Megan's 24-Hour Product Diary: Perfume Reminds Me That I Am Still a Human Being

Megan's 24-Hour Product Diary: Perfume Reminds Me That I Am Still a Human Being
Photo:Tessa Travis, Megan Reynolds

Now that my every day is basically a weird weekend during which we all have to work, getting ready in the morning is a different, more piecemeal affair. My usual routine, like so many other small activities I maybe took for granted, has been disrupted; the first week, I was still putting on makeup, executing a light glam for the three people I might see on the street during my daily constitutional. This week, that plan went out the window. But doing things to your face and putting stuff on the body is part of the remote worker’s toolkit for feeling like an actual human being, and so I have endeavored to do my part in making myself feel a semblance of normalcy.

7:10 a.m.: Getting ready to “head in”

I realized quickly that if I do not take a shower in the morning, I feel like a waste of space. So I showered, washing my hair with Kamedis Dandruff Therapy Shampoo, which came highly recommended to me by a dear friend who would not stop showing me the results he was achieving. This ersatz guerilla marketing worked, and I sense that it is doing “something” to my hair’s dandruff situation, though now that I sit in front of a computer and rarely get up at all, I no longer have the impulse to scratch at my scalp. The conditioner I use, SheaMoisture Coconut Conditioner, smells like a vacation that I hope to take once this cruel war is over. Once my hair is dry-ish, I mush some DevaCurl WaveMaker into it—pointless, as my hair will go into a ponytail halfway through this day, but you know what, it matters! I wash my face with whatever I see first: DHC Cleansing Oil, which is great for taking off makeup and nice for making me feel like I am doing something vaguely wellness-oriented to my face. I also brush my teeth and put in my contacts before leaving the restroom, because wearing my glasses all day makes me feel like I’m sick or extremely hungover.

Ah yes, time to “get dressed” for my “commute” to the living room. I have given up on jeans, even soft, stretchy, jeans, and all my leggings need to be washed. That means the Eileen Fisher silk lounge (?) pants I bought for $20 at Buffalo Exchange are my new best friends; they are too big for me and so I must roll the waist so they stay up, like a sullen teen in Soffe shorts. To complete this look, which I feel is chic, I select one of four sweatshirt options: today, a RealTree camo sweatshirt that is floppy and comfortable. For propriety, I put on the shittiest bra I own. Soon I will buy a bralette.

My apartment is very dry but my skin is thrilled that I am no longer putting makeup on and is still adjusting to its new life in captivity, much like the rest of us. My morning face routine is still unchanged: a dime-sized blob of Inkey List Niacinamide Oil Control Serum, some French Girl Organics Neroli Undereye Oil (I am out of eye cream, what do I do), and then a generous icing of Youth to the People Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream, which is an inefficient moisturizer, but that’s ok. Sometimes if I’m feeling fancy, I will smear Glossier YouthDew all over my visage; if I’m not, I use Wander Beauty Glow Ahead Face Oil. Though it feels pointless, I am still wearing perfume? My usual is Diptyque’s Tam Dao, but I am experimenting with a small travel size flaçon of Maison Francis Kurdijian Rouge Baccarat 450, which smells like old money. This is the stupidest part of my routine, but it’s nice to be reminded that I still have a sense of smell, and test that ability routinely by sniffing my wrist just to see what’s up. I prefer this coronavirus compulsion over my other, which is taking my temperature when I feel “off” and freaking out while the thermometer is doing its thing.

I’m dressed! I’m ready! Time to “go to work.”

8:30 a.m. to Whenever I realize it’s time to stop: WHERE IS MY HAND CREAM?

My creams Photo: (Megan Reynolds)

Nothing that happens to my face and body during the day is particularly interesting, but washing my hands incessantly and drinking water a lot means that my hands and lips are chapped. Behold, the three things that are preventing those extremities from crumbling into dust:

The small tin of Nivea hand cream works wonders, smells old-fashioned, and is thicc, but the small patches of dry, crusty flesh on the backs of my hands is starting to disappear, so that’s good! I love this Bite Agave Lip Mask, as one of my nervous habits is picking at a small patch of dry skin on my lower lip, and this prevents me from doing so. Finally, the JUUL makes it so that I do not feel compelled to smoke cigarettes. When the Nivea is not close at hand, I turn to the vat of Mrs. Meyer’s Lavender Hand Lotion that my roommate purchased thinking it was hand soap. It smells weird and I don’t love it, but it works in a pinch on both my hands and my ankles, so that’s nice!

12:37 p.m.

I noticed that I was chewing on my lip so I stopped, applied lip balm, and some hand cream for good measure. Turning my attention to my ankles, I notice a stray hair growing from the knuckle of my big toe. I remove the hair with the toe tweezers, which live next to the eyebrow tweezers, and then tweeze one to three hairs from my unruly brows which will soon take over my face. My sister asked me what perfume I am wearing about an hour ago; in a panic, I realize that I cannot smell it on my person. Another spray.

1:26 p.m.

Lunch is over (cabbage and rice, like Charlie Bucket’s grandparents). I stood in the sun. My hands felt chapped, so I washed them, then moisturized them. Tweezed three more brow hairs and put some more oil on my face. Forgot to drink water. Did that.

3:40 p.m.

My father called and made a joke about having a cough; I screamed at him, and now he will joke no longer. Stood in the paddock to enjoy the sun while speaking on the phone, then washed my hands.

5:27 p.m.

Leaving “work” to go “home.” Hands feel clammy; is it because they are dry or because they are not? Could use a cookie. I rub more moisturizer into my paws and close my computer.

6:30 p.m. (?) to Sleepytime: Water!

I will go for hours without drinking water. I make up for this by doing it in the murky hours of the “evening,” when time suddenly loses all shape and I look at the clock every 27 minutes or so to figure out if it’s too early to go to bed. During this time, I play one hour of video games, eat some kimchi soup, and apply lip balm and hand cream roughly one million times. When my back starts to hurt from sitting on the couch, I drag my sack of bones to my bedroom.

I wash my face with the exact same DHC face oil I used this morning and then consider my array of toners. Did I exfoliate yesterday? No matter. Instead of moisturizer, I smear a healthy layer of Youth to the People Hydrate Superberry Hydrate + Glow “sleeping mask” on my face, then mush my face around with a jade roller. I also pivot to my night lip balm, the Laniege Lip Mask, which smells faintly of fruit and is the only lip balm I’ve found that I can still feel in the morning when I wake up after a restful five hours of open-mouthed slumber. Once I’ve patted my face sufficiently, I tuck myself under the weighted blanket I purchased on a whim and would now die for, and drift off to slumber. I will probably wake up at 5:54 a.m. and stare at a beauty tutorial on YouTube until I fall back to half-sleep. I will wake up when my alarm goes off at 7:10 and do this shit again.

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