Have you missed me? Well, I missed you. If you were to ask me where I’ve been, I’d say that I’ve been taking care of the business of living my life. I’ve been working on my friendships, relationships, my blessings, my food, and everything else.
But I haven’t been as consistent in my beauty routine, and so I decided to talk to you today about how important it is to remain consistent in maintaining your routines. Not only for your outer beauty, also for your inner beauty.
Now, I’ve discussed in previous blogs how important my day and night routines are to me because they help me greet the morning and welcome in the night. My daily routine gives me the confidence to seize the day and make great things happen. My nightly routine allows me to disconnect from the day and calm my mind enough to get ready for sleep. Together, these routines help me achieve my ultimate goal of balance.
However, sometimes life can get in the way of your goals to be consistent. A fastball here, a curveball there, and suddenly you’re so far off-course with no way out. Sometimes you come home late from work and you don’t feel like doing your nightly self-care routine. Other times, you’re rushing out the door, and all you have time for is moisturizer and sunscreen. It happens to all of us.
So how do we keep ourselves heading in a consistent direction? Well, here are my tips for maintaining consistency not only in beauty routines but also in life.
Set an Intention-Make a conscious decision to form a habit.
Ease Into the Habit-This is key. Don’t go blowing tons of money at the beauty counter and use all of it in one night. Your face will NOT be happy. Instead, get a new sample of a product to try when you have 25% or less remaining in a current one. Try it for seven days. If you like it, purchase it so that you can seamlessly integrate it into your routine once your current product is finished. Do this for all the products that you want to try.
Keep Your Routine Manageable-If you’re someone who likes a simple routine of double cleansing, toning, treating and moisturizing…then stick to it. Don’t follow a 12-step Korean routine because it’s the latest craze. Now, personally, a Korean-style skincare routine has done wonders for my skin, but it’s a lot. There have been a couple of nights where I go to bed after washing my face alone. However, I stick to my routine for the most part because it has brought me great results. You’re more likely to stick to something if it’s easy for you to handle.
Be Open to Adapting Your Routine-Sometimes, you will need an extra layer of something here or there. In the winter, I layer on moisture from the thinnest product to the thickest product, and I always use water-based products before oil-based products. However, sometimes I need something thicker to preserve moisture. I’ll use it. In the summertime, I use one layer of moisturizer…and that’s it.
Stick to Your Routine-Our elders always tell us: “The Reward is in the Routine.” You only get the good results by showing up day in and day out. The same holds true for skincare. It takes at least 30 days to see if a product works due to skin cycles and skin-cell turnover. The Europeans, as well as the South Koreans, know this rule and teach their children this rule…but us Americans still need to understand this.
I hope that I’ve given you something to think about. How do you remain consistent with your beauty routine?
So I’ve been hunkering down in my lab for the the past week working on my skin treats.
¿Qué? Lab? Skin treats? Huh?!
Relax! Let me explain!
Now, if you’ve been following my blog, then you already know that I’m a huge fan of more higher-end, skincare-specialist-oriented skincare and makeup. It works for me. However, I’ll be the first to admit that it’s not the cheapest…or (admittedly) most practical of habits. So I circumvent the cost of these products by making certain products myself. This measure allows me to be more selective about the ingredients that I use, and it’s quite cost-effective in the long run because I can make large batches which will last me for a VERY long time.
Here’s a list of products that I make myself, as well as some examples of the ingredients that I often use to make them. I tend to stick to these types of products because they’re so easy to make, and you can never get them wrong.
Detoxifying clay masks-Listen, I live in Brooklyn and I work in the Union Square area, so my skin is exposed to pollution on a daily basis. Therefore, a clay mask is necessary. I use them 1-2 times per week. I tend to mix clays such as kaolin, red clay, and montmorillonite with activated charcoal, probiotic powder, and fermented rice water infused with detoxing/brightening herbs. This mix keeps my skin smooth and clear.
Exfoliating body scrubs-I’ve always said that a good scrub can make you feel as though you just came back from vacation, and for me, it’s true. For pennies per use, you can create a body scrub from kitchen ingredients. I like to use white sugar and brown sugar with kaolin clay and whatever oil I have on hand. Sometimes, depending on my mood, I’ll even add an essential oil or two. NOTE-NEVER USE CITRUS JUICES IN YOUR SCRUBS. Using this class of ingredients in your scrubs will cause phototoxicity and make you skin sensitive to sunlight. You. Will. Burn.
Bath salts-It took me years to believe in the power of bath salts. I mean, they smelled nice, but I never felt any different. Then, two things happened: (a) I joined a gym, and (b) I read “Sacred Woman” by Queen Afua. Now, in regards to the former, when I started doing my heavy lifting, the nightly soaks became necessary, especially on leg day. As for the Latter, Queen Afua wrote something that really changed the way that I look at bath salts. She said that for bath salts to really work, you have to use a lot. Her suggested amount was 1 lb. I thought that she was crazy, but I tried it one night…and I’ve never looked back. I felt…as though I had just come out of Maracas. Since then, I’ve stuck to a recipe of 1 lb epsom salt, 1 lb pure sea salt, 1 lb pure baking soda, 3/4 cup kaolin clay, and 2 tbsps of activated charcoal. Depending upon how I feel…I may add essential oils to scent it. Use 1 lb of bath salts at a time. It may seem like a lot, but if you don’t taste the salt in your bath water, it’s not theraputic…and you won’t feel anything. Trust.
Body butter-Decadence in a jar. The nice part of this product is that you can use pure butter alone if that’s what you want, or you can add oils to really supercharge its effectiveness. I’ve been making this since college, and I usually mix shea, coconut, and mango butters with a variation of infused carrier oils such as coconut, almond, grapeseed, jojoba, olive, apricot, rosehip, and argan.
Hair oil-Now this is the product that I am the most picky about. I’m big on hair oils because they’re a huge part of my routine for hair health. I also refuse to buy hair oils because 99% of hair oils cointaim some form of silicone, which I’m not a fan of using in oil form. I tend to massage my scalp 4-7 times per week with my blend of infused coconut oil, essential oils, argan and almond oils.
So those are the products that I like to make on my own. Making those five products allow me to save some coin and explore my inner chemist. What products do you like to make on your own?