We love our products, but this routine is almost entirely free of them and somehow that feels… blissful and exquisite. We can thank the resourceful Gayatri and her grandmother’s Ayurvedic wisdom for this one!
Age: 23 years
City: New Delhi
Weather: Delhi has two extremes – steaming summers and woeful winters. Currently, winter is rearing its chilly head.
Skin: Stubborn and flighty. My skin changes with seasons. I’m Vata and my skin is mostly dry, flaky and prone to premature ageing. During summers, it becomes quite oily for some days. It chills during monsoons in its usual dry state but winters, oh dear lord. My skin hates me during winters. My skin can also become extremely dull, and this happens in all seasons. It’s sallow, sad, miserable looking and more lackluster than the Joey-Rachel romance angle in Friends. But I still love my skin. When it wants to glow, it is luminescent. I don’t have blemishes, acne marks, nada. When I’m happy, it’s happy too.
Hair: Limp, fine and thin. Like my skin, when I’m happy, hair is happy but when I’m sad my hair is very very sad.
Star from the past: Maharani Gayatri Devi. Exquisite, just exquisite. And she was into heritage conservation.
Why did I go clean? Because I was tired. I was tired of wasting tons of money on products that didn’t work. I’m a consultant for a non-profit and earn quite well, but I can’t afford to either buy international brands or glitzy Ayurvedic brands like Forest Essentials for all my beauty products—mostly because I would rather use that money to buy books or be cheated at handicraft saree exhibitions. Very few Indian brands are completely clean. So, what could I do? I went back to my grandmother’s Ayurvedic secrets. I mostly put food on my face. It works brilliantly and is free (because I steal all my beauty supplies from when I visit my parents every weekend. I work for a non-profit. Stealing is allowed.) But I’m not a super-duper DIY-er. If I can’t put it in one jar and shake it up, I’m not making it.
In the morning…
I cleanse my face with raw milk and brush with a tooth powder from a brand called Nirvaaha. Actually, a twig from a Neem tree is supposed to be really good for cleaning teeth, but I’m too chicken for that. I’m mustering up the courage for oil pulling.
In the shower…
Sometimes, when I wake up early and have time, I do Abhyangha with either sesame or almond oil. During winters, I do it almost every day. I wash my body with an ubtan consisting of chickpea flour, wild turmeric, sandalwood, orange peel powder, mint powder, rice powder, neem powder, fuller’s earth and almond powder. This is an extremely gentle bath powder. Even natural soaps dry out my skin a lot and ubtan is super moisturizing when you mix it with milk. I wash my face with a mixture of oatmeal, neem powder, and almond powder. When I’m in the mood, I mix cane sugar, lemon juice, olive oil and exfoliate. On my lucky weekends, my mom gives me grated coconut. I eat half on my way back and the rest I use in a scrub.
My hair turns oily and limp very fast but I don’t want to shampoo it every morning so I clean it with an age-old recipe using amla, ritha and shikakai. If my hair feels dry, I mix in a little Vitamin E oil but otherwise I don’t really need to condition. I use boiled neem water as a hair rinse. I oil my hair at least twice a week and here’s where I have a problem. I can’t find a clean shampoo that lathers enough to remove the oil. I currently use Soultree’s Triphala shampoo but I need to wash my hair thrice to remove the oil. I really need recommendations for nice shampoos that lather. I don’t mind if it’s an expensive international brand because I save more than enough on beauty products. Sometimes I make a hair mask with hibiscus powder, brahmi, neem powder and mix it with yoghurt or egg. The egg stinks so make sure you don’t have a date that night.
Outside the shower…
I use rice water as a toner. During summer, I use coconut milk as a face and body moisturizer. In winters, I use milk cream on my face. It smells funny but it is the only thing that makes my skin fall back in love with me. And it gives an amazing glow. On my body, I use a mixture of oils—apricot kernel oil, rosehip seed oil and vitamin E oil. When I’m out, I use Forest Essentials Absolute Rose face mist. It’s my one indulgence. Did I tell you how puurtty the bottle is?
If my hair is frizzy, I use aloe vera gel to smooth it down. I buy Rustic Art’s Aloe Vera Gel which has green tea extracts and the packaging is so fancy. For my lips and eyes, I use ghee (clarified butter). It really has smoothed down the fine wrinkles I had and my lips are so soft. For dark circles, I dip cotton wool in rose water, cucumber juice and potato juice and use that as an eye mask. A traditional Ayurvedic mask I use includes saffron, majistha, lodhra, red sandalwood and licorice. I use egg white and tamarind pulp often. You may think that I’m smell like an Indian sweet shop but I don’t. I mix rose or lavender EO with all my concoctions so I smell more like a flowerbed. That’s what I think.
I don’t use a deodorant. I don’t sweat or stink much. Honestly. The EOs are more than well enough. But I do use a hair perfume. In a corner of one of Delhi’s prettiest markets, I found a lady who makes these cones with charcoal, myrhh, and essential oils of your choice. You light one of these cones and hold it under your hair and the smell is intoxicating. For sunscreen, I use Aroma Magic’s Sunblock SPF 30 PA+++.
I don’t use much makeup. I use Soultree’s kajal. I use beetroot juice as lip treatment so they’re a nice pink shade.
Thanks for sharing this inspiring routine, Gayatri! Have any of you tried similar Ayurvedic treatments? What are your favorites?
Meet Tara! Love tea? She’s got you covered. Need some makeup application tips? Ditto.
City: Colorado Springs
Current Weather: Sunny but in the mid 30s
Skin: Dry and acne prone- that lovely combination
Hair: Long, wavy brown and thankfully relatively stress free
Favorite Star: I couldn’t think of one from the past so can I say Shiva Rose? I absolutely love her site The Local Rose and think she’s such a lovely women and great role model.
I adore my skincare products. Nothing brightens up my day like receiving new beauty loot from one of my favorite brands. I am also always trying to find that next cure which I am sure is going to give me supple, flawless, glowing skin. While I haven’t found that product I have found a decadent routine that seems to suit my skin care needs.
First I begin with a cup of tea. I am a tea connoisseur and frequently switch my teas on taste and what I feel my body and skin “need”. Some days I need a clean energy kick I reach for Runa Tea, other days something more delicate like Rishi Wild Rose Tea, some days I love the fragrant punch and beauty of 2 Leaves and a Bud Green Tea Jasmine, and if I want a skin detox either Susan Kauffman Detox Tea (which I got on vacation in Munich and am kicking myself that I didn’t buy anymore because it is THAT GOOD). Anyway enough of the teas, moving on with my day I next try to fit in a ½ hr workout then get ready for a shower.
I dry brush for a couple of minutes before hopping in the shower. These days I cleanse with May Lindstrom’s heavenly Honey Mud (I got to try a sample with the NMDL promo and just received my full size version-yay!) I try and really pamper my skin with the cleanser using the technique Isabelle Bellis demonstrated on Into the Gloss. I alternate this with May’s Clean Dirt. For my body I keep it simple, I just use Hugo lavender body soap and shave when needed. I wash my hair a couple of times a week and when I do I rely on Rahua’s Shampoo and Conditioner. Once I’m out of the shower I spritz my face with Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Vitamin D Mist and then apply my oils. This is the part of my skincare that I experiment with the most. I have used May Lindstrom’s Youth Dew (gorgeous) and more recently Aster and Bay’s Purify (a little drying on my skin heading into winter, although really nice for summer), African Botanicals Marula Oil (nice richer oil although I think it breaks me out a bit so I only use it on areas I don’t get breakouts). Just today I order La Bella Figura’s Holiday Essentials Mini Set and can’t wait to try the Daily Elements Defense Oil and the Barbary Fig Renewal. After applying my face oils I rub some coconut oil and put deodorant on (another product which I switch- either from Meow Meow Tweet, Soapwalla or Lavanilla). For my hair I put on some Yarok’s Feed Your Roots and style. Once I’m done with styling I use John Masters Sea Mist. A couple of times a week I also May Lindstrom’s Problem Solver, amazing product, amazing women, really I am so in awe and in love with her line.
I next brush my teeth with Weleda’s salt toothpaste and head to the kitchen for breakfast. I am a green smoothie convert and love getting ideas off Pinterest. Two of my favorite recipes come from Foodtrainers, their “Thin Mint Smoothie” and Carrot Turmeric. Both so good and healthy! Days that I don’t make a smoothie I’ll have green juice and then a snack later on in the morning. This is the time I also take supplements. I use Synergy’s Womens Multivitamin, Garden of Life Raw Resveratrol, Garden of Life CoQ10, Gaia Turmeric and Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver oil. I also take two dropperfulls of tinctures my naturopath makes me- one if for stress/hormones and the other is for my skin.
Once I am done with breakfast I head back to the bathroom for my makeup. I use RMS Uncoverup under my eyes, Bareminerals mineral powder on spots and lightly all over, Jane Iredale’s Moonglow on my cheeks, temples, and chin making a “3” shape. Then I dab some RMS Luminizer on the upper cheeks, temples, eyebrow, inner eye, and cupid’s brow. I then use RMS in solar on my lids, Dr Hauschka Volumizer Mascara and finally some Baby Bear All The Better to Kiss You With Lip Balm.
Thanks for sharing Tara! Recognize similarities in your own routine? Share with us in the comments!
It’s our first reader-submitted Makeup Monday post! We are so excited to share Anna’s makeup bag with you. Love the fresh ideas and the super sweet bag.
Name: Anna Potter
Where I live: Brooklyn
My relationship with makeup: Easy-peasy. I’m pretty minimalist with my everyday makeup, and can get my face ready in the morning in 2 minutes. I’ve loved makeup forever, and used to have drawers full of it when I was a teenager. In high school, I wore a lot of black eyeliner and a lot of that powder/liquid/concealer combo CoverGirl stuff. One time my dad sat me down in front of a mirror and said, “You do not need to be wearing this much makeup.” Ok, fine, point taken, Dad: at this point, I’ve got my staples and a few extra little fun guys for a night out (rare).
Here’s what’s in my makeup bag:
Concealer: Vapour Organic Beauty Illusionist is an amazing concealer for any breakouts I get (which are rare now, since I’ve pretty much cut out refined sugars, and stopped using coconut oil-based products). I use the Aveda Flax Stick #11 concealer brush to apply it to any spots in need. The concealer is not the best for under the eyes, since it settles into cracks. I have stopped putting any concealer under my eyes most days, actually, because I can never get it to look quite right.
Eyeliner: For more conservative makeup days, I use Lavera Soft Eyeliner in brown. I usually just do a thin line so it’s like a liquid eyeliner, and pull the line up like a mini-cat-eye at the edge of my eye with the little rubber tip on the other end of the pencil. On days when I’m feeling a little more bold, I use ZuZu Liquid Eyeliner in Raven. This is pretty much the perfect liquid eyeliner for me. It stays all day, and doesn’t sting my eyes like some (even natural!) liquid eyeliners have done. Plus it’s decently cheap and available at Whole Foods, which makes it much easier.
Eyeshadow: I very rarely use eye shadow, but when I do I’ll do one of two things: mix a bit of RMS Beauty Living Luminizer and i.d. bareMinerals glimmer in True Gold and smear that on the lid, or use a super lightweight shadow brush to put a bit of i.d. bareMinerals liner shadow in Downtown on my brow bones.
Mascara: It’s Couleur Caramel Cils Longs in Black for my mascara. My only beef with this mascara is that it’s always out of stock when I need it… it’s like they ration this stuff! Overall, though, I love this mascara. It’s got staying power but washes off pretty easily with an oil cleanser. Plus the brush is not so bad!
Luminizer: I’ve got it, but really super rarely use RMS Living Luminizer, because it has a tendency to break me out. I will use it on super special nights out on my brow bone and at the inner corners of my eyes, and if I’m feeling lucky and willing to test the pimple gods, I’ll put it on my cheekbones. Sometimes I’ll use this Ecco Bella Flowercolor in Star–I got it for free in a naturals sample box that I won. It’s decent but not nearly as bold as RMS LL.
Cheeks: I switch off between Vapour Organic Beauty Aura Multi-Use Stick in Lure (which I matched to the shade I am after a workout) and 100% Pure Pot Rouge in Posey. I picked this one because I needed a dupe for Benefit’s PosieTint, which is great but has parabens and makes my cheeks feel weird when I put it on. Mostly I use the Vapour stick, but it seems to wear off more quickly.
Lips: So, I LOVE lipstick. When I’m having an off-day and feel like no matter what I put on, what I do with my hair, or what makeup I use, I still look like crap, I remember lipstick and it makes everything better. My favorite right now is using my Vapour Organic Beauty Aura Multi-Use Stick in Lure as a lipstick. It’s the perfect color for my skin tone, has a good amount of pigment, but is sheer so isn’t overpowering. My other favorites areDr. Hauschka Lipstick in 06 (a super classic, deeper red), Ilia Lipstick in Neon Angel (bright pink–great for spring and summer), Ilia Tinted Lip Conditioner in Crimson & Clover (brighter red, sheer, has great staying power), and Vapour Organic Beauty Siren Lipstick in Torrid (deep, brooding red; amazing for nights out).
Etc: How weird and hilarious and magical is my makeup bag? It’s by Catseye London, and I bought it from Shen Beauty. Pretty much all of their makeup bags are equally hilarious. I should maybe spring for a more grown-up one soon, but I like this one a lot!
Keep them coming, lovelies! Don’t forget the photo!
In the shower…
Outside the shower…
I then put on my cozy plaid robe and have some oatmeal and green tea while snuggling with my cat before doing my hair and makeup. It’s my time to relax before my hectic workday begins.
Thanks for sharing Ariel! Love the sound of the Midnight Honey Body Oil and cuddling with cats, too.
Burrrrr. Sounds cold up in Vermont. Warm up with this great routine from a lovely esthetician, Elizabeth. In addition to the Tata Harper products (Vermont love!), we’re intrigued by the other local items Elizabeth has found. Enjoy!
City: Montpelier, Vermont
Current Weather: Winter is setting in… below 30 degrees every day, windy, 5 in. of snow on the ground already
Skin: Combination, oily t-zone, dehydrated cheeks, sometimes hormonal breakouts, super sensitive!
Hair: Fine, straight, long…naturally ombre’d because I am growing out the bleach in the ends of my hair
Favorite Star: Cindy Crawford
Each Morning I begin each day by drinking as much water as I can. I fill up a 32oz glass milk bottle and carry it around with me while I get myself together for the day.
In the shower…
Generally, I shower in the morning but only wash my hair every few days. Every few washes I begin with a locally made, rose petal infused apple cider vinegar rinse that I pour through my wet hair and let sit for a few minutes to work it’s magic. This is clarifying, purifying and toning for the scalp…it also makes your shampoo work so much better! Next, I shampoo with either Phyto Volume Shampoo, Rahua Volumizing Shampoo or Pureology Volume Shampoo. When that is rinsed out I condition with either Pureology Hydrate Conditioner or John Masters Organics Lavender & Avocado Conditioner mixed with the John Masters Organics Citrus & Neroli Detangler. My hair is very fine but because the ends were bleached, they still need a super hydrating conditioner. I then twist my conditioner-hair on top of my head and clip it while I go through the rest of my routine.
Next I wash my body with either Dr. Hauschka’s Lemon Lemongrass Body Wash or Collective Well Being’s Charcoal Body Wash… and I ALWAYS use exfoliating gloves and scrub scrub scrub… I cannot seem to remember to use a body brush before showering, though I love the ritual, so instead I go to town with my exfoliating gloves! I rinse off, rinse out my conditioner, rinse my hands off and begin my facial cleanse. I use Dr. Hauschka’s Cleansing Cream on most days, occasionally I use May Lindstrom’s The Clean Dirt for when it is very cold outside and I feel that my skin needs the circulatory boost from May’s product. If I am having a hormonal breakout I will use Arcona’s Raspberry Gommage. Though I rotate cleansers, I always treat my skin in the same way. I am an esthetician and believe that we should treat our skin as if it is silk. I never ever scrub my face, I press my cleanser into my skin beginning at the forehead and working my way down with very gentle pressure. This stimulates the lymphatic system to begin to flow, thus purifying your skin from the inside while on the outside your skin is being cleansed without being irritated. I rinse off my cleanser and my shower is done.
Outside the shower…
While my hair is wrapped in a towel, I spritz a facial toner on. I LOVE to experiment here. I use Dr. Hauschka’s Clarifying toner, Tata Harper’s Hydrating Floral Essence, a locally made Raw Honey toner or Arcona’s Mineral Magic. If I am having a breakout, I will dab on Arcona’s Tabula Rasa. Works wonders! While my face is still damp, I go for a facial oil. Oil is FANTASTIC for oily skin. My favorite’s are Dr. Hauschka’s Normalizing Day Oil, May Lindstrom’s The Youth Dew and a locally made oil that is choc full of sea buckthorn, tamanu and so many floral essential oil’s it smells like you just stuck your head into a bouquet of jasmine blossoms. I apply a dab of Tata Harper’s Rejuvenating Serum around my eyes… if I use it all over my face I tend to breakout but it’s an incredible eye cream on its own. Because the weather in VT is so harsh, I use a day cream over my facial oil. In the winter I use Dr. Hauschka’s Rose Day Cream, amazing at soothing broken capillaries! In the summer I use Dr. Hauschka’s Melissa Day Cream (heavenly lemon balm scent) or Tata Harper’s Rebuilding Moisturizer. For the body I use Dr. Hauschka’s Lemon Lemongrass Body Oil (great for toning!) and then I use Lunaroma’s Bergamot Vetiver Body Butter where I tend to get extra dry…so arms, knees, feet, hands. Then I toss on a robe and do my hair, I put on a robe so that my hair doesn’t fall into my lemongrass oil on my back. I spritz Rahua’s Volumizing Spray into my roots, followed by John Masters Sea Salt Spray. In the winter I HAVE to blow dry or my hair would be icicles when I went outside so I do but in the summer it’s a benefit of fine hair that you can roll your windows down in your car on the way to work and your hair is dry in minutes!
For makeup I generally just curl my eyelashes with Trish McEvoy’s eyelash curler…its my absolute favorite! And then I use a few coats of Dr. Hauschka’s Volume Mascara. If I’m feeling fancy I will use Dr. Hauschka’s translucent bronze concentrate as an actual bronzer and swirl it onto cheekbones, forehead, nose, chin and neck with a stippling brush. I will follow with RMS Beauty lip2cheek in Smile on both lips and cheeks…and if I’m REALLY going for it I will use RMS Beauty eyeshadow in Seduce and Dr. Hauschka’s eyeliner pencil in 04 (charcoal brown)…smudging it right up into the upper lash line to make my eyelashes look super thick and dark.
Once all this is done, I try really hard to drink a green smoothie or a green juice. It’s incredible what it can do for your skin, especially if you are consistent! But if I don’t have the time, I’ll finish my morning routine with a giant cup of Teacup Botanicals’ Nourish vitamin and mineral tea. So delicious, so good for you and keeps me warm when I have to brave the blustery weather outside my door!