Nicolle’s Morning Skin and Hair Routine… Exposed!
Though I’ve been writing for NMDL for more than a year and a half, I have yet to submit my morning routine! It’s changed a lot in the last year, as I struggled with some health complications and skin reactions, but I’m happy to report that my current routine has my skin looking better than ever. Whoo!
Current weather: Ha. It’s snowing, and the temperature is well below zero.
City: Minneapolis, #Minnesnowta
Hair: Long-ish, ombre light brown to blonde, dry and thin.
Skin: Sensitive and dry—I’m allergic to a multitude of things, including beeswax, which is in SO. MANY. THINGS. (can we stop with that, brands?), so I’m pretty careful about my choices.
Favorite star or icon from the past: I’ve loved Grace Kelly since I did a report on her in third grade.
I’m not a morning person nor a shower-lover, so I’m a night shower-er when at all possible and I only wash my hair twice a week (dry shampoo is my best friend and the one from Tabitha James Kraan is my current love). Before I get into my night shower, I remove my makeup with an e-cloth because too many products messes with my sensitive skin and this gives a gentle exfoliation + removes all my foundation and mascara. Then I use Absolution’s Cleansing Water, which is fab because it’s really gentle and removes any remnants of makeup.
In the shower…
I wash my hair with Avalon Organics’ Itch and Flake Therapy Shampoo, which is the only thing that’s helped rid my scalp of the dry skin I was left with after a bad infection last spring. Then I use Rare E’lements’ Lite Conditioner, which is more moisturizing and volume-boosting than any hair product I’ve ever used. While that’s in, I lather up the same shampoo to shave my legs, pits + bits—the salicylic acid in the shampoo has helped prevent ingrown hairs during the winter and the pH-balanced shampoo doesn’t dry out my sensitive areas.
Outside the shower…
When I step out of the shower, I drench my still-wet skin in body oil. Right now, I’m using FIG + YARROW’s Bath + Body Oil in Woods, African Botanics’ Marula Firming Botanical Body Oil or Skin & Bones’ Luxurious Moisturizer. They all have wintery scents (read: musky and deep and multi-faceted).
I spot treat any blemishes with Osmia Organics’ Spot Treatment (best EVER—this is a desert-island product for me), then spritz on Graydon Clinical Luxury’s Face Food Mineral Mist, with copper, zinc and colloidal silver, which I think has really helped my breakouts. ARCONA’s Chamomile Balm goes on while my face is still damp (read my full review to know how much I love this balm) and then ED4OLO’s Vitamin E Eye Balm gets gentle patter under my eyes (another desert-island product for me). Oh and every other night, I switch up my moisturizer, using ARCONA’s The Gentle Solution (the product I’d say has done the most to change my skin) and True Nature Botanicals’ Pacific Night Serum with Retinol (just on my forehead + neck) instead, as an overnight anti-aging and exfoliation treatment.
I detangle my hair with Acure Organics’ Leave-In Conditioner and a Tangle Teezer, which is genius if you haven’t heard of it, and great for kids’ long hair. Then I use Dr. Haushka’s Neem Hair Oil to further moisturizer my scalp and to help my hair grow back from when some of it fell out last spring. I love this dry oil that you can put on when your hair is wet or dry (it’s more of a liquid than an oil and there’s no grease) and I’ll be repurchasing—it’s helped heal my scalp immensely. Then I use YAROK Hair’s Volumizing Foam and Rahua’s Voluminous Spray to give my limp hair lift. If you’re a thin-haired gal like myself, I highly recommend these two products if you want thicker hair that lasts til your next shampoo. I rough blowdry (bad for my hair, I KNOW) and twist it into a high bun for sleeping (keeps that volume up! I do this every night, as it maintains my curling-wand waves so I don’t have to use heat on my hair daily).
In the morning…
I have a slew of supplements I take to help build my nutrient levels back up after my celiac disease went undiagnosed for so long, so I start with a big glass of room-temperature water and my probiotics before I do anything. Then a warm mug of lemon water and Hope Gillerman’s Sinus Remedy help me wake up for the day and I fill up a bkr water bottle with 15 drops of Lotus Wei’s Inner Peace Flower Elixir to sip on while I get ready.
On mornings after using the anti-aging treatments, I exfoliate with ARCONA’s Brightening Gommage or some kind of mask, like Osmia Organics’ Detox Exfoliating Mask mixed with Kahina Giving Beauty’s Toning Mist. I also love Laurel Skin’s and Dr. Alkaitis’ masks and The Problem Solver from May Lindstrom Skin. If I’ve not used my anti-aging treatment, then I just use the Absolution Cleansing Water again and repeat the spot-treat/mist/moisturize routine from the night before, minus the eye balm and plus the Skin Owl Eye Concentrate (great for depuffing, though it does have phenoxyethanol, so be aware).
Before I touch my hair or makeup, I dry brush with an essential oil lymph tonic that Susannah created. Part of my health complications have to do with my body not clearing infection properly, and Susannah’s tonic + dry brushing helps flush everything out—and prevent those ingrown hairs I mentioned.
Then I take my hair out of its high bun and use a curling wand on it to get some beachy waves while my skincare settles. I only have to do this the morning after I’ve showered, which is super nice and saves my ends from splitting. I finish with Onesta’s Finish Hair Spray.
I work from home or from a coffee shop most days, so if I don’t have meetings, I keep makeup to a minimum. HAUT Cosmetics’ Brightener concealer in pink is my favorite, vegan under-eye highlighter. If you haven’t tried this, you’re missing out. INIKA Cosmetics’ Mineral Foundation is my current everyday foundation—it’s so easy, covers blemishes and doesn’t require adding blush, highlighter or bronzer to my skin on top of it. Oh, and if you wear mineral foundation of any kind, you have to watch (or re-watch) this application video that Kim Wallace shared on her blog a few weeks ago—saves you product and gives you flawless skin.
Once foundation is done, I do my brows with Zuzu Luxe’s Cream Brow Pencil in Russet (vegan, again, because anything with beeswax gives me little whiteheads), swiping Zuzu Luxe’s Clear Mascara on top of the pencil to hold brows in place. Mascara is the last official step, and I rarely skip it. 100% Pure’s Dark Chocolate Mascara is great for daily use, but I also love RMS Beauty’s Defining Mascara and W3LL People’s Expressionist Bio Extreme Mascara. And I just got the Antonym Cosmetics Mascara, which is rivaling all of the above. Yes, I have four mascaras in my makeup bag—and I just gave away two.
While I don’t wear a lip color every day, I am obsessed with sticks, glosses, stains and balms (though finding vegan formulas in as many shades and finishes as their beeswax-filled counterparts has been more of a task than I anticipated…). ILIA Beauty’s Lip Crayons, in all colors, are fab, cream/satin finishes. Red Apple Lipstick in Audrey is a fave, as is local Aromi Beauty’s Poppy. I heart Gressa Skin’s Lip Boosts, all shades, and Beautycounter’s Lip Sheers are perfect for everyday wear (Petal is my go-to). Oh, and my all-time-favorite balm is S.W. Basics’ Vegan Lip Balm. Please, Adina, never stop making that.
You’ll notice that deodorant is missing… I’ve had the hardest time switching this over! Everything irritates my sensitive skin—and I’ve tried them all! Any tips? I’m also all ears for new, beeswax-free makeup… Share! Share!