My Partner Moved In a Week Before the Pandemic — and My Weird Beauty Habits Are Shaking

I don't care what you say — everybody has a weird, secret beauty behavior. It's that one (or two) kind-of-gross thing you do behind a locked bathroom door, when your roommates just left for Target and all your friends are out of town. Hailey Bieber once told me, for example, that she could stare at her pores in a magnifying mirror for hours. Madelaine Petsch binge-watches pimple-popping videos.

As for me? I'm not exactly shy — I've been known to FaceTime with acne patches smattered across my face and my same wire retainer I've had since high school on — but it's the moments where I'm two glasses of Merlot deep, Justin Bieber's "Sorry" thumping in the background, and I've somehow found myself spread eagle in front of my bedroom mirror with at-home waxing strips and a heap of white bleach smeared above my upper lip that I think, Wow, I really hope nobody walks in right now.

We're not just living together for the first time with two other people; we're living together for the first time with two other people 24/7, while social distancing from everyone else.

Needless to say, I knew my odd proclivities would need to be mitigated when my girlfriend moved in to my NYC apartment with me and my two roommates in March (and continue to be mitigated when we find our own place in June). I never could have anticipated, however, that this would happen one week before the coronavirus pandemic hit the US, forcing people into self-isolation as a safety precaution. Now, we're not just living together for the first time with two other people; we're living together for the first time with two other people . . . 24/7, while also social distancing from everyone else. Suddenly, there's no such thing as "alone time." So, now what?

I'll tell you what. My secret beauty habits are shaking.


I can appreciate that there are more important things to worry about right now than my partner finding out just how infrequently I care to wash my hair when I have absolutely nowhere to be. Still, as a beauty editor, learning how to adjust my routine to this new normal is an interesting, albeit unexpected, part of the experience.

This is also not to say my girlfriend hasn't seen me do or try weird beauty treatments, and luckily the only time she complains is when I get into bed wearing self-tanner ("oh no, you smell like hot dogs again"). Yet, we're a week in, and she's still closing the door to clip her toenails over the toilet and turning away to look at the underside of her own pimple patch in private.

Maybe the novelty in keeping the gross, guilty indulgences to ourselves as much as we can during this time of self-isolation isn't such a bad idea, but whether it's sustainable is a whole other story.


My friends say it's sexier to keep a little mystery between you and your partner, especially when you're living in such close quarters. "Mysterious," unfortunately, is the last word I'd use to describe myself. Instead — and in the spirit of being the courteous roommate we all want to see in the world — I decided to give her a little heads up, letting her in on some of the "weird sh*t I sometimes do when no one is around."

This, of course, was met with a laugh. Maybe this won't be so bad after all! Of course, the itch to give myself in impromptu Brazilian wax hasn't yet kicked an — we're not exactly prepping for a trip to Barbados right now — and I guess only time will tell what happens when it does. Until then, I'll consider myself lucky that the door to my bedroom still locks . . . you know, just in case.