Makeup and beauty routines, what is beauty again?

What is beauty to you? To most people beauty seems to be about just looks.

I never wore much makeup. Just a hint of dark mascara and a bit of eyeshadow as my eyes hid under thick glasses. It would make them more visible, and give some confidence. Add a drop of some profume, and in high school try to use concealer and powder with not so great success… I’m guessing most of my makeup was pretty invisible. When I quit with the eye makeup a few years ago, my husband is so kind to tell he doesn’t notice if I wear any. There’s that, and that’s huge.

But it felt and still often feels weird to have “naked eyes”. I hide them behind colored or dark shades all the time as lights are always uncomfortable, and the colors help maintain day rhythms a bit better. Still, knowing others usually do their eyes feels odd. I was told by a few ladies that not all women wear makeup or eye makeup, and it kind of felt surprising. I thought the majority did. My mum never did, but I thought the majority did. Like wearing makeup was just one of those things you have to do if you’re a lady.

In these past few years I’ve hopefully learned to master my style a bit better. Keeping skin clean matters a lot. Greasy skin would look bad, and dry skin is fragile and feels uncomfortable. So find cleaning products and a routine that works for you. No rough soaps, no too hot water. Moisturize after cleaning, and in the evening and morning. For daytime I like some light cream that has a good SPF (after all, it is very sunny in Texas so I want to keep my skin fresh); currently I like Garnier SkinActive ClearlyBrighter for that. For night I love Elemis marine cream – it’s pricy but it feels so nice. Ok, it’s the only skin product that’s on the pricier side that I love. For the day, in addition to the garnier cream, I  often like a few drops of a serum from Trader Joe’s, it feels like a nice gel and is supposed to make your skin feel younger. Then add some profume. I probably have 70-100 different small ones, as it’s lovely to change according to mood, as a profume can mean as much as any other accessory others would see to me. I often use guys’ pro fumes too, as long as they are not too masculine. A hint of tinted lip balm, and a few shades of lip balms in the purse make the day perfect. I certainly don’t need a mirror to apply that. Another thing I like makeup wise is nail polish. With that I’ve had periods I’ve used polish frequently for a few months, then years with none at all. Currently I love having some on my nails. Since I don’t do eye makeup  (it would all get messy as I rub my eyes when they hurt), some in my fingers feels appropriate. I keep my fingernails really short so they don’t get on the way of doing anything, and don’t impair my reading. I’ve got over 30 different shades to pick from, most of the time I wear some sparkly ones where it doesn’t matter if 80% of it gets lost in tear and wear, unlike if I used bold reds or other bright or dark colors.

So my putting on the face and doing my hair takes under five minutes in the morning. My hair is usually on a messy ponytail as that way it’s out of my face and is still organized.

A nice shower is one of life’s small big things to enjoy. The water on your skin, the sounds and the smells that relax. So finding shower and shampoo products you love can be something interesting too. I love citrus and mint scented things, and there are always several shampoos. balsams and shower gels in the shower. Now if you wonder how to tell the products apart, everyone has their own methods. I tend to keep the order the same; from left to right balsam, shampoo, shower gel. On one set that is in identical bottles and with identical scents, I’ve got another trick. Rubber bands. The balsam has a thick rubber band, the shampoo has a thinner one, and the shower gel has none. Often though the products come in bottles that are of different shapes and sizes, and the product smells clearly e.g. of shampoo. As sometimes finding new interesting products can be difficult, I love exploring new products from Birchbox and Target beauty box. Birchbox has two versions, and I haven’t actually tried the ladies version. I get what my husband won’t use, like nice facial cleansers and shampoos (and perfumes I “loan”) and those are often nice. Target box items are more of common brands you can find in grocery stores as well, so they have a lower price point, but can equally nice discoveries. The Garnier cream I use I discovered initially from that box. Also if something doesn’t feel like the greatest product ever, you won’t have a giant expensive bottle of it lying around idle for years.

So that’s how I do the beauty things. Pretty simple isn’t it? It’s all about how something makes you feel. Keep your skin clean, hydrated, relaxed – then relax and keep your thinking clean too. It’s not really more complex than that.

What interesting bits do your beauty routines have?

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