the morning routine

On February 22, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

There was a post recently on Garance Dore’s blog about morning routines in which a few people chimed in with the key aspects and products of their regimen. I enjoyed this post so much, as I enjoy so many kinds of detailed glimpses into the daily routines and practices of others, especially the ones most often done alone, the result public but the process private.

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The morning routine is the kind of thing that varies widely from one person to another, and from one day to another for any given person. It’s the kind of thing one often doesn’t think much about (rather like, as a small child, for a while it doesn’t occur to you how bizarre your parents are; you don’t know any other parents, you don’t know any other life). These kinds of routines, often established early in life, changing periodically—but perhaps not consciously, perhaps arbitrarily—highly personal and often featuring illogical elements (ingredients you use independent of scientific evidence to prove their efficacy, a faithful order of operations which, if compromised, throws off the whole morning), often entirely unknown to any but you (often entirely uninteresting to anyone but you), are deeply interesting to me.

Here’s my morning routine at the moment:

10 mins: Shower (maybe, if time), shampoo every few days with Klorane Chamomile or Organix Coconut Milk shampoo (not too fussy about shampoo, have a few inexpensive/good ingredient options at any given time, and these change a lot). If my scalp is feeling dry, maybe once every few weeks, I’ll use Phyto Phytéol Intense. Condition with whatever is on hand (these change a lot as well), I like Neutrogena Triple Moisture and the L’Oreal sulfate-free line (the rosemary mint ones), as well as conditioners from Organix and Pantene. For body wash I often use Dr. Bronner’s castile soap. I like the peppermint and eucalyptus scents (not so much the rose), want to try the almond next. Once in a while I’ll get something more luxurious like the La Roche-Posay Lipikar Surgras body wash. Exfoliate with a loofah or sugar scrub. I don’t shave anything without a compelling reason.

1 min: Massage conditioner (this Awapuhi Wild Ginger line from Paul Mitchell smells great) throughout the hair and an oil blend into the ends, throw into bun and pin into place. If it’s humid or I want a bit of added shine and definition, I’ll add some Aveda Brilliant Anti-Humectant Pomade to the top layers.

1 min: Moisturize with a blend of sweet almond oil and brazilian nut dry-oil. Put on underwear. [Possibly also a bra but nothing else. This is key, giving the moisturizer a chance to be absorbed. Also, though, this has been the routine for so long that it feels totally wrong to have clothes on at this point in the process. If I accidentally put clothes on here I get confused (now why did I do that? we don’t do that…) and take them off again.]

2 mins: Wash face, massaging cleanser into skin for a full minute. Currently switching between the Neutrogena Grapefruit scrub (though I think I prefer the one with no exfoliating beads) the Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser and the Murad Time Release Acne Cleanser but there are many I like. [Unquestionably I have too many, as a result of a couple of quests. Nighttime is an entirely different story, with its own set of products.]

2 mins: Brush teeth (I really like my electric toothbrush).

2 mins: Apply moisturizer plus treatments as needed (currently liking this Olay one but not loyal to anything, I like a lot of French pharmacy brands as well), eye cream (one or the other of these Vichy ones, but again not loyal, and not sure if I quite believe in eye cream but, well, I bought it, so I will use it) and sunscreen, lip balm, deodorant (this Vichy one or a Dove one). Tap cream or gel blush onto cheeks (often Tarte cheek stain in Blissful, just with my fingers).  Brush eyebrows (maybe a few quick swipes of Benefit Gimme Brow to define). Apply perfume, currently loving Bruno Acampora Musc for winter but I switch it up a lot (or go without). If I’ve got extra time I may apply a natural, brown mascara like the Almay One Coat Nourishing Mascara. I’ll curl my lashes beforehand if feeling fancy.

1 min: Get dressed.

et voilà

total time: 18 mins

There are extended and severely truncated* versions of this routine as well.

*i.e. dampen and regroup hair, brush teeth, wash face, sunscreen, tinted lip balm or lipstick (which can be later tapped onto the cheeks). 6 minutes.

How about you?

Alternatively, any suggestions for me?

into: lip balm

On February 25, 2013 by theseventhsphinx
the stash

the stash

 

Ah. Lip balm. I have a thing for lip balm.

I love all formulas; waxes, ointments, creams, butters, oils…

I clearly don’t need any more lip balm, but I like to have options (options, options, everywhere) and I always want to try something new (and lip balms are a great way to reach the free shipping threshold…).

Some standouts:

Dior Crème de rose – the latest and most luxurious addition to the stash. Expensive but loving it. After all, nothing is too good for my lips, is how it goes in my mind.

Boots No. 7 Protect and Perfect lip cream – creamy and entirely non-oily, this feels like putting moisturizer on your lips, a lot like the much more expensive Clinique All About Lips, but I think better (and cheaper). In this same vein, many eye creams make great lip conditioners, and some inexpensive eye creams are cheaper than expensive lip conditioners…

L’Occitane shea butter – great multi-purpose skin conditioner. Especially long-lasting effects. This is one I keep by the bed.

Kiss My Face ginger and mango – this flavor is a favorite. I have a powerful affinity toward ginger. This is an especially buttery/soft and smooth stick formula that is great for winter, when a tiny bit of tugging can mean a cracked lip. The Yes to Carrots balm has a similar consistency, and neither is as waxy or firm as the standard Burt’s Bees.

Smith’s Rosebud Salve – it’s basically petroleum jelly with a nice fragrance (I also like the minted rose but do not like the Brambleberry), but I love petroleum jelly, and these ointment-like balms. I forgot to put Vaseline in the picture, but I use it all the time. These products don’t condition but sometimes protection is all that is needed. Aquaphor also good for this. I don’t find the Kiehl’s balm to be much different. I would also put the Murad lip care and  Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream in this category, though they are more nourishing and long-lasting than a plain petroleum jelly. They can all also be used to add shine to eyebrows, lashes, eyelids, cheekbones… versatility.

Nuxe Rêve de Miel lip balm – thick, entirely unique texture that requires a lot of working in, but conditions wonderfully. Expensive but…if you are obsessed with lip balm you will understand how one comes to own these things.

Dr. Lipp nipple balm – basically medical grade lanolin (which I also got some of, not pictured, and which, aside from smelling medicinal, works great), which is protecting and healing. Great for cracked, chapped situations. Note that it is extremely thick. The Molton Brown and Laura Mercier lip treatments (both nice if you can find them on sale…too expensive if not) are somewhere between Carmex and this in consistency.

Carmex – I am virtually never without Carmex. Smells medicinal, I know, and is possibly causing my addiction to lip balm…but I don’t care.

Nivea Olive Oil & Lemon lip care – this is a great stick formula. The texture is a lot like the pai bergamot lip balm, a hard oil that melts on contact and leaves a very thin slick on the lips. No tugging on the lips like with waxy formulas (the Mario Badescu lip balm is the same texture, but the scent is an awful species of herbal). I also like this kind of packaging a lot, and find it much cleaner than the standard chapstick tube. Sidenote that I don’t like the new Nivea lip butters at all, and find the flavors cheap and synthetic.

Korres lip butters – if you can find them on sale and choose a flavor you like (I don’t like a lot of them), the texture is gorgeous, and the tints are high quality (not patchy, surprising color payoff). This is the only product called a lip butter that I actually think is similar in texture to butter. These are superior, though, because they are less oily than butter (which I suppose you could use, but it would be a little Handmaiden’s Tale). I like the guava and wild rose flavors.

I’m really liking the cheapo Wet ‘n Wild juicy lip balm I just got, too. Actually one of the better tinted options I’ve used, though the pricier MAC lip conditioner is also excellent (Oh, they seem to have discontinued the tinted ones…fools).