skincare, makeup, being a grownup

October 27, 2016

I am 36 years old.

Things I do that are vain:
1) get my hair Japanese straightened
2) waxing (mainly eyebrows)
3) get pedicures, roughly half as often as I should
4) get manicures, almost never but I really do like it when I do
5) wear makeup (quite minimal though really: eyeshadow.  mascara.  sometimes some Benetint on my cheeks.  I’m mildly interested in upgrading my routine for better results but . . . only mildly.)
6) have a skincare ritual
Of all of the above, numbers 1-2 are annoying/painful (the hair is painful because of the price + the time involved!), numbers 3-4 are fun but inconvenient, and number 5 I find boring (probably because I am not good at it).  Number 6 is the one I have never really gotten into.
Until now!
This is not a sponsored post, FYI, and these are not affiliate links.  I bought the products and the companies do not care that I exist.  But I am happy enough with my current routine (and now into more ideas) so I wanted to share.  I actually find that my current skincare rituals make me feel good on several levels:  I enjoy doing them, I feel very pampered, and I love the way my skin feels/looks afterwards.  So, without more rambling, here is my current routine:
AM:  Nothing, unless I am going outside for any extender period of time.  Then: Aesop’s Sage and Zinc Hydrating Cream.  I will also layer stronger SPF (usually the kids’ California Baby) if I’m out for more than 45 minutes or so.
Cleanser – Aesop Parsley Seed Facial Cleanser
Toner – Aesop B&Tea Balancing Toner
Serum – Aesop Parsley Seed Antioxidant Serum  
Mask (weekly or so) – Estée Lauder 3 minute Detox Mask
These products are definitely not cheap, but they do last a long time.  I have been wearing the serum daily for several months and there is still a lot left.  I am in no way arguing that products like these are necessities; it’s total indulgence.  But as indulgences go, skincare is one that I have been enjoying in my routine lately, so I thought I’d write about it.  
That said . . . I do feel a bit conflicted about all of this.  My mother (hi mom & sorry!) is probably horrified.  My childhood upbringing was frugal and practical.  I washed unruly very un-straightened hair with Suave shampoo — or actually sometimes it was more like generic CVS brand “Compare to Suave!”.  Spending on beauty products was not something that was supported, nor was it subsidized.  So it took me a long time to feel like it was okay to spend out on cosmetics and skin care.   Honestly, I feel a little guilty even writing this post and admitting to the world that I do.  There’s also environmental impact to think about, and the simple fact that I don’t want a bathroom cluttered with 348728372 things.  But if I use them . . . and they spark joy . . . 
Do you have a skincare product or routine that you love?

Is it okay to buy indulgent skincare products when there are far more important things to care about in the world?

Questions to ponder . . . and kids to put to bed, and serum to apply.   Good night 🙂


  • Reply gwinne March 10, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    I was also raised to be frugal in this department (well, pretty much all departments!). But I don’t think there are certain "luxuries" that are inherently more valuable than others. I do find it problematic when people spend on ‘luxuries’ when they can’t afford necessities (thinking of my siblings here) but really spending money is such a personal thing…

  • Reply Valerie March 10, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    Sarah – it has been forever since i commented (and since we met at HLB years ago) but I still read your blog often and so appreciate it. I can actually really relate to feeling conflicted – oddly I don’t feel that way about my skincare routine (my mom always always bought skincare, even though it was drugstore), but more so about clothes. I had a minimalist wardrobe for years (think three suits, three dresses, a pair of jeans, two pairs of black pants, a few tops, all black, no color, and afew old workout clothes) but in the last couple of years have upgraded quite a bit. For one, I travel enough that my minimalist wardrobe caused a lot dry cleaning stress, not to mention that I was traveling in all sorts of locales where I actually had to tailor my wardrobe a bit (e.g. all black doesn’t work when you have at least 2-3 business casual trips to FL every winter). But now, with 6 suits, 10 dresses, two weeks worth of blazers/pants/skirts for business casual (my job is now business casual though I have to wear suits often enough that the dry cleaning/travel cycle issue is still an issue), I feel like it is over indulgent. On the other hand, I get great great joy that I never have to stress about clothes for a work trip. Also, clothes wear out (even investment purchases) – likely because I wear my clothes for 12-15 hours. Anyways, just wanted to stop by and say I really do understand the struggle with having a frugal/practical upbringing but also enjoying the indulgence. Thank you for having continued to blog 🙂

  • Reply Azusa March 10, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    I feel very much responsible (and guilty!) for this—just blame me! I’m sorry, Mrs. Hart!

  • Reply Ida March 10, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    I love your blog, but rarely comment. I dont think skin care is frivolous at all! Skin is the largest organ:) i would actually recommend going to a dermatologist and getting recommendations on which products to use. if you’re going to spend $$ it should be on products that give you the most bang for your buck. I recently went to one for the first time and i’ve seen such good results ( i thought my skin was okay, but a bit dry).
    Also- wear sunscreen every day!

  • Reply Danielle March 10, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    I agree that fashion and makeup is a beauty luxury. But, I have to admit I’ve always considered skin care to be just as important as showering and brushing my teeth. Unhappy skin is no fun! Enjoy your evening ritual!

  • Reply emilymargaretnyc March 10, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    Have you considered wearing your hair curly again? As someone with straight hair that is very difficult to get to hold any curl, I’m always jealous of the women with natural curls! (grass is always greener, etc., etc., but might be something to think about!)

  • Reply Susannah March 10, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    Sarah, you seem like a very practical, thoughtful, not at all impulsive/overspending/super hedonistic person. Loved this post and your thoughts and I say, you’re 36 years old and work hard and if you can..treat yourself!

  • Reply VLC March 10, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    Great post, thanks so much for sharing your routine with us 🙂

    Love the blog!

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    Do you have a newsletter? If so, do you send out blog posts like these to your list? I would be interested in signing up if you do.

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    You definitely need to go to a salon or spa regularly. trust these to beauty experts.

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