Low maintenance is a myth. There is a very small percentage of women out there who genuinely don't have to do shit to look flawless. The secret that no one really tells you is that in order to be low maintenance, you're gonna need to be high maintenance. You're gonna need to have a balance of both. When these models and celebrities are giving interviews about their beauty routines and simply say they take their makeup off with wipes at night and use a Neutrogena cleanser, it's never the truth. They're either pushing whatever brand they're representing or they're trying to keep up the image of being low maintenance because they're afraid of being seen as vain. Or they just don't wanna leak their skincare routine. Either way they're lying, just know that. These folks regularly go to spas, clinics, estheticians, dermatologists, etc. for their upkeep. And by doing that, they get to do less work in the meantime in between touch ups and revisits. If you're semi-lazy like me but don't mind putting in the extra work to look cute, then keep on reading. Take a fucking sip, babes.,,
If you're a type 4 natural like me then you know the struggle. You especially know the struggle if you're newly natural and still don't know what your hair loves and hates, and don't quite have a routine for yourself yet. I will be the first to tell you (or maybe I'm not the first) that you don't need a complicated multi step routine in order for your hair to flourish and grow and be healthy. When I first when natural I spent copious amounts of money on unnecessarily expensive products and time on YouTube trying to see what kind of routine I should have for my hair. The LOC/LCO method, prepooing, finger detangling only, moisturizing and sealing with creams and oils, you don't need to do all that shit.
When I was younger I had a popping head of hair before my mom put me on the creamy crack. It was full, shoulder length, and healthy. And my mom didn't do much to it. I asked her what she used on my hair and all she would do is shampoo, condition, deep condition sometimes with the Queen Helene Hair Cholesterol, and then grease my scalp with this. That's another major key that I didn't realize; my hair is always dry and hard to manage because I never grease my scalp! When she told me that it all clicked, cause I never ever remember my hair being this dry and crispy when I was younger to be honest.
*Unfortunately for me and you I'm not even sure if they still sell this anymore because I can't find it anywhere, but there's an olive oil version of this that seems to have replaced the original. I'm still weary.
So just ask your mom/aunt/grandma/whoever cared for you when you were younger what it was that they used in your hair, or even what they used in their hair. Go back to the basics. I can guarantee you it was no more than like 3-4 products and they didn't do all the extra shit naturals do today in order to maintain healthy hair. All you need is a shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer, and grease. Yes grease. Oil personally doesn't do anything for me and I have super thick, dry hair so the next best thing for me is to use a grease that'll seal in the moisture and keep it there. Another great thing about using grease is that you won't need to moisturize often because 1) if your scalp is greased it'll make its way down to the ends of your hair and 2) it sort of coats and lubricates the hair longer than most other types of oils.
Just keep it simple with your natural hair. Leave it alone and watch it grow. You also don't need to overdo it with the constant manipulation of twists/braids/etc. every night. If you wanna preserve your hair and keep it from tangling/matting just do some loose twists or braids, throw on your bonnet (or sleep on a silk pillow case, NOT satin) and call it a night. If you have hair that's anything other than type 4 then I don't know what to tell you in this segment and I don't really care.
Brows brows brows. A bit of a struggle for me at the moment because I used this godawful brow tinting kit that somehow made my brow hairs even lighter and ashier despite the color name being "natural black". My natural brow hairs are that shade of dark brown that's just not dark enough and makes me look washed out if I don't darken them with dye or makeup. Like most days I just can't go without coloring my brows and darkening them in some way. For me, a dark hairy brow is the way to go because it makes me look youthful and alive.
Last year after doing my googles, I came across an article where Dita Von Teese talked about how she tints her black eyebrows with Just for Men beard dye and I was like woooww I should do that too. So I went to CVS and got the shade M-55 Real Black and got to work. I love this shit because it's SO fool-proof and easy to use, all you gotta do is mix equal parts of the color and developer (and you don't need a lot at all for both brows so it'll last you a while), apply it, and let it sit on your brows for 5 minutes. You will be looking crazy on the first day or two so I like to do it on days where I'm off work and don't have anything to do.
After the dye fades from the skin under your brows, your left with glorious black little caterpillars. I'm not gonna be corny like most beauty writers and make a brow joke about how envious Cara Delewhatever would be because no one gives a shit about her. When my brows are tinted it cuts my makeup routine time in half because all I need to do is lightly pencil in the gaps near my arches and I'm good to go. I don't need to darken the rest of my brow because it's already been done. There's true magic in a 5 minute brow touch up every two weeks or so, truly. Get hip.
I love the look of like, thick hairy ass brow and lush fluttery lashes but I can't seem to achieve that look with my lashes. I tried my hand at using falsies (never again, idc, I can't be bothered. If you want my unused Ardell lashes hmu) and it's just not in the cards for me. If you're like me and your archnemisis is falsies, your next two options would be to get lash extensions or to get a lash serum like Revitalash or Lilash. Let's weigh the pros and cons of each real quick though.
With lash extensions, they're generally expensive to get installed plus it costs extra money for touch ups like every two weeks or something. But word on the street is that if you can find a good Persian lady in your area, she'll do a bomb job for cheap that lasts for about 6 weeks before you need a touch up. I can't exactly verify that as I've never had lash extensions and don't know any Persian people in Philadelphia so you're kind of on your own with that one. Sorry.
With a lash serum, you're gonna need coins as well but also patience. The great thing with this is that it's a one time fee of $100 something dollars, cause they're not cheap, and it'll be a few months or so before you'll need to buy another bottle. This video of Nicole Chapman completely convinced me to get into a lash serum of some sort because I've been watching her videos for a while and I can tell her lashes have actually grown. You could also try Latisse (you'll need a prescription for this), Rapidlash, Revitalash, or the Ardell Lash & Brow Accelerator which is waaaayyy cheaper than the aforementioned. The downside to lash serums is that it's gonna take a while to see results and that you won't get the instant gratification of long lashes like you would with lash extensions. Plus in order to keep your lashes long you're gonna have to apply it every night forever, otherwise your lashes will go back to normal. I personally wanna experiment with a serum first and see how long my lashes get before I step into the world of lash extensions and commit myself to the weekly upkeep of it.
If you don't mind shelling out the money, lash extensions would probably be best for you since it's quicker and you really won't even need mascara with these, which will take another step out of your makeup routine. Go figure.
I know that god intended us to have body hair since it's natural and shit, but I just don't want it. Not on my legs, my armpits, my arms, or my pussy. I want to be smooth and hairless and I pray to god your mind doesn't revert to thinking of a child so you can come up with some "that's creepy! why do you wanna be hairless like a child" pedophilic rhetoric because I don't wanna hear it. Work out your issues with yourself and keep it to yourself girl.
Shaving is a thing of the past and I will not allow it in my home in the year of our lord 2017. It's just pointless. In terms of hair removal, I feel like shaving is just a band aid. It only takes care of the hair from the surface and not the root. Same with depilatories. Plus with shaving I need to do it everyday to keep the hair at bay, which is not the wave. I have thick body hair all over and I need for that shit to be ripped out from the root every time it's removed so that it can struggle to grow back each time. Which is why I decided to woman up and try my hand at waxing. I bought some Gigi Brazilian Wax for my cookie and will be trying it soon. I'll let y'all know how that goes, hopefully I don't rip my pussy off.
But the good thing with waxing is that you can go weeks before the hair grows back and you need to do it again, as opposed to having your hair grow back literally the next day after shaving. I find that shaving is just extra labor that is fruitless and ultimately irritates my skin and worsens my keratosis pilaris, and I don't need that in my life. I am already struggling enough. I plan on fully transitioning to body waxes in the near future because spring is coming ladies, and I will not be out here all rough and hairy!
OooOoOO. Obviously if you don't know this by now, you should; skincare is simply everything. It can make or break your makeup and your entire look. Once again, this is mainly for the girls who enjoy having minimal, natural looking makeup and like to spend as little time on it as possible. If you enjoy a beat face with drag techniques and 3 different concealers then this ain't for you. Like at all.
It goes without saying that if you having popping skin to begin with, you can spend less time and use less product when doing your makeup. I found that blending in foundation was a pain in the ass and took some time. It took even more time for me to try to bring the life and dimension back into my skin with contouring and highlighting that the foundation took away. If you wanna avoid having to do all that, care for your skin. It's really that simple. No you don't have to have a 10-step routine (although it's fun and relaxing) but you should be doing plenty of research and be using quality products that specifically cater to your needs and problems. I will say that I'm quite bougie when it comes to skincare and don't care for drugstore products anymore but that's just me.
It also does help to get a facial every month or so and routinely visit your aesthetician but I'm personally broke and don't have the time or money for it right now. But if you have the means I wholly encourage you to do it, it'll only up your skincare game even more. If you put more effort in one area, you can do less in another.
One of my many goals in life is to live the life of an off duty model, just with a different tax bracket. The reason those women I aspire to be are able to walk around with effortless hair and makeup and still look put together is because they spend hella time and money on their skincare with their routines and consistent upkeep. You see how that works? Nothing worth having comes easy, ladies. It's like a math equation sort of (I flunked math every year of my life); if you take the time every now and then to do these things (waxes, facials, etc.) and maintain this upkeep, then like 90% of the time you'll be able to do less. You can think of that 10% as self-care and hygiene really, instead of thinking of it as a chore you'll dread because I know that's what most women do. That's definitely what I used to do. But as I get older I don't mind doing those things, I actually look forward to them. I enjoy taking care of myself and making myself look good. Doing these things every once in a while is really no different from your dental visits and check ups at the doctor when you think about it.
The fear of being seen as vain and a high maintenance diva is a thing of the past. Shout it from the rooftops of how you have 20 steps to your skincare routine and how you get a full body massage every month with a snail goo facial. Being low and high maintenance are not mutually exclusive and do nothing but work fabulously together if you get the formula right.