Sixty years ago, Actress Audrey Hepburn played the role of Holly Golightly in the beloved film Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Her character set the standard of beauty as the new normal, and has been a keen examination of the “psychological struggle between the need for stability and the desire for freedom.” It is about a person forced to examine the delicate balance between necessities and material possessions. Laying bare the true meaning of beauty and acceptance as it relates to genuine happiness.
These themes of stability, freedom, and acceptance challenged our spirit and determination as the pandemic frayed the edges of normality. As we began wearing masks to cover our faces, we compromised beauty for safety. Circumstances don’t define how beauty thrives and inspires us; as humans, we determine what makes us beautiful, even when faced with living in an unprecedented ‘new normal’.
Beauty in the new normal requires a shift in behavior. COVID-19 has wholly altered our perception of beauty. Manicures, facials, a blowout, or beard trim isn’t as easy as making an appointment at the salon. Stripped down to a stark and revealing look at ourselves, we must understand how to prioritize our need-to-haves (hand sanitizer and liquid hand soap) versus our nice-to-haves (facial serums and nail lacquer). More consumers are turning to e-Commerce. This radical shift is a complete reprioritizing of our beauty need-to-haves, and a temporary disengagement from our beauty indulgences. The beauty industry has quickly responded to this shift to meet the demand. Beauty is a personal perception, supported by a tactile-driven industry. Brick-and-mortar stores are transitioning with innovative content and digital services. Shopping online for beauty products allows us to feel a connection, from a distance, to products that make us feel good.
However, post-pandemic, a valuable investment in pantry-ready, DIY beauty, looks to be the new normal. After all, “never has a scalp felt as fresh as after an apple cider vinegar rinse, turmeric paste as a spot treatment, coconut oil as body lotion, and yogurt as a topical probiotic. (all delicious, by the way.)”
Loving yourself is more important than just looking beautiful to others.
We must all learn to take a respite from a busy and upturned life – and take a physical and psychological inventory. It isn’t just a health trend. We’ve watched the narrative of the pandemic evolve. Beauty, in the immediate confines of one’s home was once a safe harbor. But these pandemic times has many of us struggling to find a balance and understand why a new (relentless and irreversible) lifestyle is confronting our strong desire for freedom.
Self-care means “taking care of yourself so that you can be healthy, be well, do your job, help and care for others, and do all the things you need and want to accomplish any given day.” In our “cages,” we find ourselves working, home-schooling, finding new creative outlets, cooking, and reading more. We need “brain hacks.” Dressing for the office in our pajamas eventually gets old. Then we adapted. Many of us have been working from home and found balance. Traditional beauty has been replaced by something simple, pure, and refined as we wait for the “all clear.”
Before the pandemic, our whole face was a conduit of communication. Now half-shrouded by masks, only our eyes are showing. Using more of our bodies to communicate is key to our expression in the new normal.
We are social creatures by habit. Our allures and charms help us interact with and understand others. The need to step out for essentials, or for a walk with the dog, has never raised more alarm. The thought of being “too close” to another person creates panic. But the urge to get outside and interact has become more vital than being isolated. “Since the pandemic started, loneliness has increased by 20% to 30%, and emotional distress has more than tripled.” Any form of safe, social-distanced connectivity reduces stress levels and boosts our self-esteem. Both of which are critical to the physical perception of oneself. We need to connect safely because social interactions positively impact our well-being. We learn to understand and grow from others’ expectations and the many ideas of beauty they support. But now, our definition of beauty is much more about our self-perception rather than just how others perceive us.
Significant “new normal” beauty trends are rising to the occasion on social media. Isolation is getting people to speak candidly, posting about head-to-toe check-ins. Prior to COVID-19 the common goal was to use our devices less. According to globalwebindex, “The very platforms consumers were detoxing from [have] turned out to be beneficial for their mental health, in helping to combat widespread feelings of loneliness stemming from extended periods of isolation and social distancing.” Beauty-related posts have helped to create real time social connections, and alleviate isolation torment. According to bazaarvoice.com, “The closure of salons, increased time at home, a need for distraction, and the urgent desire to maintain healthy skin, hair, and nails has resulted in women being more open and experimental with DIY health and beauty treatments.” Men are “forcing themselves to employ more loving and helpful logic” and talking to themselves. Seeing another person sharing these new beauty norms has helped make the home an affordable – and more acceptable – spa. Take beauty back to the basics: a cleansed, toned, moisturized face is “just enough beauty” fills every corner of any person’s happy place.
How beautiful we look to ourselves is limitlessly accessible.
When Holly Golightly, swathed in Givenchy, meets would be suitor Paul Varjack, she beams and says, “How do I look?” Paul responds, “Very good. I must say, I’m amazed.” Holly answers, “Well darling, I could have never done it without you.” If it wasn’t for COVID-19, we could “never have done” a 180 degree turn from the standard of beauty as it once was. Once accustomed to a beauty industry that promoted the “lipstick effect” –wearing makeup to boost confidence, and increase self-esteem, attitude, and personality,” we must now create on our own! As the pandemic continues, more makeup continues to come off, the clothing has become more casual, and self-care is being redefined – the paradigm of the new beauty is that “less is more.”
Continually discover how the pandemic offers you an opportunity for reflection, reprogram, reset your priorities and values, and look at yourself, literally and figuratively. At the end of the day, your true beauty is how you see yourself –compassionate and thriving with a big smile that you understand – as a beauty worth celebrating in the new normal.
“Your true beauty is how you see yourself –compassionate and thriving with a big smile that you understand – as a beauty worth celebrating in the new normal.”
Of course, even in the new normal, self-care is important. Here are some resources, products and self-care tips to get you started.
Experiment with beauty products. Self-care beauty need-to-haves require 2 things: a quiet space and no cell phone. A Clay Mask FIND A CLAY MASK ON AMAZON AND INSERT HYPERLINK WITH AFFILIATE CODE and digital detox for a brain recharge. Bath Salts FIND BATH SALTS ON AMAZON AND INSERT HYPERLINK WITH AFFILIATE CODE in the tub loosen up tired muscles. Aromatherapy and Music is excellent for a mixtape and chill.
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Your DIY expertise can help others, and yourself! Share or learn some tutorials for nail care, hand hydration, hair treatment and facial masks. Download mobile apps for yoga, meditation and relaxation, and wellbeing products for home delivery.
Wearing masks that “complete” your face. Now you can safely show your whole face with this fun customized photo COVID-19 mask from Amazon.
Socialize with respect and confidence. Practice by raising the volume of your voice, speak confidently, and slower. Read this informative NY Times article to learn how to name your emotions out loud. Focus genuinely on the conversation. And here’s 5 minutes with Body Language Communication Expert Mark Bowden!
Brick and mortar shopping experience online. Sephora’s Virtual Artist and the YouCam app let you “try-on” and purchase cosmetics. ASOS personal stylist, Amazon Personal Shopper, and Intelistlye for clothing let you chat with a stylist, and create a style catalog.
Continue your beauty routine with Foreo and a sense of normalcy. Finding deals with digital coupons allow you the freedom to splurge on a budget, when possible.
Keep it professional, but simple. Zoom offers plenty of resources for your work meetings. Appearance, proper Lighting with an LED ring REPLACE AFFILIATE CODE WITH OUR AFFILIATE CODE, Perspective to avoid “Funhouse mirror face”, and Sound to stay patient be mindful.
As you spend time with your family, we hope you come to see that COVID is not just a roadblock or an obstacle. Instead, it can be the jumping-off point for a whole new way of being. You have hopefully been finding entirely new ways of being and becoming more beautiful during this ‘new normal’.
Let’s continue the conversation here.
1. What are your thoughts about beauty in the new normal?
2. How do you think beauty should be defined in the ‘new normal’?
3. What are your “new normal” beauty routines and tips?
4. If you like this article, PLEASE SHARE THIS WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY. And, come back often to read more about many other aspects of living in the ‘new normal’.