Momcuts, cosmetic hacks and how I effortlessly trimmed my beauty budget
May 28, 2015
I’m sitting in my favorite coffee shop waiting for the barber shop next store to work me in for a fresh summer lob, aka a long bob, aka a mommy cut. It finally turned summer in Denver this morning, and as soon as the mercury hit 71 degrees, I started sweating like a feral creature and decided my 4 superfluous inches of ponytail had to go.
A barber shop, you ask? Yes, but not Merle’s manly corner, or some hometown staple with that iconic stripey pole. Floyd’s styles itself as a kind of hipster unisex salon, and there were plenty of ladies in waiting when I walked in to put my name down. Plus, they do same day appointments and I’m now, at age 32, somewhere beyond Great Clips but not quite to the level of actual salon.
So, fingers crossed that this ends well. (I have stick-straight fine hair, so I can take the liberty of letting basically anyone with a human brain and sharp scissors have at it and expect to end up looking reasonably fine.)
Later this exciting afternoon I will also chug 60 grams of red dye #40 + sucrose and get all my blood work done, so you might say I’m having what they call a “girl’s day out,” just me and the bump. It’s pretty fabulous.
What else is pretty fabulous is this: I realized recently that I’ve basically spent zero dollars on anything for my hair or face in the past 3 months, and I looked up this morning to realize that I haven’t had a single breakout in that time, and that my hair has never looked better.
I don’t think it’s the pregnancy hormones, either, since historically I’ve been plagued with really oily not at all luscious looking locks during the long 9, and usually my face reverts to junior high level hijinks.
So what is different this time?
I’m using almost nothing in the way of beauty products.
I say almost nothing because you can pry my Arbonne tinted sunscreen and bronzer from my cold dead hands, and I do still wear deodorant (Arm and Hammer natural gel stick, for reference), but I haven’t purchased shampoo, conditioner, face wash, or body wash since I really can’t remember.
I didn’t exactly set out to become a personal care minimalist, but when I stopped shopping at Target I suddenly found myself out of my usual hair products one morning in the shower, and so I reached for the baby body wash instead…and I haven’t looked back since.
I’d estimate that in the past 4 months, I’ve actual real adult shampoo maybe 4 times. And conditioner? Maybe twice. And my hair looks amazing.
I’ve dabbled in the exhilarating world of no ‘poo on and off for a while now, but I never had much success with the baking soda/apple cider vinegar regimen. I looked greasy because I was greasy, and the bathroom smelled weird too. For a while I was using my trusty Aztec magical healing clay (you know the stuff) as a kind of hair masque and then rinsing with ACV every other week or so, but I still looked, wait for it…like I was washing my hair with dirt. (Um, because I was. Stuff makes a mean face mask though.)
So why are you telling us this, Jenny? It’s really boring and weird that you keep trying to use edible ingredients in the shower.
I know. But it’s just that my hair never behaves like I want it to, and I thought if I kept plugging away I’d happen upon the right combo of science experiment ingredients and bam, I’d have myself a Grace Patton mane.
And then the darndest thing happened, and it was sitting in the kids’ bathroom all along. This baby wash, used 2-3 times per week, as a shampoo, and nothing else. And my hair looks legitimately amazing. Thanks, Costco for carrying it in a double pack.
And now for the face. Now, I do still use Arbonne’s spf oil free day lotion (do not buy this from Amazon, buy it from my bff Elizabeth and get it way cheaper than this), morning and night (weird, I know, but I like the way it feels) but I’ve started washing my face with an actual old school bar of Dove. Which costs like, I don’t know, $1.35, and I can literally scrub it directly across my mascara-smeared eyelids – like take the bar itself and smear it on like eye black – and the mascara washes right off. And all the rest of my makeup. And my skin looks amazing and I’ve had zero breakouts since I began doing this.
Your takeaways from this post should be thus: 1. my deeper thoughts and more nuanced material apparently only come out when my children are actually mewling about my ankles trying to beat the laptop out of my hands, so maybe it’s good that I don’t get out more? and 2. I’ve spent approximately $50000 too much on beauty products during the last 2 decades, and I feel deep regret.
But my skin looks great.
Any stupid beauty hacks of your own to share? (I should probably also mention the baking soda-whitened smile I’ve been meaning to reclaim. I’m coming for you, pantry shelf.)