Monday, 7 August 2017

Effect vs. effort

One of my colleagues came into work with a set of eyelash extensions today. It looked really awesome! Natural enough that you didn't notice it was the eyelashes right away, but just that she looked pretty and well rested or something. I really loved the effect and I'm seriously considering trying it. I don't use any oils or based serums at the moment but I wonder how the extensions will hold up against my skincare routine, and especially the Clarisonic.

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.

Eyelash dye
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?


  1. It's funny how we all choose different focal points for our appearance. And in each case, it's totally our choice.

    Given my life with being outdoors, my prep is minimal. In fact, I can be showered (including washing hair since I air dry it) and make up and out the door. Now, having said that, my make up is minimal. No foundation or cover up. I only use cover up if going out. I then add basic blush, eyeliner and eyeshadow. That's it. Done. Hair? Washed, brushed, conditioned and probably braided. Hat over top, sunblock and whatever breeches I'm in.

    But, I do get my hair colored (Gray coverage) every six weeks or so. Like you, I cut my nails--I don't even bother filing them. But I do put on cute polish, especially during sandal season. I even some times do fun stuff, but not lately.

    The woman you said that did her eye make up, but had a mustache---my one thought: maybe she did her eye make up to draw attention away from her mustache? Maybe she couldn't get it waxed or cover it up due to reasons you may not have known (Skin sensitivity??). Hard to say really.

    The only thing friends have told me about eyelashes is the glue can be pretty irritating. If you do consider getting them, maybe see if you can do a test swatch on your skin with the adhesive before making the investment?

    1. That should say in 15 minutes. :) In terms of me getting ready and out the door.

    2. Hiya Darkhorse :)
      Good point: Your lifestyle also has a big impact on what you need to focus on or find necessary to do.
      I really don't know the motivation behind the woman with the mustache, so you could easily be right. I never asked because I would have felt like an ass XD

  2. Interesting topic!

    I would like to get a better routine for my skin, especially so that I can spend less effort in the mornings covering up breakouts. I'm not doing a perfect-skin for everyday, but I'm self-conscious enough to cover up bigger spots. If I could find a routine that would keep away the troubles, that would be totally worth it for me, even if it would be more effort than wash, tone, moisturize and go.

    I wash my hair daily. I don't like it, I'd be happy to go with less but can't because of the eczema and horrible itchiness I get. It's worth effort for my, but I don't like it.

    I have considered getting an eyelash perm to get a nice lasting result, but I haven't seen one that would have convinced me to look good and natural enough that I'd do it.

    1. Hello Buchfreundin!
      Hehe, that has been my motivation all along with my skin too! I can definitely recommend looking into adding some more steps or tools to your routine :) It really made a difference to mine.
      I have never actually noticed eyelash perms before? Don't think I've even seen a place that offers it. It does make sense to consider it though, but I can easily see how it could look "too much". How would it even work when you start shedding the old, permed lashes and have new, straighter ones grow in?

  3. I just started with your idea of 1 self-care item per day. I've been doing it since Aug 1 and it's wonderful! I usually get anxious having to achieve all that it one day before an event. Now my skin and nails are always ready. I also pick my skin so doing a manicure every 5 days keeps them short and freshly painted so I don't want to mess it up or have length to pick. I agree - less effort/time daily but gets the job done.

    1. Hi Anon :)
      Really happy to hear it has helped you with your anxiety! I found having a routine like that a total gamechanger, so it makes me really happy when someone else finds it useful too!