Article originally published at JoMyGosh.com.
Is there a time that we fret more over the way we look and feel than homecoming? From deployment weight loss challenges, to Pinterest boards full of homecoming outfit ideas, to our own little internal conversations, we are merciless to ourselves when it comes to homecoming. When John was coming home, I literally bought four different outfits, took them all with me… and then ended up wearing something entirely different. (You guessed it, an outfit I had for ages! You probably saw that coming.) I am not immune to the crazy that seems to come with homecoming– not in the least. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are 7 easy ways to make homecoming a little less stressful and you a little more confident. (Because you should be– you’re a strong deployment warrior!)
Pull out the razor
I am not going to lie– when John was deployed, I did not shave for quite some time. Blame it on not having any date nights or depression, but my razor didn’t get much of a work out that year. And honestly, I really like shaving my legs! You bet that I needed a small machete to get ready for John’s homecoming. (I wish I were joking.) So take a cue from me– if shaving’s something that you do, make sure you keep it in your beauty regimen once your significant other has deployed. Not only will it make you feel better, you also won’t have to dull like a million blades to get ready the night before he (or she) comes home.
Take your time (if you can)
Dude. I know homecomings can be crazy. I drove 9 hours… with just one stop (McDonald’s to use the restroom, grab a burger, and launch myself back into the car, if you must know). I was sweaty. I was nervous. And I didn’t have much time to get ready. Take the time you need– or try to create time. Take deep, relaxing breaths if you feel pinched for time. Prioritize what’s most important to you– what you need to do to look gorgeous for your partner.
Plan enough time for your hair
I’m natural to a fault when it comes to my hair. (I think my mom would call it lazy.) I just really don’t like blow-drying, straightening my hair, and putting a lot of product in it. But I still want it to look like something that’s out of a shampoo commercial… Luckily, when John came home, I was able to spend a considerable amount of time getting my hair just right, so I felt really awesome on the drive over to the base.
Don’t forget your face!
And while you’re at it, leave enough time to wash your face– after all, you want to feel fresh! Also give yourself time to do your makeup (and give yourself a little time buffer in case you have to wash it off and start over… you might be a little nervous).
I’m a big fan of having the St. Ives Apricot Scrub on hand because it’s made with 100% natural ingredients, is paraben free, hypoallergenic, and is dermatologist-tested. And I always feel super fresh-faced after stepping out of the shower. It’s a confidence booster for me!
Take a few back-ups
Know what your “thing” is. You know– the thing that makes you crazy about yourself. For me, it’s my hair. I hate when it gets even a little messed up. And of course, I didn’t take a small comb along with me to the airport, even though I knew the humidity was going to do its worst. (I don’t know why I thought I wouldn’t get annoyed with my hair– it was June… in the South. Of course the weather was going to be humid!) Whenever I see this picture, I just focus on how crazy my hair looks in the back. (It was supposed to be sleek and silky!)
Lesson? Take whatever you need to make sure you feel great, whether that’s your blush, concealer, a tweezers, clear nail polish. After all, your beauty regimen is about making sure you feel confident and great– because when you feel it, you’re going to tackle the excitement, nervousness, and frustration that comes with homecoming like a champ.
Have a stash
I always try to have a little stash of beauty stuff put aside so that it’s right at my fingertips. Running out of shampoo in the middle of a shower sucks… so does reaching for facewash and realizing you have to make a run to the store. Having a little extra on hand can help you keep that flow, not waste precious time, or have to do without.
If you live close to an Ahold store (Giant, Stop & Shop, and Martin’s), you can stock up with this offer: buy any Schick women’s razor (disposable or refil) and St. Ives skincare product and get a free St. Ives body wash.
Be okay with not being perfect
Maybe it goes without saying (but I need to remind myself!)– there is no picture-perfect homecoming. You might stand on the pier waiting for hours. You might have three cancellations before it really happens. You might get a phone call in the middle of the night and have bedhead or find yourself going way too fast down the highway after finding out the time was moved up 5 hours. No matter what, when your loved one steps off the plane or the bus or the boat, the most important thing will be that moment. Not your hair or how pretty you smell (because honestly, you’ll probably have sweated through your shirt anyway). Feel confident and comfortable, but don’t worry if a few hairs get out of place.