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1950s: Andy Warhol's illustrations for Bazaar.

I am a beauty and hair product junkie. I have tried countless products and spent countless dollars over the years on hair and skin treatments that have turned out to be less than impressive. They were too heavy. Too greasy. Made me break out. Made me dry. Clogged my pores. Gave me frizz (like I need more). Or, worst of all, didn’t make a darn bit of difference.

In recent years I have had two major shifts in my thinking, not only about beauty and skin products, but more broadly about the way I consume and what I choose to put on my body:

1. I want to keep it simple — I have started narrowing down those things in my life that really work and saying good-riddance to the rest. I have come to appreciate beauty products that multitask — and better yet, that do what they claim. There is a sense of relief in knowing that I don’t have to fall prey to every new product and trend. The decision to stick with what works is starting to help me spend my money more wisely and to have fewer regrets.

2. I want to keep it natural — I may never be able to completely rid my vanity of all chemicals and synthetics (one day at a time, right?), but I am a firm believer that nature offers us amazing remedies, treatments, and elixirs that not only make us look better, but make us feel better! I have sensitive skin and delicate hair — both of which react rather fussily to harsh chemicals. So I have made the decision to be far more conscious about what I slather on every day and to be more aware of  the negative side-effects of chemical-laden products.

As a natural perfumer, I have an array of natural essences and botanicals at my fingertips. Last year, I began experimenting with creating my own skin and hair treatments. I researched the benefits of various oils and extracts and started concocting some simple, natural “potions” in my home-based apothecary. I was inspired by the notion of making more space on my vanity — clearing away many of those disappointing products and creating something that worked, that I felt good about, and that was good for my body.

I wanted something that would fit the spirit of my two mantras (keep it simple and keep it natural). I also set a goal for myself: create something that I genuinely felt made a positive difference and then share it with others. On top of that, I added three requirements — just to keep it challenging:

  • It had to be easy to use
  • It had to work on a variety of skin/hair types
  • It had to go a long way (in other words, it has to give you your money’s worth!)

My all-purpose skin and hair oils are still in the works, but I’m excited about the results and I can’t wait to share more with you. I hope to have them in the shop within the next couple of months!

My vanity is still a bit over-crowded, but it’s getting better all the time! As I simplify my life, it becomes easier to let go of those things that don’t work.

Tell me: have you also fallen prey to the “crowded vanity” syndrome? Or, do you stick with what works? What are some tips you have to keep it simple and keep it natural?

Fragrantly Yours, Tara

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