On- call grooming essentials.

Looking groomed and well- kept is never a bad thing. Looking great and feeling great may not always be related but I assure you there is a statistically significant relation between them!

Being away from home (and therefore away from YOUR bathroom and YOUR bed) for anything more than 16 hours is bound to make you like Shrek on his bad day. But your poor patient doesn’t know that.

He expects to be seen by a smart and spiffy doctor/ surgeon. One who knows for sure (utterly and absolutely) what she is doing. He wants you to look confident and professional. Someone who is knowledgeable and in charge of the situation. Not someone who has been dragged out of bed and hasn’t seen a comb or toothbrush in days.

He has no idea that you have been at the hospital for over 24 hours and have not had a chance to shower or change. You might argue that he is least interested in your make-up or grooming skills and is more concerned about your dexterity with a blade and needles. Valid point.

Personal experience has taught me otherwise though. Patient care encompasses much more than just medical knowledge and surgical skills. Presentation, the art of communication, portraying a air of empathy and understanding and confidence- these probably matter more than how quickly you can sew them up.

And honestly, irrespective of how “shallow” it may sound, I feel good and am therefore less morose/ moody and more sociable and confident when I know I am well presented.

In short, a small stash of beauty/ grooming items are staples in my everyday work- bag.


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The baby- wipes come in handy mostly when we are out and about as a family but they are are also great to get eyeliner or runny mascara off.

At about the 36 hour mark, almost all mascaras die and then they need to be gotten rid off ASAP- these are great for that (as long as they are not of the waterproof variety).




Hair ties and bobby pins are priceless. The more you have lying around the better.

Couple in your pocket, a few loose in the bag, some in your make-up bag. And it wouldn’t be a bad idea to throw in a few in your car as well!

Trust me, they are THAT important.


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By policy, clinical staff are discouraged from wearing strong scents. But a light whiff of something subtle and nice wouldn’t hurt anybody, right?

Bombshell smells unlike any perfume I own. It’s all sweet and girly- not my usual scene. But every time I wear this, the nurses shower compliments. It must be working for me then.


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This one is utterly unique and is my preferred “on-call scent”.

It smells like fresh, green lemons. Nothing else. A consultant I was once rounding with told me at the end of a three hour round that he has picked up the smell of lemons from some patient’s room and can’t rid himself of it since then. I did not mention then, that the “box of lemons” was walking beside him the whole time!

For those interested, I picked it up at Sephora in Villagio (in the Isle of Doom at the check- out!)


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This smells unisex, and therefore I’m not concerned about smelling too “pretty” or girly. Mostly for theatre days.

I did not think I had all three in my bag, it was not intended and things sometimes tend to accrue over time. I’m not that vain 🙂


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The on-call rooms and theatres are both arcticly cold. And dry. Moisturisers are therefore mandatory.

The Cussons lotion is a travel size one I once got in a baby care kit on a plane and the Boots lip balm is a random, generic one. I usually have a tiny tub of hand cream in my scrub pants. Dry hands and lips make me irritable.

Worse case, one can always find some sort of lubricant/ barrier creams, both in the wards and in the OR.


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Provides a fresh, pink flush to the cheeks.

A nice pick- me- up on long, bleak days. Look at the poor thing though, looks positively abused. I have lost count of the number of times I have repurchased this. I switch it up with Benefit’s  Benetint sometimes, both work similarly but Benetint lasts longer.


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This is MAC’s Twig.  And as you can see, she has been swiped a few hundred times.

Twig is the perfect nude for me. It is matte (my favourite lip products are matte)  and the shade never appears made- up and looks good even if I don’t have anything else on my face. Evens out pigmented lips and wears away evenly. I sometimes carry it around in my pocket, that is how much I like this one.

This is my second tube, and the third one is on my vanity at home.

Note to self- Need to stock up on another as well. God forbid they run out stock or discontinue the shade.

I usually have other lip products lying around loose in my bag, an average of two or three that I tend to accumulate over the week. I usually drop the product that I’m wearing on the day in my bag as I leave in the morning. So by Thursday I might have around 4 or 5 lip products in my bag.


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My brows, my brows.

I have issues with my brows, and I am not a fan of them. Very few products works for them. This genius product is a recent find. I love how travel friendly and easy to use it is. I still prefer my Brow Zings when I am getting ready for the day, but this a godsend during emergencies and for on-the-go days.


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A sample tube. Not the greatest mascara I have ever used, but they aren’t horrible either. Will not repurchase though.

I still have not found a good “high-end” mascara. The search continues.


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Not my favourite. Generally I’m not a powder girl. And the colour isn’t a match, but I intend to finish it up one way or the other.


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Handy little mirror, to rule out bleeding mascara and flaky lips.


I guess that is about it for MY grooming essentials. I know ladies who carry their concealers with them at all times- to each their own. DO whatever makes you be the best you can be.

What are YOUR favourite handbag/ work beauty essentials? Come on ladies, spill it..

Till next time.

Dr J.


2 thoughts on “On- call grooming essentials.

Add yours

  1. Oh its not shallow at all! Not only do you feel better when well put together, but you’ve made a point that your patients obviously want someone with an aspect they can rely on (and looks wide awake,…). I wold probably add a concealer to this bag, for the looking wide awake purpose. x

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