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You will never meet Prince Charming (or Prince William) unless you are ready to go to the ball.

Peace, harmony and pedicures.

Who knew something so important for you could be so much fun? Here's the first of the dream girl decrees: In order to feel really fabulous about yourself, confident and beautiful, and as comfortable in your own skin as you can, you must start caring for yourself. Pampering yourself. Remember, you're an amazing, wonderful girl. Don't just pamper yourself because this book says you should. Dream girls know they deserve it. I'll just skim over the basics, because you already know what they are. Eat well. Drink lots of water. Exercise at least three times a week. Aside from being good for your body, exercise releases all those fabulous "happy" endorphins that give you that wonderful sense of well-being. (Kind of like shoe shopping, but not so expensive.) Also, exercise gives you that extra boost of energy you'll be needing when you get your rotation in full swing. (See chapter four.) Of course, you should check with your doctor before starting any exercise program. Pampering yourself is crucial to your well-being, and to the success of the Stop Getting Dumped! method. Even when your social schedule is jam-packed, you must always take time out to care for yourself. Here's more. Get a fabulous dream girl haircut, and a trim at least every eight weeks. The dream girl haircut doesn't have anything to do with a particular style, it's whatever cut makes you feel like Miss Thang, and compels you to walk with a little swagger and spontaneously flip your hair like one of Charlie's Angels. You'll feel it right away. A part of you will halfway expect to look back and find trail of wolf-calling construction workers and schoolboys following behind you, like you're some kind of female Pied Piper. When you get that feeling, you've found the right cut. A good stylist can be a godsend in guiding you towards the most flattering and stylish look for your face and hair type. Regarding new hairstyles: Never cut bangs, or make a drastic permanent change for at least one month after a breakup.
When you're smack-dab in the middle of an emotional train wreck, the last thing you need to deal with is a hair trauma. Wait a month or two.
When your head has cleared, you'll be ready to make those appearance-altering decisions with clarity, and face the scissors with confidence. Another sure pick-me-up is to try a new hair color. Go red, go blonde, or go black. A new color can make you feel like a new person. My girlfriend Kristin was the queen of this particular move.
Like the dream girls' own version of Linda Evangelista, she tried a dozen different hair colors just for kicks, and looked fabulous in every one of them. Be sure to get a professional color consultation when considering a change. An expert can help you choose the best shades for your coloring. Kristin is the only person I've ever met who could wear nearly any color and look smashing. Make sure your clothes are flattering. Don't get caught up in trends unless they look utterly fabulous on you. Don't worry, if the hot trend isn't right for you, there will be another one coming along any minute. (Hey, kind of like men.) Always dress as though you might meet "the guy" no matter where you're going. No, I'm not saying you should be sleeping, eating and pumping gas in a miniskirt and strappy sandals. Just be sure that no matter where you go, or what you're doing, you always look your best.
Figure out the most flattering colors and styles for your coloring and body type, and wear them every day. If you're not sure, ask a couple of close girlfriends to be brutal with your duds, and pick their three favorite and most-hated of your outfits. If you keep hearing the same thing over and over (Sure those pants are nice, if you're going for a truck-stop mechanic look...) you can assume it's probably true. Look for patterns in their likes and dislikes. Does everybody love you in green?
Wear more green! Keep hearing gray makes your complexion look like canned meat? Cut it out of your wardrobe, or at least don't wear it close to your face. Pay attention to what you're wearing on the days you receive the most compliments. Figure out what's causing the big stir, and whatever it is, color or style or both, wear more of it.
Refresh your lipstick throughout the day. Run a brush through your hair before you hit the street. Check your shoes for toilet paper before you leave a public restroom. (This is good advice for life, not just when you're looking to meet the man of your dreams.) Be prepared. That way, if you do end up meeting Mr. Right while you're out walking the dog, you won't have to strategically veil your face with your hand because you've got that little fu-man-chu thing growing on your chin. Here's where it gets really good. The dream girls know it is terribly important to indulge in some little treat for yourself at least once a week. Get a body scrub, or a massage. Have your nails done or get the muck steamed out of your pores. Try the entire menu of girlie delights until you find what makes you feel the most beautiful and relaxed, and then do it over and over again like some kind of supermodel opiate.
Aside from making your outside more beautiful, your soul will reap the benefits as well. There is nothing more important and soothing than caring for yourself as a standard of your life. Now, I'm sure you're thinking- who does this book person think I am? Ivana Trump? I don't have the money to blow $85 on a facial every week! I promise, I'm not insane. Not many of us have the money to do that. The fact is, you can indulge yourself with a myriad of girlie-girl treats for nothing more than hamburger money. Hey, I wouldn't insist you needed a facial every week without telling you how to get it, would I? Of course not!

Welcome to the bargain spa.

So here's how it works: Start hanging out at your local beauty schools, or what the girls and I like to call "The Bargain Spa." You'll find them in the yellow pages, and almost every town and city has one. They're usually open during normal business hours for clients, and most are open on Saturday as well. Beauty schools are a haven for cheap treats. Here, you can get cr�me br�l�e care for lime Jell-o prices.
Students who need practice before their exams administer the treatments under the watchful eye of a licensed instructor. Of course, the key here is to only choose treatments that will wash off. Stay on the safe side, you don't want to accidentally end up with a 1978 perm, or only
one eyebrow. It's best to go to your regular salon for anything that will permanently alter your appearance. There are, however, a number of wonderful, pampering therapies to be had at the beauty school. And the best part is, they're dirt-cheap. Scalp treatments with a deep conditioner and 30-minute head massage run $5.00 or $6.00. Complete facials with a deep pore mask, about $5.00. Manicures and pedicures are a steal as well, usually $3.00 - $5.00. The best thing, is that these students are working for a grade, so they'll give you extra time and attention you might not get at a busy city salon. Yes girls, a $5.00 facial feels almost exactly the same as a $75.00 facial when you're in the dark with those little eye patches on, and that groovy new-age
music playing in the background. Another great tip for bargain basement pampering is your local massage school. They offer the same type of deals as the beauty schools, basically cheap massages by students who are working to get their credentials under a licensed instructor. And, as you might expect, a bad massage is quite a rarity.
Hour-long massages by students typically cost anywhere from $5.00 to $20.00. Now, this doesn't mean that you and your girlfriends shouldn't splurge once in a while and spend a day (or a week) at a real spa.
There's something absolutely rapturous about hanging out with your girls, drinking green tea and padding from treatment to treatment in those fluffy white slippers. If even $5.00 a week is too much of a stretch for your budget (hey, I've been there) you must still take time out every week to pamper yourself. Give yourself a drugstore facial, paint your own toes, and lie on the couch with a deep conditioner on your hair and a bag of frozen peas on your eyelids. Treat yourself well. If you don't lead the way, no one else will. And, after all, we dream girls deserve it.

Excerpted from Stop Getting Dumped! All you need to know to make men fall madly in love with you and marry The One in 3 years or less by Lisa Daily. This excerpt is reprinted with permission from the author. � 2001 by Lisa Daily. All rights reserved.

Lisa Daily is the author of Stop Getting Dumped! All you need to know to make men fall madly in love with you and marry "The One" in 3 years or less. At bookstores everywhere. As seen in/on Cosmopolitan, The Other Half and Ricki Lake Get our FREE Dating Tips newsletter - chock-full of man-snagging techniques, at

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