Now I know the first thing you think of when you think of me is beauty.
Wait, check that.
There are a lot of words people associate with me. Fluffy, fat, funny, grumpy, lazy, odd, loud, mopey, sweet, gullible, and the list goes on. BUT the ONE word I doubt anyone thinks of pertaining to me is beauty.
That's fine. I don't flatter myself. I'm not a great beauty. (I can't even pull that "but I'm beautiful on the inside" silliness because I'm not always beautiful on the inside either. No one is. I'll bet even Mother Theresa had her grumpy blue mopey days when she just wanted to curl up on a couch and be left alone.) But I have been told I have decent skin on my face. And, since I'm "a woman of a certain age" I figured I might as well share my regimen. Can't be any worse than an infomercial done by a celebrity, right? At least you all know that I haven't had work done and that I actually USE the products I endorse! (Yes every celebrity person who touts skin care products, I'm pointing at you!)
So here we go with my five top beauty things. Some will save you money, some will cost you money, but they all work for me.
5) Baby oil
Good old fashioned baby oil works better than any of those nationally advertised moisturizing shower
gels. And, it's about $6 a bottle cheaper. It's the best thing I've found to battle crepe skin. (If you have it, you know what it is, if you don't, well, just wait, you'll get it, and then you, too, will feel like some sort of Halloween exhibit.)
How to use it: I typically shower at night. (Gives me that extra fifteen minutes of sleep in the morning. So after showering and before you dry off, liberally apply baby oil everywhere. Then step out of shower. DO NOT dry off, rather pat dry, so the baby oil soaks into your skin. It's best to wear soft, lightweight jammies, and I suggest having one or two sets of jammies that you use strictly for baby oil nights.
Also, I like the oil with Aloe Vera. A little extra boost. Also anything with lavender is good as well. Does not have to be Johnson's.
CAUTION: Be careful when applying so it doesn't drip onto the shower floor otherwise the floor WILL BE shockingly slippery for the next person. Also, I do not put this on my face. It's too oily for that.
4) All natural hand made soap.
I grew up in the Ivory soap era: 99 44/100ths pure. But that stuff dried out my skin like crazy. so I
switched to Dove: 1/4 cup moisturizing cream. Still, dried out skin. (Which is weird because most of my life my body was an oil factory. The Ewings could have made a fortune off the oil I produced. Don't get that reference? Look it up.)
It was at a Renaissance Faire a few years ago that I discovered all natural body scrubs and soaps. The body scrubs are great when you want that silky smooth feel, but for me it's the soap that's great. First of all, if you get the little scrubby bag to store your soap in, a single bar can and will last several weeks. Second, you don't need to use it every day, but it you do, your skin won't dry out, you'll smell great and you can use natural soaps on every part of your body without fear of feminine irritation. I don't use this on my face, however. As I've gotten older, my face skin is drying. Not dry...but drying, and I have to be careful what I use on my face.
There are many recipes for the soap; Goats milk, vegan, whatever. I prefer anything with mint in it or some kind of good scent.
Where to get it: Farmers Markets and Renaissance Faires are loaded with people who make soap and scrubs. But if it's winter and you're not not near one of those places, check gift shops or fair trade stores like Sage and Timber in Lake City, CO. If you can't get to a place like that, try the internet. My personal favorite is Seventh Sojourn because I see those folks every year at Ren Faire.
3) Mary Kay Timewise Moisturizer, foundation and eyeliner.
I don't spend a ton of money on beauty stuff because, well, what's the point? I mean, it's not like I'm ever going to be mistaken for Heidi Klum just because I use a certain mascara. BUT I do pull out the bucks for three things: Moisturizer, foundation and eyeliner. And I get Mary Kay.
Now, I don't buy the whole system. I'm not made of money! But I do get those three things and I won't go anyplace else for them. The moisturizer is perfect for face and neck skin. Once a day is enough and a single bottle lasts several months. (A tiny dab is all you need.) Same for the foundation. As for the eyeliner, I don't go outside my house without eyeliner on, and this stuff is soft when you apply it but doesn't smudge too much and doesn't make my eyes itch.
Where to get it: Ask around, I bet you know a couple Mary Kay ladies. Otherwise, check the Website for a dealer near you.
2) Hair products
Friends, THIS is where I spend my money. If you are going to color your hair, and it doesn't matter what you color it, just because my shade of choice is hot pink you can be any hair color you want, you need to invest in hair color products. If you are still doing the box hair color, use what you want, of course, but if you go to a place and pay someone else to color your hair, spend some money on shampoo, conditioner, and hair products that are going to lengthen the life of your color.
I use KMS color vitality shampoo and, because I love all things minty, Pureology Hydrate Conditioner. You won't need much of either product (especially if you have soft water) so a bottle of shampoo lasts me three months and a bottle of conditioner quite a bit longer.
As for styling product, since I have short hair these days, I am all about hold that isn't heavy. I love Paul Mitchell Thicken Up. It's heat activated, so a tiny bit run through your hair before you blow dry is ideal. You won't need too much hair spray if you use this and honestly, I've had the same bottle of
the stuff for two YEARS now. And if I MUST use hairspray, I get the little can of TRESamme extra hold. (Travel size. I find that getting the big can, by the time you've used half of it, it gets really watery and sticky.)
Where to get all of this: The shampoo and conditioner are sold at better salons, as is the Paul Mitchell Thicken up. HOWEVER, I've found that online the prices are a bit better. Amazon is probably your best one stop shop for all of it, plus you know, free shipping, but if you look around you'll find these high end, long lasting products at decent prices. Worth it, especially if you have colored hair.
1) FACE WASHING STUFF
Finally, what is it, then, that I DO use to clean my face?
Are you ready for something shocking?
Okay, to preface this, I have to tell you that since I was twelve, I've been in search of the best way to keep my face clean. I've tried everything: Noxema (good) buff puffs (BAD) acne creams (bad, since I'm allergic to most of the acne fighting chemicals) astringent cleansers (too drying) make up removing cloths (too expensive). You name it, I've tried to use it on my face.
And then I watched an episode of "Mad Men" where Megan Draper (okay, I'll wait for you Mad Men
|Yes, warm water...that's it. That's all this woman needed.|
I, too, would like to look the way a TV writer could write me!
Of course..it's crazy....
Or IS IT?
After that episode I tried just warm water on my face for a few weeks and I realized it was working! My face wasn't dry like it had been, and yet, the oil in my T-zone wasn't out of hand.
I did notice, however, that warm water alone wasn't perfect at removing my eyeliner.
What to do?
And that's when I found a jar of Ponds cold cream Peaches left behind when she moved out. I tried that. BOOM POW, make up gone! SKIN SOFT.
But still, a little oily.
So now, my face regimen is this: Warm water morning and night
every day. Ponds three times a week at night in the shower. Mary Kay moisturizer each morning.
My face has never been better. Seriously. Clean, soft, not oily.
Where to get it: Ponds...check the bottom shelf at any big box store. You don't need a big jar, I've had the same three ounce jar for about six months. Again, a little bit will go a long way.
So that's it. My beauty tips. No, you probably aren't going to be mistaken for a supermodel. BUT, your skin is going to feel better, your hair is going to look better and, since most of these products are going to stretch and last you several weeks or maybe even months, your wallet is going to feel better. And isn't THAT what we all hope for when it comes to beauty?