Beauty + Style Editor
The Boyfriend Recovery Plan
A beauty editor’s revenge guide to looking good
-Lois Joy Johnson
Right before Christmas I attended a girl’s lunch for a glamorous friend (let’s call her D.) who had just broken up with her boyfriend of three years.
Pity because we all loved him – looked like Jude Law, had a super-successful career in entertainment law, was funny, kind and treated our friend like a goddess. There was no baggage on either side, no unexpected work-related issues, no drama-rama. What was the big problem? Turns out as the relationship progressed, they moved in together and D. “let-herself-go” and tried to compensate with expensive fixes. She stopped working out as much, gained ten pounds, acquired a tanning addiction, over-blonded, wore loose empire dresses, got one filler too many at her dermatologist and had his initials tattooed on her left wrist. He cheated (with a minor celebrity client), he left, D. was devastated. I devised a comeback plan to give D. back her power. We gave it six months and it worked in two. Looking good is the best revenge, as Tory Burch, Christie Brinkley and Ellen Barkin well know. Here it is, for all you Bettys having a bummer summer. Your new to-do list starts now with my 7 ultimate beauty tips for a total turnaround by fall.
1. Pick up the slack. Think Kim Kardashian or Salma Hayek.
Go out and get yourself some new sexy bras and body shapers. Start wearing fitted clothes like pencil skirts and sleeveless sheath dresses. Put those boyfriend jeans, big slouchy cardigans and loose tops in the back of the closet.
2. Get rid of all the fakery or at least minimize it. Think Jessica Biel or Padma Lakshmi.
The only imitations allowed are big faux jewels and teeth whitening. Love the skin you’re in. Get back to your real skintone with silky smooth scrubs, scented bath oils and body creams. Buff your nails to a sensual pink sheen. Give your natural haircolor a go or at least a more realistic version of the shade you want. No more spray tans, fake tans, or OMG (!) tanning beds; no more eyelash or hair extensions, over-done highlights, or French pedicures. Buh-bye!
3. Deflate. Think Blake Lively or Nathalie Portman.
Get a grip. You don’t need trout pout lip injections (you will not look like Angelina Jolie) big cheeks injected with Sculptra (you will not look like Madonna), too much Botox in the forehead (you will not look like Nicole Kidman.) And just forget about breast implants!
4. Cut your hair. Think Marion Cotillard in Public Enemies or Heidi Klum.
A crisp bob or some waves is looking good. Switch to a looser, more relaxed blow-dry. Add big hot-rollers for five minutes to get a little more volume and texture.
5. Use downtime as spa-time. Think Jennifer Aniston in those Glacial SmartWater ads.
• Drink plain water not soda, sip green-ginger tea instead of vanilla soy lattes, chew parsley not gum and you’ll minimize bloat.
• Read books on nutrition and style instead of best-sellers. Try Gillian McKeith’s Food Bible How To Use Food To Cure What Ails You ($20, Plume, 2009)
• Mangos are natural mood elevators, and so are avocados, fish, nuts and seeds!
• Make yourself laugh out loud with Simon Doonan’s Eccentric Glamour ($24, Simon & Schuster, 2008)
6. Keep up appearances. Think Beyonce or Leighton Meester.
Men notice your grooming – or lack of it – not your $2000 bag or leopard Jimmy Choos. Get your teeth whitened, your cuticles groomed, your mustache waxed. Get eight hours sleep. If you’re not having sex you might as well put the time to good use and night is when those cells regenerate. Hydrate your hair like crazy (masks, moisturizing conditioners) and ditch the flat-iron.
7.Make a deal with your body to do some exercise every day.
Think Jessica Alba or Cameron Diaz.
Do Pilates with workout bands while watching Rachel Maddow, rescue a shelter dog and take it for long walks (a very good way to meet new men FYI) or run at dawn with a friendly iPod.
P.S – D. is single and having the time of her life, so please send these beauty tips on to a friend in need.