Thursday, January 14, 2010

high-maintenance b*tch...

I'm pretty meticulous and obsessive about my clothes, but one thing I really don't spend too much time, money or thought on is my beauty routine. High-maintenance, I'm not. I think I've been using the same products, styling my hair, and wearing my make-up the same way since I was 17.

I've always found my wardrobe to be the facet of my life I'm most focused on building up and spending time and money on. Eyeshadow? Not so much. $30 shampoo? I don't even dye my hair. My beauty routine is pretty basic and very low-key, but I have some tried-and-true methods and products that every girl, high or low maintenace, can benefit from...

1. I love being tan. Love it. Need it. Feel sickly and gross without it. However, in an effort to be better to my body, this is the first winter in a while that I have not used a tanning bed, and I'm going to try and stick with my resolution to stay away from the cancer box. Since I can't jet off to warmer climbs for a natural tan, I turn to the bottle. There are a lot of faux tanners out there, and most of them smell horrid. Jergens Natural Glow, anyone? Woof. My go-to gradual tan product that can be sort of illusive is Dove's Energy Glow lotion. It actually smells pretty great and builds a tan over about a week. And the bottle is big and a much better value than Jergens or those tiny bottles of instant-tan that can often streak and stain clothes.

2. This is sort of a silly tip that I picked up as a teenager from 17 magazine or something, and you may know it already, but when you run out of shave gel/cream, you can substitute your hair conditioner. I'm one of those girls that just uses my soap suds, but every now and then when I want my legs to be super-soft, I use just a little of my Pantene conditioner. Neat, huh?

3. The winter months can be really brutal on your kisser. Instead of over-applying lip balm throughout the day, I keep a small tube of Aquaphor in my purse. It's described as something to put on cuts and abrasions and really dry skin, but it works wonders on the lips. This product is healthy for your lips but also adds a pretty and natural shine. I apply it in the a.m. after I brush my teeth and it keeps my lips soft and moisturized through an entire shift in the air-conditioned dry-out central that is Anthropologie.

4. My favorite make-up product has always been mascara. I think I've tried every drug store brand out there. Volume has always been my big draw, much more than curl or length. As a beauty minimalist, I have never felt compelled to drop the big bucks on products I could get for less - with very similar results. Mascara is one of these. (However, bronzer, for me, is not. That's a non-negotiable. I've had Nars, Chanel, Laura Mercier... and my favorite of all has been Cargo.) Anyway, last Christmas, I got a gift certificate to Sephora. Imagine my excitement at the prospect of finally purchasing new luxury-brand make-up! I replenished my beloved Cargo bronzer, and bought Dior Show mascara. All I can say is, it's a beautiful thing. My lashes are full, black and soft. I believe Dior Show runs about $24, and in my opinion, it's worth the splurge.

5. Uhhhh, I don't really have a fifth tip. Isn't that sad? Drink lots of water. I bought myself a Camelbak water bottle that I carry everywhere, and as a result I drink a lot more H2O. And I think it really does make my skin look better. Not to mention gives me energy fights of the yawns. And... Baby powder in the greasy hair. You guys know that trick already, don't you? Obviously. How about waterproof eyeliner. It stays put through all the sweaty dancing at the Frontier Room. I use Prestige because my mom does, and its just a perfectly smudgy black pencil and it costs like $4 at a drugstore near you. Speaking of borrowed from my mom, Burt's Bees makes a lip balm/stick/gloss thing in a color called Merlot that initially scared me, but now I love it. It's really easy to blend with your finger, it's not too bold, and it moisturizes. Holler.

So, that's about it. If you guys have any brilliantly easy and low-key beauty tips, bring 'em on in the comments.

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