City: Glen Rose, Tx
Current Weather: Cool, overcast, rain. Our weather is sadly, inconsistent. One day, bone chilling – another, sunny and warm!
Skin: Normal, with tendencies to being dry and sensitive.
Hair: Long, dark and wavy. Periodically, I color my hair Henna, switching from redder shades to richer, darker colors…
Favorite star from the past: Audrey Hepburn
When I’m not dashing out the door to be at work bright and early, I like to ease into my day with a cup of organic coffee or a loose leaf tea. I am certainly not a morning person, so it’s a perfect pick-me-up to get me going. Lately, I’ve been drinking The Tao of Tea rose petal black and Rishi cinnamon plum.
In the shower…
If I’m feeling rather ambitious, I dry brush before my bath (I prefer baths when time allows). I add to my bath water Woodland Moss Organic Bath Salts from Angel Face Botanicals. It has a beautiful earthy/floral scent! Next, I use a basic bar of homemade soap to cleanse, and if it’s a shaving day, I lather coconut oil and soap on my legs. I’m still exploring natural shampoos. I currently use John Masters Evening Primrose Shampoo for dry hair as well as my DIY Shampoo soap bar and ACV rinse. So far it’s been working great! Once in a while, if my hair looks a little dull I treat it with coconut oil applying it to my hair while it is still dry before shampooing and rinsing. I find the process works very well, and gives my hair lots of shine and body.
Outside the shower…
While my skin is still damp I moisturize my body with either argan or coconut oil. I apply Thai Crystal Deodorant and brush my teeth with either TheraNeem tooth and gum powder (cinnamon) or Himalaya Herbal Healthcare Neem and Pomegranate toothpaste. Next, I begin cleansing my face with Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser. As much I love this product, I will likely switch back to her Refreshing Cleanser as it’s more gentle on my skin. If my skin needs a little extra help, I apply raw honey and a bit of baking soda on areas of redness. To moisturize my face, I use Tata Harper Replenishing Nutrient Complex and Repairative Moisturizer. I’ll often alternate that with argan or coconut oil as well.
‘Simple and unadulterated’ is my mantra when it comes to makeup. Whenever I can, I try to wear as little makeup as possible. But sometimes a little enhancement is beneficial! I start with applying RMS Beauty “Un” Cover-Up over my dark circles and any areas of redness. Next, I lightly powder my face and upper neck with Faerie Organic Artisan Cosmetics Mineral Foundation and Bronzer (if I’m needing a little more color). For my cheeks I use RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek in Modest. RMS Beauty Living Luminizer for highlighting — by far, a top favorite of mine! Its pearlescent sheen gives a healthy, natural glow to my skin. For my eyes RMS Beauty Cream Eyeshadow in Solar, Jane Iredale Basic Black eye pencil and Dr. Hauschka Black Mascara. For lips I often stick to a variety of tinted lip balms, my current favorite being Simply Natural Summer Crush tinted lip balm.
Lastly, on to fragrances, I have fallen in LOVE with Tata Harper Irritability Treatment as well as her new product Love Potion. I cannot rave enough over her aromatherapy! Lotus Wei is yet another favorite. However, choosing one favorite is nearly impossible so I’ll stick to my top 3: Quiet Mind, Inner Peace and Infinite Love.
My relationship with makeup: Life-long love affair. One of my fondest childhood memories is of one of my grown-up cousins coming over with a bag of make up and costume jewelry for me to play with. She knew the way to my heart! I still remember the excitement of discovering a fat stick of rouge in the bottom of that bag. I am sort of in a transition period with my makeup at the moment. After doing some research, I started out by wanting to go paraben-free. After doing even more reading, I am trying to go further, or to go green. I love doing research, reading blogs (NMDL has been a great resource). I even started a blog to document my green beauty discoveries called glossedinbrooklyn.com. I call it a green-ish beauty blog straight outta Brooklyn.
What’s in my makeup bag…
No bag pictured (I have a makeup drawer). The cups you see are Japanese tea cups that I purchased at Pearl River Market in Soho. I love them for holding brushes.
Lips: I’ve made the most “green” progress in this area. I was inspired by an article that said women consume something like six lbs. of lipstick over a lifetime. I figured I should go clean with lip products first. I love RMS Lip Shines and own Bloom, Sublime, and Sacred. The pinky nude Bloom and pink (with and exclamation point) Sublime were no brainers. I surprised myself by getting (and actually wearing) Sacred. I usually don’t go that pigmented, but I love this juicy watermelon red. I also love my Ilia Lipstick Crayons in Call Me and Karma Chameleon. I like to tone the latter down with a bit of RMS Bloom lip shine.
Mascara: Pure Anada mascara has been a lovely newer find. When I want more drama, I reach for Tarte Amazonian Clay mascara, but that’s rare.
Concealer: I am currently using a Korres concealer. You guys at NMDL have me coveting Studio 78 Paris concealer. Hopefully it’ll be back in stock in the lighter shade someday!
Eyeliner: For liner, I have been using the fine liner side of this Tarte dual liner. It’s black. Even as I write this, I am thinking about using a dirtier liner tomorrow because this one doesn’t stay put. I have long, dark upper and lower lashes so I skip shadow and mascara on the lower lid altogether because it looks too made up on me. Recommendations on highly pigmented eyeliner pencils that don’t slide around are appreciated. I love Youngblood’s dual highlighting pencil. It has a matte nude on one end for the waterline and a shimmery champagne for the inner corner and arch on the other. This helps me look awake many a morning.
Eyeshadow: I smudge shadow over the liner using Kjaer Weiss’s Onyx, Afterglow’s Lustre, or Dr. Hauschka’s in Smokey Blue. I like the way the blue compliments my brown eyes.
Foundation: Lately, I have been working with Pure Alima’s Satin Matte Foundationin beige 3. I had gotten samples and hated the way it looked when I applied with with a brush. One day, I tried it with a flocked sponge and it was so much better so I ordered the full size. I also spritz it with Zen Society’s Rosewater spray. It makes it look and feel better. I am still perfecting technique that works for me. My dirty cream foundation still gets some play because I prefer cream or liquid to powder. I have tried a few green options, but haven’t loved any. The search continues. At least most green companies have samples available. Ideally, I’d have Alima and a more natural cream or liquid foundation to choose from.
Cheeks: This is an area where I went paraben-free, but haven’t made the next step. I may just finish these products before moving on. One thing I do know is that the next products will likely be pressed powders. I just don’t love loose powders though I know they are more pure. Anyway, I usually bronze/do a little contouring with The Balm’s Bahama Mama. I then add some color to my cheeks with their FratBoy blush.
Skincare: I am closing with this, though it seems a bit out of order, because I start with sun protection. I love Badger’s Damascus Rose Facial Sunscreen. It’s a good option for winter and fall, but with a SPF of 16, I’ll have to switch to something else at winter’s end. The Badger is light and while it has all these lovely oils in it, it’s not at all greasy. The polar vortex has me pretty dry, so I have been adding a squirt ofAmala’s Rejuvenating Advanced Firming Complex. This stuff is beautiful. And precious. It is super expensive—I am just about to finish my second mini tube from Spirit Beauty Lounge. The full size will be the splurge of all splurges!
Send a photo of your makeup bag and a write-up of what’s in it to email@example.com !
Hello, hello! We love hearing from clean beauties around the world. This morning routine comes from Sonal in Ell-Oh-En-Dee-Oh-En. Enjoy!
Hometown: London, UK
Current weather: Wet and windy, with what appears to be the occasional peak of spring sunshine.
Hair: Dark and long (halfway down my back), naturally curly but fine and dry.
Skin: I’m lucky enough to have been blessed with relatively problem-free skin. It can get a bit dull when I’m not taking enough care of myself and I do get the occasional spot, but when I eat well, sleep enough and exercise my skin is happy.
Favourite star: Zooey Deschanel — not exactly from the past but I absolutely adore her quirkiness and individuality.
So what’s my clean story? Well, I’ve been using clean products for a couple of years now and it all started when a lovely friend of mine told me all about why she only uses natural products. I was curious to find out more so I did some Googling and came across NMDL and a couple of other natural beauty blogs. I purchased the NMDL book which was a real eye opener, I was both shocked and disappointed that these products that I trusted contained such harmful ingredients. I always thought natural products were better for you, but I never realised that the chemicals in unnatural products were actually toxic. The first thing I wanted to do was throw out every single product in my cupboard! But instead, I slowly started giving away/using up my dirty products and replacing them with clean ones, although I haven’t quite managed to do the same for my make-up products yet.
I absolutely love reading NMDL, it’s given me a lot of inspiration and encouragement in my ongoing transition to cleanhoodness, although sadly for me a lot of the products mentioned aren’t available here in the UK. I’ve recently come across a brand called Balance Me which I’m totally obsessed with, I’ve tried a few products and I have to say, they’ve been absolutely amazing. Like most clean kids, I’ve fallen in love with coconut oil and I make sure I’ve always got a couple of jars handy. I use it to moisturise my skin, hair and eyelashes; in my eyes when they feel dry or irritated; for oil pulling; to remove my make-up and I even eat the stuff (seriously, a teaspoon a day is meant to do wonders — you know, healthy fats and all of that hoo-ha). I enjoy experimenting with easy homemade items like scrubs (e.g. honey and bicarbonate of soda) and masks (see below for my gram flour mask). I once tried to make my own deodorant but that didn’t turn out too well, unfortunately I only realised after I’d applied it and the stinging started!
In the morning…
In early January I mustered up the courage to start oil pulling – an ancient Ayurvedic practise which involves swishing oil around in your mouth to help remove toxins. I do it first thing in the morning every day for 20 minutes using a heaped teaspoon of Biona Virgin Coconut Oil. It did feel a little strange in the beginning but then a few amazing things started happening — my teeth became whiter and less sensitive, my mouth felt cleaner (and I mean a different kind of clean to when I brush my teeth), my skin became clearer and my cravings for sugar were magically reduced — and this is coming from someone who had a severe case of the mid-afternoon chocolate craving! After oil pulling, I give my mouth a good rinse and brush my teeth with Green People Minty Cool Toothpaste. I have my showers in the evening so next I wash my face with Balance Me Pure Skin Face Wash. While my face is still damp, I massage in 3 drops of Balance Me Radiance Oil. I cannot praise this oil enough, it’s a little pricey at £30 a bottle but it is worth every penny — it has become my absolute HG facial oil. It sinks in like a dream and makes my skin glow like no other oil or moisturiser has before. In terms of deodorant, I haven’t been able to find a clean one that works for me yet so for now I’m using one by Dove. I travel on the tube in London daily so having my personal space invaded while I’m on a packed train for two hours a day means I need something that’ll keep me fresh all day long!
Now on to the shameful part of my routine, my make-up: Firstly I use MAC Studio Finish concealer to cover up my dark circles. After years of experimenting with all sorts of remedies (from eye massages to applying grated potato under my eyes) I’ve come to accept that my dark circles are hereditary and cannot be cured. Next I line my waterline with Bourjois Khol and Contour eyeliner and apply a little blush to my cheeks. I’m currently using MAC Powder Blush in Peaches which is a lovely colour, but once it runs out I’m going to find something cleaner to replace it with. I’m on the lookout for a natural cream blush so if anyone has any recommendations, please do comment. If I’m attempting to look a little bit nicer I’ll put on some L’Oreal Telescopic mascara and Bourjois Intuitive liquid eyeliner on my upper lash line. Lastly, I apply a dab of lip balm to my lips — I’m a lip balm addict so I have a few lying around, either Burts Bees (the original), Badger Balm Vanilla Madagascar, Neal’s Yard Bee Lovely or a homemade one. I have a friend (the same one who introduced me to natural products) who makes amazing natural cosmetics and I’m lucky enough to be one of her testers.
In the shower…
I take my showers in the evenings and I wash my hair 2-3 times a week. I’m currently using a lavender shower gel by Organic Surge. I lather up my Soap and Glory exfoliating gloves with a squidge of shower gel and give my skin a gentle scrub. Twice a week I exfoliate my face by mixing honey and a little bicarbonate of soda in my palm with a few drops of water and lightly scrubbing it on my face. If I’m washing my hair I use the A’kin Lemongrass shampoo and A’kin Avocado and Calendula conditioner. After a lot of trial and error with various other natural shampoos and conditioners, I’ve found A’kin is definitely the one for me — it doesn’t leave any sort of residue in my hair and it doesn’t make my hair too dry or oily. It’s perfect! It’s also the first time I’ve ever continuously used one brand of hair products for so long without changing which is certainly something.
Outside the shower…
While my skin is still damp I moisturise my body with either coconut oil, olive oil or Weleda Calendula oil. If I’ve washed my hair, I blow dry and straighten it with my ghd. I’m aware this is somewhat frowned upon in the clean community and I do wish I was able to let my hair air dry like all the cool clean girls do, but it just looks nicer when it’s straight. Also when it’s winter (which is around 70% of the time in London) it takes about 3-4 hours to air dry which is far too long for me to sit around with freezing cold hair!
When I have time I massage either coconut, almond, olive or avocado oil in my hair and leave it in for an hour or overnight before washing it out. It does mean that I need to give my hair an extra bit of shampooing to rinse it out, but it’s well worth the trouble because it makes my dry hair super soft and shiny.
Occasionally I make a face mask by blending together gram flour (also known as chickpea flour), oats, rice flour, almonds, turmeric and mixing it with honey and yogurt. I smear it on my face and leave it on for an hour, by which point it hardens. I then wet my face and scrub the mask off. This is rather time consuming so I don’t do it very often, however this mask is totally worth it, it makes my skin incredibly luminous, super baby soft and helps to clear up any skin issues I’m having. Sometimes I just throw some good old raw, organic un-heated honey on my face and leave it there between 10-30 minutes which also works wonders.
A few extra bits…
Since January I’ve been trying to exercise more (at least 160 minutes a week) and eat better — more veggies, less naughty carbs and lots of water. After watching a documentary called Food Matters I’ve really come to realise how important a healthy diet is. We need to be putting in the right “fuel” into our bodies for it to run effectively and to look and feel our best. I make a green monster smoothie every morning before work with almond milk, spinach or kale, banana, wheatgrass powder, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, goji berries and cinnamon which gives me a great start to the day. It wakes me up and makes me feel amazing, and being a vegetarian means I need all the iron I can get.
I’ve also started taking blackstrap molasses and apple cider vinegar every day. I mix a tablespoon of each in hot water and drink this at some point during the day. It isn’t the most pleasant tasting drink, but both of these ingredients pack some serious heath benefits for skin, hair and health and provide me with a much needed energy boost.
Thank you for sharing, Sonal! Want to share your routine? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org — we want to hear from you!
Ready for some new makeup recommendations? Check out this sweet little number from Erica in Portland. She has her own blog, too!
Name: Erica W.
Where I Live: Portland, Oregon
Relationship to Make-Up: Although I grew up with a fabulously made-up mother and her extensive make-up collection, I’ve kept it pretty simple most of my life—the biggest exception being an unfortunate year or two in middle school where I wore dark brown lipstick or lined my lips with dark brown lipliner and filled it in with frosty, nude lipstick. I’ve increasingly become a minimalist with age, though. I think moving to Portland eight years ago has probably influenced me, as women in general here tend to go with the understated look. Also, I realized that I have one of those faces that just can’t carry a great deal of make-up without looking garish! But I do have a tender spot in my heart for a good cat-eye and red and orange lipstick and wear it on occasion when I’m feeling bolder. Despite the fact I don’t use much make-up myself, I LOVE watching Lisa Eldrige videos, browsing through beauty stores and applying make-up on other people.
Face: I’m a fan Wild Carrot’s Borage Butter Cream in the winter. It’s pretty thick and luscious and has wonderfully clean ingredients. And it’s made here in Oregon. Sometimes, I’ll apply Josie Maran’s Argan Tinted Moisturizer where needed.
Cheeks: Blush is probably the one thing I have to wear everyday. All these dark, rainy days in Portland can really make you look equally dreary, so having a little pink or peach on my cheeks helps keep me looking like one of the living! My favorites are cream blushes: 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Lip and Cheek Tints in Cranberry Glow and Grapefruit Glow and Ilia’s I Put a Spell on You.
Lips: Everyone once in a while, I use some Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick in Tannin (my current favorite), Ilia Lipstick in Wild Child, or Obsessive Compulsive Lip Tar in Radiate (not the cleanest kid on the block, but significantly cleaner than most of the other brands at Sephora. It’s highly pigmented, so you only need a little, and it’s very long-lasting!). I also use Zuzu Luxe lipliner in Cherry. Not shown is my small collection of MAC and Nars lipsticks in the bathroom I use for special occasions!
Eyes: I’ve been using Organic Wear’s Fake Out mascara in Black, which has been pretty good to me, but I think I’m gonna try out Ilia’s mascara now. I just got reacquainted with Gabriel Color eyeliner in Chocolate Brown, and I think I’ll be upping my eyeliner use now. I also use it to fill out certain spots in my eyebrows.
Fragrances: I mostly wear Pacifica’s Tahitian Vanilla for casual, everyday use. And Chymia Moisturizing Body Spray in Soleil is a convenient little thing to carry around for freshening up clothing, coats and cars with a citrusy scent!
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Listen up! Courtney’s morning routine has some great picks, plus some handy dandy advice for any of you suffering from perioral dermatitis (hint: Osmia Organics and a few other tricks save the day). Enjoy!
City: New York, NY
Current Weather: Absolutely freezing! I have been day dreaming for the past month of a tropical vacation (and by tropical, I mean anything above about 35 degrees)…
Skin: VERY sensitive and prone to hormonal breakouts. I struggled with perioral dermatitis (PD) for about a year until I figured out triggers and a routine to get it calm again. My skin also scars very easily, so scar prevention and treatment is a large component to my routine.
Hair: Very straight and dirty blonde (bronde I think they are calling it these days). Used to be natural, but now I get it highlighted once every couple of months.
Favorite Star from the Past: I will always love Meryl Streep. What a beauty (inside and out) she currently is and was back in the day.
Normally I start off my day with a sip of water and then I throw some coconut oil in my mouth and start oil pulling. I started this a few months ago when it was all anyone could write about in the natural beauty blog world, and I have to say I love it. It has made my teeth a decent amount whiter, but mainly I just like it because it makes me feeling like I’m starting my day in a healthy way. If I am feeling ambitious, I will do a little dry brushing. Then I hop in the shower and I shampoo and condition with either Acure Organics or the Rahua Voluminizing collection. I have found that my hair likes Acure much better, but sometimes it needs a switch up and so I throw in Rahua instead. I then wash my body with Whole Foods brand triple milled soap in whatever the flavor of the month is, and by month I mean 6 months. I have found that this soap lasts forever if I use it with a loofah, which is great because I am a bit of a product junkie so at least I am saving myself money by only buying $3 soap twice a year. Then I wash my face with black soap, right now I’m using the one from Osmia but I am about to try the one from Nubian Heritage.
Out of the shower, I rub on some avocado oil on my still damp body, brush my teeth with Jason Naturals Fluoride and Sulfate free toothpaste (more on this later), and begin my skincare routine. My routine varies daily based on a few things: 1. how is my skin doing (acne, PD, dry, normal?), 2. what is the weather outside, and 3. how late am I running to work. Normally, my routine consists of dabbing on some Lotus Moon Skin Brightening Complex (thanks to Rebecca’s suggestion) on my scars, and letting that dry while I make some coffee and breakfast (total zombie if I don’t have those things). Then I mist my face with Avene Thermal Water and follow it up with either rosehip seed oil from Aura Cacia or Osmia Organics Active Gel Toner (more like an aloe/water based serum). I allow this to dry, and follow it with the Osmia Organics Purely Simple Face Lotion. I use the rosehip seed oil when my face is feeling a bit dry and the toner when I’m having a PD breakout or hormonal breakout. For the area around my eyes and lips I use Egyptian Magic. At night time, I use this all over my face and it has been a godsend. It has significantly reduced all scars and any fine lines as well as reduced flaky skin and breakouts. I have no clue how it does all of this, but my skin loves it. Lastly, I finish up my skin care routine with Juice Beauty’s CC cream for some sun protection and slight coverage.
PD outbreaks call for some extra love, so I figured I would break that out in case anyone else is dealing with this. I have found that stress is my number one trigger. If I am very stressed, I can literally feel the PD popping up around my mouth. However, thanks to the help of the lovely Dr. Sarah Villafranco, the founder of Osmia Organics, I have figured out how to get this under control. The first thing I have to do is to de-stress, which normally entails at home yoga, a cup of lavender tea (or red wine depending upon how bad the stress is), and a bath. Then I wash my face with black soap and follow with tons of aloe or the toner I mentioned before in the areas that are affected. I reapply the aloe or toner every few hours until the PD breakout calms down. I also take a daily supplement of evening primrose oil to help balance my hormones. Normally, this stops the PD in its tracks. The other trigger for me is fluoride toothpaste. Jason Naturals is the only one I have found that has a normal consistency and taste, but it is sulfate and fluoride free.
Now on to the makeup. When I go out at night time, I love to glam it up, but on a daily basis I am lazy and go for a very natural look. On days when I’m running late to work or my skin is looking spectacular, I will curl my eyelashes and swipe on some Blinc mascara (dirty, I know, but I love the tube technology) and run out the door. If I have more time or my skin is looking blah I will use some custom made mineral foundation, blush, and bronzer from Jenesque, a small skin care company run by Jenna Yamasaki in Arizona. Jenna is absolutely wonderful and extremely knowledgeable on healing hormonal skin problems. When I am looking really tired, I will swipe some Jane Iredale Active Light Under-Eye Concealer on, or if I have a pimple I will add on a bit of the Jane Iredale Disappear Concealer. Then I swipe on some on one of the Osmia Organics lip gloss and run out the door because I am probably running late.
Hope you enjoyed my routine! If anyone has any suggestions on a good toning mist and a cheap face cream for sensitive skin that would be great. I like the one’s I’m currently using but would also like to try some new ones.
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