Simple Beauty…sounds like an oxymoron right? Yeah. It does to me too. We are all too wise to what it really takes to be “naturally beautiful” these days. From face wash to spa treatments, waxing and tweezing and shaving, coloring and cutting, foundation and mascara- don’t get me started on photoshop!
When I first created my 360° Challenge calendar I knew that skin care and beauty stuff would be on my list to declutter and simplify in my life. I wanted to spend less time on the primping and caring and more time on other things. While looking good for myself, and my husband is a priority, I wanted to get to a place where I wasn’t trying so many new products and having an overflowing cabinet of makeup. Creating beauty is one of my values, but honestly I want to spend time creating it in the space around me, not so much time on myself.
Looking back at my notes for this month’s challenge I initially set out to simplify my getting ready routine and had an ideal dream of this single skin care line regimen in pretty little sustainable bottles and a 5 product good for your skin makeup bag and a self care treatment once a month…..etc. I was in simplicity la la land I tell ya! There was one problem. Well, two actually. Finding those perfect products takes time AND money, AND well, a miracle. Money, experimentation, trial, research, more experimenting and more money. It is a classic FOMO situation. The unicorn solution to my under eye circles might be out there somewhere- I just have to find it……have you found it yet? If so please tell me.
As I have moved along this journey however, especially with my values in mind, my notes changed. My goals shifted and I am looking at a slightly different challenge instead. This month is more about decluttering, challenging myself in contentment and intention, and really analyzing need vs want.
Here is my game plan for month 6 challenge- Simple Beauty:
Declutter the ENTIRE bathroom (and car and purse and nightstand…) This means doing more than my 15 minutes like in November. Getting every single item I use on myself out from its bags and drawers and cup holders (yes even the lip glosses and chapsticks from the car and my purse) out into the open. It’s time to get rid of empty containers, broken eye shadows, expired makeup and skin care, things I am saving just because I don’t-want-to-waste-it-but-am-never-going-to-use-it kind of stuff. It is time to slap on the sample mask I’ve been stashing in the back of the cabinet for bath bomb spa night. Oh yeah, those bath bombs. The fact is I never ever take a bath. I like the idea, but I never spend the time. Heck, my kids get baths I should just toss them in with them. I get wet enough during bath time to count it as self care right??
The point is to go through everything. This is the time to get down to the items you love and use regularly. Don’t love anything you use? Make note.
Set aside the makeup used daily. Not date night, not the pricey lipstick in that awesome shade (unless that IS your everyday), just the every single day products. I decided to save a super small bag of special occasion/date night makeup consisting of liquid eyeliner, magnetic lashes, a lip stain and my Naked eye palette. Those few things are all I need to add to my daily routine for pictures or dates or events- whatever.
If you could have seen my makeup stash even a year ago you would roll your eyes at me. I used to see those makeup tutorials and want to be able to create that look and so the hoard continued to grow. I am hereby acknowledging that I am not a makeup artist. I am not patient enough to practice. And I
don’t have the time don’t want to spend the time on it. I would rather address the areas of concern and be done in 5 minutes. Today, everything else besides the daily makeup and special occasion items go. Trash. If it is brand new and unused (read:unspoiled) give it away.
Moving on to skin care.
Here is a bit harder. That wanting to address the concerns part up there? That is what gets me. I have a fear of missing out on a product that just might solve my dilemmas but I don’t want to spend a total fortune…so I end up with a whole gamut of so-so products. How to cull the collection? It’s that love factor thing. What products would I buy again? What can I not live without. When I go on vacation what goes with me? Those are the favorites. The things that can stay. Like my Tracie Martyn firming cream or my Shani Darden Resurface retinol reform. Those products.
Same goes for hair care. Get down to the basics and the faves.
I had a hairdresser back in college who used Bumble and Bumble products and swore by the hair oil. I’ve used it now for 12 years! This bottle of Hairdresser’s Oil I have had for like 2 years. It lasts forever. When we lived in San Antonio I had another hairdresser (best color and cuts of my life) that used Unite products. I have loved them for my hair ever since. They are middle of the road in price and Walmart just started selling them for even cheaper and I am stoked. Plus free shipping? Done. I have bounced all over trying more expensive and cheaper alternatives and keep coming back to Unite.
For me simplifying means stopping the purchasing to try to save money or find another right thing and sticking with what works.
I came across a 2 week beauty challenge a while back and found the book used
and picked it up. Since it fit perfectly into my month challenge time table and focused on beauty from the inside out I decided I should incorporate some of this philosophy into the middle two weeks of my month. So I will be doing a watered down version (pun) of Dr. Spa’s 2 week program for glowing skin PLUS I will be making the addition of getting a night routine back in order. Sleep most definitely affects my skin- not to mention it being the reason I turn to caffeine in the first place which is a no no during the two weeks….so…..there’s that.
The two week program I will be doing is basically this:
Asses my skin for specific imperfections like redness, enlarge pores, bumps, pigmentation, cracking or dryness etc. and the possible underlying causes. ( The book goes into detail about these areas…you can grab a used copy on Amazon, or google it and do some assessment on your own.)
Decide which skin type(s) I am. It is in the book or you can go to TheSkinQuiz.com
Personalize my two week plan of clean plate, clean slate, clean body and clean mind and tailor what is outlined to what I want to accomplish and can realistically do over the two weeks.
Make a list of foods and meals and menu plan for the two weeks- taking into consideration the foods that could be causing issues and adding in better foods.
Remember that it is just a reset- I don’t have to give up all sugar for ever- just limit it for two weeks. ( I love sugar can you tell? We live for the weekends and the ability to have a small treat…)
Not be overly ridiculous because I have a young family and I also won’t be spending extra on tons of supplements at this point as that would be counterintuitive to my simplifying.
Stock up on some smoothie ingredients using the recipes found in the book.
I am not affiliated with this program or book or author- but I found the idea to be quite interesting and very grounded. There is so much that can be addressed by what we consume. Learning something new every day is one of my values and so I am going to learn about how to achieve simple beauty starting on the inside. My body allows me to do what I do and I want to take care of it. I love to cook and I love to eat…but I also want to age well and strong. So that is step 2 of my Simple Beauty challenge. Be content with my skincare and makeup and find out how to deep care for my skin and hair so that I can use less topical products!
While much of this is not new to me, to us- we all know we should eat healthy and drink water and eat less sugar….what I am learning is what things can be triggers for specific skin concerns. Each person is different and my undereye circles (mostly hereditary…but get worse occasionally) and dull skin and clogged pores can be signs of what I am putting too much or too little of into my body.
Wrap up. The final days of this month challenge I will be reflecting on the two weeks of body deep care and how I want to move forward. Did I notice any real changes? If I keep it up can I cut down on beauty products? What do I really need?
The end of the challenge will be to determine better my needs versus my wants. What do I absolutely NEED when I get ready in the morning and do I have the tools that make that simple. Are there any significant holes? Is there something basic like mascara or moisturizer or sunscreen that I am missing? Now is the time to research, set a budget, and decide on those. For me on this list will be a couple of items like bronzer and lip and hand treatment that I would like to find better alternatives for. Either better for my skin and/or more sustainable products or companies. I would like to shift to better choices where I can. Do I want a better or more natural version of something? Now is the time to make the switch. I have been using my Anastasia brow duo for quite some time- I like it, and I need to do my brows- yes need- but I am a pencil person through and through. I like the ease and the precision and the ability to be more subtle. So no more economical powder and brush. I am putting my foot down and sticking with what makes me happy and is simple for me.
What does simple beauty mean to you? Do you feel confident in your skin? Happy? What are some of your concerns?
What are some things you can’t live without? Any natural good for your skin makeup you love? Anything you would recommend?