Save. Spend. Splurge.

I’m a high-low maintenance woman

Now that I’m back and working again, I’m getting back into the groove of the work culture which includes talking about your spouses or your families.

I work with 99.99% men.

On any given project, I am the only woman, and furthermore, the only YOUNG woman.

A lot of the male co-workers I hang out with are good guys, but they do obviously start talking about their families and their wives in particular and the things that they do that drive them crazy.

Being a woman hearing these conversations, I think they were careful to not mention any of that stuff in the beginning but now have realized that I am not going to turn militant on them.

I’d agree with some of what they say about women and disagree with others, and I do tell them outright that I disagree, for instance.


Anyway, throughout the conversations I’ve had so far, I’ve gathered that I’m pretty low-maintenance and not very ‘girly’ in comparison to their wives and what they do.

Cue this face: O_o

I wear dresses and skirts to work, I wear makeup, heels, but I am apparently still on the low-end of this maintenance spectrum of women.

A few things I do that are low maintenance and/or not very girly:

  • Don’t wear one piece of clothing and then toss it in the wash immediately (I re-wear things)
  • I don’t have 50 potions to spread on my face every morning or night
  • I don’t wear nailpolish or regularly go to spas and/or get manicures / pedicures
  • Takes me only 20 minutes in total to get up, get dressed, put on some makeup and head out the door
  • I don’t spend an hour in the bathroom and use all the hot water in the home in one shower
  • I will leave the house without any makeup on (often and willingly) but never go to work like this
  • I don’t own a curling iron, flat iron, or hair dryer
  • I don’t wear lipstick — I’ve tried and I just don’t feel comfortable with it on
  • I don’t do anything with my hair including not putting any sprays or anything on it in the morning
  • I will eat pretty much anything and avoid salads because they just don’t fill me up
  • I can travel with a small carryon, even just a backpack for the weekend

The only area where I think I’d be considered more “womanly” as the stereotype goes is:

  • I have a lot of clothes; I did a recent count and have over 200 individual pieces of clothing
  • I love to shop (I really do and I am not apologizing for this!)
  • I have a lot of makeup (not as much as a beauty blogger but .. at least 3-4 blushes for instance)
  • I have a lot of jewellery
  • I have my own bathroom and my own 2 FULL closets which I have jam-packed with things

So… I guess if you just took a cursory glance at me, I’d look like I spend a lot of time (and money) on getting ready and putting myself together, but in reality, I only just really like to shop but I am not into wasting time and being inefficient.

I’m contradictory in my habits.

I can’t be the only one!




  • RealityCheck

    It is a real good thing that the high maintenance women today didn’t have to work as hard as the old fashioned women did, and they would’ve had it real tough especially with their False Eyelashes And Fingernails that many of them have nowadays.

    • save. spend. splurge.

      Still, it must be said it was a different time period. Maybe back then, there were high maintenance women but not necessarily with fake eyelashes and fingernails, but they would soak for hours in milk or something along those lines! (Thinking of Cleopatra..)

  • Tania

    I would consider myself pretty low maintenance. I do a bit more than you for skin and hair but it’s because I’m older and live in a humid climate (in Canada, my hair routine would be simpler as I’ve noted during travel). I do wear a little makeup each day (base to even out my skin, brow color/wax & finishing powder) and I have a skin regimen from the dermatologist that helps fade my skin damage (this is more necessary as you get older, when I was your age skin care was minimal). Skin including makeup takes about 5 to 10 minutes. I don’t blow dry but I do a quick 5 minute flat iron in the morning. I get a pedicure once a month as my feet are exposed all the time in a tropical climate and I’m not good at doing it myself. I’m very minimal in the way I dress but I do like things to fit well and be of good quality. But I don’t mind wearing the same pieces all the time and I stick to neutrals with good drape but I’m not very trendy. But I think the lowest maintenance thing that is similar between you and I is that we don’t expect a man to take care of us financially 🙂

    • save. spend. splurge.

      Hahha yes!!! 🙂 independent to the core.

      I’m trying however, to fade pigmentation marks on my skin, this is a long process.

      • Tania

        @save. spend. splurge.: The Obagi system really helped my pigmentation. I had splotches from sun damage that are almost entirely gone now. That said, some are concerned about the ingredients in the Obagi system. I know you are very conscious of toxicity and using organic products. I’m the same way about most things but I made an exception for the sun damage problem. Also, I feel more comfortable doing certain solutions as a middle aged woman. I don’t feel some of these things (i.e. like retin A) should be done for years and years so I wouldn’t have started in my 30s with it, even it’s meant to be temporary.

  • Sally

    Ohhh, this is a fun post! I might have to do a similar one. I am definitely low maintenance in most areas. I don’t wear makeup about 95% of the time, and I only use one purse. I get pedicures maybe once a year. I do sometimes get my car washed (instead of vacuuming myself and doing a drive-through car wash). I need a haircut and eyebrow shaping every few months. I also enjoy shopping, it gives me a lot of ideas!

  • Sense

    Low maintenance: I can get ready in the AM in less than 15 minutes, and do so a lot of days. I don’t wear makeup 99% of the time. My hair goes in a ponytail or bun. ALWAYS. I never blow dry my hair. I wear plain hiking sneakers or ugly boring comfortable flats to work. I have a selection of khakis and plain t-shirts in many colors that can mostly all be paired up so that picking something to wear in the AM is as easy as choosing from the top of a pile of shirts and a pile of pants.

    High maintenance: I need security and to be comfortable, and to be independent–i.e. provide for myself in all situations, so I carry the same stuff with me at all times in a backpack: water bottle, hair tie, emergency food (granola bar), Shout wipe, Tide stick, tampons, chapstick, umbrella, jacket or coat (NZ gets cold randomly, even in summer), safety pins…you name something that you might need suddenly, and I have it. I just cannot stand to a) go buy something I have at home or b) be uncomfortable when I KNOW I could be comfortable if only I had that ONE little thing if I were more prepared. Packing for me is a challenge as I think of ALL scenarios and try to be prepared for ALL of them…

    Yes. I am ridiculous.

  • Revanche

    Hm, the idea of high/low maintenance always makes me think I’m being referred to as a car. Did you take me in for my tune up? It’s been 100K miles/3 years, did you check my timing belt?

    In that vein, I have a lot of parts that need replacing well before their time so, health wise, I require lots of maintenance or tooling around.

    But otherwise, I’m crap at dressing up (so I don’t), at doing make-up (so I don’t) and matching (I try …). I like to have pretty things but it makes saving so much easier when I remember that I’m likely to regret buying the thing I can’t match or accessorize later 🙂 Occasionally I can get gussied up but only if I keep it REALLY simple.

  • AdinaJ

    Honestly, the most high maintenance thing about me is my job. I have a demanding, high stress job, which doesn’t leave me a lot of free time these days. When I have to work late, which is happening more and more often, my husband has to accommodate that (taking care of the kids, doing more house work, etc.). I think that’s a much bigger deal than waiting a few minutes while I get ready in the morning. I’m not discounting how annoying those types of habits can be, but it sounds like your colleagues have a very specific and narrow interpretation of “high maintenance”.

  • Cassie

    You’re definitely not the only one. I never did understand the logic of wearing an item once and throwing it in the wash when it comes to items like jeans and sweaters. Especially not if you’re someone who wears multiple outfits a day. How on earth do they keep up with their laundry?

    I have a fairly large volume of fine hair, so washing it in the shower is a bit of a time suck, but I don’t often use up all of the hot water (anymore). I also have a blow dryer, mostly because it takes my hair several hours to dry otherwise and I don’t want my head to freeze outside during the winter. I rarely use my flat iron. My look is very wash and wear, but the skin products and makeup I do use are on the higher priced end of the spectrum. I enjoy shopping as well, but to be honest I prefer to do it by myself rather than with a gaggle of other girls. I’ll happily eat a salad, but it’s because I feel like eating a salad not because I’m worried about my figure. I don’t see anything wrong with being high-low, if anything I’d say it makes you normal. My fiance thinks I’m low maintenance and I’m perfectly fine with that.

  • Erika

    Oh the joys of working in a predominantly male environment! The guys are hilarious aren’t they? I love hearing about life from the opposite sex’s perspective. My coworkers tell me that I’m high maintenance because I like nice things. Really though, I wear a minimal amount of makeup to work, a pair of earrings, and cute (but comfortable) underwear, and perfume, because we have uniforms and strict grooming standards. I’m a little more high maintenance when I’m off work, but those days are rare.

    I think my personality might be what they are referring too because I don’t take crap from anyone and have a take it or leave it mentality.

    • save. spend. splurge.

      LOL! I don’t take crap either. I don’t think I’m very high maintenance at all but I am definitely girly but not “GIRLY” where I spend an hour on my hair each morning, or use all the hot water.

  • Kathy

    I am retired so I don’t need the amount of clothing I once had, yet I still love nice things and do have more things in my closet than I need. In my defense, my husband has given me a lot of them as Christmas gifts. I like good jewelry…the real stuff….but don’t have a lot. Just a few really nice pieces. Most of my earrings are very inexpensive. Hardly ever wear make-up. I get my hair trimmed every 5 weeks in a style that is pretty easy to maintain. Eating out? We go out just once a week. I’d love to go out more but we are both trying to control our weight so with diet restrictions it is better for us to eat at home….less temptation.

  • Morgaine

    I’m definitely on the low maintenance end of the scale. I don’t wear dresses, make-up, or heels on a regular basis, I do absolutely nothing with my hair and just put moisturizer on, no “potions”. I do, however have a lot of clothes but mostly business casual or super casual (yoga pants, jeans, and hoodies). I also go to the spa about 2x a year but I just feel its a nice treat to relax and get a massage/facial, I don’t bother with manis/pedis. Sometimes I have to remind my hubby how lucky he is to have a wife who takes less than 15 mins to get ready in the morning 😉

  • Petrish @ Debt Free Martini

    After reading your post I think I’m more of a high-maintenance type of chic. I don’t mind….I love it! I’m comfortable in my own skin and I do it for all the right reasons. For me…me…and me.

  • StackingCash

    Your coworkers probably make a ton of money like yourself. Usually that brings on a high maintenance Victoria Secret model wife or girlfriend. In regards to maintenance, I’m happy to be a guy that does not require a bunch of maintenance women usually have to deal with. I do have problem of hoarding, however. Growing up poor has conditioned me to collect useless items I’m convinced I will desperately need later. In that respect I do believe my storage requirements of stuff is a tad high, but not high enough to pay for a storage unit. Oh yeah…my food requirements are quite high to because I enjoy a good meal and even more expensive when I go out to eat because I hate cleaning up after cooking. Also I do like my vehicle clean and modern. Hmm the more I think about it I am high maintenance!

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