With exactly 4 months left until one is a quarter of a century, I have been thinking a lot about how I’ve grown these past 8 months. I’ve made the difficult decision to leave Facebook (which I don’t regret though curiosity tempts me to stalk my acquaintances to see if they’re engaged or pregnant), as well as a challenging decision to be healthier this Lent (gave up candy, for one, which is saying a lot!). This month, I’ve also decided to be more make-up-free (though I hadn’t really bothered with much in the past 3 years): be foundation-free; wear lipstick and mascara at most. Furthermore, I’ve decided to define my style more by wearing more vintage clothes (i.e. longer skirts, gloves, hats, etc.).
So what does this have to do with Kate (Duchess of Cambridge)?
Ever since Kate Middleton, now Duchess of Cambridge, came into the spotlight, people have scrambled to find out everything about her: what she wears, what she does, and what she’s like (personality). I admit I’m one of those who gets excited every time the Duchess has an engagement. I admire how she’s always well-put together, although, come to think of it, the same goes to other royal ladies around the world. What’s different is that Kate is closer in age (Beatrice is my age but she’s born a princess). Hundreds of Kate blogs update its followers on the products Kate uses and the clothing and shoes she wears. That’s when the Replikating starts. I don’t consider myself a KopyKate but it’s tempting when other women show how they too can look as stunning as Kate in LK Bennett sledge pumps or have a flawless face with Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturiser. I was make-up dormant until last Autumn. I already had every essential but the Royal Beauty Bag posts on the What Would Kate Do blog, run by two lovely ladies known as The Duchess and The Heiress, kept tempting me to the cosmetics counter. I don’t regret the purchases I’ve made (3) but I’ve also had to force myself many times to really think about what I was buying. Do I really need this? Rule 1: Take time to consider your purchases.
My most recent purchase is the LK Bennett sledge pumps, which was definitely a Kate-influence. In the past, I’d always worn black flats with my summer dresses though it didn’t match. The idea that nude pumps could solve this dilemma made me excited! Generally, I would never spend so much money on shoes or clothes (it was 3-days’ wages) but I tried to justify the purchase by saying that designer shoes are more stable (true). The heel height, however, is not for me. I’ve returned the pumps (ordered the wrong size) but now I’m on the lookout for something cheaper, but comfortable, and not as high. Rule 2: Always be comfortable in what you wear (clothes & shoes).
Aside from my shopping problem, I’ve also been struggling with fine dining. If I had all the money in the world, I’d go for afternoon tea everyday. I’d eat macarons everyday. I enjoy dining inside a fancy or quaint restaurant (Vancouver is great for this!). I don’t like it when I have to remind myself that if I really want to be back in Europe, I need to tighten my budget. Not to mention that I have my undergrad student loan to pay off. Rule 3: Never spend more than you make.
My next problem? I don’t know what I want to be ‘when I grow up.’ After I graduated, I knew I wanted to do a Masters in something but I’ve changed my mind about the topic several times in the last 3 years. The job I have now is something I’ve known how to do since I was 16. I don’t want to do this for life. I know my interests but can I do it or will I be bored? Rule 4: While you’re young, try out different career paths by temping or volunteering.
Last month, I had to stop myself from feeling a bit down about myself because I felt I couldn’t catch up with the Duchess or the rest of the Kate fans. The Duchess (Catherine), would always be make-up flawless, fashionably perfect, and wisely behaved. The princess we would love to be. Nowadays, I 1) hardly bother to wear make-up, 2) can’t always wow the crowd with my clothing choices, and 3) am more hotheaded and am sometimes more straightforward. I needed to take a reality check.
Duchess of Cambridge:
- Older than me
- No student loans to repay
- Financially well off (can afford more expensive things)
- Has royal expectations on her
- In a different circle than I am
- Expecting a child soon
- Most of them are closer to the Duchess’ age
- Therefore, they have already worked for quite some time = higher income and savings than me
- Most are not recent graduates from university = no student loan repayment
- Have probably already discovered their dream job
- Some of them are married = shared spousal income
- Some of them have more free time (e.g. parental leave, self-employed, p/t worker, etc.)
- Almost mid-20’s
- Fairly recent graduate
- Paying off student loans
- Working (to save money)
- Saving $ for: 1) travel, 2) Masters, 3) living expenses abroad, 4) savings & retirement, 5) everything else
With these points in mind, I suddenly felt better. Instead of trying to catch up with WWKD (What would Kate do – not the blog) at age 31, I’ve decided to see what she did do when she was around my age. 😉
What did Kate do at age 24-25?
Years: 2006-2007 (see photos)
Appearance: She had minimum or no make-up on, opting for the natural look. Her hair hangs loose and natural.
Lesson: Let the skin breathe and feel comfortable in your own skin. Avoid damaging your hair and learn to love what you were born with.
Clothing: Floral prints, short dresses for clubbing, down-to-earth style.
Lesson: Set your own trends and wear what’s comfortable for you.
Work: A year after graduation in 2005, Kate was employed at Jigsaw as an accessories buyer. Not sure when she started working for her family’s business but we know she worked until 2011!
Lesson: Try out different jobs and be willing to help out in any way you can.
Relationship: In 2007, she had a temporarily split from Prince William but it allowed both of them to grow independently.
Lesson: Time apart can allow each person to develop independently and learn more about him/herself.
What to remember:
- ALWAYS keep my own style
- I don’t need to wear make-up so often
- I don’t need to buy any more make-up
- I can’t afford high-end brands
- There are always cheaper but good alternatives
- BE ME