Developing A Low-Maintenance Routine


Don’t be scared. We are not advocating becoming hippies. We wear and like our makeup, we use lotions, deodorants and perfumes and we like to look and feel stylish and put-together.

We want to encourage women everywhere to reduce the amount of time and money they spend on their appearance. Many women have a morning routine that takes an hour or more and requires dozens of different products. Powders and creams and foundations and liners and blushes and sprays and irons and gels and waxes and cleansers and toners. Here is the naked truth: the more you do, the more you have to do and the less you do, the less you have to do.

Take a moment and look at your makeup collection. How much money does that represent every year? Hundreds? Thousands? Don’t forget the cleansers to remove it or the lotions to repair the damage the cleansers do. Add all that up and think about what you could do with the money if that expense magically disappeared.

Make It Disappear

Now lets work on getting rid of some of it.

The more makeup you usually wear the more people expect you to look made-up. If you normally apply foundation, blush, eye liner and eye shadow, mascara, brow pencil, lipstick and lip liner, then you’ll probably look a little odd showing up to work or school with a naked face. Try reducing your makeup one thing at a time. Try using just the brow pencil (if your brows are quite light), mascara and lip color. Make the shift gradually, using less and less each day and likely no one will notice. Even if they do, remind yourself that you are more than just your face. Your skin will feel better with fewer things caked on to it and you will feel freer to start your day without a long sojourn in front of the mirror.

Wash less, moisturize less. The more makeup you wear, the more cleaning you have to do. As you reduce the amount of makeup you can probably completely alter you cleansing routine. Plain warm water does wonders and then you may only need a light moisturizer or none at all.

The more you process your hair, the more care it needs. There are people who shampoo once or twice a year. And they aren’t living in a commune in the New Mexico desert. They go to work everyday and no one knows the difference. They don’t smell rancid and they don’t look greasy and unkempt. They just let their hair be the hair it was made to be. Not everyone needs to go so very extreme (though if you have very curly or very coarse hair, it might be a good idea ) but a reduction in the chemicals you use might be in order. We have already written about not dying gray hair  and we would also like to put in a word for not perming. Millions of women make their curly hair straight and millions of other women make their straight hair curly via tons of chemicals and hours of processing. Ever wonder what would happen if all the straight-haired women had curly and vice-versa? Yep. Nothing. There would be just as many permanents sold and just as many straighteners. Love the hair you have. Use the minimum time and the minimum products necessary. Get a wash and wear cut. Let it grow long and learn to love the braid or the ponytail. A simple up-do takes less time than a blowout or other styling.

Stop painting your nails. A simple buffing will make your nails look fabulous without needing much maintenance. Once a week just pull out your buffer for about 10 or 15 minutes and your hands will be fantastic. Compared to repairing chipped polish, getting “fills” or making weekly trips to the manicurist it is obvious what is easier. Not only do you save time but money, you avoid all those chemicals and buffing actually looks much better in the long run.

Go for a brisk walk. Yep. Exercise. It gets the blood flowing, puts color in your cheeks and cheers you up. Far more effective and long lasting than a layer of paint.

These are all choices each woman is free to make for herself but we strongly encourage you to think about what price your routine exacts. Not just the money but the time. The time to perform your beauty rituals and the time to earn enough to fund it. What would you do with an extra 182.5 hours this year? Write a small novel? Go on a trip? Play with your children? Go on more dates? Read a dozen good books ? See 90 movies? You could easily add that time to your year by cutting out 1/2 an hour of beauty routine. Think about it.


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