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Attention - Ladies!

Change is a good thing!

Earlier this year, the Army and the Air Force changed their rules regarding how women may style themselves and wear their hair. While we are huge fans of buns in general, women service members will now enjoy additional hairstyle options - braids, ponytails and bangs will now be allowed. (Also, high buns can cause balding issues near the temples so it’s important to give your hair a break.) Additionally, the Army is updating more of its grooming policies to permit women to also wear earrings, lipstick and nail colors. We think this is marvelous news! And we think these updates will positively impact women’s careers. Really? Yes, really!

Broader than these changes, how you look impacts how you feel and how you perform. We don’t know about you but when we look good we feel better. We stand a little straighter and are a bit more confident and outgoing. We more proactively engage with the world. And when we look blah, we tend to try to fade into the background. We don’t ask questions. We don’t make points. We don’t want to draw attention to ourselves.

We aren’t talking about women doing better when they look like a model. Rather, we are talking about when women embrace and celebrate their beauty and look and feel their best. All women have the ability to look their best and enjoy the resultant dividends. Being smart, pulled together and looking good are not mutually exclusive ideas.

The increased positive energy associated with looking our best enables us to better tackle work projects with more enthusiasm. We end up doing better work. We certainly work better with others and enjoy ourselves more. What’s not to love about that?

So to the ladies in the Army and Air Force who are excited to enjoy this new found freedom, and to all the professional women who already have this flexibility, we encourage you to learn what looks good on you and well-reflects your personal brand. It’s important to find a hairstyle that works for you – that complements your face shape, is easy to do and maintain, and is consistent with your workday. Your hairdresser can give you tips on styles, and there are countless tutorial videos on how to do all sorts of braid styles, how to elegantly create a ponytail, and the like.

If you’ve never really worn nail polish before, we strongly encourage it. It literally adds “polish” to your appearance making you look more finished, put together and professional. If you decide to wear nail polish it’s important to maintain your manicure. There is something a bit unfortunate about a weathered manicure. Chipped nail polish, painted yet grown out nails, and cracked cuticles "are not a kind look". Nails should be filed, cuticles should be smooth and pushed back, and your nail polish should not be chipped.

If you are new to polishing your own nails, check out Olive & June for an impressive array of beautiful, soft nail polish colors – perfect for any professional setting, but still incredibly feminine. They have so many choices you will definitely find one that suits your skin tone and the look you are after. And if you don’t know how to do your own nails, sign up for their free online manicure tutorials. They explain how to clip, how to file and how to paint. Who knew that 80% of your nail's shape should come from clipping – not filing? We didn’t but now we do! We used to have our nails professionally done but since the pandemic we haven’t ventured back into the beauty salon. So out of desperation we stumbled onto Olive & June and we haven’t looked back. And even if you do get your nails professionally done – it’s important that you still have a bottle of your nail color handy so you yourself can fix any chips in between salon visits.

And if you don't wear polish you should still maintain your nails (filing and buffing) and cuticles (pushing them back and oiling them). This is advice for the men too.

Regularly creaming your hands will help keep prevent dry cracked cuticles and rough hands. We slather cream on at bedtime and wear cotton gloves. With increased hand-washing and sanitizer use because of COVID, our hands really need this regular evening pampering.

Many women love wearing jewelry because it is an easy way to add a spark of personality to your look. The new Army rules permit smaller, stud earrings. When wearing earrings it’s important that the metal on the backing match the metal of the earring. There is always something off-putting when we see silver backings on a gold earring. It doesn’t look polished or put together. Invest in jewelry cleaner as well and regularly clean earrings (and your rings that may have cream residue on them).

Just a bit on lipstick – an instant face enhancer if there ever was one! Everyone looks happier with lipstick. Studies have even shown that makeup helps make you look more likable and competent. Finding the right shade is key. If you aren’t sure of what color to wear, visit a makeup counter or Sephora and seek out advice from the experts. Charlotte Tilbury's Pillow Talk is a great choice to start off with – it seems to look fabulous on just about everyone. And while we haven’t yet tried it we are intrigued by Queen's Frog lipstick - it interacts with the warmth of your lips and turns the “perfect pink shade for you”. When looking for lipstick, select a color that doesn’t make your teeth look yellow or darker. Also, we recommend purchasing a lipliner to help ensure a crisp application and help preserve the lipstick color longer. To help guard against lipstick stains on your teeth, try this tip: after applying your lipstick put your index finger in your mouth, close your lips and then gently glide your finger out of your mouth. Yes, it seems rather odd - but this little trick helps remove any lipstick from the inside of your lips and avoid it later landing on your teeth. Then wash the lipstick off your finger. And you're good to go!

Being a lady is empowering and lovely and fun. Enjoy!


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