Thursday, October 22, 2015

Real beauty hacks for women who actually are too busy

I laughed when I read this article about beauty hacks for "seriously" busy women. The authors reckon you're seriously busy, yet you have time to test your makeup in different lighting, do a smoky eye, and wear mascara every day? Yeah no, as we say in Australian.

I used to do a job where I had to be away from home in a different from Sunday night to Friday night, started work at 4.30am and finished usually around 3.30-4pm. To get enough sleep, I needed to be in bed with the light out before 8pm, and before that I walked back to my apartment and then cooked myself dinner. I was also exhausted almost all the time - to be at work at 4.30am I had to be up around 3.50am. No way was I going to get out of bed early enough to put on makeup, wash my hair, or do anything other than shower, dress in the outfit I'd laid out the night before, and leave the house. Getting up before 4am should be covered in the Geneva convention, because it is not really ok for humans. But I digress. Point was, I was busy, I was on the road, and I didn't have time for most of the stuff "seriously" busy women apparently have time for.

Since then, I have worked even longer hours (though not generally requiring me to get up pre-6am thank goodness) and am travelling internationally for work. So I've added even more "hacks" to the routine.

Here are five things that save you serious time on a daily basis:
1. Permanently straightened hair, aka Korean rebonding. No blow drying, no straightening tongs, just smooth, sleek, glossy hair, airdryed. It's a hair miracle. I have thick, stupid, frizzy hair. That turns into an Edward Scissorhands style nightmare if it's even slightly humid. You know what's humid? The entire continent of Asia, among other places. You know where I have to go for work? You guessed it. Roots require redoing, but not that often, and in between all I have to do is wash and go.

2. Eyelash tinting. Ain't nobody got time for mascara. I have dark eyelashes and brows, but they get bleached at the ends by sunlight, so tinting them makes them look longer and thicker, just like mascara would, except instead of having to do it daily, I get to do it around once every six weeks.

3. Epilation. If I epilate my legs once a week I'm good to go barelegged or in sheer tights, without anyone thinking they've finally spotted the abominable snowwoman.

4. However 3. is not as good as hair removal with a giant "laser".# For a once-off cost of more money than I've currently paid off my mortgage* I have hair free armpits and upper lip. Forever. I'd get my legs done too, but that would require a second mortgage.**

5. A streamlined makeup routine that doesn't take longer than two minutes. I use a Body Shop vitamin C face thing, Neutrogena rapid wrinkle repair, and no foundation (which I think unless you have really terrible skin looks worse than not wearing it) except a dab of benefit porefessional on my nose and chin. White eyeliner inside my bottom lid to combat redness, pink eyeliner outside the bottom lid, benefit lemon aid on my eyelids, and benefit ooh la lift to combat dark circles. I have too many wrinkles there to use concealer - it sits in them and looks terrible. A dab of blush and some benefit high beam. That's it. I don't like to look like I'm wearing a lot of makeup - I just want to look like me but less tired (and as you may have gathered, I love benefit products!) (they are sadly not paying me to say this!) I usually put some coloured lip gloss on but not until I've finished my coffee on the train.

# obvious joke, although hair removal lasers are in fact surprisingly large.
* joke, although it wasn't cheap.
** not a joke.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

My secret weapons: staying tidy on the road

Confession time: I'm not the world's neatest person! In fact, my mother always used to claim my t-shirts were hungry, because I liked to feed them when I ate! But I like to travel with hand luggage only ('carry on' as those in other parts of the world call it) and I need to look professional when travelling for work. So I'm going to let you in on my two chief weapons, baby wipes and travel sized lint rollers. And a stain removal pen. My THREE chief weapons are surprise, baby wipes... (etc :P)

Baby wipes are remarkably effective stain removers - they'll get just about anything out of anything. But on the rare occasion that doesn't work, I have an instant stain removal pen. In the US you can get Tide to go, which I've read good things about. In Australia you can buy these on ebay, or occasionally you'll find them in shops that sell things like "Hollywood tape" and other handy items associated with being a woman like gel insets for silly shoes.

My other weapon is a mini lint roller. I ran out of the 3M one I bought I think from the Container store in the US, but was delighted to find they sell them at Bunnings for $2 each (no point linking as Bunnings have yet to join us in the 21st century and start selling things on the interwebs). I have two pugs, aka constant fur-shedding machines, not to mention a cat, and yesterday I opened the package of a brand new black cardigan I bought on line, to find (I kid you not) it had pug hairs on it already. THEY HAD MIGRATED THROUGH THE PACKAGING!!!

I wear a lot of black while travelling - it's the best for minimising the visibility of anything unfortunate, but it shows up fawn pug hairs like they're giant genetically engineered glow in the dark mammoth hairs! The lint roller is a must for staying professional - and it's also great for stray hairs, furniture that was shedding lint, scarves that were shedding fibres - the list goes on!

Friday, September 4, 2015

A lot of travel comin up

I have a new job that involves a fair bit of travel - I start on Monday and I've hear that between now and the end of November I'm going to be off to Japan, Indonesia and the US and China. Then I have a nearly three week trip to various theme parks in the US booked with my ten year old niece and my aunt - so it's going to be a travel-packed few months, and I'm promising to keep the blog updated with travel tips and maybe even some trip reports!