Emma's Minimalist Beauty Routine


Emma was kind enough to share her pared-down beauty routine from the beautiful city of Ghent. She writes:

A little info about my skin and hair. Extremely dry, and sensitive.  I have very curly hair, also extremely, extremely dry. The only trick that really works for me is oil, oil, oil (rice bran oil is my hero here, very affordable, neutral odor, and works like a charm). I have no trouble keeping lotions and potions out of my beauty routine, because too many failures made me think they don't work. In the past two years, I've given up on alternatives. Vanity stands in my way of me letting go of of my make-up- I think I am not alone here- but I do try and keep my routine as minimal-but-practical as possible.

So a lot of trial and error lead me to this easy concoction, which I use for everything hair-and-skin-related.   Rice bran oil - a coin-sized amount- before washing with only water, plus a bit of oil on the ends afterward, and my hair is happy. People don't seem to believe me when I say I don't use product! My hair is so dry, I never, ever have to worry about it getting greasy. It just goes its own way, and I’m very okay with that.  

I mix rose water, rice bran oil and a few drops of sea buckthorn oil and my skin is in heaven (also great for removing make-up). This mixture sets me back not more than 10€ per year, the winner over water for me. It feeds my skin, leaves it well moisturized and not overly smothered with oil. Heaven for me.


As I said, vanity is still a part of me. So in the mornings I do use a little foundation, blush and some eyeliner. Here my sensitive, dry skin leads me to brands that are effective, with as few nasty ingredients as possible (without compromising on results, of course). If I feel like it, I'll put on a little lipstick as well- it makes me feel good, lifts my mood, and my man's too (he is an absolute darling). At night I take it all off with my oil, and some water. Goes off like a charm, and my skin is hydrated for the evening.

I'm 28 years old and live in Ghent, Belgium. I was born with bad skin, literally, but over the years I've found that less is so much more. That is perhaps the best advice I can give- take a step back, and give your skin time to adjust. If, for example, you try a new potion or sample everyday, no way is that going to work. Simplicity is my go-to for everything, and the one thing that's certainly effective, even after many dermatologist visits. Also, I think I have a similar gut to Ariana's :-) Taking it easy with what you eat, and really enjoying it, is key to me.

That was it, quite simple in my own way. I hope you can get something out of it.



In gratitude,
Emma

Thank you for sharing Emma! I wasn't able to find a plastic-free Shopstyle affiliate link to rice bran oil, but if you can't purchase rice bran in bulk in your area, hemp, rosehip, apricot, and pumpkin seed oil are similar in linoleic acid content. To make zero-waste rose water and rose oil, click here for a DIY.

Paris to Go

24 comments:

  1. What a beauty! Thank you for sharing this post. I'm more on the minimalism side of things, not zero-waste, so this post is practical for me. I love Dr. Hauschka, the concept of holistic cosmetics in general intrigues me. I too love rice bran oil, it's the perfect amount of moisture without weighing down.

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  2. Thanks Emma! I am trying to streamline my beauty routine as well, as I use up some of my more commercial products. Wondering if you could share the approximate proportions you use for your skin care mix w/ the rosewater, rice bran oil, and sea buckthorn oil?

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    1. Also is this your face wash or moisturizer (or both)? How do you use it?

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    2. Hi Jill. Thank you for your question. I don't really know the exact size of my bottle, but in general i put in 2/3 of rice bran oil (Suriny is a brand that I can get in glass here, for less than 4€ per 700ml). 1/3 of rosewater and then add a few drops of sea buckthorn oil. The amount depents on you bottle of course, but I put in drops until the lush golden/orange colour is there. Hope this helps?

      I use this for everything, moisturiser, face wash, for my dry legs and dry hair. Even on the lips to add shine, or on my cheeckbones if I feel like more oomph. A real multitasker for me.

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  3. Perfect skin and hair. I've been trying to find a way to cut down on the number of steps in my makeup routine. A primer, foundation, powder, and highlighter is just too much for me, and that's not even counting eye makeup, liner, mascara, etc. I've always admired the way European women don't hide their skin and look undone, with a strong lip or strong eye as opposed to the stick straight or overly styled curls in the US (especially where I'm based). It takes me so long to get ready in the morning. I don't have bad skin but I'm used to feeling like I need a lot of product, particularly under the eyes. This post inspired me to get out with just a swipe of the Touché eclat. It feels a little weird right now without makeup caked on my face but I love how easy and quick it was. Please keep showcasing more posts like this.

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it! And glad Emma was willing to share. Yea I don't have much makeup experience. I used to sneak it from my mom but I never wore more than five products- foundation, blush, eyeliner, mascara, lip gloss. And then four products- uncoverup, blush, eyeliner, mascara... and then nothing!

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    2. Hi there. In the make-up front I have also learned that less is more. I hope this can help you without you feeling weird or undone. I have 4 products, which I use lightly, but if I need to, they perform their multitasking jobs. For example, (sorry for all the breaking of conventional make-up rules here!) if I need extra coverage or concealer I put on a bit more foundation locally. My blush can double as an eyeshadow, and my lipstick can do lips, cheeks and eyes! Handy no? And because I wear my eyeliner so thightly to my lashes, no one ever notices I do not put on mascar (mascara and me are born enemies! So I live without and feel very ok with that). Hope this can help you on your path to streamlining.

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  4. Very interesting post. I'm not ready to give up products yet, but I love multitaskers. Can't live without my Diorshow mascara and a red lip. It also lifts my mood and puts a spring in my step. Still, I'd like a more streamlined makeup bag. This helps a lot. Thanks for letting us in on your beauty secrets, Emma!

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    1. You are very welcome! Thanks to Ariana for giving me the opportunity (as, if I can say, a very devoted reader of the blog :-) ).

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  5. I enjoy hearing about people's beauty regimes. I strive to be minimalist with a desire to consume less but I'm a long way from zero waste. I have excellent skin and have aged well using just water and a face cloth or soap in the shower if I've worn makeup. Apart from acne days it never occurred to me to buy products for that purpose. In the last 6 months I have bought my first "products": cetaphil to replace the soap I had in the shower (because I bought new makeup) and a night cream by Paula's Choice (nearly 40). My makeup is Chi Chi Cosmetics (the box said all the right things about no animal testing and no irritants) it was a powder, bronzer blush powder kit which is perfect and all I need (when I was younger I loved buying makeup so this is very streamlined for me) It actually washes off really well so I don't think the soap is necessary now but I really think the cream has made a difference- not sure if I'll replace it when it runs out (it will last for ages) because I think ageing is a privilege and want to accept it gracefully.

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    1. Good morning! Sounds to me you are very very streamlined! I love your take on ageing, so wonderfully put.

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  6. Loved the post Emma. You look very beautiful and healthy.
    I also have a very simple make up routine : eye liner and mascara, and sometimes eye shadow when i am in the mood of something " stronger "

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  7. Emma, you have the most gorgeous glowing face !

    Ariana,

    I came here looking for some pointers for going waste free for hair. I dont think I am ready for baking soda and water yet. Is there any intermediate step I can look into ?

    p.s: I took out our trash can. Survived a week and rather proud. My guest hate it though.

    - Archana.

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    1. Thank you Archana. This means a lot! Your blog is one of my favourites too. Sad to see you go, but wishing you wonderfull adventures!!

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    2. Some day, Emma, I will be ready to try it. Working on it.

      :)

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    3. Archana, that is just awesome! My guests are always confused too. They open the cabinet under the sink and ask for the poubelle. It's so confusing to them.

      I don't recommend baking soda and vinegar because it destroyed my hair. Other people swear by it but it's just so harsh. Aloe vera gel, straight from the leaf, yogurt, an egg yolk, or honey and water were all great no-poo methods, just awfully expensive in Paris. Aleppo soap was wonderful in areas with soft water, but in Paris it just didn't rinse out...

      I just tried gram flour recently and it was wonderful. I also did a banana hair mask and it smelled so good and left my hair so nice... you just have to let hair dry completely, then brush vigorously to get all the bits of banana out after!

      Sorry for my horribly late reply, again...

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  8. Hi Emma, thanks for sharing your minimalist routine. Do you have a blog of your own? thanks!

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  9. Hi Kimberly. Thank you for your kind words! I do not have a blog as I do not feel I have as much tricks up my sleeve as Ariana... :-)
    If you however have any questions, I am more than happy to answer them.

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  10. Hi Emma, I'm really intrigued about this combination you use for dry skin. I've tried SO many products and oils for my dry skin (clinical-grade moisturizers, jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, coconut oil) to no avail. I'd like to know how you ended up with this combination. I'd be interested to try, especially for the cost-effectiveness!

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  11. Hi Loie. Thank you for your question. I hope to provide a good enough answer, but the reality is that for me it was a click that I needed to pair back and use way less on my skin. Especially since all the products my dermatologist was giving me were no where nere moisturising enough. Intuitively I started chearching and ended up here. Still very happy with my routine and the savings I've made.

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  12. Hello, Emma! I am so intrigued by your routine (and Ariana's blog and lifestyle!). I have a few questions about your mixture and routine if you are willing to elaborate. You mentioned being born with bad skin. If I may ask, what specific issues were you dealing with and was it this concoction that helped? As far as using your mixture as a cleanser, how exactly do you do that? Is it similar to oil cleansing even with the rose water in there? Do you use a cloth? Do you moisturizer morning and night? I am hoping my skin will love a mixture like this. The idea is so appealing to me and I would love to finally find something that is simple, effective, and yet still affordable! Thank you!

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    1. Hi Elizabeth. I was born with very dry and rough skin. My mom referred to specific patches on my skin as feeling like sanding paper, so very dry. For me, eating well (meaning specifically in my case, no wheat, no milk, and very very low on the sugar) changed a great deal and stepping away from what dermatologists use to give me: no perfumed cremes anymore and way, way fewer products.

      I use this mixture for just about everything, so also as a cleanser. At night, i rub my face in the mixture and then use a cloth with warm water. Everything comes of smoothly. Then a few drops for the night and I am good to go. I moisturise a lot, mornings and evenings, and when I am in an airconditioned room for example a train or a plain, I even have a mini bottle with the mixture to add some extra.

      I love the concoction because it is so simple and really cost effective. And the best part for me is that people compliment me on my great skin (!!!!), and how good I smell (that is of course the lush rose water). Mission accomplished for me. Hope this helps you out on your search. x

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  13. Thank you so much, Emma!

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