really do look like you're in shape enough to pull off the yoga pant/sweat top look when you're home and running errands with your kids. Maybe invest in a few of those for the remainder of your winter?

I don't like to fawn, but Tertia, you are beautiful. I like your "look." You may not see it, but your face is the face of a woman who has LIVED her life. A woman who wasn't afraid to laugh or cry when the spirit moved her. Some days all you may see are the "flaws," but I guarantee you that when Kate and Adam look at you all they see is their beautiful, loving, accepting mommy. To them you are perfection whether you're still in yesterday's pajamas or straight off the runway haute coture (sp).

I am right there with you... I own bagsful of make up and I rarely wear it. I care about what I look like when I go out - not at all. Last night, for example, I went to the gym and when I was done my shirt was soaked with sweat. I had dinner plans and had forgotten to bring a clean shirt. What did I do? I tossed the shirt in the dryer and wore it. Nice! Answer: do what makes you feel good, period. If it's a pain in the butt and it's not making you feel spiffy, skip it. But a routine one or two little gestures might help.

My remedy for washed out face is under eye concealer and tinted moisterizer -- quick as a falsh to put on and I don't have the yucky feeling on my face. Plus the concealer makes a *huge* difference with the tired out Mommy look....

I've been told on more than one occasion that I 'clean up nice' which is to say I'm also very 'before' when I do nothing. I hate makeup. However, I always wear a little blush, I pencil over my eyebrows (even though they are thick - it makes them neater) and I wear lipstick. Earrings help. That's all you need to do. I detest foundation and powder - ugh. Only for the very fanciest events.

If I feel badly about the way I look, I tend to ask myself, why and who am I really dressing up and wearing make-up for? Generally, it's not for me, it's for the perception I make to others. Then I figure, who cares, it's about me, not them, and do what makes me happy and comfortable. Sometimes it makes me happy to put on a wee bit of make-up. Generally, I go without and wear comfortable shoes. It's very freeing.

What about somewhere in the middle? During the week, for work, I wear full makeup, blow dry my hair, etc. etc. But on the weekends I go somewhere halfway. I don't wear foundation (hate how it feels and this also gives my skin a break) or mascara or lipstick, but I do put on a bit of eye shimmer (nothing as time restrictive as my typical eye shadow, just something light and sparkly and fun) and a touch of liner (smudgy though, not perfect). I throw on some fun clear-ish lip gloss and put my hair up in a clip instead of blow drying, curling, etc.

My 10 year old step daughter told me the other day that she actually likes it BETTER when I do the 'half' makeup thing. Who knows, maybe I'll carry it over to the work week! ;-)

I know that I do look so much better with some foundation, powder and mascara. It's an instant transformation, but it's so much freakin' effort!! With a capital E! Too much work... bah. Ratty t-shirt and holey jeans it is.

When I was on leave for the adoption of my son, I couldn’t decide what was better… being a new mom or not having to put on work clothes every morning. (ok, so maybe that’s overstating it a little, but you get my point.) When I was on leave, I relished the few casual outfits that I purchased that I actually got to wear – during the day even! - since my regular wardrobe is basically work or PJ’s and almost nothing in between. I did find that the most comfortable around the house look that could easily transition to the grocery or quick errand was the high-end yoga pants look. It’s slightly more appropriate than sweats but serves the same purpose.

Who has time for makeup with kids? If I have clean hair, I’m “cleaned up.” How do all you guys do it??

There's a lot of room between fuzzy slippers and heels and I think I fall in that area. I wouldn't say I am always perfectly groomed, and I don't spend a lot of time or money on myself, but I would only go out in sweats (actually I don't even own any "sweats", just yoga pants) if the house was on fire. For casual I stick to mostly skirts in the summer with fitted cotton tops, and flip flops or sandals. I don't always see the rationale in the "comfort" excuse -- it's as easy to pull on a skirt as a pair of sweatpants. I have a three minute makeup routine that I do every day. Most days I feel pretty good, although I do feel like I need to clean up a bit to feel good. Perhaps I am too insecure about my looks to go about my day with my "before" look?

So, I was starting to think I too couldn't leave the house without a lot of hair/makeup effort. Then I had Restylane and I can get away with doing nothing.

I agree with many of the comments above in the sense that comfortable does not always mean sweatpants; in fact I find them bulky, too warm and I do not have any. I love to look OK everytime I look at myself at the mirror (which means everytime I go to the bathroom). When I am not working, I use cargo pants or skirts with flip flops or flats; fitted t-shirts or just a white shirt makes you look wonderful without any effort at all. If your closet has many of these combinations, you do it automatically. Regarding make up, on a daily basis I use tinted moisturizer (you HAVE TO moisturize anyway if you want to take care of your future wrinkles) so why not to add a little bit of color to it?; also I use lip balm all the time for my dry lips. Both things are enough to give you a fesh look.
After reading a few posts about mineral make up I am now tempted to try it!

I've found that blowing my hair takes too much energy. I don't have enough blood circulating to keep the brush and drier up. BUT, I don't have to go around with a raggedy pony tail. When wet tie your hair back into a french twist or a low knot (bun). When done right v G&D. You need good pins to do it though. Check out ballet supply stores. In the US http://bunheads.com/stage/Hairpins.html.

A little self tanner works wonders. But get the kind that is a lotion with a little self tanner added to it, so you don't end up with streaks. In the US something like this http://www.drugstore.com/qxp152693_333181_sespider/olay_complete/touch_of_sun_daily_uv_facial_moisturizer_plus_a_touch_of_sunless_tanner.htm

Lighten your hair with a single process. Dark hair on *not* young women is too harsh. I find that highlights take too long and I'm too anal about roots to be satisfied with highlights. A single process takes 30 minutes, but it needs to be done every 4-6 weeks. Add a glaze, if you think that the color is too flat.

Then I'll use a tinted lip gloss.

I rub my eyes as well. So I go without Mascara and eye liner unless for work or some kind of function. For me, it's a start and I feel like I try a wee bit.

Well, I've never been able to wear mascara--my eyes are just too sensitive and eventually it starts either flaking off into them or running (I live in Florida, so this is inevitable even with waterproof mascara).

My standbyes every day are concealer, bare escentuals powder, a pretty pink blush, bone colored eye shadow, and Burt's Bees lip gloss. Brightens things up, but nothing slimy!

I used to feel that way too. Now I use that Bare Escentuals (or whatever wierd spelling they use) and I love it. It's a light powder instead of a greasy lotion (which - because my skin is so dry, always looked like ass anyway). And a friend of mine got eyeliner and lipliner permanently tatooed on. In the morning she puts a "stain" on her lips and she's good for the entire day. But she's a redhead and can only wear certain colors. I'm blonde and can change from deep reds to light pinks and everything in between so those permanent colors wouldn't work on me.

I gotta say though, before my wedding (at age fortyfuckingthree btw), I was feeling old and haggard too. I got some botox and a nice peel done and to this day, over a year later, people still tell me I'm glowing. Could be that I snagged a real winner of a hubby but I suspect the peel and botox is the real reason why. I know you toyed with the idea of it all before, I just can't remember if you actually did it or not.

What about tanning? Or spray on tan if you have issues with sun beds. I find that the colour from the tan gives you a glow and covers up the washed out look feeling. Pony tail, sun tan and lipgloss might be a nice compromise. Plus there are really cute lounge clothes that are more "tailored" and put together than sweat pants. But you can still be comfy with cute sandals or flats.

I think a good, interesting haircut goes a really long way. I never wear makeup, never really dress up. But when I have a good haircut, I feel GOOD. When I have my hair long and wear it in a ponytail, I don't. And with the right haircut, I don't have to do any work to make it look decent - I go to bed when my hair is wet, wake up and run a brush through it, and sha-bam! I may not look fabulous, but I look a hell of a lot better than I did in my ponytail days!

I LOVE makeup so I can't relate - but comfy clothes, oh I am all about the comfy clothes at night and on weekends.

Maybe make it a project to find some smart things that feel like pajamas and a couple of non-itchy makeup items, like a moisturizing lippy and a think layer of eye liner. If you don't mind powder, Benefit's Dandelion is a blush that looks totally natural but also undead. (It's a staple over here!)

I am the Queen of the Schleppers. And I HATE mascara, it itches my eyes.

Ultimately though, I feel better - and more in control of my life - when I've made a bit of an effort. To me "a bit of an effort" means some light foundation just on the spots that need it, and some blush. (Blush makes a big difference in the tired-and-washed-out department.) Then I put my hair back, but style the front part a bit so my head doesn't look like a coconut. (I have to admit that this solution is not 100% effective.) A bit of lip gloss and I'm good to go... well, good enough anyway.

Oh, and yoga pants. One step up from pyjamas, but sooo much more socially acceptable.

Makeup junkie here. Maybe it's because I come from Dallas, Land of Big-Haired Made-Up Women, but I will NOT leave the house without at least putting concealer on my zits and putting on a little blush, mascara and lipstick. I also have full-on foundation, eyeliner, eyeshadow, etc. for days when I really want to look nice. I do have low-maintenance hair, so that's my compromise.

Back in my college days, I was much crunchier (read: hippie) and wore no makeup at all, most of the time. Of course, that was 20 years ago, and my skin certainly shows its age now. I'm definitely one of those people who looks a hell of a lot better with makeup.

That said, do what makes you feel comfortable. But if you think you'll feel better about yourself going out with a little makeup on, go for it.

I've got sensory issues too, and I cannot stand the feel of makeup on my face. It's horrid. I don't mind that Bare Minerals stuff you get at Sephora, because you really can't feel it, but stuff on my eyes and lips. UGH. Hate it. I obsess over it until it's gone.

My feeling is, if you're not comfortable with it on all the time, don't wear it. Who cares what other people do? As my mother would say "If all the other kids were jumping off a bridge, would you do it to?" No, of course not. You're too sensible. So do what's comfy and the hell with what other people think.

I object to the time factors for getting dressed. My morning routine has got to be 15 minutes. Put hair in rollers, while they are heating, apply makeup (5 minutes), throw on a dress and heels (faster than sweats and sneakers since you don't have to lace them), take hair out of rollers and go. If my hair is already looking good or I wear it back, I'm looking at under 10 minutes to get out the door.

Heels can be exceptionally comfortable if you spend the money. But even if you hate them - flats and a jersey dress can be perfectly comfortable, quick, inexpensive, and great looking.

I am kinda like you, Tertia. Look pretty good in the after photo, a bit tired in the before. I am all for the tinted moisturizer, tinted lip balm (this is the most helpful thing--my lips are pale, and the bit of brownish pink color really helps--do they have Neutrogena lip sheers with SPF in SA? They are great. Try "warm" or "pure" color.)
And I just got bangs, which really took about 10 years off.
Oh, and my absolute must, curling eyelashes--takes two seconds, and makes a huge difference on my. I tint my lashes myself when I have time.

Tertia, you are such a tonic. I'm a complete slut when it comes to make-up and clothes: I loathe having to get tarted up. What's more, I really, really resent how much time it takes to put on make-up. I have three kids who are at three different schools, and I work from a home office. So the only time I have to work (in fact, the only time I have to myself) are the four hours between nine and one. (And two of these four hours are taken up answering the doorbell and doing annoying admin tasks, so I end up with two golden hours). I'm damned if I'm going to waste them putting on make-up, so nine days out of ten I slouch into my study with dripping wet hair, unbrushed teeth and a face bristling with broken capillaries (wine), chin hairs (old-age hormones), bags (lack of sleep) and scaly arms and legs (Highveld air). I always promise myself that I will slap on a bit of crack-filler and some mascara & lipstick before I go and fetch the kids, but I'm usually so engrossed by my PC that I don't bother. Hence, I end up grooving into the local mall looking like a bag lady. Getting dressed also annoys me. I'm happiest in my saggy-bottomed trackie-bums, an old grey fleece top covered in borreltjies, and an disgustingly grungy pair of Crocs.

What's more: I feel no shame about this, and neither should you, Tertia. You're spending your free hours writing your funny and honest posts, and spreading comfort and solace to your gazillions of fans and readers. Those are hours well spent. Standing in front of a mirror titivating for an hour is an hour wasted.

I find that I have to make an effort if I'm going clothing shopping or getting my hair cut. It makes a huge difference in my own perception of how I look in new clothes or hair style. If I don't at least put on makeup for those sessions in front of a mirror with bad lighting, I can guarantee dissatisfaction with the results. Going to the grocery, however, can be done in comfy clothes sans makeup.

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