Be-You-Tiful

Today I decided to finally cross off something of my ‘to do list’ I’ve been dreading for a long time now.

Those who know me know that I’m a sucker for pretty packaging, especially when it comes to makeup and beauty products, which resulted in me hoarding those things like crazy for the past few years. Especially the makeup was getting out of control. I bought makeup I would never even wear, but just bought because it looked so pretty or because “some day” I was really going to do a full face makeup on a regular basis. Well, “someday” never came and my makeup stash kept growing and growing.

Don’t get me wrong, I love makeup! I think it’s a wonderful thing to enhance your natural beauty a bit more. There have been times I wouldn’t leave the house without makeup on, but luckily I grew more confident about my own appearance and don’t need makeup to feel good about myself anymore. When I do apply makeup, it’s because I want it, not because I need it.

So today the long and difficult process of sorting out all my makeup and beauty supplies started. I already threw out a lot of it a few weeks ago, but there was still plenty left.

While sorting out all my makeup, I noticed I had a really hard time letting go of some of the items, especially the completely unused items and the expensive ones. It just felt like a waste to throw them out, which, of course, it was. But just because it’s a waste, doesn’t mean you should hold on to it. For me, it just didn’t feel right. All that stuff was weighing me down, because every time I saw it, I felt the pressure to use it. Something I didn’t want, because I don’t feel comfortable wearing foundation or lipstick, and believe me, I had a lot of those!

While I’m usually pretty down to earth when it comes to cleaning out my belongings, the little voice inside my head saying “but…” and “what if…” became pretty present during the few hours it took me to sort out all the makeup and beauty supplies. I guess the reason I had a harder time sorting those things out than sorting out clothing and other belongings, is because I always felt, until the past few years, that I needed makeup to feel okay about myself and to get accepted by others. My addiction to beauty supplies and makeup started at a young age, making it harder to let go of, because it had been such a big fundamental part of me for many years.

So what got me to finally throw out all that stuff? First of all, necessity. Necessity really is the mother of invention. It usually isn’t until we really need to, before we change. As you all could read in my previous blog, I’m moving next month and the new house is quite a bit smaller than my current one, calling for some serious minimalising. Second of all, the burden of all those products was becoming more and more present. Every time I opened up the drawer, there were those products again, becoming heavier on me everything I saw them. Third of all, those products represent the old me, the past, the times I felt incomplete  and unaccepted without makeup.

It became quite a process, but once I really got into the right mindset, it became a lot easier! Yes, it still was a struggle and it really made me realise how dependent a person can be on stuff, but it was worth it (oh, that reminds me of that brand new L’Oréal shampoo I really didn’t like I just got rid of). Something that really helped me was to Google ‘Minimalist Makeup Bag’ and to just look at the makeup supplies others have and to read there stories. So thank you all who are sharing there experiences with minimalism. Another thing that helped me, was to pick items that felt good to me. For instance, I had a lot of lip balms, and when I say a lot, I mean A LOT! I only kept the ones based on natural products, and got rid of all the other ones.

Maybe you also could use a little bit of help sorting out your bathroom cabinets, so here are some tips that really helped me along.

  1. What are your favourite beauty items? Mascara, eyeliner, eyeshadow? And which brands? Those are probably the items you use on a regular basis. Keep those items. Those are clearly the items you really like and use, so no need to throw them out. If you have extras of those items (like I do. I have a habit of buying extras of items I really love, in case they get discharged), store them until you run out of the one you’re currently using).
  2. Which beauty items you own do you never use? Even when you answered ‘mascara and eyeliner’ on the first question, you can still have mascaras and eyeliners lying around that you never use. Maybe you’ve bought them because the ad looked great or because of the nice packaging. Maybe you’ve tried them out ones and decided you didn’t like the product or maybe you never even broke the seal on the packaging. Throw those items out or give them away. These are the items that are cluttering your life and mind, weighing you down.
  3. Which beauty items you own don’t you like? Do you own lipsticks even though you really don’t like wearing them? Or maybe it’s foundation, blush, powder, whatever. If you don’t feel comfortable wearing it, it’s time to part with those items. You probably will never use them or if you do, you won’t feel good about it.
  4. Do you have a hard time throwing out unused items? Give them to someone else! Someone else might love them and that way, it might not feel as such a waste to you.
  5. Make a list! Sometimes something as simple as setting a certain amount of products you are “allowed” to keep, makes things a whole lot easier! That total amount is totally up to you, just pick a number that feels comfortable to you. Maybe that number is three, maybe 50, whatever makes you feel good. You can even create a list of products and put a number behind it (for instance: Mascara (2), eyeliner (4)).
Some of the items that made the cut

All the items I ended up with

Here’s the list of items I ended up with. My total amount came down to 30. It still seems like a lot, but right now, these are the items I feel comfortable keeping. If it turns out I won’t be using some of these items, I will get rid of them.

Eyes

  • Mascara (2)
  • Eyeliner (5)
  • Eyeshadow primer (1)
  • Eyebrow pencil (1)
  • Eyelash curler (1)
  • Eyeshadow (3)

Face

  • BB cream (1)
  • Face primer (1)
  • Powder (1)
  • Blush (1)
  • Bronzer (1)
  • Concealer (2)
  • Highlighter (1)

Lips

  • Lip balm (3)
  • Lipstick (1)

Miscellaneous

  • Clear nail polish (1)
  • Fast dry drops (1)
  • Pencil sharpener (1)
  • Baby powder (1)
  • Hand cream (1)
Untitled-2

Some of the items that made the cut

In the end, I’m really proud of how I handled this process. It might seem trifle to some, like it’s just throwing out makeup, but to me it was closing a chapter of my life. It took me two full years to realise that I don’t need all that stuff to feel good about myself, that I don’t need makeup to be pretty, so to finally getting rid of all those beauty supplies and makeup items really meant a lot to me. I feel so much lighter now and the items I kept, are items I really love.

All the items I got rid of

All the items I got rid of


Hopes, dreams and thanks

My birthday is coming up, it’s on saturday to be exact. I’ll be turning 23 and the last 10 or so years have been challenging. There have been good times, but also many bad times. I won’t be going into it too much, but I’m just glad I somehow found the strength to carry on. So, 23. Not really a magical number and I never feel any older when my birthday comes and goes, but still, it has been another year on this wonderful planet, which gives some food for thought.

First, I have many thanks. I have a great family who stick with me no matter what, a wonderful boyfriend whom I dearly love, great in-laws who are always there to help, I have amazing friends, I have a roof above my head, I never need to worry about food or water, I have clothes to keep me warm, books to widen my imaginary horizon and I’m going to college to study to become something, out of many other things, I’ve always wanted to become (when it comes to my career that is). I also have the great pleasure to have two feline friends in my life. They thought me one of the most valuable lessons in life: The best things in life are free. For that, I’m enternily grateful.

So, what about my hopes and dreams… Because a girl has got to dream, right? My first and foremost dream is to have as little stuff as possible. Over the past few years I’ve gone from being a over consumer to a semi-minimalist and I’ve never been feeling better. I no longer define my self-worth by the amount of stuff I own. Owning less makes me happy, peaceful and humble. My second dream is to keep up the good spirit I’ve been having for the past year. Of course, there have been ups and downs, but so far, when it comes to my mood and view on things, this year was one of the best years I can remember. My third and last wish is to forgive myself when things do not go the way I planned it. I’m my own worst enemy and I would really like to be my best friend. I have some goals I really want to work on, like staying vegan at least most of the time and focusing on college, without forgetting to have fun. And because I’m a true believer in making your own dreams come true, I’m pretty sure I’ll be fine!

Getting out of your lazy-mode

Shame on me. Shame … on … me … It’s been, well, let’s just say, “a while” since the last time I’d posted a blog. It had nothing, or at least not much, to do with having no inspiration. It had to do with pure, loathed laziness. Nothing more, nothing less. Yes, I admit it: I can be lazy sometimes. It’s not even about having no motivation. It’s about liking to hang on my coach, watching stupid tv shows and thinking: “Maybe I should write a blog, it’s been a while … Nah, never mind *goes back into lazy-mode*”.

To be honest, I dislike that lazy side of my personality, but I never put much effort into changing something about it (maybe because I’m too lazy? :P). But I have to admit; being lazy has caused many disappointment in my life. And yes, I’m the only one to blame.

Yes, thanks to my lack of effort to give myself a kick in the butt I’ve failed a lot of things. Yes, that sucks. Yes, I feel a bit sad about that sometimes. And that, feeling sad, is the point were I hit the brakes, get out and look at myself in disbelieve. You feel SAD about failing things because You Were Too Damn Lazy?! Excuse me?! Shame on you! Shame … On … You …

Yes, shame on me. Drowning into a pool of self-pity when I’m the only one to blame is disgusting! It’s making me feel sick about myself. So, what to do about it?

How to kick the lazy-habit?

Figure out what’s holding you back. Why is it so hard to do something? I mean, I like writing, a lot! But why is it taking so much to actually get up and do it? For me it’s usaully the fear of failure holding me back. I rather don’t try at all than fail something.

Make goals that are actually achievable. “Writing a book” seem a big goal, and it is, especially when you already have a hard time starting something. Such a big goal might discourage you even more. So start with a smaller goal, something like “write 250 words”.

Ask for help (if you need it). If you find something too hard to do on your own, ask someones help. Ask them to write with you or to read what you’ve written so you feel a little bit of pressure to actually finish your goal.

Whatever you do, don’t look for excuses. It’s easy to think: “Nah, I already did so much today, it’s perfectly understandable that I don’t feel like writing right now.” It’s easy to come up with an excuse not to do something. Instead, try to think: “I’ll do what I have to do, so I can do what I want to do.”

Consider getting rid of your television. Don’t shout me! Hear me out please. Think about all the benefits! You will gain so much extra time when you’re no longer wasting your time with watching stupid tv shows. And besides the extra time, think about the lack of temptation to lie around watching it constantly. But maybe you’re like me. Getting rid of your television might be a little bit too radical for you too. Maybe you can consider going to a TV-free place for a few hours a day, like the library or the local park or something, to get things done.

Get out off your lazy-mode. Even the smallest things might get you up and get going. Maybe just getting up to wash your hands might be enough to get you out of your lazy-mode.

Try not to make things bigger than they are. If you feeling reluctant to what you WANT to do, it might be because you’re creating an elephant out of a mosquito. Think about the small vs. big goals again. When you’re goal is to write 250 words, but you keep thinking about that whole book you “have” to write, it might get a real big step to get started. Focus on the journey, the little goals.

Do things NOW! Don’t wait until tomorrow. Don’t even wait until the next hour. Just Do It NOW!

If nothing works, and you feel like it’s not only about being lazy, there might be more going on, like a depression. Seek medical help so you can talk about your problem and look for a solution.

(I used writing as an example, but of course you can use these tips for whatever goal you would like to achieve)

The fears of minimizing

Remember the goal I’d set for myself in my first post? No? Here’s a reminder:

The first goal: Photograph everything I’m going to put up for sale.

I did it. I’ve made pictures of my shoes (3 pair, sold!), my dresses (4 dresses, sold 1 so far), some necklaces (5 to be exact, sold 1 so far), my BlackBerry (sold!) and my camera (sold!).

I’m pretty sure there is more clothing, books, DVDs and other stuff I could put up for sale, but these where the main items I’ve been wanting to get rid of. So this is a good start!

I’ve also collected all the magazines that were lying around the house, collecting dust. I’ve stopped buying magazines ages ago. My parents gave me a subscription on Quest Magazine for my birthday, my mom gives here magazines to me after she’s done reading them, and if I really would like to read a certain magazine, I borrow it at the library. But I still had a lot of old magazines stuffed away at the back of some shelves.

So I took them all, put them in a large bag and brought them to my boyfriend’s mother. She works at a nursing home, so she brings the magazines to work for the people there to read.

Simon, one of my cats, is a huge fan of bags. He wasn’t to pleased about me taking away “his” bag of magazines.

When I was sorting out my jewelry I came across some stuff I thought one of my friends would like. So I packed it, went to her house and gave it to her. She was very pleased with it.

So the house is getting emptier one step at a time. I’m still afraid to open some cabinets, because I know the amount of stuff that’s hidden behind the cabinet doors … I’m pretty sure it will start to hunt me in my dreams after a while, so I have to face all that stuff sooner or later.

I do believe fear is a natural reaction when you’re simplyfing or minimizing your life. We live in a society where it’s totaly normal to buy all kinds of stuff. The amounts of advertisement are enormous. Whether it’s to make you buy the latest game consoles, try out the most vibrant hair coloring products or to lure you to the movie theater to see all the new movies that came out.

In our society it seems like what you own is who you are. So by getting rid of stuff, you might get the feeling you’re getting rid of yourself. Or at least I do sometimes.

Or as Karl Augustus Menninger said:

Fears are educated into us, and can, if we wish, be educated out.