Legendary fashion and beauty writer, Linda Wells, has written a wonderful article in New York Magazine. It is called “21 Seconds to a More Beautiful You.” It employs Ms. Wells trademark humor, personalization and dishes out considerably larger wisdom than mere beauty tips. It’s a great article and we highly recommend it.
The thing about Ms. Wells’ writing is that it frequently exceeds what meets the eye. Sure, this article lists some great products that can speed up a beauty regime. Who doesn’t need that? For example, Ms. Wells gives out a shout to Vaseline Intensive Care Spray Moisturizer. Her affinity for the product? “It allows you to spray your back without become a contortionist.” Simple, effective, boom!
This article is so much more. One part is a history of Ms. Wells’ personal struggle with maintaining a beauty regimen. As someone who has had her fingers on the pulse of the industry for a long time now, these personal observations are important nuggets of wisdom – not just beauty knowledge, real life enlightenment.
About speeding up daily beauty regimes, Ms. Wells writes:
“The current drive for instant gratification in beauty, where results have to be visible immediately— on Instagram—have changed beauty habits. The biggest time suck in women’s lives, the daily slog of blow drying, is now a near relic, replaced by a few shots of dry shampoo and a quick tousle. Anti-aging creams and their promises to prevent something that no one can see are too abstract for this spirit, and sales have tumbled. The products are built on faith, and faith seems to be in pretty short supply today.”
Presumably, about even using beauty products and having a beauty regime, Ms. Wells writes:
“Maintaining our looks is a constant war against time — a long fight that we inevitably lose. But even the small quotidian battles give the illusion that we have more control over time than we do. I still prefer not to dwell in the mirror for too long; there are no contour creams or highlighting sticks in my makeup bag. The promise of a more beautiful me could be fulfilled, but I’ll never know.”
The reason Ms. Wells professes as to why she’ll never know, is that it takes too much time to do it – to find the magic combination of products and techniques to perfect a beauty regimen. Perhaps on a more prosaic level, what she is saying is that everyone needs to find the right balance. What’s most important to you? Perfect looks through a perfect beauty regimen or something not quite perfect but good enough without trading in all of your time. Time is a very expensive commodity. Eventually, even time, cannot be neutralized by perfection. And, for goodness sake, let’s all just agree right now that there is no such thing as perfection – even on Instagram!
FYI… Linda Wells was the Founding Editor of Allure and she is now the Beauty Editor At Large at The Cut and contributes to a whole bunch of other publications. Go read her stuff. It’s great!
The full article in New York Magazine “21 Seconds to a More Beautiful You“
Photo credit: eflon (here)