Siobhan’s Morning Skin and Hair Routine… Exposed!

Welcome to a new occasional series where we’ll share with you what products real people are using in their real  lives at a given moment in time. (Routines are subject to change without notice! Heh.)

I’m going to go first ’cause I’m a trooper, but there will be more! And bear in mind, I think of cosmetics sort of like an outfit: I wear underwear (almost) every day, but on top on that, sometimes I feel like wearing a sundress, and other days I feel like wearing jeans and a T. I treat skincare the same way. There are a few everyday items, and then there are some I swap in and out depending on my mood or the mood of my skin.

Now, without further ado… Here’s my morning skin and haircare routine.

Name: Siobhan
: How dare you! (32)
Current weather:
Really hot, muggy, humid, northeast, generally gross
: Mostly not dyed anymore, thick, wavy, long, occasionally frizzy
: Pale, sensitive, Irish, burns easily, irritated easily

In the shower…

I don’t wash my face in the morning. I figure it can’t get that dirty between washing it right before bed and waking, and my skin seems to best tolerate a light hand, so I keep it simple. Instead of wash, I use a muslin cloth I got from Pai to wipe down my face. It’s gentle but still slightly scrubby, which feels great. In the tub, I use bar soap from Leap Organics, C Tonics Tantra shampoo, and C Tonics Milk conditioner. The soap is simple, and it’s from a brand I really love to support, but the hair stuff needs some ‘splaining: This shampoo smells super intense, which Spirit Demerson warned me about, but it’s a treatment for “stressed scalps,” which mine certainly is right now, mainly because I got a trim the other week and with it, a really sweet rash. The rash comes and goes with stress, but there is no more extravagant a trigger than SLS/SLES-based shampoo. The conditioner, meanwhile, is the best-smelling conditioner I’ve tried in eons. It smells amazing! And it leaves my hair soft and shiny and not frizzy, even in August in New York.

Outside the shower…

I am using and loving Soapwalla’s body oil some days of the week (too lazy to moisturize daily) and depending on how many bruises I have, I also use Chocolate Sun self-tanner in light on my legs, and maybe my arms. I apply the fake-sunner before the oil, obviously. Then I apply Soapwalla deodorant.

For face, I spray Kahina Giving Beauty Toning Mist all over, then on the lower part of my face only—which is where I’m prone to spots—I use Organic Apoteke Active Face Gel, which I live and die by. [Now here’s a problem: My bottle is half-empty and the line seems to be on hiatus or out of business. HELP!!!! I am freaking out on the inside about this. I have used this for three years, and I’m terrified about what is going to happen when I run out, so suggestions welcome.]

On the rest of my face, I use Tammy Fender Intensive Repair Balm. I’m not really repairing anything, but I freaking love this cream. A tiny amount goes such a long way, and it gives my skin a nice glow. If my skin feels really hydrated already, I use the much lighter Pai Chamomile and Rosehip Lotion. Then I roll on a Bella Figura eye treatment, which I am still experimenting with but will review soon, and finally, my 100% Pure Argan Oil Sunscreen follows.

I do not use leave-ins on my hair. I dry it with a sweet blowdryer if I have time, or let it go naturally wavy.

Finishing touches…

I still love Laura Mercier’s loose minerals and use it, applied with a clean finger, on places where I need it. I managed to find a color that matches my skin perfectly, so I can use it like a spot cover for the places that are a little uneven (nostrils, sometimes my undereyes, any spots I might have). Then I curl my lashes and apply some 100% Pure mascara in navy or black, really just depending on which one is closer to the top of my makeup bag. That’s basically it. If I’m feeling fancy, I might sweep on some NVey Eco or Josie Maran eyeliner on the corner of my eyes, and sometimes some lip color, too—usually Vapour or RMS these days, in pinky colors. And finally, a spritz of Honore des Pres perfume in Vamp, which I will also review soon.

And that’s it! We’ll do night routines too, but separately, since those are usually different from mornings.

So we ask you:

What on earth should I do when Organic Apoteke runs out? And second, whose routine (other than Alexandra’s, who I will strongarm into doing this, too) do you want to know about? We can’t promise anything, but we can try! If you’re a reader and you have a routine you want to share, please let us know in the comments.

49 Responses to “Siobhan’s Morning Skin and Hair Routine… Exposed!”
  1. Antoinette E. says:

    Thanks for sharing! I am looking forward to reading more “beauty routines, exposed” — brava for going first. I hope you’ll find a replacement (or better yet, refills) of your face gel.

  2. Lindz says:

    This is awesome! I love this post and am very thankful for it. I like hearing other people’s beauty routines and learning about their must have products. I hate when products I love are discontinued. I hope you can find your face gel.

  3. Rebecca says:

    I just LOVE hearing about other people’s routines. Is it voyeuristic? I don’t know, but I love it. Since going clean I’ve been much more willing to experiment with skincare and make-up. I used to be so stuck that I’d get super stressed if I thought I might not have a particular product. Now I feel like there are options and so many great clean products to try, and I’ve even been keeping a little DIY journal and experimenting with that. So hearing what others do brings me inspiration.

    @Siobhan, they carry the OA brand at my local Whole Foods. I would totally send it to you if they have that product in stock! If I have a chance to go look today I will. I wanted to try this line myself a while back because I heard such great things, but it’s not gluten free. Anyway, if you can’t find it in time it looks like the first few (and therefore greatest %) ingredients could be mixed up in a DIY…witch hazel, sunflower seed oil, coconut oil, shea butter…this is doable.

  4. Nicole says:

    This is great! In the mornings I usually just splash my face with water and then apply 100% organic Argan Oil with some Tea Tree on any spots I might have. Then mostly RMS (Lip2cheek, living luminizer) and recently Jane Iredale concealer (thanks to this blog!). I would love to hear from someone who has “problem” or, as I prefer to call it, vocal skin (ie acne or eczema, both of which I struggle with). Thanks for the great post!

  5. Siobhan says:

    Oh MAN if you can look I’d be thrilled. I could send you a check! I looked online and I can’t find it anywhere. I’m so attached to their formula.

  6. Lindsey says:

    I love this! I try to be as low maintenance as possible at all times, but sometimes, this militaristic routine gives me the “oh my goodness i don’t even feel like a girl anymore!” crisis. So, sometimes I feel the need to switch it up a bit. Thanks girls!

  7. Lesa says:

    This kind of post appeals perfectly to my nosy sensibilities. Thanks for sharing! Also, you need to try Bite Beauty, lip colour that’s safe to eat.

  8. Stefanie says:

    Thank you for this great post!I loved it!!!
    How about a post on Spirit Demersons Routine?I bet tons of girls would love to hear about it:)

  9. Julie says:

    Such a fun post to read; thanks! I’d love to hear about SpiritBeautyLounge’s routine and also Soapwalla’s routine : )

  10. Rachel says:

    Siobhan, You and I are the same age, have similar skin/hair types and have very similar morning routines. But I’m in SHOCK right now that you put nothing in your hair and let it air dry. This is a recipe for disaster for me with my long, wavy, slightly frizzy hair. If I blow-dry, which I most commonly do just because it makes my life so much easier) then I don’t need any product but if I air dry then I pretty much look like crap the rest of the day. Is this because you don’t shampoo??? I only wash a couple of times a week, and use a very gentle, clean shampoo…but I haven’t been able to get over the no-poo hump just quite yet.

  11. Alyssa M says:

    loooooooove. i am happy to hear about anyone’s routine, although i agree with nicole, since i also have “active” skin (aka hormonal acne that continues to haunt my chin and jaw region into my 20’s). sharing is caring!

  12. eva says:

    This is oddly interesting! I’ll definitely copy some of your stuff!

    By the way, has anyone tried one of those Magic Mitts from Jane Iredale? I’m curious about that product..Not sure I can figure out how it works (or if it would work for someone who doesn’t wear any make up).

  13. Erica says:

    I worked in the beauty industry for 10+ years and my morning routine is pretty simple. I’ll even show a picture of me bare faced. Looking bright eyed and bushy tailed depends on rms beauty concealer and living luminizer. My friends all think living luminizer should be called something not so appropriate as it makes you look that good.

  14. nancy says:

    Just great! Thanks for letting us take a peek into your morning routine.. Loved to learn that you see your beauty products much like an outift, being open to use whichever inspires you on any given day!
    Since stumbling into this great blog(the book came later) and learning of so many lines and great products I have to confess that I’ve not been entirely faithful to my “first clean product love/ Tata Harper”. I still love the line,really do and continue to use,just not regularly anymore … My first love now shares space with both Kahina Giving Beauty and Tammy Fender!
    Looking forward to more sharings:)

  15. Sydney says:

    I absolutely LOVE that you guys are now doing this little new series!! I have read your book but kept on thinking, so they like all of these products but which ones did they like enough to make a regular staple in their regimen??? This will be so useful when I finally decide on the products that I’ll be switching to. (:

  16. Sydney says:

    I also wanted to say thank you to Siobhan & Alexandra…you guys have really made a big difference already in the beauty world. So many women ( and men! ) will have much healthier lives because of the info that you are so steadily getting out. So again thank you!!! (:

  17. I have OA at my local Whole Foods too but they don’t carry that amazing gel anymore. This one from Aubrey Organics is what I use now when I need ( and I can find it at WF and a few other health food focused stores. Works really well for me if not quite the same as OA.

    My routine would be pretty boring to list.. it’s almost all Yes to Carrots, homemade herbal stuff, and Aubrey Organics.

  18. Rebecca says:

    @Siobhan, I have returned from my quest with one bottle of Organic Apoteke Active Face Hydrating Gel. I had to fight mobs of nearly-blemished women who desperately needed to get it, but I was victorious! No, actually I just drove to the store, no biggee. ; ) I’ll e-mail you.

  19. Kerri says:

    I love learning about other people’s routines, keep these posts coming please! Maybe Amala purifying gel moisturizer as a sub for the OA active gel??

  20. Ellie says:

    I hear Organic Apoteke is moving into the spa industry so aren’t going to sell online or in stores anymore- If you can find it anywhere I guess stock up! But this is just from an online store- possibly (hopefully!) not true

  21. jess says:

    I love this. And I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one who puts products on one part of my face but not the other.

    Looking forward to the perfume review, and this series!

  22. Kimberly says:

    My skin is combination and especially oily on my forehead. I usually cleanse with Acure organics cleansing gel and use their toner. Being at an age where I am also concerned with aging gracefully I am splurging on Tata Harper’s rejuvenating serum but not on my forehead. This serum does improve your skin tone and softens lines. I have never spent so much on any skin care product but it does make a visible difference in overall skin quality. I do not use it on my forehead because the serum works best on normal to dry areas. I am also using her eye cream and it is the best one I have used to date. I have serious under eye shadows from allergy and sinus issues and this cream has definitely lightened them up! It is the most expensive eye cream I have ever used but my eye area looks fresher and brighter and maybe even makes me look a little younger. Thanks, Tata! For my oily forehead I use Acure organics oil control day cream and it seems to keep breakouts down so far. So far my skin is looking fairly well for my age.

  23. Dain says:

    This was very fun to read. : )

    I want to try Tammy Fender so badly, but I can’t decide between the two moisturizers and even the samples are expensive. My skin sounds very similar to yours, however.

  24. Deanna says:

    Thanks to your pop-up store sale at Spirit Beauty Lounge last Friday, I got a sample of Honore des Pres perfume in Vamp. I’m wearing it for the first time today, and I am enjoying it. Very different than other fragrances — normally I can’t smell them after an hour or two, but this has a pleasant staying power.

  25. Nicole says:

    I, too, love this! Thanks for posting, and I’ll definitely look forward to reading more beauty routines in the future. Maybe you can get other natural babes to disclose their routines? ie. What does Spirit Demerson do morning and night? What does Soapwalla’s brilliant chef do? I’d be curious to know… :) Maybe a bit voyeuristic of me, but hopefully in a healthy way :) Thanks again. Love you girls!

  26. Siobhan says:

    @Lesa I will check it out!

    @Rachel (and others who asked about my hair) I own two leave-ins: Intelligent Nutrients volumizing spray, and Max Green Alchemy gel. I have owned the same bottles of both for so long they’re probably gone off, mainly because yeah, I just don’t need leave ins anymore! I use a really powerful blowdryer, which I’ve reviewed on the site, and find it beats any frizz pretty easily! As for air drying, my trick is not to keep a towel on my head for too long, brush it, put sunglasses on my head so it dries sorta flipped out from my face like Farrah Fawcett, and c’est tout! It might be a TOUCH frizzy on humid days, but not so much that it’s bothersome.

    ALSO, and I feel this is important: I only wash my scalp. I find natural shampoos to be much less drying than regular shampoo, obvs, and my strands, because I don’t use leaveins, don’t need to be soaped up! So I rub into my scalp to degrease and rinse very quickly. I also leave conditioner in for a few minutes every time I wash. Like, three or four minutes, while I shave my underarms or clean my body with a wash cloth. Try it!

  27. Aileen says:

    Bummer about the product begin basically gone (except, apparently, if you live in California?)…I had just decided to try that face gel, but but I guess I had bad timing! On Facebook they keep say they’re coming back, but they said it would take a few weeks in a post from the end of June….maybe/hopefully it’s just taking a bit longer than planned…

    I like this series, too. I find it very useful to know what other people actually do to manage their skin and hair. Thank you for sharing!

  28. Marci says:

    Love the info on your regiment and by the way, HauteLook (a flash sale site) is having a sale on Tammy Fender Skincare. I see you are using it and I have been wanting to try the line. Most items are 50% off! If you are not a member already signup via my link I will be buying some stuff TODAY!!!

  29. Kimberly says:

    If you go to the Spirit beauty lounge blog and look at Spirit’s late July entry she tells you all about the bath and beauty products in her shower. It is quite a list!

  30. Amber says:

    Who’s routine would I like to know about? Marion Cotillard and Kate Blanchett. They’re beautiful.

  31. MacKey says:

    @Siobhan; Dr Alkaitis’ Herbal Toner always leaves my skin blemish free (the Soothing Gel would also do that), and Tata Harper’s Replenishing Serum is also great for breakouts. Great routine by the way.

    If there are any ladies out there, like me, who have oily yet very easily irritated and sensitive skin (acne and eczema), then I can highly recommend Dr Alkaitis. You won’t see results immediately but with time you’ll notice great results.

  32. Stefanie says:

    Also,the skincare routine of Terri Bly from Nature of Beauty and also the gals from figandsage would be interesting to read about:)

  33. Spirit says:

    @Siobhan Careful with the OA you can still find though – they’ve been out of production since last year so there may be shelf-life issues. We’ll find you a replacement somehow!

  34. nancy says:

    @ Marci, thank you! Thank you for sharing the timely info on Tammy Fender@Hautelook… Not even at Tammy Fender Spa/website you get this deal !

  35. courtney says:

    Hi Siobhan.
    Loved your post – I have the Irish skin too – and when I changed to clean products the one thing I had trouble with was my cystic acne on my chin. I know it has the dreaded phenoxy – but the one thing that fixed everything up (and things were bad – the worst ever) was juice beauty’s green apple peel. I just use it twice a week under my nose and on my chin and everything has been great since. Hopefully the phenoxy will be out of the formula soon – otherwise- I hope you find the Organic Apoteke soon.

  36. Elizabeth says:

    @Siobahn, what about one of Evan Healy’s products? I’m sure if you emailed/Facebooked her, she would come up with really wonderful and gentle recommendations. I love her! And her skin really does glow!

  37. Siobhan says:

    You’re right and I love and have regularly used her stuff. She’s amazing! I guess I just feel attached to my routine because it works! My skin is so predictable now, and it’s behaving so well–I don’t like to mess with a good thing :)

  38. Sofia keilor says:

    I loved reading both our your routines. I also read the NYT Face time to see what celebrities use and their great picks. You should highlight this feature each month. I am obsessed with eye treatments so I want to know more about what youre using on your eyes. Thanks!

  39. Choika says:

    Ooh! Ooh! I want to share! This is fascinating…and I definitely have a routine.

  40. Allyson says:

    Thank you for this fabulous post! I am always interested in what natural products are working for other people, especially in the hair care department. I would love to hear from others. It sounds like Tammy Fender products are completely worth splurging. If only I weren’t a poor college student. Sigh.

  41. Rachel says:

    So, I was thinking of giving the Ctonics Elixir Milk a try, but I noticed that it contains dimethicone. I thought silicone = bad?

  42. Michelle says:

    I am a fan of the Organic Apoteke Active Face Gel as well and got very sad when I found out it became unavailable! But I do have a good replacement: the Ikove Rose Night Cream. Ikove by Florestas is a Brazilian brand but it is available in US and some other countries. I posted a review on my blog, it is in Portuguese but you can see a picture of the product and the list of ingredients (very clean, I think you will like it) – please visit

  43. Ariel says:

    I got a sample of Vamp today from Spirit Beauty Lounge and it was love at first whiff.

  44. Siobhan says:

    @Ariel Does it smell like vanilla on you? Can you describe the smell once it’s on your skin? I’ve been having a hard time coming up with words and I want to review it properly.

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