Effortless lifestyle is all about having a handful of things that are on auto-pilot. Because once you have a few things you don't have to think about, you've suddenly got some free time to dedicated to all those other things. Now that I'm in my mid-30's (yeah, I can't believe it either), there are a few things I've mastered that create so much space for me to focus on other things each day.
1) FIND YOUR SIGNATURE FRAGRANCE
I don't like the clutter of many perfume bottles - or the pressure to decide which one to wear that day, then having to remember which one I put on last time I washed my hair so the fragrances don't clash... ugh. No thanks. Instead, I have three scents that I rotate between for variety, and one that is my go-to almost every day. My signature scent. The one that makes even the barista say "Wow, you smell nice". For me, my every day signature scent is Burberry Brit. Something about the way it plays with my skin chemistry is magic. For the days I want to be more subtle, I like Atelier Bois Blonds, which smells like my skin, but fresher. And when I'm feeling especially nostalgic or summer-minded, I love to spritz on some Beach Walk from the Maison Margiela replica line.
Insider tip: Head to Sephora and try several fragrances you're curious about. Then ask for & take home samples. Play with them for several weeks, see how you feel and what kind of reactions you get. That way, when you find the one, you can go purchase a full size with confidence.
2) DEVELOP A UNIFORM
We all love some variety in our wardrobe, but for those days you need to get dressed and out the door, nothing is better than having a uniform. Mine is a simple tee, well fitting jeans, and a pair of great, comfortable slides. My favorite tee is the Whisper Cotton V-neck by Madewell. Each shirt is under $20 and the perfect thickness (not heavy, but not see-through). I own seven (yeah - you read that right. Seven). When it comes to denim, don't be afraid to splurge for the perfect fit. My favs are Rag & Bone, AG jeans, and Frame. As to slides, I love Sam Edelman. Just size up 1/2 size.
Insider tip: Shop for your denim at Nordstrom! I have big hips, a tiiiiny waist, and I'm short. Fortunately, their tailors are excellent and can adjust the waistband and length for me easily. I do both those alterations to my Rag & Bone and A&G jeans, but find that Frame only needs the length adjusted for me. Even bigger reason to shop there: if you're a member of the Nordy Club (it's free!) you get notes back to spend at Nordstrom for your alterations.
3) INVEST IN AT LEAST ONE DESIGNER PIECE YOU LOVE, AND WEAR THE HECK OUT OF IT
Nothing makes you feel instantly pulled together quite like a designer piece you love. Whether it's a pair of sunnies ( can't stop wearing mine from Prada), or the perfect handbag (obsessed with my Coach Rogue and LV Neverfull), they make you feel ready, even if you have your hair in a day 5 bun and are rocking those leggings from the night before. Seriously. Hide those dark circles under some oversized designer sunnies, grab your expensive handbag, and get out that door feeling fabulous (as a toddler mom, that's what I do!).
Insider tip: Don't be afraid to buy certified used! I've purchased all my designer items that way so far, and it hasn't made me love them one bit less.
4) A FIVE-MINUTE FACE USING 5 OR FEWER PRODUCTS
Life saver for when you need to be made-up quickly. Mine is really minimal thanks to finally figuring out my skincare (see the next bullet point for that!), and focuses on brightening everything up. On a typical morning, I mix a drop of this luminous primer with my moisturizer. Then I use the MAC Prep + Prime highlighter in Rose to highlight under my eyes, the bridge of my nose, and my cupid's bow. Next, I fill in my brows with Benefit's Goof Proof Brow Pencil (shade 2), and give my eyelids and under my brow a sweep with this creamy eyeshadow pencil. Finally, a quick swipe with this curling & lifting mascara and I'm done!
Insider tip: blend everything with your fingertips. The warmth helps the product spread & absorb more smoothly!
5) YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE
Finally figuring this out has made such a difference. It's amazing how easy it is to be ready for your day when your skin is on auto-pilot. No blemishes to cover, no redness to mask, no pores to minimize - just fresh, healthy skin. Personally, dermalogica has been my holy grail, as has being willing to commit to a longer process at night. I remove my makeup, cleanse, tone, and moisturize my face, lips, and under-eyes. Is it a lot of steps? Yep. But in the morning I just do a quick swipe with micellar water and moisturize.
Insider tip: again, I suggest visiting Sephora! The ability to take & try samples makes this place so perfect when you're looking for the right formulas for your skin. And don't be afraid to stick with what works. While there are a variety of masks and night time moisturizers I love to rotate in, I've found that dermalogica works really well for my skin, and my entire cleansing & morning care line is from them.
6) THAT ONE PERFECT CROCKPOT MEAL, THEN KEEP EVERYTHING ON HAND FOR A RAINY DAY
I hate having to spend unplanned $$ on takeout because a day got away from me. So I have a handful of crockpot recipes with ingredients that I can keep in the freezer and pantry. That way, when a day is looking like it's gonna get crazy (or I wake up and just don't feel like cooking that night), I can dump a few things in, turn it on, and be done. Some of my personal favs are this chicken chili verde (just 4 ingredients!) and this barbacoa (so so good in tacos!).
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