The rush to get ready in the morning is stressful. So is trying to look put together and alive when you have kids pulling on you. I believe it is important to look our best both at home and at work or in public. It encourages a sense of empowerment and confidence. It also establishes a healthy pattern of accomplishment in our day. If I don’t get up and get “ready for the day” it effects the rest of my day. I feel sluggish and lazy and I believe that is reflected in my actions as well. Even if I know I will be home all day with the kids and see no one else, I still make a point to dress nicely, do my makeup, and fix my hair. It brings me energy and my day is approached with purpose.
However, I do not want to spend hours getting ready in the morning. I simply do not have the time to do that. Nor do I think hours in front of the mirror is healthy. So I have come up with my own minimalist beauty routine and some ideas for yours! If you want suggestions on how to quickly dress your best in the morning without rummaging through clothes that don’t go together, see my blog on The Minimalist Wardrobe.
Okay, let’s get started!
Here’s the thing I’ve discovered with hair and pretty much everything else: the more product we use and the more often we use it, the more product we need. Commercial shampoos strip our hair of natural oils. The result is that our scalp over produces to try to make up for the loss and we’re left with greasy hair. Also, because we strip out the natural oils, we then need to use a conditioner. We then blow dry our hair or use hot irons and this causes our hair to break and frizz. So then we MUST blow it dry and add frizz control or it’s a frizzy untamed mess! We add numerous other types of product which result in lots of build up in our hair. All this washing, drying, styling, adding product is not only expensive but takes a lot of our time! Here’s my minimalist solution:
-Start using a natural shampoo bar and force yourself to throw out (or at least put away for a time until you decide you no longer need them!) all other hair products and heat styling!
Natural shampoo bars gently wash away dirt and excess oils without stripping your hair. Although there is an adjustment period (and I’m not going to lie, those who go through it need t-shirts that say, “I survived my hair’s adjustment period”) of a few weeks, the result is well worth it! What happens is, after your scalp freaks out for a few weeks as it tries to learn how to produce normal amounts of oil again, your hair stops becoming greasy so quickly. Also, you most likely will not need to condition it because your natural oils do that. If you stay away from heat, your hair will reach a point where it no longer needs a blow dryer or flat iron to look polished. I can pretty much guarantee you, your hair will be the healthiest it’s ever been and very easy to manage! I wash my hair now only once a week! And I don’t walk around with greasy hair; my hair is just much healthier than it use to be. I don’t put anything else in it. Styling it, for my hair type, just means combing it in place while it’s wet and letting it air dry. I never would have dreamed I could do that back even a year ago. I have straight hair, but I have heard from others that this works beautifully in curly hair too, making curls shine and easy to manage.
Here are some other tips for hair:
- Have only 3-4 signature hairstyles. Make your life simpler by not having to stand in front of the mirror trying to figure out how to wear your hair every day. Choose three or four simple hair styles that you like and go with one of those each day. You can choose three different “moods” if you like and match it to whatever you wear that day. For example, with long hair, you might do a tight top knot, hair down or partially pulled up with a clip, and a loose, elegant low side bun. Wear the top knot with edgy clothing and the side bun with a feminine blouse or skirt. Or mix it up! Three hair styles can give you quite a variety of looks!
- Consider cutting/trimming your own hair. I know, it sounds daunting. But there are actually a lot of simple ways to do really cute haircuts on yourself! Sometimes it’s as simple as a ponytail placement and chop. Look on Youtube for some ideas if you are interested.
- Wash your hair in the evening and sleep with your hair twisted into a bun or braided to create heatless curls or waves. This is a great way to keep your hair healthy by keeping it away from heat but also enjoy waves and curls. It takes much less time than curling your hair as well! A simple google search will land you tutorials from accomplishing beach waves to lose ringlets while you sleep.
Just like with hair, washing my face and putting on makeup use to take a lot of time. When I began to head down the path towards minimalism, I counted my items in my makeup bag and was shocked that I had 12 different items that I used every day! No wonder it took so long. I didn’t want to go without makeup but I definitely wanted to cut down…way down. Now I only use four items on a normal day and it takes only five minutes.
This is my new, minimalist makeup routine:
- Dust on mineral powder foundation. Powder is so much easier to use than a liquid and never causes strange smears or smudges. For covering blemishes or under the eyes, just put a dab of powder on your finger and put on those areas so it goes on a bit thicker.
- Define your cheek bones with mineral powder blush. You can of course go as minimalist as you want, down to no makeup at all, but for me, I felt like the blush was important. I apply it very lightly from my ear down my cheeks, just under my cheek bone. It defines your cheeks and adds more to the look than you’d think!
- Apply mascara. If you wear any makeup, an eye makeup should be the one you choose! Your eyes should stand out most! Don’t wear red lipstick but apply nothing to your eyes unless you want everyone staring at your lips…which would just be awkward.
- Finish off with a few dabs of mineral powder eye shadow. I use a deep earthy tone that compliments my blue eyes. I apply it with my finger just to the outer corners of my eyes, smoothing it both inward and out a bit for an ever-so-slight “smokey eye” look.
And there you have it. Sometimes when I go out, I put on one of Burt’s Bees tinted chap sticks.
To clean my face, I no longer use soaps, toners, and makeup removers. I simply use a microfiber cloth and water. I like the Body Cloths from Norwex. They remove dirt, cleaning pores and even exfoliating the skin without stripping the skin of it’s natural oils. They also remove makeup beautifully. I use a light moisturizer after I wash my face with the cloth, but that’s because I live in such a dry climate. It is the same concept as with hair: when you don’t strip your skin of it’s natural oils, it’s healthier and shinier on it’s own.
Here’s a breakdown of what I do to keep things simple:
- Hands: We use about 1 teaspoon of Castile soap watered down in a foam pump for hand washing. It also does not strip oils and keeps us from having to use a lot of lotion.
- Body: It’s true, I only shower once a week. But I don’t stink! In the shower I use Castile soap in a foam pump. During the week I use a microfiber cloth and take a bird bath or two. For extra moisture in the winter, I use coconut oil. In the summer, because I don’t strip the oil off my skin, I don’t use any moisturizer.
- Teeth: We make our own toothpaste with just water, baking soda, and about a teaspoon of sea salt for the minerals.
- Deodorant: We also make our own deodorant with coconut oil and baking soda. Melt and mix and apply! I make about 4 oz at a time. It works wonderfully.
- Shaving: I bought a battery operated electric razor. It’s so simple to use wet or dry and I’m not constantly buying new razors. The batteries have to be replaced, but only about every six months.
I hope these tips can help you look and feel your best…even if you only have 10 minutes to get ready in the morning!