Once upon a time, in a land not too far from here, lived a girl named Jennifer. Small in stature, tiny in frame, possessing exotic features and a mind that worked overtime, Jennifer was raised like any other typical girl.
Taught from a young age that external beauty is highly valued in our society, Jennifer learned to wear make-up, shave her legs and underarms, wax her bikini, tweeze her eyebrows, paint her nails, dye her hair and style it. And to keep her skin in flawless condition, she moisturised, moisturised, and moisturised! She bought countless beauty products, upgraded to seemingly 'better' (note: expensive) beauty products, booked herself into hair appointments, nail appointments, and bikini waxes... the whole shebang. In fact, Jennifer became the very woman that she was trained to become.
She became The Ultimate Beauty Game Player.
Of course this is my story. If you’re a woman, chances are that your story is a lot like mine. Whether you are aware of it or not and regardless of any genetic blessings you may have been endowed, just like me, you are also playing The Beauty Game.
Beauty is more than skin deep - but this is often forgotten when you get on the external beauty treadmill
Up until recently, I was trying to succeed at this game. I didn’t go so far as to get surgically altered such as breast implants, and I didn’t do anything injectable such as botox and collagen, but I did wear makeup on a daily basis, wore false eyelashes to special events and had a manicure every other month.
However over the last several years, it has dawned on me that The Beauty Game is actually a difficult game to play. It robs you of lots of money. It takes up a lot of time that could be better spent elsewhere. You expose yourself to hundreds of unnecessary and toxic chemicals. And by participating in this game you soon judge beauty by the ridiculous standards the 'game' sets and forget that character contributes just as much to the idea of beauty as physical appearance.
These days I play the game from time to time, but I don’t play it on a daily basis like I used to. There is something to be said for going au naturale where "inner beauty" is front and centre rather than putting on the beauty mask. And in those times I decide to play The Beauty Game - the game is played on MY terms.
A glimpse into my natural beauty routine
So if you want to give up the beauty chase and learn to embrace a more natural idea of beauty, take a look at my routine and take from it what you wish:
I was always afraid that if I didn't wear it I'd smell like BO, but now I know that this isn't true having gone without much of the year. I do wear it on occasion, usually when I’m in town (once a week) or have an event on. And according to my fiance, I smell fine. Phew.
I stopped dying my hair several years ago when maintenance, expense and chemicals were giving me headaches. And whilst I can make my own shampoo with baking soda and water and I can use coconut oil for conditioner, buying shampoo and conditioner is a luxury that I at least allow myself. I’ve tried many brands, but Eco Store is my first preference for shampoo and conditioner as the products are made from natural ingredients and doesn’t leave my hair feeling oily. I also wash my hair every second or third day.
Mum taught me to moisturise daily to keep my skin supple - after showering, after washing my face in the morning and before going to bed. I gave this routine up mainly because I didn't feel that my skin needed it and really haven't noticed a change in my skin condition since. Nowadays, I moisturise when I feel like it, which is really only when I want to pamper myself or when my skin feels dry, which is hardly ever.
As with deodorant.
I only wear makeup when I’ve got an event on or heading into town. Sometimes I may use it when I'm organising an outfit post, but this isn't often. You may see me wearing red lipstick on the rare days I feel like crap. Last time I wore red lippie though was nearly a year ago!
I don’t use cleansers that often as I don't wear enough make up to warrant the need for it. So I just use water. I do have Sukin on standby in case I need the extra help with removing makeup. For eye make-up remover, I use Nude by Nature. And then I use a DIY toner (1 part apple cider vinegar with 4 parts water) which is my secret to blemish free skin. When I’m travelling or on holidays I will use Wotnot facial wipes as it saves me time, it's natural, uses some certified organic ingredients, its Australian made – and it works!
Now over to you: If you’ve recently reassessed your participation in The Beauty Game or in the process of transitioning away from it, why not share your story? We can support each other and perhaps along the way, help to influence the many young women waiting in line to play it and perhaps even sway some of the veteran players too 🙂