How To Start A New Beauty Routine


Makeup and skincare are almost loaded words in today’s cultural battlegrounds. Are they feminist? Anti-feminist? Capitalist? Misogynist? Vain? Honestly, who cares — skin is literally just an organ we all have, and our choice to do whatever we want with it doesn't matter that much in the grand scheme of things. I am a living, human being and I like how lotion feels on my skin and color looks on my lips. Growing up in a conservative household where such things as makeup, nail polish, or hair dye weren’t allowed lest I look what was deemed inappropriate, embracing every opportunity to allow myself otherwise as an independent adult is the reward I give that sad, preteen girl who had to hide eyeliner and makeup remover in her locker at school so she wouldn't get caught with it at home. Anyway, I digress.

Removing all of those connotations, I believe we here at The Attic choose makeup and skincare for their inherent abilities to transform us into the people we want to be, whether they are new personalities entirely, or simply better versions that feel more in tune with who we really are. Sometimes we don’t need a change so much as we just need to find our true selves. Becoming oneself is also a transformation.

That is what makeup and skincare have always done for me. 2019 has started off in different ways for me than most years do. It’s not worth elaborating, but what this new perspective has done for me is to make me examine more of the immediate world around me, and how I can improve my experience of it. I dove into this in my previous piece – the goal of being a person with more intention. In my mind, an intentional person has a beauty (meaning both makeup and skincare) routine that makes sense, and what I have realized is that I do not.

So, makeup and skincare will transform me once again into the person I want to be. Of course, if you’ve read anything I’ve written for our Beauty window in the past, you’ll know it’s not that I’ve never used a product. It’s not even that I’ve disliked or had terrible luck with any of those products. It just feels as though I’ve never properly thought any of them through. There’s no denying the oversaturation of the beauty industry market, and most of what ends up on my shelf is because I saw a pretty photo on Instagram or because it’s from a new brand, raved about in millennial circles. In my younger days, I’d simply attack problems as they arose — a wrinkle and I needed to soak in anti-aging masks, a spot of acne and I had to have every treatment possible. Lists everywhere, of the best ten products for this, or the hot new products for that. All guaranteed to change my world.

With all of these products in the world and even more information popping up everyday (does this count too? I hope only in a real, helpful way, even if I can’t tell you what percentage suspension you need for that discoloration...) what kind of person do I want to be? And what does her routine look like? Simple, easy, I hope. Attainable to ensure greater chance of follow through. And like I’ve said, intentional. Mindful. Committed.

Starting small, I’ll look for a single cleanser, serum, toner, moisturizer, and eye cream. I’ll re-commit to sunscreen. In the makeup realm I’ll keep things light, establishing an everyday base, eye, and lip before I get into more complicated things. I won’t lie that I don’t have a whole slew of samples and products to work my way through at the moment, so I may report back with things I’ve mentioned before, as I hope to add as little as possible until said back-stock has been used, but in establishing this new, ideal routine of a new, ideal me, I will:

  1. Pay attention to what I’m using. What do I get from using it? Does it feel good and like I need it in my life? Does it make me feel physically and emotionally better or am I catering to some outward belief that I need it? Does that serum actually work or do I just like the packaging? What is so great about this mascara? Anything unnecessary or ineffectual can go.

  2. Stop treating problems I don’t actually have. If the dermatologist at the skincare counter says my pores are fine why do I keep trying to make them smaller?

  3. Make sure it’s clean. I’ve gotten lazy in the last few years, not making sure the products I buy are made without harmful products or animal testing, assuming that little leaping bunny was just on every new item without making the effort to even turn the bottle and look. I don’t judge, but it matters to me. In a small step, I also hope to order less online to cut down on shipping pollution; I have local shops and even larger businesses aplenty.

  4. Catalog the routine I choose, somewhere visible like next to my products, to leave as little room for guesswork as possible, and stick to the steps I use, no matter how tired I am or how late I get to bed. Nothing works if you don’t actually use it.

  5. And finally, like my fashion resolutions, not be afraid to try something different when the mood occurs (provided I’ve already got it in my arsenal). Because my favorite time for glitter eyeshadow and a red lip is brunch anyway.

Raquel Reyes is Creative Director at The Attic on Eighth. She enjoys styling photo shoots, dramatic hair accessories, and old fashioned cocktails.