a compassionate medicine cabinet*

i get quite a few questions regarding storage in my bathroom, or lack thereof i should say.  i have a small medicine cabinet and that has to do the trick.

if you are so inclined, you can read my post here on 6 steps to beautiful skin.
the only thing that has changed since i wrote it is that now i'm 53 instead of 52.

this is what it looks like inside.
i learned somewhere along the way while downsizing, that immediate available storage should be used for things you use everyday.  this cabinet is small and i don't want it cluttered up with things i rarely use,  
so i don't.

here's a close-up of my daily products.  a lot of you ask about my skincare products.

my sunscreen is missing b/c it was sitting on the porch when i took these pictures.
most of you know that i'm an esthetician so here's a little confession...
 i hardly ever use the serum that goes with the green science moisturizer.
this is really dumb of me because i'm getting old and i need all the help i can get.
and the worse part is, i chastise my clients for not using it.

that's chakra #4 - one of my favorite scents
the heart chakra
symbol of sympathy, empathy and love

and my make-up.  

i have a very complicated makeup strategy,
mascara and red lipstick.
occasionally i wear eye shadow.
i don't wear foundation, but if you do i'm cool with that - just don't wear too much of it and take it off at night please.

those are little vials of aveda personal blend perfume, each one is custom made for you.  they run about $20 each.  the great thing about them is they contain no fixatives or extenders which basically mean that people cannot smell you coming and going.  you have to get close to smell it.
i love that.

*no animals were harmed making any of these products.
even the nail varnish made by sparitual is vegan


  1. You are so neat and tidy! Where does your hubby keep all his "truck"?

  2. Oh there was an Aveda smell that used to love, it was an orangey smoky smell it was just lovely but I can't recall what it was called.
    Oh those roses are just incredible.

  3. I must look into the Aveda perfume. I am having so much trouble with perfume lately. I find it seems to get stronger and last so long I can't get rid of it and it is giving me a headache. Aveda makes such lovely products, I need to check them out again.

  4. I love it. Aveda perfume? Wonder if they do that here in the UK?
    I hate overpowering, lingering, throat closing perfumes!

  5. Your cabinet is so neat and tidy. I need to get rid of all the extras around here. My husband has a thing for soap, hair gel, deodorant and cologne so there is way too much of that hanging around. I use a Maybelline powder foundation just to smooth out my skin, a little blush, eyeshadow, mascara and lipstick. Only takes me a few minutes to put my face on. Have a beautiful day. Tammy

  6. deb - larry keeps his truck parked in the driveway. but he does have his own little cabinet in the laundry room/powder room it has our toothbrushes and his deodorant in it.

  7. Hooray for you Janet. My make up drawers, plural, are full of useless stuff.

    I need a pep talk on getting my act together like you...which is why I love your blog so much!

    xo kelley

  8. Dear Janet, How lovely to be you and wake up to this tidy and organised bathroom cabinet. My girls like to get into all my potions so my bench gets a little chaotic. I am not surprised that one of your favourite scents is Chakra #4 because you consistently send out what it symbolises to us. Lindaxxx

  9. tabitha - one old fragrance that people loved v much was called eros. i never smelled it though so i couldn't say.

  10. I'll say it again. You are my idol.

  11. Thank you so much for your consistently inspirational posts.
    I love peeking into your cabinet and seeing the essence all distilled. This is what I aspire to constantly and yet still haven't achieved. I am a bit of a product junkie (not terribly so, but still more than I would like to be). I try to purge constantly but it is an ongoing process. Your blog helps SO much to keep me on track.
    Thank you for sharing, Janet!

  12. Just when I think "I" have mastered simplicity....
    You are a true inspiration!

    I use Aveda too so I'm glad to know I'm somewhat on the right beauty track! :)

  13. You have once again inspired me again. Thanks for the peek. : )

  14. I want to come and live in your house.

  15. Very inspiring, thank you! I actually WANT to clean up my act and the bathroom cabinet now.

  16. Janet,

    Your cabinet is serene...and green.
    Mine is a mess...
    must action some order...

    thanks for giving me the needed inspiration,


  17. Your simplicity is divine. You inspire. I am working on it.

  18. Janet, not only do we have very similar medicine cabinets (and your kitchen floor tile? I have it in my bathroom!) my cabinet is stocked with Aveda and Sparitual products too. Kindred spirits! By the way... where ever did you find your lovely accordion-armed mirror? Mine is far from as nice.

  19. You inspire me to live more simply. Thanks so much.

  20. kristia - the mirror is from restoration hardware. i love it b/c it has a 5x mag mirror on one side for close-up viewing/obsessing over things i can do nothing about.

  21. Dear Janet,

    Even your bathroom looks stylish! I see you use AVEDA. Such lovely products. I use their facial mist :-) What a delight that is.

    Lieve groet & happy day,

    Madelief x

  22. What enviable restraint. I'm such a beauty product whore!

  23. I love Aveda products but haven't used them in years...I'll go and read your beauty regimen post now and get caught up. ;)

    I'm impressed that you're able to keep it simple in there. Every time I open the cabinet in our master bath about 5 things fall out. Sometimes I get so frustrated I just leave them strewn about the floor and go about my business. Cute huh?! :)

  24. I'm going to go and clean my cabinet right now.
    I've never tried Aveda skincare. Right now I am using Dr. Haushka.
    Beautiful roses on the sink. The colors!
    Thanks for sharing more of your home with us.

  25. As always, you inspire! I need to clean out my cabinets.
    I have very sensitive skin and use only dermatologist products, minimal at that, otherwise I end up with a dermatitis flareup (always nice on one's forhead). Or rosacea flareup, for various reasons.

    I think my routine is even simpler than yours as I don't wear nail colors!

    I really must do a medicine cabinet post...you are so interesting.
    xo Terri

  26. Are you kidding me?! Please tell me it doesn't look that tidy everyday? You really have mastered this living simple thing.

  27. It's so organized!
    You should seen mine..


  28. It's always so fascinating to me to see how you live out your life so simply. You are an inspiration!

  29. oh. my. word. even your medicine cabinet is uber classy! sigh, who doesn't love Aveda??

  30. Oh, and I wish I could get away with not wearing foundation and powder!!

  31. In our next life let's get married. K?

    xo Jane

  32. Janet, so inspiring. I wish I could go without foundation, but I feel as though my ruddy skin needs it. I wish I could find one that I loved. Any recommendations as an esthetician?

  33. I always think I am so organized until I look at your blog, and I think, "Oh...I must purge some more!" You are such a lady and an inspiration. It must feel so wonderful to be so tidy. Your bathroom is so pretty with choices made so beautifully. LOVE THE GARDENER'S COTTAGE!!! You make life beautiful--what a gift.
    -Suzanne in Illinois

  34. You are in inspiration to living with less.......
    So jealous as I long for this.
    Could you please share your beautiful lipstick shades with us, as you always look so polished and put together with them on.
    Thanks for letting us peek in your cabinets!

  35. ali - i've never been to a make-up counter w/o the salesperson telling me that i needed foundation to cover my pigmentation, redness, etc. and i bought into it for years but then i decided to just let my real skin show and most people think i have great skin. i don't trust me, but i just accept it for what it is. i'm not saying this is for everyone but for me it worked. if i were you i'd try bare mineral powder, it works great at evening out skintone w/o looking cakey. try it.

  36. I love Aveda too. Your medicine cabinet makes me feel like I'm entering a virtual spa :)

  37. Well I'm speechless Janet..almost. Where do you store your other toiletries?
    I don't for the life of me think I could narrow my stuff down this much.
    Wish I could, I suspect it makes life easier!

  38. I love how your medicine cabinet looks Janet - inspiring. Beautiful roses too everywhere from your previous post. And you do make me laugh admitting you don't wear the serum whilst chastising your clients too! You are so honest - love it!! XX

  39. j - in the spring and summer i wear aveda's poppy which is a pretty, clear red and in the fall and winter i wear shizandra which is a deeper red with a bit of brown in it.

    anne marie - i keep a small basket in my bedroom that holds my blowdryer and hairbrushes.

  40. Everything looks so clean! Love that! I have a tiny 1/2 bath for guests and I keep a pretty basket on the back of the toilet with 2 rolls of extra toilet paper and three rolled towels on top of them so you don't have to look at them.

  41. I so admire your sense of simplicity, Janet. I really strive for that, even though I like my stuff. You would be horrified if you knew what my skin care routine was. No foundation, huh? I'm going to have to revisit this post a bunch to study it.

  42. pretty- thanks for sharing. If I were your guest, I would be tempted to open every drawer but I was raised to know better!
    your little house proud sketch is nearly complete.

  43. Back again! I read through all of the posts because I have to know what sunscreen you use, but didn't see anyone else ask. I'm trying very hard to keep to a 2 and under on the Environmental Working Group's rating system, but I also want something that won't harm my skin --especially my face.

  44. yay vegan beauty products! i love aveda.

    and which sunscreen do you use? I am always looking for a good daytime moisturizer with sunscreen, and it's hard to find one i like.

    xo -t-

  45. Janet - even your medicine cabinet is fresh, clean and simple. I love it. I love to hear that your a two stepper in the make-up department too. I'm a mascara and chapstick kind of girl (I have no lips to put real lipstick on.) I've never been into foundation - I have freckles and that just looks weird.
    xo Melissa

  46. Janet,

    I love your bathroom...too much storage just means too much stuff. In every house I have ever lived I always redo the bathrooms and take out every spec of storage and put in pedestal sinks. I now actually do have storage in my new bathroom and we hardly know what to do with it. I cringe at the thought of how much we paid for these cabinets. Anyway...I'm on the same page with minimal makeup and cleansing routines...I know what I need to do and that's clean up my diet. That's the hardest part!

    xo annie

  47. Thank you for the photo of inside your cabinet - I'm a bit nosy and the minimalism is inspiring. I've worn foundation since I was 14 years old. The last year or two I have been wearing much less. I put half what I would normally use on my hand and make it do. Not to be frugal, just to look better. Some days I even wear tinted moisturiser to work and I would never have done that in the past. Maybe I'll graduate to no foundation like you Janet. That would be something to aim for. And I can't remember the last time I went to bed with makeup on. When I used to go out more I kept a pack of facial wipes and a thick moisturising cream in the drawer by my bed. That was my backup plan.

  48. After seeing the pictures of your medicine cabinet - i walked immediately to mine and reorganised it. doesnt look quite so pleasing, but it made me feel good!


kindness is never out of style.

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