Effortless, as defined by the fashion and beauty industry, really only fits one mold: the style and beauty habits of women who already naturally fit society’s narrow construct of beauty. We put them on a pedestal aspiring to be like them while never feeling quite adequate enough. I’ve read all the articles about how to achieve effortlessness from all the major magazines telling you to buy this $500 t-shirt and these $4,000 + half your soul pair of shoes and you’ll definitely look like you have it together. I’ve watched the Vogue videos of supermodels putting dots of concealer on their face and two flicks of mascara on their lashes and claiming it’s their ultimate beauty “secret”. It’s all outdated and not exciting. We aren’t celebrating all of the different tips, tricks, and people that make people and these industries unique and innovative! Enough of my rant…
Effortless: The New Definition
I think it’s time we collectively change what it means to be effortless. For some it may mean they wear minimal makeup, throw their hair up in a loose bun, and wearing a basic t-shirt and jeans. For others, and I more so align with this, it’s a full glammed face, styled hair of sorts, and a thoughtfully put-together outfit.
A common theme here on this blog is getting to the root of who you are and determining out what works for you in fashion, beauty, and life in general. Achieving effortlessness is no exception. I think being effortless means figuring out your overall sense of style and being able to execute it without much effort (hence the name) or thought. It’s about simplifying your process while staying true to who you are and what makes you confident- not what the media or supermodels are telling us.
Below I’ve put together some of my tips on how you can achieve your own effortlessness!
Find your signature hairstyle
I’ve never enjoyed doing my hair. It can’t hold a curl so I usually end up leaving it a wavy mess or straightening it which I don’t always have the energy or patience for. Finding your go-to hairdo, at least for me, makes getting ready 1000x easier. A great classic that I’ve been doing for years is the half-up bun. Whether my hair is straight, wavy, greasy, or anywhere in between, it looks pretty good (by my semi-low standards)!
Hone in on your essential makeup products
I’m an all-or-nothing gal and enjoy putting on my makeup so cutting back is something I don’t like to do. If you aren’t extra like me, you’ll probably want something a little more natural. I suggest picking the four to six (from different categories so you can wear them all at once) that you love and make you feel your best and keeping it in a convenient place. If you’re ever in a rush, you can easily grab those products and trust they’ll do their job.
You can find my essential products above. I narrowed it down to 7 (I know it’s absurd) that I know I can apply quickly and will give me a look I like. These are the things that I can rely on when I wake up a little too late or am just not in the mood to do much to my face. But like I said, I love the process of putting on my makeup. I don’t care that my usual makeup routine takes about a half-hour (sounds ridiculous saying it out loud), but I find the process relaxing and I genuinely enjoy it most mornings!
Create style formulas
Now onto the part that I think trips people up the most: the actual clothes! This is the easiest element that people look too into and overdo. Creating style formulas for different occasions will make it easy when you have to get ready for them. It won’t require much thought, which is what effortlessness is about. They can be as flexible or as strict as you want. You can put together a look-book that coordinates outfits for major events like weddings, going out, dinner parties, etc. Or, if you aren’t that extra, roughly write down or make a mental note of what general items in your closet go with what.
For example, one of my go-to work outfits (pictured left) is this blue/white stripped button down, white jeans, and most summer shoes I own. My office is very casual, and I feel like this keeps me looking professional while not being too overdressed. The outfit on the right is more of a nice summer day/night out on the town with my girlfriends (very specific I know, I’m just ridiculous).
A big part of this tip is to keep in mind how much clothing, shoes, etc. you actually have. I’ve gotten rid of a bunch of those things, but I still somehow have a ton. That sometimes makes it difficult for me to put things together. If I had a simpler wardrobe I probably wouldn’t have to put in all that effort. It’s up to you to put together a strategy but physically cutting down your wardrobe may be one you want to consider!
Don’t overdo it on the accessories
Accessories can truly make or break an outfit. Coco Chanel once said, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take at least one thing off.” Sometimes I get so wrapped up in the little details of putting together an outfit that I forget to take it in as a whole. This is a good reminder, if you care as much as I do, to take a final scan before you leave the house.
Some people’s style is to put the emphasis (blog pun!) on their accessories, and there’s nothing wrong with that! Like I said earlier, everyone has a different take on what effortless means. I just find it overall a good general rule of thumb.
I’ve fallen into this trap plenty of times, and this coincides with the style formula tip above, but pay attention to the environment you’re going to be in. If it’s raining, don’t wear open-toed shoes and bring a jacket with a hood. If you’re going shopping and plan on trying things on, wear clothes that are easily removable and comfortable to walk around in. I can go on and on with the scenarios, but I think you get the point. Being practical with what you wear will allow you to be totally focused with what you’re doing rather than being uncomfortable in the wrong clothes!
These are tips that have really helped cultivate what my sense of style and makeup is, as well as overall help my life become a little bit easier. We all set the guidelines and rules for what effortless means to each one of us, and that’s what makes the fashion and beauty processes so fun.