It's obvious by now that I'm a beginner, right? I shouldn't even have to disclaim that I've never been good with make-up, hairstyles or putting together cute outfits. In fact, I only recently started wearing make-up regularly and feel like I kind of know what I'm doing with it for the first time ever. It's only in the last few years that I'm finally embracing my curly, crazy hair for what it is. And only sometimes do I make an effort to branch out of my jeans, tee and sweatshirt staples.
So, I'm writing this post not as a professional in make-up, hair or clothing. But rather as an average girl with a passion for quick, easy and care-free style. Because even us non-make-up-wearers, non-hair-doers, and non-fashionistas deserve to feel put-together and at our best.
We deserve to represent ourselves as the confident women we are--or are becoming. We deserve to enhance our natural beauty in easy, healthy ways. We deserve to see the difference a small effort can make without feeling vain or guilty. And we deserve to feel good about ourselves from the inside out.
So, here are a few thoughts on doing just that--in just ten minutes. Three easy, simple, care-free steps (5-minute face, 3-minute hair, and 2-minute outfits) to a naturally easy more beautiful us.
5 Minute Face
Over Christmas, during my first trimester laziness, I watched too many episodes of What Not to Wear on Netflix. Of course, most girls that end up on the show have a variety of reasons for wearing little-to-no makeup. Either they don't know what products to buy, how to put it on, or don't have time or just don't care.
I can relate to all of those makeup dilemmas, so I appreciated Carmindy's sweet encouragement for them and her easy tips for a 5-minute face. (You can watch her makeup tips >> here.) I loved the idea of putting just a few minutes each day into enhancing my beauty through my face. Whereas before, I misunderstood makeup as a way to mask, cover up, or otherwise change those features; I realized makeup can actually be a key component in displaying natural beauty.
In the midst of first trimester exhaustion and morning sickness was a perfect time to try out the idea of the "5 Minute Face." I got a couple basic products that would subtly improve my skin, and help me feel better about myself even as I dealt with nausea.
Gotta say, it was an absolute success. Four months later, and the 5-minute-face routine is an easy daily habit. Some days are more like two minute days and at least once a week (i.e, date nights or church) I spend a minute or two more on the extra details for a more polished look. My blemishes are still there, but I feel so much better about the confidence I have in putting my best face forward.
Whether I'm keeping to the minimum for a lounging day at home or I'm using all of my minimalist makeup products for an evening out, there are three basic stages to my 5-Minute-Face routine.
This first stage is all about nourishing and improving our God-given skin. On my simplest days, this merely means using a basic moisturizer to freshen and protect dry skin. For my dressier days, this includes a little tinted moisturizer and even concealer for more even skin tone.
1 // moisturize and correct
T i n t e d m o i s t u r i z e r :
I can't believe I only just recently started using tinted moisturizer. I figured it'd be worthless on my blemished skin. In fact, it works wonders at giving a light, natural boost to my skin. Sure, it doesn't offer full coverage. But in my minimalist routine, I'd rather subtly enhance, not dramatically change. And for that, tinted moisturizer is a perfect quick, easy, effective, healthy solution.
P r o d u c t s u s e d :
jojoba oil // tea tree oil // Physicians Formula tinted moisturizer // Physicians Formula concealer
W h a t I d i d :
Smooth a tad of jojoba oil with a drop of tea tree oil over my face and neck. Add a bit of tinted moisturizer all over face and neck without rubbing in too much. Use a liquid concealer around eyes to brighten them, and on obvious blemishes to reduce redness.
This second stage is all about adding subtle hues to enhance our God-given colors. On my simplest days, this step might be skipped, or could merely mean sweeping a light eye shadow and a hint of blush. For dressier days, this includes a combination of a couple different eye shadows and perhaps some bronzer for more detail.
2 // add color + enhance
B a s i c s o f e y e s h a d o w a p p l i c a t i o n :
I never understood eye shadow application until recently when watching some YouTube videos. I now buy eye shadow in a trio (a lightening shadow, a basic nude, and a darker accent) and understand how to use it. The lighter goes in the inner corner of my eye near the tear duct, along the bottom lash line, and across the top brow--this really brightens and highlights the eyes. The neutral/nude is swept across my eye lid, giving a subtle, pretty look. And the darker/accent shade can be used in the outside corners of the lids for a more dramatic or polished look.
P r o d u c t s u s e d :
Rimmel blush // Rimmel eye shadow // Bare Minerals brushes
W h a t I d i d :
Use a kabuki brush to sweep a blush blend just below cheek bones up to top of the ears. Use eye shadow brush to dust nude eye shadow across lids. Use eye shadow brush to highlight inner eyes, bottom lash line and brow bone with light eye shadow.
This final stage is all about completing the polished look. On my simplest days, this step might be skipped, or could merely mean curling my lashes and a light dusting of loose powder. For dressier days, this includes mascara and maybe eye liner, and a tinted lip gloss.
3 // final touches
H o m e m a d e l o o s e p o w d e r :
My sister-in-law recently made loose powder that we've talked about trying for a while. It's basically Bare Minerals mineral veil powder, and is amazing! You simply combine baby powder with cocoa powder until you get your desired color. A lighter color works great as a mineral veil / setting powder, and adding more cocoa could make it effective as a loose foundation.
P r o d u c t s u s e d :
homemade loose powder // eye lash curler // Physician's Formula mascara // Burt's Bees lip gloss
W h a t I d i d :
Use a large, fluffy brush to dip in loose powder and tap off excess, then dust across face to set make-up and reduce shine. Gently curl eye lashes. Sweep on mascara, then use finger to lightly run along lashes smoothing out any clumps or removing any excess (this helps it dry quicker and keeps it from smearing around my eyes). Spread on a little tinted lip gloss.
And just so you get the full picture of what a difference 5 minutes (or less) can make, see the before and after photos above. This is quite a bit embarrassing. Mostly because for a couple years I've gone mostly without makeup. If I couldn't get rid of my acne, then I figured, What's the point?
the 5-minute difference
I also struggled knowing what products to get and even the basics of how to use them. Sure, I figured it out enough to put eye shadow on the eyes and blush on the cheeks. But I didn't put any effort to really making these products work.
Well, seeing these before and after photos, and knowing how little effort I made for the "after," I can't believe I wasn't doing this before! If I had known that minimalist, natural makeup could be so easy and effective, I certainly would have started a long time ago.
So, that's why I put together this post with all of the photos to help anyone else like me that wonders, What's the point. Start looking your best with minimal time and effort!
3 Minute Hair
My hair generally comes in two styles: Wild abandoned curls, or high bun. I've spent years-past straightening, curling, or otherwise experimenting with my hair. A few times it has paid off--but most often it just felt like a vain waste of time.
I have recently started paying a little attention to those easy hairstyle posts I see come across Facebook or Pinterest. I'm still hesitant when I see someone describe a 15-minute hairdo as "quick." Um, no thanks. But if you look, there really are some great hairstyle ideas that could be done in less than 5 minutes, and sometimes even less than 60 seconds.
New hairstyles or not, I'm finding there are three basic steps to making the mess I wake up with a little more polished and presentable.
1 // refreshThis first stage is all about refreshing your hair. Hair does not need to be washed everyday. I have my routine down to twice a week. So when it's not a wash day, this process merely means that I wet it a little and/or smooth over or spritz on a little leave-in conditioner. I have never tried it, but dry shampoo could also be used, and there are plenty of homemade solutions.
2 // styleThis second stage is where the hair is actually fixed. This could be putting it in a pony tail, bun, braid, adding a couple curls, straightening bangs, or leaving it in its natural, newly refreshed state. Playing with different parts can also be a quick fix to a new hairstyle.
3 // accessorizeThis final stage is where a simple clip, headband, turban or scarf can really pull a hairstyle together. On an average day, I usually forgo this last effort. But for a girls night, date night, or any other special outing, this can be just the touch to make that ponytail not look so plain.
2 Minute Outfit
I am loyal to my simple and comfortable jeans and tees. I make sure they're fitted and I feel like it looks a little better than frumpy sweats. However, I'm learning it can be really easy to pull together cuter outfits that are still really comfortable. A key part of this is buying cute, comfortable clothes. Who'd of thought, right?
Of course, as a stay-at-home-mom, I still have plenty of days where laid-back no-try outfits are good enough. For every other time, it can be really easy to throw together a cute outfit with three basic parts.
1 // basicsBasically pants (jeans, leggings, jersey skirt, etc.) and a shirt (tee or camisole). Keep them plain and fitted, and of course comfortable. They should be able to be reworn as needed.
2 // layersAny sort of a sweater, cardigan, button-up shirt, or even a cute blouse or top. This is where colors, patterns, textures can be thrown in. Even easy-to-rotate staples can help pull an outfit together.
3 // accessoriesBelts, jewelry, scarves. Anything that adds a little interest to the outfit. On an average day of errands or chillin' at home, this is skipped. But for something special, these are simple and easy additions that really help complete an outfit.
That's quick, easy, care-free style and beauty in ten minutes or less. Start working on one routine at a time. After I experimented with the 5-minute-face, I settled into a daily habit that is now natural and easy. Because I don't have to think about that, I have a little more time and energy to think about putting together a cute outfit (if the day calls for it) or trying something new with my hair (even if it's just a headband).
The biggest difference I've noticed when I make these little efforts, is that I feel better about myself. I acknowledge that I'm worth that little bit of effort even as "just" a stay-at-home-mom, which can be rejuvenating on its own. I also feel more confident and secure when I run into people I know. And, on some level, I acknowledge the beauty God created in me instead of neglecting and downplaying it.
All of that is certainly worth the 10-minute effort.
Minimalist Makeup Bag
White Tee + Skinny Jeans 5 Ways
Striped Dress 7 Ways