A Step Above Basic: The Lazy Girl Self-Care Routine
By: Mies Allen
There is no doubt that the majority of women feel better when they spend time on themselves. I certainly do – when I’m putting in an extra bit of work on my appearance it not only feels good to do something just for my benefit, but it also increases my confidence in the long run.
However, there is one problem; I am very lazy.
I know I am not alone when I say that finding the motivation to pamper myself is difficult. There never ends up being enough hours in the day to do all the things that make me feel good.
But, fear not. Over quarantine, I discovered that if I dedicate a small part of every day to self-care, it is easier to remain consistent in my routine. Furthermore, when I know that I am taking this time for myself daily, my confidence never seems to plateau as it used to when I had one, frankly quite stressful, ‘pamper night’ each week. It is also a lot easier and far less time-consuming this way, so for lazy girls like me, it is low effort but high reward.
It is not necessary to buy into a complex ten-step skincare routine that takes up half an hour of your day. However, you do need to commit to a simple routine (morning and night) to keep your skin healthy. Spending a little more time and money on your skincare is a great way to take care of yourself, as investing here means you have to worry less about makeup and can feel confident in the skin mother nature gave you. Here is a simple but effective skincare routine I recommend:
- Toner: Garnier natural rose water toner
- Moisturizer: Nivea creme (this is a controversial product, but it works so well for me and many people consider it a dupe for La Mer)
- Sun protection: CeraVe hydrating sunscreen
- Body moisturizer: Clarins moisture-rich body lotion
- Cleanser: See above
- Facial oil: 2 drops of rosehip or CBD essential oil
- Body moisturizer: see above
- An extra step to be done twice a week: L’oreal skin expert pure clay mask
No woman has the monopoly on haircare because depending on the amount you have and how it falls, the best routine for you will vary. However, there are some products and tricks that all lazy girls will benefit from.
OGX beauty is a standout brand for affordable haircare. They use only organic ingredients with no sulfates or parabens, so your hair is never stripped of its natural oils. They seem to have something for everyone; for example, I have fine, long, color-treated hair that I like to wash each day, and I love the Renewing Argan Oil of Morocco.
Stick with one particular range of products for the full effect – find the right OGX range for your hair type here:
Twice a week, you should also be using a hair mask or deep leave-in conditioner. My personal favorite is the OGX Damage Remedy Coconut Miracle Oil Hair Mask.
Most lazy girls will opt for hot tools to quickly style their hair, but there are low-maintenance options that do not cause so much damage. Recently, an easy curling method – robe curls – went viral on TikTok. There are many tutorials online, but in essence, you place a robe tie on top of your head, wrap your hair around it starting from the pieces that fall around your face and adding more each time you make a twist, and sleep with it in to wake up with effortless old Hollywood style curls.
Even if you are growing your hair, try and have your hair trimmed relatively often. My mother trims my hair for me once a month, so it does not need to be an expensive experience. Aim for once every three months at the very least. For an extra boost, here is a witchy tip I learned from my Wiccan grandma – cut your hair on a full moon, as it supposedly makes it grow stronger and thicker. In the meantime, make sure that if you do have very long hair, you brush it every day with a brush or comb suited to your hair type. If you prefer your hair tousled, as I do, brush your hair only just before you wash it.
Many lazy women consider nail care the most tedious part of their beauty routine, hence why so many opt for the acrylic option. However, acrylics are expensive and a slippery slope because once you start getting them, they can cause damage to your nails. An alternative option is to set aside one hour every week for a DIY manicure. This method promotes healthy nail growth and keeps them strong, so in the long run, they are easier to look after.
- Soften your nail bed with an essential oil
- Push back your cuticles gently with a wooden cuticle pusher
- Trim the cuticle carefully – only if you have a lot of excess dead skin
- File down the tip of the nail – this step is essential for nail strength and growth. For almond-shaped nails, slide the file up from the bottom edge of the nail towards the top middle, creating a curving motion as you go
- Coat the nail with a layer of a nail hardening base coat – I recommend Rimmel London Nail Nurse
- Apply two coats of your chosen nail color. Before each layer dries, clean up the cuticle area with a damp brush
- Apply one layer of topcoat – I recommend any by Sally Hansen
- You can find more manicure tips on sites like Cote.
In the shower
For most of us, showers are part of a daily routine we perform like clockwork. However, if you take that extra five minutes in the shower every day and add only a few more steps, you will find that this aspect of self-care becomes second nature.
- Make sure the shower is the right temperature before you get in – a bit of steam will open up your pores
- Cleanse your face and brush your teeth before you get in – that way you won’t forget later
- If you shave, get this step out of the way first. Start at the highest point and work your way down. I suggest using baby oil instead of shaving foam as this will prevent irritation
- Exfoliate your body – ideally with an exfoliating brush, but if not, sea-salt or sugar scrub. Keep in mind that exfoliating beads are bad for your skin, your plumbing, and the environment
- Wash, shampoo, and condition as usual
- Before getting out, rinse your hair with cold water to decrease frizziness
Every lazy girl has one particular weakness regarding self-care, and exercise happens to be mine. My excuse is that because I am European, I have a natural laissez-faire approach to exercise – it just does not seem to be as ingrained in our culture as it is in the USA. However, exercise is undoubtedly important for both body and mind and is especially effective if it takes place outdoors.
For those like me, walking or hiking is a great way of exercising because it isn’t necessarily a means to the end of being healthy, it is a means in itself – getting out of the house and enjoying the world around you. Slower exercises are no less effective than high-intensity ones if kept up, so don’t be afraid to dabble in pilates, yoga, swimming, or even ballet if you want to exercise but like to keep things gentle.