Lockdown in Paris: Day 11

Lockdown fashion blues. Seriously, what am I wearing?

Today, I broke down and dyed my roots. I have a strong gray streak on one side that started after 9/11, and kicked up after my mother died—and let’s just say that Cruella de Vil is not really an on-brand look for me. I had been rationing my stash of hair dye so I’d let my hair go. But today, I just couldn’t look at my lockdown locks anymore.

It’s bad enough that I’m in some form of jammies all day. I’m like that meme circulating on Facebook: It’s 8pm. Time to change from your daytime pajamas to your nighttime pajamas. And I’m sure my skin is happy, but the no-makeup look? Not me at all.

My friends call me a fashionista. “A real-life Carrie Bradshaw,” someone said once of me. And true, after years of working in magazine publishing, I do have a closet Carrie would envy. I never leave the house without my hair and makeup done, and I never wear sweats or yoga pants in public. Ever. I have a passion for fashion, and that’s a big part of who I am as a creative person. To not be made up every day is a glaring reminder that things are not as they should be. And today, I decided to do something about that.

A little lipstick can make a girl feel normal again. My fave: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Love that Red (#725). It’s the perfect mix of creamy and waxy for a long-lasting finish that feels natural.

We’ve been talking a lot about some of the new ways we can use this free time while in confinement, like trying yoga, learning a skill online. But maintaining the usual habits that make us feel normal are important, too. When my mother was battling cancer, in the hospital for weeks, she had a moment when she decided enough was enough. She suddenly got out of the bed, went to the bathroom and washed her face. Then she coiffed her hair and put on her signature red lipstick. “There,” she said, with a defiant look on her face. “Better.” That day she won a small victory over a dire situation. And I felt better, too, because in that moment, I had my mother back.

In times like these, it’s the little things that can make a difference mentally. What routines, or personal habits are worth keeping up—for ourselves and our children—so we feel less diminished by the effects of this pandemic? For me, it’s making more of effort to look less like a raggedy shut-in. Like my mother that day in the hospital, I decided it was time to stop looking the way I was feeling. Surely, if I look better, more like myself, I will feel better, too. I may even put on a skirt and top today. Or, at least, some red lipstick.

What are you doing to help this time feel more “normal?” Share it in the comments.

Get caught up on my diary, here.


Tip of the day

Create a schedule to give your day some construct, and include whatever habitual activities are not curtailed by the lockdown. For any of those that activities that are curtailed, like going to the salon or gym, or group activities, create a similar activity (home salon, video chats, etc.) and do it at the same scheduled time. It’s more than keeping up appearances; it’s keeping up the things that make us who we are, and the comfort that can bring.


On today’s bookshelf

New York style from Caroline Vazzana. Click book to buy.

Paris style from Inès de La Fressange. Click book to buy.

More about my mother and I. Click book to buy.

12 responses to “Lockdown in Paris: Day 11

  1. I am right there with you!!! I’m already thinking how I’m going to handle my root situation without my great stylist!!! And my friends think it’s weird I never leave the house w/o hair and makeup done..even to work out. You never know who you might see!! Love these posts!

  2. My Marc Jacobs eyeliner! Its so soft and easy to apply. I have a number of them, but the purple is my favourite. Also I like to have a quick look at my favourite online clothes shops/websites. I’m not ordering now, but I will when this is over and then I will have the most carefully considered shopping cart!

  3. So funny Lisa I messaged a girlfriend yesterday and described my daily wardrobe
    Black Sweatpants * Grey Sweatpants and assorted sloppy Tops. I confessed that now no earings and No makeup . I did colour my hair a couple of weeks ago so that helps.
    Ladies its Friday I will choose a semi Chic isolation outfit and a little make up pour a nice glass of French red wine ,listen to some jazz and turn the television off. Thank you for this kick In the pants.

  4. Here in San Diego (in quarantine) when I get up in the mornings I keep to my routine of enjoying a couple cups of coffee, going through my emails, reading the news (probably not a great idea under the circumstances), playing with my dogs, then showering and getting dressed. If I have work for the day I do that for a few hours then try to read, walk, work on one of my hobbies, or all of those things if possible. I’m trying very hard to keep up with my usual schedule but there have been times that have been a chore just getting through the day. Reading your posts really help, so thank you Lisa!

  5. Also hello from San Diego! I get up at 5AM, put on my makeup and have tea. I check the news sites..about 8..and check the local weather. As I take care of my granddaughter there is not a dull moment as we are starting sight words and numbers. I cancelled my hair appointment with my typist of 8 years now at least. I checked the garden and picked weeds..mundane activities..later. At almost 80 I don’t care to leave the planet for a virus so will continue to shelter in place!

  6. I usually dress in my standard at-home outfit: Yankee lounge pants, a logo tee (I have what seems like 1000s from my advertising days) and a sweatshirt–also logo’d, courtesy of the NBC promo department.

    For today’s excitement, I dyed my eyebrows. Ta da! I was scheduled to get my roots done in 2 weeks, so am exploring ordering color online and checking it out. I’m also toying with growing out my bangs, but that’s a really long-term thing.

    If I EVER wore sweatpants outside of the house, my mother would haunt me from beyond. That woman had rules! But I have been known to wear my yoga gear going to and from either yoga class or PT (hip replacement surgery; one in March, one in December).

    Well, you did ask.

    • This comment made me laugh until I almost peed my pants. God bless ya, I needed that. You have to comment every day now to keep me laughing. Good luck with dying the roots (I like L’Oreal Excellence and Olia by Garnier, by the way), and go Yankees!


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