So I got into a pretty interesting discussion with some colleagues about how differently women treat themselves and how big of a difference there is in what people prioritize in their beauty and personal care.
One of our conclusions was that there is a big difference in how people want "natural" beauty or not.
I'm completely on the team "natural beauty". Unless it's a special occasion, I can't help but feel that any "beauty" that can be washed off by rain, or ruined by wind, is a waste of time to apply.
Everything else that can help with the "natural" beauty though? Yea, no problem. Skincare, hair care, teeth bleaching, eyebrow waxing, eyelash dyeing, exfoliating, epilating, dermarolling, eyelash extensions, any kind of supplement... Bring it on!
Of course I'm by far the one at my office spending the most time and effort on my skin. The Korean skincare routine just takes more time and effort, but it's worth it: My skin responds really well to it. Time and effort yes, but not money. I found it mildly horrifying how much some of my colleagues spend on their skincare products! One of my colleagues admitted what she had just spent on some western anti-aging skincare line and according to my calculations, it was about 3/4 of what I paid for my latest mixed haul. Shocking!
I brought up an example that has mystified me since I encountered it: A colleague in an old workplace used to have the most elaborate eye makeup. Obviously she spent a lot of time on it every single day. But she also had what I can best describe as a mustache that any teenage boy would be proud of. It drove me absolutely nuts looking at it. I never mentioned it to her, or anyone else at that office, but it bothered me so much. I can completely respect the "My body, my rules" but I had trouble accepting that someone could put in so much effort on makeup, and then ignore something that seemed like such an obvious problem area. But maybe that's just me.
Luckily my colleagues had a good chuckle at it, and didn't think I was a jerk.
My colleagues found it funny that the only thing I do that doesn't look "natural", is that I like to do cute (And sometimes totally over the top) toenail designs. Of course this fits into my own personal conclusion, that I like to do things that have a high effect to effort ratio: Even if I spend a couple of hours doing my toenails, the result will last weeks. It will look good even when I roll out of bed in the morning. No upkeep required either. At least until it chips off, I guess.
So, my thoughts on effect vs. effort for some of the things I do.
Effort: I spend maybe 30 minutes to 1 hour 1-2 a month, however, you have to pay some attention when you do this, so the effort is fairly high.
Effect: The result lasts some weeks. But I guess the main point of the effect is that I can avoid shaving gels or wax, stuff that my skin doesn't appreciate.
Effort: Maybe 5 minutes twice a month? I've been considering dyeing them slightly darker, like a light brown since thick, dark brows remain in fashion. Maybe I'll get around to it. Some day...
Effect: Totally worth the time spent.
Effort: Maximum 5 minutes once a month.
Effect: The dye is permanent, so the effect lasts until I shed the eyelashes. The last dyed eyelashes are gone after about 6 weeks, but the effect is definitely noticeable after a month.
This is the top score on effort to effect.
Effort: 1-2 a week for washing or deep conditioning. The time spent on washing depends on if I just do a scalp wash or a full deep conditioning. A lot of the time goes to just having my hair wrapped up in cling wrap with conditioner, which is hardly any "effort" since I can read or work at the computer at the same time.
Effect: Depends on which wash type, but the effect is usually noticeable for days.
Effort: I absolutely can't stand having long fingernails so I cut and file my nails once a week. Low effort, low level of caring about this.
Effect: Meh? I don't notice a "nice" effect, but I get annoyed when they need work.
Effort: A couple of hours for a full, cute nail design and foot care. A couple of minutes for basic upkeep. Twice a month maybe?
Effect: The effect can last for maybe a month before getting chipped and damaged, and cute toenail designs makes me happy.
Effort: High. Daily effort and care here. However, the sheet masks are easy, "hands free" when you have the silicone mask covers. Recommended!
Effect: Totally worth it.
Effort: Hah. Kind of silly having to list something so basic, right? But I do try to make teeth care a priority once in a while (Maybe once a week or so?), otherwise it just gets stuck on routine. Brush + floss + brush again + gentle whitening strips + pharmacy-grade mouth wash.
Effect: Dunno, my dentist thought it was a good idea when I mentioned it?