Some mornings my partner will sleep through his alarm and be showered, shaved and dressed in a matter of minutes. As I watch him I am reminded of the complexity of being a woman and the effort it takes to walk out the door each morning. All men have to worry about is the occasional $25 haircut, and a really small area to groom on their face. Oh, and maybe even a few chops with the toenail clippers and a swish of some mouth wash if you get lucky.
So, as a woman have you ever thought about how time consuming it is to keep even our basic beauty standards in check? I’m not even talking about contouring, highlightening and all that other jazz that turned what used to be a splash of foundation into a work of art and added three hours to a night out. I’m talking about those niggling little beauty tasks we have to put up with.
There’s nail polish. Yeah, it looks hot and it feels good to look down at your fingers on the keyboard with a bright burst of colour. That is until, 20 minutes after application you look like you’ve been doing some hardcore sanding in the shed and managed to sand off random areas of your polish. Yes, you could get acrylics, I tried that – but besides making it literally impossible to open your purse, after two weeks they are lifting and you are left with a serious decision. Do I continue with this torture or do I proceed to rip them off, one by one until my nails are thin and raw. I went with option two. Ouch. Painting your toe nails on the other hand (pun intended) is like painting with some strange Superglue paint…it never comes off. And yet, over and over again we try it all, without fail – because today might just be the day our nail polish does what we want it to.
Then, there’s hair removal. As I said, boys have this tiny little area on their face to contend with, and most of the time it’s more of a quick beard trim than a full shave. We have eyebrows, lips, legs, bikini – even our behinds if we are really dedicated. Most of us use different methods for different areas, a little wax here, threading there and a whole lot of shaving. Armpits are the worst; the very next day you are back to square one. What makes matters worse are those pesky ingrowns, especially when they are right there in your bikini line. Ingrowns and regrowth. The two biggest hair removal problems of the century. Or, when you forget to shave your legs and you suddenly realise when you’re on the train to work and it’s too late. All day you worry someone will notice the tiny bits of fluff running up your pins. Eyebrows change everything, but the hair never grows at the same rate and you always end up with misplaced yet pluckable caterpillar-esque furs. Eyebrow pencil though…best.
We spray tan ourselves because you know, the only safe tan is a fake tan. Every event calls for one, and the prep that goes into it is quite remarkable. Shave. Exfoliate. Moisturise. All that and more. But the thing about going to get a spray tan is what to wear? Once you rip off the disposable undies you are left standing there like a chocolate coated sticky caramel lolly. And you have to stay like that, sometimes for hours. Driving home with no bra trying not to smudge yourself. It’s worth it. It looks like you’ve lost 10 kilos and have just come back from a remote beach holiday…. until….a few days later and the fade starts. It starts with your face and then your arms and legs start to blotch. Do you have some weird skin rash? Nope, your tan is rubbing off. You either moisturise fiercely and try to hold onto what once was or you rub and scrub furiously until you are back to your lighter self. After a few days with a tan your partner thinks that’s your actual skin, and when you are back to pale he questions your health.
Regrowth. Sure, bayalage became a thing making it socially acceptable to have different coloured roots. However, there is a difference between that and your regular old regrowth. Somehow my hair always grows fast, so fast that I leave the hairdresser with perfect roots and in what feels like a week later I need to go back. Oh, it grows fast where regrowth is concerned, but does it ever get longer? No. Recently my partner complained about his 20 minute haircut. Why did it take so long?! I just smiled and nodded in faux sympathy. What is 20 minutes for a boy is 2 and a half hours for a girl. Nothing beats freshly done hair though.
Being a woman is hard work, we are constantly pruning and preening ourselves, and this is nothing compared to those times when you have a big event to prepare for. Even low maintence chicks require maintenance. Guess, what – I wouldn’t change it for anything.
I hope this article made you smile; what beauty chores do you find time consuming or annoying? Please let me know in the comments section below.