Thursday, August 26, 2010

Open Thread: How High Maintenance Are You?

Your answers the other day to the open thread about high maintenance products- items that are more work than they're worth, made me think about the subject of high maintenance in general. One doesn't become a beauty blogger without being very into everything making and cosmetics and greatly enjoying it. So yes, I'm definitely high maintenance. To a point.

A big part of this beauty obsession is the desire to know as much as possible about the subject, have the best items on hand and do it right, which to me means getting results in the most efficient way. As much as I love color and everything pretty, my right brain and left brain have always been at war, maintaining a weird status quo. It's a curse, really, because it means I don't go all the way with either. I need both logic and creativity in my life. But I digress. Back to the high maintenance topic.

While I spend far less time and energy on my hair than you'd guess, and I prefer a simple yet effective skin care routine, I like taking my time with makeup. Mixing, blending and applying colors to the best of my abilities, planning looks and playing with new items. It's fun. Yet, I can be quick and efficient when needed, do a "five minute face" in less than that time, or do my best with a liquid concealer, black eyeliner and a red lip gloss if things are truly dire.

I never ever leave the house without perfume, though.

So, how high maintenance are you? What are the steps you never skip? How quick can you be? Any shortcuts you take in a pinch?

Photo of actress Ann Sheridan from


  1. I'm pretty high-maintenance with skincare for my face (never skip a step/product), but low everywhere else. My hair is uncooperative so it's just shampoo/conditioner/air drying. 9 out of 10 days I just wear lipstick, but I'm a lipstick fiend so I own dozens. I have to curl my eyelashes so they don't bump my glasses every time I blink, I always wear perfume, and I never skip my biotin supplement, but that's the extent of it. I can be out the door in 30 minutes - including my shower - if I'm in a real pinch.

  2. I love makeup, but I think I'm less high maintenance now in my late 20's than I've ever been before. I don't go overboard with the hair-removal; a little fuzz on the legs and under the arms doesn't mortify me anymore.
    I am careful about cleaning my skin, and I try to be good about moisturizing and applying sunblock, but for the most part I just stick to what I know works best and fastest. I do, however, always enjoy my fragrances, and often apply scent even just to wear to bed.

  3. I think I am quite low mantainance make-up wise, at least when -all sleepy and grumpy -I'm late and have to rush from the house to go to work!
    I usually never skip concealer and/or a light eye make-up though: a dark liner over a neutral eyeshadow is my no brainer look.

    However, no matter how late, I usually find the time to choose my perfume and dissipate any early morning grumpiness. When I skip my perfume, my day feels so much less interesting!
    But I'm lucky enough that I work very close to high-end/niche perfume heaven... so if I skip perfume in the morning, I know I'll have bare skin available for testing and playing around at lunch time!

  4. The longest part of my getting-ready is usually spent in the closet, or rather, going back & forth from the closet to the full-length mirror. My usual routine is a five-minute face, I don't really play with makeup unless I'm going out at night. I'm most particular about my hair. Curly girls know how it is -- once you find a routine that works, you stick to it!

  5. If need be, I can do bed-to-door in 15mins, which basically includes brushing teeth+hair, face splashing with water + moisturizing and application of a lightweight tint (love Becca Luminos Skin or Armani Face Fabric). I have a mascara and a liner in the office so can do the rest later if I feel like. I also have a bath almost every evening so I am ok even without a morning shower.

    Having said this, I can equally take 45mins just on my face, with breakfast in between while the products sink in the skin. I adore eye shadows and the pleasure I have been getting from the new AW10Guerlain palettes is immense.

    NEVER in a million years I would willingly leave home without perfume. If I do forget, my handbags tend to be full of samples/decants so I always have something I can wear in emergency.

    And I religiously update my perfume diary with date and SODT.

    Overall I think I am on the low maintenance side.

  6. Always perfume. I must use a little concealer around my nose and under my eyes, and I always fill in my brows, because I'm very pale and they're very sparse. But if I'm in a hurry that's it + sunglasses and lipbalm.

  7. Sunscreen, Cle de Peau R3 (thanks to Gaia!), perfume, and I'm ready to face the day.

    I spend more time reading beauty blogs and exercising than I spend making myself beautiful in the morning!

    Like everyone else so far, unless I have plans to go test something new on skin, I don't leave the house without perfume. There's only one emergency bottle in my purse though, and that's 5mL of Safran Troublant. It's kinda like the perfect neutral lipstick; goes with anything :)

  8. I am slow to get going in the morning, but I don't get too made up or fancy with my hair. Which is too bad because I love lipstick and that would look especially wrong in my work environment. Tinted moisturizer/sunscreen (Olay Definity Color Recapture), neutral eyeshadow, dark brown eyeliner pencil & a touch of dark brown powder to fill in brows. I don't color my hair, which used to be very dark brown but is now a pleasing salt & pepper blend. One of my friends commented that it would take a lot of money to get that look! Always fragrance, but something gentle if I am going to work. I do like to wear the more adventurous perfumes at home & just before bedtime.

    I wear sunscreen every day. I remove my makeup every night, no matter how tired I feel. I take care of my teeth & gums--floss every day, drink plenty of water and (try to) get enough sleep. I know this sounds dorky, but a smile is an instant beauty boost.

  9. Like you, I tend to spend a maximum of ten minutes on my hair -that is the beauty of a flat iron! I like a very simple skin care regimen - dermatolgist prescibed ointments, Purity cleanser and a Chanel moisturizer slapped on top of that. But it's the makeup application that is my ritual and I love taking my time when doing this. I will never leave the house without my eyebrows (gym included). I have very light eyebrows and I got teased a lot while in high school. Shortly after I discovered Maybelline's eye brow and eyeling pencil - too bad I made the mistake of using BLACK! So I can skip everything else but please never tell me that I CANNOT do my brows! I have the challenge of getting ready in a good amount of time before I get my 2yr old daughter ready. So I guess that's why I don't mind getting up early because this is my daily "ME time".

    I guess this makes me med-maintenance? haha

  10. Perfume is an everyday must. I usually think about what I'll wear the night before! I rarely spend more than five minutes on hair/makeup before work. My current routine is moisturizer (I usually double up, a light lotion plus a heavier cream), mascara, tinted moisturizer, powder, blush, and lip balm, sometimes a little lipstick or gloss. This is the "presentable face," makes me feel more put together personally. When I'm just running errands I don't put on makeup, but I do, of course!, wear perfume.

  11. This year, I'm extremely LOW maintenance with makeup and hair. I gave up on my hair long ago when I realized how much money I'd spent on products and processes at the salon all the while never being happy with my hair. (why spend the $$ when the results are never beautiful?)
    I've been through phases with makeup, sometimes getting really into it and going on a buying frenzy, other times not doing anything but a 5 minute face for months. I would never go out without basic foundation, mascara and lipstick though. I mean, "go out" as in dinner or to the office, not the grocery store. I've been to the grocery store plenty of times without a lick of makeup on my face.
    I would never leave the house without perfume though. Ever. I did forget to choose a scent recently and it caused me anxiety the entire day.
    Gigantic Jacki-O sunglasses and a ponytail are my ultra low maintenance days... ;-)

  12. It takes me an hour to get ready for work, involving shower, breakfast, makeup, choosing outfit and perfume, making the bed, cleaning teeth, fixing hair, etc. I don't skip any steps except making the bed, no matter how late I am (yes I am often late for work).

    At night no matter how tired I am I wash and moisturize my face and clean my teeth. Every month I do a full pedicure with polish, every 3 weeks I dye my hair.

    I'd say the only place I scrimp is time spent styling my hair. I can never get it to look fabulous so I just gave up and wear it up in a twist or ponytail, so that is my lowest maintenance beauty routine.

    I wouldn't have described myself as high maintenance but now that I think about it, maybe I am!

  13. I'm high maintenance on all levels, esp the hair and makeup. All things considered, I can be ready in 30 minutes, 10 min shower, 10 minutes skincare routine, 10 minutes brushing teeth, picking out clothes and applying makeup. I do have very curly dry hair,(I also dye it and swim daily) so I have to use good quality moisturizing products that contain a sunscreen. Deva Products are currently in my rotation and they are really good. They have a nice light hold styling gel that I mix with a leave-in conditioner that really works well for me. It gives definition to my hair without being hard or crunchy feeling.

    I've simplified my skin care routine but never skip sunscreen and application of a daily antioxidant like Active C by La Roche Posay, it's lightweight and effective for repairing sun damage.

    I use foundation, shadow and mascara daily. My loves for the past few seasons have been Chanel and Guerlain. Especially Chanel, their makeup color stories have been amazing, Guerlain's eye shadow textures are lovely. I bought a backup of the kohl eye liner in Marine, that color was super nice!

    I love Chanel's Mat Lumiere foundation, I've also given their Teint Innocence a try for travel and will always keep one in the makeup bag. For mascara, I adore Buxom Mascara, very nice results, especially for the price tag.
    Fragrance is a daily must- it's silly but I can't live without a daily dab... My mother in law can tell what scent I'm wearing because I hug my kitty cats before I leave the house, they pick up lots of Shalimar or Fendi. They are very well-scented kitties!

  14. Well, I never leave the house without perfume, and usually don't go out without at least concealer and blush on. But I get my hair cut wherever (usually the Chinese women on Solano Ave.) and don't do regular mani or pedi or anything like that. So I guess I'm pretty low maint! As far as skincare, I use Trader Joe's face wash ATM, but I have Clé de Peau anti-aging cream too! But I usually use Olay Regenerist or Neutrogena antiwrinkle cream at night, and Kiehl's ulta moisturizer with SPF 15 in the morning. I have some expensive lipstick and makeup (by that I mean NARS, not Chanel), but I am only high maint when it comes to perfume.

    Oh, and I usually wear yoga pants or jeans and a GAP or Target shirt. :-P

  15. This is a very interesting topic as I am sure everyone has their bottom line for their "big money" products. For me it is hair. I have extremely dry hair and if I use a drugstore brand and/or bad conditioner, my hair looks like a Brillo pad on crack. I normally use Phyto shampoo for dry hair, then a good conditioner, then leave in conditioner and/or argan oil, then a styling product. There is no getting around this routine. Of course I draw the line at price points like Oribe, etc. a little too high maintenance!!

  16. I wish I could be quick with make up. It always seems to take a long time, not easy when small people get impatient! In a rush I use the same route as you and go for statement lips and a liner.

    I think I'm pretty high maintenance, however when needs must I will go out without make-up. I don't really devote much time to my hair. In an attempt to make it look presentable with minimal effort, I've had a brazilian blow dry. Fingers crossed this will help me look groomed on the days when I really have run out of time!

  17. I'm low maintenance when it comes to my hair & moderately high maintenance when it comes to my skin. Since I have wavy/curly hair, the less done to it, the better. I don't brush it or use a flat iron or curling iron. I just put in leave-in conditioner & some styling gel at night & let it air dry overnight. My skin is a different matter. I apply sunscreen & an anti-oxidant rich serum from Paula's Choice EVERY DAY & an AHA 8% gel from Paula's Choice at night. If I break out I use my acne care products from Paula's Choice. (No, I don't work for Paula's Choice. I'm just a very happy customer.) My makeup routine varies depending on how much time I have. The bare minimum is foundation & concealer where needed. Like virtually everyone who's commented so far, I ALWAYS apply perfume before I leave the house. I just don't feel completely put together w/o it.


I love comments and appreciate the time you take to connect with me, but please do not insert links to your blog or store. Those will be deleted. The comment feature is not intended to provide an advertising venue for your blog or your commercial site.

Related Posts Widget