Basic Beauty For Basic Bitches

I'm proud to use Lubriderm on my face and makeup-remover wipes I've bought in bulk from Costco.

It has come to my attention that I am a Basic Bitch.

I've never been a big fan of the word "bitch" because it's generally used to keep women "in their place," but paired with the word "basic," it's empowering for me. I own this phrase. I am proud to be a Basic Bitch. There was never a phrase for my approach to beauty before (which is minimal to nothing). Now I have a tribe, and I am here to unite with my fellow Basic Bitches.

The Basic Bitch beauty routine is done whether we are going to the office or going to a bar mitzvah. On off days, we splash water on our faces and wear ChapStick--this is what we wear to "look decent." This is all we have, and we're sticking to it.

CLEANSING

Like many Basic Bitches, I have totally ignored the beauty magazine advice to never, ever let soap touch my face. This is because every single fancy cleanser I have ever tried has made my face break out.

I keep my combination dry/oily/hormonal-acne-prone skin clear by washing my face with the same soap that I shower with: Kiss My Face Olive & Aloe Soap, unscented. This soap costs under $10 for a four-pack, which will last you close to a year if you keep the soap dry and don't let it melt into the soap dish.

I always, always wash my face with a washcloth. A washcloth is the friend of the Basic B*tch. Do we own Clarisonics? No, we certainly do not. If we, as Basic Bitches, even had $150 to drop on a Clarisonic, we would blow all that money at the bookstore or on houseplants. I really want a few mini Meyer lemon trees for my house right now, way more than I want a Clarisonic.

We keep a stack of old face cloths that we took from our moms' attics on the $30 IKEA shelving unit in the bathroom, which we bought from our friend when she moved. We do not own separate facial sponges and shower puffs. We take a clean wash cloth each time we bathe, and then we let them dry out on the shower pole, and then we put them in the dirty laundry hamper. We do nothing fancy, as we are Basic Bitches.

When I've finished washing my face with soap and a washcloth, I sometimes (if I feel like it/if I have time/if I remember) do toner on my face with Thayer's Alcohol-Free Witch Hazel and a cotton ball. I do not own those nice flat cotton pads because I am a Basic Bitch and cotton balls are way cheaper than cosmetic pads. I keep them in a gallon jar that I used to make pickles in.

MOISTURIZER & FOUNDATION

Do we own primer, BB cream (which is NOT short for Basic Bitch cream), foundation and concealer? Absolutely not. Do we own night cream, day cream, and eye cream? Uh-uh, no. My Basic Bitch approach to foundation is to moisturize and foundationifize all at the same time, thereby eliminating the need for separate everything and also preventing me from looking like I have a layer of paint on my face.

I own two moisturizers: Aloe Vera 100% Gel ("100% Gel"? What does that even mean?) and unscented Lubriderm. Why do I use such basic moisturizers for my face? Because fancy moisturizers make my face break out. The more a moisturizer costs, the more likely it is to give me zits. Plain, hypoallergenic, unscented moisturizers do not eff with my face like fancy moisturizers full of magical ingredients do. When my skin feels dry, I use Lubriderm. When my skin feels oily, I use aloe vera gel.

Now for the foundation: I mix a small glug of moisturizer (aloe vera gel or Lubriderm) with one pump of liquid foundation, in my hands, like a big girl. Then I put it all over my face and neck and blend it until it looks normal. Do I own a foundation brush? Hells no! Then I let it dry. I even put it on my eyelids to avoid having to buy a separate eyelid primer. (I have had no ocular problems from it, but use at your own risk.)

My one beauty splurge is excellent foundation. I once got a free sample of this Lancome Teint Idole foundation in Bisque 310, and it was the best foundation I had ever used (namely because it stays on my face, blends well, has no smell, and doesn't give me zits) and the first foundation that ever matched my skin tone exactly. I took it as a sign and committed to it.

Since I use so little of it on a daily basis, I find that it's a good investment. One bottle lasts forever if you use the Basic Bitch method. I've been working on my one bottle of it since January, and there's still product left.

We don't own concealer, so the next thing we do is take one little pump of undiluted liquid foundation and just pat it under our eyes. I think fancy women call this "building."

Why buy concealer when a good foundation does the same thing? Just keep "building it up" by tapping it under your eyes with your fingertips until your Dracula circles are covered.

COLOR

First, the eyes. I own one eyeshadow palette, and it is Wet & Wild Color Icon in Comfort Zone. Do Basic Bitches spend $50 on a Naked Palette? Never! We go to Walgreens once a year and buy a $5 Wet & Wild Color Icon palette in Comfort Zone.

To get maximal color out of my cheap eyeshadow, I wet my brush before using it. Then I just put one color on my eyelid. No smoky eye. No dramatic crease and brow-bone work. One color, just on the eyelid. If it looks too heavy, I take some off with a cotton swab.

I bought a set of cheap eye-makeup brushes at CVS or Duane Reade one time. I don't even know what brand they are. It is most likely that they are not the best brushes on the market, but they work fine. I clean them with soap and water after each use and I store them upright in an old jar.

Next, it's time for eyeliner and mascara. I've tried fancy eyeliner, but the one kind of eyeliner that doesn't melt off of my face into raccoon circles and simply does what it says it will do is Revlon Colorstay eyeliner. I just make a line along my eyelashes with it. I don't know how to do a cat eye. I would probably look foolish with a cat eye anyway.

I learned from xoJane that it doesn't matter what mascara you use; just use one. Right now I have some Maybelline Great Lash and a sample mascara tube that came with a Smashbox set that I bought at Nordstrom Rack.

Now, blush. Do Basic Bitches own a separate blush and bronzer? Do we own highlighter? No, no we don't. I proudly own one blush, in a color that is kind of blush-slash-bronzer. It is Smashbox Blush Rush in Bare, and the only reason I even own it instead of drugstore blush is that they had it at Nordstrom Rack for, like, $10 six months ago. I put it on with a big brush that I got half price at some random cosmetic store that closed.

The last bit of color I use in my Basic Bitch beauty routine is tinted lip balm. Tinted lip balm is my favorite thing because I am afraid of lipstick. I feel like a clown in lipstick--not just a clown, but a clown who is trying too hard to look hot.

I own eight different tinted lip balms, and there is absolutely no rhyme or reason to how I choose which one to wear that day. Right now, my favorite colored lip balm is Hemp Originals Lip Tint in Kiss, which is a dark mauve. I buy it at Whole Foods, because I enjoy buying my makeup at the supermarket. If Trader Joe's sold makeup, I would 100% buy makeup there.

MAKEUP REMOVAL

I buy Neutrogena makeup remover wipes in bulk at Costco, and I store the big box of them under my bathroom sink. I have no idea if they are better or worse than other brands or types of makeup remover. I buy them because they do what they say they'll do, which is remove makeup, and they don't make my face break out. There might be another brand or type of makeup remover that removes makeup even better and irritates my skin even less, but the other major reason that I buy them is because they are the makeup remover wipes that Costco sells in bulk boxes.

Like any good Basic Bitch, I try to buy my beauty products as infrequently and as inexpensively as possible. After removing my makeup, I wash my face with soap and a wash cloth (see above). Post-washing is a great time to pick stray hairs out of my face with tweezers. Then I moisturize with my unscented Lubriderm or aloe vera gel, depending on if my skin feels dry or oily that night.

I hope that this has been a rallying cry for all the Basic Bitches in the universe. It's time that we take pride in using Lubriderm as facial moisturizer. It's time to feel great about the fact that we cannot do the cat eye. It's time to know that Basic is Beautiful. OK, maybe it's just beautiful enough to pass for put-together-enough to wear to the office. But it's good enough for me, and I will always be proud to be a Basic Bitch.