5 So-Called Girly and Trendy Skills I Quite Don’t Master

Graffiti in Nantes, 2010

Graffiti in Nantes, 2010

At 30 years old, I should have a firm grasp on my life and my unique sense of style.

I should.

Well, on the plus side, I am not in debt, I kind of like my life overall—even if it’s a bit crazy at times—and I feel thankful for what I have.

But there are these five “girly” things I can’t quite seem to master. First world problems, I know, I know…

Completing DIY Projects: Plateforms like Pinterest are getting very popular and they are all full of clever and artsy projects and “life hack”s. I read them religiously and even bookmark some ideas to Pocket. Hell, sometime I even go as far as buying whatever I need for whatever project I plan to do. But guess why? I never actually complete any project. Either they call for some tools I don’t have, some skills I don’t quite master or are just overall too complicated. So far, all I have mastered is enlarging pictures, framing them and hanging the framed shots on the wall. And even that can take me months to do (ahem, eying the empty frames I bought at IKEA in December that are still stacked under the coffee table…). Oh wait—recently I “repurposed” a few mason jars (read: washed and got the sticky “hot pepper” label off) and threw all my make-up in them. Make-up that I don’t actually use because…

Putting on makeup: In theory, I love make-up. All these colours, these glitters, these textures packed into cute and sophisticated little boxes…—I’d keep on buying more make-up if I bloody knew how to use it. But I’m pretty hopeless at applying make-up. Putting mascara on, that I’m good at. I can even do it without a mirror—a “skill” that most of my friends find funny (I just don’t know how to put mascara using a mirror, actually!). But eyeliner? Meh, it runs, looks funky or looks great on one eye and all weird on the other. Plus I can’t seem to draw a straight line (yes, despite reading tutorials). Eye shadow? I love them. The packaging is really neat and the colours are pretty awesome. When I am done reading assurance voyage articles or the news at Chapters, I like to get tips from popular magazines. But again, how on earth do women recreate the runway “smoky look” or manage to “make their eyes look bigger and brighter” (a common promise in magazines)? When I apply eye shadow over my eyelids, half of it ends up in my eyebrows and the other half on the bathroom counter! I’m not even going to start on foundation (never managed to apply it evenly) or lipstick (who am I fooling? I keep on forgetting I have lipstick on and it will end up on my fingers/my cup of tea/my teeth).

Pulling off a specific look: I like clothes. They keep me warm, finding a bargain (and pants that fit perfectly) feels awesome and feeling pretty is important. But I can never pull off a specific look. I have big fancy belts that I know would look good on a dress—I just never think of wearing them. I like the idea of wearing a skirt, legging and cool legwarmers but I never get around doing that—going bare-legged is easier. A pair of jeans and a cool graphic t-shirt are more comfortable than a fancy top with embroideries and all the accessories—not to mention, easier to wash. And asymmetric tops, really? Do I want to walk around with a bare shoulder? It would drive the OCD me nuts!

Wearing matching underwear: I am a sucker for La vie en rose underwear (usually 3 for $18!) and Calvin Klein bras. Sometimes, I even splurge at Calvin Klein and buy the matching panties but I never get around wearing the bra-and-panties set. I keep them together in my drawer—I even colour code my underwear when I have the chance, after a big load of laundry. But after my shower, I absentmindedly pick whatever is on top in my drawer and end up with mismatched lingerie again. Oh well, I don’t look like a Victoria Secret model anyway.

Styling my hair: Again, like with makeup, I like the idea of having a great hairstyle. I am lucky to have thick easy-to-style hair… so lucky that I use my hair texture as an excuse to just pull off “wash and go” look. I absolutely hate using a hairdryer because my hair look so fluffy afterwards and I really don’t have the patience for a proper blow-dry—not that I would know where to start, anyway. I would love to know how to use these funky hair products my stylist use on me after a cut—even though I beg him not to because I can’t recreate the style at home anyway. But I don’t like the texture of my hair afterwards and since I tend to twist my hair like a shy five-years-old, texture matters to me.

So, please, tell me… am I the only one who doesn’t master these “skills”?


About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.


  1. Oh my goodness, reading this was like reading something I could have written about me! I absolutely match you on all points, right down to the mason jars I scrubbed and poured flour into the other week! So funny! Don’t worry, you aren’t alone!

  2. With you on all of these, but especially the makeup! I also love the way it looks on the display (all those shiny boxes and pretty colours!) but if I gave into temptation, I’d end up with a whole lot of stuff I don’t know how to use … and most of it would be green, blue, purple or sparkly!

    As for the underwear, after reading some of those stupid “how to live like a Frenchwoman” books, I was almost convinced that every female in the country really did wear a matching set from Appassionata every day. You have reassured me 🙂

  3. AH AH AH matching underwear AH AH AH
    As for the make up, you should come in Québec and we could have some girl time in my Sephora-like bathroom 🙂 (eye liner is easy when you know how :))

  4. Your post inspired me to create a related post. I was writing so much in my comment here that I figured I might as well make a post about it too.

    So no, you are not alone!

    I should add that while I make myself sound like the un-girliest of girls, I do like to wear dresses and skirts.

  5. I never, ever, wear matching underwear! Sometimes not even my socks match, lol.
    As for make up and hair, I’m not that bad, but I pretty much always do the same things. I learned a lot by watching youtube tutorials, they are actually helpful.
    Oh, and I never do DIY projects, I don’t even think about doing them because I know I won’t.
    You are not alone, girl!!

    • Phew, another “normal” girl! Watching tutorials on Youtube is actually a good idea though, maybe I’ll give it a shot. Aw, who am I fooling… I probably won’t take the time to do so!

  6. When I was in Liverpool I couldn’t believe how dolled up most girls were, I tried to put on some great make-up and big hair but couldn’t make it work for the life of me! I can’t dress either it’s jeans and t-shirt or dress shirt I have no taste for fancy tops!

  7. Bonjour!!
    C’est vrai que je me reconnais dans ce que tu écris là!!! haha
    On a vraiment besoin d’un cours et/ou d’un coach pour essayer de prendre l’habitude de bien le faire et de faire attention à tous ces détails sans perdre de temps… Où quand qui comment? c’est à voir…
    Je me maquille le week-end, et mes amies ne me croient pas que je leur dis que j’ai “pas le temps” de me maquiller durant la semaine, elles sont quasi choquées… mais c’est vrai que des fois ça ne me ferait pas de tort surtout quand je me lève du mauvais pied…haha 😉
    Bonne journée!

    • C’est rassurant en tout cas de voir que je ne suis pas la seule! La plupart de mes amies sont assez “casual” aussi finalement.

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