Polishing Up Venus

Just in time for Valentine’s Day (one of my least favorite holidays), I decided to write a blog about etiquette for the ladies.  Which is sort of ironic because I could definitely work on my own poise and grace!  Don’t worry, I didn’t forget about the gentlemen.  That post is coming next.

One of the skills that you learn in “charm school” (also known as finishing school, popular up until to the 1960s) is how to sit, walk and stand like a proper lady, as I mentioned in my recent post on posture.

Intrigued?  I thought it would be fun to add my take on the rules of charm school.  I’m only half serious… but I’ve been wanting to post on my favorite products for a while so I also tied in a mini product review here.

So here are some of the key traits that a proper lady should possess

1.  Use of appropriate grammar (this was a requested topic, actually).  I’m not perfect but I do make an effort to use the correct grammar, especially when writing anything more serious than a quick text message.  I’m sure you’ve caught mistakes in my blog posts (some are intentional) but here are some simple rules that I think everyone should try to adhere to:

Then vs. Than.  Examples:  “He went to the store THEN he bought her some lovely roses” vs. “He thought that the pink roses looked fresher THAN the red ones”.  Than is comparative, whereas then is mainly an adverb used when discussing actions in time.

Affect vs. Effect.  Examples:  “I would like to have a positive EFFECT on your grammar skills” vs. “I wonder if the length of this blog will AFFECT your attention span”.  Effect is usually a noun and affect is usually a verb.  So if you are going to do it, you will normally use affect.  If it is a result, you will normally use effect.  A useful way to remember this can be seen in the pic below.


Your vs. You’re.  Examples:  “YOUR Valentine’s Day will be amazing” vs. “I can bet that YOU’RE going to eat a lot of chocolates”.  Your is signifying ownership.  You’re is a shortened version of “you are” and if you replace it this way in the sentence, it should still make sense.

Their vs. There vs. They’re.  Examples:  “THEIR music was amazing” vs. “I’m sure you can find the CD over THERE” vs. “THEY’RE going to be performing here soon”.  Their is signifying ownership by someone else.  There is referring to a place.  They’re is a shortened version of “they are” and so it should make sense in the sentence if you replace it this way.

3.  Behaving like a proper, well-mannered lady.  Less drama, gossip, cat fights, cursing, emotional breakdowns in public and pouting.  Am I removing all the fun of being a female?  I’m just trying to reduce your stress!  We could all use a little less gossip in our lives.  Karma and all that.  If you get bored without gossip in your life, practice sitting like a lady- Tips from Couture Allure.  Hehe.

3.  Nuturing talents and hobbies.  Don’t complain that you’re bored.  Get up and do something- exercise, play an instrument, take some pictures, go for a walk, write poetry, visit a friend, cook something healthy, etc.

4.  Consideration for others.  There’s nothing more charming than someone with a caring heart.  Being charitable in small ways every day can make a big difference to those around you.  Many religions dictate that you should also offer a certain percentage of your income to charity.  Even if you are not religious, I’ve read financial books that give the same recommendation.

5.  Try and look like the best version of YOU.  Don’t cake on the makeup, it is much more attractive when you wear daytime makeup that highlights your natural best features.  Take care of your skin and hair by using the products best suited to you.

Now here is my excuse to list a few of my favorite products:Edmonton-20130211-00783

From left to right:

  • Conair hair waver.  My friend convinced me to buy this at Wal-Mart and it was only about $30 (maybe $40).  I was very skeptical because it’s hard for my hair to hold a curl so I’ve always used my expensive straightener and nothing else works very well.  This does work, though!  It’s perfect when I want a certain type of polished tighter curl.  It comes with a glove to protect your hand from burns.
  • L’oreal Total Repair replenishing detangling spray.  Another frugal product that works fantastic on my hair, especially after I’ve had a lot of styling done and I need to take out the tangles.
  • Kate Somerville products.  A friend of mine that works at Sephora told me that the exfoliating scrub was too harsh on her skin but I love it.  My skin responds well to all the products from this line that I’ve tried- I’m so happy that they are available in Canada now!
  • Lancome Hypnose Doll Lashes mascara.  I bought the Shopper’s Drug Mart product comparison box of mini mascaras.  This one is perfect to achieve thicker lashes for a night out.  Otherwise, Maybelline and Cover Girl are almost always safe bets for mascaras that do a good job for a decent price.  I also love the Avon basic mascara in black for daily use.
  • Bumble and Bumble dry shampoo spray in brown.  It is colored, unlike many hair powders.  The drawback is the color can come off on your hands when it is freshly sprayed.  Some of my friends prefer Ojon hair powder instead (I think it smells like incense and it doesn’t do the job as well for me).  I know that you’re not supposed to wash your hair daily, so I try to sometimes just rinse and use this spray to give my hair a break.
  •  Victoria Secret’s Love Spell body lotion.  Who knew that cherry blossom and peach could smell so delicious AND classy AND romantic all at the same time?  One of my favorite lotion scents ever.
  •  Caviar Anti-Aging Conditioner.  To me, it seems strange to buy anti-aging products for your hair.  But this conditioner from Sephora gives me the silkiest hair imaginable so as long as it works, I’m sold!  Plus it’s free of parabens, sodium chloride, phthalates and gluten (junk that you want to avoid).
  • Dove Anti-perspirant.  It feels soft and smells good.  I also once bought the Irish Spring sample size deodorant before a trip and couldn’t believe how long it lasted!  I love smelling freshly showered and Irish all day!  Strange?  Probably, but I still want to find a full size version of this one!
  • Shishedo Benefiance eye cream.  I’ve only tried the tester so far but I love it compared to other eye creams that I’ve tried.
  • Darphin Skin Mat mattifying overnight cream- quite pricey but I found it for a little cheaper in Paris (I don’t remember the name of the drugstore) so I splurged.  It actually works when I remember to use it.
  • Any eyeshadow crease brush (this orange one was in a set from Boot’s in London).  A friend once told me that the key to eyeshadow is good brushes.  I bought some in London and I don’t think that it’s a well-known brand but generally, mid-range brushes should be fine if you get an assortment of shapes and take care of them.  It really does make a difference to makeup application.
  • Laura Geller blush in Golden Apricot.  They used to sell it at Sephora but the last time I checked, they no longer sold Laura Geller blushes.  Which makes me really sad because I’m almost out and I love this so much.  It’s subtle, the perfect blended color (it has swirls of pink, light gold and peach) and it has lasted me literally for years.  I use it almost daily and I haven’t found a similar replacement that I like yet.

I know that some of you won’t agree with the fact that I’m supporting some products with parabens.  I am open to suggestions of better products, though!  I love the ones that I’ve listed and it’s hard to cut them out.

Only 5 rules compared to 40 songs and 40 movies in previous lists?  I guess I’m not as much of a proper lady as I like to think I am!  The most graceful, poised women in pop culture seem to come mainly out of the 50’s-

Grace Kelly

Grace Kelly- poised and proper

Audrey Hepburn had grace

Audrey Hepburn was all grace and charm

Another Coachella artist to grace your ears: 


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