Glamour for the Completely Exhausted

posted in: final girl, glamour | 4

All your dreams have died.  Welcome to 2017.  The last party leftover has long been eaten, you’re back to drinking too much wine and watching too much television.  You have not set foot in the gym, the sky is grey, there is no end in sight and it will never be spring again.

I can’t speak for you, but so far 2017 has been one punch in the box after another.  I have a work project that’s a complete clusterfuck that I’m fruitlessly trying to spin into gold and failing and in return the project is giving me: no down time whatsoever, an added ten pounds, repetitive stress injuries, flaky scalp and all the zits I want.  Not to mention endless exhaustion, frustration and feeling like I am trying to run underwater along with the knowledge that tax season is just about to start so my life is not mine for the next three months anyway.  In the background: a thing I’m trying to get together for my book that I can’t talk about but goes around and around and likely will end in futility, communication issues at home which, if you haven’t had the pleasure of being with someone for nearly ten years, I can tell you at this stage, one of you is always Lucy with the goddamn football (the antagonist!) and the other is always Charlie Brown (the injured party!).  I am not at my best at present.  2017 is gaining traction on me and it’s hard to put on my best dress and repeatedly outrun it.  Still, I try.

Somehow though, people persist in thinking I have my shit together, which is endearing given how much I blab about what a hot mess I am.  I think this is because I can present a decently cohesive front to the intertubes.  I would like to pass this solace onto you because this is part of how we outsmart 2017 even though it is super trying to kill us already.

Run Faster, Get Stronger, Pull It Together


  1. Start drinking tumeric tea at night.  I tried taking tumeric pills but they were really hard on my tummy.  Tumeric has . . .a distinctive taste.  It tastes less like burning death in the Numi Amber Sun version, though it will still taste like burning death so prepare yourself.  I suggest at night for a few reasons: (a) it is not super nice on the tummy, so having a previously full tummy from dinner helps (b) you are about to go to sleep so kick that lazy ass metabolism into gear.  If you have a chronic condition, tumeric is an anti-inflammatory so maybe it will help you on the running faster part.  There are vague alchemical/ayurvedic reasons I can think of that tumeric is a good idea, but let’s focus on a more cohesive reasoning here: your glamour will be stronger if your insides are running at a higher speed.  This is not, only skinny people are glamourous.  Because let me tell you!  I wouldn’t have a book then, would I?  But let me ask you this: do you feel capable of bringing forward everything that makes you attractive and interesting to others when you are overly full?  Because . . .my glamour abilities take a nosedive after a long, wine-ladden business dinner with an antipasto plate as big as my living room table when said plate is just the starting point.  If I’m metabolizing everything I’m ingesting at a sluggish rate, it’s hard to be Elizabeth Bennett.  You never know what doors could open for you in everything you are attempting to accomplish in 2017 if others find you glamourous.  So work on being more glamourous and less sluggish.  Start this with tumeric tea.

2. Get your Insta game on point.  Your mom is killing it at Instagram and that’s just embarrassing on your part.  I recently received the highest praise possible: a much younger college friend told me I had no bad angles and Ms. K puts together .gifs about her imagined version of my life when snapping an Insta.  So flattering!  And so easy for you to accomplish, too.  

a. Start selfie’ing like crazy.  Like fifteen minutes a day.  I know, that sounds insane.  But unless you are naturally good at being photographed, it’s how you get good.  I am naturally terrible at being photographed.  Like, I look like a deer about to be mowed down by an SUV until I started practicing like crazy.  When you practice daily, you start to learn what your bad angles are and how to avoid them and you start to learn what your good angles are and how to use them to your advantage.  You also learn where in your house has bad lighting and where in your house has good lighting.  Practice: using your reflection in mirrors in your home, using the selfie version of your phone, having other people take pictures of you, group pictures, practice if you want to smile or not and how to look in each case, practice sitting and standing poses.  This sounds completely psychotic until you stop and think about how much time you spend on your social media of choice and how often pictures of you are put on social media.  Do you want to look like a crash victim or awesome?  More to the point: do you want all of your friends thinking your life is completely enviable even when you know your cat just vomited up a piece of the tulip you just Insta’ed onto your carpet?

b. Take pictures of little moments of your day that genuinely make you happy.  A nice cup of tea.  Cardinal Woolsey at your window (in my case).  Your cats and kids doing half a second of adorable things.

c. Never, ever post pictures begging for compliments.  “Oh god, I look terrible and I’m fat and horrible.”  NO.  NO.  NO.  NEVER.  EVER.  Ms. K’s mom sometimes would scold us with, Would Jackie Kennedy do [whatever heinous thing you’ve just done, probably together]?  No.  Jackie Kennedy would not.  We would giggle of course, because Jackie Kennedy would not do body shots and dance on tables like we did.  But in this instance, in this social media driven environment, it is a helpful gut check because when Ms. K and I were in our early twenties, we did not have social media.  This gave us a protective shield to do every dumb thing we ever wanted to do.  Which we did, with great enthusiasm respectively.  Would Jackie Kennedy post pictures to her Insta trolling for sympathy compliments?  No, Charmer.  She would not.  Nor would the Dowager Countess Violet Crawley.  Nor should you.  And if you have even a moment’s hesitation about posting a picture/caption, table it.  One can post later but once one has posted, it’s been screen capped and passed around to all of your haters.

d. Work on your editing game.  Crop, that’s a really easy starting place.  Crop the picture to be attractive.  Find the right filter to use.  Black and white almost always looks badass, when in doubt.  Use an app to fix your basic issues, but be mindful to go light on the airbrushing because anyone who has a good Insta game uses an app too and know when you have overdone “fixing”.  Beauty Plus is a good app for basic fixing and only takes a minute to use.

e. Be sure to post about things that go wrong for you on occasion which will calm the social media evil eye which is a totally real thing.

3. Create something small (literally).  Creating something small whether it’s a honey pot, a mojo hand, a terrarium or a fairy garden helps you feel calmer.  It gives you a tiny world where you are the God King/Lordess/Specialist Pony Deity which can be really helpful if you don’t have control over chaotic forces such as your children, your spouse, your siblings, your coworkers.  Miniature is often kind of a dad hobby – like trains and model cars which makes me think that there’s got to be a soothing aspect to it.  Beyond even that, creating something whether it’s a specific spell or a small world is a powerful act of magic.  That’s why goddesses usually do it, yo.

4. Mantra.  When I start to feel like I am going to stab the next person who gets into my work space with a pair of scissors, mantra really helps me.  If you are stabbing coworkers, you’re not going to win at whatever you are trying to accomplish in 2017, mostly because you will be in jail awaiting your trial which isn’t going to help get that novel finally written, is it?  I mean, it might get you another book deal about your memoirs, maybe a Lifetime movie– No.  Just stay the course and try to get yourself calm and centered so you can actually accomplish what you are trying to accomplish and aren’t wasting excessive amounts of time bitching and complaining about your life and/or overeating, overshopping, overdrinking, oversmoking (whatever).  Calm and centered = winning, distracted by all the inevitable silly bullshit in your life that is wearing you down to an exhausted nub so you can’t change your circumstance = losing.  Start with सो ऽहम्.  I am that.  So-ham.  Just keep repeating it to yourself until you feel less like arson and more like making a plan for dinner and maybe organizing your leggings or whatever it is you need to do.

2017 is just getting warmed up.  You’ve got this, Final Girl.

Deborah Castellano
Deborah Castellano's book Glamour Magic: The Witchcraft Revolution to Get What You Want is available for purchase through Amazon, Llewellyn and Barnes and Noble.
Her frequently updated catalogue of published work is available on Author Central.

She writes about Glamour Magic here at Charmed, I'm Sure. Her podcast appearances are available here.

Her craft shop, The Mermaid & The Crow specializes in old-world style workshop from 100% local, sustainable sources featuring tempting small batch ritual oils and hand-spun hand-dyed yarn in luxe fibers and more!

In a previous life, Deborah founded the first Neo-Victorian/Steampunk convention, SalonCon which received rave reviews from con-goers and interviews from the New York Times and MTV.

She resides in New Jersey with her husband, Jow and their cat, Max II. She has a terrible reality television habit she can't shake and likes St. Germain liquor, record players and typewriters.  


4 Responses

  1. Important: Unlike most alcohol, tequila is also anti-inflammatory.
    Ivy recently posted..The Year of Being Agile — Agile Method and MagicMy Profile

  2. My exhaustion glamour is basically: wear a decent bra + some sort of magical item + mascara.
    Lately, I’ve been giving up on the mascara part, which is a Bad Sign. Tomorrow (and the next day) I model, rather than work in the harness galley, and I’m hoping that’ll help a little bit.

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