Sooooo. Routine. I’m kinda terrible at it! For those of you familiar with ayurveda, I have pretty typical vata tendencies (and just by the by, I’m meeting with an ayurvedic doc next week and planning to pick up some tips to share). What this means is that I don’t wake up or go to bed at the same time every day; I can go from being ravenous one week to skipping meals the next; sometimes I’m strong like an ox and full of energy, while others times I feel frail and sensitive. Needless to say when it comes to my beauty rituals I change my products with great, and erratic, frequency. This isn’t exactly the worst thing when your job is to try new stuff, but it’s not the best when you’re also trying to assess results. Just another reason me and the blondie make such a good team!
So here’s a current snapshot…
Age: Old enough to actually forget that I’m 32
Current weather: Dry, sunny, 80ish
Hair: Thick, coarse, curly, with lightened tips (that I still love!)
Skin: A little congested right now but pretty consistent these days, more dry than oily (was once the opposite)
In the shower…
I probably only shower about three times a week if I’m being honest. I also don’t wash my face most days—which is something I’ll get more into in another post. But generally, my transition to clean has ended up with me being, well, dirty. I love water but I don’t think that the stuff coming out of my shower head is necessarily doing me that many favors. I live in a super arid climate and as we’ve discussed in the past, some folks think water in and of itself can exacerbate dryness. I usually take off my makeup with some kind of oil or oil cleanser like this Spieza Organics one. And because I don’t wash my hair, every day is not a new battle to “reset” my curls as it once was—but enough excuses!
Outside the shower…
Hydration is my big move in the morning. Sometimes I spray myself with one of the wonderful hydrosols from Kahina or Tammy Fender and then I reach for the richest cream or oil I have on-hand. I’m out of Tammy Fender Repair Balm, which is nothing short of tragic. I also just finished this incredible eye cream from Odacite that I was using as an all-over face moisturizer—upon the founder’s recommendation—and LOVING (full review on this delicious line to come!). So this morning I opted for a sample of neroli oil from Hope Gillerman. Have you ever used neroli? It’s a new one to me, but it felt nice.
The finishing touches…
Probably the thing I do with the most consistency if I’m leaving the house is my makeup routine. Right now my skin is a little tanned so I’ve been trying to pull off a summery bronzed look. I am completely mad about the RMS Beauty lip shines, especially the “moment” one which I use as a cheek shine. I’ve run out of my beloved Jane Iredale concealer but I’m loving this new one I have (which I’ll tell you guys more about in another post) and use it under my eyes, around my nose and for any other discoloration. If I wear any I’m still partial to my Laura Mercier waterproof full-of-chems mascara. But my most exciting summer makeup discovery has been this Ilia lipstick called Bang Bang. On my lips it reads as a bright, almost electric pink—a color I never thought I could wear—and it’s a total revelation. It goes on all creamy but somehow the color actually holds, even after its wiped off a bit.
As far as my hair goes, you guys know the drill I think. Water and conditioner if I shower, and lately a little bit of this curl cream.
Finally, crucial for a girl who doesn’t wash that often is perfume! As of last week I’m using Honore Des Pres’s Chaman’s Party, which is this woodsy, earthy, spicy scent (with notes of clove and basil) that I simply can’t get enough of. And it’s Soapwalla all day for my pits.
There you have it. Keep sharing your routines in the comments—and by golly I hope to hear from my fellow non-washers!
Food, psychology, health, exercise, beauty, ayurveda, sex, stress, and sleep. (Oh, and astrology.) Those are like the basic-cable channels we flip between: once we get to sleep, we go back to food. Cycle, repeat, cycle, repeat.
I’m of the mind that feeling your best really requires a combination of all of these things, but if I had to pick a single one as the most important of all, I’d pick sleep.
The data on the importance of sleep is incontrovertible: We need it, we need it consistently, and there are specific things—like a routine, black-out blinds, white noise, cool climes—that optimize it. In the absence of good sleep, science says we are at the mercy of cascading hormones that trigger food cravings, cause irritability, lack of focus, emotional fluctuations, and sap our energy—making it harder to do all those other things we know help us feel our best.
A few years ago, I realized I’m one of those 8-hour people. I need my 8 hours, and a disruption of more than a couple days tends to result in undesirable consequences like bad skin and an even worse mood. As such, I try as best I can to be consistent—without forsaking things like, you know, enjoying myself.
I’m not a crazy person about it, but it does take discipline and rigor to keep it up because as anyone who loves a good time knows: there’s always more fun to be had, always one more hour of Housewives, one more chapter to read, one more glass to raise, one more hour of conversation to indulge in.
So in order to keep my sleep consistent, I seem to have, over time, created a bed-time ritual. There are like five things I do every night, and they’re kind of corny and a little embarrassing, but suffice to say somehow, without even noticing it, I’ve created a ritual that totally works! I guess it’s my way of telling my brain: There’s time for activity, and there’s time for sleep. This is the latter.
Some of the things I do every night: I power down all my electronics and turn off the power strip connected to my internet and my giant television; I turn on my fan (even in the winter—homegirl likes her white noise!); I drink some water; I send nice thoughts in my head to people I love or to people who need it.
So now I ask you: What is your non-negotiable-if-you-had-to-pick-just-one-ticket-to-health habit?
And when it comes to sleep: Do YOU have a bedtime ritual?
Here’s the latest from GOOD:
Cosmetics companies just love to sell you on the idea that each new season calls for an arsenal of new products. And why wouldn’t they? It means you’ll ditch your half-finished current bottle of snake oil in favor of one that comes with the same crap on the inside and different claims on the out. Cha-ching.
Of course, it’s true that cold weather and even clock changes can have serious side effects for skin. But if you’re the sensitive type, switching out your entire regimen—i.e. risking reactions to new products—right when the temperature is dropping, is likely to do more harm than good. In fact if your skin is at all finicky, we strongly advocate sticking to routine in this area.
So how to beat your winter skin woes? Click “Next” in the slideshow for tips that will matter most for winter skin.
Illustrations by Brianna Harden