Minimalist Beauty for Women

Posted in Beauty, Minimalist on Dec 14, 2011.

minimal beauty

A lot of things come to mind hearing the word “minimalism,” but the topic of beauty isn’t usually one of the top ten. Lately I’ve been thinking about what it means trying to be a minimalist woman in today’s society.

I think the ultimate extreme of this is not wearing make-up, shaving my hair off, and wearing a cloth robe every day with no shoes. Hence the addition of “today’s society.” How do we take that into modern times?

When I think of minimalistic beauty I think of creating a routine for yourself that is fast, easy, and doesn’t require too many resources. A woman who looks effortless but put together is beautiful, in my opinion. Here’s how I would imagine minimalistic beauty for a woman who may look simple but still looks gorgeous:

  • Long hair. I had this internal debate for a while, but I’ve finally made up my mind. Long hair is the easier. I never have to think about it; I don’t even remember the last time I cut it! Shorter hair, while you may think takes less time to take care of, ends up being high maintenance when it comes to both trimming and style.
  • Natural make-up. While it would be great to purchase only cruelty-free make-up (it’s not hard ladies, really!) I think every girl needs a make-up routine that they can get done in five minutes. (Ten, tops!) Make-up should be about accentuating your natural look, not dramatizing it. It’s always great to have fun with make-up, but I usually save that for special events.
  • Conscious clothing. Be aware of what you’re buying. Whenever I buy clothes I ask myself if it’s a need or a want. Most of the time it’s a need, and if it’s a want I swap something out of my closet that I’m sick of and donate it. This way your clothes are kept at a minimum, but you can still enjoy shopping.
  • Quality accessories. I find that I only wear jewelry that has value, otherwise it gets tossed in a pile that I later give to a family member. Have only a few accessories, but make them special.
  • Necessary shoes & bags. I’m not a shoe person, but I admit that I have a thing for bags. Either way, I only keep an item that has a purpose. For example, one pair of sneakers, one shopping bag, one pair of brown heels, one tote bag, etc. Having a collection of shoes and bags in every color is just a no-no for simplicity.

What’s your idea of minimalistic beauty?  Do you consider yourself a minimalist or do you indulge when it comes to beautifying yourself every day?

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  • http://briar-rose.net/blog Paola

    1) I would really like to see you in a cloth robe with your head shaved. This would amuse me for about 10 mins before I started shrieking at you about it… LOL.
    2) You ADMIT to regifting costume jewelry to your family… this is awesome. Hahahahaha
    3) Actually I have done the same thing which means it is even more awesome.

    Anyway, I do the same things you mentioned in this post! (I always thought it was just because I'm cheap and prefer to be low maintenance. Now I can be classy and call it "minimalist." LOL) Btw I also have a thing for bags… but I just make sure I buy bags that I really love, structurally and aesthetically, so that I can rotate through them and it feels like a new bag even though I just switched. I learned this from my mom. Our bag fetish is hereditary. Haha

    • http://one-parade.com Marjorie

      1) YOU WOULD! Haha
      2) They're perfectly aware, I don't try to hide it! It goes sort of like this: "Hey Kerstin, here's a handful of jewelry I never wear." She loves it. Sometimes I just drop it into her pile of jewelry and I don't think she even notices.
      3) We're both pretty awesome.

      That's why I'm "minimalist." ;) I'm super cheap too and I'm always trying to cut corners to see how I can make something easier. Hey, it's totally in right now…

      We definitely feel the same way about bags. LOL! I even do the same thing with them. My mom has a thing for bags too, so it's got to be a genetic wiring…
      My recent post Minimalist Beauty for Women

  • Alix

    I think that arguably long and short hair can be minimal (when I had short hair, I didn't find the maintenance to be much more complicated then with my current longer hair). I think it depends more on how stylized you want the hair to look.

    I went through a phase where I was wearing a fair amount of makeup on a daily basis: fondation, coverup, powder, 2 shadows, liner, mascare and blush. I stopped the day I looked at myself in the mirror and found myself thinking I looked "ugly" without makeup. Now I'll do a "full" face of makeup for a special event but or else my routine is shadow, liner, mascara and takes me no more then 5 minutes in the morning but if I'm running late, I have no issues not wearing any makeup at all to work or anywhere else. I guess that lands me somewhere around minimal? I still love makeup but I definitely agree that it should compliment your already natural looks and not try to turn yourself into someone else.

    • http://one-parade.com Marjorie

      I suppose that's true about hair. The way I see it, short hair requires trims MUCH more frequently to stay short and also required styling unless your hair naturally falls into place. (In which case… Super lucky!) On the other hand, I don't touch my long hair. At all. I wash it, put in serum, let it dry, and then I'm off to start my day. I haven't cut it in so many months… Compared to my shoulder length bob, my long hair is 100% effortless. Of course, to get away with this you have to accept your natural hair. So I guess there's a catch!

      I used to wear the same amount of makeup every day… I switched the heavy foundation for a tinted moisturizer and got rid of the eyeshadow. This summer I didn't wear any make-up at all. Now that I'm working, I need to look more presentable to clients so I really have no choice. But I think my routine takes 5-10 minutes. I'd love to keep it under 5!
      My recent post Minimalist Beauty for Women

  • http://watermia.org Amber

    I like what you have posted here. I guess if I think about what I do, I am about the same. Bags are my weakness, though. I cannot wait till I get a new bag. I think I had mine for about a year now…too long. Make-up, I hardly put it on when I go to work. Not very much of a morning person. Other than that, I wear make-up when I go someplace special or out, but it isn't that much: just moisturizer, power, eye-line, and mascara.

    Great post, and great ideas.

    • http://one-parade.com Marjorie

      Thanks, Amber! I'm with you on the bags… I have to trade mine in every once in a while.
      My recent post Minimalist Beauty for Women

  • http://lolitium.net nyuu

    I definitely agree with the long hair vs short hair comment. I've always liked short hair better but that's because there's a lot of work to it so it always look perfect, but with long hair you don't have to style it or trim so it is easier to manage. But the thing I dislike about long hair is that I have to spend more time shampooing and conditioning it and it gets in my way a lot XD; I really want short hair, but it's just too much work =__="" lol but I agree that long hair is more minimal.

    I'm taking more caution in buying cruelty-free makeup now =) I find it hard though with drugstore makeup or maybe I'm looking in the wrong place. But with name brand it's very easy. Either way, I kind of stopped buying makeup since it isn't important compare to the textbooks I need to purchase.

    I'm horrible with clothing. I try to buy things I need, but I always buy because I want. Same with accessories. The bad thing is that I don't even use the accessories 99% of the time! So I have accessories that's never been worn. I've banned myself from buying accessories now because of it lol

    I'm a bag person too..but lately shoes been catching my eyes as well, but I only buy bags/shoes if I can match it many things easily.

    hmm.. I don't know if I consider myself minimalist. I think I am? I haven't put much effort into my appearance lately… but I think that's just due to lack of interest in it.

    My recent post Skeletons vs Vampires

    • http://one-parade.com Marjorie

      Exactly! With short hair I had to fix every little whispy hair that was out of place and straighten it every day, because my waves didn't flow in the right directions. Now with my long hair I just wash, put serum, let it dry over night, and then leave it alone until the next time I wash it. You're right on the cleaning though — It does take a ton of shampoo. Haha! I haven't had my hair this long for a while now, so I'm relearning things like not leaning on certain walls or my hair will get pulled, taking my hair out from under my shirt, etc. But I'm totally okay with all of these things for the effortless time it takes to look presentable with it!

      Hooray for cruelty-free! I've been buying cruelty-free for quite a few months now, maybe six. Drugstore makeup is the hardest… I only buy Revlon, since 99% of others test on animals. Otherwise I head over to Ulta or Sephora and it's much easier to see brands that don't test. My favorite is Tarte! But like you, I haven't purchased new stock in quite a while.

      LOL! I went on an accessories binge a while back and I feel bad about it because I haven't been using them. I guess those are my weakness too… Clothes I am super picky about, so it's rare when I get new clothes.

      I do the same with bags, they have to match!

      Minimalist has so many meanings to different people. I think it's being conscious of what you're using in terms of money, time, and resources. I think you are! Sometimes there are more important things than appearance. :)
      My recent post Minimalist Beauty for Women

  • http://www.graphicfighter.net Sandy

    THIS.

    How come I always find myself relating so much to your way of living/thoughts? Are we long-lost sisters or what? Anyway, back to the topic! I'm a minimalist and eco-conscious person in everything I do, but I think you already know that.

    When it comes to hair, I couldn't agree more. I come from super long damaged hair (until 16) to terrible short hair (until 22ish), back to healthy layered long hair (now 28). When unstyled, my fine short hair wouldn't behave, like it had a mind of its own! That was terrible. I also found that they would grease a lot faster due to me constantly trying to put them back in place with my hands.
    Recently, I learned how to trim my own hair which is a revolution for me for all the years to come. It's free and I can do so every now and then to prevent hair split. There's no hairstylist on this planet who knows how it parts or behaves better than myself and if it goes wrong, I can at least only blame one person ah ah. But so far, so good.
    I also gave up hair dyeing 5-6 years ago and I'm so happy to see my hair fully back to its natural color. I was very tempted by the ombre look a few months ago but decided not to give in. My hair hasn't been this healthy an low maintenance in years and I don't want to jinx my efforts.

    My views on make-up are about the same and I take that after my mother. Although I like the art of make-up, I'm too lazy to go all out on a daily basis and in some way, I admire the women who take the time to do so every morning. I'm bare face most of time but if you find me with make-up on during the week, that'll be with a little bit of concealer/highlighter, blush, mascara, eyeliner, lipbalm and brow redefinition. I hate the feeling of foundation and powder. I save those for photoshoots or special occasion only.
    As geek or silly as it may sound, I think my forever role-model in terms of natural beauty will always be the Final Fantasy girls. I grew up with their image in mind and their design, even if unrealistic, perfectly represents my idea of "effortless".

    Clothing! My wardrobe is in constant shift. While some people have cash flow, I have cloth flow ah ah. When I buy something, I always make sure it won't be a double (e.g. 2 pieces of very similar styles/color/use). I hate doubles. And if it's going to be a double, I make sure to sell the used piece on eBay or donate it if it doesn't really have value. You could probably define my vision of fashion as "wardrobe staples with a fashionable twist". Which means I like me some good quality basics (semi luxe) with a mix of more fashionable cheaper pieces (high street).

    Quality accessories? Yes, yes and yes. I find myself never enjoying costume jewelry for more than 2 weeks, especially rings. If I can't wear them on a daily basis, I just end up forgetting them in the back of a drawer. What a waste of money… As my taste always change, I never quite keep the same jewelry set for years though, except for my engagement ring. ;)

    Shoes and bags would fall in the same category as clothing. Shoes: I don't own a lot, simply because those that fit me perfectly are rare, and comfort is an absolute point for me. I can, however, spend a lot if I find The One because I know it will last for years (some pairs I have are almost vintage now, ah ah).
    Bags: I only have one (the blue leather satchel from ASOS I posted on twitter a few weeks back), but I change twice or thrice a year by selling the previous one if it's still in good condition. I usually use it until something breaks though, which is why I have a no designer bag policy. I also speak from experience: they're just all made the same way and if I were to spend 1000$ in a bag which seams would rip after a few months of daily use, I don't think I could forgive myself.

    Phew… that was a pretty long comment!

    • http://one-parade.com Marjorie

      We do have a lot in common! Haha. I'm so glad you commented because I love talking about minimalistic/eco-conscious topics. :)

      I have thick, wavy hair so short hair was a nightmare on me too. I mean don't get me wrong, I looked great once I styled it, but every morning I woke up my hair was curling in all the wrong places. Long hair puts weight onto my waves and loosens them, so I can just wake up in the morning, put in some serum, and head out with wavy hair. I've been trimming my own hair too! I haven't had it cut professionally in about 7 months, but I'm at the point where my layers are all different lengths and I need help getting them proper again. So I just booked an appointment today! Have to be strict and tell them not to touch my bottom layer… As far as dying, I learned that the hard way this year. I had virgin hair up until May, when I suddenly decided to dye it every color under the sun until October, when I finally stopped after realizing the damage I'd done. Now I'm on the long road to recovery… I miss my healthy hair!

      My mother is the same. :) Healthy skin looks best over makeup. (And most guys will agree!) I wish I had the gall to go into work without makeup on but I haven't done it yet. I have to meet with clients and I feel more presentable if I go with makeup. I also hate foundation… I only wear it for special events where photos are involved. Otherwise I'm all over tinted moisturizer! You're right on the money with Final Fantasy… Now that I think of it, all the main girls are shown looking radiant with next to nothing in terms of having makeup on. They were just healthy, glowing, and effortless.

      I'm at the point in my life with clothing where I'm learning what my style is. I've finally found it at this point, so my wardrobe is SLOWLY going through an overhaul. I do the same thing you do with doubles — if I find something better but looks similar to something I have, I donate the other one. I love your style. :) My style is definitely essentials with a soft/feminine touch. It's good to know what you're drawn too instead of being confused with how to style outfits. I'm so glad I figured out what I like!

      On the money again with accessories… I only wear my special stuff. And of course, the engagement ring is an every day piece. ;) haha

      I just invested in a good pair of brown heeled boots, so again I'm totally with you on quality over quantity! I'm willing to spend the money if I know it'll be used very frequently and it's going to last a long time. I do the same with bags. My current one is broken and needs to be switched out! My bags tend to get very banged up, so I also avoid designer. Everyone where I live owns designer, and although my mother gave me her old Coach bag I keep it in the closet. I know it will get rubbed on my jeans, dropped on the floor, ripped at the zipper, etc. My bags have to be disposable…

      LOVED your comment!!! Thank you. :)
      My recent post Minimalist Beauty for Women

  • http://bibliothequ.es Renee

    As Sandy says – THIS. I agree totally. I've been trying to grow my hair out (haven't had it trimmed or styled since August this year), am cutting down on clothes shopping while maximizing my options with accessories, and am looking (always looking!) for the perfect five-minute makeup routine. I've almost got that one figured out (BB Cream, anyone?) – I'm just going to minimize the things I put on my face for day-to-day situations. There is no need to pile makeup on my face to meet the day. Day be damned, I'm going natural.

    Also, I've always admired the Final Fantasy ladies (from the most recent installments) ability to look so fresh! I want people to look at me and know what they see is what I am – imperfect but happy in my own skin anyway. This means getting rid of a lot of what I have (not my NAKED palette, though!) and spending more time on my health, not beauty.

    I'm doing my best with this move I'm having to make to pare down my stuff so that my life is so much simpler. At the moment, I can't do too much about it, but I'm hoping that by being forced to go through my things for storage and what-not, I'll be able to cut some of it down.

    Love this post :D
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