Right now, I’m in a good place with my various beauty and femininity efforts. I’m pleased with the efficacy of my skincare products. My makeup looks are coming together seamlessly. My hair is loving the current routine and I’m having consistently great head to toe looks. I’m in a great rhythm with my physical fitness and mental health pursuits, and all of these efforts are paying off emotionally and visually.

However.

I know it’s just a matter of time before I get bored with these results, or my schedule picks up and I need sleep more than perfection. They say beauty is pain and while my chemical peels and DIY waxing definitely attest to that truth, I think beauty is commitment.

How do you create the continual motivation to do these things? Where do you seek out inspiration, not for the execution of your own style and beauty, but to stay stylish and beautiful period? What kinds of habits, journals, lists, or other things do you use as a tool to stay on top of your effort to be beautiful?

I’ll start by saying I think motivation and inspiration are great, but totally unreliable. Since I was a kid I’ve set out to create my own motivation and inspiration, being proactive about it rather than waiting for it to make itself known. As someone without much discipline, this auto-motivation has been hugely helpful to me, so that’s my premise! Through trial and error, I’ve discovered a few additional but unecessary tactics to help me stay committed to beauty:

  • I made this Pinterest board full of images I consider gorgeous that make being high maintenance look fun and desirable. Looking at glamorous women undergoing glamorous beauty processes usually gets me in the mood to indulge in my routines!
  • On a similar note, making myself feel like I look glamorous while in the process helps a ton! I wear silk robes and try to put my lipstick on early in my routine. A lot of my beauty practices are designed such that I wake up in the morning nearly ready. I try to basically stay as pretty as possible even when I’m waist deep in wax or hydrocolloid bandages or whatever other unsightly things come up in this pursuit to be gorgeous.
  • If I focus on having to do the task or how long the process takes, I want to skip it. Considering carefully which of my routines to do based on the time I’d prefer to spend primping is key. For this reason I have developed low maintenance and high maintenance routines, each using specific products and sequences of steps in order to achieve the maximum possible result in the allotted time! I go so far as to time these processes so I can cut out unnecessary steps.
  • Keeping my various beauty kits very organized has helped so much! Everything having its own user-friendly place makes it take less time and feel less chaotic like a mad dash to the end result. I have a large travel case for events and multi-evening trips where I can store brushes, skincare, and various makeup products. I have a bare minimum makeup travel kit with sample sized products that I use for day trips or when I need to unexpectedly get ready in a hurry. My bathroom and vanity are all organized by category and process. This further enables me to save time and stress hunting for what I need!
  • I’m starting to enjoy having prettier containers and products that fit my style statement. Having a cohesive aesthetic to a skincare/hair/makeup routine makes the process feel more luxurious. If I find a product with gorgeous packaging, I consider if its worth adding to my routine in the future once I have the need for it. I’ll never have a one-brand only routine, and some of my favorite products don’t suit my aesthetic at all. My solution is to decant unappealingly packaged products into my own containers.
  • I usually do all my skincare at the sink, but I’ve transitioned to doing as much of it as possible while enjoying a bubble bath or an oil bath! As I wait for the water to reach temperature I fill the pets’ bowl with the first blast of cold water. While the bath’s filling I take the time to tidy up the bathroom, check the weather and lay out whatever I’ll be wearing. I’ll place whatever skincare I need for the day on my bath tray along with a hand towel, a glass of water, and a fan. Having this set up makes better use of my time and also helps me to combine tasks in a way that I’ll be sure to get more accomplished!
  • Anytime I am getting ready, I turn on my style statement playlist. It’s a very lengthy playlist brimming with songs that I simply adore. I limit myself, and only listen to this playlist when getting ready. If I’m not in the mood to dermaplane my face or do a scalp treatment, I know I’m definitely in the mood to want to feel gorgeous. The style statement playlist and the work I do when listening to it are the solution to that desire! I’ve also established some of my favorite candle scents to use only during my beauty routines. All this combined makes me look forward to the means AND the end of my high maintenance pursuits!
  • I’ve progressively trained myself not to think about work, goals, or other rigorous pursuits during this time. I very much practice this “mental hygiene” in the same way most people practice sleep hygiene! I’m careful not to open my work email during these times, or to engage with topics related to personal development if I’m texting or browsing online. If I find my mind going there, I’ll change the music or physically get into a different position (standing to sitting, reclining to upright, etc.) to physically change the mental state so I can redirect my attention to restful, fun, frivolous matters.
  • Creating my own trackers and beauty stickers for use in my bullet journal has also been indispensably helpful. A running log of successes had, failures to learn from, and things to research ignites the curious part of my brain to view all of my beauty efforts as one big experiment! Just reviewing what I’ve recorded inspires me to see what else I can discover.

All in all, once the beauty routines start to land with the intended effect, it’s easy to forget how much hard work was required to achieve the goal. Whether you’re striving for weight gain, improved skin, longer hair, or any other worthy beauty goal, I encourage you to stay committed to caring for yourself, no matter how much creativity is required!

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