• Minimalism

    Minimalism Quickstart: 6 Easy Ways to Start your Transformation

    You’ve heard how minimalism is like a breath of fresh air. Something that will reduce anxiety, and help your life run more smoothly. Unfortunately, making drastic changes to your lifestyle can be overwhelming, especially when you feel like you want to do everything at once. Thankfully, you don’t have to.

    Where to start? I recommend starting with an easy task that you can conquer in a day. The important thing is to get your foot in the door – BEGIN. You’ll feel accomplished and primed for your next step, and your next step, and your next. Your life doesn’t need to change overnight. Progress happens in small steps, and BEGINNING is the most important step. Once you’ve started, you’ve already done something great that you can be proud of.

    Here are some ideas of small projects you can start TODAY:

    Clothing. 2 years. TWO YEARS. If you have not worn that article of clothing in two years, it is safe to remove from your possession. Ditch any deteriorating items. Give your friends and family dibs at taking some items off your hands. Whatever is leftover you can donate.

    Digital cleanse. Organize bookmarks and delete the ones you'll never use. Delete spam and emails that bog down your inbox. Unsubscribe from email lists that no longer serve you. EMPTY your email trash. Organize desktop icons and folders. EMPTY your computer's trash (scary, I know). Fwew! - doesn't your computer have less of a stressful doom vibe now?

    Pantry and medicine cabinet. Ditch the expired goods. Donate food you know you won't be able to use before it expires. Organize your pantry in a way that aids you in planning and making meals. Bonus: A better system leads to less food waste. 
    Your vehicle. Clean out your car. Vacuum it, wash it (pamper it, if you will). Have some car staples (emergency supplies, first aid, vehicle paperwork, snacks) and leave the rest out! Maybe spritz some refreshing essential oils in there. Your commute just got a whole lot better, guaranteed. 
    Your schedule. Take a good look at your calendar for the next couple months. Many of us let life hit us in the face day by day. Take some time to mentally prepare, and maybe make some notes and lists to help yourself out. Feeling on top of your schedule (especially if you're writing it down) can really help put your mind at ease on the daily. 
    That mysterious stack of papers. Some of those gotta be important! There's probably also a lot you can recycle in there. Go through them. Sort! Keeps for records (literally file that shit!), keep for VERY near future use (fridge, counter, or create your own special spot for these items), and the rest is RECYCLING (love you, planet earth). 

    If one of these ideas speaks to you, or you know there is an area which is unnecessarily causing you stress, or even if a completely different idea comes to mind that’s where you begin. The best part about minimalism, is that each step tends to be its own reward. Cue happy sigh of relief. 

    You got this.

  • Minimalism

    How One Makeup Addict Cut Her Collection in HALF

    I love makeup. I love makeup so much that for a very long time, I could not stop buying it. Worse, I bought the same shade of lipstick over and over.  What is the point of that?

    My collection grew so large that at one point, I had a full drawer of makeup, a counter case-full, a tray for my potted makeup and tools, a makeup bag dedicated to lip color, and an extra large makeup bag devoted to my less favorites (hint: those were the first to go). I started to feel overwhelmed by my options, and the fact that my bathroom/vanity had become so cluttered.  As a result, I started to use my makeup less and less. Again, what’s the point then? 

    And so, a series of makeup purges began, each time bringing me closer to a refined but complete makeup collection of only the essentials and absolute favorites. As a rule, any product that was on the fence, had until the next purge to prove its usefulness.

    After a few purges, my collection was still too dang big (See: Exhibit A), and I was ready to zero in on my makeup needs. This time I cut my collection in HALF.  I’ll walk you through how I did it.

    Exhibit A (Also known as the BEFORE picture)

    1. First, I laid my makeup out in categories of use: Face, Eyes & Brows, Lips, Tools, Priming/Setting/Misc, and Samples.
    2. Scanning my collection as a whole, I immediately trashed makeup I knew was too old (dried out mascaras) and/or in a questionable condition (I’m looking at you, nasty bacteria-infested beauty blenders).
    3. Next, I analyzed each category separately and asked myself the following questions:
      • Is this a quality product that is worth being in my collection?
      • Have I used it in the past year? If no – gone. Past 6 months? If no – It’s in the danger zone for the next purge.
      • Do I have more than one of the same thing? If yes, I would generally cut out the excess. However, makeup is expensive. If I had multiples of the same product that I knew I would use up (ex. concealer, mascara) I kept it for future use.  This step was most useful for cutting out unnecessary tools. I only need one of each type of makeup brush or applicator. It helped to place each applicator by the product I would use it with. That way, I knew which tools I would use and which I could ditch.
      • Do I love it?  Having a minimalist makeup collection, doesn’t mean you have to get rid of everything fun or unusual.  I personally love playing with lip color; I LOVE my green, gray, blue, and black lipsticks. Will I wear them every day? Of course not. But I love having them, and will bring them out on selective occasions. They’re my odd keepers.

    At the end of this purge I was able to cut my makeup in HALF, and refine my collection to products that I love.  There is something deeply satisfying in that – it almost feels like a mental breath of fresh air.  And as a sweet bonus, I was able to make a little over $200 in Sephora store credit by returning some of my products.  That bought me a quality hair curler – something that will be useful for years to come!

    Here’s a look at what my makeup collection looks like now:

    Exhibit B. AFTER the purge. Makeup cut in half. Brushes and tools placed by the products they are used with.

    Here’s what I have in my collection:

    • FACE: Full coverage liquid foundation, tinted moisturizer, 2 color liquid color correctors, 2 liquid concealers, brush and beauty blender for liquid blending, 2 pressed-powder foundations (medium-heavy coverage) and brush, loose-powder foundation (light coverage) and brush, 1 concealer pot (used only for cut-ceases because of thick full coverage) and brush, 1 mini powder concealer and brush,  contour/blush set, 2 colors of blush with blush brush, pressed setting powder and brush, 2 loose setting powders and brush.
    • EYES & BROWS: Anastasia palette (pinks, purples, golds, oranges, browns), Naked palette (warm neutrals), Bare Essentials palette (cool neutrals), Nars and Urban Decay high shimmer eyeshadow, 1 brown mini liquid eyeshadow, eyeliner pot and brush, tight-line and eyeliner brush, blending brush, large eyeshadow brush, crease brush, white eyeliner crayon, white liquid eyeliner, 3 black liquid eyeliners, 1 black gel eyeliner, 2 shades of brow pencils, 1 brow gel, 4 mascaras, set of magnetic reusable false lashes, brow highlighter pencil, lash curler, brow brush, tweezers, brow scissors.
    • LIPS: 1 lip stain, 1 deep purple cream lipstick, 4 bare essentials lipsticks (they look similar in picture but are actually quite different on the lips), 3 l’bri lipsticks (bright red, bright pink, neutral mauve), 2 bite lipsticks (nourishing neutrals), 3 Kylie liquid lipsticks (for when I need to lock that color down to stay all day!), 1 black lipstick, 1 gray lipstick, 1 dark blue lipstick, 1 bright blue lipstick, 1 green lipstick.
    • TOOLS/MISC/SAMPLES: 2 travel setting sprays, 1 oil control setting spray, 1 all night setting spray, 1 spray primer, 2 eyeshadow primers, 6 mini/travel primers, 1 makeup brush silicon scrubber, 1 makeup brush cleaner solution, 1 makeup remover.

    And that’s it! Until next time..

  • Minimalism

    No-Netflix November: 4 Perks of Taking a Media Break

    Getting rid of things doesn’t always have to mean literal things.  This month, I’ve decided to make a play on “No-shave November” and do No-Netflix November.

    Here’s what I hope to get out of it: 

    • GET SHIT DONE — Do you ever notice that your to-do list is so large and overwhelming that you ignore it completely to binge on TV?  Me.  Me all the time.
    • MINDFULNESS — Of course there are still my other addictions (Facebook, phone, etc) that I’ll inevitably use to fill the void, but Netflix has been a big one lately.  I want to relax and feel okay in the moment, instead of trying to shut my thoughts down with a constant influx of entertainment.
    • BE A SOCIAL HUMAN — More on my social awkwardness later… Let’s just say this is one more push to go into the outside world….where the other humans are! Friends? Is that you? 
    • PASSION PROJECTS — Basically, there will be more time to work on me, and all the things that I wish I were doing, but “never have time for.”  (See GET SHIT DONE)