Do you see how queenly I look in the above photo? It’s because I followed my Sunday night beauty regimen that I’ve been doing since Sex and the City was in its original run. For years, whether I had five dollars or fifty dollars to get my supplies together, I’ve been making sure that my final hours of the week are spent doing little things to take care of myself.
In my youth, I referred to nights like these as “Sparkly Plenty” nights, but for awhile I’ve known it as “the thing I need to do in order to feel like I’m putting any effort into my appearance”. This is, of course, the type of appearance that I need to maintain my own respect. This isn’t mandatory or something I do so that I can like, “survive socially”; it’s the kind of upkeep I like to do in order to walk out of the door with (almost) total confidence on a Monday morning.
Here are the four simple things I do to feel like a queen:
- Wash, tone, and apply eye and night cream to my skin – This is technically something I do every night, but on Sundays I do this with extra care. The week makes your skin gross, but the weekend totally wrecks it. Even if you don’t drink or smoke, the extra time you inevitably spend in the sun and smog (if you’re an LA resident, especially) leaves your skin feeling nasty, whether you realize it or not. Daily moisturizing is important, but once you hit your mid-20s, you want to make sure that you’re using a night cream on your skin before you go to bed. I’m dealing with an epidermal Sahara desert, so I pile this stuff on. I also dab a tiny bit of eye cream on for preventative measures.
- Deep condition my hair – I wash my hair and then comb some deep conditioner into it. I like Neutrogena’s Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask. It’s inexpensive, but has an expensive feel and the results are some of the best you can get from a drugstore brand. If you color your hair, you might want to try out L’Oreal’s new line of sulfate-free hair products. I bought the Everstrong Deep Replenishing Masque last time around and while it’s just okay, sulfate-free product is so much less damaging. What I’m using in this photo is a mixture of keratin and cholesterol that was made for me by my friend Sonny. He sold me half a Tupperware container full for a little bit more than it cost him to make it, but you only want to use this stuff once a month or so. (If you’re in the Los Angeles area and you want a great haircut or emergency kertain cocktail, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll set you up with him.) After I apply the deep conditioner to clean, wet hair (avoiding the roots!), I wrap my hair up in a scarf and sleep on it. I read once in a magazine that Brandy does this, too, so I feel very close to her.
- Lotion my joints – I cover my elbows and feet in a strong moisturizer and then slip my feet into clean white socks. Nothing’s nastier to look at than dry elephant elbows and busted-ass heels. I’ve been scraping my feet up on shoes (especially summer sandals) for years, and if I didn’t trap them in cotton/lotion combos every weekend, they’d be ten times worse. A little thing like this makes such a huge difference. Normally I use something like Bag Balm for this, but since I’m out, I used Vaseline cocoa butter, which is so delicious smelling I want to put my foot in my mouth for a better reason than usual.
- Put on some dangly earrings – When the rest of you is a mess, you can make yourself feel 100% better (okay, more like 45% better), by throwing on some fun earrings or lipstick. Since your whole face should be chilling under a blanket of moisturizer right now, skip the lipstick and throw on the biggest earrings you own. This looks unbelievably stupid to almost anyone else who might see you, but as long as you’re feeling good, who cares? Now, I’m serious. Go put on some long earrings (something sparkly!) and tell me you don’t feel way more fabulous! Don’t just remember this tip when you’re feeling gross with deep conditioner in your hair and socks full of lotion on your feet, either. At every job I’ve ever had, I’ve kept a tube of bright red lipstick in my desk so if I was having a bad day, I could go to the bathroom and turn it all around. I’m pretty sure that red lipstick is swagger’s godmother.
So that’s it. Of course I do my nails once a week and I try to shower as often as possible (LOL @ me bragging that I shower – my blogging age is showing itself) and some days I go all out and straighten my hair, but most of the time it’s just a challenge to get out of the door on time while making sure that the dog has water in his bowl. You can leave the house feeling just a little bit more fly if you try and take care of simple things like skin, hair and soul maintenance on a Sunday night while you’re waiting for Ice Loves Coco to come on.
Got any other lowkey beauty tricks that make you feel like a queen?