Friday, 17 February 2017


If you are a new reader over here, for starters HEY, and thanks for stumbling across my blog! Secondly, in case you did not already know, I am an intensive care nurse by day (and occasionally by night also) and this therefore involves very early mornings, getting up at the crack of dawn, getting very little sleep, working right through the night, getting very stressed, washing my hands about 3000 times a shift, not putting any lip balm on, and feeling and looking like I have been dragged through a bush pretty much all of the time. 

I definitely feel as though my career has shaped my attitude towards the way I take care of myself and the effort I make on my days off, and even the attempt I make on the days I am at work. Just because I have a job that doesn't necessarily allow you to look very glam, definitely does not mean that I am not going to try my best to feel better when I go to work or take care of myself on a day to day basis. Someone once said to me that they believe nurses should not wear make up, and my response to this is why? Does the fact I am wearing some foundation and some mascara affect the care I provide? I think not. Does my minimal make up offend anyone? I think not. Does my make up and appearance change my nursing? No, it doesn't. So why should I not be allowed to want to take care of my appearance a little bit more. 

I love make up. I love fashion. I love taking photos. I love being pampered. I love taking photos. I love taking care of myself. And just because my job sometimes limits me to what extent I can do some of these things, certainly does not mean that when I am not at work, I am not going to do them. I genuinely look forward to my days off work because i know I can make a conscious effort to look good on them days, whether it be wearing my nice clothes, whether it be wearing a bright lipstick or eye shadow, whether it be wearing my hair down - I love glamming myself up on my time off because this is me, and it is something I like to do. 

Nursing certainly limits the amount of make up I do wear, limits the length of my nails, narrows my hair styles down to a pony tail or a messy bun, it means I have to wear a uniform and perfume which is not too over powering. But that does not mean that on my days off, or on my annual leave I don't take full advantage of the break and wear whatever I want! Make up is my security blanket, I need it to feel more comfortable. My skin has never been very good, so if I suddenly started showing up to work with no foundation on, I would look like a completely different person because it covers and hides so many of my blemishes and imperfections. I don't wear a lot of make up for work, because lets be honest time won't allow that at 6am on a morning, but I do like to wear just enough to make me feel OK about my appearance and so that I don't go to work thinking I am going to be frightening all of my patient and colleagues (jokes). If you are a nurse, you can wear make up, this does not affect the care you give - just don't go over board obviously - do what makes you feel comfortable. For me, I get up on a morning and have 10 minutes to make myself feel presentable, I pop some foundation on, some concealer and powder, quickly chuck some mascara on, minimally fill my brows in, chuck on some bronzer so my face has some shape about it, and a little bit of lip balm and off I go. There is nothing special about the way I do my make up for work, I just do enough to make myself feel comfortable and presentable and that is enough to keep me happy. 

My hair is not really something which bothers me too much for work, but I don't like to go in with it looking too much of a mess. So usually I spend about 5 minutes tying it up and pinning any stray hairs back and then I am good to go. 

My point is, that although there may be this old school perception that nurses should not wear make up - who made up that rule? It literally affects nothing! Just wear whatever makes you feel comfortable. Don't go over board and just make sure it still makes you look professional! 


So, yes as nurses you are obviously not allowed to do some things for infection control reasons which I totally understand and always abide too! But in your spare time there is absolutely nothing stopping you from doing these things. Such as getting your nails done. Whether it be painted on your days off, or getting acrylic or gel nails on your annual leave. Obviously you are supposed to keep jewellery to a minimum whilst at work but again nothing is stopping you from wearing whatever you want when you are not at work. Obviously if you have longer hair which is able to be tied up, then this is something which you have to abide to whilst at work - but when you are off, where it down and in whatever style to your hearts content - there is absolutely nothing stopping you! I love curling and styling mine when I am off - it certainly makes me feel far better!

Other things I do to keep myself feeling glam are, dying my hair regularly and getting it cut, having my eye brows tinted and threaded every 3 weeks, painting and growing my nails on my time off etc. But for you this could include things such as having a spray tan, getting your lashes done, having a wax etc. 

I know some of these things may seem self explanatory but I just wanted to get the point across that just because there is an old fashioned perception of Nurses looking and being a certain way, does not mean that right now, in 2017 we need to be that way anymore. No way that any nurse has ever dressed or looked will ever have influenced the care they provided, so now when nurses in this day and age wear make up and have tattoos etc, should this be perceived to effect the way they care for their patients? 

Nothing that anyone has ever said to me has ever changed the way I have made myself look before going to work? I deem myself to still look quite professional when I go to work, I look presentable and neat and tidy and there is absolutely nothing wrong with the way I decide to turn up to work. I enjoy looking after myself. I enjoy getting my eye brows done, I enjoy getting my hair dyed and other things too. 

If you too are in a career which prevents you from looking the way you would ideally like to look, just bare in mind that you can get around it. It makes you appreciate it more in your spare time. But also, just do what you need to do to make yourself personally feel more comfortable. For example, if all you need is some mascara for work - that's brilliant, wear that mascara! If you need a full face like me, then there is also nothing wrong with that either. If you like to spend a little extra time on your hair on a morning, do it. If you wear barely any make up but love a lip products with a little bit of a colour, wear it - there is nothing wrong with that. Just remember to always look professional, but still do what you love in your own time! I know I certainly do, and that is something which is never going to change!!

What do you do to make yourself feel more glam? What products could you not live without on your days at work? What do you particularly enjoy to do most on your days off?

Much Love




  1. Yes!! I'm a student nurse and totally understand. I just don't feel myself without at least a little makeup on (especially on nightshift when I need to cover the bags under my eyes haha). I don't see how wearing make-up would affect my practice at all! xx

    Erin | This Old Joy

  2. I completely agree! I'm a student nurse, and I'm certainly not an expert at makeup, but I have to wear foundation, concealer & a touch of mascara to feel professional. If I didn't I'd get super sweaty and paranoid! I once read that being a nurse is a bit like being an actress - you have to present yourself in a certain way at all times as if you were on stage, because patients and relatives are watching you and you can influence their thoughts so much. It's important to look confident so you can FEEL confident and calm in the job.

    On my days off I also love wearing pretty skirts and dresses and letting my hair down. I feel like a different person almost! It's good to have that distinction between work and down-time.

    Great post :) xx

    1. P.s. please could you maybe do an intensive care related video or post? I've just had a couple of shifts in an ITU and I'm really fascinated by it. I'd like to know more about what the routine is like, why you like it, what skills you need to develop and perhaps a bit about the critical care course - you said you're starting that this year? :)


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