No Shortcuts to Beauty

After I posted my beauty routine the other day, there was a mini furore of sorts. Friends called to ask for budget options to luxury cosmetics, while others asked me for a quick fix. ‘Five steps are too much!’ they screamed. While I get the point about budget constraints , I have to say that there are no quick fixes to great skin. In fact, my routine (which doesn’t even have an under eye cream) is probably the shortest cut. Think about it. How much time does the application of a single product take?…10 seconds? Even if you wait between applications, the whole process will probably take about 10 minutes. I know women who spend hours in the salon getting their hair highlighted. So, layering five products shouldn’t be hard work at all.

But any good habit is hard work. I drink a litre of warm water as soon as I wake up. It’s not pleasant. It’s a habit I worked hard to develop over the years. I was many sizes heavier a few years back. I lost weight slowly and gradually by doing yoga six days a week. It was hard work. A friend of mine (who is drop dead gorgeous) gave up sugar completely. She looks and feels better because of her hard work.

If you dig deeper, I feel women feel guilty about taking care of themselves, of wanting to look beautiful. Of course it isn’t helped by the fact that most beautiful women don’t share their real beauty routines. For instance, in a story I was editing the other day, one supermodel claimed that her beauty routine was just mascara and Chapstick. Are you kidding me? I read an interview years back where an actress claimed that all she used was moisturiser. Even those who are genetically blessed can’t get away with just moisturiser in their 30s.

But beauty is just an outer shell. Good skin and fine figures are a side effect of good health. Good health takes commitment. Its sounds easy enough but drinking three litres of water, eating five fruits in a day, and even wearing sunscreen are habits that I have worked hard to develop.

Of course it’s not necessary to want great skin. If you don’t want it, I admire you, because my skin is very important to me. If you don’t have time because of family then you have my respect. But here’s the thing: if you want it then be willing to work for it. And a few layers of skincare is the least you can do. Beauty guru Helena Rubinstein said that there are no ugly women, only lazy ones. It’s true. Beauty isn’t built with a visit to the salon. It’s built by being consistent and committed. By drinking those litres of water and eating fruits, and being religious about skincare day after day. And that is hard work.

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