Two things have led me to this post. First, I feel a sense of injustice when John and I get ready at the same time and it takes me 3x longer than him, on average. Secondly, I am completely fed up with beautiful women who claim that their only secrets to success are staying out of the sun, a plain old bar of ivory soap, and a pink tube of Maybelline mascara. There are so many steps in my daily routine, and even after all of the effort I feel obligated to put into my appearance I am still left wanting. Why aren’t men expected to try as hard? And why won’t women tell the truth about how much work it is to look “good”? Who decides these things?!?! Below is my typical beauty routine—once you’ve read it, please share your wisdom and advice with me.
Bathing & Grooming: I mostly shower every day. I am not convinced I have to, and sometimes I skip a day or two. When I do bathe I try to keep it simple. Acne is my arch nemesis and so I wash my face every day with an activated charcoal bar (from Herbivore) which I neither love nor hate—it is gentle on my skin and easy to use but it hasn’t changed my life. Typically I just smooth the suds from washing my face across my neck/chest/back and call that good as far as washing my body. I probably only shave my legs and pitts about once a week, or whenever I actually plan to expose that skin ahead of time. I always forget to shave my toes, and everyone hates this. I’m not sorry. The body-hair double-standard KILLS ME!
Skin Care: Like I said, acne. Blargh! It’s really upsetting, and the only thing that has ever really worked for me is birth control which I can’t always be on. After I wash my face in the morning I apply witch hazel (any grocery store brand will do) with a cotton pad for exfoliation and toning—this actually makes a big difference! I then splash my face with a hydrating tonic (from Bobbi Brown) before I moisturize with either Bobbi’s hydrating face cream, or Trader Joe’s oil-free moisturizer if my skin needs something lighter. I have found that I need the option of a heavier cream AND a light moisturizer because my skin is different each day. In addition to these daily steps I use a clay mask (Aztec Secret) or a peel (Hey Honey!) once every couple of weeks. This is ALL just to prep the canvas, and to be perfectly honest I’m not all that satisfied with the outcome.
Make-up: Ugh, what a wonderful, terrible thing. I love that make-up allows me to be creative, enhance my natural beauty, and smooth out blemishes. I hate that I feel like I have to wear it. I say things like “put my face on”, and joke about how my naked face is publicly unacceptable, but I don’t want this for myself and especially not for young girls. I use a BB cream from Bobbi Brown because foundation is out these days, and a concealer (also Bobbi) which I apply with my fingers *gasp*. I need a finishing powder to seal everything in because yo’ girl gets greasy—but I haven’t landed on one (I bounce between bareMinerals mineral veil, MAC Prep + Prime finishing powder, and MAC shimmer loose mineral powder). Always pink blush, always black mascara because I’m not a barbarian. Recently I’ve taken to filling in my brows with a brown eye shadow, and for funsies I will smudge some kohl around my eyes or rock a bold lip.
Hair: Nothing!!! I shaved my freaking head because all of this makes me feel crazy! I used to wash my hair once every five days (or more if I could stretch it) and it was an event all on its own. I used to make my plans AROUND hair washing days. I’d shampoo in cold water with a purple shampoo to keep the blonde, then condition for 15 minutes with a heavy duty protein mask. Then I’d towel it and let it air dry while I got dressed and tended my face. Thirty to forty minutes of blow drying, sweating, brushing, arms aching would then follow—by the end of it I needed to lay down. THEN I could style—straighten with a flat iron, or curl with a flat iron… people, this was ridiculous!
I am just feeling so bogged down by all of this crap, and I am totally aware of the fact that my process is pretty minimal compared to what some women do every day. So, what does your beauty routine look like? What products do you spend big bucks on, and where do you stay trés drugstore? What can you absolutely not live without? What products and processes have changed your life? Tell me your secrets!