As a child, adulthood seems like it’ll be the ultimate freedom.
Footloose and fancy free. You can do what you want, when you want, how you want, and as much as you want. While that is somewhat true, what adulthood really looks like is a chaotic schedule, work and family demands, struggle with managing everything — and of course, a general neglect of health, wellness, and well-being.
Wouldn’t we all love to soak in a hot bath without interruption or distraction the way we did as kids.
In reality, your self-care is important and necessarily. It’s not just about looking your best — taking care of your body inside and out can have a long-range benefit. That includes the hair, skin, and nails. It can be key to feeling your best in other ways. Confidence often soars when we’ve been pampered, when we feel put-together or cared for.
Don’t just make a case for taking care of yourself about beauty and looking good. It can benefit the mind, body and soul, too. But, it really can be hard to get to these kinds of things.
Believe it or not, it can be done — and caring for yourself can be easier — with a little strategy and solid products that fit the outcome you want or need to receive.
Great Self-Care Is Highly Personal
Part of the problem with your self-care routine is that it truly needs to be dialed into each individual person in their own, individual way. What might work for one person, including process and products, may not work for the next. It causes a lot of people to default to either the most common, cookie-cutter advice — or neglect taking care of themselves all together.
Start by asking yourself what your life is really like. How much time do you have in the morning to take care of yourself, and what needs to happen to make you look and feel your best for the day? How much time do you have at night? It can be four minutes, or four hours. Just be sure to determine this first because it’s what really drives everything when it comes to the self-care routine you need.
Is there anything that should happen during the day, or evening? I.e, reapplying your makeup during the workday to look polished and professional for meetings, or putting hand moisturizer on to help prevent dryness after the 100th time you’ve washed your hands while taking care of your baby.
Next, ask yourself what you would like to do, or look/feel like. For example, do you just want to feel a little more refreshed and put-together? Do you want to combat a specific issue, such as dry skin? Does your work schedule require you to have products on the go?
Make a mental note of this above, or jot it down in a notebook or journal. It’s the critical first piece.
Good Products Precise For Your Needs Make Self-Care More Efficient
What a lot of people don’t realize is that great self-care can be far easier and more efficient with really great products — and products that specifically meet your own individual needs.
For example, a busy mom or executive might find a full face of heavy makeup unfitting and inappropriate for her needs. Enter the tinted moisturizer — which provides a little coverage, a little polish, yet can be slapped on in a few seconds without excessive blending or effort. A bonus? It also adds moisture to the skin. Dewey, I-wake-up-like-this look — minimal effort needed.
This holds true for all self-care products, so choose them purposefully, mindfully and wisely. A moisturizing natural soap can work double-duty in the shower by cleansing and softening your skin. You can combat a lot of issues like dullness and dryness with regular gentle exfoliating.
Consider what you need to have the makeup look you want. Four simple products can make just about anybody look put-together — mascara, a base or foundation, neutral eye shadow and lip gloss. If you do nothing else, aim for these. A cream shadow versus powder can be easier to work with and more efficient to apply, etc.
Take a little time to explore products, talk with sales representatives at the makeup counter, and consider seeing a skincare specialist to get a solid idea of what products are most ideal for you. It’ll be a little more time investment on the front-end — but you’ll likely save a ton of time later in your day-to-day when you most need it.
Try sample products to start so you’re not over-committing to something that doesn’t meet your needs. And don’t forget — natural products are often more consistent and cohesive with the skin, hair and nail’s natural oils, function, etc. Not to mention, natural products can be less expensive.
Limit your product arsenal to ONLY what you need and use. That product graveyard in your makeup bag or under the sink needs to either go — or be put aside and pared down from what you need and use daily. This includes hair, skin, and nail care, and makeup.
Create Both Order And Routine
The last key piece to efficient, easy self-care is to lock-down a routine. It’ll feel awkward at first, but stick with it until it’s second nature in your daily movement. You’ll remember to exfoliate in the shower with a good, gentle scrub without even thinking — and have the perfect product to perform the work.
Create your routine in steps — what you do at each point, when and how. Once you have this fleshed out and on lock, it’ll flow and flex with your schedule. I.e, you’ll whip your makeup on in the car because you’re running late. Include in this a routine, monthly pampering and/or touch-ups, even if only for a few minutes. Something as small as reapplying your nail polish midway through a manicure can make it last longer.
Order and organization is also paramount! Don’t skip this step or you’ll waste precious time trying to find things, or add to fluster and stress.
Invest in good storage from the start, again choosing what works best for your unique life and environment. If your makeup doesn’t need to go with you, keeping it in a drawer in the bathroom or vanity can be ideal. Or, a small makeup trunk, counter top/table top storage, etc.
If your self-care routine needs to go with you, make sure you’ve invested in storage that can move.
Pick chic and stylish storage that fits your taste or decor! It’ll make your self-care efforts all the more enjoyable and uniquely and inherently you.
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Originally published at medium.com