How Do You Share Beauty With The Person You're Dating?


There’s the first time you run into an ex, and then there’s the first time you run into an ex after enough time has passed for you to be amicable. The second first time I crossed paths with my college boyfriend, it would’ve been weird if we didn’t stop and chat. “I… still have that bottle of Milky Jelly you left at my dorm,” he said, quickly adding, “but I’m running out so I save it for when I really need it, like after a long night.” I didn’t want to unpack why he was hanging onto the dregs of my old cleanser then, and I’m not particularly interested in doing it now. But the conversation stuck with me, because clearly, my skincare routine had stuck with him.

The whole song and dance around relationships and beauty routines is often a tedious one. You’ve got to ease them into the reality of your routine: It starts with a toothbrush, which turns into a cleanser, and then maybe a bottle of conditioner. Eventually you might break out the smellier stuff, like The Blue Cocoon or any member of the Biologique Recherche répertoire. Or the weirder stuff, like a clay mask or a microcurrent device. Not to mention that their routine or lack thereof is unfurling before your eyes simultaneously. How long does this take? Months? The few minutes spent in front of the sink are intimate ones. Maybe you take them separately at first. And then, before you even realize it’s happened, you’re sharing an apartment and hiding face scrubs from your husband. Or wife. Whatever floats your boat.

It dawned on me recently that there are probably lots of couples who fast forwarded through that shyness because of coronavirus. How was it affecting their beauty routines? To get an answer, I phoned a friend: she had recently moved in with a partner she had been “officially” seeing for just one month. For all intents and purposes, they were not at the living together stage of a relationship yet. Yet! They are! And it’s going great! She’s been checking out his oil collection, he steals her hair masks, and all in all, the two have found bonding over beauty to be not only a fun quaractivity, but also a great way to learn about each other.

I’d like to raise the sample size of this very scientific endeavor. Has isolating with your significant other opened new doors and drawers? Or, if you’re not currently shacked up with a love interest, have you ever influenced a partner’s beauty routine? What about the other way around? Tell me everything! I’ll see you in the comments.

—Ali Oshinsky

You can also read more couples beauty routines here: Fran Miller and Jackie McKeown, Leandra and Abie Cohen, and Darroch and Michael Putnam.

Photo via ITG