Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Breast Cancer Awareness

Breast Cancer Awareness

This proverb gained a lot of meaning for me last week when something quite amazing happened in the landscape of social media. You may have heard of the #nomakeupselfie campaign that went viral last week here in the UK in support of Cancer Research UK to raise awareness of breast cancer.

It all started with a group of women who decided to take a selfie of themselves with no make up on and post it on either Facebook,Twitter or Instagram. They then nominated and challenged their friends to do the same and at the same time donated £3 via text to Breast Cancer Research. It was so popular that within days the charity received well over £2m in donations!!!! The charity was overwhelmed by the generosity and the popularity of the #nomakeupselfie campaign especially as they hadn’t even started it!

As an ex-breast cancer sufferer myself, I thought I’d join in this campaign and post my selfie and make my donation. Mmmm, what do you think? Best to ‘slap on’ some make up?!

my #nomakeupselfie

my #nomakeupselfie

On a serious note though, I started thinking more about the idea of beauty and make up and how much time and money we women spend on making ourselves beautiful and how important our appearance is to us. This blog is not the place to discuss what constitutes beauty but it certainly is the place to share with you the vocabulary of beauty and make up in the English Language. After all, if beauty and how we look is very important to us then learners of English need to know how to talk about it.

When I say beauty I mean the beauty regimen that we women follow on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. I cannot speak for all women so I thought I would share with you the beauty regimen that I follow and the make up I use. Please feel free to share any beauty secrets you have with me. All tips will be gratefully accepted!

My Beauty Regimen

Beauty-Regimen-For-WomenEvery morning: In my bathroom cabinet you will find facial cleanser to cleanse my skin every morning and night together with a facial toner. In the mornings, I wash my face using the cleanser and rinse it off with a flannel or face cloth. I then wipe my face with the toner using a cotton pad. I use a day moisturiser with SPF30. Sometimes, if I am not too lazy, I will use an eye cream and apply small dots around the eye area and gently rub the cream in. Any help to smooth out those wrinkles are always welcome!! My face is now ready to have make up applied to it. More of that later.

Blog_beauty productsEvery night: I use baby oil to remove my eye make up at night. I used to buy eye make-up remover but found that baby oil is just as good and cheaper. I dab my cotton pad in the oil and gently wipe my eyes. I then apply my facial cleanser using my fingers, massage my face and rinse off all the day’s dirt and make-up using my flannel. I love the wonderful clean feeling I get after I’ve washed my face. I feel like I’ve washed off all the stresses of the day. After I have wiped my face with the toner, I apply my night cream which will nourish and repair my skin overnight and once again if I can be bothered, I will apply the eye cream. Then it’s bed time!

Every week: I try to remember to do this every week for I know that I should exfoliate my skin once a week with a good facial scrub. Exfoliation is very good to remove dead skin and to rejuvenate our complexion. There are different products that you can use. I personally prefer using a product with granules. As the granules rub against my skin I feel the dirt coming off!
When I have the time and there is a good radio programme on I might use a facial mask. The mask allows for deep cleansing of the skin. I apply it with my fingers, leave it on for 20 minutes and then rinse it off thoroughly. It’s very important to apply the mask on already cleansed skin.


Photo: Zazou

Photo: Zazou

Occasionally: When I worked in Finance I would have a facial once a month at my beauty salon. The facial is a wonderful way of thoroughly cleansing your skin. I used to love my monthly sessions as it was a real luxury to lie for an hour and a half while someone pampered you.
Since becoming an EFL trainer, I have a facial once a year if that! Ahhh, life is tough, I know…….


My Make Up
Now for the make-up. I don’t use a lot of make up. It is certainly a lot less than when I was younger. I remember that I used to “cake on” the make-up when I was a teenager. It was a must to experiment with every colour. When I look back at some photos now, I scare myself.

Face: I used to wear foundation but not anymore. Now I use a bronzer to give myself that suntanned look. I use a big make-up brush to apply the bronzer all over my face, neck and decollete. Some women also use a concealer or primer to hide spots and flaws or blemishes of the skin.


Check out these false eyelashes!

Check out these false eyelashes!

Eyes: After that I apply a light eye shadow with a small brush on my eyelids. I am not very good with eye shadow so I avoid it. I use a pencil eyeliner (rather than a liquid eyeliner) and apply it below my eye. Sometimes I will apply it above the eye but only if I want to create a dramatic effect (which is rare). I then use mascara.

There are so many types of mascara ranging from volumising, lash defining, waterproof, lengthening and curling to name but a few. If you want more information about the types of mascare, take a look here. I use a lengthening and curling mascara.I don’t have long eyelashes so I need all the help I can get with mascara. Some women use eyelash curlers to enhance their eyelashes. I’ve never used them.

I’ve noticed a lot of young girls using false eyelashes instead of mascara. Some of them are so long that I wonder whether they can see anything out of them!

Blog_LipsLips: Finally I deal with the lips. I like to use a lipliner to give my lips definition. I know that the older I get the more definition my lips need! I use a lipliner rather than a lip pencil. After that, I will apply lipstick or lipgloss depending on what mood I am in. I like to use neutral shades of colour. I like lipgloss in the summer and lipstick in the winter. I sometimes have to use a lip balm to protect my lips from the cold as they can get chapped. A lot of lipsticks have a protective lip balm in them.

When I worked in the Financial Services industry I spent a fortune on beauty products. Ever since becoming an EFL trainer though, my budget has shrunk and I am more sensible with how I spend my money and truly believe that you can maintain an effective beauty regimen on a sensible budget. What do you think?

I have to say that whilst I don’t agree with the obsession that surrounds the beauty industry, I always feel better when I apply a little make up and when my skin is glowing with health. Exercise is a great way of getting good-looking skin. Sweat is an excellent way to cleanse your skin. The way I sweat during exercise must surely mean that I have the most fantastic skin in the world!!!

How much time and money do you spend on skincare and makeup? Does it make you feel good when you apply some makeup? What is your beauty regimen?

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Ciao for now