January 9, 2004
I don’t think of myself as high maintenance, but then I started tracking the number of products I use to get myself ready to leave the house on weekday mornings. (I’m not sure if I like to count stuff because I have an accounting degree or if I have an accounting degree because I like to count stuff.) It varies some from day to day, but it’s never less than twenty and gets pretty close to thirty if I do it all. It does reaches thirty if I count diet Coke as a beauty product, and maybe I should, because it does make me less likely to scowl and therefore get frown lines.
That seems like an awful lot of stuff. It takes time to use all that and space to store it, so cutting back would get me more of two things I don’t have enough of. Clean and pretty are good things to be, but surely I could achieve acceptable levels of both with less than two dozen aids. But where to simplify?
Let’s start from the beginning of the morning routine. The first product-assisted step is tooth brushing, which has to happen. That little hint of mint and the feeling of a fresh mouth is an integral part of waking up for me, so the toothpaste would stay even if it weren’t a dental health issue. Then it’s on to the shower, where there’s some definite room for improvement. I need soap and shampoo and conditioner but probably not two or three kinds of each. Yet which can I give up? If I ditch the face soap, I’ll have to wash my body with deodorant soap, and no beauty expert recommends that, but the face soap is a lot more expensive than the body soap so it doesn’t make financial sense to go that way. Ah, but what about the bar of Lush soap on the edge of the tub? Or the bottle of shower gel next to it? Those are truly frivolous. I don’t use them every day, but I like them and sometimes it’s nice to have a change of pace, to wash with roses or sea vegetables. Still, if simpler is the goal, they can go. The shave gel cannot. Shaving’s enough of a pain; I need the fun of playing with the foamy gel while I do it.
Once clean and smooth from the shower, it’s time to moisturize. Do I really have to have five different products for this? Well, I think I need at least four of them. The eye cream is too rich to use on my face, and the moisturizer with SPF I put on my face doesn’t do much for the thin skin under my eyes. Both are too pricey to use on my whole body, so I need the lotion in the big bottle for that. And none of the above taste good, so I need lip balm. What I can give up, and will as soon as the bottle is empty, is the shave-minimizing lotion. I wasn’t that hairy to start with, and using this doesn’t seem to have made much of a difference. Plus, it doesn’t even smell nice.
Speaking of smelling nice, the antiperspirant/deodorant has to stay. After that’s on, it’s time for the diet Coke and morning pages break before makeup and contacts. I’m keeping the contacts, so that means the solutions that go with them stay a part of the routine, but I know I can wear less makeup. In fact, I’ve already started; I haven’t worn eye shadow all week. I don’t think anyone has noticed because I barely see a difference myself when I’m looking for it. Maybe next I’ll give up blush. I try hard to apply it so it isn’t obvious; not applying it at all will be the least obvious look yet. If people start asking me if I feel okay, I can always add blush back in to my routine. If I hadn’t just bought new bottles of foundation, there’d be an opportunity to simplify there. Yes, I said bottles, plural. I mix two shades because the formulation I like doesn’t come in a pink-based hue that’s a good match for my skin. It might be a good idea to find something similar that I would only have to buy one bottle of at a time.
Or maybe I should just not worry about it. This quiz tells me my morning routine is “right on track”, and we all know that internet quizzes are a infallible, right?
A year ago, I wrote nothing because I was busy getting acquainted with the Disney Wonder.