I can’t believe how fast Summer is going, we’re already right in the middle of August which means two things:
- It’s almost my birthday! 🎂
- Fall is right around the corner 🍂
Now, if you know anything about the fashion cycle, then you probably already know that September is one of the biggest months for fashion and beauty. The September issues of fashion magazines are roughly 3 times the size of the regular issues and they are jam-packed full of
advertisements fashion know-how.
To keep myself inspired to do things, every month I pick a “theme” of things to work on. It just so happens my theme for this month is “bringing sexy back”, so I’ll be outlining a few tips to bring a little sexy back for yourself well ahead of schedule. If the idea of a full makeover is a bit much for you, you’re not alone; I’ll be breaking it down into different levels just like I did with the cleaning routine. Enough talk, let’s get to work looking faaabuulous. ✨💎👑 (You too, men, let’s do this.)
Rank C is the basic, everyday stuff you can do to give yourself a refresh. Most of it is probably stuff you do already, but, though the magic of the internet, maybe it’s stuff that you could be doing better! Let’s take it down from head to toe.
Wash it! I have to say, the shampoo aisle is one of my least favorite aisles of any store. So many claims, so little science. There’s actually a lot to know about hair and hair science and the shampoo you use matters more than “the one that smells good”. Obviously, if you have any scalp issues, like dandruff or scalp acne, you should be using an anti-dandruff or salicylic acid shampoo. (The ones I’ve linked are the best I’ve found so far)
Other than that, you can cleanse your hair using regular liquid shampoo, cleansing conditioners, cleansing oils, bar shampoo, or maybe even baking soda. I personally prefer the scientifically-formulated approach to hair care, so that means I buy shampoo from the store (I’m DIY adverse; no kitchen chemistry for me, thanks). However, I’m still looking for Mr. Right (shampoo) for my fine hair. (Suggestions welcome!) Also, dry shampoo is my new drought-friendly BFF and I will never never be without her.
Wash it! Hey, for as much as there is to know about hair care, it turns out there’s a ton more to learn about taking care of your skin. First things first, if you suffer from acne, even mild acne, GO SEE YOUR DOCTOR. I didn’t visit the doctor much as a kid, so I always thought you needed a special doctor, like a dermatologist, to gripe about your skin to. Turns out, your GP totally has the power to be your Fairy Godperson and grant you skin care products that are scientifically proven to work.
Prescription Retin-A has changed the GAME for my skin. Pimples show up less often, heal faster, and the little red marks from old bumps are finally going away. Of course, it took a couple months to adjust to the formula, but I’m pretty sure I’d never want to be without it again. Also, I know it’s working to prevent fine lines and wrinkles, double score. From the receipt I got at the pharmacy, the cost for my tube if I didn’t have insurance would have been about $30. WORTH. EVERY. PENNY.
Otherwise, there’s thousands of potions you can potentially put on your skin. I recommend checking out r/SkinCareAddiction or Skin & Tonics for information about PH levels of your cleansers (it matters) and good product recommendations. And don’t forget your sunscreen.
No internet tricks, just brush and floss. Seriously, not flossing is not an option.
Exercise! Hahahaha, no, seriously. Do you ever find yourself sitting on your butt playing video games, looking at the protagonist swinging a giant sword, busting up bad guys, and running all over the damn place and think, “Oh god, I would look so awesome if I was doing everything my avatar was doing”? Or do you watch anime and feel like everyone is ridiculously good looking and wonder if your sexy senpai would notice you?
You don’t have to go to the gym to work out, you don’t have to buy special equipment to work out, and for the love of god you don’t have to go running if you don’t want to (and it’s a good thing because I HATE going running). It’s a little embarrassing sometimes, but I use exercise videos from YouTube! My favorite exercise vlogger is Cassie Ho with Blogilates, because her workouts are quick, tough, and she talks though them the whole time to keep you distracted from the burn. 🔥 And damn it all if she isn’t super cute and perky; I’m frankly surprised there aren’t more perverts commenting on her channel.
Rank B is your weekly treat; that extra stuff to pamper yourself and further your bishonen or bishojo status.
- Deep condition your hair. A deep conditioner is different from your regular stuff. My understanding is that there are two types of deep conditioner: Protein and Moisture. Protein conditioners help fine and/or damaged hair rebuild and get stronger. Moisturizing conditioners help coarse and/or dry hair get some good oils to make it more manageable.
- Try a face mask. The whole world is going nuts over Korean skin care products for a good reason; the products are great, the prices are low, and the packaging is adorable. A weekly sheet mask might be a bit of an expensive habit, but these boxes of sheet masks from My Beauty Diary are pretty inexpensive but are full of luxurious serums.
- Shave your face! Okay, the men might have to shave a little more frequently than once a week, but if you’re looking to lose the lady ‘stache, you don’t have to pay to get it waxed every time. The Tinkle “eyebrow razor” is an unfortunately named device that you can use to shave the little baby hairs on your face. No, it won’t grow back thicker; and no, you won’t get pokey stubble or a 5 o’clock shadow. 😂
- Pluck those brows. Because two brows are better than one. Don’t get too crazy (and don’t use one of those carnival mirrors that blows your face up to 10x magnification), just pluck the hairs that are straying a little too far from the main lawn.
- Whiten your teeth. The first time you do teeth whitening, you’ll probably have to do a 10 day whitening program with strips or trays (or you can go to the dentist). However, afterwards you can maintain your white smile for a lot longer by just doing one whitening session a week.
- Trim your nails (and paint them if you want to). 💅 Trimming your nails regularly
helps you browse the internet betteris more sanitary than leaving them long.
- Treat your feet. 👣 If you’re like me and spend a lot of time on your feet and/or wearing sandals, you’ll want to bust out the pumice stone (or other foot softening method of your choice) and get to work about once a week.
Rank A is the transformation level; the stuff that quickly and dramatically changes how you look. I’m not talking about plastic surgery or Botox or anything (not that there’s anything wrong with it), but a few non-invasive, non-medical ways to get next level glam. Overhauling your look all the time looks a bit like an identity crisis, so consider keeping some of these to once a season.
Hair Cut & Color 💇
Hair is important. One of the first things people notice about another person is their hair. Good hair has always been seen as an indication of someone’s health and attractiveness, sometimes even more than body parts. (Just why do you think so many religions and cultures throughout history have been concerned with women covering their hair?)
“There’s something different today, but I can’t put my finger on it…Oh, did you do something different with your hair?”
The above can either be one of the nicest or meanest conversations in the world. To make sure you get the coveted sincere “it looks really good”, I highly recommend getting your hair cut and/or colored by a professional. Salon artists have years of experience getting clients where they want to be with their hair. They have access to all the tools and chemicals necessary to make your hair perfect, as well as industry knowledge regarding trends and what will and won’t work for your hair type. Most salons also have a guarantee where if you’re not happy with the service and speak up, they’ll do what they can to fix it for you. Hair takes a long damn time to grow back, please don’t trust it to just anyone. Also, always bring a picture of what you want.
Even with diligent plucking, sometimes your eyebrows just get weird again. The best thing to do if this happens is to grow out your eyebrows (no plucking!) for 2 weeks to a month, then go see a professional eyebrow shaper. Some people like wax, others prefer threading, but what’s important is you pick someone who knows what they are doing and is doing it in a sanitary environment.
Okay, so a massage isn’t going to transform your outside necessarily, but damn if you don’t feel like a brand new person after your massage. There are so many different types of massage, it’s hard to pick just one, but I’m a fan of Thai massage (clothes on, lots of stretching), hot stone (what it says on the package), and any kind of massage that very aggressively targets the knots in my muscles (the pain means it’s working, right?).
Of course, it’s very important that you only go for massages with licensed professionals working in a sanitary environment. When the whole world found out that many nail salons were just a front for modern day slavery and indentured servitude, a lot of people had to rethink the ethics of their weekly mani-pedi. Discount services often have a hidden human cost, and shady, unethical practices can often extend into the service received by the customer. I’m talking about sanitation, as well as qualified employee training. You don’t want any old rando just rubbing up your naked body with lotion, so think twice about discount salons, “foot spas” and massage parlors.
I was going to add a Rank S, but then I realized the only things that are so important to do once a year is just make sure you’ve said hi to your doctor and your dentist, and maybe your optometrist. The greater part of being sexy is about taking good care of yourself, so you can open yourself up to self-expression (confidence, fashion, even makeup is all part of self-expression.)
Stay fabulous, my friends! 💖✨