It’s no secret that I like to keep things as streamlined and minimal as possible. A few weeks ago I showed the sum total of what hangs in my closet and it was…not many items. Several readers asked about my process for eliminating clothes clutter and I thought I’d start with accessories because, quite honestly, I didn’t feel like drafting a post about clothing.
And, more broadly, I think my minimalistic approach to jewelry shares many parallels to how I approach clothing, too.
Growing up the daughter of a Baptist pastor I learned at an early age that the truest of beauty lies within, not without. It was what we believed and how we lived. My mother, for example, has never had her ears pierced, dyed her hair, or worn makeup and seems extremely contented with these decisions. (She does, however, have two enormous closets overflowing with clothes and several large jewelry boxes, which serve as a sort of counterbalance to any perceived asceticism.)
I spend lots of days (okay, most days) with an au natural face and I’ve only dyed my hair a handful of times (all horrible experiences that eventually left me with ombre hair long before ombre hair was an acceptable and sought-after hairstyle).
But I almost always put on earrings and it makes me feel happy every single time.
I have a small collection of earrings that I wear regularly.
And then I have a slightly bigger secondary collection that includes earrings I only wear occasionally and/or to which I have a deep sentimental attachment.
While I wear earrings 95 days out of 100, I do not leave them in. Ever. I can count on one hand the number of times I have slept with earrings over the last decade. I usually take them out when I nap, too. And always, always, always when I shower.
Aside from the discomfort of sleeping in earrings, I also really enjoy the experience of selecting my daily pair. It’s a comforting ritual that helps jump-start my day, much like a first cup of coffee.
I store my earrings in two small containers; the hand-carved wooden box I received as a teenager from someone who had visited Russia, the blue heart came from John via my mother-in-law (I think?!).
The heart contains my everyday earrings. These are almost all studs, my favourite type of earrings to wear.
Chances are if you were to bump into me on the street, I’d be wearing one of the pairs pictured below (most of which came from John; he does a great job picking out earrings to suit my style).
As for my “secondary” earrings, almost every pair has a story.
For example, in the top row of the picture below, the sets of dangling pearls were from Etsy for $.99/pair. I bought them years and years ago, and it felt like a huge deal to buy earrings online! Just to the left are the dangling silver baubles Abby picked out; she is elated whenever she sees me wearing them. They look like a collection of little disco balls and are very fun and whimsical.
The pair on the bottom left of the middle row? John got me those for my birthday and I promptly dropped one down the bathroom sink when I was getting ready one morning; the handyman at our apartment complex kindly came to rescue it for me.
The pearl studs in the middle were gifted to me by John on the day I graduated from university to replace a pair I lost…down the drain of a shower. (Hence why I don’t wear earrings in the shower – or when I’m swimming.)
The black shimmery pair on the far right of that row came from Dot (for anyone new to this blog, Dot was a very feisty 80-year-old lady I boarded with in university) from one of her annual winter trips to Jamaica.
But my favourite pair is a tiny set of Eiffel Towers, pictured in the bottom left corner. Abby discovered them at a seaside store here in Nova Scotia (#random) and bought them – in secret – days before John and I left for a trip to Paris. I was absolutely gobsmacked when she handed these over to me. So if you’ve ever wondered about my sidebar photo, the whole point of that shot was to showcase my Eiffel Tower earrings in front of the real Eiffel Tower so I could send the picture home to my 8-year-old who spent her hard-earned money to buy me this set of earrings – she’s a keeper!).
And that…is all the earrings I own/wear.
When I have a pair of earrings I no longer want to keep (e.g. I’m not going to wear them or they’re not deeply sentimental) then they don’t stay in my house. I either pass them on to someone or take them to a local consignment store that collects, sterilizes and sells earrings (4 of the sets pictured above come from this consignment store).
And if you’re wondering about other accessories, there aren’t any. I own one necklace and, aside from my wedding and engagements bands, don’t own a single ring (and got rid of all my scarves because I just wasn’t wearing them).
While daily use of earrings is pretty much a “must” for me, makeup is far more hit-and-miss. I’d categorize my makeup stash as being of the “blink and you’ll miss it” variety.
I do not own a single face cream – that little container with the black lid was an individual serving of honey from an airport lounge that is now filled with coconut oil. This is the only thing I use to remove makeup, along with special microfibre cloths, and it is my only moisturizer.
Another fun fact – I haven’t owned blush in years. Before my wedding, I set out to buy lipstick (which I never, ever wear); the woman at the Clinique counter told me that the best way to match my lipstick and blush tones for the big day was to use lipstick on my cheeks in place of blush. I did and haven’t looked back.
Here is the totality of my makeup collection:
- Mascara (I wear this 2-3x/week).
- Eyebrow pencil (4-5x/week)
- Foundation/concealer stick (4-5x/week)
- Lipstick-blush (4-5x/week)
- Nivea lip balm (3-4x/week)
I think this qualifies as minimal? No eyeshadow. No bronzer. No under-eye brighteners or creams. No palates. No toners or BB/CC creams or liquid foundations. No brushes or Beautyblenders.
I do own one tube of eyeliner which I keep to use on the kids’ cheeks at Halloween (typically for freckles including, in recent years, for a “lion,” “Prairie girl” and “chef”).
And that’s a wrap on my accessories and makeup.
I’ll be back with a roundup of what’s hanging in my closet another day, but now it’s your turn to spill the beans – do you love your sleeper hoops and put on a full face of makeup every morning?