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.

IMG_1886

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?

the dressing table

On December 30, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

IMG_0264

I like the routines of grooming and preparation surrounding the dressing table, a key player in the (not the literal but certainly the ceremonial) beginning and ending of each day. This for me is almost always some elaborate series of attentions paid to the skin but the full setup* is stocked with all manner of tools and medicaments, cosmetics and paraphernalia. A great deal can be accomplished in this space, particularly in the realm of transformation, and it’s often a meditative process. It strikes me as a private space, too, where I am with myself (with the reflection of myself, too, causing that multiplication/division of identity a mirror always does for me).

*No coincidence that I show you only a fragment, though this is partly a matter of obscuring what the mirror would betray, which is a true, true—as I define it—mess (this, too, is private).

IMG_0320

This, I realize, sort of in conjunction with my bathroom and all its tools and potions and particulars, is the main reason I don’t like to be away from home. My current favorite products within familiar reach. This general arrangement, at once stylized and utilitarian, and the set of routines it facilitates, is one I don’t like mucked with.

Showing you a bit of it as I enjoy seeing how people store things; how their lives, their daily environments, really look. In this no detail is too small to interest me (sometimes it is only the small details that will interest me). I keep this space quite organized (there are cardboard dividers in the mugs to sort pencils and brushes into subcategories, I’d just used the lipstick when I took this), though I change it around often, too, rotating products in and out according to my rapidly shifting whims and preferences.

IMG_0247You’ll spot a number of favorites I’ve mentioned, and more.

x