Body Admin Diaries: A Beauty Novice Who Splits The Week Between Her House And Her Boyfriend's
By Lucy Morris Posted on 30 Oct 2018
The beauty industry is valued at £9.3 billion, but how much time, effort and money does the average woman spend on her body admin? On a mission to destroy the illusion that us ladies spend our precious free time fussing over facials and following fads, we’re asking a cross-section of people how much time they really dedicate to their beauty routine. Do they follow a nine-step Korean programme or are they actually applying their make-up on the bus to work? Let the veil of mystery be lifted once and for all.
‘I maintain that somewhere around the 14 to 15-year-old mark when all the other girls were learning the ropes and getting all the terrible foundation and crooked eyeliner mistakes out of their systems, I was living under a rock,’ this week’s Body Admin Diarist tells Grazia. This digital native confesses she didn’t start wearing foundation until she was 21 and although she’s graduated to a swipe of lipstick, her dyspraxia has always put off applying anything that involves extra dexterity - like eyeliner. Working as a digital officer for a membership company, this diarist has a demanding job, but is her body admin just as demanding? We find out….
1 of 7
6:30 am: Alarm goes off. Yoga class starts in an hour but I hit snooze anyway.7:30 am: Alarm goes off again. I guess yoga isn’t happening today. (I really need to use the snooze function in smaller increments). 8 am: I wake up after having fallen asleep again. Mad dash to the bathroom. 8:05 am: I smother my face with Dudu Osun African black soap (£5.40). This stuff is no millennial pink Lush soap in the looks department, but I swear by it as a cleanser for keeping skin smooth and clear. You can find it any Afro-Caribbean hair and beauty store. 8:07 am: I do a rush-job of scrubbing myself down with basic Imperial Leather soap (£1.50). 8:14 am:- While I’m still damp I moisturise my body with some almond oil (£5.66) I got from the pharmacy next door. I love this because it’s cheap and locks in moisture, leaving my skin feeling super soft. Body creams tend to sit on my skin a bit too thickly so oils are great. 8:16 am: I swipe on Sure Invisible Black & White deodorant (£1.58) under my armpits and throw on the clothes I’d laid out the night before. 8:17 am: Total disaster as I realise I’ve left my favourite toner at my boyfriend’s place so I make do with Thayer’s Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera (£7.53) which is still good but doesn’t have the same fresh-faced effect as my usual. I apply this with cotton pads.8:19 am: While my face is still a bit damp I put on my Flow - Perfectly balanced facial oil from Afro Hair & Skin Company (£19.50). I helped shoot a documentary last year where we interviewed the founder of the company and she was lovely enough to give me a free bottle. My skin really agreed with it so it quickly became my facial moisturiser of choice. 8:22 am: My bus is due any minute now so I grab my stuff and rush out the door. No time for make-up today. 7 pm: I go for my monthly wax (£28). As soon as I get home I pour some Tend Skin Solution (£13.46) on a cotton pad (£1.15) and dab the waxed area (because who has time for ingrown hairs, amirite ladies!?)11:50 pm: I pass out after a long phone conversation with a friend based in Madrid.
2 of 7
6:45 am: Alarm goes off. I should really get up and go for a jog but alas, I snooze. 7:45 am: Mad dash to the bathroom. 7: 52 am: I scrub myself with Sultana of Soap by Lush (£3.85). I like to imagine that Queen Cleopatra herself would have smelled like this soap. 7:57 am: Dudu Osun black soap on my face again. I really take my time to rub it in since I didn’t wash my face last night.8:03 am: I moisturise my body with almond oil and count my lucky stars that I’ve never had to shave my legs (hair just doesn’t grow there). I spray some Dove Go Fresh moisturising cream (£4.99) under my armpits. 8:07 am: I dab my face with Thayer’s Witch Hazel and put on my Flow Perfectly Balance Facial Oil while the toner is still damp. With twenty minutes to catch my bus, I decide that I have time for make-up today. I massage Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Primer (£24) onto my face - I’ll admit that like many women, I found myself being struck by Fenty fever and went all out on the products. I follow this with applying my Sleek Brow Kit (£8.49) in the dark shade. I do this while ignoring the spot above my left eyebrow taunting me through my pocket mirror. Next up is my Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in shade 410 (£26). It glides over beautifully - spot? What spot!? I’m still a bit tanned from the freakish London heatwave the other week so I go over the foundation with my MAC Mineralise Skinfinish Natural in Dark Deepest (£25.50) to match the tan. I put on some Fenty Beauty Killawatt Foil Freestyle Highlighter Duo (£28), opting to use just the Mimosa Sunrise half but very lightly for a nice goldish flicker. Some vaseline over my lips (the brown tin) (£1.95) and then MAC lipstick in the Verve shade (£17.50). It’s a lovely pinkish-nude shade - perfect for casual work days. 8:20 am: I spritz some perfume on - #Tank by Replay (£15). One day I will figure out what my signature scent is, but for now I’ll happily live off whatever perfumes I’m gifted at Christmas gift by my family. Out the door, I go. 8:30 am: On the bus, I remember to roll on some Kiehl’s Musk Essence Oil (£22.50). I love this stuff and always layer it on top of the perfume on my wrists and neck. 9:23 pm: My evening plans have fallen through and it was a nightmare getting home so I’m feeling grumpy. After having a whinge to anyone who will listen I go and run myself a bubble bath with Radox Detox Bath Soak with Acai Berry & Clay (£1). It smells divine. I put several drops of essential oils in - Lavender, Rose Geranium and Ylang Ylang (£2.40 each). I don’t know about all of this healing properties stuff and I don’t really care either - they smell nice so I use them! I scrub myself down with my Lush Sultana of soap and drink some red wine. Before I know it I’ve spent an hour in there.10:33 pm: Almond oil goes on my body, Thayer’s witch hazel on my face and my Flow facial oil on top. 11:04 pm: I pass out while watching YouTube videos.
3 of 7
7:30 am: Alarm goes off. We all know how this story ends. Snooze.8:15 am: Absolute panic. No time to do anything so I brush my teeth, wash my face with black soap, do the usual Thayer’s toner and Flow facial oil routine. After I’ve thrown some clothes on and packed make-up in my bag, I’m out the door. 8:34 am: I’ve missed my bus so I take the train instead. I douse myself in #Tank Replay perfume and thank God for last night’s luxurious bath. 5:30 pm: About to go meet my boyfriend for dinner so I do my make-up at my desk. Fenty primer followed by my Sleek brow kit and then Fendy foundation. Next up is my Vaseline base and Fenty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer. 8:54 pm: Back to my boyfriend’s after dinner where I immediately wipe the makeup off with Botanics All Bright cleansing solution (£5.49). Feeling grubby so I jump in the shower. Radox Feel Awake shower gel (£1) along with my Simple refreshing facial wash (£2.53) - I can’t carry Dudu Osun everywhere, unfortunately! 21:03 pm: I’m reunited with my Body Merry C-22 toner (£33.99). I saw an Olivia Wilde makeup tutorial where she spritzed her face with a toner (which wasn’t Body Merry) and looked like a goddess as a result. From that moment I decided that if spray toners were good enough for Olivia Wilde then they were certainly good enough for me. I let the toner settle, allowing it to give me a nice tight and fresh feeling. Apply Flow facial oil and climb into some PJs. 9:32 pm: We cosy up and watch Netflix all evening before turning in.
4 of 7
8 am: Alarm goes off. I ignore the boy’s nudges for me to get up and trust that he’s hit snooze.8:26 am: Mad dash to the bathroom8:39 am: Out of the shower with just ten minutes to get ready and get to the station. Almond oil, toner, Flow facial oil. No time for makeup but I find time to apply my Sleek brow kit. 8:58 am: Boyfriend is driving me to the station so I use that time to pile on my foundation. The angle and size of the mirror makes me look awful, but I choose to trust the process. 9:04 am: Run onto the train with an incomplete face. Today I am that lady doing their make-up on the train and, actually, I’m quite impressed with my steady hand. MAC setting powder followed by Bobbi Brown art-stick lip crayon in Cassis (£22.50).9:47 am: Get to work late but very put-together at least. 6:36 pm: Arrive at my boyfriend’s house with a bag full of groceries. Immediately wipe my makeup off with Botanics cleansing solution before making dinner. 10:03 pm: Netflix again before passing out.
5 of 7
10:02 am: I wake up to the sound of the boy rushing around - he has a flight to catch in the afternoon. I snooze for a bit before getting up to help. 10:06 am: Brush teeth and wash my face with Simple. 10:58 am: We’re in a rush so I have no time to shower. We Uber it to the station where we say our goodbyes and then I take the same Uber home. 4:20 pm: I take a shower and decide to wash my hair which is in long kinky twist braids. My afro hair texture means that I only need to wash it once a week (thank goodness because I’d be even later for work every morning). I use Shea Moisture retention shampoo (£10.98) and notice that despite only having had the braids in for just under a month, my hair is growing out already. This is a very good problem to have though it will mean having to take them out earlier than expected.4:57 pm: Before - my hair I oil my scalp with Jeba Naturals Hair Food (£3.49). With that done, I head out to do some freelance work - can’t be bothered with makeup.
6 of 7
10:03 am: I wake up and brush my teeth before heading back to bed and watch Ex Machina with a bowl of cereal on my lap (this is what Sundays are for).1:02 pm: A wave of guilt over all of the missed workouts from the week hits me so I spring out of bed and head to the Muay Thai class I force myself to attend once every total eclipse. 3:22 pm: I am bruised and sore from Muay Thai but all the better for it. I reward myself with a sauna session and lay there in the buff for about ten minutes before hitting the shower. Annoyingly I’ve left my face wash at home and though the reasonably nice gym showers have a brand of body wash in little dispensers, the thought of slathering some nondescript brand of soap over my face makes me shudder. I mentally schedule in a soak for later that evening. 3:36 pm: After my shower, I do the usual toner and Flow oil routine before oiling up with almond oil. The relaxed nature of the gym open changing rooms means that you get weird looks for shielding yourself rather than the other way around so I do this freely, catching myself in the full-length mirror and not altogether hating what I see. 7:47 pm: Pamper time. I run a bubble bath with Radox and have a soak with a glass of red wine by my side. Yes.9:02 pm: I apply an Innisfree green tea face mask. My best friend is working in Seoul at the moment so she’s gifted me with a heap of Korean skincare, which I love.11:07 pm: I head to bed.
7 of 7
7:30 am: Alarm goes off. Up and at ‘em. 7:42 am: Shower with all the usual stuff. 8:03 am: Almond oil. Can’t be bothered with make-up so I do eyebrows with my Sleek kit.5:42 pm: Off to watch BlacKkKlansman in the cinema with a friend so I spritz some #Tank perfume on, apply some Fenty lipgloss and dash out.7:03 pm: Sneak off to the toilets halfway through. As I leave the cubicle and come face to face with a mirror, I smile at myself (a self-confidence hack I adopted a while ago which has become automatic). While admiring the bright-eyed youthfulness of my bare face, a woman walks in and catches me grinning like an idiot. That’s my cue to leave. 11:32 pm: I get back after an evening of entertainment, Chinese food and gossiping, and pass out. Will I ever go to bed at a reasonable enough time to wake up in time for yoga?
Cost of make-up: £187.27
Cost of skincare: £153.72
Cost of haircare: £14.37
Total cost of body admin: £355.33
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