The Not-So-Glamorous Side to Beauty
I consider beauty blogging to be somewhat a form of escapism. Clean, white layouts with big, bright photographs, beautifully packaged products and dressing tables adorned with empty Diptyque candles housing our rose gold Zoeva brushes. If only everything in life looked as good as our blogs portray! There's another side to beauty, however, that often goes unspoken and with good reason too - it's not very glamorous and even kind of boring. Nevertheless, today, I'm keeping it real with you guys and talking about the steps in our beauty regimes us bloggers tend to shy away from.
Leg hair, underarm hair, bikini lines, unruly eyebrows and upper lip peach fuzz. Let's face it, we've all got hair in places we'd probably rather not! Us girls with dark hair tend to have it a lot worse too. I really admire women who embrace their bodies in its completely natural state, but I can't help but love the feeling of silky smooth skin. I know that feeling itself is a construct of the ridiculous beauty standards society places on women, but being comfortable in your own skin starts with doing what feels good to you.
When it comes to shaving the legs, underarm hair and bikini line, I use the Gillette Venus Breeze razor with the L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil. I use the basic Gillette Venus Original Cartridges with my razor because I find those moisture bars unnecessary when I've already got a separate product that does a better job of moisturising my skin. The L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil is probably as glamorous as it gets here! It's a little on the pricey side too, but I've never used a product that's given me a closer shave than this. Plus, it smells heavenly. I don't always exfoliate beforehand, but when I do, my skin is left feeling its silkiest. The most I shave is up to three or four times a week because any more than that and my skin starts to get irritated or leads to ingrown hairs. I've tried at-home waxing in the past, which worked well for a while, but it was just too messy and I hated waiting for the hair to grow. I wouldn't mind trying laser hair removal on my underarms in the future, but I'm still a little sceptical due to the price and there being no guarantee of good results. I've heard good things about epilators too and I think that'll be something to invest in one day.
For my upper lip peach fuzz, I use the Nair Sensitive Precision Hair Removal Cream, leave it on for ten minutes and then rinse it off. Too easy. For brows, I use good old fashioned tweezers (the Tweezerman Mini Slant) to pluck away the stray hairs. I really love Tweezerman tweezers because they're so sharp and precise, you can really grab every hair, even the tiny baby ones. I've never tried threading or waxing, though I'm really not into paying for beauty services. I mean, I could use that money to buy makeup I don't need!
Thanks to my mum's diligent dentist appointment scheduling, good dental hygiene has been something instilled into me since I was a kid. So much so, going to the dentist is something I actually look forward to! Sure, I skip a night here or there and who didn't wet their toothbrush and lie to their parents when they were young?! I do love that feeling of a good scale and clean though. I've been using an electric toothbrush for about ten years now and I could never go back to manual ones. I pair my Oral-B Professional Care 1000 Electric Toothbrush with the Colgate Optic White Enamel White Toothpaste, which is my favourite. It lathers up nicely, leaves the mouth feeling fresh and does a relatively good job at keeping the pearly whites looking their brightest.
Flossing is just as important as brushing your teeth too. After every checkup, my dentist would always tell me I need to floss more, but it wasn't until my mum told that the food in between your teeth can rot and lead to decay, did it freak me out enough to actually do it on a regular basis! To floss, I use the Oral-B Glide Pro-Health Deep Clean Floss in Cool Mint, which is the best dental floss ever. I guess it's kind of odd to have a go-to dental floss, but I like it because it glides nicely in between the teeth, doesn't fray and is really gentle on the gums. At my last dentist appointment, my dentist was really impressed with the condition of my teeth and was surprised I'd never had braces, it was a good feeling!
I'll use the occasional teeth whitening strip here or there, but it's not something I use frequently as they're often frowned upon by dentists for breaking down your tooth enamel. I'd rather have strong teeth than super white teeth. I'm also not really into mouth wash as regular use of it after getting my wisdom teeth removed at 21 left my teeth feeling weird, so it's put me off. Brushing and flossing with regular dentist checkups is enough to keep my pearly whites in tip top condition, I think!
Odour and sweat
Odour and sweat aren't something I suffer badly from, thankfully, but there came a time in my life at 15 when I eventually had to put down the cans of Impulse and start using an actual anti-perspirant. Drugstore branded anti-perspirants often left horrible stains on my clothes, but thanks to switching to the Vichy 48hr Anti-Perspirant Treatment Roll On a few years ago, I no longer deal with this issue. 48 hours is a pretty bold claim to make (why would you need it to last that long, anyway?!), but it does provide all-day protection and its light, fresh scent doesn't interfere with my fragrances.
Our poor tootsies can often be left neglected, but they put up with a lot day-to-day and deserve just as much TLC. In the shower, I'll give them a good scrub, then a fresh coat of nail polish on my toes when needed and finish off with a foot cream. I use the Soap & Glory Heel Genius Amazing Foot Cream and with its refreshing scent and amazing moisturising properties, it leaves them feeling smooth and soft.
Sun protection is important no matter where you live and no matter what season, but for us Aussies, we have to be particularly more careful where those UV rays are their harshest. Without proper sun protection, not only does it lead to premature ageing, but even worse, skin cancer. A morning skincare routine of mine is never without sunscreen (unless I'm not leaving the house, of course) and my favourite is the Mecca Cosmetica To Save Face SPF 30+ Facial Sunscreen. Providing broad spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays, it's not at all greasy and feels like a regular moisturiser on the skin. It even contains hyaluronic acid, pomegranate extract and Vitamin E, so you know you're doing your skin a world of good with this one. Once this runs out, I'll be switching to the To Save Face Superscreen SPF 50+, which is even more protective. My body sunscreen of choice is the La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Spray 50+. With its lightweight formula, this one also doesn't feel greasy and won't leave a horrible white cast on the skin either. I find the spray pump bottle super convenient too. To get the most out of your sunscreen, you should learn the difference between physical and chemical sunscreens and although summer is coming to an end (noooo!), always remember to slip, slop, slap, kids!
Hot water from the shower can often leave my scalp feeling sensitive and dry. Most of the time, I use cold water to rinse out my hair, but that isn't always favourable come winter. To combat this, I use the Kérastase Spécifique Sensidote Dermo-Calm Soothing Calming Masque every other hair wash, which really helps to soothe an irritated scalp. Sometimes I'll even add a couple of drops of tea tree oil in with it and its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties work to unclog hair follicles and remove dead skin cells. The cooling and tingling sensation feels nice on the scalp too!
What are some less-than-glamorous steps in your beauty regime?