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 • Opinion  • Columnists  • Blasts From My Beauty Past  • The Importance of Sharing High-Maintenance Beauty Routines
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The Importance of Sharing High-Maintenance Beauty Routines

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Main Image – Eliza Alves/Stocksy

Welcome to The Beauty Debrief where beauty editor and nail tech Tori Crowther shares her musings on the latest beauty trends, buzzy treatments and misinformation. Today, she’s discussing how tech and social media have changed the beauty sphere and how we view ‘natural beauty’.

As a beauty editor, I often have the internal struggle of wanting to tell women to throw away all of their cosmetics and never partake in cosmetic procedure culture again and also wanting to help women feel good about themselves (in whatever form that takes) through the use of products and treatments — and have fun doing it.

But I’m aware (and remind myself often) that the two can co-exist and I strive to deliver the information to better help you make an informed decision about the beauty practices you feel comfortable participating in.

There’s one trend on TikTok right now doing this brilliantly: Natural beauty maintenance. Sparked by men calling women ‘a natural beauty’, women began sharing their ‘low-maintenance-to-be-high-maintenance’ beauty routines to highlight how extensive 2024’s benchmark of ‘natural beauty’ is.

@slaybyjess

Natural beauty ??? #simplemakeup #nomakeupmakeup #makeuptutorial #whatmenthink #naturalmakeup #naturalbeauty

? original sound – slaybyjess

Is this ‘trend’ going to cause the downfall of a thousands-years-old system? No, but it’s certainly helping people understand exactly how much goes into a seemingly effortless, ‘natural’ beauty.

It got me thinking about my low-maintenance-to-be-high-maintenance routine.

Now, before I dive into this, I want to make it clear that I think people should be allowed to be as low or high-maintenance as they want to be. Women work hard for their freedom of choice (and given the fact women couldn’t open their own bank account less than 50 years ago, this is not something to be scoffed at) so if your self-care day involves getting Botox, I’m not the beauty editor that’s going to try to change your mind.

Do I think people need these treatments? Of course not. But I believe people have a right to make themselves feel good if they’re doing so safely.

Back to my routine. Due to my job, I try far more treatments and products than your average Joe (so bear this in mind). Treatments that I’ve tried include: masseter Botox, laser, various regular facials, fat loss injections, skin boosters, electrical muscle stimulation, access to dermatologists, free skincare products, LED, micro-needling, radio frequency, skin scanning, teeth whitening, hygienist and composite bonding check-up twice a year, haircut every 8 weeks, pedicure every 6 weeks,

At-home treatments I do: expert-guided prescription skincare routine every day, SPF 50 daily, weekly fake tan, monthly hair gloss, twice yearly brow wax (my poor brows aren’t that fast-growing), at-home laser hair removal weekly, gel manicure (that I do myself) every 3 weeks and dermaplaning.

I was shocked writing this out. I certainly don’t do all of these regularly but they’ve all been in my routine at one stage in the last 4 years. By no means do I think of myself as a natural beauty but I am confident in my own skin going out without makeup and that’s without a doubt down to these treatments — something I feel conflicted about admitting.

I had a comment from someone the other day that I look far younger than my age and they wouldn’t accept the fact that it was because of the access my job allows. They point blank refused to believe that I’d had treatments done and concluded that I was lying. It appeared my tweakments were a letdown.

This type of conversation is exactly why I think this transparency on TikTok is brilliant. You see, men’s comments on other women’s ‘natural’ beauty then fool other women into believing that others just ‘wake up like this’ or that they have simply won the genetic lottery. Women have even commented on these videos that their partners are unaware they’re getting regular Botox; even congratulating them on being ‘natural’ and ‘ageing gracefully’.

@upkeepbeauty

When your Maintenance Routine is giving Natural Beauty ???? Book all your favorite treatments by the BEST providers in your area, only on Upkeep? #bookedonupkeep #beautyroutine #maintenanceroutine #botox #microneedling #hydrafacial

? how i love being a woman – editdiaary

It also helps to limit the amount of ‘gatekeeping’ happening with certain products or procedures. We see this a lot in celebrity culture with certain high-profile figures not wanting to share details of work they’ve had done, or straight up denying it.

This now extends to social media creators and influencers, with young women comparing themselves to these people who can be dishonest about the treatments they’ve had. Making it inaccessible to most and perpetuating the idea that some women are ‘just born with it’.

As tech advances — the sheer amount of non-surgical technology out there in the aesthetics space right now is overwhelming — it means that our perception of what is ‘natural’ is shifting. Years ago, it typically meant the amount of makeup one was wearing. Whereas now, you could be wearing not a scrap of makeup yet still have a treatment regimen worth thousands.

The more you see people sharing the work they are having done or the treatments in their regular rotation, the more you become aware of the work that goes into the ‘no makeup, makeup look’.

I also feel that this sense of effortlessness is pronounced in the UK. We’re a society built on not being seen to be trying too hard or putting any effort in. More women are turning to this type of beauty and it’s becoming TikTok’s norm. The reality of achieving this natural, effortless beauty requires access, time and money — and a f*ck ton of effort.

 

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Contributing Beauty Editor

Tori Crowther is a beauty and health journalist and qualified nail tech. The former beauty editor of Popsugar UK, Tori regularly write for titles like Allure, Glamour, Marie Claire, and Women's Health and is Contributing Beauty Editor at Live That Glow. When she's not interviewing derms or writing features, you can find her seeking out the best coffee outside of London.

Expertise: Nails, skincare
Education: Nottingham Trent University
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