Achieving the perfect shade of lip colour has been a fairly extensive, time-consuming, money-consuming adult-long mission for me. My male readers will understand nothing of this, but ladies – I know you hear me.
Ever since my early days and first forays into the mystical world of make-up and make-up marketing, I have unfailingly been on the hunt for my perfect hue, in the perfect texture (matte vs. glossy – don’t even get me started on the super sticky stuff). I begrudge to think how much money, but also how much time, I have spent prowling the aisles of Priceline, or being coerced into ‘trying something different’ (but not at ALL me) in the overpowering aisles of the Myer beauty departments.
As is the case with all of my previous attempts at finding the perfect [insert thing here], I never did find that elusive perfect shade. But I acquired a veritable rainbow of products in my bathroom drawers and cabinets, each one worn once or twice and then cast aside, as it didn’t fit my bill. During the process of culling stuff I no longer used, my bathroom took a big hit.
The process of purging made me realise how much I bought that I didn’t need, want, or use, because my underlying emotion had been one of lacking in myself. We don’t often bring consciousness to the party when shopping, but doing so has been an exercise in powerful realisation. I have come to realise that taking a minimalistic approach to my beauty regime is not only possible, but wildly beneficial. Our two most precious resources are our time and our money, and by simplifying my approach to looking good, I could radically save on both.
One of the best things I’ve done is deciding that I’m going to wear one lip colour every day. To every occasion. One that feels good, and looks good, without necessarily needing to fit the bill of perfect. I can’t actually recall how this magical shade came into my life, but I think that I invested a little time in Priceline playing with samples, and decided that I liked the glossy smooth non-sticky texture plus the pink colour worked on me (but honestly ladies, don’t overthink it, it is what it is) and so I have made it my default lipstick. For anyone interested, I wear the Covergirl Jumbo Gloss Balm Sheers in #255. I literally wear it everyday. I have bought back the freedom of time and money because I no longer shop for lipstick. Ever. If Priceline is having a sale on my brand and colour, bam, I stock up. I’ve deliberately and consciously simplified a part of my everyday routine, and it feels amazing.
This newly discovered freedom probably evolved last year, and has led to other minimalist beauty hacks that I have found work profoundly well in giving me back time, mental energy, and money. Decision-fatigue is a real thing. By simplifying my choices, I’ve made a decision that keeps on giving. A one-off decision replaces daily decisions and frees up my mind and energy for more important things. People often say “I could never do that! I love make-up too much! I NEED make-up!”. To that I say bullocks. If you decide that you value freedom, simplicity and time over make-up, then you can simplify. You can work with less and still present your best self to the world. I know many ladies who don’t wear make-up at all (me, on home days), and who have let go in the name of frugality and minimalism. That sweet spot is different for everyone but underlying it is a concept that you might need to challenge the way you think about what it means to give your time, money and energy to an endeavour.
Below are some of my minimalist beauty hacks that have evolved from the one-shade-of-lipstick decision, and that have been freeing in more ways than one.
- I stopped colouring my hair. No salon colour, no home-dye either. This has been my most recent decision and interestingly, I’m finally seeing my real hair colour for the first time since I was a teenager. I quite love it! It’s a coppery brown! I have dyed my hair routinely for over a decade and the decision to stop was influenced by both wanting to allocate that money to more important things, as well as reflecting on why I coloured it. My natural hair is beautiful. Had I been on autopilot all these years? Influenced by the high-gloss possibly photo-shopped hair colour in ladies advertisements? Probably. I now spend my weekends pursuing my true loves instead of elbow deep in a home hair-dye kit trying not to stain my bathmat. It’s win-win.
- I’ve stopped wearing concealer. I ran out of my Clinique concealer last year and then a few weeks went by where I meant to make a special trip out to Myer to buy more, but I didn’t. And I didn’t die. I actually don’t notice a difference anymore. That’s right – I don’t conceal! One less step in my beauty routine that probably wasn’t adding a lot of value to begin with.
- I use a generic face and body moisturiser – QV. No special lotions and potions over here. I buy a value bottle and it lasts me 6 months. It’s glorious and my skin has never looked better.
- I wear my hair natural (work in progress). I have naturally curly hair, so I’m letting it do it’s thang more often than not. Cutting back on heat styling products and time. It still requires some energy input (curly girls will know this!) but it’s simpler than straightening every day. And I often feel more like my self when I’m curly.
- I have one spare back-up lipstick – it’s a bold red. Haven’t worn it in years but it’s there if I need a pop of something different!
- Most days, I don’t do eye shadow or eyeliner. Some foundation, blush, eyebrow colour (my essential) and mascara. And Shade #255. BAM. Out the door.
I’m a passionate believer in the power of taking something highly culturally ingrained, examining it, questioning it, and adapting it or removing it. If you take the time to consciously think and choose instead of work on autopilot, you can change your life to be happier and more authentic to your true self.
Ladies – I challenge you to simplify one thing in your beauty routine this week. Skip a product, a step, or cull some unused stale old products in your bathroom cabinets. And spend that time and money on something true to your heart!
Until next time – simplify, focus, pursue and count your blessings.