Time Killers: The Beauty Edition

Trying to make the days go by faster so we can get back to normal life when we all didn’t have time to do anything? Beauty distractions can help.

It’s safe to say that some of us are finding ourselves with extra time on our hands this month. You might not be in that position if you work in an essential business (thank you) or have children at home (God bless you), but I know I’m not the only one who is looking for some ways to kill some time. I can only work so much (literally–I have a vestibular disorder that prevents me from looking at screens for too long) and my apartment is already clean and organized, but these days feel long as shit, and I need to make the time pass by quicker and/or keep myself distracted. So naturally, I’ve been upping my beauty game.

I’m going to first tell you about the things I’ve been doing, then give you some other suggestions of things I’ve done in the past or don’t need to do now, but think they could be helpful if you’re looking for some time killers or distractions that will also make you look better or improve your beauty life.

Brushing Up On It. I’ve been using this bath brush on my body a couple times a week before getting into the shower. Dry brushing is supposed to rev up circulation, which I am half sold on, and exfoliate skin, which I am fully sold on. Here’s some info on how to do it. This video doesn’t show it, but I recommend doing your stomach and back as well. I personally skip the chest area because that skin is more delicate, but you do you. Time It Kills: Two minutes.

I’d say there’s about a 50% chance that you own one of these.

Put The Lotion in the Basket (Or On Your Body). Normally, I’m the valedictorian of face moisturizing but am a solid C student when it comes to body moisturizing. I come up with all kind of excuses for myself not to do. “It’s too cold when I get out of the shower!” (in the winter), “I don’t want to to attract bees to my scented lotion!” (in the summer), “I don’t have the time!” (up until mid-March 2020). I did get a little better with it in Charleston this winter because I have more time during my Charleston months and it’s usually not cold, but I’ve been extra good with it since I got back to Newport. I don’t think I’ve missed one day. I’ve been using The Body Shop Body Butter in Coconut, and once I finish that, I have half a tub of their Mango Body Butter to get through. You can’t really see it in my pajamas and hoodies, but I know there’s soft skin there. Time It Kills: Five minutes.

It’s like buttah.

Olaflexin’. I get my roots colored to cover the gray (I don’t have a ton of it, but enough to be obvious), the bottom third of my hair is blue (and needs to be bleached twice a year to get there) and up until recently, I blowdried my hair straight once a week (now I mostly let it airdry and be curly, because no one sees it). That’s a lot of damage to my locks, so I keep them in the best shape possible by using Olaplex Hair Perfector No. 3 every other time I wash my hair. It’s like a suped up leave in conditioner, but it does more than those do. It rebuilds the broken bonds that are caused by heat styling and hair color. My hair looks and feels considerably better whenever I use Olaplex. It says to leave it on for a minimum of 10 minutes, but I usually do 45+ minutes, and I know people who leave it on for hours or overnight. I sometimes don’t have time for this extra step during my busy season, but since things have changed, I certainly have the time. Olaplex 3 is really a miracle worker, and is one of my all time favorite hair products. Time It Kills: It only takes a few minutes to apply and a few more to wash out, and you can do other things while it’s on. I’ll call it a 10 minute total time investment, since you can multitask while it’s processing.

The good stuff.

Multi-Masking. When I’m being my best self, I do a face mask once or twice a week. I guess I’m being my best self now (minus the daily crying), because I’ve been great with the masks. I alternate between the FRESH Rose Face Mask and Clarins Beauty Flash Balm. I can tell the difference in my skin when I’m regularly masking it, so the effort does pay off. Time It Kills: It depend on the exact mask you use, but the whole process will probably eat up about 15 minutes.

Good cop/good cop.

Keepin’ It Tight. I used the NuFACE Mini 5 – 6 times a week for three months as directed, but now I’m past that and into the maintenance phase, where they say to just use as needed. Once or twice a week seems to keep my face tight and toned, so that’s what I do. Time It Kills: Five minutes to use the device, plus a minute or two before to apply serum or aloe and a minute after to remove it if desired.

Personal training for my facial muscles.

Then there are things I already do regularly but you might not. I’m not calling you out, but as a beauty professional, I do some things now that I didn’t do before I was a makeup artist, so I get it.

It’s Come to an End. No, not the world (although it sometimes feels like that). Some of your makeup and beauty products are expired, and you need to get rid of them. If you don’t know when to toss what, have I got the blog post for you! Time It Kills: I’d say 15 – 30 minutes, depending on how much of a product hoarder you are.

Sort It Out. Now that you’ve thrown out the products that are older than your kindergartner, you’ve got something o work with. I suggest sorting them into two piles–the I Use This and the Forgot I Even Had This pile. Sort your makeup brushes and skincare devices too. I’ve got a project for you after this. Time It Kills: I’ll give you 15 minutes.

Play Time: Part 1. Look at that pile of makeup you don’t use. No, really look. Open each product and ask yourself “Why?” Maybe you’ve got a vampy merlot lipstick you’d never wear, but try it on. Now try it on with a different color shirt. Now try it with your hair up or down. Now blot it with a napkin to make it a stain. Does any of that make you like it? If it’s still not you, try layering a nude or pink lipstick over it to make a new color. You might find a way to wear it that you actually like. You can do a similar thing with eyeshadows and blushes. You can mix two colors together to make a new one. You can play around with eyeshadows and eyeliners, using a light shimmery color that’s too much on your whole lids on just the inner corners, or applying a thin line of the electric blue liner at the bottom lashline but using your regular black liner on top.  Makeup comes off, so go crazy! You might find a new way to wear a product you didn’t think you’d like, or you may just realize that no matter how hard you try, terracotta blush does not look great on you. Knowledge is power, boo. Time It Kills: I can see a whole hour disappearing while you play around with makeup.

Go ahead. Have some fun!

Play Time: Part 2. Now it’s time to attack your skincare products, brushes and devices. I’d start by sorting them into three files: Doesn’t Work, It’s Okay and Not For Me. In the Doesn’t Work pile, put your splayed and shedding makeup brushes, your cleanser that never gets all of your makeup off and that Clarisonic that you dropped and has never quite worked the same since. Toss all of that while saying “You’re dead to me.”

The It’s Okay pile should be products and device that work fine, but you don’t really love. So maybe a face oil that makes your skin soft but you’re not wild about the texture, or a body lotion that does the job but takes for ever to absorb. Ask yourself “Can I re-purpose this?” Maybe you designate that body lotion as a foot cream that you use then put socks on, so you can’t really tell how long it’s taking to absorb. And how about using that face oil on your hands, which are dry and cracked from excessive hand washing and will be happy for the healing properties of the oil and won’t care about the texture? (Yes, I did just make your hand sound like their own people.) You can move these products to other places. It’s not a bad idea to have cleanser at the office for a night when you’re working late and know your future self will be so happy not to have to cleanse when you get home, exhausted. Or maybe keep that body lotion at your sister or parents’ house (if they allow it) if you ever spend the night there. Less stuff to pack, you know? If a product or device is good enough for occasional use, keeping it somewhere else (even if it’s just in the downstairs bathroom that you don’t often use) where you may use it is worth it.

The Not For Me pile is for products and devices that you know you will definitely never use or they work but you really can’t get past the scent or texture. If they haven’t been contaminated, you can try passing them off to someone you deem worthy. That’s means don’t give anyone an eyelash serum with a wand that’s touched your lashes or a tub of moisturizer you’ve dipped your hands into, but if you’ve got something that you’ve only touched the outer packaging to–like a bottle of moisturizer with a pump dispenser or a squeeze tube face mask–then go for it. They can disinfect the packaging with a wipe or alcohol, but most beauty products themselves can’t be disinfected. Time It Kills: A good 45 – 60 minutes, depending on how many products you’ve accumulated.

Tubby Time. You should be washing your brushes every 7 – 14 days if you’re using them. You can use a specific makeup brush cleaner or baby shampoo if you only use your brushes on yourself. After you wash your brushes, put them on a counter top or table with the bristles hanging over the edge so they don’t dry with one side flattened. While you’re at it, sanitize any tweezers you have with alcohol. Time It Kills: 10 – 15 minutes.

So fresh and so clean, clean.

New Look. Who Dis? Always wanted to try winged liner, a smokey eye or a red lip? This is the perfect time to practice and perfect! If there’s a technique you want to perfect, there’s a tutorial out there for it. Just make sure you watch tutorials from professional makeup artists, not beauty gurus who aren’t pros. I recommend checking out the YouTube channels for Pixiwoo, Lisa Eldridge and Wayne Goss. KatieJaneHughes on Instagram is also fantastic. Time It Kills: Between watching the tutorial and doing the look, you can easily kiss 45 – 60 minutes goodbye.

Get Buff. Going polish-less while in lockdown? You can still show your nails some love. Buffing is an easy way to make your nails look better without having polish on. Time It Kills: 5 minutes.

It’s your time to shine.

Now Hair, Hair. A leave in conditioner or hair mask can work wonders on dry or damaged hair. If you’re home all day and you’re not in a Zoom meeting and don’t have children climbing on you, maybe you can help your hair out with some repair/moisturizing/color enhancing. There are lots of different hair masks and leave in conditioners out there, so if you don’t have one but want to try one, see if your salon or any local salons have one that you could have shipped to you, dropped off or picked up curbside. Then you can support a local business and improve your hair. A win-win. Time It Kills: 30 – 60 minutes, depending on the products.

I don’t know about you, but I feel better when I look better. I’ve barely worn makeup since March 18, but my skin, hair and nails are looking and/or feeling healthy. And any non-work project–whether it’s using a hair treatment, applying a face mask or buffing my nails–is a distraction and a way to make the day seem a little shorter and a little more enjoyable. That’s reason enough for me to keep up these habits.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

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