As I discuss in my upcoming eBook, The Lab Muffin Guide to Basic Skincare, it’s important to keep a record of your skincare routine and skin condition. It’s a fantastic way to help you figure out what’s actually working for your skin, and track the products and ingredients that your skin reacts to. One really useful tool that you can use for this is Instagram.
There are a lot of ways you can utilise Instagram as a skin diary – here are some suggestions.
This is the most public and straightforward way, if you want to share your routine with other skincare addicts! There’s a huge community of skincare addicts out there who share their routines daily, and skincare product reviews too.
You can use hashtags to find other people’s skincare routines, and help them find yours. Some hashtags you can use are #365inskincare, #skincareroutine, #skincarecommunity, and #skincareaddict. Just stick these in the caption, and your post will show up when people search for that hashtag.
You can also set up a private Instagram account – Instagram supports switching between multiple accounts, which is convenient if you already have a personal Instagram profile and want a separate skincare diary so you don’t freak out your friends.
Getting line breaks in Instagram captions is a little hit-and-miss – I use one of these spaces [⠀] in the “empty lines” which usually works.
Instagram Stories are an increasingly popular way to share routines. They’re more flexible than posts, with lots of inbuilt tools to customise them within the app.
If you’re a stickler for having a certain “look” in the photos in your Instagram profile, stories also let you post less-than-perfect shots without worrying about styling and lighting.
I’ve recently discovered that templates are a brilliant way to track my skincare routine. They’re much more versatile than regular Instagram posts – there are text editing and drawing tools within Instagram’s stories feature, and you can choose to share the final product in a few different ways:
If I had to work out how much time I spent on things each week, it’d be something like:
10 hours actively researching (this is higher than most bloggers since I read journal articles and textbooks for my style of content)
15 hours passively researching (beauty forums, other people’s blog posts and feeds)
5 hours actually writing and formatting
2 hours for photography and photo editing
3 hours answering emails
1 hour replying to blog comments
7 hours making content for social media and replying to comments
This seems like an overestimation, but I assure you it isn’t – I had to track this for my accountant recently! Of course, a lot of this is enjoyable and doesn’t actually feel like work, and the vast majority fits in around other things. This is partly why I spend so much time on it even though it doesn’t make financial sense, as my accountant often points out. I’m working on making myself more efficient and more accountable for my time. With the addition of my YouTube channel, I’ve stolen some time from each of these for writing scripts, and filming and editing. I’ve also been writing an eBook guide to Basic Skincare Guide as well. It’s full-on!
How do I fit all this in? A massive amount of organisation (and not having much of a life). I’ve managed to take the whole thing more seriously over the past year and have developed a bunch of systems that work well for me.
My Organisational Style
I’m more of an aspirational organiser than someone who’s actually a natural. When I start any system I’m meticulous and everything looks gorgeous, but after a few weeks things start to slip up. I am not one of those people with a beautiful planner with washi tape and stamps and perfect handwriting and appointments that never change. I burn through organisational methods unless they’re foolproof! I also tend to forget things unless they’re right in front of me, and I’m easily demotivated and turn into a procrastination puddle.
So my criteria are:
Reminds me of current tasks
Make me feel like I’m getting shit done so I stay motivated
I have a physical notebook that I use to organise my life. I carry it around everywhere. It’s like a bullet journal but more focused on tasks and getting stuff done, rather than a keepsake.
It has my to-do lists, blog post ideas, video workflow, and meeting notes, which I index using plastic sticky flags. I’ve also been using it for random things like food shopping lists, eBook formatting notes, and planning big tasks like Christmas lunch.
I’m currently using a spiral-bound notebook with a grid format, similar to this one. I’ve found that spiral notebooks are the best for me.
Ticking things off makes me feel achievement-y (Criterion 4)
I can rip out pages once they’re done so I feel a sense of accomplishment with the physical act of ripping stuff out (Criterion 4)
This also stops old things distracting me from current things (Criterion 2)
If I’m almost done with a page of tasks I’ll copy the last few tasks onto a new page, which refreshes them in my mind (Criterion 2 again).
It isn’t all that aesthetically pleasing, but that also makes it pretty low effort (Criterion 1) because I don’t worry about making it look pretty.
Here’s a photo of an actual page from my notebook – I considered writing a new page for it and making it look neat, but that would defeat the purpose of this post…
I’ve tried digital lists and apps like Google Keep but I lost track of things easily, and I’d ignore stuff for months.
Like most people with long hair, I have a million hair ties and bobby pins that end up strewn all over the bathroom. I’ve tried organising them with jars and hooks, but it never seems to stick.
I recently saw two life hacks for how to keep everything neat: a magnetic strip for bobby pins, and carabiner clips for holding hair ties. Why not combine the two into a not-entirely-ugly organiser and stick it to the wall? Yeah, that’s what I did. I’m a low-key genius.
To put hair ties into the holder, you can just press the hair tie in and it’ll click into place. Taking the hair ties out is slightly more effort but much less than scrambling around trying to dig one out of who-knows-where.
You want one too? You’re in luck, I have instructions!
DIY Hair Tie Organiser
What you need
A5 piece of perspex (Amazon, eBay): You can go larger or smaller depending on your hair accessory holding requirements, but this works great for me. Shiny works best with the suction cups. I went for opaque because I didn’t want to see the cups, and black because everything matches it.
Double sided suction cups (Amazon, eBay): This is what I’m using to fix the perspex to my wall. I like this because it doesn’t leave any marks on the wall or the perspex, but unfortunately the quality of these is pretty variable so in the pack of 10 I received I had 2 deformed ones. I also considered using a double-sided pad covered in tiny suction cups but it didn’t work at all.
Adhesive magnetic strips (Amazon, eBay): I got the 15 mm wide strip with adhesive already attached.
Carabiners (Amazon, eBay): I used carabiners that were around 4 cm (1.5 inches) long. I bought these specifically because the non-clip side was completely flat, so it would have a larger contact area when I stuck it to the perspex. The number will depend on the size of your perspex but I found that placing them around 6 cm (2.5 inches) apart was perfect.
Gorilla glue (Amazon, eBay): I’m sure other glues will work, but this is what the guy at the hardware store recommended and he knows more than me. I suspect that a slightly less brittle glue might actually be better. (Edit: I’ve since replaced it with silicone glue and yes, it does work better!)
I bought everything except the glue off eBay, but it took weeks to get to me. If you aren’t rushed, at current eBay prices it works out to be less than $15 AUD. Bargain!
I love Daiso. Even when I’m not after anything in particular, I can’t resist wandering through the aisles, just to look at all the shiny Japanese products, all of which can be had for $2.80. I’ve found a lot of gems in there, as well as a lot of duds – here are my favourite beauty buys from Daiso, as well as some disappointments.
Storage containers – Storage containers are my number 1 Daiso buy. I must have $100 worth of them sitting around at home. I particularly like the clear plastic containers that come in a million different sizes, and the cute flowerpots that are fantastic as make-up brush holders.
Daiso Puff and Sponge Detergent – I still havent’t found a more efficient cleanser for my make-up brushes. This is the bomb-diggity-omb – clean make-up brushes in just a few swirls, and it’s super easy to rinse out.
Mirrors – Where else can you pick up a decent sized mirror for $2.80?
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