OK FIRST THING I have an assignment for you — in two weeks I’m going to do a post called Another Chance, and I need your help. This is a post that occurred to me while I was rearranging some perfume downstairs in my secondary storage. I want you, in the next day or two, to dig out a fragrance you haven’t worn in awhile (maybe even one you’re on the fence about) and I want you to wear it consistently for a few days like “normal” people do, lol. Then I want you to come back in two weeks and comment — did you decide you liked it? Hated it? Was your love rekindled? Is it going straight to your swap box? Why? I’ll choose something of my own and we’ll all report back. It’ll be fun!
SECOND THING I’m trapped at home and lonely and bored and anxious and I really appreciate your comments. It makes my day to stop by here and read what you have to say, so thanks. On to today’s post.
In the shower I was pondering (as one does) the state of my existence and the condition of my boudoir, and I realized I was surrounded by some of the cheapest things I own that bring me the most …. okay, maybe joy is the wrong word, but if one of them got lost, or used up, or broken, I’d get another pronto. I’ll provide links so you know what I’m talking about but many/most of these things are so common they could be sourced at Target, the drugstore, etc.
- A scalp scrubber. I read an article awhile ago from a dermatologist saying that in order to maintain our hair health we should be washing our hair less– with unscented shampoo– but scrubbing our scalps more. I only wash my hair once a week (even then, not because it looks greasy, lol) but I do a gentle once-over of my scalp with this doohickey in the shower about three times per week.
- That tiare-scented hand and body oil pictured above. It’s been manufactured since 1942, the bottle’s charming as heck, and the base is coconut oil, so I don’t use it on my face. I decant plain coconut oil into a dish on my bathroom shelf for ease of use, blended with a bit of this oil because it smells fantastic. The two together, slathered on my arms and legs in a steamy bathroom, is a little tropical vacation.
- A decent razor. I shaved for decades with those crap two-blade disposable drugstore razors, whatever was on sale while picking up toothpaste, and then I tried a five-blade on a whim and whoa the difference! If you want, there’s subscriptions like Billie and Flamingo (in the US anyway) that send you new blades in the mail.
- Some cloth facial cleansing pads. I use them for makeup removal and general skincare. Now that I’m not commuting to work, and all my makeup’s sitting right here, I’ve been practicing various lewks – the perfect winged eyeliner, the smoky eye, etc. It’s hilarious, I show up for my daily Zoom work check-in with eyes made up like an extra in an 80’s MTV video. Anyway, I thought washable pads were kinda dumb until a friend gave me these, and now I’m hooked. Splash out for one of those mesh lingerie bags to wash them in, then throw them in the laundry when you start to run low. There are a million variations in color, fancy organic ones on Etsy, etc.
- This easy peel. I love the Ordinary so, so much, for demystifying ingredients and for punching a giant hole in the notion that good skincare needs to be hideously expensive. I use several of their items including their marula oil, the caffeine gel, and their squalane serum. If your face is getting all rough-looking, slap some of this on for ten minutes and rinse and your skin will be as soft as the proverbial baby’s bottom. I find it gentle, but then I use AHAs and BHAs and whatnot all the time, so proceed accordingly.
- I keep gallon jugs of vinegar under every sink in the house, plus spray bottles in the kitchen and my shower. Are your drains getting funky? Your dishwasher? Your washing machine? Your clothing or towels or bedlinens? Throw some vinegar in there and let the magic happen (I swear, your laundry doesn’t come out smelling of vinegar.) In my bathroom I have one of those charming, old-timey clawfoot tubs with the ceiling-mounted shower curtain ring, and poor ventilation. After my shower I spritz the curtains with vinegar, and I’ve never had a mildew problem. I spray my hair occasionally for a clean cold-water rinse. I also (tmi!) have an occasional fungal issue with my left big toenail, a gift from a hot-yoga class years ago. Whenever it crops up, I spray it twice a day with vinegar until things return to normal.
- A glass nail file. Not gonna lie, if you’ve never used one, there’s a bit of tolerance you may need to develop. It’s got a weirdly annoying sensation to a lot of people, vaguely reminiscent of fingernails on a blackboard to me. However, it’s the smoothest, fastest file out there. My nails are both hard and brittle, and it’s difficult for me to get a smooth edge with a metal file or emory board, I’m always left with snags. A glass file is, well, glass, which means they can break if you drop them, and they’re not really portable unless you carry them in a protective hard case. But they’re cheap and otherwise durable enough I always have one or two sitting here. You can wash them, and if you don’t drop them they last forever.
OK, your turn! What cheap and cheerful treasures make your life easier in the personal-care department?