By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
Okay, so the covid-19 lockdown in Mexico is finally beginning to relax, with some companies in some parts of the nation cautiously reopening and some of us bravely venturing outside our doors again, albeit armed with several layers of face masks, face shields and at least a half gallon of hand sanitizer.
This is not to say that covid-19 is not still spreading rampantly across the nation — it is — but there are only so many Netflix binges your mind and body can handle, and with spring in the air and flowers in bloom in Mexico City, it is hard to resist the temptation of the great outdoors, especially after two months in self-imposed house arrest.
Venturing back into the outside world will take a certain degree of social and psychological adjustment and intrepidation, and those raggedy old sweatpants you have been wearing for the last two months are not going to cut it anymore as appropriate daytime attire.
Yes, you still need to wear a mask and wash your hands every 20 minutes or so, but that doesn’t mean you need to look like a refugee from a homeless shelter.
Spring is all about rebirth and renewal, and glamming up your appearance and wardrobe (okay, that’s not too hard to do when you have been wearing 10-year-old footed pajamas 24/7 for the last couple months) will help you feel more confident and self-assured as you return to the “new normal” of a post-pandemic world.
Here are some great ideas to spruce up your look before you reenter the outside world. (Oh, yeah, and you might want to try a little L’Oréal Excellence to cover up those gray roots you let grow out during the lockdown.)
Start with Your Nails
Ah, for those good old days when we used to sit and soak, with our feet tinglingly comfy in a tub of warm, lavender-scented water and our hands being perfectly filed and polished as we flipped through the latest Marie Claire and listened to soothing zen music in our local nail salon.
Well, those days are long past, and until there is a reliable vaccine against covid-19, the chances of getting a professional mani-pedi any time soon are about nil.
But while you may have to forgo that immaculate gel manicure for now, you can try the DIY approach (and really should … when is the last time your hands had a close encounter with a nail file?).
Fortunately, Jessica nails has handy little kits that include everything you need, from a cuticle soften and nail oil to a stay-put base that will resist those harsh detergents you have been using to wipe down anything and everything that enters your germ-free adobe.
There is also a Jessica Brilliance finishing coat that protects your polish for up to a week, even with your new obsessive hand-washing routines.
So dig out that old orange stick and nail clips and spruce up your extremities.
Oh, and by the way, in keeping with the times, Jessica has also just introduced a covid-fighting duo kit for protection and indulgence.
The kit comes with a special aloe-based Purely Clean sanitizing gel that won’t dry out your hands, and a deliciously gentle Hand & Body Bath cream with the antiseptic pantanal triclosan to sanitize while softening.
In addition to being the ideal bath soak for your weary body after a hard day of Zooming meetings and an arduous workout on your balcony, Hand & Body Bath can double as a hand and foot soak before your do-it-yourself mani-pedi.
Now that you have your hands and feet looking presentable, it is time to deal with that unwanted hair on your legs and underarms. (No, braiding it as a post-covid fashion statement is not an option.)
Rather then resorting to the old rusty razor that has been gathering dust in your bathroom shelf for the last two months, opt for a waxing, a non-painful waxing.
Holiday, the world’s leader in professional waxing products, has a new rice-based wax that is hyperallergenic and suitable for even the most delicate skin areas, including arms, legs, underarms and the bikini area.
This delightful vanilla-scented was is packed with titanium dioxide to keep it creamy and to ensure it strips away all unwanted hair for a velvety finish.
It also contains zinc oxide to prevent post-waxing redness and irritation, making it the ideal choice for first-time waxers.
Why bother with makeup, you ask, if you are going to be wearing a mask most of the time anyway?
Because, dearheart, there will be times when you take off that mask (when you eat, for example, or when you arrive at a destination with that small group of family or friends who are part of your new social bubble).
And because the most important person you should always dress to impress is yourself.
Putting on makeup is part of a normal daily ritual, and it is those rituals that are going to help ease your transition back into some semblance of normalcy.
It can boost your ego and self-confidence and make you feel better about yourself (even if you did smear the nail polish a bit when you applied it in your not-sop-perfect home manicure).
Eye makeup will be particularly important in the post-covid social world, since most of the time it is your eyes that will be the focus of attention because your nose and mouth will be covered up.
But don’t forget to wear lipstick as well.
According to a recent study in France, researdchers found that lipstick can do wonders to make women feel more secure and attractive, especially during trying situations (and I think we all pretty much agree, living in a world of covid is a long-term trying situation).
In fact, the so-called lipstick effect of women using makeup to lift their spirits when they feel stressed was documented as far back as the Great Depression (the first one, back in the 1930s, not the one we are getting ready to face).
Historically, during times of economic hardship, sales of cosmetics increase.
And red — that daring color that says “I am woman, hear me roar” (or at least, hear my lips roar), is undisputedly the hands-down favorite shade for sending a message of power and confidence.
So, just in time to lift you out of your quarantine doldrums, Naj Oleari, that quirky little Italian cosmetic brand that is known for keeping it simple (and affordable), has brought out a new collection of red-hot red lipsticks.
Sold exclusively in Mexico on line and at select Liverpool stores nationwide, the new Naj Oleari Creamy Delight Lipsticks come in both matte and glossy finishes and three delectable shades that are guaranteed to put a smile on your face (even if no one else ever sees that smile).
The Final Touch: Clothing
Just because you are ditching your quarantine prison jumpsuit doesn’t mean you want to don your finest Christian Dior silk suit or that cute little Armani black dress that has been hanging in the back of your closet for the last few months.
Realistically, you are going to want to choose comfortable, washable clothing that you will be able to get in and out of easily and that you can dump in the washer the moment you get home for a thorough cleaning.
Also, jewelry is probably best left at home since you won’t want to have to soak your great grandmother’s cameo necklace in a tub of Clorox after your outing into the external world.
But you can dress with pizazz and style by opting for casual-but-chic.
Your old standby favorite brands such as Zara, H&M and Aéropostale will serve you well as you look for ways to update your closet and not break your already-furlough-strained budget.
Aéropostale, in particular, has launched a creative campaign with Mexican artist Vero Villarreal to teach you how to personalist your garments using paint.
To showcase the campaign, Villarreal chose two denim items — a pair of shorts and a skirt — to demonstrate how to get creative with your own design techniques at home.
Try it out, and have some fun in the process.
And when you do venture out with your brand new post-covid style, don’t forget the face mask and hand sanitizers.
…May 27, 2020