Why do five star hotels feel so luxurious?
Is it their pared down décor, and minimalistic approach to colour schemes?
Is it their selection of toiletries, always displayed with pride and of impeccable manufacture and origin?
Is it the Zen style floral arrangements and peaceful ambience?
Or is it the fact that wherever you go in a five star hotel, or on a cruise ship, where we've just been for two weeks, you see some sort of maintenance going on? Rooms are 'rested' and given a makeover and an update, railings are freshly painted and given time to dry and look their best, gardens are constantly groomed and manicured and revised as seasons change.
I believe it's all of those things, and one of my missions this year, is to show you how you can use the same principles of simplifying, choosing to pamper yourself with the best you can afford (which may mean some very special DIY recipes), including a bit of Zen in your day, resting well and regrouping, grooming and manicuring, and a year long programme of self maintenance and seasonal upgrades, can change your life for the better.
Here's me. A shot taken on the cruise by the cruise photographer, just three weeks ago.
I don't kid myself that I look 20 any more, or even 30. I'm 57 years old in just 28 days. But I have finally found a peace with who I am and how I look. And looking around me, I'm doing okay for 57. There are those who carry their age better than I, but there are plenty more who do not.
I've wrestled with all kinds of faults, perceived and imagined, over my lifetime, but no more. This shot was taken without the benefit of a suntan (real or salon generated), eye makeup, hair products (I took none with me), or flashy clothes. And no digital enhancing either...lol! I've had naturally silver hair for a couple of years now, and straightened it for quite a while, thinking that the curly silver hair aged me. Well, maybe it does. But I'm okay with that all of a sudden. I tinted my eyebrows before we left, or they'd be non-existent, but apart from a dust of Mineral powder, and a clear lip gloss, there's no makeup involved here. My wardrobe for the cruise was simple, and this top was worn with a slim black pencil skirt, the nude wedge heels and slim envelope clutch I featured in my post a couple of days ago, here. The drop earrings were a purchase en route, and feature a Chanel-esque camellia on the end of long slim silver pins, with a sparkling crystal set behind the flower. That was my only jewellery.
I feel like I've turned a corner. I've been lamenting for years, in my 50 & Fab posts that I could not find my style. And suddenly, it found me. Funny how it goes, sometimes in life.
Can I share my own personal Health & Beauty calendar? I was going to save it for a later post, but I'm so excited about this new phase at A Tray of Bliss, that I couldn't wait.
Here's my suggested routine. I guarantee that if you follow this for the next twelve months, there truly will be a New You, at this time next year.
Morning...cleanse face in shower (I just use water and a microfiber cloth in the mornings), ice cube to face and under eyes to tone and diminish bags under eyes (works wonders...those under eye bags virtually disappear!), brush teeth and floss, drink water, moisturise face and body, wash hair and apply mousse and allow to dry naturally
Exercise...walk, yoga, Zumba at home with a DVD (alternating), drink water
Meditate for 10-20 minutes (that's my Zen), drink water or herbal tea
Evening...cleanse face with cream cleanser, ice cube run over face, or cold water splashed on face to tone, facial exercises (I'll share these soon), home made serum or night cream, deep conditioning moisturiser to hands and feet before bed, drink water
Manicure...I use Jamberry vinyl nail wraps and can't recommend them enough...a Jamberry manicure will last 1-3 weeks without any risk or chipping or any need for maintenance
Deep condition hair (a must when you embrace the Grey!)
Walk with friends
Shave legs and underarms
Toner to hair to eliminate any brassiness in the Grey
Pedicure (Jamberry again!)
Weigh self and adjust diet and exercise programme if things are getting out of hand
Trim hair...I do it myself as it's all one length anyway.
Self pampering treatments like a coffee grain scrub, loofah brushing and body oil, olive oil and socks to feet, olive oil and sugar scrub and gloves to hands
Assess Grey hair and decide if the current cut and style is still flattering and manageable. Change if not.
Routine medical checkup
Pamper day with friends at home or at a Day Spa
This schedule was drilled into me by my European mother from a young age, and I have never deviated from it. From time to time, I've had to take on more DIY than I once did as a young career woman with cash to burn, but you know what? I DIY almost all of that now (bar the medical visits...can't imagine doing my own Pap Smear...lol!), and I actually enjoy it. It's calming. And it's rewarding.
What do you think? Could you embrace my routine? Or do you already have your own in existence? Do share!
I'll be converting this routine to a PDF overnight, for you to download. Sit tight!