My non-hair beauty routine

Many years ago I read an article on the Danish cosmopolitan with the idea of spending 10 minutes each night on some basic beauty maintenance. I really liked the idea of spending some time each night to relax, spoil yourself and do something to make yourself look pretty.

So I adopted the idea and changed it a bit. Since I absolutely live out of my old school paper calendar, every year when I buy a new one, I add the “schedule” to it so I can cross an item out every day. Of course I cant keep it up every day, but at least it’s a nice reminder to de-stress and pamper yourself a bit!

Over the years I’ve changed the schedule back and forth every year. For example I remember the original schedule was too heavy on the pedicures and my fingernail growth simply couldn’t keep up for the frequent filings. I also remember a year where I had spaced the epilating-dates too far apart and I ended up feeling “fussy” and made unplanned epilating-days. This year I took the deep conditioning out of the “schedule” because I wanted to keep up the Knee Length Before 2012- project.

Well, that is the idea: To attempt to take a little time to yourself every day to relax, pamper yourself and make yourself look and feel good.

Here is my schedule:
  • Day 1: Manicure.
  • Day 2: Wax eyebrows. Give eyelashes a coating of leave in-conditioner. Colour eyelashes on the first eyelash-day of the month.
  • Day 3: Exfoliating.
  • Day 4: Teeth. If I happen to have any kind of whitening treatment, I will use it. If not, it’s a day where I try to be extra good to my teeth.
  • Day 5: Face mask.
  • Day 6: Manicure.
  • Day 7: Wax eyebrows. Give eyelashes a coating of leave in-conditioner. Colour eyelashes on the first eyelash-day of the month.
  • Day 8: Epilate.
  • Day 9: Pedicure.
  • Day 10: Face mask.
If you notice, the days don’t add up to a week. That is done on purpose. I have done the schedule based on a week before and it always ended up with me skipping the same days when I was busy. With the days jumbled, I have a better chance of having enough time for certain tasks.
And maybe it’s just my own strange brain-misfire, but having the same task the same days always ended up feeling like a “job” or yet another to-do instead of the relaxing pampering it was intended as.

Other than that, my beauty routine is pretty uninteresting.

I’m a huge fan of epilating!  It keeps me hair-free without making clear edges like shaving or waxing does since it doesn’t remove the tiny, fussy hairs. I epilate everything except my private area, including my arms. I guess the price for having thick, coarse hair on your head is thick, coarse hair everywhere else.
The funny thing is that after I started epilating my “monkey hairs” on the arms, I started noticing when other people don’t. Sometimes it really amuses me when some plastic infused Barbie-wannabe with too much makeup and too tight clothes still has two arms full of long hair (In her natural hair colour none the less!) and I find myself wondering if that’s the single part of her body she haven’t messed with. But I do have a messed up sense of humour.

I don’t believe that exfoliating too much is healthy for the skin. Just like the intestinal system needs the benign bacteria to function normally, the skin needs a layer of dead skin cells to stay healthy and function normally. But exfoliating is still good to promote circulation and gives a healthy glow. I won’t recommend doing it more often than once a week though, too much will irritate the skin. I like to do it the day before using self-tan on the rare occasions I do that.  

Face mask.
Is there anything more symbolic for some girly pampering than having a mud mask smeared all over your face? Heh. I don’t think I need to explain why I enjoy this one. Too bad you can’t sip wine while wearing one of those!
There are “recipes” for super cheap and easy face masks you can do with simple ingredients found in any kitchen on the internet. This is a good place to look. Sometimes I like using just raw honey to moisturize and heal the skin.

This one is actually good for your hair too. Your hands are your most important tool and you can prevent damage by keeping your nails short and groomed. As a skin picker with sensitive skin, I also find that keeping my nails short and well filed keeps me from getting a “grip” when I pick without thinking about it.

Maybe because I usually go so natural with everything else and just try to maximise it, I go crazy with girly toenail polish. Putting a bit of oil in a bag and putting it over your feet with a sock over overnight will make you make up with soft feet.

I guess it’s one of those things where people brush twice a day and floss whenever they remember it. Well, having a “teeth” day serves as a good reminder to take a little better care of them. They need to last for the rest of your life.

Wax eyebrows
Shaping your eyebrows is the quickest and best way to flatter your face and bring your best features out. When done correctly, no one will be able to tell what you actually did; they can just tell you look great. Little Piggy made a really good and simple tutorial on UTT on how to shape your eyebrows
The only thing I have to add to her tutorial is that I like to “tilt” the inner corners of my eyebrows about 11 degrees. No one has yet been able to tell I did that and it really helps to open up my forehead. I also wax between my outer side eyebrows and the temples where I get these weird fussy hairs that smudge the hair line and eyebrow definition.

Colour eyelashes
My eyelashes are naturally dark blonde and almost invisible. Colouring them is the quickest and most efficient beauty boost I know of.  I found an “instant” lash colour some years back and have been able to find something similar in Sweden too. The Danish brand I used is Swiss O Par and the Swedish brand is Depend. It’s very simple too: Brush a liquid on your eyelashes, then comb a gel through them and *Bam* your lashes are nice and dark. The colour is permanent too so it will last until the hairs either grow out or shed. For me the effect is obvious for 3-4 weeks with few hairs remaining black for up to 6. No sitting around blind for half an hour waiting for the dye like with most eyelash colours.

Sensitive skincare
I have sensitive, easily irritated skin so I’m more or less always on the hunt for the next product line to try. I try to keep my skincare routine simple, but I still haven’t found a routine that doesn’t end up irritating me sooner or later. I have tried a lot of different products: Some ridiculously expensive, some cheap. I have tried organic products, products that boasted of the strangest ingredients, products that had a super simple ingredient list and products that contained no artificial ingredients. I have tried routines only containing “homemade products” and routines based on only oils too (The funniest of these was the lemon juice + honey routine that had no other effect than bleaching my eyebrows into oblivion) Nothing has made a real impact for long.
Other than trying a bunch of products, I have tried almost all “tips” I ever heard except for the obviously stupid or pointless ones. Prioritising sleep, changing pillowcases every day, washing my hands every hour, washing my face four times a day, sterilising keyboards, door handles and everything else you touch often.
So trust me, I have tried everything and it annoys the crap out of me when people think they can come up with some genius idea I haven’t ever thought of in 10 seconds. I’m guessing the common assumption is that people with problem skin are just lazy and slobby and too stupid to learn how to care for it?

The “I don’t wear makeup”-makeup
I guess I tend to separate colour-makeup and non-colour-makeup. I never wear eye shadow, mascara and lipstick. I do wear foundation, concealer and blusher though. I guess I see it as covering imperfections and getting the most out of my face instead of covering it in colour.
Concealer is used to cover dark areas under the eyes. I like toning mine out on the cheekbones to highlight them.
Foundation is used to cover all other imperfections. It seems like everyone has their own idea on how and when to use this. I swear by my foundation brush and dot it on where I need the most covering, and then tone it out in concentric circles from there.
Blusher can shape and highlight your face. There are online resources to teach you where to apply blush according to your face shape. Here is a good link for it.
I also use a mix of eye cream and concealer with some drops of highlighter in for eyelids and cheekbones. It’s such a simple thing to mix up and it really does its job.