MUSINGS: Beauty by Numbers, things it pays to do twice

| 8 January , 2010 | Reply

Dear Muses,

Ever noticed how so much of beauty and fashion is wrapped up in numbers? We hear about 10 inch heels, leave in for 15 minutes, repeat once a day, for 30 seconds each time, for a 21 day period, three times a year. Beauty by Numbers will be an ongoing Musings column, honing in on the use of a particular number in relation to fashion and beauty.

Today that number is two. Or more specifically its adverb version – twice – and certain beauty rituals that it pays to do as much.


There has been much debate about the merits of a two shampoo, so I decided to skip all that and look for an expert with a definitive answer, and I got my hands on none other than celebrity hair stylist Kevin Murphy, who says the two ‘poo undeniably beneficial. “The purpose of the first shampoo is to get rid of the dirt, dust and top layer of grease and oil – this is like a pre-wash. The second shampoo will moisturise to the roots, leaving the hair soft and clean. “

In much the same say a facialist will double cleanse your face, your hairstylist will always shampoo your hair twice at the salon. Not only does it remove the gunk that deposits on our hair as Kevin described, and as an added bonus it also helps the impending products – frizz-free serum, straightening balm, leave-in conditioner – more effectively do their job. I guess if they do it in a professional setting, for results I actually pay for, maybe I should be doing those things at home. Ahhh& it\’s all so clear now.

Try it with: KEVIN.MURPHY Angel Wash $29.95 or Kerastasé Paris Resistance Force Bain de Force $34.


Cleansing is such an underrated step in the beauty routine. We\’re so focussed on what follows it; the serums and day and night creams. But wacking all of that on improperly cleansed skin is as good as trying to chamois your car without hosing it down first.

That said I didn\’t know about cleansing twice, couldn\’t it strip my skin and cause my sebaceous glands to over-respond (yes, this is daily internal dialogue for me). So I started to asking around and people starting donking me on the head with things, as if to day “Duuuh Emma, of course you should be double cleansing”. The idea is that the first cleanse removes The Stuff of The Day like make-up, sunscreen, primer, pollution, sweat and the like, and the second cleanse actually cleans the face.

There are two ways to double cleanse. 1) You can use a cleanser specifically designed to perform the first step, and then use a cleanser suited to your skin\’s needs to follow up. For example you could first use Dermalogica\’s Pre-Cleanse and follow it up with Clinique Liquid Facial Cleanser. Or 2) You can select a cleanser designed to be used twice. All salon brands nail the double cleanse Dermalogica, MD Formulations , Ella Bache, Clairns, Aveda. In fact if you\’re going straight for the double cleanse with the same product you\’re probably best to use a salon product, some cleansers are simply too strong and will strip the skin. I\’ve had simply spectacular double cleansing results with Dermalogica Dermal Clay Cleanser and SOTO\’s Facial Cleanser gives great double cleanse also.

Try it with: Dermalogica Pre-Cleanse $65.50, Dermalogica Dermal Clay Cleanser $22.50 for 50ml, $53 for 250ml, $87 for 500ml, Clinique Liquid Facial Soap $29, SOTO Facial Cleanser $49.


This is a little trick I learned from a make-up artist friend not so long ago. Totally in love with cloth masks, but frustrated by the fact that I often wasn\’t getting the promised results, she said that by simply exfoliating my face before I put the mask on I might be selling myself a little short. She suggested, I cleanse and exfoliate and then apply a First Mask. This First Mask would need to be a twin turbo, force of exfoliating power, sloughing away dead skin cells and opening up pores ready to receive the gooey goodness from my cloth mask. Boy was she right. I\’m a two mask girl for now and always.

Try it with: St Ives Peel-Off Hydroxy Mask $9.99 and SK-II Facial Treatment Mask $28 for one mask, $140 for six.

Hair removing

For some of people leg shaving isn\’t fraught with drama and frustration. Those people can probably stop reading this paragraph now and flit back to that glorious land where hair removal is rare and problem-free. Like those of you still reading, I am not one of those people. Hyper sensitive legs, fast growing hair that\’s sparse but dark, it is what the French call La Nightmare. Or probably, I don\’t speak the language. But, I have found a way to attain leg hair removal perfection. Two products that don\’t fully deliver on their own for me, offer optimum results when they team up. The second step is a simple shaving, no need to go into much detail there. The first step is where it gets interesting. First up I employ the services of a hair removal cream or mousse. I\’ve never found that hair removal creams deliver a completely fuzz free result, but what they do is level out the playing field, taking out some of the smaller, lesser players and really give your razor room to do its thang. Only tip though, make sure you thoroughly wash off the hair removal cream before you shave or it could lead to irritation.

Try it with: Veet Hair Removal Cream $6.79 and Venus Spa Breeze $8.39

Nail painting

I know it\’s an oldie and we all know it, but it really is a goodie and worth reiterating. While I see stacks of my friends diligently applying two coats of their favourite nail polish, where they go wrong is in the thickness of the two layers. The entire purpose of the two layers is to do the colour full justice, whilst not making you walk around like The Alien Who Can\’t Touch Things for three days. The first layer in particular should be very thin, if there are little gaps or brushstrokes don\’t panic think of this layer like a primer (or like a post-primer since your base coat will be your primer primer, but you know what I mean). Ince given a few minutes to dry before being joined by thin layer number two, those imperfections will be swallowed whole, and replaced by perfect nail colour in all its shining glory.

Try it with: Rimmel London Lycra® Pro Nail Polish in Bahamas Flirt $9.95 or OPI Coleccion de Espana in No Spain, No Gain $19.95.

Do you have any it pays to do it twice tips? Do you regularly do any of these things? Will you now?

(Images courtesy of the respective brands)

Love and musings,

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Tags: , , , , ,

Category: Beauty

Leave a Reply