What Is Your Silliest Vanity?

Every girl, and many a man, have at least one. A silly vanity. A thing that you must do, either for yourself, or before you leave your house, see your boyfriend, get on Skype. The thing that friends and loved ones may sometimes tease you about.

Mine is blush. As clean-faced as I’ve gotten through this process, blush has emerged as the one product I do not like being seen without. I’m loath to admit that I even sometimes dab a little on my cheeks before exercise class.

I just feel like it makes me look so much fresher and healthier, though members of my family have warned it can also look like war paint if I don’t use a light touch. Oh, and the length of my nails can get a little silly too. Let’s just say  guitar is not in my future.

Vanities can also border on strange obsessions, can’t they? For instance, according to lore, Marilyn Monroe would rinse her face exactly 15 times after washing it. And apparently Jackie O would fast for a day if she so much as gained a pound.

So how about you? Is there an absolute must-do before anyone lays eyes on you, or simply something you yourself can’t tolerate?

Do you hate a bare nail, a naked lash? Do you have a scar you hide, or an under eye concealer you feel like a zombie without? Maybe it’s heels, or perfume, or Spanx. Maybe you magic marker your stray grays. The floor is open!

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45 Responses to “What Is Your Silliest Vanity?”
  1. Jenna says:

    Definitely my eye area…. I feel extremely self-conscious in public if I don’t curl my lashes and put on mascara, and a little dab of under eye concealer. It’s silly but I feel that little bit goes a long way.

  2. Sarah says:

    I admit to avoiding seeing people when I have a terrible breakout. This is a relatively new thing for me, actually. Growing up I always had great skin, wore little foundation or concealer. I recently started a new birth control pill and since then, my skin has been out of control. I’ve been staying in a lot more lately as a result.

    I also have some pretty massive scars on my legs from childhood surgeries, and I won’t wear anything shorter than capris, even to the gym.

  3. Rebecca says:

    I have oily skin and I’m prone to little breakouts, for a long long time I would have to use a benzoyl peroxide spot cream on any spots I might have. Even after I started learning about all the bad stuff in skin care I pretty much changed everything except that. I was the one thing I couldn’t live without. Until a few weeks ago when I started doing some serious research and read more about the harmful effects of benzoyl peroxide. I have since chucked it out, but I still can’t leave the house without applying a spot treatment to my spots. Now I just use an all natural one called Breakout Buster from a Canadian company called Rocky Mountain Soap Company. I must say I’ve noticed a difference in my skin it does seem healthier since I’ve stopped using the benzoyl peroxide.

  4. charlotte says:

    i have to have my eyebrows filled in with eyebrow powder. my natural eyebrows are great and a nice shape, just not very dark, so i fill them in to make them look darker. i dont bother at home, but if im leaving the house, 9 times out of 10 i will fill in my eyebrows. eyebrows can make or break a face!!

  5. Stacy says:

    I have hyper pigmentation on both cheeks, right around my eyes. It looks like a light brown mask. So unfortunately, I have to cover that up with Jane Iredale Enlightenment, W3ll people concealer, and W3ll people Universalist #2 every day. Problem is, since I do all that, I look weird if I don’t do my eyes and everything else as well. The gym is the only place I can go and not go through the whole routine without feeling very self conscious. I would love to see a post about dealing with pigmentation issues using natural products-right not I just lay on the sunscreen and cover it up because most of the alternatives (skin resurfacing, hydroquinone, peels) seem so extreme.

  6. Rebecca says:

    Well, I have plenty of vanities, but I don’t think they are silly ; )

    I like my skin to look it’s best and if I have blemishes they need to be covered up, also my under eye circles. That’s the most critical stuff – I’m going nowhere without dealing with those issues. Oh, and I absolutely must not be stinky, I have to feel clean and fresh (even if I’m just at home, actually). I need my hair to look good too, but fortunately I look good in hats! And I have to be wearing an outfit I love – doesn’t have to be fancy, just something that makes me feel good. That might mean a really cute running or biking outfit. Or a favorite pair of jeans and T.

  7. Pepper says:

    Definitely under eye concealer and a little bronzer! have very pale skin so my moons are pretty dark. I’m also really thin so I feel like if I’m out with pale skin and dark moons I look like a junkie. So I never leave home without those two things. Also, if it’s hot out I get self conscious about sweaty pits so I wash them out and reapply deodorant during the day.
    And @Sarah I’m the same way. If I have a breakout I hibernate. I’ve been getting them lately because I went off the pill. My normally clear skin being acne covered isn’t something I cope with well!!

  8. sam says:

    Nude eyeshadow, concealer for eye area and blush on cheeks :)

  9. Dylan says:

    Great post! Good to hear about something like this. Natural beauty sites can be very intimidating and sometimes judgmental about make-up-less self-consciousness. As much as I wish I would be confident without any make up at all, I’m not. My lips are pale and thin so I’ll always put at least some tinted lip balm on. But then since natural makeup can usually be multi-purpose, I’ll quickly put it on my cheeks too. And then I put on some tinted eyebrow gel, because they’re also so pale and thin. It’s a slippery slope.

  10. Erika says:

    Weird or gross: i don’t think I have anything I must do before i leave the house, except brush my teeth!

    In other news, this is the BEST PICTURE. Is it How to Marry a Millionaire? Genius on the picture choices, as always. I actually don’t know how you girls come up with them.

  11. Kat says:

    I’m the same about blush. The two items I absolutely must have are concealer for right on my eyebag lines and beside my nose creases, and my cheek tint. The cheek tint is actually the last non-clean product left that I use on my face. (Eyeshadow doesn’t count since I wear it like once every two months) It’s just so natural looking! Beets aren’t readily available since I moved to Shanghai and I don’t like cream blushes because I’m a little too oily for them to last all day. When I leave the house without cheek tint, I sometimes get people asking me if I’m feeling well. I guess it looks really pale compared to my “normal” look.

  12. Mercedes says:

    I rarely leave the house without some black pencil liner smudged into my lower lashline – that’s probably my number 1. My bare minimum would be RMS living luminizer under eyes, splash of blush, black liner, and curled lashes. Like today, running on 5 hours of sleep…ugh.

  13. Kay says:

    I have a rather large nose and I wear glasses. I always always always make sure that my glasses sit halfway down my nose to make it look smaller.

  14. Naomi says:

    I will leave the house without it, but I will never turn up to work or a bar without mascara. My eyelashes are nearly invisible and my eyes disappear withoout at least a little definition. Next in line, although definitely second to mascara, are eyebrow pencil (almost as invisible as my lashes) and foundation or tinted moisturiser. I love a splash of coloured gloss – something sheer but bright.

  15. Ashley says:

    Pepper and Sarah: I’ve been having the SAME problem lately. Went off the pill recently like Pepper and my normally clear skin just completely broke out, everywhere. :( I avoided going out with friends/family thinking, “next week it will look better…” But it’s been over 3 months and it JUST started to slow down. Though I have to admit nothing worked until I found this site and started using Evan Healey Green Tea mask (it seriously does make pimples disappear) and Simply Divine Botanicals face wash (on sale at Whole Foods! Check it out ladies!). Also, I stopped taking supplements (was doing biotin and silica) and that also seemed to help.
    I woke up this morning after a week of doing both products and it finally is the first time I thought I didn’t look horrible. Yay for NMDL!
    (I still wouldn’t dare leave without my blush and RMS uncoverup under my eyes and on my spots)


  16. Lesley says:

    I second Charlotte, my eyebrows need help! I do prefer to fill them in with a brush and powder eyeshadow. It just makes my face look that much better.

  17. sam says:

    @Ashley, Pepper and Sarah: Check this out, it might be useful:

  18. KarlaKris says:

    Mascara! I do an adventure travel trip every year and that is the only makeup I pack. (Well – lip balm, but to me that’s protective like shoes, not vain like mascara.)

  19. Jo says:

    Okay, so I actually do two incredibly silly things, that I DO get teased about by my friends… However, I don’t really see myself breaking these habits any time soon – weird or not. 1. 95 % of the time when I’m in my bathroom I don’t turn on the lights. My secret s out! There is a lamp right outside though, which is always on, and I light candles sometimes, but I don’t like having the lights on completely. It started almost a year ago when I developed pretty bad hormonal acne, and staring at my horrible skin under harsh bathroom lights terrified my, so… I stopped. And a softer lighting really did, and still does, make me feel so much better about myself. Weird and weirder… My skin is MUCH improved since then, but the habit remains. 2. I also never leave the house without dabbing on some concealer (RMS Beauty Un Cover-Up!) on my lips (on top of lip balm) to tone down the colour, which is a natural, darker pink. I feel that taking out some redness in my lips makes the rest of my face look more even in tone, which I desperately need!

    – Jo

  20. nancy says:

    Since every single women in America wears make-up *no matter when and where,and usually lots of it* I noticed that going barefaced usually brings unwanted attention/comments.. To avoid it and also not be singled out as an oddity I now tend to use a bare minimum of lip to cheeks, AfterGlow concealer. luminizer and mascara:) all clean, thanks to NMDL!

    @ Stacy, please check Rebecca’s DIY lightning formula (she posted a link on the comments’ section for this past Friday Deal). I can assure you that it works. Believe me! I had very noticeable brown spots and nothing that I tried was able to make them go away …that is,until I started using her recipe. It has been close to a year now and I’ve been extremely diligent about it,using @ am & pm. Please give it a try :)

  21. comagirl says:

    Mascara, period.

  22. Rebecca says:

    @Stacy, have you seen the comments from this post? http://nomoredirtylooks.com/2012/03/happy-friday-deal-from-futurenatural-site-wide-savings/#comments

    we were discussing discoloration in the comments, and it links to other posts with comments on my DIY skin lightener, it takes time but does work

  23. Annette says:

    The bare minimum for me would be Jane Iredale brow gel and one coat of mascara. If I did lipstick I would tumble down that slippery slope…

  24. Charlotte says:

    I can’t leave the house without sunscreen. It’s not necessarily a cosmetic product, unless I use a tinted one (like Marie Veroniques Moisturizing Face Screen). But I have the silly quirk nevertheless. This also means I have to wear a lip balm with (non-nano zinc) sunscreen as well. Non-nano zinc is usually pasty, so to avoid the white-lipped look, I wear one with a tint. Right now I’m using Alba Terra Tints in Garnet, but I think they are going to change the formula to something not-so-clean… If anyone has suggestions for a replacement I’ll love you forever!


  25. Shampa21 says:

    I have to have my 100% pure citizen tinted moisturizer. It is my absolute resurrection in the morning. Plus the SPF is included in it so I don’t have to apply any additional layers of goop.

  26. Ariel says:

    Clean, simply styled hair. A bad hair day can ruin my mood, while a good hair day makes me feel more confident.

  27. Alissa says:

    Charlotte, I’m the same as you – I always wear my tinted non-nano SPF. I have a bit of hormonal acne and the SPF helps even out my skin tone. I feel totally self-conscious otherwise – I’ve always had insecurity issues with my skin. It works fantastically as a sunscreen (a big issue for me because I’m very fair!) and I swear my acne heals quicker because of the zinc. I use an Australian brand by my fellow Aussie Elle McPherson – Invisible Zinc. It’s really great and MOSTLY clean – she breaks my heart by using phenoxyethanol as a preservative. I think they might be slowly reformulating it though to leave it out….until then, I haven’t found a better one! So I echo Charlotte by asking does anyone have a suggestion for a clean non-nano zinc SPF (30+ only)?

  28. Alissa says:

    Oh, Shampa – I just saw your comment! Will definitely give 100% Pure a go. I love their mascara and conditioner, so maybe their SPF will work for me too.

  29. Stacy says:

    @Rebecca and @nancy, thank you for the suggestions, and I’ll definitely check out those comments. Do either of you have any thoughts on vitamin c to fade the pigmentation?

  30. Laura says:

    I must put clear mascara on my brows before I leave the house. I discovered it in late high school/early college and have had a tube in my arsenal since. Having freshly shampooed hair is a close second.

  31. Rebecca says:

    @Alissa, Badger just started making an all zinc product, http://www.badgerbalm.com/p-506-spf-35-sport-sunscreen-unscented.aspx

    I haven’t tried it yet but I love their old formula.

  32. Rebecca says:

    @Stacy, I don’t have any experience with vit C in that context, but you could try adding it to a DIY mix – if you try my recipe maybe replace the green tea with vit C (I just threw in the green tea as an antioxidant, it’s not one of the lightening ingredients)

  33. Elle says:

    My vanity rituals definitely depends on where I’m going. I’ll go for a walk or to the post office looking like a crazy cat lady, but if I’m going anywhere where I’m likely to be seen by non-strangers I must do the full SPF primer, foundation, conealer, powder to smooth out and hide acne scars (I’m so pale, they look bright red on me!), and also fill in my silly blonde brows.
    I’ve never felt the need for mascara that other women feel; I can see that my eyes look more open with it, but I don’t feel like it’s a big deal to go without. Before long trips and vacations I get my lashes tinted, it looks natural and lovely and you don’t need to worry about mascara!

  34. Charissa says:

    Kay, that’s an interesting one!! I would try it, except that would mess with my vision and prob trigger a migraine. I thought of getting bigger glasses so that my nose would look smaller in comparison :P

  35. Clara says:

    ….concelear and blush!
    And of couse, i hate bad hair days!! (like everyone, i guess….)

  36. Eva says:

    It’s not that I HAVE to do this, but I most often will – a dab of RMS un-coverup on my nose, to hide those pesky blackheads that won’t entirely disappear (anyone got any good tips for that?).
    IF I have any blemishes I’ll cover them up – I’m intrigued that so many of you mention RMS for that, I thought coconut oil was a, hah, touch and go thing for acne?

    Second sill vanity: my big toe nails – I have some pretty stubborn nail fungus and I can’t treat it with harsh chemicals because I’m pregnant and it makes me *very* self-conscious unless I put polish on. Also, it makes shoes more painful and it’s just a giant ..pain, really – any natural remedies would be appreciated.

    For those suffering from adult onset acne…weirdly, while my skin has never been better (thanks, One Love Organic Balm and pregnancy), I do have one spot (and it’s an old trouble spot..) on my cheek that now threatens to turn into an annoying cystic acne thing – I found that Kate Logan’s Blemish Balm slowly calms it down. For me the Evan Healy Green Tea mask left overnight left me with a giant red welt, it was simply too aggressive for my skin and just inflamed it. The Kate Logan Balm works slower but it does work, especially if you apply it throughout the day.

  37. CCNY says:

    Mascara grooming! It affects the whole shape of your face…..no woman should have to walk around looking like Fu Man Chu.

  38. comagirl says:

    I have to say, I don’t think there is anything wrong with wanting to look presentable when going into public. After all, if I were to lose interest in the way I looked or took care of myself, I would be diagnosed as depressed. So, I don’t think of all of these as vanities, not really.

  39. Charlotte says:

    @Eva: If you want to get rid of blackheads try this DIY: http://frecklestotoes.blogspot.com/2012/02/how-to-get-rid-of-blackheads.html

    It’s really worked for me and my friends! You have to do it regularly, as the blackheads do come back after a few days.

  40. Alyssa says:

    @Charlotte: I looove using that clay for masks!!
    @Eva: Not only does it shrink my pores, but it tightens under my eyes, and I appear more “fresh”. It’s also very decently priced and you get a huuuge tub. My boyfriend picked it out for me and he uses it too! *score*

  41. Dawn says:

    AGH! I always rinse my face exactly ten times after washing it (5 with warm water and the other 5 with cool). Also, I will pitch a fit if someone touches my face. I can’t handle it.

  42. Charlotte says:

    @Alissa Non-pasty, non-ghost white, non-greasy, non-nano SPFs are really hard to find! I adore my Marie Veronique’s Moisturizing Face Screen (looks better than makeup!). And it’s SPF 30. If you want a few more sunscreens that satisfy all the above requirements and are 100% clean, check out this list: http://frecklestotoes.blogspot.com/2011/06/ultimate-sunscreen-guide.html
    I vouch for all of them.

  43. Dee Dee says:

    Oh, I can’t believe I’m admitting this in public!

    I am a convert to eyelash extensions! Every two weeks I lay on a table on 14th street while a nice lady glues 13 and 14 mm lashes to my own, sparse, ones.

    I love them. I swim and run with them, I bike with them and I wash my face carefully while wearing them. What did I do for the first 37 years of life? I just accepted my own lashes. Now, at 39, I can’t imagine not having these.

    Damn bambi look!

  44. Juliana says:

    I have very long thick eyebrow hairs (I love my bold eyebrows but…) I always feel the need to use my little eyebrow brush (the one attached to the eyelash brush!) to tame them a bit before going out and then I manually shape them in the mirror.

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