How To... Simplify Your Routine

Now that Memorial Day has passed, it's time get into the Summer swing of things. As the weather heats up and the calendar gets crowded, it might be time to simplify your beauty routine. So here are some tips and tricks to consider to that end...

1. Stop using toner. Although skin care sales people will try to convince you otherwise, most dermatologists agree that toner is absolutely not necessary. At most, it might remove any last traces of makeup -- but it is certainly not critical.

2. On the subject of cleansing, try using some foaming face wipes. These are quick and easy to use and do a good job of removing makeup and grease. Karen at Makeup & Beauty Blog had the amazing idea of keeping a pack by the TV so you can wash your face while watching a late-night movie. You'll never have an excuse to go to bed without washing your face again

3. Stop washing your hair so often. Granted, ladies with super greasy hair are a little bit stuck, but for dry, color-treated or otherwise damaged hair, shampooing functions to further dry out, wash out and burn out hair. If things are looking a little greasy at the roots, spray on some hair powder to make it last another day. Besides saving time, hair is also easier to style , the color will last longer and it will actually look better a few days without a wash.

4. Ask your stylist for a haircut that grows out well to delay the time between appointments. Any good stylist should know how to do this or, at least, talk with you about it.

5. Similarly, keep your hairstyle as natural as possible. Time spent fighting the natural texture of your hair is time wasted. If you have curly or wavy hair, stop trying to wrestle it into straightened perfection. Keep it curly/wavy and pull into a loose ponytail or a messy bun. If you have pin-straight hair, congratulate yourself and try one of those trendy hairline braids for some added style. A short hair cut can be great for summertime, but keep in mind that it does require more frequent trips to the stylist.

6. Further shorten shower time. This might be controversial, but my own dermatologist told me that it really isn't necessary to wash the entire body at every shower. He recommended using soap only on certain key areas and just skipping the rest. Since very few of us get farm-hand dirty or sweaty in our daily lives, less soap is probably in order. It will also keep your skin from drying out and will keep your (fake) tan around longer.

7. Try waxing. I'm a big fan of waxing/sugaring for hair removal. If you can tolerate growing your leg hair out so that it is long enough to wax (around 1/4 inch), a good wax will leave you hair-free for 4-6 weeks, thereby cutting shaving from the shower routine.

8. Use double duty products whenever possible. Pick up a tinted moisturizer with SPF. For color, try something like Benefit's Benetint or Posietint ($28) or Stila's Convertible Color ($25), which double as a cheek and lip stain. Or try a tinted lip balm like Alba Terra Tints ($4) or Kiehl's Tinted Balm.

9. Invest in a quality palette. I'm a big fan of makeup palettes in general, but when time is short, they can be a real time-saver. Look for a palette with colors for eyes, lips and cheeks so you literally have everything needed. Smashbox Beauty Guru Palette ($32), or Pop Beauty Goddess Clutch (shown above, $16) are good choices because the colors are great and the packaging is compact enough to carry.

10. Now is the most difficult, but most important part: get organized. Organization is crucial when it comes to time management of your beauty routine. First off, get rid of everything that you don't use regularly or is expired. Click here for a quick review of the shelf life of various makeup products.

11. Next, clear out some space to keep all of your makeup in one or two well-known places. If your makeup is haphazardly strew about your sink area, it's time to invest in some of those nifty plastic organizers. Or, even better, clean out a drawer and get it all out of sight. A streamlined process requires a streamlined toolkit.

12. Keep your everyday stuff in one place, easily accessible and organized. Put the special occasion makeup and the rarely-used makeup brushes off to the side, tucked in a drawer or zipped up in a spare makeup bag. Put the expensive mascara away and leave out only the one you always turn to.

13. Here is a hard one: replace items when needed, otherwise resist the urge to accumulate. If you can't see it becoming part of your every day look, then you probably don't need it. Enough said.

Hopefully, with a little tweaking here and there, you can free up some time to actually get outside and enjoy the Summer weather. If there are tips that you have found to be helpful for saving time, please leave a comment and share!



Shannon said...

I agree with most of your points, but I wouldn't be as hasty to drop my toner. I only cleanse my face in the evenings after days when I wear makeup. I wash with an oil blend of jojoba, olive, and castor oil only, which leaves my skin moisturized without moisturizer or toner. In the AM I use my toner instead of cleansing again — it both refreshes my skin, moisturizes, and sets my skin up to help my moisturizer spread (I can't confirm if it helps it absorb, but certainly helps spread.)

I use Lush's Eau Roma Water toner, but any other non-drying and alcohol free toner would work (although if it has alcohol it's technically an astringent, but whatever!) I think I may try a pure rose or lavender hydrosol when I run out since it is cheaper, and Eau Roma Water is pretty much a combo of those plus fragrance.

I also like to use my toner to finish my makeup (before mascara) and to refresh and reset my makeup throughout the day.

May 28, 2009 at 12:34 AM
Kyl said...

Hi Shannon:

Thanks for your input about the toner. Certainly, some ladies find it very valuable to their routine and have made it work. So I definitely won't begrudge you your success with it! Whatever works!

I have started using a cleansing oil in the past month and absolutely love it. You must mix that yourself -- very cool.
May 28, 2009 at 8:12 PM

Shannon said...

Yeah. I'd heard about oil cleansing method a lot, and wanted to try it, but I only ended up finally doing it out of cheapness. I'd ran out of my cleanser and didn't want to drop another $40 on my usual stuff and conveniently had some EVOO and castor oil laying around the house. My skin ended up loving it. I recently added some jojoba for fun experimentation.

Do you use one of the ones with a built in cleansing agent so it washes clean, or a pure oil blend? (I've debated trying the Shu Uemura kind in the past, which is one of the former, but it's crazy expensive.)

May 31, 2009 at 3:38 PM
Kyl said...

Oh wow. That Shu Uemura oil is ridiculous! I use the DHC Deep Cleansing Oil, which is around $30. It's kind of crazy stuff because it is definitely oily but is water soluble. I usually follow it with a regular cleanser, but that is probably unnecessary. I should write a post about it because I really do love it. Thanks for reminding me!
June 1, 2009 at 10:29 PM

Shannon said...

I'd be interested to hear more about it! I could see keeping something like that as a back up for when I'm too tired to do my full regimen. Using pure oil means I have to use a warm to hot-ish washcloth to remove it. It does remove everything though, and I can vary my formula for deeper cleansing or more moisturizing as I please.

June 2, 2009 at 7:04 PM

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