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Self-Care Routines, continued ...

Aka - girl talk!


Good afternoon, my friends! I hope this day's treated you well. So I was thinking we'd talk a bit more about self-care routines ... we addressed the when aspect (as in, when do we fit it in), but how about the what and the how? I.e. what do you use and how do you use it?

So here's a sort of meme to fill out - just copy and paste, then remove my answers and type in your own. Or skip the meme entirely and just make a few comments as you'd like! You can do it here below, or at your own blog ... that is, if you'd care to participate. :)

I will preface my own responses by saying that ideally I would buy all my health and beauty products at some place like Whole Foods - things that have been ethically tested, responsibly made and minimally packaged - but that's not always a budget-friendly option! I am also somewhat of a stickler for things that work ... in other words, if I like how something feels/smells/works - I stick with it. Consequently, many of these products I've been using for years and years!

Ok, let's start at the top ...


Shampoo: Herbal Essences "Long Term Relationship" Shampoo for Long Hair (With Red Raspberries and Silk)

ConditionerHerbal Essences "Long Term Relationship" Conditioner for Long Hair (With Red Raspberries and Silk)

Note: This brand is very inexpensive, but honestly, these products work really well for my hair type. My hair is longish and wavy (or curly depending on the relative humidity), so I need moisturizing products. This duo leaves my hair soft and manageable, and I absolutely love how it smells! I wash my hair every other day ... daily washings leave it too dry.

Styling products: The Conditioner by Paul Mitchell

Note: I've used this leave-in conditioner forever, and it's all I use after towel-drying my hair. I work in a liberal amount, "scrunch" my hair a little and leave it. I will sometimes apply a little bit later in the day to perk up my curls. I buy the really big container and it lasts a long time. (It's also great for shaving your legs!)

Haircuts - how often? Every 6-8 weeks I get a trim. I've been going to the same hairdresser since before I was married! (Bill sees him too - he's fantastic, and he's become a good friend.) I keep my hair on the long side these days, but I have worn it in a bob and even shorter when the boys were very little. I just have to make sure to have layers because that's what keeps my hair curly. If I let the layers grow out, my hair just hangs and has no "spring." 

Color - yes, no ... or no comment? Yes! My hair is naturally dark brown, but I am quite gray at the part, thanks to my Irish heritage. (Or so I'm told. It could just as easily be from raising three sons!) So I do color my hair every couple of months (my mum does it for me). I use Garnier Nutrisse Cool Tea, a "medium ash brown," which is as close to my natural color as I can get.


Eye makeup remover: Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover

Note: I love the convenience of those little pads you can buy in jars but they really irritate my eyes. I finally found this brand that is very gentle and still works very well.

Facial cleansers: Purity by Philosophy

Note: My mum turned me onto Philosophy - and I absolutely love it. This cleanser is sooo gentle and it can be used by all of us. (It's kind of non-gender specific and it smells quite mild, nearly fragrance-free.) I like gentle products because my skin can be sensitive. I just use this in the shower and again at night with warm water.

Anti-aging products: Miracle Worker Miraculous Anti-Aging Concentrate

Note: When I turned 40 I started thinking about anti-aging products, but I really didn't know what to look for. And as I have sensitive skin, I didn't want to use anything harsh. My mum actually gave me her bottle of Miracle Worker to try last year, and I absolutely LOVED it! It really improved the texture and tone of my skin. So naturally, I've continued using it! It is a bit expensive, but it lasts a good long while. I just use two small pumps on my face and neck before applying my moisturizer. I can honestly say, more than anything else, this stuff has made a real difference in my skin's appearance. Definitely worth the money!

Facial moisturizers: Oil of Olay All-Day Moisture Lotion

Note: I've used Oil of Olay since I was a teen - I love how it smells, so light and clean. I used to use the pink bottle (original formula), but now I use the yellow bottle (sensitive skin/SPF15). I use it morning and night. I don't use a night cream as I find them too greasy, but I am looking for a nice neck cream - I think age shows here first - so I'd love suggestions!

Eye cream: Not at the moment. They seem a bit too rich for my skin.

Do you get any regular facial treatments? A couple of times a year I get a facial at a local day spa. It's called a microdermabrasion, I believe. I usually have it done around my birthday (I often receive a gift certificate as a gift) and then, if I remember, I have it done again at the end of summer.

Sunscreen: Aveeno Sunblock Lotion Face: SPF 70

Note: I only wear this when I'm spending significant time outside. Otherwise I rely on my daily moisturizer (which has UV protection) as well as sunglasses, and occasionally hats. I do tend to avoid the sun because I burn pretty easily.

Do you do tanning or use a self-tanner? No, I'm really too fair. I'd look ridiculous. (Though I did "tan" a few times in college before proms. Looking back I think I look rather orange, lol.)

--> Makeup <--

Face makeup: No.

Concealer: Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment (Fair)

Blush: Neutrogena Soft Color Blush for Cheeks (Sweet Raisin)

Eye shadow: No.

Eye pencil: Cover Girl Perfect Blend Eye Pencil (Charcoal)

Mascara: Maybelline Great Lash Big Mascara (Blackest Black)

Lipstick/gloss: No.

Lip balm: Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm (Red Dahlia)

Do you use any special makeup tools? Just an eye lash curler, which makes a world of difference!

Notes: I'm not very adventurous when it comes to makeup - in fact, I haven't changed this routine up in years! I don't wear makeup everyday, but any day I'm going out. I find, especially as I get older, even just a little color really brightens up the face.

--> Nails <--

Long or short? Short ... I can't stand the feel of long nails! It's a sensory issue, lol.

Do you wear polish? Rarely on my fingernails, but in the summer my toes are always polished.

Current brand/shade? My fingernails are currently bare, but on my toes I'm wearing Opi Melon of Troy. It matches my favorite flip-flops. ;)

Do you get manicures? No. I did before my wedding, though, and it was lovely.

Favorite hand/foot lotion: Nivea Cream every night before bed. Curel Daily Moisture (Fragrance Free) during the day on my hands which get washed a lot!

--> Body <--

Soap or body wash? Caress "Daily Silk" Body Wash with a shower pouf.

Note: Another item I've used for years - because it leaves my skin super soft and it smells incredibly fresh. Also - and this might be TMI, but - Bill loves the way I smell, and since I don't wear perfume it's due mostly to this. So naturally I don't plan to change my "scent" anytime soon!

Perfume? No.

Note: I was absolutely perfume crazy when I was a teen! But since becoming a mom I find perfume overpowering and EB has a sensitivity to strong smells. So as noted above - I rely on my body wash to smell good!

Body scrub: Trader Joe's Lavender Body Scrub - every once in a while, on the elbows, knees and heels.

Shave or wax? Shave. Waxing is scary!

Shaving lotion: No. (I just use my body wash.)

Razor brand: Venus Embrace

Deodorant: Tom's of Maine Natural Deodorant Stick (Lavender)

Body LotionCurel Daily Moisture (Fragrance Free) 

Note: I am incredibly picky about lotion - it has to feel a certain way on my skin, particularly on my hands. It has to leave them feeling thoroughly quenched, but not greasy - and smooth but not tight. Lol, it sounds crazy, but I know it when I feel it and I've been using Curel for many years because I've found it to be the best. I choose fragrance-free for the reasons stated above. I keep large pump-bottles in the kitchen and bedroom.

Woman's face 1

OK, well! That was pretty darn detailed! I can't imagine I've left anything out, but give a holler if I did. If you'd like to answer the meme (all or any part), or if you'd just like to comment on the general theme, please feel free to do so below or at your blog. (Please leave me a link if you do.)

I hope at the very least this was kind of fun to read ... it was kind of fun to put together!

I certainly don't spend as much time as I once did thinking about these kinds of things, but it's still a part of my life. It's part of being a woman, after all - taking care of ourselves and our loved ones. Grooming isn't always easy to fit in when you're a busy mom - is there any other kind, really? - but it's essential to our health and happiness. I know I feel better about myself and my day, when I've taken time to take care of myself. And that's a good thing for everybody ...

... because if Mama aint' happy ...

(Well, you know how that goes.)

So let me know your thoughts, or if this was entirely tiresome, lol - never fear. You know I'll be back with something completely different tomorrow. That's just how I roll.


Have a good night, everyone ... see you again sometime tomorrow!