I’m the kind of woman who burns herself on curling irons and considers shaving my legs the height of party preparation. I’m not fussy, and the truth is, me and beauty products just don’t do well together. In other words, I’m a “natural beauty.”(*cough*cough.* This really means I’m lazy, have a lot of allergies and don’t get along with mechanical devices)
One of my sisters had a business doing top-to-toe makeovers for Fashion and Beauty and she tried hard with me. I tried hard to change, but like a diet boomerang I just ended up regressing worse than ever.
I've tried all the usual beauty torments, from the infamous EpiLady (cue Scream soundtrack) to salon-made fake nails (woke up during the night with my fingers burning in white-hot agony. Apparently I was allergic to something in the fake nail) and none of them have stuck. Still, being the resourceful type I’ve come up with a number of cheap n’ easy beauty secrets that would make my sister’s eyes roll and hair curl.
I have a hair routine that lasts 3 days because if I wash my hair too often it turns to straw:
- Day 1: Good Hair Day. Wash, condition, put in gel, comb and run out the door late for work. It dries by lunchtime.
- Day 2: Semi-Good hair. Splash water on my hands in the shower, run ‘em through hair and scrunch it up, do a few Rock Star head tosses and call it good.
- Day 3: Bad Hair Day. Ponytail. Nuff said.
- I’m still digesting the deeply ironic fact that the weird rash on my face is from becoming allergic to sunscreen (as a survivor of melanoma this is not good news) and my current face cream is a tube of prescription-strength Cortisone cream alternating with something called Imiquomod. This dubious and highly expensive goo comes in tiny one-use packets and is used to treat skin cancer and, alternatively, genital warts. (I’m using it for skin cancer.)
- I have nothing useful to say on Skin Care except WEAR A HAT AND DON’T TAN.
- If I was on Survivor and only got one beauty product to take it would be mascara. (I favor Maybelline Waterproof, because I’m a crier and wear contacts. However, I have to use the equivalent of paint thinner to get it off and I lose some lashes every evening, resulting in a piebald blink. The alternative is wearing nothing and looking like a rabbit. I have lived with this dilemma for many years.)
- I recently discovered that if you get a slightly darker shade of powder than your actual skin tone, you can kind of blend your uneven, blotchy skin tones (like we redheads have) into something passing for a tan. At least that’s what I tell myself because I don’t want to spend another $6 on the right shade of powder.
- Wear something on your mouth. Due to my allergies, I wear Vaseline. Yep. Yummy. Also, it doesn’t add color to aforementioned freckly lips. Good thing my husband loves me and is visually impaired without his reading glasses.
- Well made, comfortable, simple, in interesting colors with a minimum of shopping= catalogs.
- After some experimentation, I buy from Land’s End once a year. (I spend my money on stuff like paying for a private editor, a new computer, and getting Kinko’s copies made of my manuscripts.) Clothes are fairly irrelevant but a necessary evil, to my mind.
- Foundation Garments: Jane Alexander, a writing friend, recently did a hilarious blog on this called Easy Open Gussets. Only the Brits could treat this subject with the delicacy it deserves.
- I have succumbed to Spanx for special occasions and buy three new bras every year whether I need them or not. White, beige, and black. The black one has a bow. HOT!!!
- I never thought I’d be this person but there you have it.
- I still like to own shoes. I have more than I can wear here in Hawaii and they mostly grow mold and clutter my closet.
- I have daily work shoes I LOVE and will recommend to anyone. They are like walking on a cloud, and the literature says I’m tightening my ass with every step!
- Sketchers Shape-ups, you guessed it. In black, brown and beige, the Mary Jane style.
- Here’s where I finally show a little personality and recommend you do too.
- Scarves! Love em! All kinds, especially animal print.
- Jewelry: I’m a collector and also make jewelry, so if I tried to wear a different set of something every day I couldn’t make it through my treasure trove in a year.
- Watches—who says the cell phone has made ‘em obsolete?
- The Hubby is allergic. Can’t wear anything with scent. It’s taken awhile to get used to this but I’m finally okay with it after about 5 years.
- B.O. is still not good. Do something if you have it.
What are some of your beauty secrets? Is anyone else a “natural beauty” out of laziness or necessity?
Had to wipe tea off the keyboard as I read. I can relate to a lot of this. Unlike you, I have always tanned easily (just as well – Perth summers are hot and dry and here in Qld it’s hot and damp). But I’ve never liked makeup, never been one for perfume or jewelry and have little interest in fashion. Eye makeup, especially mascara – big yes, since the eyes have it. Never tried the torture device for legs you describe but have had them waxed which is ouchy enough. And that Veto stuff that dissolves your leg hairs stinks. These days, the OH will just have to take me as I come.
In US the “Veto” stuff is called Nair. And it still stinks.
First, I’ve never been happier to have pin-straight hair that even lost a perm after a week. Four times. Static electricity is the worst thing I have to deal with, and that’s only a few months in the winter before it gets so humid here you feel like you’re taking a shower in your own sweat if you so much as LOOK outside.
Second, my absolute favorite eye makeup remover is Lancome’s Bi-Facil. I’m not even sure if they make it. I got it back in college, but I wear makeup maybe twice a year, so I don’t use it a lot. I have a spare, travel-size bottle, if you want to check it out.
Third, I’m totally lazy and LOVE my sleep. To the point of threatening people who call too early. I’m serious. I’ve answered the phone with, “somebody better be dead” if double digits hadn’t hit the clock in the AM. Therefore, I rarely wear makeup. Takes too much time in my morning. Working from home has advantages.
Fourth, when I *do* wear makeup in the aforementioned two events a year, it’s easy to buy foundation because I’m the color of a corpse. Ivory is my shade, all year long. Hides the freckles nicely.
Fifth, in clothing, I wear ribbed tank tops and yoga pants. Comfort trumps most everything else. When I have to leave the house to go somewhere other than the daycare or gym, I swap the yoga pants to jeans. If, God forbid, I have to dress up, cotton, no-iron-needed, spandexy waisted clothing. Again, comfort. I avoid mumus, though. No sense wearing a tent when I’m the size of a circus, comfort be damned.
With regard to fragrances and accessories, I like simple, light decor. I have a Citrus scent from B&BW and there’s a French perfume that has a citrus initial scent and a gardenia lingering scent. HEAVEN. My accessories tend to alternate between: gold hoops or my diamond studs (hehe…I said “stud”). I wear my gold, heart-shaped locket most of the time because it has my kids’ pictures in it. My wedding band. On days when it fits, my engagement ring with the diamond jacket Mr. Pierce bought me a few years ago.
Hmmm…not sure you really needed to know all that, when I only came on to mention the Bi-Facil and offer you a bottle. Yikes. I’ll go now. x♥x♥
I am not alone in the world. There are People like Me out there! Thank you for ‘coming out!’
Dear God, that was a book! Apologies, m’dear.
Ha! I know some people like this. My wife will love this too.
I have three small kids, so my “beauty routine” is born out of exhaustion. I do like to get dolled up every now and then to remind my husband that he didn’t marry a troll and to make walking past mirrors a bearable experience.
I have the same eyelash problem, which is unexpected because my hair is a shade under black. For some reason, the tips of my eyelashes are almost blonde, so I have a similar mascara addiction. Best eye makeup remover in my book is regular old baby oil. Put some on a cotton ball and hold it on your eye for a few seconds before you rub mascara off – works like a charm!
As for hair care, I got sick of it and cut it all off. A foot of hair fell in one haircut and I haven’t picked up a brush since!
I usually use Vaseline for eye makeup removal, but I’m going to try your suggestion with the baby oil. Not ready to cut my hair all off yet. gimme another 10 years or so.
Okay, we don’t have as much in common as I had thought. Shave everyday no matter what. Shower before I do anything else. Lipstick a must, even before I go to sleep at night. Hair cut to look good even if I don’t brush it and let it dry naturally. Bras, never unless it is a conservative event and my top is see through. Jewelry, always, layered and multi-textured. Rubber shoes only if cleaning rats out of the garage. Lotions, hardly ever because they make my pores feel clogged. Scarves, for sure since I design and sell them. Vaseline for sores on feet when I’m somewhere like on a sailboat and have nothing else to use and never placed on mouth. Epilady, ouchers and gives ingrown hairs. Frangrance, squeeky cleaness at all times. Sunglasses for lazy days.
*gasp* you shave EVERY day????
I’ve given up dying my hair. I’m going gray and don’t like the color of my skin when I put dye on my locks. Unfortunately my eyebrows are going gray also. That is the one thing that I can’t stand. But who can find pencil to match the brow. Nobody makes them.
I’m tired of washing off make up so what I put on the brows, cheeks and lips usually does it for me. I’m 66 there ain’t a whole lot I can do for my face now and there sure isn’t anyone out there who wants an old lady anyway.
I guess being single has it’s advantages. The dogs have not complained about what I look like when I wake up. For all I know I look like a bowl of dog food and that’s good enough for them which is good enough for me.
Noelle Pierce got it right. Lancôme ‘s BI-FACIL absolutely is the best eye make-up remover and has been for years. It works even with a Kleenex! Further, Lancôme offers the best eye shadow and has for decades.
Toby…..you’ll get a kick out of Lancôme’s BLOG: http://www.thelancomeblog.com/
Now, dare I say it, Estée Lauder’s “Perfectionist” is a wonderful wrinkle lifting serum (especially around eyes and lips) and works well in tandem with the brand’s “Advanced Night Repair.”
Toby…..you are so right about tubed Cortizone-10 creme (NOT ointment) with Aloe as a QUICK healer. This is an instant remedy for departing blemishes and skin cracks/scuffs…..also great for fire ant bites!
Thanks for the tips, Carla, I’ll check them out!
Wayhay!! Gussets are go-go!
Yup, with you on mascara and the crying bit too…. and another redhead with the freckled spotty look here… I use Murad tinted thingy….that works a treat (can’t you tell I was once a beauty journalist!!)
Murad tinted thingy? More details pls anything you suggest I’ll try!
I was thinking about this very subject as I slapped down $75 for a Laura Mercier makeup clutch. I live on a farmette. I go to “work” at my horse barn. I use a lightweight serum on my face after my shower after morning barn chores and riding. I need to stop washing my hair daily as I can no longer tell whether I have hay in my hair by touch.
My big girly secret is using lotion on my lips before bed at night rather than a balm which usually ends up drying my lips. Usually, I just use whatever sample lotion I pick up racing through any department stores at Christmastime. Last time I tried to apply mascara I stabbed myself in the eye three times. I actually considered putting on makeup today but couldn’t think of a good enough reason to waste the time putting it on and taking it off at night. But the Laura Mercier satin makeup clutch looks lovely sitting on my dressing table.
A woman after my own heart! Thanks for popping in to comment!
In a past life I trained as a herbalist, so as a result – when I can be bothered – I make a lot of my own skincare products. Most of them are really easy (like calendula lip balm, facial creams, tonic, …) and you have a better idea of what’s in them.
A downside is that they usually don’t keep that long.
I’m totally with you on mascara, and LOL @ Epilady & the hair care pictures. Hm, sounds like an 80s band. *shiver*
Seeing as I’m 8 months pregnant, it is NOT COOL to make me laugh so hard at my desk! DANGEROUS!
I’m a ‘natural beauty’ out of necessity *coughlazinesscough*, so I could relate to this — especially the hair! Except in my stupidity and frustration with living in one of the most humid places in the US, I always end up chopping off my hair and day 2 looks more like a crazy poofball than anything else. Day 3 usually involves something like 20 bobby pins and half a bottle of hairspray.
Yeah. Shorter…erm. Not always better. I get these “horns”- winging up alongside my head if hair is too short. They are goofy and alas, there is no cure.
Haha! I can relate to the hair thing. And being addicted to Vaseline.
Just my little two cents:
I use Burt’s Bees chapstick when I’m feeling special. Their lip products are natural and pretty darn fantastic.
You can use Vaseline to remove mascara. No joke.