Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Stuck in a Rut: The Importance of Updating Your Beauty Look and Routine Over 40

Update your beauty look: New nail shape (the squoval) | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style blog

Whilst giving myself a manicure the other week, I was thinking how much of a pain my nails were being that length. 

I was constantly finding it hard to pick things up (long nails doesn't make this easier, it makes it harder).

I was getting gloops of moisturiser under them when applying it to my face. Same with food when cooking.

I had problems putting fitted sheets onto the mattress, and I couldn't press the button-thing to pop open the boot of the car (I had to ask my husband to do it as my nails were just too long).

Even flushing the toilet (the push-button type) had to be done with my knuckle FFS.

It suddenly occurred to me: WHY was I putting up with this? Why didn't I just cut them shorter?

The reason I didn't was because the thought of having shorter nails horrified me: I've had long, pointed (almond shaped) nails for about two years after I decided that I just wanted long nails, for no other reason than "because I wanted them". I was used to having super long talons waggling around at the end of my fingertips. However, the danger was that I'd got myself into a rut, and I couldn't cut them shorter because... Well, for no better reason than "Well I can't".

AS YOUTHFUL 40-SOMETHINGS WE'RE OFTEN VERY AWARE OF TRENDS IN CLOTHES AND PICK AND CHOOSE THOSE THAT WORK BEST FOR US. BUT HOW OFTEN DO WE CONSIDER OUR MAKE-UP? OUR NAILS? OUR EYEBROW SHAPE?

It made me think: How often do we get ourselves into a rut when it comes to our beauty look and routine? As much more youthful 40-somethings than our mothers and grandmothers were at the same age, we're often very aware of trends in clothes and pick and choose those that work best for us.

But how often do we consider our nails? The make-up we wear (and use)? The way we do our eyebrows? Our skincare routine?

Update your beauty look: Nails, manicure | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style blog
(Above: The "old" nails. I know to a lot of you it may seem like there's no difference, but to me it was huge...!)

The day I thought this, I literally took one look at my almond-shaped nails and decided it was time for a change. Right there and then I reshaped them entirely, from the long points to a shorter, squarer/more oval shape (I think it's called "squoval"). It's a bit lame to say I was initially in shock (it's only my flippin' nails, after all), but they were really short compared to what I'd been used to.

I felt like they were short and stumpy and my hands didn't look as elegant as before (here's where you have my permission to get your tiny violin out for my First World Problem).

TEENS AND 20-SOMETHINGS, HAVING BEEN BROUGHT UP ON A DIET OF YOUTUBE TUTORIALS, ARE SO MUCH MORE SAVVY WHEN IT COMES TO EXPERIMENTING. IT'S VERY EASY TO GET TO 40 AND REALISE YOU'VE HAD THE SAME BASIC HAIRSTYLE FOR 15-20 YEARS.

But after only about a day I'd got used to them - and everyday tasks were suddenly soooo much easier. I could pick up coins. I could do up fiddly buttons. I could get the boot of the car open all by myself. And to be fair I rather liked the new shape: One lick of classy red polish later (what better way to celebrate than with bright red polish?) and I was flashing them all over the place. One beauty rut cleverly avoided.

(I've now moved on from the red and now painted them a delicious, perfect-for-autumn dark reddish brown, 'Rebellious Heart' by Leighton Denny).


Don't get stuck in a beauty rut

My point is - don't get stuck in a beauty rut. I think teens and 20-somethings, having been brought up on a diet of YouTube tutorials, are so much more savvy when it comes to experimenting with make-up, nail polish and hair styles. It's very easy to get to 40 and realise you've had the same basic hairstyle for 15-20 years.

So have fun with your beauty look. Watch some make-up tutorials (I'll be making some on my YouTube channel very soon), change your nail shape, get a funky new hair cut and/or colour. Check out my Pinterest boards for hairstyles, make-up and nails inspiration.

The two things I have on my radar next to change: My eyebrows, my teeth(!) and maybe a beauty treatment here or there. Maybe not what you were expecting, but then I didn't expect to be giving up my long nails a few weeks ago. Stay tuned for updates.

A change is as good as a rest, as they say...!

WHAT HAVE YOU CHANGED ABOUT YOUR BEAUTY LOOK RECENTLY? OR HAVE YOU BEEN WANTING TO CHANGE SOMETHING, BUT NOT HAD THE GUTS TO DO IT? COMMENT BELOW, OR TAKE IT TO TWITTER @NOTLAMB!

Catherine

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Disclosure: I was gifted this nail polish by Leighton Denny but was not compensated for writing this post or asked to write it (click here for my full disclosure). All content is original and opinions are my own and 100% honest.
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32 comments

  1. God. Ruts. They're gawd awful and yet, I don't even realise I'm in them until, well, they've become entrenched. Lately though, I've been experimenting with the shape of my eyebrows (having decided to eschew microblading for fear of SLE-triggered keloids). Trying the Korean subtle arch instead of my usual. Going thicker, thinner. And, of course, skincare. I'm always changing that :)

    And I really do hope you'll come by the blog today, Catherine, I'm trying something new. A giveaway. I've styled three looks using the same shirt dress, and I'd like to know which is your fave outfit. In return, you stand to win a Beauty Giftpack :)

    Right here https://sheelagoh.com/2016/10/18/karma-chameleon/

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    1. I agree Sheela, it's hard to recognise ruts when you're in them...! I think that's why I just decided to chop off my nails as soon as the thought entered my head ;)

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  2. It's so easy to get stuck in a rut! know I am with my hair. I'm always thinking of trying something new, and then bottle out! Make up is a different matter. As we age, things need to be changed.
    www.vanityandmestyle.com

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    1. I think it all needs to be changed, Laurie - I always *think* I'm in a rut with my hair, but then I think "I've had this hair cut/colour for at least six months now, time to change" - my hair has always been the thing I constantly switch up! My skincare routine and make up is the thing I need to think about more :)

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  3. Sometimes a rut is cosy comfortable. It is not always bad. I have tried so many styles with my hair f.i. Of course I would still love to change the style form time to time, but I have learned my lesson. There is not a lot I can do with it. So I am satisfied with this styel and am happy in my rut.
    The nails... I used to love them, long and red. Then I got a devious little (potentially deadly) little bacteria around my finger nail and I have to be very careful! No red long nails anymore. I weeped a little, but now I am content with them. I is what it is. Something I seem to say a lot these days. I suppose it is my 2016-version of "relax baby, relax".
    Greetje

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    1. Oh gosh you were a long red nails person too, Greetje...?!! Shame about that infection - I had exactly the same about two years ago and my nail is still recovering. It means I can no longer wear sheer or au naturel nail polishes... Oh well :(

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  4. Oh it's awful in the beginning...short nails. I now have short nails a few year. And I did something with my teeth, well the dentist did, and they now look prettier. It never bothered me, until for the last year's. My hairdo is pretty much the same, also is my makeup, I only adjust it to my age.

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    1. Haha I'm glad you feel my pain about the short nails, Nancy...!! ;) Though many people think mine are still incredibly long, it's just what you're used to, isn't it x

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  5. Such a great post and it really is easy to change things up with nails and hair. We just have to make a little extra effort some days - I know I do! Thanks for the reminder :)

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    1. Thanks sweetie - yes I totally agree about how easy it is to change them, but a reminder to DO it is always good as you say!!

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  6. Blogger cuts nails. Stop press. And in other news people are starving ....

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    1. Thank you for your thoughtful, constructive criticism Jo Jo. I'd forgotten that this was a blog about the news and current affairs - so thank you for pointing that out to me.

      No, wait... No, I thought it was a blog about style, health and beauty for the over 40s. Now I'm confused.

      My bad, obviously.

      It's a shame that Blogger doesn't let us block certain people from making comments - but then they may have already sent me that memo, I was probably too busy cutting my nails to notice!

      Oh well. I guess I'll just have to put up with pointless, irrelevant comments from people who have nothing better to do with their time than waste it on a blog they find frivolous. I have no idea WHO would waste their time doing that...!

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  7. Cannot relate to the nails .... mine have always been short! Maybe I should try longer? For awhile I did follow the "advice" to lighten my hair because I am older .... but did not feel right and decided dark brown still suits this 49 year old!

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    1. I'd always had short nails till I decided a couple of years ago to grow them long, Wendy - I just wanted to have them for a change and to see what it'd be like! I thought I'd only last a few weeks but I kept them for a couple of years. The points made it so difficult to do stuff, and now even typing is so much easier.

      Do what you feel is right, but then don't forget hair colour is easy to change... Why do not try lighter hair, you might just love it!! x

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  8. I am stuck in the hair length rut, need to take a leap but such a coward

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    1. I thought that too about my long hair, Linda - that I couldn't possibly imagine cutting it short - but once I took a bit off I wanted more, until I got to the bob I've got today. Why not try it in increments like I did rather than chopping it off in one go...? Much less scary!

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  9. I couldn't agree more Catherine!
    Nails are very important (little details count) especially to the overall look of an outfit.
    My own nails go from super long to very short and square.
    I never wear them stiletto shaped because my hands are small and thin and I look like a witch!
    {I am filing them into points of halloween :oP}
    I think the difference is subtle here, as your nails are still long, BUT so much more modern.
    It is SO easy to get caught in all kinds of ruts.... nails, hair, makeup...even when trying "new" fashion styles they can be worn in old fashioned ways.
    Luckily we are aware of it and make the effort the break out!!
    A great post.
    XXX
    Samantha
    www.fakefabulous.com

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    1. Thanks Samantha - that's interesting that you change the shape of them a lot, I don't think it's something many of us experiment with! Have fun with the pointy Halloween nails...!! x

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  10. It's amazing the difference nail length makes both aesthetically and practically. I prefer a squoval too. Gosh, Ive stuck to the same make-up routine and look for so long, varying only the lipstick!!! I think I need to watch a few YouTube videos along with my 15 year-old to get some fresh ideas. Love Liz xxx whatlizzyloves.com xxx

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    1. I think it's because time passes so damn quickly the older you get that we don't realise we've been wearing the same make up for years, Liz!! I'm the same - I think the trick is to both watch tutorials for new ways of doing it and to buy new products. Having a 15 yo daughter is the perfect way to try new things!! x

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  11. I often feel like I'm stuck in a rut too, I hate that feeling!

    Rosy | Sparkles of Light Blog

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    1. It's when it dawns on you Rosy that you've been thinking "oh but I always have it like this"... That's when it's worrying!! Experimenting is key, and shouldn't stop as we get older! x

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  12. I'd love to grow my nails long but the nail on my thumb always breaks. Any tips on how to get them to grow nice and strong?
    Thanks!

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    1. Breaking nails was always the thing that stopped me growing them before, Nat - for some reason I always had problems with my ring fingers on both hands (weird). It was only when I discovered the "tea bag method" for mending split nails that I realised it meant I could use that to stop those nails breaking and grow them long.

      Here's a Youtube tutorial for the teabag method:
      https://youtu.be/G0y-R_1qq7M

      It takes a fair bit of practice and A LOT of buffing, but I kept getting cracks down the length of my nail so this method was perfect. I use a little bit on the tips of all my nails too so that it strengthens them.

      However - be warned that constant buffing does make the nails weaker, so like girls that wear acrylics, it kind of ruins the nail underneath. But it's the perfect solution to get hard nails that just don't like growing long...!

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  13. Oh nails are one of the things that make me feel bad. I know as a blogger I should wear nail varnish and I always admire the groomed look that they give to an outfit but personally, I just can't be bothered. For me, nails have become yet another huge sucker of time and money. However Catherine you did inspire me to sit down and add a slick of Dior Nailglow last night after I read this - so that's progress, maybe there's hope for me yet! xxx

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    1. Hehe Nikki I do know what you mean - I'm a bit like that about washing my hair, I always think that I can surely get one more day out of it by just putting in dry shampoo...!!!!

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  14. Oh nails are one of the things that make me feel bad. I know as a blogger I should wear nail varnish and I always admire the groomed look that they give to an outfit but personally, I just can't be bothered. For me, nails have become yet another huge sucker of time and money. However Catherine you did inspire me to sit down and add a slick of Dior Nailglow last night after I read this - so that's progress, maybe there's hope for me yet! xxx

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  15. I think this is something for women of all ages, not just the over 40s, to pay attention to. I think it really helps to read beauty columns or blogs, because you get new ideas you wouldn't think to try usually. I like India Knight in the Sunday Times Style magazine - she writes for grown up women, not girls, and has a no-nonsense approach. She does urge us to watch tutorials, and it's sage advice. I focus on one thing at a time - the last few months I've been focusing on different eye makeup, which has worked well now I've discovered cream eye shadow pencils (what a revelation!!). x

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    1. Good point, Porcelina - I just think that with the younger generation growing up with YouTube they're fed new techniques and ideas all the time, we're maybe not so used to it!! But yes, tutorials are a godsend, I have to agree...!

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  16. Nails. As someone who literally CANNOT grow my nails long, I do envy a woman with a long, elegant set of nails. However, my job (and my personality for that matter) dictates that I keep em short. Love have you've given them an almond shape…very modern.

    www.highlandfashionista.com

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    1. Thank you Kristin - long nails were something I always wanted but never thought I could cope with long term... I'm amazed that I stuck with them TBH!!

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