We’re all bombarded by images and ideas every single day about how we should live. We need to carry this bag, walk in these shoes, go to these restaurants, and appreciate the same art. It’s just not true. The reality is, we need to do things that compliment our desire for living well while also helping us maintain a real, healthy outlook. Here’s my list of life investments every woman needs to make before she’s 35. Some are big, some are small. Check off as many as you can!
1. Feeling beautiful in your own skin. Whether your skin is teeny tiny, curvaceous, or completely freckled, you’re your most beautiful when you exude confidence. We all have the power to possess a beautiful attitude about ourselves, and without it, the rest of this checklist will be kind of incomplete. What’s the point of good credit, exciting vacations, and gorgeous area rugs if you can’t be happy in your own skin?
2. Good eyebrows. I could go on and on forever about the importance of good eyebrows, but I’ll sum it up in one short sentence for you. Eyebrows have the ability to shape and frame the face, reducing perceived aged and need for makeup. Boom. Good eyebrows let you be your best, natural self without a ton of clumpy makeup, so make sure you’re going somewhere good for proper shaping. Your neighborhood nail salon technician was probably not trained to pay attention to facial symmetry, but fabulous spas in big cities like Exhale Spa, or expert-level brow groomers exist out there in the wild. Invest in yourself (you’ll probably save money long term by using so much less makeup).
3. Exploring different cultures by way of foreign cuisines. Who knows if you’ll make it to Thailand, India, or Colombia by 35 (although I really hope you do)? There’s no reason you can’t have a taste of cultures beyond your own by meeting friends out for different cuisines. Your neighborhood bar or local bistro is serving all the things you’re accustomed to, so make an effort to have girls night out at an interesting takoyaki bar, eccentric Turkish spot, or an off-the-beaten-path Malaysian restaurant. After a few tries, surf the web for recipes you’ve never heard of- there’s a good chance your local Whole Foods will sell the yak butter needed to complete the Tibetan pie you’re considering.
4. Home decor you actually care about. Nothing bothers me more than faux wood and particle board. Honestly, why even bother spending $200 on a desk you’ll throw away in a couple years. Invest in furniture pieces (slowly, if you must) that will stand the test of time. Go for real wood, area rugs made of real wool or silk (don’t even speak to me about synthetic rugs), and linens made of good quality linen. You can collect your pieces one by one, mix and match new with vintage pieces, and grow your timeless collection over time. You’ll come home to a place you’re proud to live in, remove the stress of pieces breaking or getting ruined easily, and save thousands of dollars long term since you won’t be replacing your college Ikea every other year.
5. Proper cleaning gear. If you’re investing in good pieces to make yourself and your home a stunner, you need to take care of everything properly. Go for the gold standard- use high quality detergents on your fabrics, wood polish every other week on your furniture, and a find yourself a bagless vacuum that’ll actually stand the test of time while also removing all the gross party-particles you’ve left behind in your living room, pet hair in your bedroom (I get it, everyone loves to cuddle, but pet hair in your bedroom is still gross), and the strange paper clippings that always appear near your desk.
6. A credit cleanup. Maybe you’re a financial rockstar buying and selling condos at age 22, but if you’re like most girls in their 20′s and 30′s, home ownership and good credit are the results of several years of hard work and dedication to fabulous credit. It might seem like a daunting task, but here are a few simple ways to guarantee yourself a bright financial future.
7. A ride that makes sense for you. At some point after college, there’s typically a realization that style and utility need to be blended. You know, like wearing heels that are high enough to feel gorgeous but padded enough to wear without the threat of a serious blister and/or the need for foot surgery. The same goes for cars. For obvious reasons, I’m a huge fan of buying American (support thy neighbor type stuff), and a huge fan of luxury that doesn’t necessarily break the bank. I recently took the new Buick models out for a spin and was mega league impressed. The line has come a long way (I’ll compare this to when DVF fused with GAP for kids), and offers sleeker, more powerful cars that are seriously fun to drive now. And they’re as all-American as apple pie.
8. Buy leather, not junk. My apologies in advance to any strict leather haters, but routinely spending $80 on plastic shoes will leave you disappointed, broke, and not terribly stylish. Why? Because faux leather cracks, breaks with wear and weather changes, and typically isn’t constructed with great care. It’s far more fabulous to spend a little more on some great leather ballet flats, buttery-leather heels, and supple-as-anything genuine leather boots you can wear for at least 2 or 3 seasons. Even better? If you damage them, a shoe repair guy can probably fix them. The same cannot be said for faux stuff.
9. A non-negotiable spiritual commitment. Connect to something greater than yourself- whether that’s donating your day off to a local soup kitchen once in a while, cooking a holiday meal for people you love, being really intense about your yoga practice, or finding time to read meaningful things, it’s all good. We all need a way to find the place inside ourselves that reminds us to keep growing, improving, and marching onward and upward. You deserve it!
Originally Posted In: The Luxury Spot