As life slowly returns to normalcy (and we prepare to see humans beyond the Zoom world), it's becoming clear that a lot of things are going to change. For people going back to the office, that means no more working on the couch in pajama pants and unbrushed hair. We're pulling out the blazers and high heels once again, and bringing our lipsticks and eyeliner back into the limelight.
There are degrees of both excitement and anxiety around reinstating our beauty rituals, however. (Let's be honest, we've all kind of enjoyed not having to do a full face of makeup every morning before 9 a.m.) But starting a beauty routine, even after a whole year of not having one, doesn't have to feel overwhelming, nor do you have to go back to the same level of maintenance you did before. The pandemic has allowed us to prioritize the things that matter, and the same concept can be applied to your beauty ritual. The key is to filter out things that don't "spark joy" (as Marie Kondo would put it), and only preserve the practices that lend themselves to self-care. Here are some tips for transitioning to a low-maintenance but transformative beauty routine.
Spritz a summery fragrance.
There are many things that directly affect our mood, but perhaps one of the strongest correlations is our sense of smell. If you've been feeling the social pressure lately (who hasn't?), a soothing fragrance can quell your stress levels and keep you grounded when you have to leave the confines of your home. If you're not a fan of mists and sprays, don't worry—there are tons of unconventional ways to apply fragrance that work equally as well.
Wear tinted sunscreen.
UV rays don't take a break, so neither should your SPF routine. Heavy foundations can feel thick and uncomfortable on your skin after a year of going bare, but a tinted formula can give your face the sun protection it needs and smooth your complexion to boot. Friendly reminder that you should be applying a quarter-sized dollop of at least SPF 30 to be fully protected—so if your formula is more tint than screen, consider implementing an additional layer of sunscreen underneath.
Give hair some TLC.
Has your hair taken a toll from a year of no salon visits? We tend to focus on the hair growing out of it, but the reality is that most of our hair problems stem from the scalp itself. The good news: With ingredients that were once reserved for our faces now being repurposed for our hair, it's easier than ever to find at-home haircare products that do more than make our strands smell good. Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid and micellar water, both of which will help restore lost moisture, and formulas that are pH-balanced and UV-protective.
Find a bright lipstick.
There's a reason why the saying exists: Give a girl the right lipstick and she can conquer the world. Although we all have our personal makeup preferences, perhaps the most universally acclaimed beauty item (loved by both third-graders and grandmas alike) is a good lip product. There's something magical about applying a bright, bold lipstick—not only does it make you feel more confident, put-together, and empowered, studies have shown that it also makes other people perceive you as such.
Indulge in a relaxing foot soak.
If you're looking to get your feet sandal-ready, eliminate unsightly calluses with an Epsom salt bath. Aside from the obvious that they feel amazing (the magnesium eases aches and pains), they also soften the dead skin that lingers on feet, making subsequent exfoliation much more effective. Plus, you can do it all from the comfort of your bathroom; simply draw water into a basin, pour in the Epsom salt, and soak your feet for 15 to 20 minutes. Afterwards, you can use a pumice stone or foot brush to gently exfoliate dead skin.