How are you doing with your 2016 resolutions?
Though the start of the year is always full of promise when making yourself better is your main project, it typically lacks its luster after a few weeks or months into the year.
A good way to keep at it is breaking it down into smaller, trackable routines that hopefully grows into a habit.
Each week, I have a beauty routine assigned for each day from Monday through Friday (weekends are all about fun and relaxation). You may think that that's too time consuming but I tell you, each routine doesn't take no more than 20-30 minutes. So instead of watching shows on TV that doesn't really feed our minds, or browsing our Facebook newsfeed snooping on other peoples' lives, or mindlessly surfing the internet, why not spend this time investing in ourselves and cultivate habits that make us more beautiful and radiant as each week passes?
Below are the things I try to incorporate daily each week. Just try it and stick to it and you'll literally notice a difference in as short as 3 weeks. It doesn't matter what time of day you do it for as long as you do it. I also try to change up the products I use to avoid being monotonous. I either use some of my own products, Matcha Skin products or other brands or I whip up my own from scratch. There are a bunch of recipes you can find online esp. on Pinterest.
Monday: Facial Mask
I didn't used to have a regular routine for facial masks. I usually just used one when it randomly pops in my head that it's been a while since I've done it or when I start noticing some skin problems on my face.
I actually started these Monday facials from June of last year (yes, I track it) and it has made my face clearer without needing to go to a spa for a $100 facial. That same amount could go very far if I invested it instead on ingredients and products I use doing it on my own at home.
I still have 4 different store bought face masks on hand and I alternate them each week. After I've used all 4 consecutively, I try to whip up my own au naturelle. I'm not a fan of elaborate concoctions. I like sticking with simple but potent ingredients, those that work doubletime. My favorite is some Matcha powder mixed with Manuka honey (or regular honey), bentonite powder (I'm lucky to have this on hand as I use it for making Matcha Skin and Happee Body products) and a tiny bit of water. I mix them all up until I have a smooth paste, apply it on my face, leave it for 20-30 minutes (sometimes if I have a lot of time I'll leave it for a whole hour) and rinse it off with plain water.
I usually like to do this in the morning while everyone's asleep so I don't walk around scaring people with my green face and catch up on my reading or check my email or do some admin work while I let it sit, any activity that doesn't require any facial movement.
This habit I started about the same time I started my Monday facial masks and it has resulted in healthier locks. I still have a jar of store bought hair cream on hand and I boosted it by mixing some extra virgin coconut oil and orange essential oil (I love this scent in anything and everything!).
I alternate it with a mixture of coconut oil + honey or olive oil + honey. Every now and then I'll do an apple cider vinegar wash to prevent flaking. Whatever blend I use, I simply apply and massage it on my hair and scalp and leave it for 20-30 minutes. Like the facial mask, I'll leave for an hour if time permits. I usually do this at night so I can rinse it off when I take a shower before I go to bed.
I start with dry hair but you can dampen yours if you wish but it's not necessary. It'll soak in the concoction eventually. Some people prefer to rinse if off with just plain water but I rinse it off with some shampoo. I have long hair and I don't like any sticky residue going on my face during the night.
Wednesday: Teeth Whitening
This is one I started recently (just last week) coming from the Pinterest posts on teeth whitening I've encountered over the past months. I have this Pinterest board called "Let's Try This" and it's full of things that, you guessed it, I would like to try at some point. Well, my routine originally just had the Monday Facials, Tuesday Haircare and Thursday Nailcare, so I thought, why don't I kick it up a notch and do something Wednesday and Friday as well so I went to my board, found this and that's how we have Wednesday Teeth Whitening.
So the recipe is really simple, just mix a small amount of toothpaste (what you'd normally use) with 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon hydrogen peroxide and half a teaspoon of water. Mix them well to make a paste and brush your teeth with it for 2 minutes. Rinse with water. I like doing this in the morning after oil pulling (more on that on a later post) when all the gunk in my mouth is all loosened up.
Of course, this routine will end at some point when you've achieved the pearly whites of your dreams. The recipe is good to know though when you start noticing them again turning yellow.
As previously mentioned, Thursdays are dedicated to nailcare. I'm telling you, you don't have to spend a good amount of mooh-lah at spas and salons if you've got your routine right. Say you spend $30 at a nail salon once a month, that's $360 you can spend on more valuable things, or even just saving it for a rainy day.
Whether it involves a DIY foot spa or a fresh new coat of polish or just trimming and cleaning, I make sure I do it thouroughly. Nobody wants germs that create that nasty smell in between our nails. So regular cleaning is key.
I particularly enjoy the days I decide on having a foot spa. My husband gave me a Homedics Bubble Bliss last year and I put that bad boy to good use every few weeks or so. I simply plug it in and fill it with warm water, then I dissolve some Lemongrass + Peppermint foot soak. I'm immediately transported to heaven as soon as it vibrates and that fragrance wafts through my nose. Sometimes I read a book or check my email and sometimes I just close my eyes and pray, have a mental chat with God.
After about 15 minutes, I take my feet out and dry them with a towel. I then lay my towel on the couch (where I usually do this) and prop my feet on them. I begin to scrub both feet (one at a time) with my Lemongrass + Peppermint foot scrub and no square millimeter is missed. I rinse them off in the water still in the Bubble Bliss and wipe them off. Sometimes I use the Lemongrass + Peppermint foot butter but usually, I'm good with all the moisturizing done by the scrub which has honey, olive & coconut oil.
Friday: Cleaning Day
I don't do anything major on Fridays, beautywise, but I do have a thing for checking my tools and supplies if they're in need of cleaning or replacing. Makeup brushes and sponges mostly. You can be consistent with your beauty rituals but if you're using dirty tools, you're just transferring all that nastiness to your face and body. It doesn't even take long, just a quick check and a quick cleaning. Rule of thumb is if you can't remember the last time you've cleaned or replaced them, it's time to do so.
What are your weekly beauty habits? I'd love to hear and try them out!
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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