Self-care has evolved so much in the past few years that some consider a 12-step skincare routine the key to staying sane. However—and I don't think I'm alone in saying this—that actually sounds a little insane to me! Between being a new mom and a CEO, I'm lucky when I remember to put on lotion… Is that bad to say if I'm the founder of a beauty brand?
Taking the time to learn a new makeup technique or test out a new skincare line is unfortunately an indulgence of time I don't often have, thanks to a packed schedule with brand meetings, investor pitches and life as a mom. I know there are probably many founders, entrepreneurs and change-makers who love beauty routines, too, and wish they had more time for one. But we get bogged down by other priorities.
The older you get, the less time you seem to have yourself, while you are juggling jobs, trips, relationships, and chores, a skincare routine may be the last thing on your mind. The key to healthy skin, however, lies in consistency more than in complexity, and a cream or lotion from misumiskincare.com that suits your skin type can help improve your skin if you commit to applying it daily. It's one extra thing to remember, but it can help give you more confidence in your daily life when you see that your skin finally looks and feels fresh.
That's why I've put together The Beauty Routine for Busy Women: a complete guide for glam on the go.
We hear it all the time, but I'll remind you again: take off your makeup before bed! Clean skin is a must, no matter how busy life gets. This mantra alone will speed up your routine by helping to avoid breakouts. I like to keep makeup wipes in my closet next to my pajamas, as a no-excuses, constant reminder.
When it comes to product, simple is better. If you have to stop for too long and try to figure out a technique or product, ditch it—it wasn't made for the everyday-busy women. Even if it's short, your skincare routine should be free of frustrations. That being said, when people ask me for advice I do encourage them to indulge in one great product that they feel truly makes a difference and enjoy using. You don't need ten, just focus on one. My "one" is Zo Skin Health Gentle Cleanser—the fragrance alone puts me right into a relaxing spa moment, and I know my skin is getting the clean it needs. Just because you're busy doesn't mean you need to rob yourself of the joy of a jade roller or the luxury of La Mer. Just don't go on a shopping spree or impulse buy every new trend, because your drawers will get cluttered with items you don't have time to use. Pick one, be done.
If you do feel yourself gravitating toward wanting to try every new trend, try a subscription service like Birchbox that will send you sample-sized or travel-sized items. These are practical because you can take them on the go, and you won't feel guilty if one or two go unused simply because you don't have the time to face mask for 30 minutes. Travel-sized items from the drugstore or Ulta can also be great for busy schedules since they are small and light enough to bring when you're out and about.
Lastly, I would be remiss not to say: clean brushes are so important. My company, Beautiac, is a subscription makeup brush company that was literally created for women like us. Founding this company is how I became an "every day" beauty expert! We send three handles, three brush heads and a sponge to start you off. Then, every month you get new brush heads and a new sponge, and you send the old ones back to us to get recycled. We know that washing brushes and waiting for them to dry takes time—time some of us don't really have to spare. A subscription is the easiest way to make sure your brushes and skin stay clean.
When I'm in a pinch, blush is my number one must-have. It's easy to carry, easy to apply and a little goes a long way. Find one great blush shade that goes with your complexion and buy two. Keep one at home and one in your purse, briefcase, backpack or diaper bag. You'll have access to a quick rosy refresh at any time of day. I call it "glow on the go." You can also get the look by walking nine city blocks on the way to a meeting, but (trust me) blush is easier.
I'm also a fan of compressed translucent powder. Emphasis on compressed, because if you've ever had loose powder spill in your bag… you get it. A total mess. Compressed powder is easier to manage and also helps with light touch-ups throughout the day. I often find that when I have no time for makeup, translucent powder at least helps my skin look fresh. I also recommend a translucent powder with SPF, because sun protection is so important for your health, too.
Similarly to skincare, my number one tip for makeup is to find your one "thing" and keep that with you. If mascara makes you feel the best, get a travel size for your purse. If late night meetings wreak havoc on your undereyes, a small tube of concealer might be your go-to. You're beautiful with or without makeup, but it's nice to know your holy grail is close at hand when you need an extra boost of confidence.
As cliché as it may sound, staying organized is truly the key to success, even in your beauty routine. Knowing that everything is in its place makes it easier to start the day without unneeded stress. Have you ever lost your makeup bag while taking it on the go or spent 20 minutes digging through your drawers to find your favorite mascara? For many of us, this can bring stress levels way up, and we aren't our best when we're feeling rushed and frantic. Personally, I'm a big fan of having a couple makeup bags ready for the day. When I'm traveling, I can grab a prepared makeup bag and get out the door quickly. (Makeup in the backseat of a rideshare, anyone?) With this system, I don't have to worry about losing one of my products, because I know I have a backup. Also, if one of the makeup bags runs out of a product, you can simply grab one from another bag. If you have doubles and they're ready to go, your stress levels won't go up. You're prepared.
Ultimately, you're going to need a beauty routine that works for you. We're always looking for ways to get a few extra minutes in our day, but every busy woman is different. Do what best fits your lifestyle and prioritize what's important in your beauty routine. For me, my Beautiac makeup brushes are a desert-island beauty tool, so I wouldn't be caught without them and my favorite moisturizer. When I'm traveling, I even pop the heads off the handles and just bring those to save space since a brush head can just about fit in your pocket. Getting ready shouldn't cause you any extra stress in the day, so plan ahead, and you'll be ready for whatever life throws at you. Now get out from behind that mirror and tackle the world!
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Organic growth has made all the difference for my company. Since its start in 2010, Fresh n' Lean has delivered more than 7.2 million organic meals that are free of pesticides, hormones, GMOs, and other additives. The business itself has grown organically, too, without the help of any outside capital. Over the past decade, Fresh n' Lean's bootstrapped operation has grown into a 220-employee company with nine-figure revenue.
Here's how I've been able to successfully build my business without taking on a penny of outside funding.
1. A Hard Decision
The decision of whether or not to take on outside capital is a difficult one.
I was lucky— I relied on personal savings to fund Fresh n' Lean at the company's onset. I thought Fresh n' Lean was a meaningful endeavor, and I believed in myself and my vision.
Not every business owner would be financially able to make the same decision I did. Either way, it's important that your company's growth happens gradually and naturally.
2. Start Small
I was an 18-year-old college student when I launched Fresh n' Lean.
I would regularly work upwards of 20 hours a day— cooking dishes, arranging the meals in tupperware containers, handwriting the labels, and personally delivering them to some of our earliest customers.
Pretty soon we were shipping meals nationally, and I began renting a commercial kitchen space.
We generated a ton of enthusiasm from our customers, and that support prooved that we were on to something. But the early days featured lots of trial and error. We made mistakes and learned from them before scaling the business.
3. Rely On Your Network
Fresh n' Lean started with a team of five people. My friends and relatives chipped in, and my brother Thomas joined Fresh n' Lean as co-CEO.
Relying on those close colleagues was so meaningful in helping me get the company off the ground. I often look at Fresh n' Lean's employees as a family, and that mentality was especially true in those early days.
As I ramped up the hiring, my experiences with every aspect of our operation made me sharp at understanding the company's needs— and helped me to hire employees with the right skill set and mentality to drive the company forward.
4. Hold Firm
Fresh n' Lean embodies a lifestyle choice, a chance for everyone in the United States to have access to nourishing meals amid their busy lives.
We probably could have driven more sales by offering non-organic meal options, but I wanted the company to remain true to my mission.
A decade later, I'm so proud to see the impact Fresh n' Lean has made in redefining fast food.
5. Capitalize On Industry Trends
We live in a society of instant gratification— we want everything now, and our world is completely focused on convenience.
When Fresh n' Lean was launched, the idea of receiving ready-to-eat meals on your doorstep was a strange concept. But a decade later, we're used to having everything delivered to our homes. Recognizing and capitalizing on those changing consumer habits was a big part of our growth.
6. Don't Bite Off More Than You Can Chew
For years, I wanted to open our own kitchen facility— it was a top priority.
But building the space was a difficult and extensive process that could have financially devastated us if we attempted it too soon. In those early years, the project would have left the company too vulnerable.
Instead of moving forward with the project, we waited. In the meantime, we continued renting commercial kitchen space. One day a week turned into two, and then three and four, and eventually we were renting the space five days a week.
In time, we had no other options but to build our own kitchen facility— and our restraint before moving forward with that project was crucial, even if it was frustrating for the short-term.
7. Focus On You
As you build your company, it's easy to try to compare it to the growth other companies experience.
But headlines and press releases don't reveal the full story, and outside funding can mask structural and foundational problems. One example is the online ordering and meal delivery service Munchery, which secured more than $125 million from lenders before closing in early 2019.
Every company's story is unique! You can't judge your company's success based on the ups and downs of others. Focus on making your company the best you can.
8. One Thing At A Time
Our meal offerings have expanded through deliberate, strategic planning and extensive customer feedback.
Building the recipes takes time— we want to be sure to get it right. And our customer feedback ensures that there's built-in interest before rolling out new meal options.
9. Be Resourceful
Building the company without outside capital forced me to be more resourceful. I couldn't throw money at everything I wanted to change— I had to be patient and find alternative solutions.
It's similar, in a way, to cooking a dish without having every ingredient listed in the recipe. You must have the key ingredients! Our executive chef was one of our earliest hires.
But you can adjust and improvise on some of the secondary ingredients, using whatever alternatives you have available and relying on tried-and-true methods to fill in the gaps.
Who knows? Through experimentation, you just might find a better way to cook your dish or guide your company forward.