23 Jun 2017

Post-Lolita Self Care

As fabulous as it is and as it makes us feel, wearing Lolita is a pretty tiring thing to do, all the more so if on a daily basis you tend to wear more comfortable clothes and keep everything else very low maintenance.






My day to day self is like this: I don’t wear makeup, I tend to leave my hair be after brushing it and while I try to wear cute clothes, they’re of the more comfortable variety (skirts with lots of shirring, flat shoes, nothing too body-tight). This is quite a contrast to when I wear Lolita, when I will always put a lot more effort in, regardless of whether it’s a small gathering or big event. Therefore, it’s important for me to keep a good self-care routine after I come back, so that my body doesn’t take the toll from being fancy and I divide this routine into three main parts: face, body and mind.

Face

Whilst I stick to a thorough skincare routine, this isn’t to say that everyone has to adopt the Korean regime of thousands of products and plenty of time put into it. But even if your skincare routine is very basic, remember to give your face a bit extra after a meet and a day of wearing makeup, especially if usually you don’t. A moisturising face mask or even applying a thicker layer of some old-time favourite cream like Nivea and letting it sink in would help your skin rest and replenish anything it lost during the day. You’ll know what works best for you and how your skin reacts to a whole day of makeup, so stick with your favourites, just a little bit more of them.

Additionally, I like to put extra focus on my lips and eyelashes. I have some bad habits that are very difficult to unlearn, so I need to make sure that my lips and eyelashes are in tip top condition in order not to let these habits flare up.


For lips I make sure to scrub them and then apply a bit more chapstick. I use Lush’s lip scrub, but as it’s essentially flavoured sugar you could easily make your own or use a clean toothbrush. This helps remove some of the stubborn lipstick that might’ve stained your lips and remove any dead skin cells, leaving your lips smooth (and ready for a new lipstick, if you do it before putting on makeup). Chapstick or Vaseline will keep them soft, although be careful not to overdo it – if you rely on external moisture to the lips too much they can become dependent on it, thus creating a vicious circle of perpetually dry lips and putting more and more chapstick on. It’s not cute and while it is a habit that you can get out of, it’s easier to not fall into that trap in the first place.

Eyelashes are just a little bit more complex. Make sure that you remove any and all mascara as thoroughly as possible – this is definitely where you’ll want to find as good a product as you possibly can so that it does the job quickly and thoroughly, without having to rub or pull. If you’re wearing false eyelashes, I was told to use coconut oil or some other oily makeup remover on them first, as pulling them off without that might give you wrinkles sooner rather than later. Once there’s nothing on them anymore, I apply some eyelash conditioner or clear mascara (different companies call them different things). You can buy these very cheaply and they’re usually in the makeup sections – I use Natural Collection one, which costs just £1.99, but Miss Sporty Just Clear Gel Mascara is similar price and just as good. And for those very on the budget, Vaseline or coconut oil will do the trick just as well. By coating your lashes in one of these products you help them replenish any vital ingredients and stay stronger, countering the effects of prolonged wearing of mascara which can make your eyelashes fall out.

Body

Sometimes I feel that different parts of my body demand attention after a meet, depending on what I wore and what I did, but for me there are a couple of common themes. These may not reflect your experiences – learn to recognise what’s happening to you and how best to address it.

I always make sure to give myself a foot massage and pay more attention to my feet in the bath after the meet. Even with more sit-down kinds of gatherings I still have to commute and with Lolita looks often take over practicality, which manifests itself a lot in the shoes I pick. Your legs and feet will get quite tired over the course of a day, so show them a bit of love. It also feels nicer to put on fluffy, comfy socks or slippers after a foot rub and some quick absorbing moisturiser.

Then there’s the whole thing of contact lenses. Most of the times I wear my glasses when in Lolita, reserving contacts for bigger occasions, but when I do wear contacts I try to take them off as soon as I can upon getting home. Generally speaking the contacts I have are comfortable, but as a daily user of glasses even when I’m comfortable it does feel good to take them off. Putting something cooling on my eyelids afterwards, like special cosmetic pads or just cucumber slices, helps ease the tiredness. Also, I recently tried one of them mists you spray on closed eyes when they’re tired and/or dry and I’m seriously impressed with that. I want to try if it affects eye makeup in any way and if it doesn’t, I will add it to my essentials pouch for when I’m in Lolita.


Finally, I always make sure to eat and drink something sensible. Although many meets will involve food of some sort, often it’s just a lot of sweets, which isn’t good for you. So unless the meet was centred around going out for a proper meal, I have something to eat when I’m back, trying to make sure that this something involves some fruit and veg where I can. I also make sure to drink a lot of water, as I don’t always carry a water bottle to meets with me, which isn’t a very sensible thing to do. Body needs taking care of from the inside as well as outside, so not starving yourself after a meet and providing your body with the nutrients it needs will help you feel and look good. Besides, even if you’ve been to a tea party, there’s no such thing as too much tea, so why not have extra to unwind and relax once you’re back home?

Mind

Wearing Lolita isn’t just tiring physically, but also emotionally, especially if you’ve gone anywhere out. You might’ve spent the whole day in an armour to protect yourself from any negative comments (real or anticipated) or you could simply be exhausted from a full day of excitement involved with the meet. It’s worth extending your self-care routine to emotional wellbeing as well as making sure you’re physically healthy.

One thing I always do is thank the meet host on the Facebook event page. This helps preserve the high from the meet and spread the positivity – if you enjoyed yourself, the host will want to know, it will make them feel appreciated and you will feel great for having made someone’s day. If you can, thank them when you’re leaving the meet too, although sometimes that’s not necessarily possible or you simply forget in the rush to get that train back.


If you’ve not been so lucky and had some negative experiences during the day, follow whatever calming/distraction technique you use in other stressful situations. Play your favourite music, chat to family/partner/friends at home, watch a favourite show or film, play games, get cooking – anything that helps you forget about the negative incidents and gain more distance from them will do your mental health good in the short term. Dwelling on mean or unpleasant comments won’t do you any good and in more extreme circumstances can even make you feel like ditching something you love doing, so if something has happened, however small, work through it in a way that works best for you.

Lastly, whilst I’m still on the meet high, I tend to look for more Lolita content to browse online once I’m back in pyjamas, satisfied all other needs and just chill. Because I only go to about one meet a month, it really spikes my desire to engage with the fashion more actively, so whether I end up browsing magazines or watch unboxing videos on YouTube, I crave more. Having said this, know yourself and how you react to things. Some people might respond to a meet high by wanting to splurge on more Lolita clothes and accessories, after seeing things up close, and that might not always be a smart decision, financially and emotionally (do you want them because you need them or because you just saw them, would they fit with your current wardrobe, would they fit your body shape etc.). If you’re one of those people, then try to utilise the energy form your meet high in a social way, by connecting with people and talking about the great day you just had in Lolita, or productive one like crafts rather than through mindless impulse spending.


After doing these things I usually feel suitably refreshed from spending the day in not-always-most-comfortable clothing and as it tends to be the end of the day by then, it helps me go to sleep more easily. So even if I haven’t had the energy to put my Lolita clothes neatly away, where they usually live, and keep my tiny room looking tidy, at least I can rest assured that I will wake up with the energy to do it the following day.

What sort of things do you do after wearing Lolita to stay in the best condition possible? Do you find wearing Lolita tiring in any way at all? Any tips on preventing the fatigue or tricks on battling it whilst you’re in Lolita? Together we could create quite a comprehensive bank of ideas which could be a resource for meets, cons and more.


6 comments:

  1. I find lolita exhausting but only because I tend to wear it when I'ma actually doing something social, which I find exhausting anyway (I'm a hermit by nature). So my post lolita thing is have a shower, then collapse onto my computer and play games. Not particularly noteworthy!

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    1. I know what you mean. As much as I'd like to be like "Oh, I'll just dress up because I feel like it", the whole process is to much and I have the added worry of living with smokers so want as little smoke exposure on my frills as is physically possible. But I know that after a meet I can go back to my own hermit-y ways and recharge on my own online.

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  2. "You might’ve spent the whole day in an armour to protect yourself from any negative comments (real or anticipated) or you could simply be exhausted from a full day of excitement involved with the meet. It’s worth extending your self-care routine to emotional wellbeing as well as making sure you’re physically healthy." Preach. I was really glad to see you write about this. Aside from just sore feet or hot heavy outfits, this is the part that is often hardest for me to explain, the emotional energy that goes into the confidence level you need sometimes for lolita, or just how draining even the positive experiences can be. I'm also with you on the foot care, and staying hydrated. All of it, really, this is a great subject!

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    1. Thank you! I feel that we need to talk about mental health more in general, and with Lolita there's a lot going on emotionally that might drain you, both good and bad. It's why so many newcomers to the fashion post questions on how people have the courage to wear Lolita out or how to deal with the attention etc. All this is even more relevant as I went to a meet yesterday in Manchester, which compared to Leeds where my usual comm meets gets far more attention from strangers. The number of times someone from our group had to go to people and explain to them that it's rude to take photographs of people without their consent or when someone simply wanted to ask us questions was far more than what I'm used to in Leeds - and even when you're not the one doing the talking, it's tiring you out to go/witness going through the same motions over and over again.

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  3. I don't see many post about this, I think it is just important as the part of dressing up.

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    1. That was my thinking behind writing it. In all the Lolita content I've seen online, there's a lot of talk about how to brave going out wearing Lolita or tutorials on how to get the look down, but nobody tells you the plain old "take care of yourself". And that's so important to me. Especially nowadays when social media and fast life brought to us all by the internet means that many people hold themselves to unreasonable standards, it's important to remind ourselves to do that, in any context, Lolita or not.

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