I Don’t Wear Makeup or Care About Clothes — Welcome to my Morning Routine

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Often, I turn to the Internet to see how I should be as a woman. There is no shortage of aspirational articles like, “Here’s the Simple, 37-Step Skin Care Routine I Do Three Times a Day to Look Like a Fresh Baby’s Bottom,” and “This Diet of Only Raw Air and Dandelion Petals Will Make You Beautiful in Only 90,000 Days.”

Not only are they unrealistic, but they also sound awfully unfun.

The Internet doesn’t have to make you feel bad about all the things you’re not doing as a woman. It shouldn’t make you feel inadequate — it’s perfectly possible to go about your life without a signature lip color or any knowledge whatsoever of the latest fashion trends for 2018. I should know. I do it every day.

So, in order to make being a complete woman on the Internet a little less daunting, I sacrifice to you the reality of my morning routine. I am a regular woman, I am 28 years old, I own one container of concealer that I use only for weddings and other special occasions, and I get pretty much all of my clothes from Old Navy.

And this is my weekday morning routine.

You see, when you live on the west coast and you write for the Internet, things must start at an inhuman hour. So in order to make it to work by 6 a.m., my iPhone starts ringing at 4:45. Occasionally, that’s when I get out of bed. Most days, I let my 5:00 a.m. alarm ring and decide to roll my body out of my comfy cocoon and drag myself to the bathroom around 5:07.

After my morning pee, I hop in the shower. Sometimes, if I really want to treat myself, I leave the bathroom lights off. Try it. It’s decadent.

I like the shower as hot as I can stand it, which I know isn’t great for you, but do I care? No. I get the giant containers of TRESemmé shampoo and conditioner from Target or CVS, and I wash my hair. I even leave the conditioner in ’til the end of my shower to make my hair extra smooth and beautiful. Does it work? No idea. Yes, I wash my hair every day! Even though I’m not supposed to! I know, I’m a heathen!

Then, and here’s where I get fancy, I wash my face. Almost every day, I wash with a gentle face wash, a giant tub of Cetaphil that I think has been in my family for generations. Then, on Fridays, I wash with an exfoliating apricot scrub instead — the St. Ives brand if I’m feeling luxurious. For years, I scrubbed away at my face with that stuff every day, and then I read somewhere on the Internet that you’re only supposed to exfoliate once a week. So now, I do it on Fridays. Does it make a difference? No idea. Do I ever forget which day of the week it is and use the wrong face wash? You betcha!

After my face is clean, I grab the bottle of Softsoap body wash and clean the rest of me. I switch up the flavors because there are so many and they’re fun. They are also cheap and probably full of terrible substances I shouldn’t be rubbing on my body. But I am a woman on a budget.

After I shower, I brush my teeth. I recently splurged on a $30 rechargeable electric toothbrush, and it’s changed my life. It feels like I’m going to the dentist every morning. (But like, in a good way. I hate going to the dentist.) I think Crest is my toothpaste of choice. Or maybe Colgate. I can never keep those toothpaste brands straight.

I leave the bathroom light on and the door open to give myself a little visibility while I head across the way to my bedroom to get dressed. You see, at this hour, my wonderful fiancé is still fast asleep, so I can’t very well turn on all the lights and wake him up.

Instead, I rummage around in the dark for all the components of an outfit. I have approximately five pairs of jeans on a constant rotation. What shirt I wear depends on how uncomfortable I feel like being that day. If I can handle it, maybe a button-down or a blouse and a cardigan. If I can’t even think about it, I’ve got a few super comfy sweatshirts-that-look-sort-of-like-real-shirts that I love so so much. I’m wearing one right now.

If I think about it, and that’s a big if, I’ll slap a watch on my wrist and put on a pair of earrings. My outfit doesn’t even come into consideration when I choose jewelry. It’s all about how much of a rush I’m in…

Then, I slip one of my like, four pairs of shoes, and, having dressed in the dark, I head to the kitchen, hair sopping wet.

With my remaining minutes, I pack myself lunch. Usually I try to leave some leftovers from dinner the night before, so I’ll bring those with me. If there are no leftovers, I might cobble together a sandwich or a salad that will most likely be completely unappealing to me mere hours later. Or I give up and decide I’ll buy lunch. Breakfast doesn’t even enter my mind. Maybe I’ll throw an apple in my lunch bag intended for morning consumption. If I’m on top of things.

And then I’m out the door. That’s it. Let’s take stock of where I am when I head out into the world to see and communicate with other human beings: -I have showered. (500 points!!! That’s truly a huge win, if you ask me.) -I got dressed in the dark. -I didn’t put on any makeup or dry my hair or really even look at myself in the mirror. -From the time I rolled out of bed until the time I leave my apartment, 30-35 minutes have passed.

And you know what? I have a job, I have a fiancé, I have a dog, and I even have a few of those hobby things.  I would consider my life pretty great.

Sure, my skin isn’t as supple as it could be if I covered myself in lotions and oils every day. I could probably try to update and finesse my wardrobe and spend lots of time picking out outfits the night before, but that would leave less time for reading books and watching Netflix and playing with my aforementioned dog. The point is, my morning routine is heinous by Internet standards, but it gets me up and out, and it’s mine, and it’s me, and therefore I kind of like it.