Beauty is never skin deep but that being said, often the standard that most humans hold towards beauty is what meets their eye. During job interviews, going to work, first introductions, marriage proposals, or even just hanging out with friends, there is a definite desire to want to look good. Please don’t misunderstand the intent of this post – it isn’t to say that beauty is everything, simply that I want to look my best more often than not. That definition of ‘looking good’ varies per individual and for a busy mom like me, who is dealing with not just wanting to look good but hormonal changes due to having children, having polycystic ovaries (PCO), stress of being a mom, working full-time, and running this blog – suffice to say, my skin is dead. And it’s not just my skin, but my hair, nails and overall skin tone has also taken a lot of damage. I consider this beauty regime as an investment – I want to look my best.
Time per day: Basically, I have about a half-hour per day to dedicate to myself. This is split up into 20 mins in the morning after my shower and then in the evening as soon as I get home from work. I can take more than that but if I did, I would become guilty of being a bad mom! So I can’t spend hours on myself daily – and thank god for that because I can’t really afford those treatments anyway 🙂
Morning routine: So I stick to the basics: a good, gentle face wash (never soap), followed by a daily moisturizer with sunscreen. My favorite products are very gentle. It’s important to know your skin type when picking cleansers. I have sensitive, combination skin. Sensitive basically means that I can’t use anything that is too harsh because I will get a rash. Combination means that some parts of my face are oily and some are dry. I opt for Aveeno skin brightening face wash ($6) over the colder months and a scrub over the summer months. For winter months, I use my mom’s favorite brand – Nivea ($5.50)! I apply all over my face and neck however I never rub in. Rubbing can cause the skin’s collagen to break down, leading to wrinkles. I mean seriously, I will get them anyway, why purposefully speed up the process! Instead, I rub into the palms of my press onto my skin. Around my eyes, I use my ring fingers to tap – that amount of pressure is enough! Not moisturizing means my skin gets dry so even over summer, I use a very light moisturizer – Aveeno Daily Moisturizer ($14).
At Work and Evenings: Through out the work day, I take a minute (after lunch time) to check myself into the bathroom to wipe my face with a moisturizing towelette ($6) and reapply the moisturizer. Again, I use Aveeno moisturizer – this my go-to brand. It’s perfect for my skin and it works, so I don’t change it. Believe me when I say, consistency in brand and routine is just as important as the ingredients in the product.
Then upon coming home, I use a scrub to wash all the dirt off my face and finish with a healing Jojoba Oil ($10) (this is not a cream but the actual oil). On the weekends, when I have some more time, I do a full cleansing.
Facials/Weekends: I stay away from facials. I live in New York so first they are extremely expensive and there is always something that is better than anything else! I don’t feel like spending that much money nor time to go out, especially when my weekends are full of birthday parties, kiddie activities, and family! My weekends are just too precious for my overall sanity. So on Saturdays, I break out my automatic face brush ($40) and some Ponds cold cream ($6) for a deep cleanse. I follow this with some nice hot steam for my face. This is followed by pore clean-up (I have the tool and as painful as it is, I use it, $7). I am careful not to go crazy with the pore clean up, because I always follow-up on Sunday evening with a pore strip (my cheat strip, $8/pack, these last me 14 weeks).
Then I do a face pack, always the 24K Gold pack (this is the fanciest and most expensive, $50) – it makes my skin feel so bright and shiny! I have a golden tone to my brown skin, so gold face packs work well. If you have a cooler/bluer tone, try a diamond or pearl face pack. Once all this is done, I follow-up again with my jojoba oil and that’s it.
No Makeup: I don’t use makeup at all. I don’t know how to use it and I work with a lot of morons – often, I find myself with my palm on my face thinking ‘Oh my god!’. I would just wipe it off or worse, have streaks run off. Besides, I sweat (eww I know, but that’s life). I will most likely get pimples.
Cost: Even my most expensive face pack lasts me over 3 months! Most of my skin care products that I use on a daily basis, I replenish between 4 weeks (the face wash) to 8 weeks (the Aveeno moisturizer). The Nivea and jojoba oil last me all winter (up to 3 months). So over the course of a year, I am spending about $350. If I got one facial at a spa, that in itself is about $150 per visit! But for this small investment, I get a daily freshness that helps me feel confident and ready to take on the world!
I have to say, while I don’t like Deepika Padukone or Priyanka Chopra on the red carpet, I can say that I break out very little and always feel clean. Because the pores are clean, I feel my skin can actually breathe! And overall, I can tell that I am putting my best face forward. I think the best advice anyone can give is – pick a routine that you can actually stick to. It has to work for you time wise because it’s a routine, financially so that the stress of buying these products doesn’t ruin my skin, and don’t change your products every time you see something on TV. Many products are advertised and there maybe pressure to buy a big brand name. But remember, often times, a big brand is a big brand because it has a lot of stuff in it, often, many chemicals! I bet the reason why cinema stars buy these expensive, chemically loaded products is because they have to look amazing. But think, even with that amount of chemicals, they still wind up using make-up to look perfect. Simple is best and when it comes to my skin, this is definitely the best advice I have ever received!! I would love to hear your comments and routines – please let me a comment!