15 Self-Care Things Women Do When Their Husbands Aren’t Home

POV: Your man is nowhere to be found. He has a tee time with the guys, a business meeting that’s running late, or some other mysterious responsibility to take care of. Whatever the case, he’s out of the house and you’ve got yourself some much deserved “me time.” What do you do first?

By Anna Hartman5 min read

Sometimes taking care of our personal hygiene and mental health can be a little scary for the boys. I totally get it. The first time I walked out of my husband’s (boyfriend at the time) bathroom with a sheet mask on, he all but pooped his pants. Clearly, no one had warned him that his sweet, innocent girlfriend could turn into Jason from Friday the 13th in the blink of an eye.

Being with my husband for the past 10 years has taught me that, while I love him to *literal* death and would rather spend my days with him than anyone else, I still need my alone time. The time spent with myself is how I reset, recharge and, well, let’s be honest, take care of those pesky toe hairs. 

Aside from soaking in the bathtub with your favorite Anthro candle and a glass (or a bottle) of Chardonnay, here are 15 ideas for what to do the next time your man leaves the house.

1. Put on a Sheet Mask

You saw this one coming, no? While we can all accept that these look absolutely hilarious, they may actually give your husband nightmares. Sheet masks are incredible for giving your skin a little TLC without going through the process of a 10-step skincare routine. So, next time he heads out the door, pop on one of these miracle workers and he’s sure to come back to stunning, dewy skin. 

2. Go Window Shopping Online

Do you ever spend hours shopping at your favorite online boutique just to hit “exit” when it comes time to check out? No? Totally, me neither. 

But, really. We know how good it feels to go window shopping in person (there’s a reason why they call it “retail therapy), so why not try it from the comfort of your couch? Window shopping online can provide you with ideas for outfits to pull together, what wardrobe staples you may need to invest in next, and will give you the endorphins of shopping without sabotaging your budget. 

3. Slug Your Skincare

Ever heard of slugging? It’s a moisturizing method that involves a petroleum-based ointment, and it’s all the rage with Gen Z. While it may genuinely lead to softer, smoother skin, the process of greasing up your face before bed may be…well, quite concerning to your spouse. 

Since men don’t prioritize skincare like we do, they probably won’t understand your desire to slather on Vaseline in the hopes of looking like a literal slug. All in all, it’s best to keep this little beauty hack to ourselves.

4. Grab the Magnifying Mirror and Go for Those Blackheads

Want a surefire way to kill the romance in your marriage? Pick at your pimples in front of your husband. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been together or how comfortable you are with each other, this should be a clear boundary. 

Wait until you get a moment alone to snatch the magnifying mirror from your beauty drawer and squeeze those annoying blackheads to satisfaction without grossing him out. 

5. Refresh Your Makeup Skills by Watching the Latest YouTube Tutorials

I like to schedule this at least once every couple months so I can stay up to date on the latest makeup tips and tricks. Even if you think you’ve got your eyebrow or natural contour routine down pat, I promise you there’s always room for improvement. Spend one uninterrupted hour scrolling through the latest and greatest makeup tutorials on YouTube and see how they transform the way you get ready. 

6. Cry to Breakup Songs

Am I a happily married woman who’s nearly 30 years old with a baby? Yes. But, does that stop me from having a good cry while listening to the newest Olivia Rodrigo hit? Absolutely not. 

Now, I generally reserve my singing skills for the car when I’m driving to my monthly nail appointment, but if I’m in need of an occasional sob, it’s safest (and least embarrassing) to do that in the privacy of my own home. Point blank: there’s something about having a solid cry heave that is simply refreshing for your soul, breakup or not. 

7. Shave Your Upper Lip

Or your whole face, for that matter. I know I received quite a bit of criticism from this tip on my recent beauty Reel, but dangit, I’m willing to die on this hill. I have shaved my face with a Tinkle razor (note: not my husband’s Gillette) for years now to exfoliate my skin and help lay a smoother foundation for my skincare and makeup routine. 

In case you’re wondering, you’re not going to somehow grow a Ron Burgundy mustache from following this age-old beauty advice. The hair does not grow back thicker, that’s a myth. 

8. Slather on a Hair Mask

A slicked-back bun moment isn’t exactly the cutest (unless you’re Hailey Bieber), especially when it looks like you’ve got mayo smeared in your long locks. Splurge on a good hair treatment that will strengthen your hair from within and reduce breakage. Slather the mask on damp, towel-dried hair from your scalp to end for a minimum of 10 minutes (I like to do an hour for maximum results). 

9. Press Play on That Sappy Julia Roberts Movie You’ve Seen 100x Times

"I'm just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her." 

Most men just don’t appreciate a good romantic comedy in the same way that women do. Don’t let your husband ruin your favorite Julia Roberts movie with an eye roll every time a cheesy one-liner pops up. It’s so much easier when we can watch a sappy movie alone and lose ourselves in the totally unrealistic, but charming nonetheless, storyline.  

Try one of these classics next time you’ve got a couple hours to yourself: Notting Hill, Runaway Bride, When Harry Met Sally, You've Got Mail, or My Best Friend’s Wedding.

10. Apply Self-Tanner and Lie Naked in Bed While Watching Reality TV

Between the smell of the tanning lotion, the grueling process of applying it for 40 minutes, and your man not being able to touch you for fear of it rubbing off on him, leave the weekly self-tanning to your time spent solo. Bonus: you can let it all hang out while lying naked in bed, watching the latest episode of The Bachelor, and munching on your favorite chips without judgment.

11. Do an In-Depth Pedicure

Shave your toe hairs, soak your feet, exfoliate dead skin, clip your toenails – now is your opportunity to go to town. With spring right around the corner, you need your alone time to make your feet as presentable as possible for the stunning open-toe sandals you’ve been saving. No one wants to see your janky, long toenail hanging on for dear life or a half-assed paint job (not even your soulmate). 

12. Scrub Your Retainers

We all know those suckers get nasty from time to time if you’re only giving them a quick rinse in between uses. Cleaning your retainers is a vital personal hygiene duty that isn’t exactly “sexy” to your spouse. Use a retainer cleansing tab and give them a solid scrub while he’s out next. 

13. Pluck Your Eyebrows

He doesn’t need to know how much time and energy goes into making sure your brows are *on point.* Eyebrows should be considered an art form with how much thought, effort, and product goes into them these days. Whether you’re team natural or perfectly filled, it’s still essential to keep tabs on what those babies are doing up there. 

No matter how much Cosmo insists that a hairy woman is “sexy,” an unkempt unibrow isn’t doing us any favors.

14. Read a Romance Novel

Similar to watching a rom-com on your evening to yourself, a book about a handsome man who always says the perfect thing and an engaging love story, preferably in a romantic setting, can consume our imaginations (and our emotions).

If romance novels aren’t your thing, grab a girly self-help book that your husband might find *cringe* like Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies, or Girl, Wash Your Face.

15. Try a New Dance Exercise

Confession: I tried an aerobics class on YouTube last week, and I laughed so hard at myself while doing it that I peed my pants. I could not handle the thought of someone seeing me in my living room bopping from side to side and gyrating to 50 Cent’s “In da Club” while wearing my saggy sweatpants and a nursing bra, okay?

Why the dance instructor looks like a fabulous, LA supermodel while doing the workout and I look like a dog in heat is beyond me, but take my advice on this one: you don’t want a witness when you’re following one of these classes. Save this hilariously embarrassing workout for when your husband leaves the house.

Closing Thoughts

Well ladies, that’s all I’ve got (and gentlemen, now you know what we’re really up to behind closed doors). We’re not rolling out of bed, tossing in a dollop of hair gel, and calling it a day. Being a woman in 2022 is hard work, and even though it takes a village (or a hefty beauty cabinet, rather) to keep us looking like stunning queens, your man certainly doesn’t need to know that. In his eyes, and in Beyoncé’s words, you simply “woke up like this.”

Next time you hear your husband’s car pull out of the driveway, you know what self-care and personal hygiene tasks to tackle first. Now, get out there and slug, cry, and slather it up!

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