Back to Basics Beauty
It is very rare that life slows down and we get a chance to reflect on the things that matter and although life as we know it may have come to a standstill right now, it is so important to remember that self-care is a priority for our minds, bodies and souls to get through hard times.
It means something different for each of us and no method of self-care is wrong as long as it is giving you a boost in wellbeing. For some it is exercising; working out every day doesn’t have to just be about weight loss or muscle gain, it can be about keeping a routine, making sure your body is fit and healthy or simply for strong mental health purely through the achievement alone. For some it is reading, keeping the mind active, learning new subjects and feeling immersed in another world. For a lot of people, it can be making themselves look good. It isn’t just about keeping up appearances, but looking good can help you feel great, and not sinking into a mental slump that can be hard to get out of once you get into the habit.
Whether your thing is exercise, reading or beauty, as long as your motivation is self-care and your goal is to feel positive about yourself each day, then you are onto a good thing and I encourage you to keep up the good work!
The thing with our normal routines is they are a way to keep our time in check, and when it comes to skin care, makeup and hair care we tend to dedicate a certain amount of time each day to doing what we are used to doing to make ourselves feel our best, ready to face the outside world. But when this routine is up in the air it can be difficult to know how to set yourself a new one.
Maybe its time to reset, take a step back and allow our skin, hair, eyelashes and lips a chance to recuperate after years of non-stop makeup application, twisting and styling and really feel the health benefits of a makeup break.
On the other hand, this could be the perfect time to get experimenting! Trying out new things, new way of glamming ourselves up so when the world is back to rights, we can emerge like a beautiful butterfly with a new and reinvented image.
Let’s explore a few tips that may just keep the time passing and your back to basics beauty routine in check.
Skin Care Routines
So, I don’t know about you but time is not usually on my side in the mornings, and on an exceptionally busy day I barely have time to think about much makeup, I do just enough to make it look like I had a full eight hours sleep the night before and didn’t just rely on my morning espresso to bring my eyes to life.
But now with a little more time to spare I’m torn between going au naturel and slathering on my cabinet full of lotions and potions in the hope of silky-smooth skin. So, where is the balance? Well, for my “working from home” skin care routine I like to keep it pretty simple:
• Cleanse with a mild soap or face wash – I have seriously combination skin so dryness around my eyes and eyebrows is very common, but I tend to feel oily around my nose, forehead and chin. Keeping up with the back to basics theme, a mild cleanser does the job of removing build up and oil from a heavy night sleep and leaves skin feeling clean and clear. Embrace a less harsh cleansing routine and if you are choosing to stay makeup free, there isn’t much need for an array of different products that could be causing damage from everyday use.
• Exfoliate a little less – I love to exfoliate my skin, not just my face but my body too. But in the name of going back to basics, it doesn’t feel so necessary right now to put my skin through unneeded stress as often as I usually would.
• Pick a scrub that smells and feels great and give your face a weekly treat without being too abrasive or rushed so that you give your skin an all over and even treat.
• Use a light moisturiser – It is important to feel good and although normal routines may be to cover your face in your favourite anti-ageing serum, this could be the best opportunity to go light and just focus on problematic areas. I always moisturise my neck and that will never change, but now I’m just focussing on my T-zone on my face and making sure my eyes get a lot of moisture through eye creams. Leaving an almost blank canvas for nearly 24 hours does wonders for the skin and allows it to breathe. Especially when most of us are stuck in doors all day, it needs to have the opportunity to shine through naturally to prevent build up of dust and dirt that could cause blemishes.
It may be daunting to think about changing up your normal skin care routine especially if it has always been a tried and tested method and has worked well for you. But remember the purpose of this back to basics beauty routine is to allow your skin to feel a little comforted and fresh. It is definitely important to rid your skin of dead skin cells that can build up and cause irritation but keep it minimal for a week or two to see if your skin glows in ways it didn’t before. You may just be surprised!
Eyelash and Eyebrow Grooming
This one is a biggie for a lot of people and while we can’t visit our usual salon for our eyelash extension infills or regular eyebrow threading appointment, our routines are thrown out of the water. It can be hard to adjust to the fact that our grooming routine is down to us for the time being and, in a way, it may be a good thing that no one will get to see my untamed beasts right now! But we have two options:
Let it all grow – Probably not the one you want to hear but it may be best if you aren’t confident looking after your own brows or lashes so that you don’t cause any damage that your eyelash technician will scald you for later.
Letting your eyelashes grow out is one thing though, letting your eyebrows grow is another thing entirely! And sure, fuller brows are having their day right now but there’s full and there’s full on! After 2 weeks in doors I chose to let mine grow out, I haven’t even so much as looked at my tweezer and I’m going to keep it that way for a little longer. Sure, it doesn’t look great but going back to beauty basics is my aim and I really want to see if the grow out shows my natural eyebrow shape without all the preening. Then it could just be a case of getting rid of a few strays and saving myself money on having them shaped in the long run.
Eyelashes need a little less work right now, my back to basics routine involves not using any mascara and applying plenty of eyelash serum. Xlash have the best solution for this period of staying at home for both brows and lashes in Xlash Eyelash Serum and Xbrow Eyebrow Serum.
They are both perfect products for use at any point in the year but being stuck indoors for the most part right now is a great excuse to get this product out and being put to good use. It works by applying a small amount of Xlash to the roots of your eyelashes or a sweep of Xbrow to the skin through your eyebrows and sinking deep into the hair follicles, helping to repair any damage, encourage longer and fuller lashes/brows and rejuvenating each individual hair for shine and silkiness.
The reason this product brings it back to basics is that it can help repair your brows and lashes within a few weeks so that by the time you need to check in for your salon visit, they will be in the best shape they’ve been in for a long time!
Practice Eyelash and Eyebrow Grooming at Home – If all else fails and you just can’t cope with the lack of grooming during your time at home then it may be time to start putting those potential skills to good use.
Always start with a clean face and if you’re dealing with your eyebrows first then do it after a shower so your pores are open which will make for easier hair removal. And think about using an aloe vera or cooling gel to calm the skin down after you’ve had your way with it. It is not only unsightly to have bare red skin, but it will probably also be a bit sore. Aloe vera will take the pain out of eyebrow grooming. Use a small pair of scissors if necessary, to snip any extra long hairs down to shape and pluck using sharp tweezers aiming only for hairs underneath your eyebrows and not above. When I use tweezers on my brows I tend to stick to the outer edges and keep those neat and tidy, while leaving the rest alone for the most part.
You can always use a pencil to give your brow lines a bit more definition without going too crazy with the tweezers which should keep you going until your next eyebrow appointment! Oh, and don’t forget to apply some of your Xbrow Eyebrow Serum to the main body of your eyebrows after you’ve done with the tweezing, keep them healthy and encourage them to grow in the just the right places.
Eyelashes are pretty easy, again just keep up with your daily applications of Xlash Eyelash Serum and keep the skin around your eyes clean and hydrated with a light moisturiser. If you’re dealing with existing extensions, they will naturally start to grow out and your natural eyelashes will probably welcome the break between appointments.
We like applying makeup because it makes us feel really good, we can change things about our appearance instantly which is great as we all have slight insecurities that makeup tends to hide well. But in this difficult time of being stuck in the house and not much access to more makeup, we are left rationing our existing products or trying to go makeup free.
I personally prefer a face of makeup and although I have the occasional day of applying a full face, I’m really trying to leave it mostly alone to bring my skin, eyes and lips back to life. One thing I have definitely noticed is that my lips are healthier, coming out of winter and not subjecting them to the cold, harsh weather so much anymore has really had a positive effect.
It’s important to notice these little things and see if there is anything else we can do to make sure our faces are just as relaxed as the rest of us as it will really start to become apparent after a break from usual products.
One of my favourite treats is a homemade lip scrub that uses these new healthy lips to their advantage and doesn’t have to compete with the elements to keep them soft and silky. Mix some coconut oil, organic honey and brown sugar in a small bowl, apply it gently to the lips in a circular motion for a minute or two and rinse off with warm water. Then do the same again but without the sugar and leave it on your lips for 5 minutes. When you rinse your lips, you aren’t only left with a nice soft finish but a really sweet smell. Just be careful not to lick them! This will only bring them back to square one.
Another homemade treat is not really a secret but seeing as we have been given so much time at home and in the interest of self-care, it seems very fitting, is to put all my cups of herbal and fruit tea to good use! Once you’ve finished with the teabag and are feeling a little overloaded with tasks, take 10 minutes out for yourself and place a teabag over each eye while you lie there and let your skin soak up their goodness.
Teabags are known to help reduce inflammation and redness under our eyes anyway, so no matter what your choice of flavour, it should do the trick especially for tired eyes. Green tea is famous for its antioxidant properties so by putting them on your skin under your eyes it helps to rid them of impurities and reduce swelling. Give it a try! It’s a perfect treat especially when you’re working from home.
In these trying times where the world has come to a stop and we are all unsure when things will go back to normal, it is really important to take time out for yourself to make yourself feel clear and calm and if adding a few new techniques to your usual beauty routine does that trick for you then keep it up… even when life gets back to normal!