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Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Minimalist Woman's Weekly Pampering Routine

My weekly body care routine listed below is organized and designed to keep a woman feeling good, looking good and yet still not being what I would consider a slave to beauty.  You can add on or omit activities as you wish.  I didn't color my hair for a long time, but I started to feel pretty blah without it (and lightening my hair makes me look younger, which I'm starting to need a bit of help on!)  Some women couldn't imagine a pampering ritual without a bubble bath, while others go out and get their nails done professionally.  For me, I do everything myself at home, but I want it all to go by pretty quickly and also be easy enough to remember.  You can always write a little Post-it note on your bathroom mirror advising what activities to do and when to do them, should your memory be less-than-perfect (like mine).  Adaptation is important.  I don't find painting my nails fun or pampering (nor do I like the smell or the expense of nail-care products), but if it's something you enjoy, go for it.  This weekly time of pampering is a good way to remember things which are incidental to beauty routines, too- such as changing out your bath towels, swapping your old razor out for a fresh one, washing your bathroom tumbler in the dishwasher or by hand, washing your hairbrush and comb, etc.  Doing weekly pampering is a way to remind myself of things like this that my scatterbrained self would look right past (I'm way too distracted to remember washing my hairbrush without a reminder from my online calendar!)  I have to admit, I still don't find actually doing these activities pampering- the pleasant feeling is what comes after the work is done, when my hair, skin and nails look so nice.  And when my bathroom is deep-down clean and de-cluttered, too.

A detailed pampering routine may not appeal to a hardcore minimalist at all, which I can completely understand.  I don't think that there's anything wrong with having either mindset.  I can understand why some women don't shave and just don't "do" pampering.  I say rock on with doing whatever floats your boat.  This is simply laid out for the woman who wants to get more organized about the weekly ritual of grooming herself for the week ahead.  I find that the pampering positively affects me mentally, as much or even more as it does physically, though I'm not wild about the extra time the prepping itself takes.  I know in advance that I'll carry myself a little more confidently when I've gotten these things done and that's what provides me motivation.  For me it creates the same feeling as having my hair nicely styled, wearing a pretty pair of earrings or when I have my makeup beautifully applied.  It adds a little spring in my step throughout the day, especially when I glance in the mirror. 

1) Color my hair if needed (I do this every four weeks)._

L'Oreal haircolor has always given me the best, most consistent results of any brand and I've used it for many, many years.  Despite my shade being a bleach and also permanent in color, it's still gentle (no burning of my scalp or anything).  Home haircolor has vastly improved from even just ten or fifteen years ago.  Also, the deep conditioner in the L'Oreal line is the best I've ever seen at any price point and the tube of it lasts me a few weeks after the coloring is done, too.

2) Apply facial mask about ten minutes before I step into the shower._

I have very dry and very sensitive skin but I also tend to break out when using products with irritants or too many oils in it.  I cannot use anything "scrubby" or anything with BHAs/AHAs.  This is the Holy Grail of facial masks for my skin type, the only one I can use on my skin without making it break out or dry out because it's gentle and yet deeply hydrating.

3) Use depilatory on my forearms, if needed.  (This also occurs about every four weeks. The product has to stay on my arms about seven minutes, and then the hair comes right off in the shower with a wet washcloth.)_

Sadly, my favorite Sally Hansen depilatory was taken off the market awhile back.  I have blonde hair but still have a lot of it on my forearms, so depilatory is a must to me (and nobody wants the stubble from shaving on their forearms!)  A side benefit to using depilatory is the amazing exfoliation that comes from using it- and that deep exfolation makes the skin look much brighter afterwards.  The only thing that comes close to that effect is using a good thick salt scrub.  The product below is my replacement depilatory, the closest to what I was using before:

4) Rinse off facial mask, haircolor and/or depilatory in the shower._

5) Apply deep conditioner to my hair (the deep conditioner I use is what comes with my haircolor product)._

6) Shave my underarms & legs._

I'm incredibly picky about razors.  Though these are disposable, they get rave reviews on a lot of websites and I think they're well-deserved.  Unless they're out-of-stock, I won't use any other razors because they shave close, last the longest, don't nick and are reasonably-priced.

7) Use bikini trimmer._

Without a doubt, the best ladies' trimmer I've found is below:

8) Groom eyebrows right after my shower._

9) Trim and file my nails (fingernails every week; toenails every three weeks)._ Push back my cuticles on my fingernails, as well._

This awesome 3-sided tool files down both rough skin around the nails and the nails themselves via the different degrees of filing textures on the tool.  It also has a tip at the edge which cleans under the nails.  While I don't often buff my nails very often, the buffing trio on this tool are really excellent for high-shine nails without having to use nail polish.  I LOVE this tool, especially for the fingernails:

A good titanium cuticle pusher, used right after a shower or bath, is an essential tool for groomed nails.

Here's to being an organized minimalist,

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