Ladies Corner: Minimalist Make Up

Ladies,

I wanted to make a quick post on how I minimized my make up routine and the amount of products I use. This is for make up only; since I minimized the amount of make up on my face I sort of upgraded quality of my skin care. But that will be a different post.

As you can see, not much that I own and I am extremely happy with it. I wouldn’t touch a lot on the brands here as more than likely those will not be repurchased by me. Let me share the details really quick:

All I use for my skin products are concealer for under eyes areas and a different concealer in case I have blemishes or occasional pimples that need to be hidden from the world. I like NYX but I might have heard that they were purchased by L’Oreal and that company does test on animals. So I might need more research if I decide to repurchase or I will find something else. I use a pencil for my eye brows and an eye liner (DeVita – parabenfree & 100%vegan); a set of Lancôme eye shadows and a blush, and a Lancôme mascara. I absolutely love Lancôme products but I believe they still test on animals so probably will not repurchase until proven otherwise. Kind of sad… I have a few brushes and a lashes curler to help me put the face together in the mornings and a couple chop sticks & a lip gloss (not pictured cause I cannot find any of those – probably in my office). I use perfume during the work weeks and I use essential oils blend during the weekends. I also try to go cosmetics free on the weekends if I can and I do smoky eyes make up for the evenings out.

That’s it! Super simple, quick and inexpensive. And let me mention something important, minimalism make up requires a good care of your body & skin inside and out … but that’s for a different blog post.

Cheers,

YM

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Minimalist Closet: Getting There

My friend visited me the other day at my house and requested to see my closet. Apparently, she has been reading my blogs and Instagram, and she was inspired. Yay! So her reaction was: “You have no clothes!” Haha. Oh no, I sure do. In a matter of fact, I have too much. Every day I think what I have is too much and it is suffocating me: so my ‘eagle’ eye is scanning my possessions every day to find something that I can get rid of.

I never had a separation anxiety with things. I never had a problem of letting go. I had extra things and clutter from now and then simply because I wasn’t paying attention and it was just there. I never had an emotional attachment to things. In fact, if for some futuristic reason I will lose all my possessions tomorrow, I will not have a breakdown. I will have a little bit of stress because I would have to quickly replace things but other than that I would look at it from a prospective of starting over, starting fresh. cl2

When I started my journey towards minimalism (and I am not by any means close to it yet), my closet was the easiest part of my house to clean up. I departed from my extra clothes in no time and never looked back. I don’t even remember what I got rid of.

A few things that are worth mentioning: I am a corporate professional that works in the office five days a week, so I have to look good. Also, my family is very active: we do summer sports at a lake during warmer months of the year, I do yoga and go to the gym, we do some outdoor activities during the winter months, we travel, we attend cocktail parties etc. And we live in a four season state. So we do have to have a variety of clothes, some winter gear, some sport gear, some office clothes etc.  So my closet is by any means not a minimalist closet like you can imagine but it is getting to a stage that I can say I am proud of. cl 1

A few things that I am already liking from having fewer clothing items:

  • It takes less time for me to get dressed in the morning: I am not stressed out with making those decisions every day
  • By getting rid of things that in need of a repair or simply don’t look as good as they should, it eliminates a chance for me to wear something that I will regret later in the day and I can make sure that I look sharp every day
  • I only see and wear things that I absolutely love and that I fill good in
  • It takes less effort to keep my closet clean and organized
  • I don’t spend a lot of time at the stores doing mindless shopping
  • I am a big believer in quality vs quantity so it is easier on my budget to save a little bit of money every paycheck and then go to one or two stores to find one or two pieces of new clothing for a new season (I usually hit Banana republic and Gap and I am done. If there is nothing there that I absolutely love I move on and coming back in a month or so)
  • It gives me a piece of mind that my impact on the planet is minimal as it can be at this stage

Here are a few tips and tricks that I used to help me to get rid of clothing easier:

  • I sell clothes. It’s an extra motivation cause you get cash for it to either buy new and nicer (for example 1 items versus 5) or you spend it on experiences, paying off debts, saving it etc. My favorite app that I use is Poshmark: it is easy, you can upload pictures to your “closet” from your phone, they send you labels for shipping, you can chat with your customers instantly, etc. A win-win overall.IMG_3729
  • I donate clothes: there are people in need all over the world that can benefit and use those clothing pieces and it is better than those just seat in my closet collecting dust
  • I give it away to the people that I think can benefit from it: friends and family.

And honestly, there is still so much work to be done and I still have some impulse buys every now and then simply because I am a woman and I want to make myself feel better by buying something pretty. And I think it’s ok; I think there is should be a healthy balance between allowing yourself to have simple luxuries from time to time and becoming a consumer and treating shopping like a hobby. I always remember how our grandmas and moms used to live back home (Russia-Europe) where they had small portable closet chests with just a few pieces of clothing and they were happy. historic

Yes I understand that they didn’t have a whole lot but it didn’t matter. It wasn’t that important. I would like to get to the stage some day when it will not be important and I can pack items in a suitcase and go travel the world without worrying on what to do with that enormous closet of mine.  And it what point we all decided that to have a room as your closet is normal? Why did we think it is a great use of your life to stand there every day and look at the piles of stuff facing unnecessary decisions? Have you ever thought of that your home should be a living space not a storage space?

I truly look forward to continue my journey to simple living. There are bloggers and YouTubers that are absolutely inspiring. And there is more to life than shopping for things that eventually end up in a landfill. Fill your life with experiences, not things.

Cheers,

YM

 

Do you read the ingredients?

Pick up a bottle of something in your bathroom and read it. What do you see? Is it Petrolatum, alcohol and perfume by any chance? Probably…And just think about it – this goes on the largest organ of your body – skin. Ick!

A couple things happened last week that made me go: wait what?

I always wash dishes with gloves. It’s a matter of habit by now because water and dish soap leave my hands extremely dry and I very much dislike that feeling. The other day, I only had a couple baby bottles to wash and thought: let me take care of those really quick without bothering putting gloves on. Next morning I saw, what it looked like an allergy/chemical burn right between my fingers! IMG_3404

I had those before but thought it might be because of it is cold outside and I need lotion or I started to have eczema ( never had it before but was looking for an explanation). Occasionally I wouldn’t put gloves on when washing dishes and never thought of that because’ we buy environmentally friendly dish soap’… It might be environmentally friendly’ish but I never bothered to read the ingredients on the bottle. Ick! Last week I perfectly remembered that my skin was normal until I washed dishes without gloves and got this thing that is still on my hands. It had to be a reaction to chemicals. That incident opened my eyes: we buy these products that touch our dishes that we put our food in and then it goes to our bodies… Well, guess what was my first move: immediately, I went to my pantry, pulled out 3-4 bottles with different cleaning products and dumped it into the sink (probably desensitized it really well), washed the bottles and threw those into recycling. Went to Natural Store, bought castile soap and will never use anything else again.

A few days after the incident with the soap, I got a sore throat and to fight my coming up cold I thought of just grabbing a Baby Rub Vicks Ointment would be a good idea. I bought it long time ago when my baby was born but never used it on him. And boy, I felt so good realizing that I didn’t, cause after reading the ingredients, that thing flew into trash. But before I read the label, I generously put it on my throat. Have you read the ingredients on it? The very first thing is Petrolatum! And we put those on ours and our babies’ skin – NO WAY! I felt like I just stuck my head into a gas tank.

Obviously, I am not a scientist and will not be arguing over chemical part of any product. This is my reflection, my experience and my intake on what I should and should not use in my family home. If you are curious, google some blogs and information on what it is truly in most of the household items that we are so used to buy.

Just a few products that I absolutely eliminated (already): drug store deodorant (switched to natural – will make homemade someday when I feel brave), cleaning products all went to the drain (castor soap, vinegar, soda and lemons are in my house for this purpose – that’s it), soap (only buying local with natural oils), bubble bath (making it myself from now on), facial toner (making it myself – super easy)  and I am working on test driving Soap Nuts so I can eliminate detergents. And that is just during last couple weeks. I hope I got you thinking, inspired you to read the label and decide for yourself if you want to put it on your skin.

Cheers,

Yana

Vegan BDay Party: Challenge Accepted

Challenge was accepted Monday morning to host a birthday party for my husband on Friday night. Condition one: of course, it has to be vegan. Condition two: I work on Friday until 5 pm – dinner party is at 6. Good luck to me!

Menu:

Appetizers: secondcranberry salsa and tomato bruschetta with whole wheat crackers and rustic bread turned out to be delicious. Bruschetta was a little runny but I used on tacos the next day and it was fabulous. Cranberry salsa was an absolute favorite: sweet and sour with a little hint of jalapeno pepper. It went very well with organic quinoa crackers. Salsa and bruschetta were prepared a day in advance.

 

Main course: vegan spinach lasagna – was a Hit! My family loved it and husband bragged about it the next day at work. I prepared veggies and a sauce a day in advance, so all I had to do to is to assemble and bake it. It took a little longer that 25 minutes that what said in the recipe but it was absolutely divine. I also added balsamic roasted veggies for the side: I just marinated those in balsamic and brown sugar overnight – simple but delicious. first

Dessert: vegan banana cream pie turned out to be the best ever. I made it on Thursday night in advance – it has to be in the freezer. Also, we thawed it out for about 20 mins not 5 like it says in the recipe. To my taste, I would keep it out longer as otherwise it tastes like banana ice cream (which is still amazing).

thrid

Most of the dishes have been prepped in advance the night before. I was up until almost 11:30 pm (not because it was too much work but because I had to wait until my toddler goes to bed); I was tired but so pumped up and excited that it didn’t matter. All I had to do when back home from work is to open wine to air out, have a sip and put lasagna into the oven. Cut bread and set the table.

Voila! It was a great success.

I am adding links to the lasagna and pie recipes. Thank you for the wonderful bloggers that have these out there in the cyber world 🙂

http://www.cearaskitchen.com/vegan-lasagna/

http://minimalistbaker.com/raw-vegan-banana-cream-pie/

Cheers my friends,

Yana

 

 

 

 

 

Minimalist skin care 

Ladies,

I was looking at my bathroom items today and thought it might be good to make a post on a simplistic skin care to hopefully inspire and minimize stress for some of you. 

I try to follow a vegan all natural skin care rule when I buy items. It might not be all vegan but I am 100% against testing on animals. I do have plans to make some of the items my own but I just have not had that much time yet to experiment. These items that I currently have are fabulous. Although, I do like to change things up when I replace items that are gone. I never stock up on items and I never have duplicates. I keep it simple, environmentally friendly and clean. Note: I have oily skin.

 

Here I am as of today: 

  • Heritage store rose water facial toner – perfect for after shower 
  • Pharma clear moisturizer – it’s very hard for me to find a good moisturizer for winter days (oily skin and dry winters – ehhh) – this one is fabulous 
  • Alaffia facial cleanser – fair trade certified – smells amazing 
  • Clinique brush that I use in the evening to massage and get that enviro dirt out 
  • Maui supreme liquid spray coconut oil (purchased in Maui) – use for pretty much anything: hair, under eye area, eye lashes, nails, body. It’s amazing. 
  • Lumene vitamin C day cream with spf 15-a must have 
  • Olay CC cream for under eye area (gotta get it – I am over 30 now …:)
  • Organic lavender body butter (purchased on Maui lavender farm) – just as close to the nature as it can be 🙂

 

  • I would absolutely love to use natural deodorant every day but didn’t find one yet that would work as well as the regular:  I keep Dove deodorant for tough days or workout sessions
  • Urban organics deodorant is a great one that I try to use most of the days (these guys are fabulous – found on etsy.com)

That’s it – believe it or not. I have a toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo and soap of course but those are not as fabulous to write about. 

Just remember, skin is our largest organ. We care what we put inside of our bodies(hopefully), let’s be mindful what goes on the outside. Don’t overbuy: save the planet (as it all comes in plastic that ends up in the ocean), your hard earning cash and your senity. 

Cheers,

YM