During my teenage years I spent way too much time doing my make-up, much more than I care to admit. I think it’s part of growing up and wanting to fit in, and it’s also just part of being a young girl. After I turned 16 years old, however, acne began to plague my life. Make-up wasn’t just fun to put on anymore — I had absolutely no confidence without it. I’d buy every new acne wash that came out and wasted money (and time) on my face and overall beauty routine. Not to mention the body washes, shaving creams, special gels and creams, sprays, and all the other stuff I thought I needed, which are all marketed to young and adult women telling us that more “stuff” will make us prettier and more feminine.

The Transformation: My Road to Minimalist Beauty

heather

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During my early twenties I had success in modeling and state pageants where this idea of perfect beauty was only reinforced, until eventually, I got sick of all of it. After I turned 22 years old, something changed in me. Around that time I started eating a healthier diet and noticed my skin immediately cleared up. I had cut all the sugar, refined carbs, processed foods, and all high-glycemic foods out of my diet. My skin that I had always hated, well … it just started to radiate all on its own. I can’t even begin to describe how elated this makes a young woman feel when she can choose to put on make up and not feel she has to in order to look her best. I began reveling in the fact that I could run errands and go to the gym without any make-up at all, which I often did and enjoyed how clean my face felt the whole time.

Pretty soon after that, I also started “quitting” many of the other products I used in my beauty routine too. They became a waste of money and time to me, and I learned the value of feeding beauty internally instead of applying it externally. I chose to spend my money on clean, healthy foods and started using more natural beauty products.

Ten years later, I’ve shimmied down my beauty routine to the nitty gritty as much as possible. It keeps my skin looking great, takes less time, is very affordable, and causes no irritations, rashes, breakouts, nor does it compromise my values and stance on animal cruelty through animal testing.

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I use no hair-spray, gels, nail products, or commercial lotions, shaving creams, or facewashes. I have also cut my make-up routine down to a maximum of five minutes.

Here’s my routine below, I’d love to hear yours if you have one to share too!

1. Bronner’s 18-1 Liquid Castile Oil Soap

Uses: Shampoo, Bodywash, Handsoap, Facewash

dr bronner's

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This miracle soap is a must-have in my home. I started buying it to clean with and it eventually ended up in my bathroom as a main part of my beauty/hygiene routine. This soap is made from castile, coconut, hemp, and many other sustainable oils that are completely vegan, fair-trade, and they do not irritate or dry out the skin. It’s also made with essentials oils (peppermint, lavender, tea tree, almond, etc.), organic, and gluten-free. I use it for washing my hair, body, face, and use it as a natural handsoap. I might also add that it does a bang-up job at mopping floors, cleaning sinks and tubs, as a laundry detergent, and even washing out the blender to get it sparkly clean, looking brand-new (unlike harsh abrasive soaps that cause wear).

2. Raw Organic Coconut Oil

Uses: Lotion, Shaving Cream, Lip Balm/Gloss, Make-up Remover, Hair Mask, Natural Perfume

coconutoil

Heather McClees

You can use any coconut oil on the market you like for a beauty aid; I simply use one that’s organic and raw because raw retains more of a true coconut scent (perfect for a natural perfume), and I like spending my dollars towards the organic market however I can. Plus, if I want to use it in the kitchen to coat a muffin pan or skillet, I like knowing I’m cooking with organic products and unrefined oils. In the bathroom, however, coconut oil makes the best lotion, shaving cream, conditioner, lip balm, make-up remover, and hair mask I’ve ever used. I buy big jars in bulk and spoon out little amounts into a couple jars in the bathroom for easy use. You can also pack it in small mason jars for traveling, or buy individual packs of coconut oil as well.

3. Inexpensive Vegan Beauty Products

Affordable Cruelty-Free Make-up Brands 

bwc mascara

Native Foods

Here’s where I branch out a little and use a few commercial products, however they are all cruelty-free and I don’t buy more than five-six. I’ve finally come to the point where I PREFER my skin to be naked, free of makeup and any products at all. However, when I go out for more than just a quick errand, I normally like to put on a little something extra. Beauty Without Cruelty and Kiss My Face are my go-to brands for cruelty-free products on a budget that I know will give me great results. No longer do I spend money on fancy cosmetic products from companies that hurt animals or waste my money. Not to mention, many of these are loaded with chemicals that only contribute to allergenic reactions and breakouts.

I use a face powder, blush, and eyeshadow by Beauty Without Cruelty, along with their mascara and eyeliner. My lip balm/gloss is merely coconut oil, but if I want something fancier, I enjoy Kiss My Face’s natural organic lip gloss. No need for pricey department store lipsticks that cost over $30 — no thanks! I used to work as a make-up artist and can tell you that you don’t need those products to be beautiful or spend more money to look great. You can find Beauty Without Cruelty product online, and find Kiss My Face at Whole Foods and even Walmart, along with online too. I don’t wear makeup every day and normally can go six months without buying any, but it is nice to have and sometimes fun to put on!

Beauty doesn’t have to be pricey or expensive, nor does your wardrobe or any other part of your life, unless you choose it to be. Simple can be beautiful and satisfying when we give ourselves permission to experience it.

Be a rebel to an industry that tells us otherwise — it’s pretty nice on this side of the fence.

Lead Image Source: Heather McClees