One Saturday early this month, after a nice cup of hot tea and a bowl of cereal, I found myself sitting in my office amidst a heap of creams and potions.
The time had come for minimizing my beauty products.
It took me several trips to collect it all, and a couple of hours to sort through.
When it was all said and done, it became abundantly clear why beauty is a billion-dollar industry: I discovered gobs of products I don’t need full of chemicals I don’t want mostly designed to make me into something I’m not
The following includes some of what I kept, a lot of what I donated and tossed, and the resulting happy feeling I had when finished.
You would assume, based on the above photo, that Colorado must be a very dry climate. Why else would I have so many lotions and oils?
While this assumption is correct, the truth is that I’m horrible about applying lotion. I remember to do it maybe 2 days per week. And the lotion I use (Suave, which I keep in the shower) isn’t even pictured.
Thus, at my current application rate, it will take me a lifetime to get through this stash. And frankly I have better things to do with my lifetime than slather on lotion.
Also, you might have noticed the high quantity of self-tanning products I own. Every year I emerge from winter with embarrassingly pale legs. Clearly this really bothers me.
One of the best things about getting older, though, is that vanity fades. I’ve officially decided that these fussy products just aren’t worth it anymore. So long, sunless tanner. Hello pale skin.
Final tally: I kept only one hand lotion from the image above.
You know how they say you always want the hair you don’t have? Well…apparently I’ve taken this truism very seriously based on the number of hair products I own, many attempting to coif and tease my hair into unnatural states.
For some perspective on this array, above, let me explain a few things about my hair: it is long, it is naturally straight, and I let it air-dry at least 4 days a week.
Also, I don’t “style” it, I rarely curl it (though it’s fun when I do), and it doesn’t need “product.”
Brace yourself: I don’t even use conditioner.
So why–WHY–do I have so many products for such low-maintenance hair?
Answer: I have no good reason, which is why of the things you see above I’m keeping just the brushes, the curling iron, the hair dryer, the hair spray, and a few elastic bands. Everything else, including the hot roller set not pictured, is on it’s way to new homes.
I’ve been working on simplifying my skin care routine over the past two years, so downsizing this category was quick and easy.
My current routine includes cleansing with a Clarisonic and cleanser, and then moisturizing with a few drops of argan oil and some homemade moisturizer (recipe here). Once weekly I try to exfoliate with a scrub and occasionally I’ll apply a heavier-duty peel (which, truthfully, I usually forget I have).
The rest? I don’t need it and won’t miss it.
They say that one of the first things to tackle when you’re trying to minimize your belongings is to locate and eliminate duplicates.
5 toe-separators? Really? I don’t even use them. Never have.
8 files and 2 buffing blocks? This level of redundancy might be necessary for launching missiles but it’s certainly not required for nail care.
Also not pictured in the “miscellaneous” beauty care category: wax strips, disposable razors, various travel-size products, facial hair bleach, baby powder, loofas, shower gel, and the like.
All of it: gone. In its place are now 3 empty drawers, 1 empty basket, and a conviction to keep new products out of my house.
Curious to read more about my latest minimizing efforts? You might like: