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Is there a middle way between "letting oneself go" and spending hours and hours on personal grooming?

(103 Posts)
MadMadDonna Mon 14-Nov-16 14:10:42

Well, is there?

This weekend I shaved my legs and armpits, used body lotion all over, cleaned my ears, used a nose hair remover thing, plucked my chin and other stray hairs, painted my toenails, filed my nails, used hand cream, heel cream, a face scrub and moisturiser. And that's before I put any make up on. I have a childless, single friend who does most of this EVERY day and always has done and I must admit she looks great.

So I felt better for doing all that maintenance but don't have time to do it every day. I have a quick hair wash every other day and leave for work with wet hair which is dry by the time I get there but during the week I just have to let it go.

What do you do, how do you find a balance? I have my hair coloured professionally every 6-8 weeks and I have worked out a capsule wardrobe so I don't think I look that bad but honestly, the maintenance is doing my head in!

Tips most welcome.

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Mon 14-Nov-16 14:28:55

The bad news is it's hard work looking polished all the time. I'm afraid I get up early to do my hair and put my makeup on before I go out. sad
I try to multi task in the evening so will wash my hair, shave legs in the bath and blow dry my hair before bed. Then pray it still looks presentable in the morning, I usually have to go over it with straighteners the next day though.

Loads of a decent clear top coat over nail varnish helps it stay put for most of the week. That's my only tip.

Your other option is to get permanent laser hair removal if you have money to burn ,your makeup tattooed on and start wearing a wig. grin

Bobochic Mon 14-Nov-16 14:32:34

If you do maintenance every day you don't have to do so much every day and you get a much better result. Trial and error means you will work out how to get a lot of effect in little time. A Clarisonic is great - face, body and feet ones - as is a wet/dry epilator.

BackforGood Mon 14-Nov-16 14:39:30


You can ask yourself why you need to do all of that?
I shave my legs in Summer when my legs might be out on display, but don't see the need to be so vigilant in the Winter.
Same with toenails - I don't wear sandals in Winter so no need to paint toe nails.
Heel cream ??? What is heel cream?


chanie44 Mon 14-Nov-16 15:01:16

Multi-task e,g

body brushing whilst running a bath/shower
Foot cream just before getting into bed
A drop of baby oil in the bath instead of moisture
Footfile/manicure whilst watching TV

MadMadDonna Mon 14-Nov-16 15:28:14

Why do I do it? to feel good. And for dh, which is fine with me.

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Mon 14-Nov-16 15:32:00

It's a confidence thing for me. I just feel better about myself if I've made an effort.

I wonder what I would look like if I stopped trying? A grey wild haired woman with hairs sprouting from random places probably grin.

Fanofjapan Mon 14-Nov-16 15:33:33

Yep Mad, me too. I think it's nice. Makes me feel feminine.

NotLadyPrickshit Mon 14-Nov-16 15:40:52

I do the full body routine every Friday night - bath, shave, moisturise, hair mask, toe nails etc (fingernails are done professionally every 2-3 weeks)

Daily I moisturise legs & arms after a shower, hair is washed every few days & dry shampoo'd between washes (hair up is an easier more polished look than faffing about blow drying & straightening) make up wise it's a tinted moisturiser/bb cream, mascara & lipgloss & I'm good to go

Once you get into a routine it's much easier to keep up

Floisme Mon 14-Nov-16 15:43:52

I'm bone idle. I have my hair cut regularly but in a low maintenance style so I can just wash, mess it about and go. I haven't brushed or combed it for 30-odd years. It looks good too.

Never paint my nails - I don't like the look and I'm too lazy anyway.

I do moisturise and use hand cream at least twice a day, more if my skin feels dry. Make up takes 5-10 minutes.

One of the joys of getting older is that leg and armpit hair grows more slowly so I'm not shaving as often. On the other hand, I'm plucking chin hairs all the time so I guess that evens out.

I do spend a lot of time on clothes but that's because I enjoy it.

rightknockered Mon 14-Nov-16 15:47:00

I wash my hair twice a week in the evening and leave to dry. I file my nails a little in the evening. I laser my legs every month with Lumea (takes 15 minutes). I do my basic makeup in 3 minutes every morning. Shower in the evening.

Bluntness100 Mon 14-Nov-16 15:52:25

You don't need to do uour legs in winter if wearing trousers or thick tights, well not as often, my hair is quite long so I wash it twice a week, but does take a bit of time in the morning to style, or I look like a witch. Make up a few mins. Fortunely I don't really suffer from a hairy face, but thanks for giving me that to look forward too..😂

I only paint my toe nails, as I couldn't be arsed with the maintenance on doing my finger nails. Toenails can last a couple of weeks.

rightknockered Mon 14-Nov-16 15:52:29

I've also layered my pits and bikini line, so again minimal maintenance. Don't really paint toe nails unless absolutely have to, just buff fingernails.

rightknockered Mon 14-Nov-16 15:53:12

lasered not layered

NoSuchThingAsThePerfectParent Mon 14-Nov-16 15:53:42

I have bath/shower alternate mornings, then in between a full body wash at the sink. On the bath/shower day I shave and wash hair. I partially blow-dry hair, partly to keep it less dry, and partly to save time. It seems to work!

I moisture after every wash and before bed.
Hand cream as often as I remember after washing hands.

Heel cream gets applied when I feel they're dry, and this is always before I jump into bed. I found it helps massively to have the best products, and honestly, having tried everything there is out there, I found soap & glory heel genius is just amazing and lasts ages.

Plucking happens every few days as part of sink-wash routine. It hardly takes any time at all though, really only 1 or 2 strays to keep track of.

Makeup takes just a couple of minutes: quick brush of foundation, eyeshadow, mascara and lipstick.

My biggest downfall is nails. I always wear bright colours and just ignore the peeling until it's more off than on, or if there's a special occasion.

rightknockered Mon 14-Nov-16 15:54:32

moisturise as I go, it's just a routine, do it without even thinking about it.

ElspethFlashman Mon 14-Nov-16 15:58:57

Maintenance isn't that hard. I mean, shaving pits 'n legs takes about 30 seconds and you're in the shower anyway.

Lotion also only takes about 30 seconds if you choose one that sinks in immediately like those spray ones, or the Vaseline lotion.

Hand cream whilst stuck in traffic.

Nails are a pain admittedly. If I was in a job that allowed it, I'd 100% get a professional shellac job done. Worth the hour or so appointment not to have to think about them for 5 weeks.

Make up can be very quick if you're canny.
Concealer + finger = 10 seconds.
Powder foundation + fluffy brush = 20 seconds.
Blusher + fluffy brush= 10 seconds.
Mascara= a couple of minutes (cos it's a pain)

Ooogetyooo Mon 14-Nov-16 16:02:59

The older I get more needs doing . It's like the Forth bridge. As soon as you're done you need to start over again . And yes if you want to look polished it needs doing every day .

PNGirl Mon 14-Nov-16 16:05:42

The trick is to get quick at doing things. I can shave my legs in under 30 seconds in the bath; because I do my armpits and legs every other day there's only a small amount of stubble. Hair is washed every 3 days - it's curly so I will wash it, let it dry overnight, neaten curls with very hot iron and that's it done. I only moisturise legs, bum and arms when I get out of the shower and again I can moisturise my face in 10 seconds. Eyebrows are already a decent shape so just need about 3 hairs plucking every few days.

If I did nothing all week then had to battle dry flaky skin, long leg hair, dull dry face, and greasy hair on a Sunday afternoon it'd take forever.

FrustratedFrugal Mon 14-Nov-16 16:05:51

I tend to do one of those things you listed every morning - it only takes a minute and over the course of a week everything gets done. (I'm not very hairy and only moisturize my legs). Pedicure & toenails every 3 weeks, and fingernails only when I'm feeling fancy.

Haircut and highlights are the most important thing, I blow dry my hair every other day. I've learned to do a nice natural makeup in 5-10 mins.

NotLadyPrickshit Mon 14-Nov-16 16:07:41

Elspeth shaving in the shower isn't an option for me as my glasses get steamed up & I can't see a bloody thing (can't see a bloody thing without them though grin) hence the Friday night bath!

ElspethFlashman Mon 14-Nov-16 16:30:13

In that case I'd probably invest in one of those wet/dry battery shavers!

seefeld Mon 14-Nov-16 16:47:49

I follow this air drying routine I saw on The Pool rather than blow dry my hair now I skip the hair spray bit and just use the creams and it give my fine above the shoulder hair a bit of texture

LBOCS2 Mon 14-Nov-16 17:03:57

I try and maximise what I do in minimal time. So for example, I'll stick 'tache bleach on or a face mask while I clean my bathroom (or apply in-shower fake tan).

If you shave regularly then it doesn't take long; I get my bikini line and underarms waxed which takes half an hour in my lunch break and only do my legs if they're showing. Also regular eyebrow threading appointments.

I do my fingernails in front of the tv on a Sunday night. If I use a pale colour, do it properly including a base and decent top coat, and avoid washing up too often then I can get a week out of them.

Moisturise all over just before drying my hair in my underwear so it has soaked in by the time I'm ready to get dressed.

Can't help with the makeup - I can do it extremely fast (and drunk) but that's a leftover from my university days!

hollieberrie Mon 14-Nov-16 17:06:08

I don't do hardly any of this stuff and i think i look fine.
My top tips are:
- getting my hair blow dried 1 x week, then I drag it out for a few days with dry shampoo (it costs £20 and i have cut out coffees, make up purchases and other treats so that i can afford it as it makes such a difference to my life!)
- Allow 10 mins to apply a good face of make up every morning
- Get brows threaded and dyed every 4-6 weeks (i am blonde so doesn't need doing too often)
- Have a good coat and shoes / boots that look smart and you feel good in
That's it. I don't do any kind of moisturising, hair removal (just pits 1x week in shower), nails etc. Only for a special occasion.

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