The low-maintenance lifestyle

On Facebook, a colleague asked for an explanation of this Buzzfeed article: “29 Freeing Truths Of Being A Low-Maintenance Girl.” She just didn’t get it. I figured she can’t be alone, so let me explain.  The low-maintenance lifestyle is based on saving time and money by eliminating nonessentials. Of course, we all have different definitions of “essential.” But here’s how I break it down.

1. All your pajamas are a bunch of raggedy, giant, freebie T-shirts.

This is probably more true of young single people, but honestly, if no one else is going to see them, why bother with anything else? The key word here is “freebie.”

2. Your toiletries consist of no more than three drugstore products.

I can’t endorse this one, because this would limit you to soap, toothpaste, and shampoo. Folks with short hair can get away with that two-in-one shampoo conditioner combo. But those of us with long hair need conditioner. I actually use about twice as much conditioner as shampoo. Perhaps the key word here is “drugstore.” I buy the cheapest stuff I can get. None of those expensive salon brands.

3. You have a mini panic attack every time a friend asks you to tag along to Sephora or Ulta.

My friends don’t actually do this. But yeah. Expensive + nonessential = not going there.

4. And this is your personal hell. So. Much. Makeup.

This was accompanied by a shot of the makeup table that must be from a touring company of Cats.

5. Because, for you, every day is No Makeup Monday.

Yep. You know that Facebook thing where people post “no makeup selfies” as if it were a big deal? I can guarantee you, unless you have photos from when I was in drama club as a teen, every photo you’ve seen of me has been “no makeup.”

6. If you do wear makeup‚ it’s usually like, ONE thing.

Or like, under orders from the director of the show.

7. And lipstick? Na-ah. You prefer sticking to lip balm.

Even lip balm kind of grosses me out, because it sticks on my coffee mug. Eew.

I have had an aversion to makeup ever since those drama club days. I’m very fortunate that the pastor’s wife introduced me to a guy who, like me, thinks “makeup is gross.”

8. You don’t believe in hair products or blow-drying or flat-ironing.

I’m guessing that here the writer is excluding shampoo and conditioner and talking about gels and stuff. I have been known to employ a bit of hairspray once in a while to avoid looking like Alfalfa’s mother. But that’s all.

Isn’t it odd that women with curly hair iron it flat and women with straight hair use curling irons? There’s a whole other blog post in that.

9. You either just shake out your hair (on a good hair day),

10. …or you wear it in a ponytail (on a bad hair day)‚

11. …or you bun it (on a really bad hair day).

Just shake out? No, I always need a comb. Ponytail, yes, but buns are for formal wear. Hair clips are for really bad hair days.

12. Outside of a regular trim, you consider salon visits pointless.

Not pointless. Overpriced, maybe. I see a stylist about once a year or so. In between, if I need a trim, my husband does a blunt cut.

13. And in the event that you did get a bad haircut, you just shrug it off. Hair grows back.

Well, yeah, but…the last time I got a bad haircut was about thirty years ago. Because now I’m really, really careful about who comes near me with scissors.

14. Your idea of a manicure is keeping your nails neatly clipped.

I’m sorry, is there some other definition of manicure?

Oh, yeah. The one time I had a professional manicure, I had to tell her to put away the polish. I don’t mess with that because it’s nonessential, chips off almost immediately, and frankly — it looks kind of weird.

15. And you basically have a Ph.D. in getting dressed in 10 minutes or less.

Ten? No, fifteen, more like. But seriously, that’s not counting the time it takes to pick stuff out. But the principle here is saving time. If your wardrobe is simple and organized, you won’t waste a lot of time on this process.

16. Your jewelry collection consists of a few non-flashy knickknacks, because that’s all you really need.

Some of my knickknacks are a bit flashy. But I never spend a lot of money on them. And I don’t wear them often.

17. Shopping with your friends is an exercise in patience, because they will go to EVERY store and try on EVERY thing.

Wait. Shopping with friends? Umm…is that like, where you all sit around at a coffee shop with Amazon on your laptops? No, I shop from home because transmitting your credit card over Wi-Fi is risky.

18. …while you’re quite content with your old jeans and tees.

Actually, I don’t own a pair of jeans. Do Bermuda shorts count?

19. When it comes to high-fashion brands, your primary emotion is indifference.

And my secondary emotion is shock that anyone actually pays extra to wear someone else’s name on their clothes.

20. That does not mean you don’t enjoy the occasional splurge…on sneakers.

Not sneakers. If I’m going to splurge, it will be on this jacket:Gibson Girl Jacket

21. You’re completely content staying home and binge-watching Netflix instead of dressing up for a night out on the town.

Substitute “reading books” for Netflix and you got me.

22. But when you do go out, you aren’t picky about anything because ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

I am very self-conscious about what I wear. I try to look classy and a little different without drawing too much attention to myself. But a carefully curated closet means that even when I do obsess over my dress, it doesn’t take a huge amount of time.

23. Fancy events mean pulling out your nicest sneakers, tee, and skirt.

Nope. Fancy events mean pulling out my velvet cloak.

Photo by Michelle Wood.

Photo by Michelle R. Wood

24. Beer is your go-to drink. Good, old, casual, delicious, beer.

Urk. Root beer, maybe.

25. TBH, your needs are fairly simple and easy to satisfy.


26. Let’s not forget how easy packing is. You can fit all of your things in a single carry-on bag.

😄😄😄 That’s a good one.

27. The word “picky” doesn’t exist in your dictionary.

Only when it comes to food.

28. And there’s just no room for gossip and drama and all that jazz.


29. Basically, you know how to be ABSOLUTELY comfortable while rocking your personal style.

Yup, velvet cloak and all.


The most interesting thing about this list is that, if all of these points were applied to guys, people’s response would be “well, duh.” But for women, it’s somehow aberrant to refrain from spending time and money on jewelry and fashion and makeup.


About Kristen Stieffel

Kristen Stieffel is a writer and freelance editor specializing in speculative fiction. She's a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association, Christian Editor Connection, and American Christian Fiction Writers.

11 comments on “The low-maintenance lifestyle

  1. > The most interesting thing about this list is that, if all of these points were applied to guys, people’s response would be “well, duh.” But for women, it’s somehow aberrant to refrain from spending time and money on jewelry and fashion and makeup.

    The most interesting thing to me is that the above is no universal truth. I for one am SO glad I didn’t live in Louis XIV’s time, let alone in his court. And when I look at what passed for men’s clothing in some of Shakespeare’s settings, I think, “Doubly glad”.

    Somewhere alone the line, Western man wised up. The price we paid – and imposed on much of the world – was the business suit, complete with tie. El Yucko. Well, great if you can pull it off, but I stopped looking good in a business suit at 40.

    And, of course, some cultures are big on men wearing makeup and jewelry. Noooo thank you.

    • 😀 Yep, this list is definitely culture-specific.

    • Maybe I am just too picky or have too high expectations. I pray not. If this list John applied to men. I would expect better. I think men and women can do better than a less
      Quality life style. Out of love and respect I am motivated to do better and look my best. Not settle. And I would expect my husband to do the same for the same reasons. It is simply to let them feel that you went to all the work you did to make yourself better rather than me or him having to settle.

  2. I’m pretty low-maint. I’m not typically a splurger unless it’s books. Muahahaha . . . While I do wear makeup, sometimes, I don’t have a lot of it. I don’t even own a blowdryer. lol . . .

  3. Some of these things I get. Others I guess separate some women from others. I however am one that lives Salon visits. They give me a glass of wine. The pampering is nice. Shopping I prefer to shop alone. Many because I need to stay in my frame of mind to make the right and logical choices I do in a myriad of reasons I must employ. I am just who I am and it usually want to not be hindered ny those who try to ” reform” what makes me..ME.

  4. I like to be plain, neat, clean, and well-toned. So clean clothes, exercise, and showers are about the extent of it for me. Physical beauty nonsense? Not high maintenance. Never even had a manicure. Food? VERY high maintenance. I’m so, so OCD about what goes in my body. There is no way I’m going to eat fast food and soda or cheap beer. Oh, and why is beer low-maintenance? If you want good beer and not those cheap knock-offs, you have to spend a lot of money for it. That isn’t the case for good wine. You could spend a lot, but you don’t have to.

  5. Hahhah this his is so me100000%! Idk I just found myself loving this lifestyle
    It is so freeing and flexible! My friends used to tell me that guys don’t like it and I told them that I don’t live or do things for guys but for me and the sake of my comfort!

  6. Love it!!

    I quit going to salons 30 years ago — haircuts here are done with my old dog clippers, straight razor, and scissors. I can mess my hair up just fine without paying someone else to screw it up. Over the years, though, I’ve got much better, so much so that others ask for the salon number and address (do they take walk-ins? LOL).

    Manicure — clip & smooth rough edges. I’ve always been in jobs where long nails usually get ripped off and polish doesn’t survive solvents & cleaners more than 20 seconds.

    Clothes shopping — unless it’s for replacement jeans or tee-shirts/sweatshirts, it’s a dreaded occasion when I have to fight tears. Shoe shopping is the worst!

    Beer — 2-3 times a year, but it’s single bottles of a particular kind that’s close to bitters for settling my stomach. Most of the bottle winds up as slug bait, though.

    Jewelry — wedding band and pierced earrings (studs only). I love hoop earrings but there’s no sensation quite like having someone’s dog or cat stick a foot/claw in a hoop.

    And so on. 🙂

    Golly, Kristen, this is priceless! Reblogging! 🙂

  7. Reblogged this on Journeys of the Clayfoot and commented:
    A priceless look at ” the low-maintenance lifestyle” perspectives.
    As I re-read this, I think of my own perspectives to add later. 🙂

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