I want to look put together all the time.
November 25, 2011 12:27 PM   Subscribe

Please design a personal grooming schedule for me.

From Ms. Vegetable:
I want to look put together and well-groomed. Standing appointments help me do this with manicures, but what else should I be taking care of?
- How frequently should I be getting manicures? Pedicures?
- How often should I get my eyebrows waxed?
- Shaving? Body waxing?
- Hair: how often do I get a haircut? A bang trim? A color update if I do eventually color my hair?
- A makeup consult?
- What else should I be doing regularly to look well groomed? Clothes are not the question at the moment.

I need these in my calendar and can't figure it out. Please help. I'm female, 27, live in Chicago. Advice on specific people to go to would also help.

Assume I have both money and time to do this.
posted by a robot made out of meat to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (15 answers total) 42 users marked this as a favorite
Eyebrow waxing really depends on how fast it grows back. I used to do mine every month, but YMMV. Manicures can be as often as every week, but twice a month is usually sufficient.

Haircut every 2-3 months unless your hair grows abnormally fast. If you keep bangs at a certain length, then sooner.

Really, the best thing to do is to schedule all the appointments to be within a day or two, then see when things "run out" - and ask them when they would expect you to need to come back in. Scheduling everything together also helps you keep track of how long it's been between appointments.

[ps - I think Ms. Vegetable needs her own mefi account! :-)]
posted by guster4lovers at 12:35 PM on November 25, 2011

Best answer: A lot of this depends on how quickly her hair and nails grow, as well as whether she wants to keep this up year round or seasonally (for example, pedicures aren't such a good use of time/money in the winter when your feet are covered up most of the time).

Here's my own schedule for such things:
-Manicures: every week, which is about how long it takes for them to look really chipped up
-Pedicures: every two weeks only during seasons when I show my toes
-Brow wax: every 6 weeks, but I have light hair so new growth takes a while to be obvious on me
-Shaving: erm, once a month for me. I have friends who shave every day in the shower though.
-Haircuts: every 8 weeks or so, now that I have long hair. When it was above my shoulders I went every 4-6 weeks.

I'd add in here that if she has bangs she should get a bang trim halfway between each haircut appointment. Many stylists offer this service for free to regular clients and it's a great way to stretch the time between appointments but still look polished.

I don't know about makeup consults. That seems like something she could just do once, to get down a good basic look, and then maybe go back yearly to change it up a bit.
posted by joan_holloway at 12:39 PM on November 25, 2011

Most of this depends on you. I could tell you what I'd have to do to look perfectly groomed, but it might not even apply. Hair removal, for example, depends on how hairy you are and how fast your hair grows back. Some people can shave or wax pretty infrequently, while others have to do it all the damn time. Haircut and color depends on your hairstyle. If it's short and/or complicated it needs to be cut much more frequently than if it's long and/or all one length. Same with color, if it's just a few highlights you can wait much longer with roots showing than if it's an all-over, drastic color difference. With nails, how fast do you find that they begin to chip? I'd estimate a manicure lasts about a week, a pedicure 2 or 3 weeks. But if you're good with re-applying top coats and not using your nails to open jars, I bet you could go longer. I'd suggest paying attention to your nails, eyebrows, etc. to see when they start to look unkempt, and basing your schedule around that. For hair, once you get a hairstyle you like, ask the person who did it what you need to do to maintain it.
posted by DestinationUnknown at 12:46 PM on November 25, 2011

As others say, it depends.

Regarding hair, usually the stylist will suggest when the next appointment should be, depending on the hairstyle and what needs to be done. I've found that shorter cuts need more frequent visits, or shorter intervals between visits.

Makeup consults are more of a once in a while kind of thing (as in every couple of years), although if Ms. Vegetable hasn't done this before I'd suggest scheduling two, once in winter and once in summer, unless she's somebody who stays indoors all the time and wears sunblock religiously. Makeup colors that look good with pale winter skin might not look as flattering with skin that has had a touch of sun.
posted by needled at 12:53 PM on November 25, 2011

I really feel like a rube here, but where exactly does one get makeup consultations done? What price range are we looking at?
posted by arcticwoman at 1:00 PM on November 25, 2011

Best answer: It's not really possible to answer this question without knowing more specifics (eg., hair length, etc.) but here's a generic, 'average' schedule. I used to work in television, and this is the kind of schedule my on-air friends kept.

* Weekly: manicure
* Twice monthly: pedicure
* Monthly: all waxing, eyelash extensions
* Every 6-8 weeks: haircut, colour, massage, home teeth bleaching
* Every two months: facial, eyebrow dyeing or bleaching
* Every four months: full body scrub at a Korean or other spa, professional teeth cleaning, Brazilian blowout or other hair treatment
* As needed: Makeup lessons or consultation, colour consultation, wardrobe consultation, varicose vein stripping, skin bleaching or laser work, mole removal and other dermatological work.

Most of my friends in TV also fake-tanned, but I don't know how often they did that.

If Ms. Vegetable is interested in personal grooming standards and practices for young corporate women in conservative fields, she might find Corporette useful. For specific recommendations for service providers, she should look at Yelp.
posted by Susan PG at 1:00 PM on November 25, 2011 [8 favorites]

Arcticwoman, you can get a crappy makeup consultation for free practically anywhere -- anywhere in the mall, at the MAC counter, at Sephora. The trouble with those places is that the primary purpose of the consultation is to sell you products, and the women working there --although they are usually really nice-- normally aren't very experienced or professional. They usually are pretty good at their own makeup, but that doesn't necessarily mean they will know or care about what suits you. And they don't spend a lot of time with you: they mostly just slap on their most popular products, and hope you like it.

To get a good consultation, you would try to find a makeup artist whose primary business is teaching makeup application. Here's an example of someone who does that. (Note: I don't know this person, and have never used her services.) She charges $275 for two and a half hours.
posted by Susan PG at 1:08 PM on November 25, 2011 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Corporette scares the hell out of me. To Ms. Vegetable, I'm working this out myself right now. This is what I'm looking at:

Manicure - done myself, once a week. Salon, maybe once a quarter.
Pedicure - scheduled one for the start of December, looking at my budget to see if I can afford this every month.
Eyebrow threading - every month.
Hair cut - every month. I wear mine in a chin-length bob, and my mother was a hair stylist before she retired.
Hair colour - every six weeks. Also provided by mom.
Makeup consult - I have only ever asked for advice at makeup counters from similarly-complexioned Asian women. I still need to figure this one out.

Arcticwoman, you can get a professional makeup consultation at a salon or spa. Cost is based on time spent, and I've seen pricing from $25-90 locally.
posted by sillymama at 1:13 PM on November 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

As others have noted a lot depends on how fast your hair grows as well as the style. It also depends on your budget. For example you could splurge to get your eyebrows done professionally all the time or you could go once and then be judicious about tweezing the errant hairs that grow outside of the shape that the professional established for you.

The one thing that takes a lot of money and commitment is color. If the color is substantially different from your natural color or if you are coloring to cover a lot of grays, you're going to have to have the roots touched up every 3-4 weeks. If you opt for highlights rather than an all-over cover, you can go substantially longer between touch-ups.
posted by kaybdc at 1:16 PM on November 25, 2011

I had my "colors" done once at Nordstrom. It was intended for clothing, but the general concept works for makeup too. (I'm a "winter", in case you're wondering, which means gold and jewel tones, like purple, cranberry, deep blue look good on me, but colors with yellow undertones do not. So when I shop for clothes or makeup, I try those colors first.) Unfortunately, it was a while ago, and it was a gift, so I don't know the current price range on something like that. Here's a link: Nordstrom Beauty Stylist.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 1:22 PM on November 25, 2011

Best answer: Manicure: If you get a gel manicure or shellac, you can go every two weeks - they don't really chip at all (unless you deliberately peel them off). There is less color selection, however. Regular manicures should be once a week to look nice (unless you're really hard on your hands like I am - I paint mine several times a week, but I also enjoy changing up the colors.) It is easy to learn to do this yourself, and I find it fun.

Pedicures can be about once a month, maybe every 3 weeks during the summer - it depends on your feet.

Eyebrow waxing: If you go to a really good place, and get a nice shape, you should be able to keep it up with tweezing for a month or two, then you can go back to get then re-shaped. Again, I just shape mine myself though.

Makeup: A makeup consultation might be a good place to start, but you can also get a lot of good information from going to makeup counters. For a professional, groomed look, but one that doesn't look like you're wearing much makeup, try Bobbi Brown and Laura Mercier. Let them know up front that you're planning to buy several items and they'll be more willing to spend extra time with you.

The most important thing with makeup is PRACTICE. Set aside several hours to play with makeup one evening - or a couple evenings. Put on your whole face, wash it off, try again. Try different looks. Watch some of Lisa Eldrige's videos. Practice a lot, and you'll eventually figure out what works for your face, and get faster at doing it too.
posted by insectosaurus at 1:36 PM on November 25, 2011

Best answer: My schedule is something like this:

Shaving - daily in the shower for pits, every few days for legs. Bikini line as needed for swimming in the summer.
Waxing - never
Haircut - every 3-4 weeks. My hair is above-the-ears short and grows back quickly.
Color - every second or third haircut. I have purple highlights and supplement with color shampoo between colorings.
Pedicure - every 4-6 weeks. I live in Austin and my feet are on display year round. My MiL in Dallas doesn't get her toes polished in the winter to give her toenails a rest; this may be worthwhile for a Chicagoan too. You may want to get occasional pedicures to keep the calluses down anyway.
Manicure - every second pedicure or so for me, but I self-manicure at home weekly and don't get my nails polished. When I worked, I got a manicure every week.
Eyebrow wax - I used to get this done every few months and supplement with plucking. Now I just pluck. I have light skin and dark eyebrows.
Makeup consult - I wear very little makeup so I only require a refresh when I wear more than usual (e.g. photographs, special occasions). I've had two in the last year, one for photos and one for a college reunion.
posted by immlass at 4:02 PM on November 25, 2011

Best answer: Leg wax: every three weeks
Haircut: this depends on your hairstyle. If it's short, probably every 6 weeks. Mine is around shoulder length, so its about every three months or so.
Bang trim: I've been with my stylist for 23 years, so mine are free, and they are about every other month. In general, hair grows about six inches per year, or .5 inches per month. When they get stuck amongst my long eyelashes and drive me crazy, I go for a trim.
Partial foil highlighting: every six months. If I get a week at the beach I can skip, since it's my natural color.
Manicure: for me, although the polish lasts a week, the cuticle work (the real reason I get them when I do) lasts longer, so every two weeks
Pedicure: regular professional pedicures prevent foot pain for me, so every two weeks. It is very, very important that you give your toes a polish break to prevent horrible fungal problems. Trust me; I'll spare you my very gory details.
Makeup: get your "colors done" first - very important and worth the money! Probably once or twice a year if you tan, and also to check out new products. I have very, very little makeup, one of each basic product, and use them up and go back and buy the same thing. It's worth it to check out what new stuff is available.
Brow wax: get it done once and see what you think
posted by jgirl at 5:49 PM on November 25, 2011

I agree with Susan PG that a makeup consultation from an independent makeup artist is the way to go, at first. A clerk at the Chanel counter is going to insist that you look perfect in... whatever Chanel's holiday collection happens to be. A clerk at Sephora is going to insist that you drop $200 on... whatever lines they are promoting that week. Take the sales element out of it so you can be sure you are learning looks that work for you.

The key to being polished in your cosmetics is proper application with the right tools, and in having looks that work for the occasion. Ask your makeup artist to show you daytime and evening looks, summer and winter.

Find a really good aesthetician and establish a relationship with her. My magical wonder-woman does both skin care and hair removal. I see her regularly and she handles my eyebrows, body waxing, facials, special skin treatments, and so on.

I don't get all that stuff done every time. My personal schedule (varies seasonally, as mentioned) is roughly a facial every 8 weeks, eyebrows every 6-8 weeks (and I am responsible for in-between maintenance with tweezers), waxing every 4-6 weeks.

But because I see her every 3-4 weeks for something, she is basically doing ongoing assessments—and she knows me, my lifestyle and my schedule. She is constantly monitoring and making assessments such as, "Looks like this 'freckle' is actually a tiny age spot, take a sample of this Revision product and apply it with a q-tip like so, see if you like it." "Let's change your regular facial to a super-hydration before you go to the desert on vacation." "Up your exfoliation x2 the next month or so - your pores seem cloggy. And get more sleep!"

Hair: this so depends on the look you want to convey. But regardless of your personal look, work environment and hair type, "well-groomed hair" means it looks styled and not messy. I personally am guilty of defaulting to a ponytail or clip, rather than "doing" my hair, and it's just always a lazier, messier look. I love the fun movement that comes with long layers, and yet I know full well that I will not get up and shampoo and blow out every morning the way that cut requires. So I go for all one length, and focus on styles that I know I will actually execute.

Find a stylist you really love and trust, and make him/her your partner, much like the aesthetician I described. Ask loads of questions; explain that you want to look put together, and ask for tips and products to help with that. And, demand candor. A lady who wants to present like a professional lady need not be rocking the bro-stache. Friends won't tell you when it's time for the Jolen lip bleach, but a professional will.

Your aesthetician and stylist will be able to help you set the schedule for skin and hair appointments that allow you to maintain your look.

You don't personally have to figure it all out by yourself, nor become an expert in all things beauty just to look good. Just find the professionals who are going to become your partners in presenting well. (And then, take good care of them back! Tip well. Gifts at holidays. Give lots of referrals if you get the opportunity.)

And learn how to do your own maintenance between appointments. Take your own favorite nail polishes into the salon with you, so you can touch up between mani/pedis if needed. Get a pumice stone or Ped-Egg to minimize dry rough skin between foot care. Have good steel tweezers around for stray hairs. Invest in moisturizers for day/night/summer/winter to keep your skin in good condition between treatments.
posted by pineapple at 7:55 PM on November 26, 2011 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks - the lists of specific grooming practices and timeframes are the most helpful, and I appreciate the rest of your input, especially the Lisa Eldridge videos.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 4:34 PM on November 27, 2011

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