hi, GENE!

i'm LOVING that hygiene is such a hot topic.
when i was in high school, i'd often have loads of friends over after school. mom would provide us all with amazing food and we'd provide the round table discussion.

one day, i asked my dear friend, norm, " what is the #1 thing you look for in a girl?"

norm: (without skipping a beat) hygiene. definitely personal hygiene.

we were in stitches.
i thought a straight 17 yr old male would say something like "her personality" --or if he was being HONEST , "a hot bod!"...
but no, hygiene.

ok, dirty girls.
i'm going to give you MY guidelines for keeping yourself kept.
(you may agree with all of this, or you may be a little more crunchy..cool-
trust me, i've seen it all.. i teach yoga.
.... this is just how i do business....)

many of these are my own thoughts, observations from being naked with hundreds of broadway's finest ladies, and many are from years of mot's brainwashing...
either way, you may find it helpful:

1. ALWAYS wash your face & brush your teeth before bed.
seriously, NEVER go to sleep in your makeup.
not only is it disgusting, but it's horrible for your skin and linens!
it's helpful to take your makeup off before you wash your face with an unscented/natural baby wipe or remover wipe before you wash so you don't stain your wash cloth or towels.

2. shave your armpits & legs every day.
(even if NO ONE will see/touch them. grooming should be about you, anyway.)

3. ditto for your bikini area.
(y'all, NOBODY is dealing in my business, but you'd better believe, i'm always groomed. it's for me. i just feel cleaner.)

4. apply lotion after your shower-every time.
(your skin will thank me for it. )

5. wash your hair!
(for crying out loud! going 2-3 days without washing is ok... any more is nasty. YOU think you don't smell, but trust me, WE can smell your oily hair a mile away!)

6. deodorant: not optional.
enough said.

7. always have fresh breath.
(you'll RARELY find me without gum/mint. ESPECIALLY backstage where whispering, singing at/on other people is an intimate and potentially smelly experience. and the #1 romance killer for me is nasty breath. can't/won't do it.)

8. be careful with scents.
(bathing in perfume does not make up for a shower.......don't make it too strong... and definitely lay off in the work place. a nice spritz on the nape of the neck (or in the hair) and wrist is all you need (and depending on the scent, that may even be too much). i often find that clean natural skin is the most delicious smell in the world. )

9. keep your paws kept.
(you don't have to fork it over for an expensive mani/pedi, just do it yourself! keep it neat- and for heavens sake, don't let your toe nails get claw-like!)

10. bathe daily.
(shower, take a bath, whatever... not optional. some days, i'll bathe 2x. even if you don't wash your hair, wash your body.)

11. brush your teeth in the morning.
(i do it before speaking... trust me, you can always return to bed and speak sweet nothings, smooch...it'll just be more enjoyable. i know lots of people like to brush after they eat...... i like to do it first thing).

a general rule: if you feel good about yourself, you'll be happier/more productive.
whenever i'm sick, mom asks,
"did you shower yet? you'll feel better after you shower! (and i do) and while you're at it, do your face... put some lipstick on and you'll be a new woman!"

clean girls, unite!!

pic by nic


Burgess said...

Laughing so loud right now!

paula said...

"y'all, NOBODY is dealing in my business" has got me laughing out loud....

I'm Natalie. said...

I don't think I've showered in the 4 weeks since Gavin was born . . . are we still be friends?

Natalie Hill said...

if i vomit on you, will you shower?

Michelle said...

I don't shave (my underarms) everyday... it makes my skin too irritated if I do, and then I can't even get a close shave. So I have to wait awhile (a day or two) to shave again.

I agree with everything though! I CANNOT leave the house without showering. It's icky

Fresh Hell, Texas said...

If I shaved everyday, I'd live at my Dermatologists offic. Ditto showering everyday.

Different types of hair and skin require different care. It doesn't make us "not clean."

nicole hill gerulat said...

remember that teacher we had that was allergic to soap?

lehi + sasha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Annette said...

Thanks for this post. I am going to read it with my 14-yr-old twin daughters. Lately I've noticed they have been sliding on their hygiene and I haven't been able to make a difference.

Grace said...

This is a great list! I agree with everything except the shaving every day. That breaks me out. I love your line about being naked with Broadways finest. Nothing like doing a show or going to the gym for me that reminds me how important hygiene is!

James Yvonne and Elise said...

I agree 100% with this list. It just makes you feel better to be clean, even if "NOBODY" is dealing in our business!
Thanks for always bringing a smile to my face.

Susy said...

Showing this to my 11 year old daughter, she really has all these habits. But it will be really cool from a Broadway actress, since she already aspires to be on Broadway!

Kimberly said...

Imagine teaching high school, I interacted with kids who seemed to have never met a bar of soap or toothbrush.

But here is the only problem with what you have said here: shaving your body has absolutely NOTHING to do with being clean. That would mean around 50% of women in the U.S. and 95% of women in the rest of the world are dirty for life. Culturally forced ideals (that basically stem from pedophilia) of femininity aren't about hygiene.

Robin said...

Kinda weird that you felt the need to tell us how often to shower and shave?
Thanks, though, I guess....ha ha.

Melanie's Randomness said...

Something I'll never understand about dorm college life is why people stop bathing, washing their hair, grooming, and just taking care of themselves. I've seen it so bad, that I have to clean. I hate that non-clean feeling. Great post!! I don't do the lotion after shower ting, hmmm maybe I'll start doing that.

erin wilson said...

I love you Nat, but I WILL NOT, nay, I REFUSE to shave my legs everyday. Every other day maybe....I just can't do it. But, here here to washing face and brushing teeth before bed. Don't forget to floss!!!

Cherry Blossoms said...

AMEN Sista!
I was in a play with a girl who NEVER wore deodorant...hot lights, sweat...close proximity...AHHHHHHHHHH! I was dying!

m. estelle said...


Brittany said...

as an Aesthetician, I will agree with most, especially removal of makeup before sleep. But bathing everyday can actually dry out your skin and while lotion helps, nothing is as good as your skin's own oils. :)

King Family said...

i'm clean but can be totally lazy about shaving, etc. BUT i totally agree with nat shaving everyday is always the best, it doesn't mean full on sit down in the tub shaving but just cleaning up everyday....it makes shaving quick and painless. this post has been a great reminder that when we take care of ourselves we FEEL BETTER! i think i will add to the list something your mom taught me...she told me to get a magnifying mirror and pluck my eyebrows the old fashioned way and do my make-up in that mirror...it looks better :)

KJ said...

shaving is about grooming. though not the same as cleanliness, they go hand in hand. I always felt I had more reasons to shave daily AFTER I got married than before. I might add to the list: keep your feet crust-free. eewww. pay attention to those tootsies!

and to I'm Natalie: you probably have showered, but you just don't remember it. I know the feeling. and your baby's name is one of my very very favorites.

:p said...

Awesome. Guys should follow a majority of these. Thanks for all the laughs. Hope to see you perform sometime in NY. Cheers.

Jeannie said...

okay, i totally agree but you forgot one important thing! it is completely GROSS if you don't floss! i mean, really. UGH. all that food and plaque building up between your teeth? what good is brushing if you don't get that nasty stuff outta there?? ladies, can we agree on this?!

K8 said...

i've had fun with your hygiene tests this week. i've learned that i'm pretty clean.

however, i can't shave every day. and yes, past boyfriends have been (rightly, justifiably) disgusted.

Mandy said...

I totally agreed with this...until I had a baby. Now I consider it a majorly wonderful day if I accomplish one or two of the daily things you suggest! But this is motivating me to try a little harder, I am sure the hubs will appreciate it!

Lynnette said...

I love this, and totally agree. HOWEVER.... it's clear you've not yet entered motherhood!

Jill said...

People always insist that your hair is better the less you clean it, but IT IS A PERNICIOUS LIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

chanief said...

I agree with most of these, except the showering and shaving every day. That really depends on your skin type. I have very dry skin and even though I moisturize head to toe after showering, if I showered and shaved every day I would be constantly itchy. My dermatologist recommends every third day for me, though I usually don't make it that far.

Amen on the rest of them though!

Robyn said...

Thanks for giving me something fun to read every day! Your life is such an adventure.

Now . . . several thoughts.

1st -- anyone who uses a loofah or washcloth (unless you use a new one every day has clearly not taken a microbiology class.

I PROMISE you that you are putting more bacteria on your body than you are removing.

2nd - anyone who shaves both legs and underarms daily is clearly not the mother of 4 trying to get out the door by 7:30 each morning. Daily just isn't going to happen. Twice a week is cause for celebration. Sad, but true.

3rd -- anyone who thinks that it's seriously realistic to get up and brush your teeth before rolling over and saying good morning is obviously single.

Real life isn't quite so neat and tidy.

That said - Hooray! - for people who wear deodorant, brush their teeth multiple times a day, wash their face before bed and remember your oh so sage advice "Grooming should be about you, anyway." And being considerate of those around you.


By the way, this nice "j" you're hanging out with wouldn't happen to be John Stamos would it? :)

nicole hill gerulat said...

i'm married and shave my legs EVERY day. for me. not just for him.

it just feels good.

and actually, it takes me about 20 seconds -less than the time it took me to read this post.

prashant said...

This is a great list! I agree with everything except the shaving every day

Work From Home India

Colleen said...

I went on a date with a guy I'd been crushing on for weeks in college and during the movie, he reached down and felt my leg. It actually sounds kind of creepy out loud considering it was our first date, but point is, I hadn't shaved in three or four days and was MORTIFIED. Now I've been married for 9 1/2 years and have a four-year-old and still shave every other day or so.

Rach said...

Did you erase meaner comments or something? I'm disappointed that none of these comments seem rude, let alone worthy of your "didn't mean to start wwIII" comment. A few people disagree but nobody's hating.

JazmynCherie said...

yeah I'm with Rach! I read all the comments waiting for the psychos to come out!

kallie said...

i think if you post your thoughts on the web, you should be okay with people who disagree, especially if they did so respectfully. unless natalie erases comments, i don't see anything that "rude" either. maybe natalie just considers those who disagree to be rude?

WhisperingWriter said...

I am anal about hygiene. I'm always stunned when people aren't. I suppose it's why I'm stunned when my husband skips a shower for a day. I'm all, "Seriously? Ew. Sleep on the couch then. I don't want your non-showered skin on my bed."

However, I don't shave my legs all the time. I haven't shaved in weeks but the extra hair has been keeping me warm ;)

Chi-townRawlins said...

I think it was all the people doing the "I'm a mother and therefore better/superior/know more than you." It was subtle, but it was there.
I'm a mom of three and I'm with Natalie all the way (okay, maybe not on shaving everyday, but who cares). In fact, it's GREAT advice superficially for moms. Too often we use our children as an excuse when really we need to put ourselves first in this ONE area.
A great blog to read: http://nomoremomjeans.blogspot.com/

Randi Lee said...

haha. I'm an offender of some of those. I'm happy to say not all of them, but some. The toe nails. eek. I too often think, "close toed, I'm good!" and unfortunately the shaving. Especially now that I'm 7 months pregnant and can't even SEE my binkini line. Out of sight out of mind. EEK! But my sweet, unfortunate, love kindly reminds me when it's out of control.

But, thanks for whipping me into shape! I do need to take more pride in those things!

Chi-townRawlins said...

HAHAHAHA! I just re-read my comment and realized I wrote SUPERFICIALLY instead of SPECIFICALLY. Who does that? My brain is so missing.

hiphousegirl said...

Hi- new reader here! I too came in search of WWIII comments and was a little disappointed- however, I do get the "you're single so you wouldn't understand" vibe.

Like so many others, I am right there with ya on showering and being clean, even putting on makeup, for ME. But not the shaving part- nope, it's the dead of winter and my legs are constantly covered by jeans, dark pantyhose, boots, or long workout pants, so I definitely do not feel the need to shave my legs every day (armpits are a different story).

And as for the hair-washing, my stylist friend suggests rinsing and conditioning every day, but only shampooing once or twice a week. I haven't been able to do it myself, but maybe it would work for some of those dry-haired girlies out there.

Great blog!

Brian, Laurel & Addison said...

I love this post! You are so right on every plane! My mom is mother to 7 kids and she showered and did her make up and got dress EVERY morning, even when she was sick, because it made her feel better.

I am a young mom-ok, I'm pushing 30 but I have a 3 year old and a 6 week old. I learned my example. I am up most of the night with the new baby, usually totaling only 4 1/2 hours of sleep (interrupted sleep, mind you, not solid), and I still get up frist thing, shower, do my make up, my hair and get dressed. yes, I stay home all day long with the kids, we don't make it outside of the house, but I feel so much better about myself and I feel like I am a better mom and happier all around. There have been about 3 days since I brought the baby home that I haven't and those were the worst days for me and as a mom. I was less patient and very ornery.

karlee said...

my only thoughts are that why do you shave for you? who decided that women are supposed to shave their legs? does having smooth legs really make you feel cleaner? and ok, if it just makes you feel better about yourself is that because of what you've been taught your whole life? and if so, is that really for YOU then?

Natalie Hill said...


i shave because i like the way it feels. nothing to do with cleanliness-i like shaved legs against sheets, tights, pants, hands and other body parts.
in case you haven't noticed, i don't do things because people tell me to.... my life would be completely different if i did..
i ALWAYS do what feels right for me.. that goes for bathing, dating, etc....
i am not a conformist.and while it's culturally acceptable to shave, i completely second it. hairy pits are NOT for me, the men i'm dating, or mainstream america.

and i like waxing my other areas.... feels cleaner and who wants to see an unkept situation peeking out of a swimsuit.

LOVE that this is such a controversy.

shave. it takes 3 seconds. you'll like the way it feels.


Kate said...

Natalie...I'm a new reader..never posted just wanted to agree with everything in this post!! I have 4 boys (13-4) and I shave, shower, do my hair, make up, and get dressed everyday!! (and when its cold...I bath every night I can!!) I like to get it all over before we get rolling!! You just feel better and get more done!! Don't let the "turkeys" get you down...even if we have different lives..we are all still women!! I'm always getting grief about being "put together" We all know your wearing that hat because you didn't do your hair!! Take a shower already!! (PS loved you in hairspray..wasn't a reader then. Loved your Unlce D in Beauty..missed 2 other shows with friends to see him..all alone i might add!! He was great!!)

andrea said...

I showered right after I read this post. Haha!

val said...

enjoyed this post even though i don't follow all your recommendations. i do agree that you should do things for 'you,' whatever that may be.
i'm gathering that there are some hairy apes out there! absolutely no need to shave these legs everyday. phew.
i laughed out loud at the brushing teeth and jumping back in bed before you greet your sweetie. sounds great for the honeymoon but not so realistic when other small people are in your face before the crack of dawn. you're nursing one and trying to help a toddler on the potty...it all sounds so easy but not so much when in the thick of it.
loved the comments though and happy to join in.
ps you are darling.