I asked some of the people who check in on this blog from time to time what they want to see me write about. It’s still mostly going to be about books and media, particularly reviews of books and media and thoughts associated with current media goings-on. That said, one of my friends suggested, “Hey, you should write more movie reviews, and also, why not do beauty products, too?” I’m taking her advice.
First thing’s first: the most money I ever spend on makeup is when it’s special effects makeup, because I don’t usually do a lot with my face. Admittedly, I don’t use foundation (sometimes I wonder if I should, since I really do like the effect that it has when people wear it well), and I only occasionally cover the dark circles under my eyes. I don’t do a lot with makeup very often–with the exception of my eye makeup (and I’m including brows in that).
So when I talk about “beauty,” it’s more often than not going to involve my hair or my cleansing products. I hope that’s alright.
I am lucky in that I really never faced major skin breakouts in the past. I’d get the occasional zit on my face, but nothing major. (My back’s a different issue, but bear with me.) That said, I like to take really good care of my skin. What I have had issues with has been severe dryness. It can get gross, especially during the winter time.
My skincare routine is pretty average. Before I do anything else, I take off the makeup that I do wear with store brand makeup remover. When I don’t have that on hand, I usually use cold cream. In the worst case scenario, or for makeup that’s super difficult to remove (haunted house makeup and fake blood are not things you want to end up scrubbing your face to get rid of), I resort to Vaseline. I know a lot of people are against using unnatural things on your face or anywhere, and I get it–you’re rubbing petroleum jelly on your face and you really don’t want to leave it there–but sometimes, you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do.
Lately I’ve been using micellar water before getting in the shower, but it hasn’t really done anything for me–good or bad. I guess it might be best useful if you’re getting ready in the morning or before going out and realize that you somehow smeared makeup all over your cheek when you didn’t need to, but that hasn’t been an issue for me. Initially I got it as a replacement for the makeup remove I’ve been using, but it does pretty much the same thing and cost a little more. I don’t like spending a lot of money on anything, so I could take it or leave it.
If I’m going to wash my hair that day, I’ll do it before doing anything else and then clip it out of the way.
Generally speaking, I use the CeraVe wash I have on my face and my chest. I don’t use the St. Ives exfoliator every day (when I did in the past, it dried me out a little), but every couple of days I’ll use it and massage it in with my hands. There have been other facial products I’ve used in the past, but I really like the St. Ives stuff because it’s aggressive and I like the grit of it.
As for the rest of my body, I alternate. I finally got more of Soap & Glory’s Clean On Me, which is my favorite body wash in the world because of its smell and the fact that when you use a loofah puff, it’s kind of like taking a bath because of how much it suds up. I had been holding off on getting it because the last time I saw it was a Sephora and it cost crazy amounts of money, but then I saw it at Ulta and was about to get a 16.oz bottle for $10. It makes me wish I had waited before getting a new body scrub too (which I have to use or else it looks like my legs are shedding snakes)–the scrub I have right now is a sea salt one I got at Rite Aid for like $8, but I much prefer the Soap & Glory Flake Away. It’s $15, but I like the smell better and it has honestly performed miracles in the past on my incredibly dry and flaky winter skin.
I think that bath products are probably the only area in “Bath & Beauty” where I’m willing to spend more money, because it feels good to be clean. Sometimes the only time a person has to themselves is when they’re taking a shower or a bath, and if that’s the time you have to wind down after a long day or if it’s where you go to take care of yourself, I think it’s reasonable to spend the extra few dollars (if you can) so that you can smell good and feel good. There’s a meditative aspect to cleaning, especially if you get into a routine. This is a little corny, but I think that you can look at the act of taking a shower as a physical way to literally wash off a bad day. You might not have solved any of the issues that you’re dealing with, but at least for a little bit, you can have your body as a clean slate.
Anyway, out of the shower. If you exfoliate, you should probably moisturize, too. I’ve started using coconut oil just to see if it works, and I think it does? At least, a little? Coconut oil, if you’ve never used it in any context before, has a very strange consistency, and it feels like rubbing solid vegetable oil on your arms. There was one time when I left it in my hair over night on someone’s suggestion that, if you put it in a bun and then wash it in the morning, you’ll have goddess hair, but that frankly didn’t work for me. Maybe it’s my hair type. It’s probably a lot more useful in the hair if your hair is thicker or wavier or curlier.
I use Eucerin on my face anti-aging lotion on my face before I go to bed and, since it’s SPF 15, before I leave the house. It was pricier, but I’ve had the same bottle for about a year (always check any expiration dates that might be present on the stuff you’re putting on your face), and it’s been worth the price. I used to use a witch hazel toner before moisturizing, but I’ve run out and haven’t found a suitable replacement yet (though the manufacturer says they’re bringing it back this fall, and I really, really hope so).
I look, to most people, like a high school student (which is really unfortunate since I teach at the high school level), and my aunt praised me for it because for the most part, I stay out of the sun, and I do drink a lot of water, but the truth is, I just really enjoy taking care of my skin.
Some of the things I put on that huge organ include:
- Rite Aid Oil-Free Makeup Remover ($5)
- Simple Micellar Water ($6)
- CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser ($9)
- St Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub ($4)
- The Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Shower Gel ($10)
- Soap & Glory Clean On Me Shower Gel ($10)
- C. Booth All Over-Body Sea Salt Scrub ($9)
- Spectrum Organic Coconut Oil ($6)
- Eucerin Q1o Anti-Wrinkle Sensitive Skin Lotion ($12)