lady maintenance, i don’t get you

my mother wasn’t the type to teach me to how to do my makeup, talk to me about skin creams or advise me on other aspects of beauty and grooming.  this is amazing because when i was younger those things then mattered so little to me, it allowed me a freedom from worrying about superficial things at a young age. but it also left me a little in the dark.

as i got older most of what i learned about these topics was picked up through reading seventeen or cosmopolitan. and as a young adult, and into a good chunk of my twenties, what i read didn’t interest me all that much. what i think of as “lady maintenance” (eyebrow shaping, makeup application, skin care regimes, spray tans, hair extensions, manicures and pedicures, waxing, etc.) seemed so tedious with the ultimate result of perfection unattainable anyway. completely overwhelmed, i quit before i started. i’ve always been pretty bare bones with all of that, picking up a few tricks as the years passed. i can now keep my nails painted, my eyebrows in line most of the time, and put on my makeup well enough to not look like i’ve just come from the beach.  i’ve got the basics of grooming down, but beyond that, it all gets a little fuzzy.

when we were in greece i went to put lipstick on (something i have only been wearing for the past two years) and the heat of the day had caused it to soften. so it slid all over my lips, and then outside the lines onto my face, as if it had a mind of it’s own.  and in that moment i was so critical of myself, wondering what the hell is wrong with me, why as a woman in my 30’s don’t i know what to do with warm lipstick or how to put it on without looking like a tipsy hag?  i feel inadequate when it comes to these kinds of things. i don’t own a single bottle of perfume, there are only five items in my makeup bag, most days i forget to put on face cream.  does this seem as crazy to you as i imagine you would think it is?  

maybe it’s because I’ve spent the past decade in southern california where to so many, appearance is everything.  it’s made me self conscious- i feel like everyone else knows what they’re doing, has a skin care routine, an appointment to get waxed every three weeks and a medicine cabinet full of potions that i would have no idea what to do with.  and i’m just skating by with the two tricks i’ve got up my sleeve hoping no one notices.  so tell me the truth, DO you have a medicine cabinet full of potions and are you equipped to handle slightly melted lipstick?  or do you feel the same way i do, completely overwhelmed by lady maintenance and like at any second you could be exposed as that kid in the class that likes to eat glue?  it’s a constant state of fake it till you make it, with the understanding that i’ll never “make it”.

i love hearing from you all when i do these kinds of posts, it reminds me that so many people feel the same way, that we all struggle privately but are so far from alone.  i appreciate your comments so much, they really do mean the world to me.  i know there are a million other things you could do with your day besides reading my blog and taking the time to write something kind, then battling a captcha robot to leave a message for me.  and i hope that you read what others have written and it inspires you the way it does me.  *insert spice girls GIRL POWER quote here*  but seriously, thank you so, so much.

*image from la perla

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  1. Kim|

    I'm definitely on the same page as you more often than not. I grew up in Colorado with a mother who doesn't know much more about make-up outside of mascara. I relocated to southern California 5 years ago and sometimes feel like i'm barely staying afloat in a world of designer faces and perfectly trimmed bodies. What i've come to learn though is that i'm much happier when i'm not trying to figure out how the latest miracle product is going to fit into my routine…. being low maintenance fits who I am. As cheesy as it sounds, i've come to realize that the best part of life is discovering yourself… and I'd hate to have to dig through a bunch of layers to do it.

    Great post Sarah!

  2. Jamie|

    I have no idea what I'm doing with that kind of stuff either. I can put on like bronzer and mascara but that's pretty much where I start and finish. I've never even worn lipstick, never mind knowing what to do if it melted!

    I'm still young enough that I can get away with it but I do wonder if I'm supposed to have some wrinkle-fighting regimine like all the mags say. But I'm so overwhelmed but it all that like you I quit before I even begin.

    At this point, I'm just going with moisterize, drink lots of water, get enough sleep. Though I'm still working on that last one…

  3. sarah yates|

    @kim @jamie yay! i'm so glad to know there are others who don't own separate creams for under their eyes! 🙂
    you're entirely right kim, time is much better spent devoted to developing your character rather than your beauty routine. and jamie- your plan sounds good to me!

  4. Sara|

    Haha! This is definitely me! I do coverup, blush and mascara, that's it! My mom just gave me a wrinkle cream (that must have been a hint) she also complains that I don't wear sunblock everyday. Oops! I don't wear perfume, in fact it makes me gag! But I do love keeping my eyebrows in shape. And on other days I'm lucky to have remembered the deoderant!

  5. Caitlin|

    i am the SAME way. i never grew up wearing makeup. the most i would do would be plucking my eyebrows and wearing lip gloss. even now as a 27 year old, i own concealer, tinted moisturizer, mascara, and blush. and i put them on less than 20 times a year.

    i get self conscious, too. if everyone is wearing makeup, maybe i should, too. maybe i look awful. but, this is the thing that always makes me reconsider my self-consciousness: growing up, my dad always told me not to wear makeup. that pretty girls don't need it. and now as a married woman, my husband says the same thing. i do enjoy being girly and wearing it occasionally, but i guess i just can't find it in myself to care on a day to day basis.

  6. erin|

    I'm totally the same way. I'm a 3 product makeup girl with a bottle of acne free skin cleaner and a neutragena moisturizer i forget to put on 1/2 the time. Like you, my mother wasn't superficial at all, her obesity left me with many different thoughts on what beautiful really means and though i would play dress-up and makeup as a little girl, my college days were spent with the just rolled out of bed look and my twenties, also in socal, were spent with a beachy glow and salty hair. Though I do wish I do more to take care of my too-much-time in the sun skin, I don't mind not caring about primping. My husband likes the natural look, so that works out well. I haven't had a full length mirror in 10 years and I rarely ever look in the mirror throughout the day, except to see if I have a little broccoli in my teeth. It's quite freeing not being bound by the superficiality that surrounds us.

  7. Cynthia|

    I definetely feel the same way…my mom didn't teach me any of these things either, and it wasn't until college that my sorority sisters helped me out with things like eye brows, face cream and makeup. I still get overwhelmed, and have yet to even try the regular lip stick thing (lip gloss is put together enough). Hang in there… I've come to just put enough makeup on to feel bright (from the inside), so I go out into the world a little more confident.

  8. Tiffany @ Savor Home|

    I am so with you!!! Outside of lip gloss and lipstick, I have the slightest clue how to apply makeup. That allows me an extra 10-15 minutes of sleep in the mornings, so Im cool with that. My facial products come from the drugstore and I just got my first facial about two years ago. I'm with Kim – sleep, drinking lots of water and keeping stress to a minimum works best for me and keeps everything in check! Plus I honestly believe that a natural person is the most beautiful person.

  9. Brittany H|

    Agreed. I never really learned what to do with makeup, so I've guessed around and now have a routine. I don't know how to change it or if there's a way I could do things "better", but that's alright. I do like to have a light scent to wear every day. I like having painted nails, but if you look close you can tell I did them and not a professional! Having my hair cut and eye brows waxed happens once every few months when I look in the mirror and realize it's gotten past the "unruly" stage. I try to take good care of my skin and hair (by doing very little to it) and eat healthy, and I think that's good enough.

  10. Ashley|

    I've always been the same way but after seeing my dad deal with skin cancer on his face over the past few years I realized I needed to pay a little more attention. So now, if I do nothing else, I at least put on Bobby Brown moisturizer with SPF 25 sunscreen every morning. I also love the Bobby Brown undereye cream. That's the extent of my product use–quick and easy and I've seen major skin improvements over the past year!

  11. Annie|

    So funny, I wrote about a similar theme today on my blog.. how I was never taught anything about makeup and washing makeup brushes etc etc. I, too, have eventually figured out bits and pieces from magazines and such, but still, it seems there are a world of women attending to various beauty tasks that up until a couple months ago I never even considered– filling in your brows- this apparently, is holier than holy and the ultimate necessity for so many women, and I have yet to fill in a brow, foundation…say what? AND SO ON. Point being, you are definitely not alone, and, if you've been getting by all these years with only five products, I'm guessing it's because you don't need any more than those– a lucky, lucky trait.

  12. raya|

    Same same! The only experience I had with make up as a kid was ballet…and that is not really applicable to every day wear. My mom, like yours, didn't really teach me about these aspects of womanhood. Most of what I know I have learned from my younger sister who somehow knows a lot more about these things, or friends in my early twenties. I remember before I got married asking some friends "hey, have you ever gone to get a….bikini wax?" They laughed.

  13. Geri|

    Hi Sarah,

    Being one of your older readers, ( like old enough to be your mom ), I admit I am a prisoner to make up. Raised some where between madmen and that seventies show, and living my entire life in so cal, image was rammed down my throat. I have seen my share of face creams , make up, false lashes, and iodine laced baby oil!
    Working for nordstrom for 13 years didn't help. Always looking the part! Like in a play! I guess that's why this part of California maintains it's " plastic" reputation so well.

    So long story short, I find you and your lack of interest of cosmetics refreshing and real! It must feel empowering to be able to leave the house without make up. While I may have portrayed my self as a clown, I do very little any more. Cetaphil daily cleanser and moisturizer with SPF, a little mascara, eye brows, (because I'm blonde) and lipstick. Both my daughters wear little to none. It makes me happy that this generation is confident without the guise. Now I am relying on my girls to make sure I don't start looking like the gals on the blog " advanced style". Check it out. I love their free spirit, but hope I always maintain a light hand on the make up!

    Geri (lanie's mom)

    still a daily struggle without her, but trying to focus on the 6 years I had "with" her.

    Your getaway must have felt like a little slice of heaven! Welcome home!

  14. Ally|

    Great post! Everyone is so different on this subject! I do like to invest in such a female ritual- I love perfume, nail polish, etc. but I hate spending $100 on a face or eye cream or expensive salon hair colour so some things I either buy cheaper or do at home myself. Lady grooming can get so pricy! Sometimes I would rather buy a dress than a bunch of potions that no one notices! To avoid soft lipstick try lipgloss instead! I wear lipgloss layered over lip pencil (so it stays longer) everyday. I've done this for years and prefer it to lipstick (except when I have a red lip day, red needs to be lipstick).

  15. Jessica|

    i'm a tinted moisturizer (with SPF), mascara (transparent lashes!), tad bit of blush girl. it takes me maybe 3 minutes to do and i find i look more awake. after that though, i am at a loss and totally ok with that! it's weird when i see some of my friends who are heavily into the makeup out without it and i don't even recognize them.

    oh and on a totally unrelated note, could you possibly put a "see more after the jump" or something similar after your truncated posts in google reader? i just realized that they are truncated and i've been missing half of your posts!

  16. cm|

    Your post really struck a chord with me. I grew up a tomboy and with a mother that didn't even use lotion. She thought conditioner was a marketing scheme to separate her from her money.
    I'm 35 and I haven't the slightest clue how to put on anything more than a swipe of mascara. I get a good haircut, pluck my brows, shave my legs when I remember and try to cover up the scars and splotches on my face. But since so much of my time is spent doing things where makeup isn't a viable option (surfing, snowboarding, running, biking), there just doesn't seem to be a point, and who has time to put on a full face while rushing to work after a surf? I'd rather spend that extra few minutes in the water.

    Naturally I always wonder if there isn't some potentially good-looking version of me that could be created with the right cosmetics, and maybe one of these days I'll find out, but I figure anyone that would turn there nose up at me for having a few wrinkles and visible scars (ok maybe lots of wrinkles and scars) and not enough makeup probably isn't worth my time anyways. Besides, I think a man should love what he sees first thing in the morning, so I figure i might a well put it all out there, scars and all.

  17. liza|

    My Mum and older sister are both in the beauty industry (hair dresser & esthetician) so I have a lot of products. A LOT. A lot of products that I have no intention of using or have no real understanding of how to properly apply.
    The things I do religiously are; clean my face with a high quality product, apply daily moisturizer with an SPF and use soap when I wash. : )

    Much to the chagrin of my mother it took me several years to have the daily cleanser/moisturizer ritual.

    Otherwise it's all about how I'm feeling that day. Sometimes I want mascara and that usually goes on while at a red light and driving. (totally safe, don't worry) I have an essential oil that I do use almost daily mostly because I refuse to put those horrible deodorants under my arms and am generally fighting a bit of pheromone scent by mid-day. I love lip gloss and do wear that a lot. I have a nice under eye concealer, some powder, a loose eye shadow (that's really just shimmer) hair goup, an eyelash curler, tons of nail polish, and eyeliner but they are hardly mandatory. I tend to use make up for the days when I feel the need to look a little more rested or for special events.
    I do like to have my toes done but that's not a daily ritual and really has more do with the fact that I do a lot of yoga so my feet can get pretty gnarly.
    When I was living in NYC I started getting my eyebrows threaded. (so cheap! 6$ and fast!) but now that I'm back in Philadelphia it's too expensive to me so I usually wait until I go home and let my sister sort me out. Lucky her!
    I guess my point is that I think make up is nice to have and I do appreciate my good cleanser/moisturizer but I have no interest in making more of them then they are worth…
    I look at it the same way I look at fashion. It's fun and nice but there are days when a t shirt and jeans are all you have in you. Ya know?

  18. Megan|

    I'm 30 and I'm equally as lost in the land of makeup, except on the eye cream issue, I recently bought some in hopes of fighting off those future wrinkles. Face makeup like blush, foundation and a compact just seems a little yucky to me. Putting all that crap on your face cannot be good for it!
    I use face lotion and eye cream, mascara, eye shadow and maybe a little lip gloss if I remember, that's it.
    My mother didn't do much in the way of Lady Maintenance either, and for that, I thank her. The natural look is so much more appealing anyway.

  19. Andy|

    Hmmm. I have to say I don't know how much upbringing has to do with this. My mother was the type that wouldn't leave the house "without her face on" and started tweezing my eyebrows for me when I was 10. She taught me about all those things from an early age, and I look back at my teenage years and think, "how ever did i wear that much make-up???" My mom still to this day sends me products upon products, usually colors that don't work for her, or free gift sets she gets from Clinique or Lancome. Most of them go in a drawer. For the last 15 years or so, I've had a really minimal beauty regimen. I do think sunscreen is important. I wear it everyday. And one gem from my mom–don't forget to put it on your neck and on your hands!! I'm very into burts bees chapstick and my mom will still say to me, "aren't you going to put on lipstick?" She always likes to get a crack in about how I look and if I'm really leaving the house like that. But I think there's something about it that must be generational. And she does always balance it by telling me how beautiful I am.

    Anyways, its interesting to think about. And I guess I'm grateful to my mom that she did show me those things. But, over the years, they just don't seem that important to me anymore. Although, they still do seem quite important in society, so go figure.

  20. Carmen|

    Hahaha. I agree, it's hard to believe that has a lot of girls that can't live without a bunch of make up and creams ( I'm not criticizing) but be natural is so good and free way to go…
    Sarah, I hope you don't mind, but i used one of your pic's on my blog, with a proper link back to your blog 😉

    Check it up at

    Thank's for your posts, always adorable.
    Carmen Cescon

  21. Shelly|

    I feel the same way! Although, I feel almost more self conscious when I wear make-up than when I don't because I never properly learned out to apply it (my ma was an all natural kind of woman as well). I do wear eyeliner but skin moisturizer…do most people wear that on the regular? I should probably look into this!

  22. Krysta|

    I keep my lady maintenance pretty basic… like you, I have about 5 things in my make up bag (a foundation, a mascara, 1 blush, 1 eyeshadow palette) only recently venturing into bold lipstick colors of which I have about 4. My skin care routine is comprised of washing my face with a mild cleanser and the super awesome clarisonic and applying bobbi brown moisturizer. Sometimes less is more. I might have to add a step or two down the road when you get to the point of needing special serums or potions but for now, I'm pretty basic. I rarely ever look very done up- which I personally prefer for myself.

  23. Linn|

    Yup. I'm the girl eating glue too. I've always felt intimidated and extremely shy when having to put on make-up together with other people – even with close friends – because I don't really know how to do it. I'm not ashamed by the result, but the products I use, the way I use them… It's kind of silly. But it's the truth.

  24. Capella|

    What a great post! I'd never thought about it until you'd put it so eloquently, but I agree with the overwhelming-ness of lady maintenance. I like to focus on other things and while I was blessed to have great skin all through my teens and twenties I never needed to learn how to hide flaws or take proper care of my face. Now in my 30s I feel like an awkward teenager navigating my way through creams, gels, tools, and forget about doing anything to my hair besides put it in a ponytail.

  25. Jessica|

    I feel almost exactly the same way! I do, however, love nice perfume. There is something so wonderful about a delicious scent wafting up my nose…makes me feel pretty. When I was younger, I was always so frustrated that my parents didn't let me wear makeup and now that I can wear whatever I choose I could care less. My eyebrows are always a mess, my nail polish chips as soon as I apply it and I am too sleepy to put makeup on most mornings. When I do have enough energy to apply makeup, I have a few things I do. I apply neutral eyeshadow (I like the way it deepens my eyes and gives a sultry look), I fill in my eyebrows, put on benefit's lip tint, mascara and chapstick. Done! I feel like a fraud when I apply more makeup than that.

  26. Jenny|

    Dina doesn't wash her face, nor owns a stick of makeup YET is the MOST beautiful person I know. And as for me, I own every brand and type of makeup you can think of, have purchased every single kind of shampoo with the hope that one will actually make the difference, tweeze, pluck, shave, apply lotion, etc and am still never quite satisfied. THUS, there is no real tangible trick to beautifying yourself……it comes from with in 🙂 And I quite envy you for not being up to your knees in the BS of what our American culture defines as taking care of yourself. You seem to have the perfect ingredients all down right….you nourish your mind, body and soul from the inside……this is what matters most.

  27. Brie|

    First off, I LOVE your blog 🙂 You are SO incredibly talented when it comes to your style, both clothing & interiors, so keep that in focus! I am the same way, clueless when it comes to the lotions and potions and while I have let it bring me down when comparing to others in the past, I can't help but thinking that refraining from all of these chemicals will somehow help me in the aging process by remaining true to myself. I think being low maintenance with this stuff is a great quality and it lets you spend more time on whats truly important life! Keep focused on what makes you happy, you are so talented and lovely as you are! xo

  28. Rachel|

    Where do I even start…my lady maintenance is the WORST. Like I haven't gotten my hair cut in almost a year-and-a-half, and there are a million split ends. That's how bad it is. I've never gotten a mani or a pedi, nor have I ever been waxed (except for one time in college with a DIY kit, and there ended up being some blood involved)…I rarely wear makeup, my eyebrows get plucked about once a month, if that. I don't own any lipstick. I have been painting over my old fingernail polish for the past three months instead of removing the original polish first. I have no skin care or beauty regimen in the slightest (although, side note: I did start using honey face wash recently, and let me tell you, if you want to be au natural but have glow-y skin, that is the way to go).

    Sometimes I wish I did a little more upkeep, but most of the time I adore being free of all that extra junk. I still get hit on, my boyfriend thinks I'm beautiful, and when I do take the time to do a little maintenance, it totally shows, in a good way.

    …I should probably go get a haircut, though. =]

  29. Leslee|

    Sarah, your post was just what I needed! Some days I finish putting on my thirty seconds of make up and think that I just don't do enough to "pretty myself up" but it's my fianc that reminds me that he loves me just the way I am and that I don't need all those extra things. It really is fantastic to have such a loving man that makes me feel beautiful even when I'm in my pajamas. When itmcomes to brow tweezing, I'm the worst! And that will forever bug me. I've tried to get the hang of it but I am definitely one that has to go to a professional to get it done correctly. And quite frankly, I'm not the best at making those appointments regularly. But I am always open to beauty tips and tricks! I will never be the type to cake on the fake-up though… A more natural look is always more flattering in my opinion. Getting dressed up for my Love is always nice though.

  30. Darnetha|

    I feel the same way about lady maintenance, I have no idea what most makeup items are used for. I only use lip gloss and nothing else. I love simple and easy and everything else I don't have time for. I do get my eyebrows waxed cause lets face it I would probably have a unibrow. Since I am approaching my mid-thirties, I called my mom and asked her what she uses to clean her face (while i stood in the aisle at the store confused with all the anti-aging this and that) and she simply said water! 🙂 Love her, I guess thats where I my simple ways. Great post!

  31. Natalie|

    Oh man, you hit home with this one. I didn't know anything about lady maintenance until I started working at a salon in high school, and even that didn't help much. I only wore make-up for special occasions and it was done for me, so when I went off to college and was introduced to a new breed of girly friends (as opposed to my patch skirt wearing friends) I felt like I had to wear make-up all the time. Now I look back at pictures and laugh because I look like a damn clown. Grey sparkly eyeshadow? Really?

    Over the past year or so I have been trying to get into a skincare routine. But it will go well for a week and then next thing I know, I think my make-up from the day before looks fine and then I'm off for the day. Dirtball.

  32. Halle|

    I love this post Sarah!

    I've actually always loved learning and trying new beauty and hair maintenance tricks – but my issue is that I feel like I never do it right. Like, no matter how many magazines I read or fancy tools I buy, my hair and makeup are always slightly off and will never ever look cool/put-together/effortless. And just how you felt with the melted lipstick, sometimes I equate that with my worth as a person and woman.

    It's so refreshing and freeing to hear another woman's perspective on this and know that I'm not alone in this craziness. Thanks!

  33. Kate|

    I am a 20 year old woman living in upstate New York and I love reading your blog because I can relate to you in so many ways. This post is one of them. I hardly ever put on make up and I don't have a skin care routine at all. When I'm home for holidays or special occasions, I sit in the bathroom while my mom applies my make up for me. I could never understand how one is able to apply eye liner and eye shadow while closing their eyes?! To me, that is a skill much like walking across a tight rope. Lately, I've been feeling pressure to start wearing make up because it seems like something I must do in order to be a professional some day. But seeing how successful you are as a professional who hardly wears make up makes me feel a lot better about myself. I'm going to keep doing what I'm used to, and you should too! I think you're beautiful and a true inspiration to me!

  34. Christine|

    I struggle. Every day. I began struggling even more after I gave birth to my daughter, Marlo, almost five months ago. Then I decided to stop struggling. This is why:

    I always wanted to be the girl that looks put together, like she just woke up with glowing skin and not a hair out of place. Hell, I've even tried to be that girl. I would give myself a blow-out, put on eye shadow, maybe even iron my clothes. But every time I would try to be put together, I felt the least like myself. After having my daughter, the idea of setting an example became very clear and even more important to me. Being fake and uncomfortable is not the thing that I want her to grow up learning from me. I had to accept that I'm just not that girl. I typically have a stain on my cut-offs and my idea of styling my hair is waking up with bed head. My beauty 'routine' consists of three things, sunscreen, tinted moisturizer, and mascara. And now, I get compliments on my effortless hair and lack of need for make-up, thankyouverymuch-wink-wink. I've never been happier or more confident because I know that I'm truly being myself and that is the best example I could ever set for my daughter.

    I think that a beautiful woman is someone who is comfortable being exactly who she is, with or without the lipstick. From what I've read, you're absolutely that woman.

  35. sarah yates|

    you all are AMAZING! i loved reading about what works for you and all the sweet, funny and quirky responses. you are the best, i am so lucky to have such a rad group of women reading along! thank you thank you.

    @ally- yes, i'll include that from now on. sorry about that!

  36. Jessica|

    I'm 25 and you can solidly file me under the "clueless" group… I have a make-up routine, and am trying to teach myself about skin creams, but my NO means have any secret tips and tricks.

  37. Kristen|

    Really good post, I can so relate! I've spent the last 15 years trying to figure all this stuff out on my own as my mom is the same as yours. I do now have a medicine cabinet full of items for skin care, mostly because I have terrible skin that made me feel very self-conscious for half of my life. I've finally got a good routine down, thanks to many a dermatologist visits, lots of trial and error, recommendations from trusted friends, etc. I would recommend investing in the following: 10% vitamin C serum, a Clarisonic, and a good moisturizer. Oh, and a good daily sun screen! My fave site for skin care shopping is They have the best prices and you can always get 10% off.

    Make-up is another beast entirely…still trying to figure it out!

  38. Sara|

    Whoah, reading your post was like hearing my thoughts stream out of my head. I have a makeup routine, but it's sooo routine. It never really changes. And that's the frustrating part because you know those nights where you want to look really special, and you've wiped off the eyeshadow you've applied like 3 times already, and you're just thinking, "How can I be in my 30's and I don't know how to wear makeup?!" Oh and those startling beautiful ladies that can wear those colorful lipsticks and make it look so terrific. I try I do, but it always looks so harsh on me. I guess I just try to have fun with it when I can, buy a couple of new things from Sephora here and there, and always trust that your honest unbridled smile can be the best thing on your face.

  39. Kari|

    With you there lady!
    Well, I am the worst at being girlie. Just started using makeup maybe four years ago and my makeup is an all natural mineral base powder, like bare minerals but the all natural version. The one thing that my mom taught about beauty was to moisturize and she never used makeup either. That might be the one thing I will advocate is using skin moisturizer. I once was working with an older women and the one thing she wished she truly made a routine when younger. Making a habit of moisturizing with SPF might be the best a person could have as skin care goes. Happy person, healthy skin, good diet, will be a beautiful person…

  40. My Love Wedding Ring|

    Am so with you on this one! It took me years to come to terms with hair straighteners – even now, they sit gathering dust, though I do at least now know how to use them without giving myself 3rd degree burns (I should add, I am now barrelling towards 40 – really there is no excuse…!)

  41. Rhubarbjamgirl|

    I am exactly the same, although my mum did sit me down and try to teach me how to apply eye shadow and blusher, but I wasn't really interested, and never had the confidence to try wear the (admittedly quite cool, although I didn't know it at the time) look she had done for me.

    Now I pretty much have a bare face most of the time. I exfoliate and cleanse my face in the shower and apply moisturiser if my face feels dry. I do feel like I have no idea what I'm doing, especially if I go out with my very well groomed friends, but I have just accepted that this is me. I have a couple of little tricks, and am now comfortable enough to say "this is the groomed version of me".

    I understand totally where you're coming from.

  42. Cristina|

    I recently went into a makeup shop with a friend. The woman who came over to help us asked me what my ‘cleansing regime’ consisted of. I looked at her, slightly confused. Cleansing regime? “I wash my face in the shower,” I said. “With soap.” She looked horrified, as if I had just committed some kind of crime.

    All this to say, I often feel as if I am ‘bad at being a girl.’ My mother never taught me grooming either, so now I’m afraid I often do the bare minimum. It’s true that I could be better about applying lotions and potions, but then again, there are so many little things I would like to improve about myself every day. One day we will figure it all out!

  43. Chloé|

    Good make up is trial and error. I was a rather late bloomer in terms of make up and fashion… infact even in brushing my hair. But truthfully I love make up these days and I think that you just get used to it. You gotta practise, watch tutorials, ask your girly friends,but most importantly- don’t wipe the make up off straight after you put it on. Even if you feel stupid or look strange at first in bold, bright colours… you gotta get used to looking at it as much as applying it well…

    At the same time, don’t colour your whole face in. If you’re trying something new, then keep something else simple. For example, If you’ve done fancy eye shadow, then stay away from your fancy lipstick… Make one statement with your make up. Just one 😉

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  46. Suze|

    I grew up with a mother who never left the house without “putting her face on” yet she assumed that I just instinctively knew what to do with concealer and rouge. And to this day, I MUST moisturize, so I just use something tinted; lipstick mixed with a bit of Chapstick pretty much finishes my routine. (I’m supposed to wash the brush?!) Mascara smudges, eye shadow smears, blusher frightens me (“Can’t sleep – clowns will eat me!”) and base just looks…no. I have horrible melasma (at least, I think it’s horrible) and I have no idea how to cover it without looking like I’ve spackled my face. Ergo, I just go – slather on some sunscreen and I’m out the door. And as long as I’m not frightening children and small dogs, well, life’s too short, y’know?

  47. Jules S|

    Tinted sunscreen and Facersize. Here in Florida, I work outside in the sun all day so make-up is a no-go but sunscreen is a must, and yes, on your neck and chest too! And Facersize works better than any under-eye cream I’ve ever tried.

  48. Jennifer|

    I am with you all the way! At 44, I attribute the fact that everyone thinks I am much younger to the fact that I didn’t and still don’t use much products or make-up. Exercise and healthy eating also help, but I just can’t be bothered to do girly maintenance most of the time and for years I’ve tried to understand if I was simply missing a girly gene other women seem to have or if I was too lazy, or just simply don’t care. I even feel bad for women who feel like they can’t leave the house without make-up. I can’t imagine being that self-conscious, or to be that insecure. I say Love who you are, and spend your time and money doing things that are more important to you!

    • Nola|

      Read your post, loved it!! 68 years old and I hate all the make up monster myself. I started wearing mascara at the early age of 16, we were told that was the thing to do if we were to ever get a boyfriend. I wore it, but I still hate to put all that gam on my face. I don’t wear perfume either. I believe we were somehow caught up in the make up game and now we are cursed with it. Men don’t wear it, so why she we have to. Why can’t women just be human.

  49. Wendy|

    So funny, I was just thinking how beautiful you are inside and out and how we all go through the same things. My mom definitely did not teach me beauty maintenance, the part I was thinking was how great your style and beauty are that I truly can’t imagine you needing any makeup. Truly you look like a model. I am just starting a blog and I was going to do a post about this very sort of thing. However I read that your pregnant and just started reading your blog-so maybe I’m a little behind however, I have a daughter that despite her parents ended up looking like a model:) however in an industry where we put emphasis on the wrong things I am trying to teach her natural style and kindness are better than keeping up with rituals and belongings. Love your blog, and love your natural beauty and style!