Saying Goodbye to “Low Maintenance”

I’ve spent the last couple of years saying goodbye to the concept of “low maintenance“. Because the truth about low maintenance is that it’s often a cover for feelings of unworthiness. When a woman says she’s low maintenance, she might really be feeling “I’m not worth it“.

The truth about the low maintenance woman

Of course there are exceptions. Some women simply prefer not to wear makeup or spend money on their hair or wardrobe. But it was certainly the case for me. When I prided myself on being low maintenance, the truth was I simply felt unworthy. I thought I shouldn’t be spending money on myself. (But I had no problem spending on my kids!)

When I shopped, I often settled for something I didn’t love. Price meant more to me than having a wardrobe I felt great about.

The result was that I had many functional items in my wardrobe. I was proud that I got them on the cheap. But, I didn’t truly love or feel great in those things. This isn’t frugal in the long run. And it’s not exactly emotionally healthy either.

I vowed to change this. It started with a new purse. I desperately needed a replacement for my current handbag (yes, I only owned one!). And since it’s an accessory that gets lots of use and abuse, I decided not to settle for a $5 thrift store find. Instead, I hunted for a high-quality leather purse.

I picked it up at a consignment shop I love, with tags still on. It cost $25. I may have had to perform deep breathing exercises while I handed over my debit card. Later, I found that this particular purse retails for $150. It’s Italian leather. Score!

Playing in the dirt … with a stylish hat and pink frilly skirt.

To further battle my tendency towards low maintenance, I restarted my Stitch Fix subscription. And I love it. I dislike shopping, but I do want to look stylish. I like having a minimalist wardrobe of pieces that I truly love and feel comfortable in.

Do you think of yourself as a low-maintenance kind of gal? 

While we label ourselves this way, we may simultaneously envy and judge women we deem high-maintenance. Since we feel unworthy, we’re uncomfortable with women who didn’t share that sentiment about themselves.

Have you ever met a little girl who is low maintenance?

I haven’t. My four daughters love a little maintenance. They love to play dress up, to do their make-up and their hair. Mani-pedis are de rigeur. They take their appearance seriously. And they have fun with it!

My girls have definite preferences for their clothing too. And I applaud this. Because low maintenance sometimes means…

“I don’t feel good enough about my personal style to project it into the world, so I’ll just accept whatever to avoid being judged.”

If you discover that under your label of “low maintenance” you’re also struggling with feelings of unworthiness, what can you do? 

Start small. The next time you need something, whether it be a purse or shoes, don’t buy the cheapest thing available. Wait until you find something you really love. Spend a little more for quality. Stretch a little. LipSense, for example, costs $25 – but it’s a higher quality product that will last for 4-18 hours after you apply it. The Glossy Gloss healed my chronically chapped lips when no lip balm ever did

Spend time pampering your nails. Instead of shrugging it off as a waste of time, enjoy how your lovely hands make you feel more sophisticated and ladylike. (And wear gloves when you do housework!)

Find a grooming mentor. Maybe she’s the stereotypical French girl who masters the art of being effortlessly chic. Or your stylish Aunt who wore pearls to the grocery store. If she’s just an idea, give her a name. “What would Gabriella do?” Would Gabriella wear sweatpants to run errands? Non! 

Take care of your skin. Falling asleep without caring for your skin isn’t low-maintenance, it’s irresponsible. Just as we clean our teeth carefully before bed (because we only get one set!), we should also care for the skin we’re in. Take just a few minutes to remove makeup and apply a nice face cream (see my morning and evening skin care routine here).

What do you think? Are you a recovering low maintenance girl? 

My Morning and Evening Skin Care Routine (and why I love taking the time for it!)

In the video I posted in the Facebook group earlier, I shared my morning and evening skin care routine. I used to hate taking time to do this stuff and often skipped it (bad I know!), but now I relish it. It’s a mini spa treatment twice a day and I guard it carefully! It helps that these products feel great and are fun to use. I can feel my skin saying thank you when I take time to apply the SeneGence skin care products. I talk more about my favorites below.

Why It’s Important to Be Faithful To a Morning and Evening Skin Care Routine

Even if we manage to do our skin care in the morning, evenings are often a chaotic time for us moms, especially if we have young ones that are a bit high maintenance at night. We and our little ones are tired, perhaps a bit cranky, and the youngest is usually needy and wanting to be cuddled. There are baths to take, teeth to brush, stories to read. It’s easy to say, “Eh, forget it!” when it comes to our evening skin care routine.

But this is a mistake. Our skin regenerates and heals when we sleep and it’s important that we apply products that can support this process. SeneGence skin care products contain SenePlex complex, a kinetic enzyme that increases the cellular renewal of the skin. Meaning that it regenerates faster, exposing younger, more radiant skin!
In addition, skin care really does make a difference. Since I started using SeneGence skin care, my face has a more even tone, no more uncomfortable dry patches, and I have only gotten two small blemishes (I used to get a couple each month). So, it’s worth taking the time to do it.
It’s also a small, easily accessible but important part of self care. Like exercise and other habits that make us feel and look good (but because of their “important but not urgent” status are too easily overlooked), it’s worth taking the time to perform these self care rituals.

I find that I’m more likely to do my skin care routine (and care for my teeth!) if I do it shortly after dinner, before I’m exhausted late at night and more likely to shrug it off.

Morning and Evening Skin Care Routine

My Morning and Evening Skin Care Routine

A little more about each thing I described in the video here: (in my Facebook group)
MORNING Skin Care Routine:
I wash my face with a TINY drop of 3 in 1 Cleanser for Normal to Dry skin. I was formerly using the Dry formula, but my nose would get a little oily in the middle of the day so I switched and no longer have that issue.
(Some people need to use a different cleanser for different times in their cycle because hormones affect oil production.)
This product makes my skin feel clean without that parched feeling.
Then I put a little Anti-Wrinkle Treatment onto wrinkles. This product contains natural ingredients that “relax” wrinkles and stimulate cell production (including green tea extract and jojoba seed oil)
Then I put a drop of SeneSerum C in my hand and two sprays of Climate Control, mix them together and apply.
SeneSerum C is a 100% natural blend of stabilized Vitamin C which stimulates collagen production and reverses cell damage. It fights “urbanization” and delivers Vitamin C to the skin. This product lightens age spots.
Climate Control, which many call a miracle in a bottle is pure hydration that evens out the skin’s “climate”, making it more luminous. It contains hyaluronate (which Dr. Oz has talked about on his show as being one of the best anti-aging ingredients!) and glucosamine which helps skin maintain elasticity and is a natural anti-inflammatory.
Then I put on Dark Circle Under Eye Treatment. It tightens up bags with caffeine and Madonna Lily flower extract and even “gobbles up” leaky capillaries and helps strengthen them to avoid leaking blood into the area (which is a contributor to darkness in the area).
Some people say they can feel this product tightening up the skin under their eyes!
Then I apply DayTime moisturizer. This product got rid of the uncomfortable dry patches on my cheeks.
And finally, Lip Volumizer. I can’t tell if this product is working or not. I should’ve taken before pics! I do think it makes my lips look less “wrinkly” because it’s designed to deliver a ton of moisture to the lips (and increase collagen – some people say it gives them a lip line where they didn’t have one before because collagen supports the structure of their lips!).
Then I dab on EyeLuminator (a mix of Eye Creme and Pearlizer). It lightens up the undereye area and is silky smooth and won’t affect makeup application or make your makeup slide around. It feels wonderful on and brightens up the eyes. Love it!
NIGHTTIME Skin Care Routine
If I’m wearing our LashSense waterproof mascara, I use Foops! makeup remover to gently remove it, then wash my face with Normal to Dry Cleanser.
I do the same Anti-Wrinkle Treatment, Climate Control and SeneSerum C, Dark Circle Corrector.
But this time I add a couple of drops of Nangai Oil to the mix to super-hydrate my skin at night, then apply Night Creme.
I wish I could BATHE in both of these because they’re so amazing!
Nangai Oil is a 100% pure triglyceride which creates a moisture barrier to the skin and decreases the moisture loss. It’s also amazing for any type of rash or wound. I also LOVE LOVE LOVE the night creme. (Both of these products smell like a warm beach and a fruity beverage LOL!) It makes my skin feel baby soft.
Then, I put on Collagen Night Pack which is a unique product that I’ve never seen the likes of before. It creates a sort of protective veil to seal in all the wonderful stuff you’ve applied and prevent it from rubbing off on your pillow.
Collagen Night Pack creates a buffer like a cushion that decreases folds in the skin causes by your pillow! It rebuilds collagen while you sleep and contains seaweed, caffeine, collagen, hyaluronate (that ingredient Dr. Oz loves again!), bamboo extract, arnica, green tea and vitamin E for more anti-oxidant benefits.
I do a final application of Lip Volumizer (then later on, I put on lip balm or glossy gloss which is the reason my chronically chapped lips have healed!).
All this takes me about 5 minutes, twice a day, but it feels like a miniature spa. 
Message me if you want to try any of these! If you’re local to me, I’ll let you try full-size products for a week in your home so you can test them out.