Simplifying Skincare + Makeup Products

I recently uploaded an Instagram Stories slide from our trip to Laguna Beach showing how my tiny beauty collection (which fits in a This Is Ground pouch) has saved me money, freed up space in our tiny bathroom, made traveling easier, and vastly improved my complexion. I received so many DMs requesting further details that I figured I should share more via the blog. (The last time I shared anything on this topic was in this postpartum body post.)

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We don't have any drawers in our bathroom, so when we first moved into the cottage, I upcycled a hardware drawer to contain my cosmetics. I sanded and painted the box (which I found on Etsy), and I loved how it looked and functioned. I used one drawer per category, and everything stayed organized thanks to drawer dividers. I could always find everything instantly. However, after a few years I began to worry that perhaps an old container like this might contain chemicals (or traces of them) that I should avoid when pregnant / breastfeeding, so I replaced it.

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I got rid of about 1/3 of my products so that my collection could fit into this well-designed cosmetics case. I downsized by asking myself the following:

  • Has this item irritated my skin in any way at any time?
  • Have I used this item within the past month?
  • Is it old or expired? (It could very well be harboring harmful bacteria if so...)
  • If I'm traveling, would I want to take this with me? Is it a must-have?
  • Am I saving it for an out-of-the-ordinary occasion, like Halloween or a themed party? (If so, that's absurd. It's got to go.)

Every item that remained had a cozy new home within the portable organizer, which was compact enough to fit in our bathroom cubbies or under the sink. I used this case for a several months before realizing that I was only ever fishing out the same handful of items day after day. Meanwhile, my skin started revolting after I finally fully weaned West off of breastfeeding. I was randomly breaking out in new places, and in different ways. (I'm 37 years old and regularly on camera, so I'm now at a point where I am really, really, REALLY over blemishes.) 

I wanted to pinpoint the products that worked with my skin, and identify the products that were causing me to breakout in tandem with my fluctuating hormones. I ended up eliminating the majority of the items within my cosmetics case, so I donated it and replaced it with two beautiful  This Is Ground Plug Packs that can easily fit in small handbags, or anywhere in the Cottage.

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MAKEUP
One pack carries my must-have cosmetics, which are now my only cosmetics:

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I rarely need brushes these days. I mainly use them to apply Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint on special occasions, or to apply shadow eyeliner or brow powder when I go out at night. But on the daily, I don't need high end, full-sized brushes any more.

I now carry this pack with me everywhere. It's nice to not have to pack up a small collection of makeup before heading out the door or on a trip. None of these products irritate my skin, and I like how they all look, both on my skin and within their packaging.

SKINCARE
The other pack carries my skincare products:

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(The two larger bottles live in the medicine cabinet, and I keep travel versions in the portable pack. More on that later.) I am a major fan of True Botanicals' cleansers, face oils and serums. I also use a goop eye cream, mermaid hair oil (from time to time), and Kate Somerville moisturizing sunscreen.

I've also begun getting facials once a month, which is a game-changer. If I can't make my monthly appointment, I wear Kate Somerville's ExfoliKate, which is available in a compact travel size. (I use the travel size at home, because it's easy to fit in the medicine cabinet, and it would take me years to get through a full-sized bottle anyway.)

I use coconut oil to remove my eye makeup before applying anything else before bed. I just let the oil melt in my hands, and then use my fingers to gently clear away mascara and liner before rinsing clean with water and patting dry.

I have a full size Foreo Luna 2 for facial cleansing use at home.

TRAVEL
I am never one to grab or hoard sample products. I find that they usually end up sitting unused for years, adding to miscellaneous drawer clutter. But I do request or buy samples of the skincare products I use regularly but find hard to pack for travel:

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My favorite sample packs are available for purchase from True Botanicals. They also make compact, TSA-approved travel bottles for their products. 

When I travel, I obviously can't fit the larger full-sized skincare bottles in my 2nd This Is Ground pouch, so I keep trial sizes in there instead. I use a Foreo Luna Go, which is a fantastic tiny cleansing tool. Lastly, I use a travel pack of makeup removers instead of coconut oil when I'm on-the-go, as there isn't always a sink immediately available. 

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