How to Share Skincare with your Boo and Still Survive
Living with your S.O. is kind of like the best possible roommate situation. You get to spend all your time with the person you’d probably be spending all your time with anyway, just without any commute. Plus, you can go halfsies on rent together—amongst so many other things, like cooking stir-fry naked or impromptu sofa forts whilst Netflix and chilling.
And, I won’t lie, it’s been a pretty great two years of sharing an apartment with my boyfriend, championing several IKEA excursions with nary a grunt and always having an in-house spider assassin around—let alone someone who’s always willing to make the bed.
Being that my boyfriend and I do about 85 percent of our daily activities together, it’s not out of the ordinary for each of us to throw on a face mask while watching a movie. Yet had I known these innocent, one-off spa nights would set off a latent skincare obsession in him, I might’ve been more wary.
You see, I work in beauty, which means I own a LOT of beauty products. The kind of “a lot” that would probably take me 15 years to finish if I were to never receive another press sample again. The kind that’s fit for someone several tax brackets higher than me. So as you might imagine, I’m fiendishly protective toward my skincare stash—and particularly the ones that are very expensive to replace (should they actually make good on the claims on their packaging). What I’m saying is, I love my boyfriend, but I love my skincare products more.
It started with the Shiseido. A brightening serum that I had set aside because I was in the mood to try something new, which found its way onto my boyfriend’s dresser. Apparently he was taken with its “clean” scent and the silky, fancy way in which it glides onto the skin. Once the serum actually started to work—evening and softening his overall skin tone like an IRL photo filter—all hope for me was lost. The dude was hooked.
Since then, every new product that I bring into our apartment gets subjected to the Spanish Inquisition.
Him: What is that? I wanna use it too.
Me: You don’t even know what it’s for.
Him: It feels nice on my skin.
I’m pretty sure that, at one point, I thought it was cute. Like, “Awww, I’m teaching my boyfriend how to take care of his skin.” However, that cuteness faded a while ago and has since been replaced with a very real, welling sense of fear. Woe the day your co-habiting bae dives into your side of the medicine cabinet and descends into your stash of beauty potions like a very attractive locust, eviscerating all the Mario Badescu, the Kiehl’s, and any trace of Korean skincare products left.
To be fair, dude’s skin is looking goddamn flawless. His pores have somehow all but disappeared, his skin tone even and less red overall, and any congested areas and breakouts are NIL. What was once a sweet and naïve soap and face lotion skincare routine has expanded monstrously to include a targeted cleanser for his skin type (normal/combination), a toner, serum, facial oil, eye cream, moisturizer, SPF, and a night cream. The occasional clay mask makes its way onto his face (and mine—yes, there’s still some of that left for me) maybe once or twice a week. And he tells me he’s even getting compliments on his clear and well-hydrated complexion from co-workers. They want to know how he does it. They want to know his skincare routine. They want to know his secret. Meanwhile, I’m sitting here with my inner Regina George hulking out, being all, “I like… MADE HIM!”
What? I did.
In a relationship, one would assume that certain boundaries are a given—unspoken rules, as it were. Hopefully you don’t have to remind your boo that hacking into your computer is not okay. Ditto finishing all the Oreos without replacing them. Yet while I never anticipated that I’d have to put the kibosh on my bathroom shelf like some moody teenager erecting a sign on her bedroom door that reads “DO NOT ENTER,” I have to say…I feel a bit of sentimental pride too. It’s nice to share one of my chief interests with my boyfriend—nice to see him not only appreciate skincare but to really get into it too.
All I ask is that he stays away from the Shiseido.
Stay tuned to Milk for more beauty quandaries.