This is a sponsored discussion written by me on behalf of Gray Away. All opinions are honest and my own.
It’s hard to believe that one week from today is Christmas. This year, we have been really busy leading up to the holidays (school, work, kids, the usual!) so the fact that we have a mere week to get prepared is kind of scary to me. We will be in the car for 12 hours in four days for a whirlwind visit of my family and my husband’s family next week. It just occurred to me as my husband was wrapping up loose ends with his final semester at school that I never got a chance to celebrate with my girl friends this season. It’s not often that we get a chance to go out on the town together, but I have really been wanting some time to unwind so I decided to get the girls together for a last minute hurrah before the holidays!
When you are prepping for a holiday get together, my best tip is to have everyone bring what they’re best at. My friend Nicky is a supermom and a super wife. She has the most immaculate and beautiful house and the best decor so of course we all wanted her to host! We rounded up the troops to meet up and get ready in her amazing bathroom (it’s HUGE!). My friends Alesia and Rachel brought wine and snacks and I brought the beauty products. It felt like being back in high school again having a bunch of girls sharing the same bathroom to get ready!
The one thing that’s different? We aren’t so young anymore. I think I’m the baby of the crowd at 29, and the rest of my pals are in their early to mid 30s. I won’t lie- that makes getting ready a little trickier. I have pretty good body confidence but my body is changing as I age. I have a smattering of dark spots across my cheeks that I can’t quite get rid of no matter how much SPFs and serums I try. I have baby weight that still won’t budge despite the fact that I’m working out with a personal trainer and my littlest baby is over a year old. My metabolism isn’t what it used to be! And my hair- let’s just say it’s not as full as it once was.
In high school and for most of college I had long hair and it was my security blanket, my best feature, my crowning glory. So many women feel that way, and then babies happen and with that comes post-partum hair loss. Age happens, and with that comes the gray hair. Thinning, patchy, hairlines sprinkled with gray and white wiry little hairs can make it a pain in the butt to get ready, especially when you don’t have time to make it out for a hair appointment as often as you’d like. What’s a girl to do?
My friends and I decided we wouldn’t let our bad hair days get us down. My friend Rachel knows she won’t make it to the salon to get her roots touched up before Christmas. Nicky and I love to wear our hair up but have a spotty part line from post-partum hair loss. Alesia is experiencing some major thinning all over from a thyroid issue. We are all stay-at-home moms during the day and some of us work at night too, so we were going to need a lot of makeup and hair help!
To get our hair ready, we used Gray Away Temporary Root Concealer Spray– each of us used a different shade. Alesia had blonde hair as a kid and although the shade has deepened a lot as she’s gotten older, it still has that ash blonde undertone. She used Lightest Brown/Medium Blonde. Rachel has darker hair that she highlights and we weren’t really sure what the proper shade for her would be. Since Gray Away self-adjusts within reason to blend in with a hair color, we chose the middle shade for her, Light Brown. Nicky and I each have darker brown hair, and we used Black/Dark Brown. I never realized how much I would try to “cheat” my way through an updo before trying Gray Away. I am always parting my hair differently to hide a multitude of sins, but it is so much easier to just spray the gray away and move on to other aspects of getting ready!
We took our party downstairs at Nicky’s house and her hubby got a few pictures of us trying to capture a selfie and just being goofy. I am grateful that someone else got behind the camera for once so I could be in some pictures. These turned out so cute!
1) Make a list of things that need to be done for the big day. I’ve become a list person recently and it’s really helping me to stay organized!
2) If you have small children, start cleaning little by little all week and try to stay in maintenance mode as much as you can. Do things like floors and mirrors the day your guests will be arriving.
3) Keep some lemon oil on hand in case you spill wine on your carpet. It will also work great to get stains out of white shirts and smells great diffused through your house for a fresh scent as well!
4) Ask everyone to bring a dish to pass. It takes some of the stress and expense away from the host!
5) Wear your best feel good outfit. I often feel like going out of the box and wearing something flashy, but I always feel my best and most confidence when I wear a little black dress. Confidence is key!