Friday, June 13, 2014

5 Weird Beauty Tips I Learned From My Dad

Dad's are funny creatures. If yours is anything like mine, your childhood was filled with weekend house projects, boring golf lectures, and endless tie shopping. Dad's are annoying, funny, awkward, and lame. They do ridiculous things like tell racist jokes in front of your new Hispanic friend or use the term "partner" without realizing it's connotation has evolved. But they also do good things like change your break pads and promise to buy you a Porsche when they strike gold.

Sometimes, they even provide beauty tips.

I realized far too late into my adolescence that I didn't grow up like most girls. I didn't practice putting on makeup, doing my hair, or accessorizing my outfits. I had no regular shopping trips, and I wore cloths from The Limited Too for a few too many years. While some girls were reading Seventeen, I was reading the fifth Harry Potter. Again. To this day, I'm still pretty bad at doing makeup, I'm too lazy to do my hair, and I'm just now updating my high school wardrobe.

Despite these girly set backs, I did end up learning a few valuable beauty tips from my dad. And not on purpose.

1. Leave in conditioner
Did you know that if you leave a little conditioner in your hair rather than rinsing it completely out in the shower you could end up with silky, smooth hair? I didn't. Not until my dad mentioned that the reason our Golden Retriever was so soft was because he didn't rinse the conditioner out of his fur during baths. That's right, my dog had better hair than me for years until I heard this little gem! (Let's face it, he still has better hair than me and is most definitely the prettiest member of my family.)

"Don't hate me because I'm beautiful." --Dave, the dog

2. Stop touching to stop breakouts
The best way to stop breakouts and reduce acne is to stop touching your face. Every time you itch your cheek, pick a pimple, or wipe sweat with your hands, you're transferring God-knows-what from your fingers to your face. I didn't have a Pro-Active worthy face of acne as a teen, but I broke out often enough that it was a little annoying. My dad mentioned that he stopped breaking out after he learned to stop touching his face so often. I'm unlucky to take after his pale, burnable skin instead of my mother's dark Floridian tan, so I listened up. Now-a-days, when I'm deep into editing and I find myself resting my chin in the palm of my hand, I try to remember to move my hands into my lap so my fingers can't brush my chin and cause awkward adult breakouts.

3. Suck it in and stand up straight
One time, my dad called me fat. I was about eleven years old and standing in the family room with him. He told me I needed to suck in my tummy so I wouldn't look fat. Now before you call Child Protective Services, realize with me that he really meant I needed to stand up straight. I was slouching, with my back arched so that it curved in severely and pushed my abdomen out. From the side I looked like the letter S (the second person from the left in the photo below). If I would stand up straight, with my pelvis squared and my hips tucked under, my tummy would align appropriately, and I'd look more like the letter I (the middle person). Think about how a dancer stands with her core contracted and her hips aligned with her shoulders. This advice would come in handy, particularly when I was posing for photos in my future prom dresses. Hips squared, tummy in, shoulders back. Ultimately, better posture. Which brings me to...

Standing up straight can instantly slim you!.
4. Dress your figure, not the outfit
Looking good in a prom dress is not about the accessories, fabric, or bling. It's about choosing a dress that curves in all the same places your body curves. Watch enough Miss America formal wear contests with my dad, and you'll learn all about which dresses look good and which do not. You better bet he'll be helping me pick out my wedding dress someday.

Nope, not workin' for ya.

5. Anti-aging cream
I recently had a conversation with a friend who was shocked to hear how old my dad is. He doesn't look his age; he looks ten, maybe twenty, years younger. He is active and healthy and capable of doing the physical activities he is interested in: walking, biking, golfing, and playing with the dog (see above). His anti-aging secret has to do with his philosophical beliefs of what it means to age. He doesn't accept traditional limitations of a body's capabilities due to it's age. In fact, he doesn't celebrate his birthday because the number is not important. So while lots of people run around looking for creams, injections, or surgeries to reverse the effects of aging, he doesn't accept the concept of aging at all. It's a beauty tip more valuable than all the others--although, I'm not sure I'm quite ready to give up my birthday cake.

Don't be weird.

And there you have it. What beauty tips did you learn from your dad? Who's the prettiest member of your family?

My dad and Dave the dog. Best buds.

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