Everybody wants to be low-maintenance. Or at least have a more low-maintenance beauty routine when it comes to getting ready in the morning.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of stocking up on beauty items that all claim to give you perfect brows, plump lips or glowy skin, but in reality, a simplified beauty routine can not only save you money, but precious time.
1. Simplify your shower
Stepping into your shower shouldn’t resemble walking through the shampoo aisle at CVS. And bathing, whether that means indulging in a long hot bath or a two-minute body shower, should be relaxing. If your shower is cluttered with dozens of nearly empty bottles of cleansers, hair products and shower gels, it’s anything but a zen experience.
Get yourself down to just the basics and then only add in additional products that you truly use everyday. Here’s what I like to stick to.
- A favorite everyday shampoo and conditioner
- An all-over body cleanser
Tip: save yourself space and money, and rather than reaching for a liquid body soap, go for a classic bar cleanser. It’s a fraction of the cost. But keep in mind not all bars are created equally, especially during the winter months when you need something that won’t dry your skin out.
Dove White Beauty Bar is a great option. Soap can strip your skin of its essential nutrients, but the Dove White Beauty Bar contains DEFI technology, a unique blend of mild cleansers, and 1⁄4 moisturizing cream, making it the #1 Dermatologist recommended bar. And when it comes to skin, those guys know what they’re talking about.
Bonus, it’s hypoallergenic and gentle enough to use on both your face and body, which is a godsend for those of us with super sensitive skin.
- Loofa to get your bar all sudsy
- A clarifying shampoo to beat build up in your hair
- Shaving cream if you have sensitive skin
- A body scrub for those dry winter months
- Any item essential to your showering routine (essential is the key word here)
You’d be surprised how a cleaner, less cluttered shower can enhance your overall bathing experience.
2. Invest in “superstar” products, toss the rest
Product junkies, hear me out.
Yes, there’s nothing more fun than getting lost in the aisles of Sephora and stocking up on new beauty buys. And there’s certainly nothing wrong with splurging on a nice item that makes you feel like you’re pampering yourself every time you use it.
But how many products are just sitting in your bathroom that literally have dust piling up on them? We’ve all fallen victim to the VS Secret semi-annual sale traps and toted home a bag of a dozen body sprays that smell reminiscent of junior high locker rooms and the early stages of puberty.
It’s time for a product overhaul. Toss anything you haven’t used in the last two weeks, or if you come across unused items, find a local women’s shelter you can donate them to. Then, check out the products you use on a regular basis and narrow those down to your favorite brand for each product category.
For example, you might find you have four different deodorants you’ve been alternating. Figure out which one you use most often, toss the other three and only buy your number one choice from now on. This becomes your “superstar” item in that category.
Do this for every product you use on a regular basis whether it’s a body balm, essential oil or hairspray. Even if your “superstar” choice might cost more, you know you’ll use it all up and regularly. Plus if you know your superstar items, you won’t get roped into buying a bunch of cotton candy-scented lotions you know you won’t use – even if they’re really on sale.
3. Learn how to wear less makeup
True life: I was addicted to eyeliner.
From eighth grade till about age 21, you could not put a wedge between me and my charcoal black eyeliner. Seriously, it went with me everywhere and I touched it up every few hours.
But over the past few years something miraculous happened. I stopped wearing makeup regularly, and today not wearing makeup has become the norm for me. I’m not sure if it stemmed from pure laziness or just that I was fed up with the same daily routine (and couldn’t rub my eyes without a makeup smearing catastrophe occurring), but a few days a week I go completely bare on my face. Not even a slick of concealer.
What I found was I became more comfortable with how I looked sans-makeup. I didn’t go through my makeup as quickly which has saved me money. I had less blemishes and breakouts. It saved me time (or allowed me a few extra minutes of sweet sleep in the morning). And then the times I did choose to wear makeup, because I’d started to like the way I looked with a makeup-free face, I started to wear less.
Coming from the girl who wouldn’t have stepped foot in public without my eyes lined top, bottom and always with a slight wing, I now prefer my eyes with only a little bit of top liner or even just mascara.
I’m not saying to toss your makeup bag off the side of a mountain, but challenge yourself to go sans-makeup at least once a week, and go out in public that way too. Build your confidence in sporting your bare face. I promise people will not point and laugh, and they probably won’t even notice.
If you’re not quite ready to go totally makeup free, start by eliminating an item or two from your daily makeup routine. Next time skip the eye shadow, bottom liner or liquid foundation.
But on special occasions, of course, always rock that bold lip. Always.
4. Let your hair go natural
We put our hair through a lot. Dye, heat, product, repeat. It can’t be doing any good to our precious locks. It’s time we give our hair a rest a few days a week.
Plan your showers so you can let your hair air dry rather than blow-drying. This will do wonders for the health of your locks and save a little on your energy bill (bonus!). Then find some heat-less and product-less styles that work with the natural texture of your hair.
Have stick straight silky hair? Learn some cool braids you can create.
Crazy unpredictable waves? Master a top-knot, classic bouncy ponytail or find some cute barrettes to pull it back.
Ringlet curls? Let them go free! Or braid them in a simple single side braid.
No one’s natural hair looks like a Dry Bar blowout, so why should we expect ourselves and others to have perfect looking hair everyday? Chances are someone wishes they had your natural curls or thin silk-like strands. Learn how to embrace what you got. After all, it’s what’s under your hair that matters – your brains girls!
With a million beauty products and YouTube makeup tutorials out there in the world, it’s easy to feel like you need more or now we have a higher standard of beauty to uphold. It’s exhausting – and totally false.
But I promise that simplifying your beauty routine and learning to love your natural self will help you get back to spending your time and your hard earned money on the things that really do matter. You know, like being a boss and running the world.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.