It’s been about two years now since it became clear that I was definitely no longer a beauty blogger and I haven’t even posted a selfie since October 2016. I never wanted to fit neatly into one blog category, beauty was just something that I got so involved with that meant it only seemed natural to focus on it for a period of time. In fact, in reality, I never really wanted to be a blogger, funny how things pan out.
Now I’m no longer working exclusively with beauty brands in my personal or professional life, things are different and a lot has changed, I’m also re-learning who I am as being a beauty blogger became such a huge part of my identity and it wasn’t healthy for me personally. I don’t attend blogger events anymore and I don’t receive endless supplies of free products, things in my beauty world have changed a lot! I do still love beauty, but my priorities and circumstances have changed. I’ve had a complete overhaul of my regime as I can no longer afford to buy some of the luxury products I was accustomed to trying for free and I have so much make-up now that I don’t feel like spending my precious spare income on yet more make-up, when I’ve got much bigger plans in my head and other things give me more joy these days than a new lipstick.
Illustrated self portrait in the style of Alice in Wonderland.
So here’s something a little different for you today, a totally honest beauty regime from a 29 year old ex-beauty blogger. For further context, I’m a freelance writer & creator currently based in Barcelona with a minimal budget and a busy mind. Naturally, working from home has meant that my appearance has become less important to me day to day, but it hasn’t stopped me continuing to enjoy aspects of beauty when it comes to looking after myself and experimenting with style.
They say you should cleanse, tone and moisturise twice a day. Do I do that? No. I usually wash my face in the shower using warm water (or cold when it doesn’t get warm) and Dr Bronner’s Pure Castille Soap (currently the Rose one) because it’s the same product I use for shower gel and I like it, sorry Caroline Hirons, I know you’ll be disappointed in me. It’s easy and I like the results, in fact this multi-use natural soap has quick become a staple in our house, you can also use it to do the dishes! If I feel like my skin is dull I’ll exfoliate either with a DIY coffee or sugar scrub or remnants from my dwindling beauty blogger pile, most of them are out of date. If I’m removing make-up I usually use Coconut Oil and a hot flannel or a lurking Micellar Water, because I don’t have anything else.
I’ve re-purchased Avene Eau Thermale once since I used up the beauty blogger stockpile (I’m not sure how I ended up with so many!), it’s expensive for a spray bottle of posh water and it was a treat but I like it as a toner and for refreshing skin when it’s hot or air con is taking it’s toll. Especially nice in Barcelona’s humid Summer. When I remember to, I use Sukin Facial Moisturiser which I purchased because it was affordable and I liked that it seems a natural brand, free from a lot of so called “nasties” which is always my beauty preference. Around once a week I’ll use the Sukin Anti-Pollution Facial Masque which was purchased at the same time, it was cheap and the ingredients sounded appealing. I usually do a face mask whilst in a bath, which sees the return of Lush Bubble Bars, despite my love/hate relationship with the brand.
SPF? I haven’t figured this one out yet really, I don’t worry about it even though maybe I should. I’ve got a Lily Lolo Mineral Foundation with SPF 25 for if I’m outside for longer than an hour I’ll make sure I use this. I have a La Roche-Posay Oil for sun protection on my body that a friend left behind when he was visiting on holiday. If I’m planning to sit in the soon for longer, I’ll be more cautious and venture into my stockpile of goopy, cheap sun lotions.
For the past two years I’ve used exclusively SheaMoisture products to care for and style my hair. I got most of the products for free via work, but I have happily purchased their products a few times too. I genuinely, absolutely adore them and will continue to buy from this brand when I run out. The brand has a great set of ethics and charitable causes behind them and are still family owned and run. The brand was originally created with afro hair in mind, but so far, every collection I’ve tried from them has had great results on my hair type too. I have naturally straight but very thick and frizzy hair, which as you know has gone through a lot of hair colouring too! This is basically a lesson to not stick to the marketing messages of a brand, read the ingredients and try new stuff even if you’re not sure it’s for you, a lesson learnt from beauty blogging and marketing for sure!
I absolutely love the SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Leave In Conditioner, a tiny amount on the ends of my hair helps keep my style smooth whilst piling it on makes an awesome treatment, especially when I’m prone to wearing my hair in plaits. It’s really helped me restore health to my hair during a big hair dying break. For general washing and conditioning I’m happy with any of their ranges so far, but the SheaMoisture Superfruit Complex collection seems most suited to my personal needs most of the time.
I don’t use any heated styling tools on my hair, I use a hairdryer maybe once every six months if I’m in a rush to dry my hair and that is it. A slick of leave in conditioner, coconut oil or a spritz of SheaMoisture Fruit Fusion Texture Spray is all I need before either popping in a head scarf, plait or bun in my hair. These styles keep my hair protected and in good condition, particularly as I’m prone to using hair combs, sticks or clips rather than the usual elastic and bobbypin combo. These are styling lessons I’ve learnt from the afro and natural hair community, they have some wise tips for anyone with frizzy or damaged hair.
I’ve spent a long time thinking about how much body hair I’m OK with, it seems ridiculous how much time women think we need to spend on de-fuzzing when that hair is something functional and totally natural. I tried to go hairy but I just did not feel pretty with it, so now it’s gentle, low cost DIY grooming for me! Whether that hairy legs complex is down to years of glossy magazines and TV showing us plastic legs or not is another conversation.
I had my first ever professional leg wax last Summer, it was a waste of money as well as being uncomfortable and slightly embarrassing, why do women do this to themselves on a regular basis?! A friend suggested I tried epilating instead and I’ve been using a Braun Silk-epil 5 ever since, the first time was painful, but now I’m used to it, I do not use this on my bikini or arm pits though, the pain isn’t worth it for me! Maybe you’ll be chill with it, I am definitely not. Epilating is low effort, lasts well and I can deal with the extra ingrown hairs as a side effect as my skin much prefers it to shaving. You’ll spend a chunk of money to buy the thing, but you’ll quickly make it back from the money saved on waxing or razors, which also makes it more eco-friendly too!
I use Dry Body Brushing as a technique of physical exfoliation as well as a way to boost circulation. It’s a one time expense that is worth it. In addition to this I make my own DIY scrubs to use in the shower as can’t justify buying one when these handmade solutions work so well for me. I don’t often remember to moisturise, but when I do I’m working my way though more Beauty Blogger remnants, including an Antipodes Delights Hand & Body Cream which I would love to repurchase, even though it’s not really in my price range. Good old Coconut Oil or Aloe Vera Gel always works for me when there isn’t anything else.
I’ve recently started painting my nails on a regular basis again as I do still love nail colours. I do a DIY manicure around once every two weeks as this is how long they normally last on my nails, I favour Barry M Cosmetics and Illamasqua colours, but haven’t purchased a new colour since I stopped beauty blogging. The last colours I bought with my own money were from Orly and China Glaze which I rate too.
My main love is make-up I love playing with colours and wearing bright lipstick. Heavy make-up isn’t an option when you live somewhere hot, it’s just not worth it, so here’s where I’ve cut down the most. I use Lily Lolo Mineral Foundation in Candy Cane mainly (this is me returning to the first foundation I ever bought!) although I have plenty of beauty blogger swag that I’m working my way through too, I especially like my Becca and Daniel Sandler bases. Blush is usually whatever pink or red lipstick is close by and I’ll pop on mascara if I feel like it.
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Matte liquid lipstick is still a regular look, using mainly Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks because they stay put, this is where most of my personal beauty spending has gone in the past two years. I’ve bought two, one full size and a gift set of minis was also gifted to me by Miz. I keep buying things from Kat Von D, but I still have mixed feelings about her as a role model and about the brand being owned by the same group as Sephora. I really like blue mascara so have been using up Eyeko Black Magic Mascara in Midnight Blue. On rare occasion my signature flicks and a pop of colour will make an appearance thanks to Illamasqua Precision Ink and a variety of Sugarpill and Phee’s Make Up Tips eyeshadows and highlighters.
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Things are simpler now when it comes to my beauty regime, but I’ve found some brands and products that have my loyalty. I miss getting to try new releases and discovering new brands via blogging, but life goes on. Who knows what the future will hold. Don’t conform to peer pressure, do what works for you and the pieces will fall into place. It’s good to have a beauty regime, we all know that self-care is important to good mental health, but don’t beat yourself up if you can’t keep up with what’s hot, fashionable or deemed necessary.
Hope some of you found this interesting, I’ve popped in some affiliate links on related products should you want to support me in this way, if not Google will show you the way to any of these products. This article was written for free, for myself. As a freelance content creator, every little helps from genuine fans and readers, so thank you in advance if you do support via buying something on an affiliate link. If you’d like help in another way, you can check out my Etsy store or new brand from Miz and I, Food Scouts.
@wearefoodscouts & @KitschInc. Digital Marketing & Creative Direction. Illustration, writing, creativity & style. Fan of films, TV, cartoons, colourful hair & clean beauty. Blogger since 2009.