We dream of having a clean house – but who dreams of actually doing the cleaning?  We don’t have to dream about doing the work, because doing the work is always within our grasp; the dream, in this sense, is to attain a goal without the work.

Marcus Buckingham, British writer, motivational speaker, business consultant (1966-present)

My all-time favorite Disney movie is the 1950 production of Cinderella because I have always felt a spiritual connection to the titular character.  Like Cinderella, cleaning meant getting on your hands and knees to wash the floors with a rag, and not with a smart robot vacuum, let alone a Swiffer.


A Millennial Thing

I would say that a characteristic of millennials is that our childhoods are a mixture of old and new traditions.  Many of us grew up doing things that our parents did, but we also got to experience never before seen technological advances.  While many millennials may not clean with a rag anymore, I feel that its existence is something we can all relate to.


The Backstory

Growing up, I dreaded frequent cleaning days.  A typical cleaning day began at 8:00 a.m., and was spent reaching for every little nook and cranny in the apartment, while we collected a pile of dust, hair, and other unidentifiable objects that camouflaged with the hardwood floors.  Starting the job was always hard because who doesn’t like sleeping in on a Saturday?


Efficiency: Cleaning with Rags

If you think about it, vacuums and Swiffers are physically unable to clean the hard to reach corners because its rigid designs can only fit a certain size or larger.  In a fast-paced society, it’s only practical to clean the floor with a rag because if you use a device, then you will have to go back again with a rag to clean the areas that the vacuums weren’t able to reach.


Looking Back

Today, I still get down on my hands and knees to keep my home clean.  It has positively contributed to my obsession with +perfectionism+ over the years because who doesn’t like living in a clean home free of dirt?  I know I do.

Besides the dirt, cleaning is cathartic because as I clean the floor, I also feel like I’m doing a spiritual cleansing.  When I pour my energy into getting rid of the physical markers of uncleanliness, I release any negative energy that has built up within me.

I will admit that at times, I do feel annoyed towards the process.  However, my aching back and sweat face is but a small price to pay.  Looking at my sparkling windows provides such a great feeling of satisfaction that my pain is forgettable.

Beyond just the physical and spiritual reminders, cleaning has been a valuable tool to getting things done.  You never want to do a shoddy job with a vacuum cleaner, but a thorough one with a rag.  It’s better to get it right the first time, rather than go back to fix the mistakes that the lazy method has caused.


the girl who used to think of her mom as Lady Tremaine

IMAGE CREDIT: Tonya’s Touch


“My mother taught me to cleanse, tone, and moisturize twice a day, so I always do that – I could be partying or working late, but I’m never too tired to take care of my skin.” – Emilia Clarke (via BrainyQuote)

Growing up, I never understood my mother’s face care routine.  She would start off normally: using a cleanser and washing it off with lukewarm water.  However, she would immediately follow up by washing her face in ice-cold water for a minute.  She would also air dry her face for a few minutes by basically hitting her face dry with her palms.  Her toner, moisturizer, and serum would also all be applied exclusively with her middle and ring fingers, never rubbing.  This entire ritual seemed superfluous to me, but I was just a naïve child, unaware that no one was actually born with healthy complexions.


Going into freshman year of college, I quickly realized that while there is a generalization that non-white skins are stronger, not wrinkling and aging as quickly as their white counterparts, in general, healthy skin is crucial, regardless of genetics.  It can streamline your makeup routine, and for me, a.k.a. an extremely lazy person, especially when it comes to makeup, I saw this as a brilliant way to kill two birds with one stone.

Obviously, we all know that regardless of gender, we should be cleansing and moisturizing our faces twice a day.  Even if you didn’t wear makeup that day, we generally live in polluted areas, and our skins, which are like sponges, absorb horrible toxins in the air daily, so we need to rid ourselves of it daily.  Also, by incorporating a little more skincare products into your daily routine (i.e. serums, masks), you would save both time and money.  We would essentially spend less on our trusted makeup brands to cover our problem areas, and can wake up later because we would put on less makeup.


Initially, my skin routine was simple, consisting of only four things.  Below is my original nighttime and daytime rituals, routines that didn’t work well for me:

  1. First, I removed my makeup with Q-tips dipped in makeup remover.  There’s no clear reason why I did that, but everyone says that rubbing your face would agitate and cause early onset wrinkles, so I sought to remove my makeup with more precision.  (Side note: when I say makeup, I mean eyeliner and mascara because I didn’t use it much, so Q-tips were actually a lot more convenient in removing it.)
  2. Then, I washed my face with Dove® soap.  Unlike other bar soaps, Dove® is a reliable cleanser for a fraction of the cost.  Also, good genetics prevented any drying out.
  3. Finally, I dried my face with a hand towel and put on the Shiseido® Pureness balancing softener (toner) and the Shiseido® Pureness moisturizer on with my palms.

The Shiseido® Pureness balancing softener (toner) and moisturizer were recommended by the Shiseido® sales representative at Macy’s® – we went to the Shiseido® section because my family has a history of sensitive skin, so it made sense to use the brand that everyone in my family used.  The sales representative, who assumed that since I was 18, I had your stereotypical teenage skin.  In hindsight, I realize that I shouldn’t have trusted her once she said “Teenaged girls all have oily skin” and directed me to the Pureness line, which targets that skin type with matifying solutions.

While we can blame the sales representative, my mother and I did not do our research, so we just followed her advice, especially since “all the girls your age use this line.”  However, there were horrible consequences, as I immediately broke out after my first use, which scared me.  Word of advice: know your skin type before you go out to buy something!  Even if a sales representative tries to find a fit for you, in the end of the day, they’re hired to sell you a product, so proceed with caution!


After that fiasco, I began to experiment, taking matters into my own hands.  Thanks to daring purchases and samples, I have found a skincare routine that has worked for me for the past three years.  Below is my new and improved ritual that I adhere to daily:

  1. First, remove makeup with the Shiseido® cleansing oil on a dry face, using your ring finger.  Cleansing oil serves two purposes: to remove makeup and to remove dirt that has accumulated in your pores from your daily activities.  It must be applied to a dry face because oils are hydrophobic, and one you add water to it, it becomes ineffective.  This should be done with your ring finger, the weakest finger in your hand, to prevent premature wrinkling and sagging.  Remember to thoroughly clean your last line because when makeup residue is stuck there, it will cause blockage, which leads to painful oil pockets along your waterline.  This should be washed off with lukewarm water, as hot water dries out your skin, and cold water is ineffective in completely removing the oil.
  2. Next, double cleanse with a pea sized amount of the Shiseido® Ibuki cleanser.  The purpose of the double cleanser is to make sure that there is no remaining oil on your face, similar to dishwashing detergent on oily pans.  This should also be washed off with lukewarm water, making sure to get near the hairline, so no soap suds remain.  Immediately follow that up by washing your face with cold water for a minute.  Some say that washing your face in cold water will tighten pores, though some dermatologists have said that it’s impossible to shrink them.  However, I don’t think it wouldn’t hurt to do this because it is quite refreshing.
  3. Then, air dry your face completely, or gently blot it dry with a clean tissue, if you’re in a rush.  I don’t know if people do the latter, but it streamlines the air-drying process without tempting you to rub your face dry with a bacteria-laden towel.  Rubbing your face with a towel may feel refreshing, but you’re not doing your skin a service by giving it germs and premature wrinkles.  It’s never to early to start worrying about aging!
  4. Next, apply the Shiseido® softening concentrate (toner) and the Shiseido® Ibuki moisturizer, about a pea sized amount each.  Apply one after another by tapping your middle and ring fingers against your face, allowing your skin to accept its nutrients.
  5. 2-3 times a week, apply an exfoliating or a regular, preferably sheet, mask.  It requires you to let it sit for 10-15 minutes, so your skin can absorb more nutrients.  (Side note: like the cleanser, be thorough when removing masks because they tend to be annoying at the hairlines, sticking to your hair.)


The reason why I double cleanse is because I feel a sense of security in comparison to just using a makeup remover and cleanser.  I also enjoy the feeling of my skin reverting to its original, baby quality at night, and double cleansing makes that possible for me.

While I did mention that it was my new routine, during the mornings, I only go through steps 2-4 because you don’t need cleansing oil when you spent the night indoors, and I certainly don’t wear makeup to bed.  I think you’re supposed to double cleanse twice a day, but for me, double cleansing once a day seems quite adequate for my skin’s health.

Disclaimer (although a late one): obviously, my skin isn’t representative of all skin types, as I have yet to meet a person who has the clear, yet sensitive skin like me.  My results are all from trial and error, so don’t be discouraged if this method doesn’t yield the same results as I have just described!


I would say that I’m still trying to find the best combination possible without becoming broke because we all know that Shiseido® is ranked the world’s leading makeup brand, and the best is never cheap.  That being said, I would love if Shiseido® would send this poor girl some freebies, if they ever see this review, considering the fact that I’m running low on cleanser and softening concentrate right now.  😬


the girl who likes pampering her skin

p.s. Listed below are the brands that I have mentioned, along with key points that you should consider before considering purchasing them.

  • Shiseido® Instant Eye & Lip Makeup Remover – Shiseido, Macy’s, Sephora
  • Shiseido® White Beauty Bar – Dove, Amazon, Target
  • Shiseido® Pureness Balancing Softener Alcohol-Free – Shiseido, Macy’s, Sephora (The Pureness line is targeted for clients generally in their teens, who have oily skin and frequent break outs because of hormonal changes)
  • Shiseido® Essentials Perfect Cleansing Oil – Shiseido, Macy’s, Sephora
  • Shiseido® Ibuki Gentle Cleanser – Shiseido, Macy’s, Sephora (The Ibuki line is targeted for millennials with relatively steady complexions, who need normal protection from the harsh environment)
  • Shiseido® Softening Concentrate – Shiseido, Macy’s, Sephora (The Ibuki line is targeted for millennials with relatively steady complexions, who need normal protection from the harsh environment)
  • Shiseido® Ibuki Refining Moisturizer – Shiseido, Macy’s, Sephora (The Ibuki line is targeted for millennials with relatively steady complexions, who need normal protection from the harsh environment)
  • Shiseido® Ibuki Eye Correcting Cream – Shiseido, Macy’s, Sephora (The Ibuki line is targeted for millennials with relatively steady complexions, who need normal protection from the harsh environment)
  • Shiseido® White Lucent Brightening Cleansing Foam – Shiseido, Macy’sSephora (The White Lucent line is targeted for clients with age spots who seek to even out their complexions; usually for older adults, though I did use a sample because it had the nicest rose smell ever)
  • Fresh® Soy Face Cleanser – Fresh, Sephora, Nordstrom (A great product, as it has the essential amino acids and nutrients that help feed and rejuvenate your skin, but for someone with similar skin types to me, it may cause some subtle reactions, usually from the soy)
  • Skinfood® Black Sugar Wash off Mask – Amazon, or any Skinfood® store
  • Fresh® Rose Face Mask – Fresh, Sephora, Nordstrom
Image Credit: Silverkis’ World