Don’t get me wrong, I love playing with beauty products as much as the next person but I’ve never been one to faff around with fake tan, complicated hairstyles or fancy nails.
I like to keep things simple, easy and low maintenance – although my boyfriend would probably argue that I still take too long getting ready in the morning. In other words, I like to achieve decent results without investing too much time and effort. After all, it’s nice to free up time that will be better spent on the more important things in life.
Here are a few tried and tested techniques that won’t trap you in the bathroom for hours but will keep you in tip top condition! In part one, I’ll be focusing on nail and body care…
The easiest way to simplify your hair removal routine is to stop bothering with hair removal altogether. After all, removing your body hair isn’t completely necessary and doesn’t make you any more hygienic. Feel free to embrace your body hair; it’s all natural!
If, however, you would prefer to remove your body hair, that is perfectly acceptable too! But, I think everyone in the pro-hair-removal camp can admit that it can be a bit of a chore and can be very time-consuming, especially if you like to tend to your armpits, legs and bikini line.
Not to mention the fact that hair removal can be expensive; packs of razors, trips to the salon, and at home hair removal kits all add up. There has got to be a better way!
I don’t like to brag, but I have got my hair removal routine down to a tee. It is inexpensive and doesn’t involve overly long showers, scraping at my skin with razors, arranging regular salon appointments or any kind of voodoo magic. I am one of those rare and insane people who uses an epilator as their only hair removal tool.
Yep, that’s right, I rip those pesky hairs right out from their roots with what looks like some kind of torture device. But hear me out – I promise you it’s not as scary as you imagine and it might just be the answer to all your prayers.
The key to quick and pain-free epilation is buying an epilator that you can use in the shower. It can be a little costly, but if you continue to use an epilator over razors or professional hair removal, this little device will pay for itself. Using your epilator in the shower will reduce pain and will allow you to incorporate a mini hair removal session into your everyday shower routine.
Every morning, the last step in my shower routine is epilation. I switch on the device, run it under warm water, add a dollop of shower gel to the head, allow it to lather up, and then whip it over any areas that require hair removal.
Don’t bother trying to achieve perfection in one session, especially when it comes to your legs. When you’re repeating this process regularly, you’ll pick up any hairs you left behind the day before and you’ll have super smooth, hair-free skin within a couple of days. Because I have a tendency to spend too long in the shower, I set an alarm on my phone for seven minutes and aim to do everything I need to do in this time, including hair removal. As soon as the alarm sounds, I put the epilator down and hop out of the shower.
The big benefit of epilation is that the hairs grow back slower, thinner and sparser; the epilation process becomes easier and easier as the months go by. One thing to bear in mind is that any areas you epilate may be a little red for a day or so after, especially when you first start. If you know you’re going to be frolicking around bare legged tomorrow, give your legs a break from epilation today.
Exfoliating and moisturising your body:
Exfoliating and moisturising the skin on your body is a step that people either spend ages doing or skip completely. For me, it is a necessary step but it definitely doesn’t need to take forever and doesn’t require any fancy body scrubs or lotions.
Every morning, I hop in the shower wearing a pair of exfoliating gloves – they usually cost about £2 for a pair and can be found in most supermarkets. I wet them under the shower head and either add a dollop of my favourite shower gel or rub a bar of soap between my gloved hands.
I lather up whichever product I’m using and then quickly give my body a gentle scrub, paying close attention to any dry spots or areas I know are prone to ingrown hairs. I whip off the gloves and give my skin a good rinse (and then attack myself with my epilator for a couple of minutes – see above).
Now on to moisturiser. In recent years, many brands have released fancy in-shower moisturisers and apply-to-wet-skin lotions which, in my humble opinion, are totally pointless. For years and years, I have been applying any kind of body lotion onto wet skin and it works perfectly every time.
After turning off the shower, I pat my armpits dry with a towel and apply deodorant. I then slap whichever body lotion I’m currently using all over my skin, excluding my face and neck.
Your damp skin will make application easy as pie, as well as helping the product to absorb. You can really be as slapdash as you like and there is no need to spend ages rubbing it all in. I then go about brushing my teeth and washing my face, and by the time I’m finished, my skin has absorbed every ounce of moisturiser.
I usually give my body a little pat down with a towel just to be sure there is no excess moisture, but you could put on your skinniest of skinny jeans right away without worrying about any sticky residue.
Voila – perfectly exfoliated and moisturised skin within minutes! Warning: You’re going to want to stroke your skin constantly!
Pretty coloured nails and fancy nail art are all well and good but, for some of us, it is just too time-consuming. After spending however long applying perfect coats of nail lacquer, it usually chips within days, requiring painstaking removal and reapplication. I admire anyone who can maintain beautiful nails on a regular basis. For those of us who want to save time, it is perfectly okay to settle for neat, healthy and natural nails. In my opinion, they look just as pretty.
Every week or two, I sit down in front of the television and give myself a super speedy manicure to keep my nails in check. I start by running some nail polish remover over each nail to get rid of any product – I recommend getting one of those fancy removal pots for really fast removal.
I then apply a little cuticle remover to each nail, spreading it across the whole cuticle area before trimming my nails down to the desired length and filing them to neaten up the shape. By the time I’ve dealt with length, the cuticle remover has worked its magic and I simply use a metal cuticle pusher to gently push back any excess cuticle.
I pop on an exfoliating glove and gently exfoliate my hands with warm water and soap, gently removing any dry skin around my nails. Once my hands are dry, I apply a quick coat of a clear strengthening top coat or a light nude colour. The beauty of using either one of these products is that any chips are hardly noticeable or you can get away with simply applying another coat straight over the top. It is also worth applying a hand cream at night to keep your hands moisturised and your nails healthy. Easy-peasy.
Stay tuned for part two where I’ll be discussing low maintenance facial skin care and hair styling!
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