I’ve decided I ought to post a little about my beauty routine, since it is such a large part of my personal style. First, I’ll talk about my skincare routine, since it is the most complicated part of my beauty practices. I’ve based my skincare routine on what I’ve read of Victorian women. I cleanse with a cream instead of soap and use warm and cold water to close pores. I also focus on natural ingredients, like rosewater and lavender, and homemade treatments. I do most of my skincare in the evening before bed and wash only with water in the mornings before applying makeup.
I start by removing my makeup and cleansing. I use Andalou Naturals Lash and Lid Remover and their Apricot Probiotic Cleansing Milk. Both are thick creams, almost like a cold cream but without the nasty chemicals in Pond’s. Even though my skin tends towards oiliness, I find the cleansing milk leaves my skin clean without drying it out, so I don’t need to worry about too much in the way of moisturizer. And it has a lovely apricot smell.
After that, I rinse and pat dry. I might mist with rosewater if I’m feeling luxuriant. Then, I simply massage in some oil. I alternate rosehip seed oil and a homemade oil blend of grapeseed oil, sea buckthorn oil, a little carrot seed oil, and lavender oil. The rosehip seed oil has vitamin A, but is not recommended for daily use on acne-prone skin. I’ve noticed a big improvement in the quality of my skin since I started using it half the time. The homemade oil blend is based on a recipe from Crunchy Betty. I use a base of grapeseed oil because it’s got a lot of linoleic acid, which is better for acne-prone skin. I add sea buckthorn oil for the vitamins and beneficial fatty acids. Carrot seed oil can heal and protect against sun damage, so I add a good deal of that. But it is strong-smelling stuff, so I add lavender for scent, and because it’s mildly anti-bacterial.
This whole routine probably takes about five minutes, but I don’t notice the time. Having an enjoyable, yet not-too-complicated routine makes me look forward to my bedtime ritual. I find that my skin is pretty good, with the occasional blemish when my hormones swing, or when I’m lazy about washing my face. I also like the glow from massaging in my oil right before I go to bed. It makes me feel like a Victorian beauty. Right before I go to sleep, I massage a little homemade beeswax balm into my lips and cuticles.
Because I wash with a washcloth in the morning, I don’t do a lot of exfoliation otherwise, but I do find my skin gets a bit dull sometimes. I try to exfoliate once or twice a week, with a mixture of 1 Tbsp. sugar, 1 tsp. lemon juice, and 1 tsp. olive oil. This makes a very gritty scrub, so I apply it and massage it gently after removing my eye makeup but before cleansing. I rinse with hot water, and then cleanse as usual.
Once a week, I do a mask. I mix about a tablespoon of French green clay with a capsule of activated charcoal powder and enough water to make a creamy paste. I apply this after exfoliating and cleansing and let it stay on 10-15 minutes. The clay and charcoal draw out impurities and definitely shrink blemishes. I then remove the mask and tone with Thayer’s Alcohol-Free Lavender Witch Hazel before applying oil. This weekly ritual leaves my skin soft and clear and helps draw out any makeup that was left behind during the week. I especially make sure to do it after I’ve been on stage that week in heavier makeup.
A somewhat involved evening routine gives way to my incredibly simple morning routine: I massage my face with a wet washcloth and then rinse with warm and cool water. I sometimes mist my face with rosewater when I get out of the shower. On the rare morning that I don’t shower, I often just splash my face with water from the sink to remove any traces of oil from the night before that didn’t soak in. This leaves me with a clean canvas for whatever makeup I want for the day ahead.