Being a minimalist isn’t about going without, it’s about deliberately choosing less of the unimportant stuff so you can choose more of the things you love.
Recently, I watched an interesting spat play out on a well-known Minimalist’s blog when he shared a post from another well known Minimalist who wrote, among other things, about her make up purchases.
Readers immediately jumped up and down about that point and that point alone, as if she had committed some huge minimalist faux pas as well as crimes against feminism. To the original blogger’s credit he rose to her defence and commented that everyone’s vision was different and if she found joy in make up that was her deal. And it really is.
My favourite minimalists are the ones who seek to live a simplified life or one with intention. The lives they have chosen appear to be full of family, friends and simple joy. They’re not just getting rid of stuff because it’s the latest trend. Nor are they single people living in a room with just one chair and a macbook.
I’ve never been a heavy make-up user but let’s face it, I’m not in the first flush of youth anymore and we all know women of a certain age start to fade – literally. Sure I could choose to fade to beige but since a pale washed out version of myself does not bring me joy, I like to colour things up a bit. And that means choosing make up that suits me and my lifestyle.
I’m not willing to use cheap products, ones that are bad for the environment or most importantly have been tested on animals. So I choose my products carefully and when I like something I tend to stick with it. I like to think I’m opting for style over fashion but maybe I’m just staid!
I love these products, they colour my day. Subtly, of course!
As part of my minimalist journey I sought to rationalise my personal expenditure. Changing careers played a key factor in this decision-making process too. Not even in the name of self-care could I justify spending vast amounts at the hairdresser every five weeks.
So I grew my hair into a slightly longer style that could go for longer periods between cuts and changed from getting a full head of foils each time to a half head. I also decided to embrace the naturally-occurring silver streaks that are growing in number with each passing day.
My hair still looks great but is costing about a third less over the course of a year. The longer style also reduced the need to wash it every second day or use daily styling product. I’ve halved the amount of of shampoo and conditioner I use.
The silver streaks are all natural!
Something else still I do routinely is get my eyebrows waxed. In the past I’d buy three different products to darken and/or highlight them. Now I get them tinted at the same time as waxing and the savings are adding up. I remember thinking tinting was an added expense I didn’t need but really I was just investing in a false economy by purchasing multiple (beautifully packaged) products instead.
Still the point remains, what minimalism looks like to me probably isn’t what it looks like to you. You might think my continued support of the beauty industry is a waste of money and a crime against minimalism. And that’s ok.
What is important is that you choose the life you live and live it with intention and joy. And let others do the same.