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Simple Beauty – The Needed and the Clutter

simple beautyImage:

How many bottles do you have in your bathroom?  By the sink?  In the shower?  Cabinets?  Bottles, tubes, brushes, bags, tins, these come in many forms.  We don’t need piles of stuff, we need simple beauty.

A few weeks ago a reader suggested doing a post about simple make-up.  I love reader suggestions …I don’t know if I am the best person to speak on this, but I can give you my thoughts.

Simple Beauty

Really, it is more than just make-up, it is the whole beauty routine – pretty much everything that can be used up in the bathroom (except the TP).  There are skin products, hair products, hair removal products, smell better products, smell less products, look younger/older products.  Both genders and all ages have collections of things in this area.  We don’t need a pile of stuff, we need simple beauty.

I’m not going to deny it, these things can do great things for our appearance

But often when simplifying the whole house this area doesn’t get cleared out much as it could.  It is an area that doesn’t take up too much space and we see it as something we are going to use up in the future.  Not clutter then right?

…. well maybe

When we decided to simplify this was a huge area for me.  In the years leading up to our minimalist decision I had figured out sales systems with both Menards and Walgreens (both close to my house) that allowed me to get a bunch of stuff free.   I also had a collection of items I had found on clearance or on sale. I am a sucker for some of this stuff.  I just love it.  However, I really didn’t need a 10+ year supply of shampoo.

When we moved I found ways to get rid of new bottles by:

  • selling them on our garage sale
  • donating them to charity

My decision at the time was based on storage.  How is it worth spending hundreds more for housing a month just so I can stock pile free shampoo… didn’t make sense.

However, that only handled some of the beauty beast

During the simplification process lots of partially used bottles, make-up, etc, just got thrown out.  I hate throwing out ‘useful’ things but holding onto something until it’s useful life is over and then throwing it away isn’t any better for the environment.

However, the biggest thing for me was to stop buying beauty products until I needed them.  Now we have been on the simple living path for almost 2 years and I am still using up some of the things I had back then….   Just because something looks fun to try or is on sale doesn’t mean it needs to be in my house.

I have found with not having as much choice around that I need less as well.  I have ‘simplified’ my beauty routine.  I want to use products that let me feel presentable and ‘pretty’ without feeling I need to hide behind them.

Okay, specifically on Make-up

Like I said, I might not be the best one to speak on this because I rarely ware make-up.  To church, or when I get a few extra minutes I put a bit on, but that is about it.  I ‘face’ most days with a clean face and a tub of chapstick.

I own –  foundation, a few powders, 2 nail polish (clear and red), make-up brushes, eye shadow, 2 liners, 2 lipsticks, mascara, 2 lotions (one is shimmery), body spray, perfume.

What do you need?  What do you want?  What do you use?

These are simple questions and probably only apply to some of the beauty supplies you have crowding your space.  What would you pack for a business trip?  ….do you need to keep any more items than that?

  • If you have something you started to use but don’t like – throw it out, it will just get in the way if you keep it around.
  • Stop purchasing in this area unless you are truly out of something you need.  Don’t stock pile this stuff… in an emergency you might need extra prescription pills… but you don’t need extra body lotion 🙂

Do you have a stock-pile in this area?  (if you are reading RSS or on currents  join us in the comments)

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  1. I held on to some make up for over 10 years…yes TEN…because I had bought one of those deals they do at Xmas where you spend $X on a product and for just $X more you get a full set of make up. I was overly influenced by the brand, thinking I was terribly posh having this brand name in my make up kit, even though the colours didn’t suit and they were products I just don’t use. I am older and wiser now and just buy ‘the basics’ which of course is different for each person.

    • I remember those sales. I used to think I would love to have the big case with all the options… but I never had the ‘extra’ money they wanted for it. … now I realize that more choices just makes me more indecisive 🙂

  2. I have never been that big on makeup, although when I was working out in the real world, I definitely wore it everyday. But, when I started staying home with my kids, I didn’t find a need for it, and my skin is better for it! I still have some pressed powder, eyeliner, and mascara for “special occasions” but for the most part I just got rid of everything. What was harder was getting rid of all the different creams and bath products that I have. I am big on baths, but it isn’t something I indulge in that often now with a 2 and 4 year old who think me taking a bath means they get a swimming lesson… 🙂

    • oh, I love bath stuff too! Right now I don’t have any, but I might get my hubby to find me some fun stuff for Christmas 🙂

  3. I just went through my bathroom closet… I was shocked at how much I wasn’t using. I try to remember you really should throw out make up once in a while because it does accumulate bacteria. I’ve given myself a few eye infections.

    • Really? I have heard about that but I always figured it was more for people sharing stuff. …I need to get a new mascara… I think those are supposed to be 6 months and mine is way older than that.

  4. Lisa Lisa

    I have recently purchased clear mascara to wear for my day makeup. I HATE when i have black run onto my face. It has allowed me to minimalize my morning routine by cutting out makeup remover.

    • So what does the clear do? I wear mine because my natural lashes are so light I want them to be noticed.

      • Lisa Lisa

        The clear mascara defines the natural lashes. It seems to help with holding a curl longer too. I have dark lashes so it works for me.

        • hum. I will have to take a look. I need to get a new one anyways 🙂

  5. Laura Laura

    Lorilee, you always seem to hit on topics that have been on my mind! For the last 2 weeks I’ve been trying to figure out how to organize the bathroom (and by “organize” I mean simplify).

    I have a small bin of medical stuff (bandaids, bandages, alcohol wipes, allergy meds, advil, etc.) and then a bin of extra bathroom stuff (soaps lotions etc.). A draw of make up, brush, comb, tweezers, etc. A basket of hair bands, scrunchies, headbands and ribbons.

    lots of lotions. I use 1 of them…

    ok, thanks for getting me moving again!

    • sweet 🙂 glad you liked it!

  6. Elizabeth Kane Elizabeth Kane

    Such a good topic. This one’s always been a weak spot for me. Years ago I had way too much make-up – large box packed to the brim and heavy! I think on top of seeing bad pictures of me with too much on, and lugging it around for weekend trips I started to realize my problem. Got rid of almost all of it and focused on a better skin care routine. After than I moved to downsize bath products that seem to go into those “but I’ll need it someday” categories (which ends up being just an excuse to keep it). Much easier bathroom to deal with.

    • 🙂

  7. Raquel Raquel

    I do have a tiny makeup stockpile but only of things I use up or need to replace often. I use a Mary Kay primer that I have to either order online or from a consultant so I have 2 of those that I found on amazon for $10 each (instead of the $16 reg price for 1). I also have 2 backup mascaras that I purchased on sale with a coupon. You are supposed to replace mascara every 3 months so I keep at least 1 backup so I will not forget to replace. Just for reference I love makeup and wear a full face at least 5 days a week, but I am mindful to keeping only what I need and will use. I have 1 train case and a brush roll and I intend to not every expand larger than what those 2 things will hold.

    • 3 months? ….um, I better get another one… it is probably bad that I don’t remember when I got mine.

  8. I completely agree with you–I had way too much beauty stuff, so I went through the baskets in my bathroom a couple of weeks ago and threw a plastic grocery bag worth of stuff away. A lot of it was old stuff that was of no use anyway. I’m finding I’m at a weird age, beauty wise, and I’m having to rethink my routine a little. Basically, I’ve gone for the fresh-faced look for years but now that I’m a little older I feel like it’s not wearing as well :/ I think I should start wearing mascara, since my new glasses make my eye-make up look much more subtle than it is. I also think I should try a lip colour since I’m still wearing the lip smackers I’ve been using since I was twelve 😉 But I don’t think I will ever be the kind of girl that takes 40 minutes to do her make-up. The addition of these two products will probably bring my make-up routine from two minutes to five minutes 🙂

    • I think it is hard to cut this area down because most of it really does need to get thrown away… it is hard to throw away things that we think we could still use… it seems like a waste. I probably should rethink my beauty routine too…

  9. Mia Mia

    Hi All,

    I was so inspired by this post.

    I also want to add that Origins cosmetics company offers FREE recycling of used/empty/unopened cosmetics at their stores. It’s a great way to clear out your clutter but also keep landfills free of chemicals like perfume, makeup, lotion, nail polish, nail remover, sunscreen, bug spray…you name it! I recently found this out and have been gathering up a big bag of odds and ends that I will drop off soon.

    • Mia, thanks so much for adding that! I hadn’t heard of that before but it sounds like a great idea.

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