Makeup Files

It all started with this lip color.

makeup files faceNyx Liquid Suede cream lipstick in Cherry Skies. Not for every day.

It’s a long and boring story, but the point is that I pulled all my makeup out from under the sink and realized that it’s not very much makeup at all.

I have a minimalist skincare and makeup routine. That’s not by design—I didn’t set out to downsize my gear or the steps I take in the service of some noble calling like inner peace or streamlining my getting-ready time. I just do what I think is needed, and that’s it. Over the years I have tried on different skincare lines which I liked, but didn’t take. I really did love the products if I blogged about them here (I don’t write about products I wouldn’t recommend) but once they ran out, I just went back to my good old Cetaphil skin cleanser and whatever-I-have-hanging-around moisturizer. Right now it’s First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream (thanks to Romy Raves) which I use daily because my skin is so dry. Every few days I put coconut oil on my face first. Oh, who am I kidding? I do that every few months when I remember to. But it’s nice.

Here’s the sum total of the makeup I own:

makeup files collection

Here’s the makeup I actually use sometimes:

And here’s what I wear every day:

makeup files dailyCarmex
Elf Conditioning Lip Balm in Bombshell Brown
Too Faced Born this Way Concealer

I could probably get away with only owning those last three things, but I like wearing eyeliner, mascara, and lipstick sometimes. I hate wearing foundation, but for those events when I want to even out my skin tone for photos, or to feel extra confident in a meeting or presentation, I’ll use BB cream. Do other people still use BB cream? I use it so rarely that the tube I got in 2012 is the same one pictured above.

I keep the frequently used collection in a small basket right on my vanity for easy reach, and the rest in a small container under my sink. I whip out rarely-used lip colors, or eyeshadow and blush, once in a great while. It makes for easy storage and access, and I don’t have to rummage to find the right item when I’m hurrying to get ready to leave the house.

What’s in YOUR makeup basket?

 

Last Minute Gift: Vellabox Candle Subscription

My gift guide has only one thing on it: Vellabox candles. 

I first met Vellabox last year and I loved it at first sight. It’s the only subscription box that has come along that I would actually recommend. Clothes, makeup? No thank you. But candles? I burn through candles like crazy. I love their glow and the way they fill a space with the scent of my choice.

The thing is, I don’t actually go candle shopping. Sometimes I wind up in the candle section at a store by accident. So the idea of a box of candles showing up at my house every month sounds like a dream to me.

Also, I don’t really go shopping. So I’ve been ordering gifts online almost exclusively this holiday season, and I’m definitely running out of time. This year we’ll be traveling to see family at Christmas time, so I have to keep everything light and/or shipped to our destination.

vellabox packaging

vellabox candles

That’s why Vellabox is the perfect gift idea for you – it’s only a few days ’til the end of Hannukah and one week ’til Christmas! If you order a Vellabox subscription now, your loved one will get a surprise gift of warmth and deliciousness later. (You can snag a fancy candle from a local store to wrap it up with the printed certificate, but I would just print that and stick in our holiday card.) This is truly a last minute gift that keeps on giving!

vellabox office candle

Vellabox subscriptions are $10-$30 per month. Each comes with at least one candle and a surprise gift, and the boxes at all levels are lovingly hand-packed, making the unboxing experience a delight in someone’s day. This box is the “Vivere” box, that comes with 2 candles and a surprise gift.

I received a complimentary Vellabox. I shared one of the candles and the snack treat with my family, but I kept Granma’s Pumpkin Pie for myself. 😉 All opinions are my own.

How To Host a Clothing Swap – New-to-You Clothes For Free

clothing swap topsFour of the many tops I’ve gotten from clothing swaps

For a few years now I have been attending a clothing swap organized by a friend of a friend, and I love the experience so much that I want to spread the joy. The basic idea is that you take the clothes you never wear and bring them to the host’s house, and then offer each piece up to the others who have attended. Whatever doesn’t get claimed by a new owner goes in a giant pile, and gets taken to Goodwill.

clothing swap peacock topFavorite top for work, and peep toe shoes.

It’s a great way to find a good new home for your own stuff, and to bring new pieces into your own wardrobe. Excellent side effect: making new friends. I never take pictures at these events so I’m just using pictures of just a few of the items I’ve added to my wardrobe over the years that way.

Clothing swap skirtBlack and white cotton skirt. I only wore this once and brought to next swap

This idea goes along with the capsule wardrobe concept I’ve been practicing for the past several months (read it about it here on my personal site). The goal is to simplify your wardrobe and stop buying new stuff. With a clothing swap, the new stuff was going to be donated anyway so even if you wind up not loving it, you can just pass it on to donation or bring it back to a future clothing swap and see if it can grace someone else’s closet.

How To Host a Clothing Swap

Set a time and date when you can spend at least a few hours going through clothing and trying things on.

Invite people you think would be into this kind of thing. (Friends who don’t like to wear secondhand clothing might not be into this kind of thing.) Tell them to bring their friends too. A good mix of body types means that everyone who comes is more likely to find something she likes.

Tell them to bring clothing, shoes, jewelry, other items they don’t use anymore but are still wearable. Torn, stained, or broken clothing can probably be fixed but aren’t as likely to be claimed by someone new.

Invite people to bring snacks and put out water and other beverages. All that flying clothing and trying on can make your guests thirsty and hungry. Adult beverages are helpful, too.

Have a separate room like a bathroom or bedroom where shy people can try things on. But don’t be alarmed when people just start stripping in your public space. It’s bound to turn into a Loehmann’s dressing room.

Once enough people have arrived with their stuff, take turns presenting your items to the group. You can just put everything out on racks or tables and make it like a shopping event, but it’s more fun to hear the stories behind the cast off clothing. I’ve heard people say “I loved this dress and wore it to 15 weddings. It’s time for it to find a new home.”

So when it’s your turn, hold up your items and tell people about them. “This is an Old Navy fleece, size medium, that I got engaged in. I don’t think the color works on me, though.” When another person is interested, she raises her hand and you toss the item to her so she can try it on. If two or more people want the same item of clothing, they can work out who gets first crack at it.

If nobody wants your sad old item, toss it in the Goodwill pile. This pile will grow as the event goes on. At the end, people might sift through it, giving those things a second glance.

After the event is over, immediately load the leftovers into your car and take them to a donation center.

Then wash the new-to-you clothing items and add them to your wardrobe. Enjoy!

clothing swap tie dye dressFloor-length tie-dyed dress I wear as a swim cover-up. Cheers!