Pretty Winter and the Importance of Pampering

Amelia Diamond | March 2, 2016

Get in on this group chat

My cell phone is like the nest of a very embarrassing squirrel. Lots of strange bits and pieces are stored inside — photos and screen shots and notes that make no sense. An incriminating search history. An overload of conversations. Inside those, a lot of nuts.

There exists one group chat within this vast portal of reputation-damning evidence that terrifies me the most. It is titled Pretty Winter (followed by the nail-painting emoji, the haircut emoji, the sassy hair flip emoji, the princess emoji and the bow). As if that’s not bad enough, the chatter itself is a collection of shameless selfies and sneakered feet, either en route to or departing from the gym. There are so many photos of manicured nails. Towel-wrapped heads. Exfoliation beads. Baths. There are shots of pedicures, pluckings, proof of wax.

It’s super lame. If caught while participating and asked what I’m looking at, my go-to lie is, “Porn.”

But it’s also a secret sisterhood.

Pretty Winter began as an effort to not let myself fall into the winter slump. I was sick of feeling like shit on account of my own lack of effort. So what if it’s too cold? This feeling — one of crap — is controllable.

I promised myself the following:

With zero excuses allowed…

– My nails would be nice

– My hair would be clean

– I’d up the workout ante

– I’d do the full face skin routine thing, no matter how tired

I’d wear makeup without the stigma that I was hiding something

– I’d put energy into my outfits, even on workdays that lacked important meetings

– I’d moisturize like my life depended on it

– And I’d do a face mask every Sunday

In addition: I’d burn candles for no occasion, splurge on nice hand soap when I could, make tea (if you’re not a tea drinker this feels very luxurious) and promised myself that if I didn’t feel like an absolute babe — the definition of which is so personal that it varies in tiny decibels according to the individual — I’d find the reason why and attack it.

Then I got a few friends on board. We formed the chat to hold ourselves accountable and because a space safe to brag is important. In the Pretty Winter feed, another’s boast is both encouraged and encouraging.

Through the worst part of January and February we dedicated ourselves to this seemingly superficial oath of self-indulgence and self-love. What we found is that it worked. It really, truly worked. Routines were established that added order within a world of chaos (nails: every Tuesday, lashes: every other Friday); work productivity increased because the option of skipping [yoga/a blowout appointment/a standard shower] was eliminated. We treated these like important appointments and as such, they could not be broken. That email could wait. Bad days were made more bearable because we kept all dates we made with ourselves.

For me, at least, this was a revelation. It felt like balance.

And if you’re thinking, “Well great. A lot of good this does me in March,” two things:

1) Taken out of context, Justin Bieber offers great advice: “You should go and love yourself” any time of year.

2) Lucky for you, you can name your own group chat whatever embarrassing thing you’d like. “Spring Awakening *flower emoji, salsa dancer emoji, bikini emoji*” has a nice ring to it.

Elizabeth Tamkin photographed by Krista Anna Lewis in feature image; Elizabeth is wearing an Arme de L’Amour cuff and NARS lipstick in “Dragon Girl” velvet matte.

hyperlink-gif-pretty-winter

  • http://tootsplusdill.blogspot.com Melanie@Toots + Dill

    Oh I definitely didn’t do this and wow you are so motivating!!! I got 19 days before the end of winter so I’m going to marathon all the above!! Especially about my nails!!

    • Amelia Diamond

      do it do it do it! (but then do it through april & may too!)

      • http://tootsplusdill.blogspot.com Melanie@Toots + Dill

        Thanks for the motivation lady!

      • vivian smartt

        I am Getting. a salary of 5700 dollars each week. Over a year ago I was in a horrible condition , jobless and no bank credit .Thanks to one of my friends who showed me a way where I was able to gather myself and making average of 56 d/h. So it can change your life as it has changed mine.

        Details Are Here

        nhy

  • http://kristylin.com Kristy

    burning candles for no apparent occasion! That, to me, is the epitome of adulthood. So is buying lightbulbs.

    • Amelia Diamond

      The day I buy a lightbulb before it is too late will definitely be the day I become an adult.

      • Aggie

        I feel the same about toothpaste.

  • Allie Fasanella

    AMELIA DIAMOND, ur lashes are soo good. are those extensions or what mascara do u use bun?

  • Chloe Squance

    This is so great! Canadian winter in the East Coast isn’t always gmalorous; I feel a new determination to make March less mushy and mucky 🤗

    • Amelia Diamond

      Do it do it!

  • MT

    Keeping appointments with yourself to do something nice for yourself is SO IMPORTANT. And I think you’ve hit on something here: keeping those appointments in the winter, when the sun goes down before we leave the office (and comes up after we’re already there) and the wind is harsh and the air is dry, it becomes easy to just crawl under a blanket and wait for it to be over. But that approach just makes it feel longer.

    I’m terrible w/r/t moisturizing, with the exception of my face. My cuticles are an eternal mess. I need to make a commitment to myself to up my moisturizer and cutlie games, respectively, the way I am commited to my workout schedule.

    At home cuticle care product or method recommendations welcomed.

    • Lina

      Hi! I agree with all of the above but I happen to be a pro cuticle moisturizer. I use pure sweet almond oil (it’s not even organic, my friend got it for me in turkey but I’m sure you can get it wherever). It soaks in nicely, smells good and is a lot cheaper than special nail oil. I don’t have much of a cuticle so I just leave it after, but it makes them soft enough to push away or cut into fun shapes 😉 (do people still do smiley faces?!?! am I uncool?!?!)

      Sometimes I also put it on my face under my normal face cream.

      Hope that helped!

      • Amelia Diamond

        My mom loves almond oil for cuticles!

      • MT

        It did! My barber recently recced almond oil for a lighter alternative to masking with coconut oil, so it sounds like we have a winner.

        I’m jealous: I have hella cuticles. I have cuticles for days. I also have weird nail beds (cue Mean Girls rewatch) plus a lack of cuticle care plan in my life all of which makes picking at all of my cuticles pretty appealing. Just once I’d like to go for a manicure and have the technician NOT say “Oh my what happened here??” I don’t get my nails done often, preferring to do them myself, but they say it every freaking time, like they’re concerned a small rodent got to my fingers.

        *moisturizes hands*

        • Amelia Diamond

          “I have hella cuticles” hahah

  • Stephanie

    This is totally reasonable! The winter of polar vortex really did a number on my face and I’ve been very regimented since then. This year my legs caught me off guard and I’ve started shaving regularly much earlier than normal (one of the benefits of winter is of course putting the razor away!) for the exfoliating effect more than anything else.

    • Amelia Diamond

      I’ve been shaving non stop too and like, all for not shaving, whatever your pref, but I realized I feel so much better when I am essentially a human seal.

      • Summer

        I have a pair of amazing running tights from Gap (surprisingly great active wear!) that I’ve termed my seal pants because they’re gray and they make me feel so sleek #humanseal

        • Amelia Diamond

          #humanseal let’s get this trending

  • http://behance.net/lisagoulet Lisa

    Taking baths with actual bath bombs and candles and shizz while watching Buffy has been the only thing keeping me alive this winter. Also, orange lipstick never ceases to make me feel fantastic.

    My long-distance friends and I have a safe space group chat that started as a yoga “club” for motivation and has just devolved into a self-care bragathon (celebrating Breakfast Sandwich Weekdays is a thing) but it’s the best thing ever for confidence, motivation, and endless amounts of digital looooove.

    • Amelia Diamond

      omg i love breakfast sandwich weekdays so much

  • Elizabeth Tamkin

    I regret my entire life/winter for not doing this.

  • mollie blackwood

    For the past few years I have painted my nails on Sunday nights. It’s like a ritual I can’t live without now. It’s relaxing and makes me instantly feel put together come Monday morning. This week I’m wear Essie Butler Please (and the gel top coat is a must!).

  • sam

    I love that you brought this up.
    Ive been doing the same thing this winter and found a noticeable change in my attitude. Nothing feels better then having some well deserved “me” time.
    Also really digging sunday night baths, face masks and eye brow upkeep.
    keep up the great posts MR !

  • Natalie

    Yessss – I have been prioritizing face masks (after a winter of meeting a man with scruff, my face has been reacting TERRIBLY…heart has been reactiving positively tho), working out (for the first time EVER), and letting myself have low-key baths with Rihanna playing in the background.
    Needless to say, nights in are a whole new weekday high.

    • Amelia Diamond

      “heart has been reacting positively tho” so sweeet 🙂

  • http://insertwth.com/ Denisse

    Wait, this was all Amelia though, right? This was at the bottom: “Elizabeth Tamkin photographed by Krista Anna Lewis in feature image; Elizabeth is wearing an Arme de L’Amour cuff and NARS lipstick in “Dragon Girl” velvet matte.”

    On another note, I’m making something on spring. I need some self love this March. Too much sulking and being in a rut since the beginning of the year. Why is it cold??!!

    • Amelia Diamond

      Damn the cold! Get out a face mask!

      • http://insertwth.com/ Denisse

        Seriously planning on! Maybe I’ll even DIY it to make myself feel extra accomplished. Manuka honey masks are very fun to apply.

        • Amelia Diamond

          omg recipe recipe!

          • http://insertwth.com/ Denisse

            Here it is: half tablespoon of Manuka honey, 1 teaspoon of coconut oil, one crushed up aspirin, and if you’re feeling like looking as though you’ve been slimed (Nickelodeon ref!) then add half a tablespoon of moringa powder. I kind of just mess with it depending on the ingredients I have lying around.

            If anything, slathering on a tablespoon of Manuka honey and leaving for half an hour also works!

  • Lindsey

    Ok, this is the greatest idea ever. I felt so sad about myself that I had to make it my freakin’ new years resolution to take better care of myself. But this makes me feel better about it- it’s not just me! My girlfriends and I are immediately implementing this. When y’all hate showering the same amount, accountability helps. Thanks for this, Amelia!

    • Amelia Diamond

      do it do it! start it now! it feels so good.

  • Claire

    Definitely getting my friends on board for this! I got stuck in the Winter Slum so hard this year. Doing all of this would have made me feel like a Star With Her Life Together instead of the Dirty Haired Pajama Girl I actually was this season. March is now self-beautifying month!

    http://www.outfitsandobservations.blogspot.com

  • Melissa

    Ugh slide 6…Heart eyes all day.

  • Megan Brown

    Amelia what is the name of that nail color? The bottle looks like Deborah Lippman?

    • Amelia Diamond

      It’s Chanel and I THINK the color is 505 PARTICULIÈRE ( click this then select the 505 color http://rstyle.me/n/bh2pde2x8n ). I just held my nail up to it on the computer screen and looks identical to me.

  • http://www.instagram.com/ashleytheeditor Ashley Bess Lane

    Love this! You should defo do one for summer. That point when we feel equally gross/melty/look like we’ve fallen out of a tree and can’t bring ourselves to do much more than stand in front of the AC. Or maybe I’m alone on this one…

    • Amelia Diamond

      nope, that’s a great idea. SWEATY SUMMER 16 HOLLA BACK

      • http://www.instagram.com/ashleytheeditor Ashley Bess Lane

        Awesome!!!

  • http://www.aucouponcodes.com.au/ sophia

    Nice blog, we should do care our skin without excuses, I also do.

  • Quinn Halman

    I will never be over the fact you use a gold and monogrammed razor.

    • Amelia Diamond

      It’s the chicest thing right? Get one it’s 30 bux.

      • Quinn Halman

        My birthday is Wednesday April 13 and my initials are QJH

  • http://morehannahellen.com Hannah Papernick

    Making an appointment with myself. I like it. I joined a gym in October and can count on one hand how many times I’ve gone since then. I always seem to get in my own way. If I made a meeting with myself though, maybe then i’ll keep it. Thanks for the advice. Any chance you can post your schedule?

  • Andy

    what a great idea! here in Australia we are getting towards winter so this will be perfect!

  • BK

    YOU CAN GET PERSONALISED RAZORS?!?!?!

    • Amelia Diamond

      YES AT HARRY’S DO IT NOW

      • BK

        But rose gold or silver? #torn