Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Case for the Basics: Your Basic Grooming Routine

Like many Filipinos, I've been culturally conditioned to keep my appearance as neat and presentable as possible. Years of college and living away from my parents has done nothing to undo that conditioning; up to now I still can't leave the house without a quick mirror check and a once-over with a brush.

The older I get, though, the more I tend to settle for "presentable" rather than "chic." And I'm not alone here; for every woman that leaves the house with a "full face," there are probably 7 more whose schedules are so hectic that taking time for makeup is Just Not an Option.

Since I'm a stickler for starting with the basics, I recommend going through this checklist every single morning, or at least before you pick up a single makeup brush. The rules are not hard and fast - heck, I'm guilty of not doing all of this - but trust me, just one tweak will make your life so much easier.
  • Do you take good care of your skin? Every makeup artist will tell you that even the best makeup is worth nothing without a good canvas. I've written about the Clinique 3-step system in the past, because it boils down every person's skincare routine into three basic concepts: cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing. It doesn't matter how you do it, or when, as long as your skin remains clear and healthy. Same goes for the rest of your body, too; no matter how my day goes, I never step into the shower without shampoo and a Salux washcloth for my body wash of choice... and that makes all the difference.

  • Do you brush and floss? Laugh if you must, but even the best lipstick can't hide a mouth that hasn't seen the business end of a toothbrush. And it doesn't have to be the most expensive toothbrush, either - though it does matter if your brush can clean your teeth without your soft palate getting poked every so often. Toothpaste, same deal. As for floss, I can get pretty fastidious about it because I hate the thought of anything getting stuck between my teeth, and I'd rather have a good day at the dentist than a lifetime of bleeding gums.

  • Do you groom your brows? As my senior yearbook picture shows, your eyebrows can be a deal-breaker for any look. Here's a little tutorial from Seventeen magazine to get you started... but try not to pluck too much, so you won't look Botoxed.

I'll have more to say about showering, exfoliating, and eyebrow grooming in the coming days... but, really, if you've answered "yes" to any of these questions above, you're practically ahead of the game.


Anonymous said...

I always get up extra early so that I have time to go through my entire beauty routine, including make-up. Then again, I don't have kids, so I have it easier than most. I notice as I get older that fewer women bother with make-up.

meimei said...

I don't have kids, either, but I noticed that my routine goes to hell whenever I lose my motivation. When I had my corporate job, I always got up super extra early to powder up... but by the time I got to grad school - and when I started teaching (because, really: just kids, right?) - I had more important uses for my time. (And really, if I'd known then what I already know now, I would've gladly traded my makeup time in high school and college for better grades. LOL!)

And it's not just me; a lot of my friends who take on strenuous jobs (especially in education or elderly care) are finding less time for the "full face," especially if they know it's going to wear off anyway. That's why I wrote this entry for them - because you will need to take care of yourself anyway, and makeup can only do so much.

Bottom line, it IS a matter of priorities: if having a full beauty routine every day is getting in the way of a career - or your family, or even your health - choices and compromises MUST be made. Guess which area will get cut first? EXACTLY.

orologi said...

i do the same