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The Crunch Factor

August 22, 2008

Lest my first post lead you to believe that everything around here is going to be all Y SO SRS, let me assure you that I have no intention of publicly wallowing in my misery all the time. If I wanted to do that, I’d have gone to Livejournal.

So just for fun, I thought I’d write about something that always sits in the back of my mind, shooting down any attempts my brain makes at devising beauty routines. I am a damned hippie. This does not mean I wear tie-dye and patchouli and get high all the time, no. It does mean I feel I should behave as a responsible steward of the earth and blah blah blah. This has been a major, MAJOR stumbling block for me, because every time I read a review that says “oh hey, this foundation is awesome!” my inner earth child says “But the damage it caused to the environment! the unethical business practices of the company that made it! You may as well head to the gas station and guzzle straight 93 octane! Oh, my heavens, you will go STRAIGHT TO HELL if you use this product!”

It sounds almost like Catholic guilt, but I’m not Catholic, so who knows? Getting this inner hippie to shut up is kind of vital, though. First of all, yes, I know there are lots of homemade beauty recipes, and many of them are earth friendly and la there are fairies singing their praises, right? The thing is, when I wash my face with honey, I don’t feel like I’m making myself beautiful. I feel like I just stuck honey all over my face. See also: washing hair with baking soda and vinegar; using Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Soap as toothpaste.

Then we have the organic beauty industry. It sounds all happy granola, but the fact that something says it’s organic is not in and of itself a declaration of sustainability. Also? Sometimes the company is just flat out lying. Now, if I were to use one of these products and feel like I was being pampered, and happy with the result, then sure, fine. But again this inner hippie says “OMG you should only use natural sustainable stuff! It works just as well!”

OK, maybe. Maybe it does. But I’m starting from absolute square one here, and if I’m going to make a routine and stick to it I know it has to be something that makes me happy. Washing my hair with baking soda does not make me happy. It makes me feel gross and greasy. Sure, my hair looks good when I’m done, but the actual process is so off-putting that I could easily make excuses to avoid washing my hair for, oh, a month.

Principles and pragmatism once again take to the field, and the dreaded compromise becomes a necessity. I’ve decided that feeling good is a priority for me. I take steps in other areas of my life to live my beliefs; maybe one day I’ll be strong enough to employ them everywhere, but somehow I doubt it — something about being human, or some such nonsense.

And so, for purposes of this experiment, I’m kicking the inner hippie to the curb. It’s probably too high to notice, anyway. I will not feel guilty about buying beauty products (clothes are maybe another story), I will not spend hours with Google trying to find out the ethics of the company, I will just let myself experiment. If the product happens to align itself with my moral compass, well, so much the better, but I’m not going to artificially make things harder on myself. I’ve already got budgetary constraints, and a need to learn what works and what’s even appropriate for me. It’s kind of like letting yourself use paper plates when you’re so overwhelmed that doing the dishes makes you want to crawl under your covers and die. Only, you know, maybe less dire.

Grocery store beauty be damned, I’m hitting up Sephora. Oh, wait, I already did. I decided to use my birthday money (several months old) and a little bit extra to buy the Philosophy face care starter set and a Smashbox best-of kit. I’m tired of looking like a raccoon with zits.

Coming soon: Experiments with Allure’s how-to for “messy hair.”

One Comment leave one →
  1. August 29, 2008 3:06 pm

    Cracking me up!

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