10-Minute Beauty

10-Minute Beauty Routine

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.

The 5-Minute Face

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.

5-Minute Face // moisturize + correct

1 // moisturize and correct

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.

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.

5-Minute Face // add color + enhance

2 // add color + enhance

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.

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.

5-Minute Face // final touches

3 // final touches

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.

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.

5-Minute Face // before + after

the 5-minute difference

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?

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!

Tips for 3-Minute Hair

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 // refresh

This 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 // style

This 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 // accessorize

This 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.

Tips for a 2-Minute Outfit

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 // basics

Basically 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 // layers

Any 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 // accessories

Belts, 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.

The 10-Minute Beauty Routine // before + after

10-Minute Beauty

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.


related posts:
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Striped Dress 7 Ways

Simplifying Home Week 4 // Bathrooms + Self-Care

Simplifying Home // Week 4: Bathrooms + Self-Care

So, my progress in week 3 was even less than week 2. I'll go ahead and blame the pregnancy. But I'm still plugging away on my list however I can, and am still committed to sharing additional info for you each week!

Go here >> to learn more about Simplifying Home and print your 8-week checklist.

Seriously, can't say this enough: It's never too late to start this. And please DON'T stress about finishing every item on the checklist. Even small and slow progress is worth celebrating! My biggest celebrations: When I can address one small area that is especially driving me crazy. The checklist can go out the window if I'm able to do at least that each week.

Alright, who's ready for addressing our bathrooms and self-care routines?!

Simplifying Home Week 4 // Bathrooms + Self-Care

/ /   s i m p l e

Clear Out Cabinets

I don't know about your bathroom cabinets, but over time random, unused products get pushed to the back of ours. It's so helpful to pull all of it out and be honest about the last time I used or really needed that item. We're especially looking to get rid of anything expired or unused in the last 6-12 months. (I'm being generous here; usually anything not used at least monthly should probably go.) Also let go of those items that you tried once but didn't like, or anything that needs replaced (i.e., towels or razors).

If you have half-full containers that you aren't using, consider offering them to friends. I love Freecycle for this. I did a major product decluttering a few years ago by listing half-used containers there and people actually came to pick them up! Ever since, I've been a lot better about buying products and using them up before trying something new.

Reusable and Sustainable Options

Disposable options are becoming just as popular in the bathroom as they are throughout the home. However, disposable isn't just bad for the environment, it's also often not the best for our own health and maintenance. When it's time, consider upgrading your bathroom routine with sustainable and reusable options like better (longer lasting) razors or reusable soap containers. You might even consider ditching, or at least reducing, use of items like Q-tips. Women can even choose reusable, sustainable options for feminine hygiene products. (I promise it's 100 times better than it sounds; I made the switch and I'll never go back).

Cosmetic Database

Do you know the toxicity and safety of the cosmetics you use regularly? I didn't use to put any thought into it. Then, when I did start to care, I didn't know who to trust (labels can be deceiving). That's where the Skin Deep Cosmetic Database comes in. You can search your favorite brands or specific products and get detailed information on how safe it is for you use. Finding some of your cosmetics have a high hazard rating? You can also do a search to find new, safer alternatives.

Read more about the Cosmetic Database (what it is and why is matters) >> here.

Efficient Set-up

For some of us, efficiently arranging our bathrooms comes naturally. However, if you end up knocking supplies over, taking too long looking for your self-care items, or have a hard time doing a quick clean of the bathroom because of an overabundance of items cluttering your counter--then it's likely time to start thinking more about efficiency. Consider arranging regularly use items and back-up supplies in separate bins so they are 1) easy to find, and 2) easy to pull out for use and stow away in between.

If things are tight in your bathroom cabinets, consider moving anything not used regularly to another closet or storage space. And, of course, some of it will hopefully go out the door with that little decluttering activity mentioned above.

/ /   i n t e n t i o n a l

Cleaning + Maintaining

This week goes back to setting a timer for 20 minutes and cleaning as much as possible. Of course, this is about putting whatever effort you can into cleaning your home. Feel free to implement whatever method you prefer to get that done at least once. Also, keep referencing that repair list and checking off one or two items as you are able. A little effort in cleaning and maintaining our homes really adds up week-by-week.


This week, we'll intentionally consider scents to incorporate into our homes. There are two things to think about with this: 1) How will you incorporate those scents; and 2) what scents will you choose. First, candles are a common option. There are also oil sticks or plug-in options. A really simple, effective and healthy solution is adding a couple drops of your favorite essential oil to a light bulb in each room, then the smell will activate when you turn on the light and the oils react to the warming bulb.

Now, on what scents to choose, of course the possibilities are endless. Consider the purpose of the space. (Do you need an energizing candle at the desk, maybe a refreshing scent in the living room or something calming in the bedroom?) Consider what scents you and your family respond best to. (Just because lavendar is a traditionally relaxing scent, if you don't like it, don't use it in your home.) And, of course, consider the season. (Something spicy for the cold seasons and something fresh for the warmer seasons).

Empty Outbox

We're almost halfway through eight weeks of simplifying our homes. Hopefully you've already found a nice little (or big) collection of items to let go of. Now is a good time to address that outbox. If you know you're ready to let go of everything put here, go ahead and haul it out to the car or dump or list it online--or whatever you need to do with it.

If you did like I do and added lots of items that you might want to let go of, but haven't decided yet, now is a good time to look through those things and start making decisions. Try to keep the decisions quick. You put the items here for a reason (they didn't belong, might be excess, or any number of "faults").

Try to really be honest about whether you have missed or needed those items while they've been in the outbox. Also think about the space they used to occupy--do you like that space better now that they're gone? Is it easier to access things or is there less clutter and chaos? Hopefully these questions can help guide you in making decisions. Even if the item is nice and you still like it, you might find you're still happier let it go for the betterment of your home.

This isn't necessarily an easy process. In fact it can be downright exhausting and time-consuming. But it's necessary and can make the biggest improvement in our homes. So be courageous and keep on with it. You're doing good!

/ /   c o n t e n t

Epsom Salt Bath

I hope you will consider doing this week's contentment activity even if you're not a big fan of baths or even if you don't love your bathtub (ours is too shallow). Soaking for 10-20 minutes in a warm bath with a scoop of dissolved Epsom salt is good for relaxing your muscles and destressing. You can also add a few drops of a favorite essential oil to further the healing benefits. Allow your tension to loosen into the water letting your stresses slide.

It is so important to take these few moments weekly and even daily for ourselves. Little acts like this for as little as ten minutes a day helps us to let go of that stress tension that threatens our health more than we likely realize. You and the people you love, and really everyone around you, needs you to take care of you. No one else is going to do it.


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The Kitchen - Fellowship Connection

Making the Kitchen-Fellowship Connection

I am happy to introduce you to Alysa from Kitchen Fellowship for today's post. I so admire and appreciate her passion for fellowship and restoration and starting it in the heart's of our homes--the kitchen. Keep reading for a few simple yet effective ways to start making that kitchen - fellowship connection in your own home and life. And check-out her awesome 9 tips for simplifying daily kitchen use >> here. A good wrap-up to week 3 of #SimplifyingHome, don't ya think?


Think about the amount of time you spend in your kitchen every day. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. That’s about 3 times a day. And 90 times a month. 1,095 times a year.

Not to mention the times you whip up a quick snack – or wash dishes. And the time you spend around the table? Sharing meals or late night cocoa? It’s time that adds up.

Time that can be used for celebrating, equipping and encouraging others. For nourishing the body and soul. Time that can be spent in thought, in prayer, in meditation – which flows more easily in a clean and peaceful space. When you open your heart and home, your life and the life of those around you can change.

And all of that, just from the kitchen!

I’m a big believer in welcoming people into your home regardless of little messes, but starting fresh with a productive spring cleaning session can give you the boost you need to foster more meaningful times of fellowship. Here are three simple ideas for doing that.

1. Clear Your Table

My dining room table used to be the catch all for mail, library books, craft projects, laptops, etc. The mounting clutter often led to eating in the living room which meant TV filled meals. Not the best environment for authentic conversations. By keeping the table top clear, meals became a time to share fellowship around the table and enjoy the blessing of wholesome food. No more mindless eating while absorbing ‘entertainment’. When your table’s clear you’re more likely to invite people over or welcome them to stay for dinner when they drop by.

2. Stock Your Staples

Keeping your pantry and fridge well stocked with basic ingredients for your favorite dishes makes sharing meals with friends a cinch. When your kitchen is organized, you’ll know what you have on hand so meal prep or shopping for a gathering is no longer complicated. And if you’re out of something? That’s the perfect time to involve others and ask a friend to bring a sidedish or a loaf of bread to dinner.

3. Invite Help

Spending time with people in your kitchen is a beautiful way to foster camaraderie. When your space is simplified it’s easy to point to a certain drawer or cupboard when your friend asks where the ladle is or wants to help set the table. Preparing meals side by side helps your home feel like their home. No longer are they guests sitting on the sidelines – they are friends and family participating in the flow of fellowship.

Also see 9 Tips to Simplify Daily Kitchen Use.

For more from Alysa:
blog | KitchenFellowship.com
facebook | Kitchen Fellowship
twitter | @KitchFellowship

How can you use your kitchen for fellowship this weekend?

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