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The Importance of Looking Good (You Know, Because Life is Short)

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Every day I am more aware of how fast time flies. I'm familiar with the adage "The older you are, the faster time passes," but when I am with my younger friends, they say they feel the same way. I think it's because all of us have every moment of every day scheduled. Even the limited free time we do take advantage of must be scheduled or it just doesn't happen. One night when I couldn't sleep because I was so anxiety-ridden due to my jam-packed upcoming agenda, I turned on my TV. I stumbled on Jane Campion's movie, Bright Star, about John Keats' life and the intense love he shared with Fanny Brawn. John Keats died at the age of 25 of tuberculosis. I know this ravishing film was a highly romanticized version of an unusually short life, but I am beginning to suspect that even long lives seem short. A dear friend once told me that living in every moment is a gift and that's why we call it the present. No truer words have ever been spoken.

I know that right now I should be revealing some secrets to instant beauty. The "look" today is more finished. The fact of the matter is that today's beauty takes a few more moments then in previous seasons. Many of the women at my salons wear different versions of the Boho look. I always laugh to myself watching them wielding their curling irons for at least 20 minutes to achieve this casual style. Even hair that's meant to look untouched requires grooming time. This means that even now when time is our greatest commodity, we must add this to our "to do" list. Preparation time might take a few extra moments but there are a few shortcuts for the rest of the beauty process.

• Try ten-minute colors, a relatively new development in hair coloring products. These are permanent colors that are capable of definite color changes and complete grey coverage. They are available at your local drugstore.

• Work with your natural texture if possible. This always cuts down on beauty time. Hair that can be placed and controlled with product and then fluffed when dry can save endless hours of blow drying and flat ironing. This will avoid any damage from excessive heat and help to maintain your hair in great condition. Unfortunately, sometimes women find their hair texture unflattering and extremely difficult to blow dry. If you have this problem, I suggest getting a Keratin treatment. This is a gentle treatment that will maintain your hair's body but give it a much more manageable texture.

• Choose the appropriate product for your hair texture. Often I see women on the street whose hair looks like plastic, dry, dull, oily, or frozen in place. This means they are over-using their hair products or that they chose the wrong one for their hair's texture. For finer hair, use spray-on voluminizers, root lifts or mousses. For thicker hair, use gels, creams or straightening pomades.

• When you sleep through the alarm, you can simply tie your hair back in a low chignon. This always looks chic and takes just moments. If your hair style is too short to wear back, buy the plainest headbands. These will give style to even the shortest hair.

• Beauty news flash! All the beauty editors of the top fashion and beauty magazines are getting the new Calgel manicure, which is guaranteed to last three weeks. No chipped nails and no need for weekly manicures are sure to make any woman's schedule more tolerable.

Life is short. It is important to look our best every day. Taking the time to look good is a reminder to live life in every moment. The reward is our present.

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