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What 'grooming' would you describe as high maintenance? What's just basics?

(72 Posts)
PosyNarker Mon 06-May-13 13:31:41

That's it really. I've been doing a lot of business travel and always feel like a bit of a state compared to my peers in our London office who seem to all have immaculate gel nails, expensive salon dye jobs and never inadvertently expose a slightly hairy armpit.

By contrast my friends outside of work would probably say I had a high maintenance routine. grin. (I still feel like a ratbag though as I am just not one of those people who looks effortlessly put together.)

So waxing, manicures, salon visits, facials, gyms whatever - just part of the routine or high maintenance / luxury?

Pantone363 Mon 06-May-13 13:34:47


Washing, shaving, eyebrows, clean well cut nails, moisturised face.

Pantone363 Mon 06-May-13 13:35:17

They are my basics that get done no matter what else is going on

currentlyconfuseddotcom Mon 06-May-13 13:44:15

For me:-

Basics: face masks, nailcare, skincare, haircare, shaving

High maintenance: facials, waxing, laser treatment, false nails, frequent salon visits

PosyNarker Mon 06-May-13 13:45:04

Eyebrows make my list as well. Mine are bushy and fair, so that's a regular salon visit for me. (Tried to do them at home once, looked like Groucho Marx.)

Nails too - I hate to see raggedy nails at work, though I've recently had my first Shellac manicure and think I'm in danger of adding that to my 'regular' stuff. (Feels a bit decadent though, which may have inspired my post a little! My mum & MIL have probably never had a salon manicure in their life.)

polyhymnia Mon 06-May-13 13:47:51

Would definitely add a good and regular salon cut and (if needed/wanted) colour to the basics. The way I see it your hair is as much with you all the time as your skin .

SofaCanary Mon 06-May-13 13:50:00

False nails, hair extentions, eyelash extentions are all a bit OTT and scream high maintenance to me.

polyhymnia Mon 06-May-13 13:50:15

And for me regular eyelash and brow tints are also basics as my eyes look so much better when that's done and time is saved on makeup..

OrbisNonSufficit Mon 06-May-13 13:53:17

For me, the basics are: cleanliness (daily shower, every second day wash hair, deodorant, clean clothes), moisturiser, short neat (cut not filed) nails, waxed armpits, tidy eyebrows, hair dye every 5 weeks (looots of grey), mascara and tinted moisturiser (removed nightly).

Higher maintenance/ when I can be bothered: salon leg and lip wax, hair cut (it's long, I don't bother much), painted nails/toenails, exfoliating, moisturise body, blow dry hair, lipstick, tinted eyelashes...

Wishihadabs Mon 06-May-13 13:55:40

Basics are 2x weekly hair wash, shave legs/pits. 1X manicure (usually at home) and pedicure in summer. Daily shower, moisturiser for face/neck deodorant, scent, hair brush lip gloss.

I feel/look/smell rank if I cant manage that.

PosyNarker Mon 06-May-13 13:55:51

Yeah, I'm lucky enough that my hair is low maintenance (long curly and touch wood no greys) so I get it cut every 12 weeks, but I am fully prepared to pay for salon colouring when the time comes. Based on my teenage experiments with home kits, I shouldn't be allowed anywhere near anything stronger than a wash in wash out anyway!

PosyNarker Mon 06-May-13 13:59:15

SofaCanary yes, I was surprised that several of my peers had noticeable lash extensions at work. It's a financial services company so pretty conservative. Just seemed a bit 'TOWIE' for the office.

False nails aren't my thing because I couldn't be doing with having to think about things like opening a can of diet coke, or typing with my hands totally flat.

noviceoftheday Mon 06-May-13 14:01:58

Basics are: make up for work each day, weekly body scrub, weekly facial mask, daily cleanse & polish, nightly foot cream, weekly painting toe nails and twice weekly finger nails. Weekly hair removal. Weekly hair mask.

My dcs are young so basics are things I can do myself and Hugh maintenance are things that the time, that I don't have. My one exception is gym twice a week and hairdressers every other month. To put in context, I used to go to the gym 5 times a week (every morning on the way to work) and had a standing 8am saturday appointment with my hairdresser! Things I would love to have time for are manicures, pedicures, massages and facials.

Also, I think looking well groomed isn't just about the beauty routines and make up but also about overall presentation. I think shoes, bag and jewelry make or break a look and wouldn't dream of crumpled clothes or stains on clothes etc.

chocoluvva Mon 06-May-13 14:05:05

I'm about the same as Orbis except that I can't imagine spending time and money on going to a salon for waxing or threading.

Chandelierforagirl Mon 06-May-13 14:30:38

Actually it's not the content that I would use to define "High Maintenance" but the imposition on others. I figure if I can keep my grooming to myself and it doesn't make others late or annoyed then it's not HM. If you break a nail when walking out the door with friends/partner and have to stop, turn around, go back in and spend some time repairing it, perhaps with some visible distress over the "fiasco", then you're HM in my book. If however, you have great nails that took time and effort to create, and break one when walking out the door, but carry on about your day then you're not HM as far as I'm concerned.

PosyNarker Mon 06-May-13 14:34:00

So I guess I should share since I started the thread:


Clean, remove armpit hair, daily moisturiser, light make up for work, tidy nails etc. Face masks once a week.
5 - 6 weekly brow shape / brow and lash tint.
Haircut every 12 weeks to avoid split ends.

I am pretty lax about removing leg hair if no-one's going to see them bare tbh.

Other stuff I do routinely, but wouldn't class as 'basics':

Gym 3 times a week, once with a trainer.
Pedicure at home once a week in the summer.
Manicure at home prob twice a week because I am rubbish at avoiding chipping (thus the temptation of Shellac).
Light gradual tanner in the summer (at home).

Stuff I fully know is luxury and feel a bit guilty about:

Facial & Swedish massage once a month.

Not quite sure why I feel guilty, suspect because my mother / MIL would think it a horrific waste of money.

PosyNarker Mon 06-May-13 14:38:34

Chandelier Good point. I can't get too excited about a run in my tights. I did once have a meltdown when a seagull crapped on me between my car and an important meeting, but I think that warranted. grin

I do know a few people in my acquaintance who are a bit picky about what they do because of their hair / tan / nails. Fair enough, but I wouldn't choose a look personally that left me scared to take a dip in a swimming pool.

McNally Mon 06-May-13 15:37:26

Pre-DD I'd have a facial every six weeks. I did consider it a luxury though. Other things I consider luxuries are things like manicures (my nails chip so quickly and I can shape them better myself) and pedicures in a salon and massages. Still have them when I get the chance though.

Basics are daily hair wash, weekly hair mask and cut and highlights every other month. Brow threading and lash tints when I get the chance. Bikini waxing when needed. I epilate my legs when there's a possibility that someone other than DH might see them but my hair is very fair so that's not a gross as it sounds. I paint my toenails once a week and do cuticles and other pedicure stuff in the summer. I cut and file my nails and deal with cuticles once a week. I wear make up every day and do thorough face cleansing and moisturising twice a day.

I don't consider that to be particularly high maintenance. High maintenance to me is regular manicures and polished nails, fake tanning, false lashes, hair extensions etc.

Lavenderhoney Mon 06-May-13 15:50:02

Op, you reminded me of my first London job and how everyone was so smartsmile I was a country lass, in a sensible tweed suit, not much make up, never really given thought to nails, hair long and curly ( wild)

After standing on a packed tube and noticing the perfect nails of girl holding the pole above me I knew I had to changesmile I just didnt fit in, plus for my job I had to be smart.

My boss got slightly drunk ( through nerves!) and advanced me a couple of hundred quid - and wouldn't take it back- to get a new suit, shoes and a hair cut, manicure. I was given the afternoon off!

Straight to Joseph for a suit, hair cut and colour at a salon. And a mani/ pedi. A co worker supervised me buying straightnerssmile

Now, with dc- hair ( salon)and nails always tidy done by me. legs and other bits waxed by me. I was given advice that if you have a beauty night once a week, and always can just change into smart clothes, bit of make up, and not worry. I try and keep to that, plus I don't wear worn and baggy clothes. And a bit of perfume.

AnnieLobeseder Mon 06-May-13 15:54:45

Good grief. All that just to be acceptable at the office? Do men have to bother with any of that? No. So I don't either. WTF don't more women take a stand against having to meet stupid grooming standards just to be considered competent at their job? Not only do we get paid less, but we're expected to spend vast chunks of that lower salary on being decorative in the office.

Fuck me it makes me angry.

Lavenderhoney Mon 06-May-13 17:42:35

Well, it was quite a few years ago, and tbh, I looked a lot better and had a lot more confidence.

PosyNarker Mon 06-May-13 17:54:32

Annie I don't disagree there are differing standards for men & women. To be fair my office doesn't necessarily expect a hugely high maintenance look, but there is definitely more 'grooming' (for men as well) in the London office. Not sure why this is the case.

Lavender I did think it wasn't last week when you mentioned that haul for £200. wink

noviceoftheday Mon 06-May-13 17:58:28

Doing this to look Acceptable in the office? How insulting. I am one of the top specialists in the world in my field in the City. I am not in the top 0.01% of earners in the UK for looking pretty or well groomed but do you know what? My basics make me look good and feel good. As I said how presumptuous and insulting.

specialsubject Mon 06-May-13 18:04:21

washed, smelling of nothing, hair trimmed every 8 weeks, shaved armpits and legs. Do too much gardening for a manicure, pluck my own eyebrows.

all else I would consider high maintenance. I like my own hair colour, with the grey streaks, and never wore makeup to the office.

do what you want - but overly manicured talons say to me 'woman that never does anything beyond tap a screen'.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Mon 06-May-13 18:07:10

Luckily (or not as the case may be) my work role is clinical so I don't wear make-up to work.
Black trousers/flat laced up shoes, clean white tunic -clean and neat.
My nails are short (because they break thanks to the constant handwashing and nasty vinyl gloves)
My hair is tied back.
I cannot wear any jewellry except a wedding ring, stud earrings and a fobwatch.

So my basics day is : shower, cleanse/face scrub, teeth, moisturiser.
On my non-work mum days- jeans, top, mum boots. Mascara, eyebrow pencil.

Basic maintainence: wax armpits. Epilate legs.
Body scrub.
Hair treatment (Phillip Kingsley Elastisicer).

Am inspired now to do my armpit wax and dye my eyebrows .
I've been working hard with my Revitalash & Revitabrow. Not exactly TOWIE standards but better than I had.

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