I've wondered for a while whether I had anything worthwhile to share about beauty routines. But then I listened through a whole feature on Woman's Hour where they talked us through how to save money by painting our own nails. Really, Jenni Murray? Is this where we've ended up?
So, what the hell? Whatever I write, it can't compare too badly against a woman on the radio applying her glossy top coat.
Gwyneth Paltrow, according to my mother-in-law's magazines, keeps her routine simple with just a cleanser and 'facial oils'. Maybe Gywneth buys something like this, at £205 for 100ml. Who knows what cleanser she uses.
I use whatever cleanser is on offer at the Pound Shop. (Poundland is just a little bit fab - they regularly have branded products in there, so there's no fear of burning your skin off with a nameless bottle of weird.)
So. Here's where I go all Gwyneth.
Rub in your cleanser, run a flannel under the hot tap, and wipe it off. Leave your face warm and very slightly damp. Then put a couple of drops of Rosehip Seed Oil, which is one of the main ingredients of many of the facial oils you can buy anyway, into your palms and massage into your face. (Don't rub your eyes, just hold your hands over them for a while so some of the oil goes on.) We're using two or three drops here - you won't end up looking like you fell into a chip pan. It's lovely. It doesn't smell of anything (though you can whack some lavender in, if you're so inclined.) It's £3.99 for 50ml, and it will last for absolutely ages.
For exfoliator, if you need it, just throw your used coffee grounds into a jar and mix some olive oil in. Come on. Who wouldn't want to rub this on their face?
Okay. Okay. It looks like mud. And you need a nice hot washcloth to rub it off otherwise you will feel like you fell into the chip pan. But it works, it works really well, and it's practically cost-free.
(As an aside - Mr Coffee has very happily used a mixture of caster oil and olive oil as a shaving oil for ages, in an idea based on the oil-based cleansing method. (Let's make this clear that this was at my instigation - please do not go away from this believing that my husband spends his time online researching beauty routines, since I would be in a good deal of trouble if I were to give that impression.) I can't remember the last time I bought caster oil, but it certainly wasn't this year. The bottle is going strong, and as far as I can remember it only cost a couple of quid in the first place.)
So there we have it. At a rough guess, my beauty routine costs about £8 a year. I wonder if Gwyneth could say that?