What Does Elegant Mean?
“Graceful and stylish in appearance or manner”.
To achieve an elegant look, one has to value personal grooming.
"Self Grooming is not vanity."
Proper grooming creates a unique image and perception of you as an individual.
People pay attention to you, and what you're saying and REALLY want to get to know you as a person.
Personal Grooming and Elegance is about presenting yourself in the best possible way.
It tells people what you think of yourself.
An unnamed elegant lady once said, "The cornerstone of elegance must be represented by a bar of soap."
Maybe in her time, a bar of soap was all she had. Today we have help from many places, friends, beauty counters, and magazines. It is simply impossible to not know at least a little about grooming.
The lack of personal grooming is easily identified and will ruin your elegant appearance.
Here are some examples:
Unconcealed red patches on face
Clothes that are not ironed
Dirty fingernails or chipped nail polish
A Ladder or run in your tights or stockings
Dirty, scuffed shoes
Untidy hair and make up
Weak, damaged collars
Bad designer knockoffs
The breakdown MUST- DOs of Personal Grooming:
Elegant Women - Natalie Portman
A person with good personal grooming always seem to have clear, even complexion.
If you do not have good skin, establish a skin care regime that works for you.
Other basic good skin care tips are to wear sunscreen, exercise regularly, sleep well and drink lots of water.
Naturally, there are periods of our lives where we don't have perfect complexions. Some of us are fighting breakouts and spots. A good concealer helps mask those imperfections as a spotty face is distracting.
This is a concealer which you dab on your spot and then blend it into your skin. You may puff some powder on your face or continue with foundation make up (if you want more coverage.)
Of course, do not rely just on concealer for a smooth complexion. See a dermatologist if you run out of solutions.
Removal of Facial Hair
Hair around the lips must be removed at all times. And in between the eyebrows - if you're monobrowed.
I wouldn't recommend shaving as it is believed that it will grow back thicker and darker. I've used an Light-Based IPL Hair remover after waxing (or shaving, in desperate times), to minimise the hair growth and permanently removed. I haven't had professional treatment, but it seems to slow down its growth that I can ignore that part (and my underarms) for at least a year.
Elegant make up
Eye brows should be shaped about once in six weeks and maintained every week.
There is a lot of information online about shaping your eyebrows. If it is your first time, please see an eyebrow specialist or a beautician. After that, you can maintain it by tweezing new stray hairs every morning or using an eyebrow stencil. I do this, though I still get my eyebrows professionally shaped every now and then.
Aim for a fresh, healthy appearance whether you use little or a lot of makeup.
You have to apply grooming principles as well to ensure that your make up is done properly and neatly.
This means that your make up should be done elegantly, free of smudges.
Wear heavier make up in the evening, such as bolder eyeliner strokes.
A Make-up Newbie?
Learn how via Make Up Video Tutorials or get a Makeup lesson from your Beautician
"But I don't wear makeup?" “Well start NOW!
Personal Grooming for hair means that hair should be clean, neat, tidy and elegantly styled.
You should wash your hair every other day. Good hair etiquette also means never scratching your head, combing your hair or attempting to tie your hair in public.
Find a hairstyle that suits the shape of your face. Also consider your lifestyle, when choosing a hairstyle. If you have a fairly busy schedule, opt for a low maintenance hairstyle.
A good stylist will assist you with this.
Do not use hairdressers that fail to give you a full and thorough consultation prior to your service.
A medium long to should hairstyle is the most versatile. You can wear it up or down, straighten it or curl it, tie up in a casual pony tail or leave it as it is. This is for those who enjoy doing their hair.
Check out some Sophisticated Hairstyle videos.
If you wear a different colour to your natural hair, be sure to get your roots down regularly.
Exercise and Posture
Personal grooming applied to the body means you take care of it. You'll feed it good nutritious food, and you'll rest it well.
Exercise affects your core muscles and that is what gives you good posture. That reason is good enough to engage in exercise! I know when I'm not getting enough exercise when I start to slouch. My stomach muscles become weak.
When you exercise, you build your self-esteem and confidence because you feel good about yourself. You feel better when you find the clothes you want to wear, not clothes you are trying to fit into.
Pay attention to your gestures and movement. Move with grace. Have someone videotape you or take up some ballroom or ballet lessons to improve on how you move.
In general, hair from your legs, underarms, bikini lines should be removed at all times and your upper thighs and arms too if your natural body hair is long and dark. As mentioned earlier, consider investing into a Light-Based IPL Hair remover for convenience of grooming.
For your face, upper lip should be removed and eyebrows should be shaped too.
Elegant French manicure
Personal grooming for nails means they should always be clean and shaped.
Ideally, your nails should always be polished or buffed, or coated with a clear protective coat. Whether nails should be long or short depends on your lifestyle.
Dirty fingernails are a rude shock, not to mention it causes harm to your health. In my opinion, the most elegant look is the French manicure. It is a polished look. They make your nails look clean, neat and healthy.
Don't forget your toenails. Learn how to do a French manicure and pedicure
Lastly, personal grooming also implies dressing well, elegantly and appropriately.
Beware of Fashion Faux Pas.
Favourite Grooming/Beauty Products
Here are a few of my favourite beauty and grooming products.
The Denman Brush
We use these brushes in the salons, the smaller ones are ideal for a handbag, the paddle shape is great for all sorts of hairstyles. I generally hang on to my brushes for a very long time so its worth buying quality!The Denman Hair Brush has a long history and heritage as a quality product and value for money.
DIY Hair Removal System
My home use IPL semi-permanent hair removal system! Mine is an older model, and this is the latest: Light-Based IPL Hair Removal System For Home Use.
Light-Up Make Up Mirror
This Conair Oval Double-Sided Lighted Mirror is awesome. It is great for putting on makeup especially with the magnified mirror. I use it when I'm cleansing my pores, or when I'm putting mascara on my lower lashes.
Nano Ionic Nano Care Facial Steamer is so inexpensive now. I bought one about 6 years ago (and it still works - not all the functions though) and it cost me £249. At that time, nano technology was relatively new and I enjoy steaming my face at home because it is relaxing. A good basic steamer about £30 from Argos is worth buying.
At the end of the day, grooming is highly individualistic.
These are just some suggestions.
To achieve an elegant look, your personal grooming has to be immaculate. There's no way around it.
These are some basic principles of how to groom yourself to achieve an elegant look. However, to complete the look also depends on how you dress and how you carry yourself. Remember, present yourself to the world with a clean, neat and pleasant look is an act of kindness and a confidence builder to you, because people want to associate with well-groomed successful people!