EXTRACT: My personal makeover story and how to use this book
By Founder and Editor of Rescu.com.au, Bahar Etminan
This is not an average makeover book.
I don’t believe that we women are broken or that we need to buy a new wardrobe and call ourselves fixed.
I believe that the woman who picks up this book (you) has a strong sense of self and is already wonderful in very many ways. I also know that every one of our lives is made up of moving parts that we can polish to dial up the fabulous. Women are complex, high-performance machines and we should be tuned up to drive ourselves like Ferraris.
But slicking some lip gloss on and curling our lashes isn’t going to do it. I’ve met and interviewed some of ‘the most beautiful women in the world’ and I can promise you that they don’t feel beautiful when the truly vital parts of their being are out of whack.
I look at true, big-life beauty as a pyramid – a base of fundamentals, a deeply necessary core, and the shiny tip – and all the pillars have to stack up. In this book, each of these crucial pillars is a chapter, packed with expert insight and real-life advice. Some of these experts I have worked with over the past 20 years of my life. Some are new discoveries. I collect experts like some women collect handbags. Well, I also collect handbags, however, unlike the bags, I love to share these truly life-changing masters with my friends, family and the dedicated readers and subscribers of my Sydney-based lifestyle site, RESCU.com.au.
Wellbeing of mind, body and soul is the solid foundation that springboards every other success. I took my youth and health for granted right up until I found myself hospitalised for five weeks ahead of the birth of my daughter. When I came out nearly seven weeks after checking in, I could barely walk or get up from a seated position due to muscle atrophy. It was a reality check that nothing matters without health.
Heart-swelling, high-functioning relationships with our lovers, families and friend-families define our roles in life, but our friendships with ourselves, accepting ourselves as enough, makes us truly happy. I say this from experience. Having loved, married and divorced twice in the last decade, after spending 17 years inside relationships, I’ve learned that you really do always take yourself with you.
Wealth and career are about so much more than money, because we know a man is not a finan- cial plan. Without security and independence, a woman is not truly in her power – whether she’s in a partnership or single. The finance guns in this book can’t answer every money question women should ask – but this chapter is a solid starter guide to knowing so much more. In 2009, at the peak of the Global Financial Crisis, I was nearly bankrupted when I was margin-called on three foreign exchange contracts that didn’t go my way. In two weeks, I went from being at the helm of an expanding and profitable business to being $960,000 in debt. I learned more about money from that day and paying attention to experts than I did getting an MBA. Having a solid financial plan and impeccable advisors has given me the confidence and security that no prenup or investment portfolio could ever have.
Fashion gives us sizzle and it’s sexy – but it’s so much more than clothing. Dressing says who you are – it’s about feeling like your best self. Knowing what works for you cuts out self-judgement and reframes the fashion conversation – it should be fun. I treat clothes like costumes. Who do I want to be today? This is the question I ask myself every morning around 7.45am. It’s the pleasure of being a woman and believe me when I say that dressing well (not just expensively) has power.
Beauty, as in skin that glows like you’re on multivitamins, bouncy hair and excellent eyebrows? That I put right up at the pointy end of the Pyramid. When your pillars are stacked up, you’re revved and purring, it’s the micro-detail that pulls off your big finish. When I was at university, I used to get a blow dry and manicure ahead of exam week. My friends laughed at me as everyone else rolled in wearing track pants. I always felt, and still feel, more focused and perform better when I look and smell fabulous. Even in hospital ahead of giving birth, I had my hairdresser in every week for a blow dry. I even gave myself mini facials in there. Why not! The alternative was to look and feel a wreck. I promise I not only felt better but was treated better by the medical staff for being cheerful and fresh-faced. As the designer Tom Ford says, ‘Beauty is a form of good manners’!
So how do you use this guide for your own make- over? This book can live by your bed – pick it up when you’re plotting your next move, figuring out a new phase. Or take it shopping for a new busi- ness blazer that’s so perfect for your shape, people will think you are wearing couture. You can open this book up at any chapter, to makeover and rev up any part of your Pyramid.
Rescu me! By Bahar Etminan (Harlequin MIRA) is available for purchase at www.harlequinbooks.com.au or at all good book stores nationally for RRP $29.99 / eRRP $19.99