Happy new year! Oh man, am I ever glad to say it’s no longer 2016. While a lot of great stuff happened in 2016, it was also a very hard year for me. In short, I can definitely say it was a year of growth and of learning about myself.
I dealt with a lot of self reflection in the last half of 2016 and made some big life changes, with one of them being my transition to more green and natural beauty products. This all stemmed from a huge self-realization that the beauty blogging industry had, little by little, turned me into someone that I’m not (and that I don’t want to be).
I was almost literally swimming in press samples- my office was overflowing with products at any given time and I could never keep up with reviewing everything, yet I was still jealous anytime I’d see a fellow blogger with a new release that I didn’t yet have. I eagerly anticipated product releases and spent a bunch of money on the latest and greatest (and if you are into beauty at all, you know the latest and greatest is being released in the form of a new product every. single. day.), only to ever use it a time or two before it got lost in my ridiculously large collection of makeup.
I have never been a “keeping up with the Jones'” kind of person, so to realize that is essentially what I’d become as a direct result of beauty blogging- something that I’ve poured my heart and soul into over the years- was pretty heartbreaking. I sat on the floor in my office on the day of this realization (surrounded by a stupid amount of beauty products that I now wanted nothing to do with and blamed for making me hate myself in that moment), called my mom and bawled my eyes out while explaining my self-realizations, let her comfort me by telling me that I’m loving and hilarious and so much more than just a greedy makeup hoarder (thanks mom, haha) and then hung up and started getting rid of stuff.
At first, I started with clearing out products that I was just felt “meh” about. Then I got rid of things that I had a very similar version of (as in, I’d swatch all of my blushes that looked similar and keep a couple and get rid of the rest). This pared down my collection a bit, but not enough to get that weight off my shoulders. This is when I started researching “bad” ingredients in cosmetics. It’s something I had wanted to do for probably a year, but just hadn’t dedicated any time to doing. I came up with a list of about 15 ingredients which were to be absolute no-no’s, or “non-negotiables” (which I’ll be sharing at a later date) as I like to call them, and started going through my skin care, body care and hair care products- one by one- and threw anything with any single one of those ingredients into a box to give away/donate.
I naively thought that going through everything wouldn’t take more than a day or two, but was I ever wrong. There were quite a few products that I no longer had the box for (and therefore no ingredient list), so I’d take these to my desk, look up ingredients that I couldn’t identify on EWG’s Skindeep Cosmetics Database, and then decide whether to keep or toss. I also thought that I wasn’t going to go through my makeup collection and just keep it to the skin/body/hair products, but my overwhelming need to clear out my life of clutter thought differently and I ended up going through my makeup product by product, looking up ingredient lists on CosDNA and tossing a ton of stuff. This whole process took me actual weeks.
Since then, I have gone through my product collection a few more times as I learn more about the ingredients in the products I’m using, and have since rid myself and my life of over 70% of my entire collection. Thousands and thousands worth of products. And you know what? I have never felt better.
I no longer feel the overwhelm of “stuff.” As product after product left my office and my bathroom to go to a new home, I felt lighter and lighter. Less and less stressed. Isn’t it ridiculous how possessions can have so much power over our lives? When I’m on my deathbed, am I going to be thinking about how I didn’t buy that Sweet Peach Glow Palette? Hell no. This is not to say that I don’t still love makeup and beauty products, because I do and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I just want to learn to use less and love more, you know?
So, friends, this is why I will be going back to my lifestyle blogging roots this year. I want to be able to talk about this kind of life stuff with you guys and not have it feel out of place. I want to be able to share different pieces of my life with you, like my love for trying new recipes, or my upcoming travel plans- just things beyond the latest and greatest beauty products.
I will absolutely still be blogging about beauty as well, so don’t go anywhere if that’s what you’re here for! You will be seeing a lot more green and natural beauty finds and favorites, and I will still also be touching on some conventional makeup brands that I will continue to use as long as the specific products don’t contain any of my non-negotiable ingredients.
If you’ve stuck with me thus far, thank you! And if you plan to stick with me through this new year, thank you times a million. I seriously appreciate you all so much. Tell me all about your goals or resolutions or plans for the new year, I want to hear them! I hope 2017 is an amazing year for all of us! xo