Mandy Nicholson

The Creative Genius Corner

Lessons, musings and advice from the author of ‘The Life I Won’

Having A Code And Why It Matters

Honestly, I sometimes wonder about myself! But I am sure I am also not alone, so I confidently share my weird and wacky thoughts in the hope that it normalises the apparently abnormal.

Let me introduce you to NMD; MMD & FMD.

These are the three states which dictate how and when I show up online.

NMD – no makeup day, absolutely no way I am going in front of the camera

MMD – minimal make up day, I may pop into my group or do an over coffee interview

FMD – full make-up day, I am doing lives, filming training and batch working in front of the camera to make the most of the effort I have put in!

Why am I writing a blog about this? Despite my light-hearted introduction, there is some real psychology sitting behind this code and it relates to our values and minimum standards in life.

Now there is a meaty topic for a blog.

If you know people who suffer from depression, anxiety, and mental disorders, you will have noticed that they lose interest in their personal appearance, not everyone and not all the time, but there will be days where they just can’t be bothered.

How we present ourselves to the world is an indicator of how we feel about ourselves in general and how we want to be perceived.

When I was a senior leader in retail, I had to wear a suit to work and look the part. They were paying me a lot of money so there is a certain standard expected. The rebel in me challenged this at a level that I thought was unfair and I insisted on being allowed to wear a trouser suit when the expectation was a skirt because I was a girl. 

I won.

So, there will always be a part of me that doesn’t care and expects people to accept me the way I choose to show up.

But I have minimum standards for myself, even if I am wearing my painting gear or leggings and a t-shirt, hair, and make-up matter! They shouldn’t, but they do, to me!

I feel better when my hair and make-up are done, like I am more equipped to deal with the day. So, let’s explore the psychology behind my codes so that you can look at your own.


If it’s a no make-up day, I am likely to be writing behind the scenes. I will still have a shower and wash my hair, and I have semi-permanent lashes and my brows are done every four weeks, so even a NMD has a standard behind it. I literally would not face life with zero makeup, i.e. no lashes and brows.


I am blonde and I have blonde lashes and brows, so they are non-existent. I was teased as a teen for this and told I looked 12 when I was 18! Therefore, despite my ‘I don’t care what you think’ exterior, I do! We all find our armour in this world, my daughter had a Goth faze, I was a total hippy, I have friends who have their own style and defence systems.

How we choose to show up is a statement, so even if I am on an NMD, I still need that layer of armour to prevent others making comments. It has followed me through life and become a part of my values system to myself. 


So this standard means I am planning to do a LIVE in one of my group communities or hop onto a coffee and chat online. I will make a little bit of effort by adding some foundation and blusher and maybe titivate my hair a bit more. I want the person I am chatting to, to feel like they are valued enough for me to make an effort. I want to feel more comfortable with how the camera portrays me, because it really does pick up on every flaw. I am living by my internal values system of what society expects me to look like. As much as I despise the fact that women need to make such an effort when our male counterparts literally roll out of bed and are ready in 5 minutes, this is about how I feel and not the viewer. I feel more confident and able to relax into my work online and on camera.


Watch out!

If I have full make up & hair, I am invincible. This is the point of this armour, I want to feel ultimately confident, ready for anything and feeling at my best. It is like an extra layer of person is added to me and there is nothing I can’t do. For some it’s clothes, for some it’s nothing at all and they are this ready with no additions, whatever you do or don’t do, it’s perfectly OK.

When I was in that suit in my leadership role, with polished shoes and hair and make-up done, I was scary. I felt ultimately confident, and I had to because I was the only female Divisional Executive in the company! I needed to feel and look powerful because my male colleagues were competitive.

I HATED it, and I would much rather be in my painting gear in my creative business with my ultimate armour FMD.

There is no right or wrong here, you don’t need to do anything because you are perfect as you are with nothing added, but I genuinely believe that we all have our ‘thing’ that helps us to feel strong and able to cope with this judgemental society we live in. If you can find it and use it to your advantage, then you should. 

But know this, NMD’s are what all of us ladies should aspire for. The pressure to be a woman that fits society’s expectations starts at birth and follows you to the grave. If you are strong enough to break the cycle and stick the proverbial finger up to society, then I applaud you.

Me… I am sticking with my code for now.

Love & Colour

Mandy x

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