We’re refining our beauty routines with tips from an eco-lifestyle expert about how to streamline our stash of beauty products and build a better one (without relapsing)…
If you’ve read anything over the past few years, you’ve likely witnessed the surge in popularity of the minimalist capsule wardrobe movement. If you’re not yet familiar, 1) welcome to 2016, and 2) check out the whole closet detox series I launched with The Chalkboard last year.
If you’re already a capsule devotee, you’re likely finding yourself loving the benefits of a pared-down wardrobe so much that you’re itching to extend those principles to other aspects of your life. So, without further ado, let’s move from the closet to the bathroom, shall we? Why? Because capsule beauty is all the rage and trust when I say that applying minimalist principles to your grooming regimen will not only save you loads of time and stress in your everyday, but will also present you with an epic opportunity to easily transition your beauty products to those of a cleaner, greener, kinder ilk.
To make this fun and easy, I’ve created a step-by-step guide to creating a beauty capsule. And I’m also sharing some of my favorite products that make my own routine high-performing while still being minimalist and manageable.
I’ve been in the capsule beauty game for years and not only has it afforded me more time in the morning, it’s also helped to improve my skin. As a reformed product junkie, minimizing the sheer volume of things I slapped on my face and body has helped me to establish a beautiful balance that has extended to my complexion. Here are a few of my favorite “gateway” capsule multi-taskers, all of which are vegan, cruelty-free, and for the most part, pretty darn natural. So be voyeuristic and peek in my makeup bag.
Do you rock capsule beauty? Tell us what you love and your favorite tips!
STEP 1: OBSERVE YOUR EXISTING ROUTINE
Sage folks often say, “start where you are,” so that’s what we’re going to do. Add a few extra minutes to your get-ready routine to see what you actually need (hello, soap) versus what you reach for simply because it’s there. Do you reach for the same moisturizer or lipstick everyday? Consider those staples. Do you have products taking up precious physical (and let’s face it, emotional) space that are collecting dust? Put those in the “don’t really need” category. Anything that falls in that latter category, put it in a box or bin and stash it away.
STEP 2: TRY THE PARED-DOWN ROUTINE
Many capsule exercises have you set a limit to the number of items you have. I won’t do that to you, but now that the superfluous products are out of the picture (for the moment), get ready as you normally would. Are you noticing anything missing? Any products you wish were in your routine that would make things easier? Are you running low on essential items? Did you retrieve anything from the banished product stash? Take note of these things and move to step 3.
STEP 3: STOCK UP + SWAP, FOCUSING ON QUALITY
A minimalist beauty routine means that you have more time and space. It also means that the products that make the cut need to be damn good and work hard, both in performance and in ethics. This is an ideal time to swap out any products that are tested on animals, contain potentially harmful chemicals, or simply don’t perform the way you need them to. Use this as an exciting opportunity to explore the burgeoning and wonderful world of natural and kind cosmetics.
Familiarize yourself with ingredient labels and symbols that denote a sterling product like the Leaping Bunny and PETA Bunny symbols, which indicate cruelty-free production, Certified Vegan symbol, which indicates that the product contains no animal by-products or testing, and the Organic and EcoCert designations which, though varied in their regulation, can lead you to purer, more ecologically-conscious products and companies.
Look at packaging (is it recyclable? Compostable? Reusable?), ingredient load (can you pronounce the ingredients? Are there TONS of them?) and prominence of active ingredients (you know, the ones that actually do what they’re supposed to do). You’ll also want to focus on products that can multitask like soaps that can double as shampoo and shave gel, face oil that can double as a hair conditioner, or lipsticks that can seamlessly provide a creamy flush to cheeks. Oh, and buy only what you need (no duplicates). Becoming a discerning consumer will help you find products you enjoy and can feel great about on all fronts.
STEP 4: ABSTAIN FROM SHOPPING + SHERIFF YOUR STASH
The key to keeping things manageable and minimalist in the bathroom and beyond is to be ruthless about what makes the cut. The siren song of glittering makeup store counters can be difficult to resist, but to truly reap the stress-busting benefits of going capsule, you have to keep your stash simple and uncluttered. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy little luxuries like your favorite perfume or a bold seasonal nail polish. Rather it means you have your priorities and you stick to them. You can still have fun and be inventive with your look and routine without falling prey to a constant influx of new and unnecessary products.
When folks go all-in on a capsule wardrobe, it’s often recommended that they abstain from clothes shopping for an entire season, or about three months. If you get your beauty capsule to a good place, you may find it helpful to bypass the flash sales and gifts with purchase hoopla and spend that time and money doing something more therapeutic, like catching up with a friend or going to yoga. You’ll still look great, you’ll likely have more coin jingling in your pocket and you’ll find you have more time overall.