Humor Magazine

My New 47-Step Beauty Routine

By Mommabethyname @MommaBeThyName

My beauty “routine” since I had children’s been pretty simple: Wash the face, wash the hair, wash the body, and cut the fingernails when they get too long.

I grabbed whatever I could find for my face – the harsher, the better – and I scrubbed like a woman possessed. Except when I emerged from the shower, I could still squeeze stuff out of the blackheads on my nose, I was blotchy, and my face never quite felt clean.

If my face wouldn’t get clean on its own, I would make it clean. I’ll give you a little glimpse of the routine that I’ve been following piously since last summer:

1. Scrub face mercilessly, and in circles, with St. Ives Apricot Scrub.

(For those not familiar with apricot scrub, it’s a cream (soap-like stuff and acne wash) with pulverized apricot pits suspended inside. If I can explain it more poetically, it’s sort of like washing your face with beach sand, and then spritzing it with vinegar.)

2. Use either Aveeno “Ultra Calming” Foaming Face Wash or Aveeno “Clear Complexion” Foaming Face Wash, depending on the level of punishment my face deserved that day.

3. Slath Vaseline Intensive Rescue Clinical Therapy Lotion liberally on face. Use Neosporin to spot-treat broken skin.

4. Stare at my face in the mirror and lament my bridge-troll complexion.

5. Repeat religiously for eight months straight.

If you know anything about skin, or, say, if you have skin, you will realize this is no way to treat it.

I went the aggressive route. I thought I could blast the dirt out of my pores, except they kept getting wider and deeper and dirtier.

I ended up at the Clinique counter the other day because I was looking for eyeliner to replace an eyeliner that had begun irritating my eyes.


CLINIQUE (Photo credit: SimonQ)

Two hundred and sixty-eight dollars later, I walk out with an entire skincare regime, eye circle voodoo, new lipstick, and no eyeliner.

I looked tentatively down at the bag on my way home. My husband’s going to WIG OUT, I kept thinking, attempting to maintain focus on the road. What did I buy, one of EVERYTHING?!? I beat myself up. The entire ride home proceeded this way.

And then, for just a split second, I remembered what I had been doing to my face (See Items 1-5 Above) and I thought this might be worth it.

Still, the bill was hard to swallow, and I was secretly hoping none of it would work, or I’d have a bad reaction, so I’d have an excuse to return it all.

I arrived home and guiltily dumped the bag out on the kitchen counter.

“I, uh, picked up a few things for my face,” I said casually, “You know, because I keep having to wear so much makeup.”

And this was true. I had moved up from simple mineral powder foundation to HDTV-grade foundation, stuff used to hide scars and tattoos, just to cover all my blemishes. It was overkill, but overkill had become my middle name.

“That’s good,” he said. “You have been using a lot of makeup lately.”

I shlepped the bag upstairs that evening and waited for the kids to go to bed before unearthing the bottles – tall ones, short ones, yellow ones, green ones, square ones, tubes, bottles with push pumps on the top. All I was thinking was, Whoa, man, I’m going to look like those soap opera actresses, all lizardy and shiny. I probably don’t even NEED half this stuff!

I also only half-listened when the saleslady explained how to use it all in the store.

I was setting myself up for failure, of course, so I could wedge myself out from the mountain of guilt under which I had slipped. A mother doesn’t spend two hundred and sixty-eight dollars on skin care products, I thought. Well, maybe a terrible mother…

I lined all the bottles up by the sink, being careful to use only the free samples of the larger products I had purchased, you know, in case I had a ‘reaction’ and ‘needed’ to take it all back.

First came the face wash. It was smooth, soapy, and smelled quite pleasant. I rinsed that off and patted my face gently with a towel, like a princess should, and then reached for the next product (as far as I remembered).

Some kind of toner. Smelled horrible. Good thing, though, since I’d finally found a use for that bag of cotton balls I’d been lugging around for four years.

The next item in the lineup was a moisturizing gel. It could have been angel snot for all I cared. It slid on, cool and light, and was absorbed almost immediately.

I hesitated to touch my face at that point, since the routine wasn’t yet through. I didn’t want to get my hopes up.

Next up, Radiant something or other. To bring out the ‘natural radiance’ in my face. Radioactive, maybe? I didn’t care. And then the pièce de résistance, the dark circle corrector (which, by the way, hospitals should give away by the case whenever someone takes home twins).

And voilà! I was done.

I ran up to my husband. “Am I blotchy? Am I red? Is my skin burny?” I asked, standing approximately two centimeters from his nose.

He stepped back, “No, no, not really.”

“Are you sure? It’s not rashy or burny or red?”

“Well, maybe a little red, but it looks okay.”


It didn’t feel terribly uncomfortable, my face didn’t catch fire, no large chunks had fallen off. My eyebrows were still there. I wasn’t bleeding. This was bad.

I walked slowly over to the bathroom mirror and leaned in. The pores on my nose, which usually you could toss quarters in with little effort, were barely noticeable. I mean, you had to squint. And when I put my palm to my cheek, my skin was much less – how you say? – leathery – than usual. My skin felt like one would imagine human skin would feel. You know, skin on commercials.

I lay down on the bed, thinking of the implications of this skincare thing. Will I have to do this every day? Will I have to stop exfoliating the rest of my body to death now that my face feels kind of normal? Will I now have to pay for all this stuff?

I watched the television in the dark, feeling for any twinge, itch, or bit of discomfort, mentally readying the receipt and my justification to the salesgirl. But it just didn’t happen.

At the point I finally began to relax and tentatively accept that I may be keeping this stuff, Alice, my Siamese, joined me on the bed for her evening cuddles. She sat down in front of my face, but started sniffing around erratically.

She sniffed and sniffed until her tiny, wet nostril was up against my forehead, and started to lick. She sniffed and licked my nose, my forehead, my cheeks, and then settled down happily in front of me.

And that’s when I decided, hey, if it’s good enough for Alice, it’s good enough for me.

So, I guess I’m keeping it.

You wouldn’t want me to disappoint Alice, now, would you?


Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog