As I was casually digging through my make-up bag, it finally dawned on me, that I (someone, who is too damn far away from a concept of "minimalism") have been using exact same make-up products over and over again [in order to create an exact same make-up look] for more than a month now. Every make-up addict's horror story, I know. How could it happen? And, most importantly, what have I learned from this experience?
#1 it's very easy to go basic
I am certainly a girl, who has way too much make-up. Not Shaaanxo much make-up, but I have a pretty decent collection, which could make a lot of make-up freelancers jealous. As my mom always says "you don't need to buy every single shade of lipstick", I still can't help it and would rather skip on that juicy New York strip steak and buy Chanel's camellia highlighter instead. Because skinny and fabulous, right?
Normally I use two different make-up bags: one big, one small. The first one is where I store make-up that I use at home, the second one is my travel-buddy. Since I knew I would be spending a month away from my Dubai home, I ended up loading my smaller make-up bag with just a few basic essentials. Plus, I just lost my baby dog at the time, so I was not particularly interested in rocking glitters and vampy lipsticks. Here are a few products I took with me: primer, foundation, under eye corrector, concealer, brow pencil, brow gel, eyeshadow stick, mascara, liquid eyeliner, blush, highlighter/contour stick and two-three pink/nude lipsticks. Oh yes, plus a lip balm.
I didn't take any falsies, curlers, pigments, lip liners, bronzers, setting sprays or anything like that at all. My travel bag never looked this anorexic and somehow I had enough products for a pretty long time. Which only proves that even if you are a big make-up hoarder, you can easily go basic.
#2 suddenly I have my own capsule make-up collection
You know those scary questions, that start off like "what if you would lose your entire make-up collection..." - I pretty much experienced it (virtually) by traveling and distancing myself from my stash. And you know, that stash and I have a very deep emotional connection.
When I glanced at what I brought with me, it really looked like one of those very minimal and down-to-earth/realistic make-up collections, which certain brands introduce now and again. Every single item was essential to me and my routine, plus I only brought what I really needed to look like a human and not like a glamazon, who watches too many YouTube tutorials (although it is pretty damn fine to be both).
No colourful eyeshadow palettes or cut creases? No popping highlights or blush shades for every season of the year? Finally, no lipstick options at all? Fine, capsule collections are just fine: I only had what I really needed and never felt more like a Glossier girl before. #capsuleisthenewblack
#3 you're ready in less than10 minutes
I am one of those people, who treats make-up application time as "me time". It is not about being in a rush or piling on make-up, because I'm trying to impress/please others - it is totally about me (and I hate being rushed when I am getting ready). Make-up time is one of those things you do, because it brings you joy, so that you can forget about the world for 40 minutes or so and keep on blending and sipping on that freshly brewed Nespresso. #amirite?
When you have literally a dozen of eyeshadow palettes and ten nude lipsticks in front of you - somehow you do waste a bit of time while choosing and playing with different colours and undertones. Plus those transition and crease shades won't blend themselves, y'know! But when your options are somewhat limited, you don't waste any time choosing - you just go with what you have. All this month I was wearing my KIKO Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadow in 05 and KVD Tattoo Liner in Trooper and that was about it! Although I had a tube of my L'oreal Telescopic, I never used it - because a. I cried over my fur baby for weeks; b. I hate removing mascara, so why bother wearing it in first place?
As a result - now that I know exactly what I am doing every day and I have not that many options really - I finish my make-up in less than 10 minutes. And although it doesn't bring me creative joy or true "me time" rapture, it still works just fine and I am not late to my morning meetings anymore.
#4 so long, mascara!
Continuing with my mascara strike, I should say that - it is totally fine to go mascara-free. Wow, now this thought alone would scare me about 2-3 years ago, but now I am a true "make love, not mascara" hippie. Plus there are a lot of unexpected perks like: you don't lose your eyelashes as much and you can rub your eye anytime you want.
Of course if mascara is your absolute must-have (like under eye corrector is for me, because I am a panda) then by all means go for it. Idea here is - you can easily eliminate a product or two and guess what? You will look just as beautiful and chances are - people won't even notice that your cheekbones are not as chiseled or your eyebrow tails are not as fleeky.
And yes - no need to worry about that either!
#5 skin actually gets better
Believe it or not, my skin cleared up quite a bit after I ditched foundation and only used my Becca Aqua Luminous Concealer for those areas that really needed a bit of coverage. Less clogged pores, less pimples. It might not be a realistic goal for everyone, but if you can - try it and hopefully you will get same results as I did. My skin is quite dry, so a water-based concealer with sheer coverage worked perfectly fine for me and honestly - I had zero breakouts and no one could even tell that I didn't apply my MAC Studio Sculpt in the morning. Win-Win!
#6 no one will care
Now - this might be the scariest lessons of them all - no one will give a flying monkey that you have switched up your make-up look. Especially men. What's even more spooky - they will still love you and, whether you are wearing Kim K W contour or not, chances are no one will even notice. Why? Because it is YOU who are fabulous (not your MAC Diane Kendal Quiktrik Stick).
Although it is kind of cool.
This is also one of the most liberating discoveries of them all. Living in Dubai - we women - are mentally pressured to wear fleeky make-up all the time. Of course natural beauty is appreciated, but it will be even more admired if you stick some Huda Beauty lashes on top of it. The month I spent in more of a European society made me realise that it is perfectly fine to wear minimal make-up even when you go to a fancy restaurant. Because no one will notice, hence no one will care. Except your dog of course; dogs always care about you.
#7 you will get bored
Just like with any other affair, eventually you will get pretty bored of it. You are probably thinking "you just listed so many pros and now that we are all excited..", I know. I know. But it is what it is and I won't fake it. Yes, ladies (and possibly some gentlemen) wearing the same [very basic] make-up can feel pretty boring at times. Yes, it is both quick and easy, but where is the fun part?
Being a creative soul - I love experimenting with make-up. After all they call it "art" for a reason and I do it for my own pleasure only. If glitter, baking and false lashes make you happy - then you do you boo and don't even worry about what others will say/think. It was never about them in first place. We live in a century, where both women and men have a freedom to wear whatever make-up they desire and if you are cool enough to wear black lipstick to the office - I applaud you!
One month in - and I already miss my red lipsticks, eyeshadow palettes and even brushes (yes I didn't take any with me either). Now that I know how to be Yoda of make-up and work with 4-5 products tops (yay me!), I kind of have an itch to set my inner Kylie Jenner free. And it is perfectly okay, because it is just make-up.
Your Own Make-Up Artist You Can Be