I'm of the belief that the most important (and effective!) types of beauty routines happen long before a makeup brush ever hits your face. It's more about what you do each day than it is what you put on once in a while — but before we get into all the little beauty routines that make someone's look incredible, we need to talk about what "beauty" means, and what "looking good" implies, because it is a layered and nuanced and often sexist thing that we rarely discuss, because makeup and fashion is fun! And it should be! But we can't always parade around teaching girls how to blow their hair out better at the cost of subconsciously teaching them that curls aren't gorgeous too.
The number one beauty trick is that you need to do what make you look the most, well, you. That is what truly defines someone's look as gorgeous — when they, for example, work with their natural hair, not against it, or they only wear a bright lipstick each day because their lips are their favorite feature, and they dress because they love the clothes — not because it's what's "in right now." All of these things are what create not just any look, but ~your look~, and so when I talk about beauty routines, they are suggestions that are intended for you to adapt for what works for you – not to adhere to whatever it is that works for one person.
So with all that said and disclaimed and explained, here are a few things you should consider doing more regularly than not — I'm not one to believe that beauty is pain, but I do think it is often found in the little things:
I do not care who you are, what you do, what your life is about, all I know is that from my completely speculative assumptions, every damn person on Earth is dehydrated, and not only does it make you feel like crap, it dries out your skin. Drink water.
Use Multiple Lotions As A "Fall Asleep Faster" Bedtime Routine
Keep them by your bed, and before you close your eyes, put different lotions on different parts of your face. For example, anti-aging under your eyes, Vaseline on your lips, shea butter on your T-zone, or whatever it is that works for you. What will end up happening is that you don't want to mess it up so you will stay still and end up putting yourself to sleep.
Use Natural Products And Ingredients You Have Laying Around The House
I find these to be more effective than anything: I use lemon to cleanse and take the brassiness out of my highlights, Vaseline as a moisturizer (no, I don't break out — super dry skin, nothing has worked better), coconut oil as a shaving cream, a mix of sugar and honey as an exfoliator... the list goes on. If you can't eat something and be fine, you probably don't want it on your body, either.
Don't Do So Much So Often
Wash your hair only every third day, and definitely stop shaving every single day. You're wearing down the natural oils on your body and drying yourself out for no reason (and third day hair is the best hair ever).
Use Deep Conditioners On Dry Hair
Put a little on your ends before you go to bed – it will be too much on your roots, but at the same time, just applying a little bit for two minutes while your hair is wet in the shower usually just leaves it greasy, not nourished or soft.
Do Your Own Highlights With A Toothbrush
I promise this works: get a quality lightening bleach from a beauty supply store, after the mix is made, empty it into a bowl, and then go through your hair piece by piece using a small toothbrush to distribute the color.
When In Doubt, Go For A Slicked Back High Bun And A Lip Color
It is the easiest and fastest way to look put together even if you are a hot mess with grown out roots and chipped nail polish.
Images: Giphy (3); Pexels