Historically, I am no stranger to a complicated beauty routine. There are several steps morning and evening: brows, lashes and lips at a minimum, and all of the above plus elaborate eyeshadow and contour when I’m feeling creative. Despite having more time on my hands than ever, I’ve found that simplifying my routine – and throwing a few new products in there – has been my M.O. in self-isolation.
In case you care to join me on Kondo-ing my beauty regimen and try a few simple but entertaining new things in the process, I’ve listed the products that have been sparking joy lately in this gender-neutral guide below. There’s something for enthusiasts to newbies alike. Should you decide to purchase any of these products, we recommend ordering online – stay moisturized and socially distanced!
Stick It to The Man
I fell in love with these stick masks several months ago while Sephora had them on sale. Guess what? Still on sale! I love a luxurious face mask, but not the waiting around for it to dry or set part. These handy little things are travel-friendly (though you better not be going anywhere but your bathroom mirror with them right now) and work their magic in five minutes.
It’s a simple luxury I enjoy throwing into my morning routine when a typical cleanse is not enough. Watermelon is my favorite of the bunch and has added extra moisture to my skin, which tends to dry out as the seasons change and temperatures fluctuate. Plus, as one reviewer pointed out, the green bamboo one makes you look like Shrek. Who doesn’t want to look like Shrek, if only for five minutes?
Maybe If We Didn’t Spend So Much on Avocado Moisturizer, We Wouldn’t Be in This Situation
If you’re one of the millennials the media loves to skewer for spending your hard-earned cash on plates and plates of avocado toast, wait til you hear about this skincare trend: avocado as an active ingredient. Now you’ll never be able to buy a house!
I kid, as this is actually an affordable, gel-like moisturizer from St. Ives with hydrating avocado alongside other natural ingredients. I was hesitant to buy this – do I want to smell like a side of guac all day? But it actually has a clean, slightly sweet smell that dissipates after application. I’m even going as far as to call this a dupe for – dare I say it – Tatcha Water Cream, but for a fraction of the price. You heard it here first, everyone.
Shockingly, There IS One Thing You Should Be Washing Less Right Now
Washing my hair is one of my least favorite daily tasks. But since college, I’ve been able to train my hair from needing to be washed every day to only once or twice a week. Sound gross? It’s not! I still shower every day, don’t worry. In fact, now is a great time to train your hair to be less oily so you can wash it less. You can find a handy guide here on how to do so via Southern Living.
As the guide states, you’ll need dry shampoo. For those unfamiliar with its wonders, this powdery spray absorbs excess oil and adds volume to your hair. This Dove variant is my favorite by far: affordable and clean-smelling, it also makes updos, ponytails and the like much easier by adding texture and grip.
You’ll also need a shower cap and a trusty brush you don’t mind getting coated with dry shampoo. A wet/dry brush is best, and can easily be cleaned with shampoo. My personal favorites can be found here and here.
Get Footloose…Quite Literally
Folks, this next suggestion is nasty – but in the same vein as the satisfying, Dr. Pimple Popper brand of nasty. One of my favorite little luxuries is getting pedicures semi-regularly. I miss this ritual and my beloved nail tech, so much. And while I can’t wait to return to her chair, this stand-in will have to do to keep my feet looking decent.
These masks wrap around your foot for anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes, depending on which variant you choose. For the first few days, you won’t notice anything other than maybe your feet being more moisturized than usual. But on day three or four, dead skin will start peeling off and falling from your feet in chunks. CHUNKS, I tell you! My personal favorite is the PureDerm brand, but other peeling options can be found here, here and here.
It doesn’t hurt, but you’ll want to resist picking your skin when this does happen. Instead, the best results come from gently exfoliating feet in the shower with a washcloth. Put your best foot forward as we stroll into this global unknown.
Lip masks have increased in popularity and price since I first noticed them on the shelves about two years ago. While you can always use Vaseline (doesn’t taste great though), I finally found an effective, affordable lip product that moisturizes as you sleep in this Wet n Wild version. Work smarter, not harder!
As a bonus, this calming lavender scent is a welcome addition to any bedtime routine. In the morning, gently remove any dead skin with a washcloth, or opt for a gentle lip exfoliant. While no one will really notice, chapped lips are one nuisance no one needs to deal with at this current juncture.