Review of Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

I picked up Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up last summer, read it and plunged into tidying the KonMari way. She has a particular method that she insists works for all people and as long as you follow her method, you will have a clutter-free home and a changed life. Hmm… I could use a clutter-free home whether or not it changes my life. I figured it was worth a shot.

She insists on starting with clothing, specifically your sock drawer, move on to underwear and other clothing. Then do books, miscellany and momentos last. I feel like she leaves out big sections of the modern North American home (like the basement, movie collection, kitchen stuff, outdoor clutter, etc) but since she is based in Japan, I am assuming that these aren’t big categories there and to her, all this stuff would fit under miscellany.

I did do my sock drawer first but I didn’t really take pictures of the process so we are going to look at pictures of my makeup collection being tidied.

The Method:

So, as a (part-time) makeup blogger, you would expect me to have tons of makeup. Well, I think I fall in the middle. I have lots of makeup, more than the average person, but not as much as the average beauty blogger. I kept the majority of my makeup in the top dresser drawer of my husband’s dresser but it didn’t all fit inside the drawer and was always spread all over the top of the dresser in a big mess. The goal was for all of my makeup to fit inside the drawer.

I did Marie Kondo’s first step: find all the similar items from around the house and spread them all in one place. In this case, the floor.

I tried to group them by item: brushes, palettes, lipsticks, eyeshadow singles, blushes, sponges, eyelashes, etc. There was a big mess in the middle-right where things didn’t really have a category so mascara tubes are mixed in with concealer and foundation and primer.

The easy part was then to throw away anything that was broken, almost empty or not useful. Next I took each item in my hand and carefully measured my reaction to that item, looking for items that “spark joy”. This is the part that sounds totally hokey when you read it in the book but when you are doing it, it makes a lot of sense. You can tell when you hold something what your emotion is about it. Excited, wonder, exasperation, disgust, guilt, anxiety… it’s kind of amazing how many emotions you have about the stuff in your home. Then, based on my emotional reaction, I sorted the items into two piles. If my emotion wasn’t a positive one then I put the item in one pile. If it was positive, I placed them in another pile.

To decide my emotions about each lipstick, I did swatches on my arm and sorted according to my reaction to the colour. Daughter was super pumped that we were playing with lipstick and also did swatches on her arm. I can’t remember why I didn’t take pictures of that as it was adorable.

Initially I didn’t think my giveaway/discard pile would be that large but I was pleasantly surprised to see two small MAC bags bursting with beauty items to give to my friends.

I then sorted the items I decided to keep further into categories to decide how best to store them. I put the drawer on the floor along with some Ziploc reusable containers and a couple small glass candle holders that I had re-purposed into makeup or brush holders. Within a short time, the items easily fit into the containers and started to make sense in how they would go into the drawer.

Eyeshadow palettes, on end on the left; eyeliners in a glass jar; mascaras in a glass jar (because I use minis/deluxe-sample-sizes, they stood up easily, this didn’t work for full-size mascaras); lipsticks and glosses together in another glass container; the two boxes in the middle are a mis-mash of items, concealer, foundation, primer, sponges, samples, false eyelashes, unopened items, etc; the big container on the right bottom was eyeshadow singles; above that was MAC pigments; above that was blush and highlighter singles. My brushes continue to stand in two glass containers on top of the dresser but they are the only items whose “home” is on top of the dresser. Everything else has a space inside the dresser drawer and while it can get left on top of the dresser occasionally, it now takes less than five minutes to put everything away in it’s place.

Things I love about the KonMari Method:

  • I enjoy the new concept of discarding that she provides, that items should be discarded if they don’t bring you joy even if they are still useful. I was able to get rid of items that I had been previously hanging on to because they of possible, future usefulness. Now I understand that if items aren’t useful to me then maybe they can find a new home to give someone else joy.
  • Marie Kondo doesn’t encourage buying organizational or storage items. She believes that most people have already bought enough storage items and you can usually use something around the house to store the items after you have finished discarding.
  • I really love how the few areas in my home that I have used the KonMari Method to tidy make me feel when I look at them. My underwear drawer is literally a heart-warming place for me. My sports bras are separated from my everyday bras and my full-coverage panties are separate from my thongs and there is even a place for all of my swimsuits. I can open the drawer in the dark and still find the type of underwear I am looking for.

I’m happy to report that this drawer still looks like this and it’s been six months. I don’t think I will ever go back to the mess that was this drawer before.

Things I don’t love about the KonMari Method:

  • She constantly talks about throwing things away. It wasn’t until the end of the book that she talked about giving away things in a positive manner. She makes an excellent point about not pressuring relatives and friends to take the items as then it is likely that the items will not bring them joy. Perhaps in Japan they don’t have the same kind of second-hand economy that we have in North America? I’m not sure. While I threw away items that were not useful to anyone, I did sell some of my clothes to Plato’s Closet, put items in the Salvation Army bins, donated old books to the Children’s Hospital book drive, and took my bags of makeup to book club to be picked through by friends. While throwing out things would’ve been faster and easier, it was much more rewarding to find new homes for the items.
  • The way she recommends folding clothes is really smart. She teaches you how to fold all clothing items so they are small rectangles and can be stored on their side so you can see all your clothing items at a glance in the drawer instead of piled on top of one another (pick up her second book, Spark Joy, for a more indepth guide to folding). The storage of clothing I really love…. the folding is another story. Don’t get me wrong, the folding isn’t hard. What is hard is that I have folded my clothes the same way for more than 25 years. I can do it watching tv and not even really paying attention to folding. Consistently using the new folding method is hard. I have to pay attention to what I am doing and it takes much longer than my old method. It’s getting easier the more I do it but I still grump every time it’s folding day.

Overall, I give the book two thumbs up and have already recommended it to friends. I am currently re-reading the book to help motivate me to continue with the KonMari Method for other areas of my house. She recommends spending six months discarding and tidying your items. While I started this method just over six months ago, I am still far from completing my house. Writing this review has reinforced the memory that in the areas of my home that I did the hardwork and took the time to use the KonMari Method either still look perfect or are less than five minutes from perfect (and one of those places is under my bathroom sink!).

Have you read this book or tried the KonMari Method? I would love to hear from you. Please leave me a comment. Happy Shopping!

How to Dye Your Hair Crazy Colours

So this really more a post about how I dyed my hair pink. I wasn’t planning on doing a post but there has been so much interest in the products and process I used, I thought I would do up a quick one. Apologies for the quality of the photos, they were meant for Instagram.

So, after tinting my hair lavender for the 42nd time around New Year’s, I decided it was time to branch out into other colours. I’ve done pink before:

but it’s been a long time. And back then (almost a decade ago), the colours weren’t pastel. Pastel was not a colour range that was in style in the 2000s.

This time, I definitely wanted more of a pastel pink and not the bright pink I’d had before. Husband was stopping by Chatters and I sent fairly specific instructions of what I wanted. He sent back photos of this colour range and, despite my protests, had me speak to the colourist on staff there to confirm what I was looking for.

On her advice, I purchased a tube of Soft Pink (far right) and Rose (second from right). She mentioned that while Rose was the pastel shade, it had turned peach/orange after a couple of washes on a client’s hair. She suggested mixing the darker pink in to help keep it pink and combat the pastel colour’s tendency to fade poorly. I understood what she meant. I picked up the Lilac colour in this range and when it faded, it faded to kind of a denim blue, which ended up turning green. Light, pastel green but green nevertheless. Green is not a colour that one hopes their hair turns when aiming for purple.

Again, apologies for not taking any pictures of process but I wasn’t planning to turn this into a post. Here is the one picture that I posted on Instagram where you can clearly see I was mixing the two shades of pink:

Stay tuned #pink #pinkhair #diy #joicocolorintensity

A post shared by Tiffany Creaghe-Harder (@tlcshoppingwpg) on

While this shows about a 1:1 ratio, I actually varied ratios around my head. At the back, I did about 75%:25% Rose to Soft Pink ratio, about 1:1 in the middle section around my head and 25%:75% Soft Pink to Rose ratio around my face and the top of my head. It’s a subtle differentiation but if you look closely, you can definitely see the variances.

Don’t rush putting the dye on your hair and make sure you have enough. I used both 4oz tubes completely on my hair and had to go back to the store to get another one for my daughter.

Like mother, like daughter #latergram #pinkhair

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The process of putting dye on my hair took about an hour. After I was done, I put a shower cap on my head to help keep the heat in. The directions suggest leaving the colour on for 20-25 mins. I left mine on for about 4 hours. Because it’s not bleach, it doesn’t damage your hair so it’s not harmful. When I used to colour my hair with Manic Panic, I even used to sleep with in and rinse in the morning.

So here we are with freshly coloured hair. I think the colour was actually more vibrant than shown in the picture as it was evening and there isn’t great lighting in our bathroom.

 

Better pic of how the dye is really vibrant on the ends of Daughter’s hair, where it’s the lightest. Excuse the laundry in the background.

I felt the real test would be to see how the dye held up after I washed it. It’s suggested that to keep your coloured hair more vibrant you should wash it in cold water. And even though it’s Winnipeg in February, I did exactly that. Brrrr!

The cold shower was worth it – the colour faded slightly but into an even more beautiful rose-toned pink.

No filter on this photo but it was taken in direct evening sunlight.

Overall, I’m really happy with the way my hair turned out. I’m a little worried about my next hair wash as I always feel like the second wash is the one that strips the most colour from your hair but I think this will fade nicely. I will definitely be trying more of the Joico Color Intensity dyes in the future.

Tried a candy-coloured look? What dye did you use? I’d love to hear from you. Happy Shopping!

Feb 26, 2017 UPDATE:

Here is the colour after five washes and two weeks. It’s very faded but still pink and I’m still really enjoying it.

Quick Eyelash Tutorial

Hey folks, in honour of New Year’s Eve, I whipped up a quick tutorial for putting on fake eyelashes. Happy New Year and Happy Shopping!

Products used:

MAC Maleficent lashes (Maleficent packaging was limited edition but according to Temptalia, these lashes are #36 and permanent in MAC’s collection)

MAC Fluidline in Avenue

Maybelline Dream Velvet Foundation in Ivory

L’Oreal Magic Lumi Light Infusing Primer

Makeup Geek eyeshadows in Shimma Shimma, Ritzy and Havoc

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12Hr Blush in Amazed

MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Show Gold

Gosh eyebrow pencil in Brown Gray

MAC Versicolour Stain in Energy Shot

Buxom Lash Mascara

Note: While I am an on-call MAC employee, none of these items were provided for my consideration or at a discount. My opinions continue to be my own. 

DIY Tinkerbell Halloween Costume

Obviously I meant to get this up before Halloween but I’m always of a mind set that it’s better late than never. Of course, this doesn’t apply to work or to going to the movies. You get to that  sh*t on time!

Anyways, here is the step-by-step process I went through to put together this darling Halloween costume for my girl.

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This particular picture was for ballet class where ballet shoes were required. I forgot to get a picture when she wore the Tinkerbell shoes to daycare on Halloween. Oops!

First step was to brainstorm which things I could make (tutu) and which things I would have to craftily-McGyver into parts of the costume. I decided to use an old white tank top from the summer and picked up some ballet slippers from H&M and dyed them green.

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Dyeing clothing is super easy. Hot water, sink, dye and then BAM, new clothing!

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Obviously the colour is much darker than the colour you are going to dye the items. This freaks me out every time but it always mostly turns out okay. Since I wanted a really vibrant green, I kept the items in there probably an hour or two longer than the directions suggested.

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Ta-da! Green tank top.

I have no idea what those green spots are on the tank. They sure weren’t there when it was white. I thought about it for awhile and then picked up some silver holographic sparkles to hide the spots. I figured it could look like stars and pixie dust. I also picked up some ribbon trim with tulle attached and sewed it around the tank top sleeves.

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Phew. So glad those sparkles covered those spots. I was really worried about that.

While the tank top dried, I went to work on the ballet slippers. Since the slippers were baby pink when I bought them, when I dyed them green, they hadn’t become as vibrant as I wanted them. So I decided to use more glitter glue and cover the slippers to make them more green. Thank goodness for dollar stores. Cheap, primary-coloured glitter glue was available in a huge bottle!

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I spread the glue over the shoe with my finger and let it dry overnight.

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One ballet slipper with just green dye, the other with one coat of green glitter glue. I ended up putting on two coats of glitter glue. Make sure you let each coat dry throughly so this process takes a couple of days.

Now, onto the tutu. I’d been to the fabric store two times while deciding how to put together the tutu. In the end I decided to buy a length of elastic, trim it down to go around my daughter’s waist and then tie lengths of tulle around the elastic. This worked like a charm!

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Once I started tying on tulle, I realized that the white didn’t scrunch down as much as the green did, even though they were the same width. So I came up with the following pattern so there would be primarily green in the tutu: white (wide), dark green (narrow), light green (wide), dark green, light green, dark green, white, etc. I didn’t sew the elastic together until close to the end but since the tulle was tied on, it could’ve been sewn at the beginning.

Back to the shoes! I found some large pom-poms and sewed small bells to the underside so they would tinkle when she walked. (I forgot to take a picture of that step.) I then hot-glued them onto the shoes, making sure I didn’t hot-glue the clapper inside the bell because then it wouldn’t tinkle. In hindsight, I should’ve sewed them on. When I picked her up from daycare on Monday evening, the pom-poms had come off.

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Oh well, they were cute while they lasted.

Here are the dress rehearsal pics:

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Note: she is wearing white bike shorts under the tutu. On the day of, I also decided to layer them with her white ballet tights for extra warmth.

The wings were purchased by Auntie for her birthday. They were light-up and from the Disney Store.

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Photo courtesy of DisneyStore.com

Yes, I could’ve just gone to the Disney Store and bought a complete Tinkerbell costume but frankly, I didn’t want to. I love putting together her costumes.

So that’s how I made the Tinkerbell costume. I really love doing it every year and I’m always so happy when my daughter has a great time wearing them.

Do you enjoy DIYing your own Halloween costumes or do you prefer buying them all put together at the store? I’d love to hear from you. Happy Shopping!