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Nine Regular Beauty Maintenance Routines You Need In Your Rotation

Nails done, hair done, everything did.

Beauty & Fashion

The year of our Lord, 2021, has come to a close! This means that many of us are currently planning our New Year's resolutions, manifesting our higher selves, and honing in on what needs to be in our beauty maintenance routines. You know, the regular self-care, self-love, beautification appointments that keep us naked sexy fine all year round. The ones ensure that we are always looking good, feeling our best, and turning heads wherever we go.


Now when it comes to beauty maintenance, most women are on top of their game. We keep our nails done, hair done, and everything did. But for the woman who doesn't know what to do, where to go, or how often to get it done, trying to find a routine of getting beautified and sexified can be a bit daunting.

But fear not, here is a checklist of nine regular beautification routines to keep you looking good in 2022 and beyond.

1.Hair

Starting with the crowns, it is important that we keep our hair looking its absolute best, as it signifies how well put together we are. Depending on the style, a good rule of thumb is to see your hairstylist every two to six weeks. This keeps the hair fresh, clean, deep conditioned, and ends properly trimmed. As for braided looks, those should stay in for no longer than two months.

2.Nails

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Because the condition of your hands and feet says a lot about you and your upkeep, a fresh mani is always a good idea. It is good to visit the nail salon every two weeks for routine manicures, artificial nail enhancement fill-ins, and of course regular pedicures. Tired of the polish chipping after two days? Opt for gel polish to ensure that it will last until your next nail appointment.

3.Waxing

Whether it's for the hair under your arms, on your legs, on your face, or in the sacred regions, it's time to toss the razors and start investing in a good wax. While shaving temporarily removes hair, it causes it to grow back thicker, faster, and more coarse. Whereas with waxing, the hair stays gone longer, thins it out, and keeps the skin looking soft and smooth. Regular waxing should be done every four to six weeks, and whatever you do, do not shave in between appointments.

4.Facials

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The fountain of youth that we have all been searching for is found at our estheticians' office. Routine facials cleanse and hydrate the skin, exfoliate pores, reduce breakouts, and keep the skin looking youthful while addressing problems and enhancing our natural glow. Facials should be done every three to four weeks, or once a month, and never the day before a major event.

5.Lash Extensions

Because why apply seven coats of mascara or bother with lash strips, when you could easily get lash extensions for that bigger, brighter, more youthful look. Lash extensions are applied at the top of your natural eyelash and are water- and exercise-resistant, last longer, and add volume. Initial application of the lash extensions takes up to two hours, with fill-ins done in 30 minutes every two to three weeks.

6.Brows

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The days of practicing perfecting our brows are over. Microblading and brow tinting help to achieve that perfect brow look without the hassle of trying to do it yourself. Both microblading and brow tinting offer the same benefits of enhancing, shaping, and defining your brows. The difference between the two is, with brow tinting a semi-permanent dye is applied every four to six weeks; whereas microblading is a little more permanent with it being a form of cosmetic makeup or a semi-permanent tattoo lasting 18 months to almost three years.

7.Teeth Whitening

For that picture-perfect, blindingly white smile, teeth whitening is the move. When done regularly it boosts your self-esteem and strengthens your teeth. It can also be a cheat code to your success because much like your hands and feet, the condition of your teeth says a lot about you. For best results, teeth whitening should be done by a professional and depending on the condition of your teeth, every three to six months.

8.Massages

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While not necessarily a beauty routine, regular massages help with improving circulation, increasing relaxation, and reducing stress. Massages have other health benefits like immune support, pain reduction, lowering heart rate and blood pressure, and PMS support. And we all know that if you feel good on the inside, it radiates on the outside. Depending on your needs, regular massages can be performed anywhere from once a week to once a month.

9.Skin Exfoliation

Because the average cycle of our skin is four weeks, it is important to begin the regular practice of removing that outer layer of skin from our bodies through skin exfoliation. Using a coffee, sugar, or salt scrub, or exfoliating gloves, perform small circular motions on the skin for 30 seconds and rinse off under lukewarm water. This will help with better absorption of moisturizers, anti-aging, and boosting your skin's circulation. For best results, only exfoliate once or twice a week.

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You may not know her by Elisabeth Ovesen – writer and host of the love, sex and relationships advice podcast Asking for a Friend. But you definitely know her other alter ego, Karrine Steffans, the New York Times best-selling author who lit up the literary and entertainment world when she released what she called a “tell some” memoir, Confessions of a Video Vixen.

Her 2005 barn-burning book gave an inside look at the seemingly glamorous world of being a video vixen in the ‘90s and early 2000s, and exposed the industry’s culture of abuse, intimidation, and misogyny years before the Me Too Movement hit the mainstream. Her follow-up books, The Vixen Diaries (2007) and The Vixen Manual: How To Find, Seduce And Keep The Man You Want (2009) all topped the New York Times best-seller list. After a long social media break, she's back. xoNecole caught up with Ovesen about the impact of her groundbreaking book, what life is like for her now, and why she was never “before her time”– everyone else was just late to the revolution.

xoNecole: Tell me about your new podcast Asking for a Friend with Elisabeth Ovesen and how that came about.

Elisabeth Ovesen: I have a friend who is over [at Blavity] and he just asked me if I wanted to do something with him. And that's just kinda how it happened. It wasn't like some big master plan. Somebody over there was like, “Hey, we need content. We want to do this podcast. Can you do it?” And I was like, “Sure.” And that's that. That was around the holidays and so we started working on it.

xoNecole: Your life and work seem incredibly different from when you first broke out on the scene. Can you talk a bit about the change in your career and how your life is now?

EO: Not that different. I mean my life is very different, of course, but my work isn't really that different. My life is different, of course, because I'm 43. My career started when I was in my 20s, so we're looking at almost 20 years since the beginning of my career. So, naturally life has changed a lot since then.

I don’t think my career has changed a whole lot – not as far as my writing is concerned, and my stream of consciousness with my writing, and my concerns and the subject matter hasn’t changed much. I've always written about interpersonal relationships, sexual shame, male ego fragility, respectability politics – things like that. I always put myself in the center of that to make those points, which I think were greatly missed when I first started writing. I think that society has changed quite a bit. People are more aware. People tell me a lot that I have always been “before my time.” I was writing about things before other people were talking about that; I was concerned about things before my generation seemed to be concerned about things. I wasn't “before my time.” I think it just seems that way to people who are late to the revolution, you know what I mean?

I retired from publishing in 2015, which was always the plan to do 10 years and retire. I was retired from my pen name and just from the business in general in 2015, I could focus on my business, my education and other things, my family. I came back to writing in 2020 over at Medium. The same friend that got me into the podcast, actually as the vice president of content over at Medium and was like, “Hey, we need some content.” I guess I’m his go-to content creator.

xoNecole: Can you expound on why you went back to your birth name versus your stage name?

EO: No, it was nothing to expound upon. I mean, writers have pen names. That’s like asking Diddy, why did he go by Sean? I didn't go back. I've always used that. Nobody was paying attention. I've never not been myself. Karrine Steffans wrote a certain kind of book for a certain kind of audience. She was invented for the urban audience, particularly. She was never meant to live more than 10 years. I have other pen names as well. I write under several names. So, the other ones are just nobody's business right now. Different pen names write different things. And Elisabeth isn’t my real name either. So you'll never know who I really am and you’ll never know what my real name is, because part of being a writer is, for me at least, keeping some sort of anonymity. Anything I do in entertainment is going to amass quite a bit because who I am as a person in my private life isn't the same a lot of times as who I am publicly.

xoNecole: I want to go back to when you published Confessions of a Video Vixen. We are now in this time where people are reevaluating how the media mistreated women in the spotlight in the 2000s, namely women like Britney Spears. So I’d be interested to hear how you feel about that period of your life and how you were treated by the media?

EO: What I said earlier. I think that much of society has evolved quite a bit. When you look back at that time, it was actually shocking how old-fashioned the thinking still was. How women were still treated and how they're still treated now. I mean, it hasn't changed completely. I think that especially for the audience, I think it was shocking for them to see a woman – a woman of color – not be sexually ashamed.

I hate being like other people. I don't want to do what anyone else is doing. I can't conform. I will not conform. I think in 2005 when Confessions was published, that attitude, especially about sex, was very upsetting. Number one, it was upsetting to the men, especially within urban and hip-hop culture, which is built on misogyny and thrives off of it to this day. And the women who protect these men, I think, you know, addressing a demographic that is rooted in trauma that is rooted in sexual shame, trauma, slavery of all kinds, including slavery of the mind – I think it triggered a lot of people to see a Black woman be free in this way.

I think it said a lot about the people who were upset by it. And then there were some in “crossover media,” a lot of white folks were upset too, not gonna lie. But to see it from Black women – Tyra Banks was really upset [when she interviewed me about Confessions in 2005]. Oprah wasn't mad [when she interviewed me]. As long as Oprah wasn’t mad, I was good. I didn't care what anybody else had to say. Oprah was amazing. So, watching Black women defend men, and Black women who had a platform, defend the sexual blackmailing of men: “If you don't do this with me, you won't get this job”; “If you don't do this in my trailer, you're going to have to leave the set”– these are things that I dealt with.

I just happened to be the kind of woman who, because I was a single mother raising my child all by myself and never got any help at all – which I still don't. Like, I'm 24 in college – not a cheap college either – one of the best colleges in the country, and I'm still taking care of him all by myself as a 21-year-old, 20-year-old, young, single mother with no family and no support – I wasn’t about to say no to something that could help me feed my son for a month or two or three.

xoNecole: We are in this post-Me Too climate where women in Hollywood have come forward to talk about the powerful men who have abused them. In the music industry in particular, it seems nearly impossible for any substantive change or movement to take place within music. It's only now after three decades of allegations that R. Kelly has finally been convicted and other men like Russell Simmons continue to roam free despite the multiple allegations against him. Why do you think it's hard for the music industry to face its reckoning?

EO: That's not the music industry, that's urban music. That’s just Black folks who make music and nobody cares about that. That's the thing; nobody cares...Nobody cares. It's not the music industry. It's just an "urban" thing. And when I say "urban," I say that in quotations. Literally, it’s a Black thing, where nobody gives a shit what Black people do to Black people. And Russell didn't go on unchecked, he just had enough money to keep it quiet. But you know, anytime you're dealing with Black women being disrespected, especially by Black men, nobody gives a shit.

And Black people don't police themselves so it doesn't matter. Why should anybody care? And Black women don't care. They'll buy an R. Kelly album right now. They’ll stream that shit right now. They don’t care. So, nobody cares. Nobody cares. And if you're not going to police yourself, then nobody's ever going to care.

xoNecole: Do you have any regrets about anything you wrote or perhaps something you may have omitted?

EO: Absolutely not. No. There's nothing that I wish I would've gone back and said to myself, no. I don’t think at 20-something years old, I'm supposed to understand every little thing. I don't think the 20-something-year-old woman is supposed to understand the world and know exactly what she's doing. I think that one of my biggest regrets, which isn't my regret, but a regret, is that I didn't have better parents. Because a 20-something only knows what she knows based on what she’s seen and what she’s been taught and what she’s told. I had shitty parents and a horrible family. Just terrible. These people had no business having children. None of them. And a lot of our families are like that. And we may pass down those familial curses.

*This interview has been edited and condensed

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Feature image courtesy of Elisabeth Ovesen

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