The Beauty Routine

May 16, 2016

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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

By Courtney

Author of PrettyRX, a lifestyle blog.

9 Comments

  1. Reply

    Becky

    I’m that woman you are fed up with (although I’m not claiming to be beautiful. Just me.) but I don’t use soap and my mascara is by cover girl. I got fed up with it all about a year or two into my marriage. I hated applying makeup because I didn’t know how and I never remember to wash my face. I’d rather sleep. I shower every 3-4 days. I do only use EverPure by L’Oreal. I have really greasy hair and it seems to help the best. I go out in my plain face every day. I’ve become used to it. I feel comfortable in it. Some days I apply mascara and it’s crazy how it changes my face but I do like it. Sometimes it takes Nick longer to get ready than it does me. I hate styling my hair but I don’t like how anyone else styles it. I’m a snob.

    1. Reply

      Courtney

      Haha, I love that you are a snob. The problem, for me, with women like you is that YOU HAVE GREAT SKIN! I am so glad you get to go free and naked, I wish everyone did. But my skin is so gross. Pimply and rough and blotchy…I drew the short straw on skin.

  2. Reply

    Amanda S.

    My sister-in-law got me hooked on Pink Papaya skin care products. It’s like Avon or Mary Kay, but it’s all natural products. I have “combination skin” which it sounds like you have as well. Greasy one day, dry the next, oily nose, dry cheeks, etc. I use a scrub 2 or 3 times a week, a face wash daily, and a moisturizer twice a day that’s made for combo skin. It’s the only skincare products that I’ve ever loved. Plus, the stuff lasts forever. I only have to buy it like once every 6 months, which has saved me a ton of money. I have never found a makeup routine that I liked. I’m also too cheap to buy decent makeup. Ha! I love this post! Keep them coming 🙂

    1. Reply

      Courtney

      Thanks for the tip! Why is it so common for women to be dissatisfied with our make-up, but make-up companies make SO MUCH MONEY!?

  3. Reply

    Ana C.

    Okay, I will get officially subscribed after this lol! I loved this post for many reasons, like the fact that you are really putting yourself out there with specifics.
    I wanted to share some things that changed my life in terms of beauty standards. After living in Europe and Mexico for several years I came away with some ideas about what is important. From Europe I learned that it’s not a big deal to have body hair or be naked and makeup can be very personal and unique to personality. Mainly, I picked up that it’s best to focus on what I like I’m terms of colors, looks and go for it if it makes me feel like myself. I still do this today. I walk into the store and pick what I like: Estee Lauder black mascara, brown Estee Lauder eyeliner, black liquid Maybelline eyeliner, Estee Lauder doublewear face powder, and pink blush. I also buy their doublewear liquid concealer. I don’t like anything that smudges! Those are my basics but I only wear them altogether when I am going to dress up a little and that is where I may add colors on the lips or eyes from Estee Lauder shadows or Maybelline lipsticks. If it’s a day out I might add a little eyebrow filling with basic Maybelline eyebrow makeup.
    Really, I prefer my face bare with maybe a light dusting of the face powder. The Estee Lauder one is light and doesn’t clog my pores. To stay acne-free I avoid too greasy foods, drink lots of hot tea and water, don’t touch my face, just warm water and antibacterial soap a couple times a week and I check hair products for greasy oils or things that clog pores. Mostly I notice my face looks sallow or with acne if I have been wearing my makeup all week every day! Skin needs air!
    Hair:
    In Mexico almost everyone just lets their natural hair be. I love this because it’s easy. I have mostly always adopted this “style.” I only began using a hair dryer at 24 and around the same time a curling iron/flat iron.
    I love the hair routine of salons though so I do that for sure. Good shampoo(every 3-4 days) and deep conditioning with Dove conditioner. I let my hair air dry and brush it, or brush it wet and do a braid (if I know my face will get sweaty that day from heat). Also, I recently discovered a leave in conditioner I love from the salon so now I spray that in while wet. The humidity here in NC is crazy and it prevents frizzy hair.
    It is quick though. As far as shaving, I have personally always shaved every day everything for years. I love to be as close to naked as possible because I feel like I can wear anything any moment. At the same time, that is just MY comfort zone because I am fine if other women have hair out and they are happy. There are actually a number of women in my life like this!
    Back to the naked thing, it is great to be in hot weather: less to worry about with looks. Shorts, tank tops and spring dresses all the time.
    Another big thing is sleep! Sleep heals the body, including the face. If I have been really sleep deprived I do a night cream like Oil of Olay night cream a few times that week! Also small tip: when we get anxious our face sweats so if I’ve been stressed I stick to the light powder and antibacterial soap. Oh I forgot, yes, they say foundation is out but I don’t care because I like it sometimes, So I have Maybelline 24hr foundation that I use (when not stressed) for special occasions.
    And why is anyone harping on your toes?? Kinda ridic.
    Anyway, to me, the trick of not feeling bogged down is just doing what really gives you that boost of “this is my thing, and I feel happy to do this for me” and only do what you feel comfy with and don’t let anyone make you feel bad/guilty for taking time to do things that create a sense of who you are for yourself! And have days where you demand the world accept your bare face and still love you. I smile at everyone and get lots of smiles back. That is enough to remind me that I’m just fine! Some might judge, not your problem though, that is between them and Jesus lol

    1. Reply

      Courtney

      This is such great advice! Do what I want. I don’t know why that is so profound to me, my favorite thing to say is, “I do what I want!”. Also, love the tip about Europeans. I freaking love Europeans, they just chill.

  4. Reply

    Pauli

    Love this one, girlie. I, too, feel like I have a major routine .Sometimes I love it, and sometimes I hate it.
    I have very very thin, fine hair. It wasn’t always this thin, I used to be able to grow it pretty long when I was a teenager. Now I feel like I have to shampoo, blowout every other day, because it gets so flat and stringy. Though I know that is so not good for it. So I dry shampoo in my 3rd day to give a little volume back to the roots. I always use a heat protecting cream and volume mousse.
    For my face: girlfriend. I need to share photos with you. I was full blown acne all of my late teens and into my 20’s. I finally got an accutane prescription when I was 23. It is off the market now, because it’s so bad for you, but thankfully I didn’t get the bad side effects. I just got the kinda bad side effects. Point is, I struggled (and still do) hard core with the skin. Mine is also blotchy. I am Italian and I’m hairy, thankfully blonde, but this Shizz is more than peach fuzz. I don’t notice it too much until I get wild and crazy chin hairs that I go crazy plucking. The sunshine is wonderful during the summer, until all I can see is the glistening if my vast facial hair..
    Skin is also combination, so I wash, and use Olay botanicals toner, then moisture cream. I exfoliate about twice a week, and use a clay mask about once, maybe even every two weeks. I love L’oreal mineral makeup, I wish I could be bare faced more often, Sometimes my tone is more even and it’s fine to be bare faced, and sometimes it’s so speckled.. Overall, I like makeup, but I catch myself from time to time overdoing it. I say quite often into the mirror: stop. Less is more.
    I swear by voluminous mascara. I have naturally long lashes. I try new mascara a from time to time, but I always fall back on my true love: voluminous. It’s perfect. I have a very specific lash routine that cannot be described in text. I’m pretty ocd with mascara, lol.
    Lovely post, my dear.

    1. Reply

      Courtney

      Oh Pauli, I love you. My soul sister. I also use Voluminous. There is no other mascara. What do they make it with? Angel tears? My hairs are native and I just accept them, except the mustache ones, because what else can I do???

  5. Reply

    Pauli

    And I totally forgot to say: I shave my toes, too! ?

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