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A Beginner's Guide to Minimalist Beauty: Q&A with Dawn Michelle

We spoke with Dawn Michelle, owner of the website, about the things we put on our face.

Makeup, it’s a wonderful thing, but so is your beautiful skin!

Nahomy: What exactly is Minimalist Beauty?

Dawn: Minimalist Beauty is a chic, eco, and gracefully simple living blog. It incorporates tips on creating a stylish capsule wardrobe, organic beauty recipes, environmental awareness, and discovering the amazing benefits of living with less.

N: When did you decide to start

Dawn: I began writing Minimalist Beauty in 2010. Although I am a professional dancer, I also always wanted to be a journalist. Minimalist Beauty is my way of doing both. When I started the site I was also beginning my minimalist lifestyle journey, and I was extremely excited to write about my experience.

N: How did you gain all of this knowledge on all of the products you use and your overall lifestyle in minimalism?

Dawn: My initial insight into product and ingredient knowledge was when I worked in the cosmetic industry part-time. Over the years I have also done a ton of research on chemical and organic cosmetic ingredients as well as herbs. The beauty recipes that I've shared on Minimalist Beauty were created through trial and error making products in my kitchen. I prefer to keep things simple so many of the recipes are also very simple.

N: When did you start incorporating minimalist beauty into your life? Has it ever been hard to adjust?

Dawn: When I started Minimalist Beauty in 2010, I was overwhelmed by the $20,000 in debt accumulated from clothing and cosmetic consumerism, which is now completely paid off. At the time I knew that I needed to change my former shopaholic habits in order to pay off my debt. I was determined to find simple and affordable methods for organic beauty, as well as new ways to approach my personal style with fashion.

N: What are some forms of minimalist beauty that you think teen girls should try first?

Dawn: The advice that I would give to teen girls interested in a Minimalist Beauty lifestyle would be to gather all of the cosmetics that she uses from skincare, hair care, makeup, body care, and fragrances, and read the cosmetic ingredient labels. If you can't pronounce the ingredient, it is a questionable ingredient that needs research, and most likely may need to be avoided. It is important to learn more about what we are using because our skin absorbs everything that we put on it. The cosmetic industry is poorly regulated and many companies use synthetic ingredients because they are cheaper than natural and organic ingredients. Not all chemicals are toxic, but many chemicals in cosmetics can be detrimental to our bodies. I share a list of chemicals that I avoid on Minimalist Beauty. I would also encourage designing your own capsule wardrobe, and begin finding your own personal style early on.

N: What are some of your favourite/easiest DIY’s?

Dawn: My favourite and easiest DIY beauty product is flaxseed gel. You boil 1/4 cup of flaxseeds in 2 cups of water for 10-15 minutes until the water thickens, then strain into a clean container. I use this gel as a curl definer, detangler, and leave-in for soft moisturized curls. DIY flaxseed gel can also be used as a conditioning treatment and detangler for straight hair. You can blend in essential oils for a sweet scent, or add your favourite carrier oil into your flaxseed gel for added moisturizing benefits. Another great DIY is a simple beet cheek stain. This includes boiling thin slices of a fresh beet in 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable glycerin for 20-30 minutes, then straining into a clean container. This cheek stain gives the skin a beautiful natural flush. You can also use it as a lip stain. For extra drama, just apply the juice of the beet directly to lips and cheeks and blend.

N: What’s your favourite part of minimalist beauty? What’s the hardest part?

Dawn: My favourite part of living a Minimalist Beauty lifestyle is that I am debt-free, no longer dependent on commercial beauty products, love the items in my wardrobe although few, have cleared out the clutter in my home, and get to share what I have learned from this journey with others. The most challenging part is that I am now working towards a zero-waste lifestyle, which is taking my environmentalism efforts to the next level.


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