Do you feel cluttered, like you buy too much stuff? You’re throwing too much away? Perhaps it’s time to take a leaf out of Tracy Sage’s book and start a more minimalist lifestyle. Tracey has some great tips for where to start, and over the next few weeks she’ll be enlightening us with some of her words of wisdom.
As we discovered in Jen’s article, we throw away a frightening number of things that we really could find alternatives for. How about getting rid of those polluting makeup wipes we throw away every day? Here’s Tracey’s DIY reusable makeup remover pads. Plus – a great recipe for natural eye makeup remover too!
I have followed a vegan lifestyle for two years. Prior to that I was vegetarian for 35 years. Going vegan very quickly led to a desire to live a more minimalist lifestyle. In keeping with my beliefs, I started selling my leather shoes and bags, wool jumpers and silk scarves…then I got hooked… I looked around my home and thought, “why do I need all this stuff?” We get into the mindset that by buying more and surrounding ourselves with things we will somehow be happier. I actually feel more fulfilled now that I have less than I have ever owned. There is less clutter in my life, and so my mind feels less cluttered.
It is a simple concept, but persuading others to accept your lifestyle can be trickier, especially when it comes to gifts. I try to give handmade gifts as much as possible. This has reduced our outgoings quite considerably, and we feel our gifts are more personal. The challenge is to keep thinking up new ideas.
In the spirit of my vegan minimalist endeavours, my daughter Amelia suggested that a way to reduce our waste would be to replace the disposable cotton wool make-up remover pads we both use. So out came the sewing machine and the fabrics: Tree of Life Hand Block Muslin & Cream Organic Stretch Terry. Amelia wanted her pads made from a double layer of the terry, but I wanted a dual purpose pad using both fabrics. The terry is soft for using around the eye area, but I find the muslin is good for buffing your face (no need for expensive face scrubs).
- Cut the two layers to your desired size.
- Pin right sides together & sew leaving a small gap on one side.
- Cut off the corners and turn inside out.
- Blind stitch the gap or top stitch around the outside of the pad ensuring you close the hole.
- You’re done!
We are going to use the small pads we’ve made for a while to see if they suit our purposes, but I suspect Amelia is going to want some larger ones for removing foundation. That’s the beauty of making your own — you can make the size to suit your own needs. We will keep a little net laundry bag next to the bathroom sink to put used pads in, and then I can just throw that in the washing machine as and when needed.
Home Made Products
To compliment this project, here’s how to make makeup remover! It’s just simple 3-ingredients – equal amounts of:
- almond oil
- witch hazel
and it works a treat!
At home I try not to use too many chemicals, and obviously things have to be vegan and cruelty free. So I often find it is easier and more cost effective to make my own products. In the kitchen I always cook from scratch, including making my own nut milk and gluten free bread. I try to live by the rule of not using anything my granny wouldn’t have heard of. If I don’t know what an ingredient is that is listed on a packet, then I probably shouldn’t be eating it (or putting it on my skin). It just makes sense to me that if I want to live a more minimalist lifestyle, then I need to cut down on unnecessary ingredients.
I look at making my own beauty and household cleaning products as an extension of my home cooking. I make my own body lotion and even turn that into suntan lotion by adding raspberry oil, which has a high SPF. For my hair, I have gone ‘poo free’ and use a soap bar made from soap nuts to clean my hair and, then I use an apple cider vinegar and water spray as a conditioner once a week. For a face and body cleaner, I use liquid castile soap (Dr Bronner’s) diluted in a foaming soap dispenser. Since changing to more natural products, my skin and hair have never looked better. When I think of the money I have spent on high end products in the past, it is frightening. Much better to spend that money on experiences and memories.