Where Value Meets Vanity

“Control of consciousness determines the quality of life.”
― Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

Beauty is fascinating. We as human beings are immersed in the aesthetics of ourselves, others, and the world around us. Though “beauty” may be subjective to one’s own personal tastes and interests, our consciousness of it seems to be fairly universal.

Over the years, I have become increasingly attentive to my appearance. Perhaps it is a result of the ongoing search for the Fountain of Youth in a jar to beat the race against time and gravity. Perhaps it is realizing that artistic energy can be expressed through the outlet of color-coordinating my eyeshadow with my jewelry. Perhaps it is simply the sheer joy of dusting shimmery powders all over my face. For whatever the reason or combination thereof, I find myself drawn to the mirror more often than I am comfortable admitting to.

Sometimes, however, I force myself to take a step back from the mirror. I ask myself, “Are there harmful chemicals in this lipstick?…Will this sunscreen harm the environment when washed down the drain?…Were the people who crafted this blouse fairly compensated?” Suddenly, my consciousness has taken a turn past the sparkly surface appearance and deepened into the integrity of the world around me.

Just as I strive to consume healthy food ingredients, I take the same outlook toward other aspects of my lifestyle. This holistic approach has grown to include cosmetics, personal care, fashion, and even items such as home decor and cleaning supplies. There are many unofficial definitions, however, of what this “conscious” approach means in terms of beauty products. To some it could be avoiding toxic ingredients. To others, it could simply mean only purchasing products not tested on animals. Further yet, some are concerned with the sustainability of materials and the impact that companies have on the environment. While terms such as clean, green, eco-friendly, etc.” can have personal and controversial meanings, the main focus is that we can in some way or another become a positive influence simply with the purchases we make. We can be more mindful, control our choices, and therefore, improve the quality of our own experiences while contributing to a greater good.

In my own quest toward conscious consumerism, I have learned to look beyond the immediate visual beauty of my cosmetics and clothing. By considering their all-encompassing impact, I have found further value in these luxuries. I have become more appreciative of the things I own and grateful to those who produced them.

I invite you to join me on this journey as I continue to explore the realm of mindful beauty, fashion, and lifestyle. It is true that there may be no definitive definition of “clean beauty.” I believe, however, that any single choice we make that can improve at least one aspect of our lives, whether it be our health, the environment, or the well-being of others, is truly beautiful.

Until next time, be kind, be conscious, and always keep it classy!
-Amie

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