In addition to my minimalist wardrobe, I also observe a pretty minimalist beauty routine. I know this because I recently got some free issues of beauty mags like Cosmo, Marie Claire, and Glamour, and I was absolutely flabbergasted by the 10-step smoky eye instructions and “what you should have in your emergency makeup toolkit” articles. My emergency makeup toolkit is some oil blotting cloths and lip gloss!
Clearly I am not a trendsetting fashion queen.
The reason I do minimal beauty isn’t for the same reason I have a minimal wardrobe (which is $$), although I have to say that saving a ton on beauty products is definitely a nice side effect. No, the reason I don’t do too much with my appearance is because, over the years, I’ve gotten more comfortable in my own skin, and I don’t feel like I need so much to make myself “presentable” before I leave the house. (The Hubby likes to tell me I don’t need to do anything to look good in the morning, but if you woke up with my fluffy curly afro every morning, you’d know he’s just being nice.)
At any rate, here is everything my fantastic morning beauty ritual consists of:
As mentioned, I have fluffy curly poodle hair. I HATED it as a child (and as a teenager, and a college student…). It’s only recently that I’ve learned one of the ultimate life and beauty wisdoms: The more you let go and let things do what they want to, the better it turns out. At least when it comes to fluffy poodle hair.
I wash my hair every other (in the winter, sometimes every third) day because, for one, it’s a pain to style curly hair straight out of the shower, and for another, my hair tends to look shinier and bouncier when I’m not stripping its natural oils every day. In between, I use a dry shampoo, and if the curls start to look a little limp, I dampen them slightly, add a little more curl gel, scrunch, and air dry. Instant refresh.
Even straight out of the shower, my routine is pretty simple: apply a decent amount of leave-in conditioner to combat frizz, some curl gel to keep the shape, and air dry (if home on the weekends) or blow dry with a diffuser (on work mornings). Spray with a humidity-resistant hairspray to hold in place, and I’m done! The whole thing from shower to “ready to leave the house” takes 15 minutes max if I’m blow drying.
One thing I will give the fashion mags: one of them suggested you keep wavy or curly hair intact by sleeping with it in a loose bun held in place by bobby pins in between washings. I’ve tried it, and it works! No more waking up with pillow-flattened hair, where half my head is droopy and the other half is a fluff cloud!
Skin care / Makeup
I used to have pretty bad acne when I was younger, but thankfully I’ve (finally!) outgrown that. So, I cleanse every morning and every night (and after workouts) with a gentle cleansing cream, then swipe my face with a mild Oxy pad just to combat any random breakouts since my skin is kind of oily. (If you suffer from oily skin, too, disposable blotting cloths are the best thing ever. They take away all the shine throughout the day without smudging any makeup if you’re wearing it.)
I don’t like the feel of foundation, so I just pat some pressed powder over my face to control shine. I never leave the house without mascara and lip gloss, and if I feel like it, sometimes I’ll add some soft eyeliner…especially if I have a big work presentation, since I have sort of a young face and don’t want people to think I’m fresh out of college.
And that’s about it. Shocking, right? If I’m really getting glammed up for a date night or a party, I’ll add some fun-colored eye shadow or a pop of bright lipstick, but for everyday wear, that’s all I really need. Like I said, the older I get, the more comfortable I feel with my looks, and lately I feel like I look “overdone” when I put on too much makeup. (Never will a smoky eye be for me! I’d look like a raccoon.)
So all in all, it’s extremely simple. It takes me no time at all to get ready in the morning, I never really feel like I have to touch things up throughout the day, and I save a ton on beauty products.
What about you? Is your beauty routine ultra-glam, or ultra-simple? (And have you experienced the “less is more” phenomenon as you get older, like I have?)
photo credit: Len “Doc” Radin