Somehow we missed Mercedes’ first routine in our inbox (guh!). But like many a clean girl, hers keeps evolving and we’re thrilled she sent in this new one because, well, it’s awesome. Now, can someone tell us what “stippling with a beauty blender” is? Because this makeup technique sounds amazing!
Age: 30 (on the cusp of 31, Gemini love)
Current weather: New England spring – holding steady in the low 60s, not a ton of humidity yet.
Hair: Naturally wavy, relatively fine but I have a lot of it, past my shoulders, very dark brown. I wear it in loose waves (from a large barrel curling iron) all the time.
Favorite icon: Not from the past, but Kate Winslet has been one of my beauty icons since I was young. She is such a truly beautiful, real woman and she inspires me to accept my own natural beauty.
Skin: I’ve always had a problem with dryness, but since going natural it really is more towards the “normal” side of things. Occasional cycle-related pimples, and a bit of redness here and there, but overall no major skin complaints. I’m happy! I don’t really ever wash my face with cleanser – I either use Jane Iredale’s magic mitt with warm water, or an oil cleansing method with macadamia nut oil (what I use to take off my eye makeup) and a hot washcloth. A few time a week I exfoliate with May Lindstrom’s The Clean Dirt.
In the shower…
I usually shower in the evenings, and as much as I would like to was my hair infrequently, I cannot stand the smell of scalp and with hot yoga classes and the lack of fragrance potency of most green hair products, I end up washing every other day. Shampoo and condish are my one true love Yarok, sometimes switched up with John Master’s Organics Zinc and Sage, which my boyfriend says makes me smell like “swiss miss” (the marshmallow, I guess). I suds up with either Dr. Bronner’s (the baby formula one) or a charcoal shower gel, and have been using up old bottles of Acure shampoo and condish to shave with (didn’t like it for my hair). Also, I’ve been using Rare El’ements pre-shampoo treatment a few times a week before I wash. I’ll usually put in, go to a yoga class, and then wash out. Once a month I’ll do a coconut oil deep conditioning. This has all transformed the condition of my formally pretty fried hair. I also like to do face masks once a week or do – my fave is the Pangea Oraganics seaweed one.
Outside the shower…
On the face it’s a spritz of some kind of toner (right now it’s the Acure one for dry skin – meh about it, next up will be In Fiore which I’m dyyyyying to get my paws on), and argan oil all over, and Kahina eye cream. My newest find is Bija Body…and I.love.it. I use the daily serum and lotion all over. It smells divine and lasts for a good long while. Sometimes I use Chocolate Sun self tanning lotion on my legs. I try and let my hair air dry as much as possible, and use Intelligent Nutrients leave in condish as a heat protectant. Then I use a large barrel curling iron to create large waves, do a little backcombing for volume, and set with some Intelligent Nutrients hairspray.
I love love love makeup. I have a separate everyday routine, and weekend/going out routine (which unfortunately still utilizes some dirty stuff). My current go-to day routine includes a layer of Vive Sana sunscreen, and RMS un-cover up in 22 applied with a beauty blender. This is my new FAVORITE discovery. The un-cover up didn’t work for me as an undereye concealer and I was lamenting the money I spent on something I couldn’t use. But then, inspired by posts on here about different ways to use products, I started playing around. To use all over the face for light coverage I discovered I need to use some kind of primer (the sunscreen, or sometimes I’ll just Vapour’s Skin perfector if it’s going to be overcast all day), and stippling with a damp beauty blender makes it blend in so well. Then I use a very light shade of Jane Iredale’s concealer click pen under my eyes, a contour-ish dusting of Studio 78’s bronzing powder (new discovery, love! Almost a dupe for NARS Laguna), a dab on the cheeks of Revolution Organics cream blush (the hot pink one!), sometimes a bit of RMS living luminizer on the cheekbones and cupid’s bow, fill in the brows with Jane Iredale brow gel, even out the eyelids with Nvey Eco concealer, curl lashes, apply some Jane Iredale basic black eye pencil on my waterline (top and bottom), apply a coat of Tarte’s lash primer (also a relatively new discovery, and it noticeably prevents mascara from flaking), and a few coats of Josie Maran’s GoGo mascara. Lips right now is Ilia’s tinted lip conditioner in Blossom Lady. It may sound like a lot but this takes me less than 10 minutes and I feel like me but better. Now, going out makeup is another story! It tends to include lots of black liquid liner, fake lashes, and bright lips <3
So glad to be part of the NMDL community. Green beauty is a huge passion, and I learn so much constantly from all of you.
Right back at ya, Mercedes!
After having read the morning routine of Nina today I feel invited to sent mine as well to let her known that also “older” women read this blog and are interested in a more green skincare routine.
Hometown: Vught, The Netherlands
Current weather: lots of rain and wind after a short period of winter
Hair: fine, straight, dark blond/brown, just under my ears in a bob
Star From The Past: Grace Kelly, because of her classic beauty and her great sense of style.
I work as a management assistant 3 days a week and we don’t have kids. I live together with a French guy in Holland since 2009.
Skin: Even though I’m already 41 I still have pimples, sometimes small but also bigger ones. My skin is also rather oily.
Last year I became very upset with all this so I started a rather rough routine with salicylic products, I bought the Clairsonic which I started to use everyday etc etc.
But my skin only became worse, very oily, pimples and I didn’t understand at all why my skin reacted this way. One day I read an advise on a Dutch internet site saying that if your skin is overreacting and you don’t know how handle it anymore you should just stop everything for about 4 day. So no more cleaning, no more creams, just let it be.
Being desperate I followed this advice and I noticed my skin calmed down, the pimples went away and it looked less oily. This was a real eye-opener for me.
Slowly I re-introduced skincare products but now I choose products for a sensitive skin instead of an oily skin and I started looking for green products.
The problem is that we don’t have some much choice in the Netherlands. We are way behind regarding green skincare in comparison with the US, UK, France, Germany…
If I want to buy a green skincare product I need to buy them on the internet which means that I can’t smell it, feel it or just see it in real and I pay transport costs as well.
Fortunately the people behind these sites are very willing to sent samples but that’s not the same. I love to go to a store and see brands like Mario Badescu, Malin + Goetz, Neal’s Yard etc etc for myself. But I’m also lucky: living together with a French man I go to Paris rather often and there I can find a lot of brands and products like, for example, the Goe Oil which is sold at Chez Collette as well as the deodorant of Soapwalla which I bought chez Collette last December. This is a real privilege. Every time I go to Paris I make a list in advance to make sure that I don’t forget anything. And every time I discover new brands as well. The last time I went I discovered an Aesop boutique in the Marais. I immediately bought their hand cream. So in this way I have access to a lot products others can’t find as easily in Holland.
In the shower…
I take a shower each morning to wake up. Without the shower I don’t feel awake and fresh. Right now I’m looking for a good green shampoo + conditioner so I have bought a trail set from a Dutch brand called O’Right. I love the products but I don’t like the smell (smells like roses but not in a nice way…).
I have very fine hair which I also dye so I need something that takes care of the colour but doesn’t make weigh down my hair.
So I usually don’t even use a conditioner but I noticed lately now that winter has started that my hair becomes dryer and that it tangles more.
I now want to buy a trail size set of Karpati shampoo + conditioner. This is a green Australian brand and I’m very curious what it’s like.
I already tried Logona shampoo and some French and German brands which I bought at a store like Wholefoods but they didn’t appeal to me at all.
So I hope Karpati will do the thing! I usually wash myself with a solid soap. I have some samples of Chagrin Valley soap, which I adore and also some Olive oil soaps.
If I want to do a quick shower I use a shower gel from Korres (Greek brand) or Cowshed (English brand), both natural brand which smells great and natural. The Cowshed brand is all about organic, wild-crafted and fair-trade plant extracts and essential oils. Usually I don’t use a cleaner anymore in the morning for my face.
Rinsing my face under the shower is enough. I like to use a body scrub but I haven’t found anything green that really appeals to me. Recently I have found a site in the Internet where they make beautiful scrubs them and I really want to order something soon.
Outside the shower…
During spring and summer I use a face oil from Stark skincare of an aloe vera gel from Uspa. I really love the oil. It’s very light and doesn’t stay on skin for the rest of the day.
And I love the smell!!!! The Aloe vera gel I use when I feel that my skin needs some more hydration.
I use a under eye cream stick from Kiel’s, facial Fuel eye-de-puffer, in the morning. It’s very light and fresh. Because I have an oily skin I don’t want to feel anything sticky on my face. I need the products that I use to be absorbed immediately otherwise I feel oily all day.
Last spring/summer I spent a lot of time on the Internet looking for a good, as natural as possible, SPF cream. I asked samples everywhere and I have found one that I will buy soon.
It’s the Invisible Zinc ESP moisturizer SPF30+. It’s an Australian brand which works great on my skin. It doesn’t leave my skin white, it’s not too heavy on my skin and I feel really protected with the SPF 30.
In the evening I clean my face very well. I have several cleansers which I use depending my mood. Together with the cypress oil and tea mask I also bought the grapefruit cleansing balm of Stark Skincare. This smells divine and it leaves my skin clean without being stripped. I also have the Shea Rose Clay soap of Chagrin Valley which I use with the Clairsonic or by itself. It doesn’t strip my skin but it leaves my skin very soft and clean.
Normally I use the face oil of Stark also in the evening or the special face tonic of Dr. Hauschka, depending the time of year. But this year during the last winter period beginning of January, I felt that my face was very itchy and red after cleaning. I didn’t understand, I never have a dry skin…. But I went to a special boutique with only natural skincare and the lady over there explained that due to the fact that I’m getting older (OMG!) my skin becomes less oily, specially during winter so that I had to adapt my skincare. So I bought a very rich cream based on Shea butter of the French brand Terre d’Oc which I can use as a mask but also as a night or day cream when used as a very small layer. I also bought a trail size of the Rose cream of Dr Hauschka and that’s really great. This one smells like roses in the nice way! And it’s very rich as well so since use them I no longer have an itchy skin.
Each morning I use a body cream. The one I use lately is from the French brand Cattier. It’s a large size (500ml) and it comes with a pump, so easy. But I like to try new body creams all the time so when this one is finished I will look for something else. But it will always be a natural brand. For my legs I use a body oil. Normally I use the body oil of Nuxe (French brand) but the last time I bought an oil of Melvita (also French). Even though I like Melvita I prefer Nuxe. This one smells great and I haven’t found any other oil that smells that good.
Well, I don’t use lots of make-up. Again because I have an oily skin type. I don’t like anything sticky on my face or something that comes off after 2 hours at the office. I only use some mascara and some eye pencil. But most of the time use lipstick or lip balm or lip-gloss. I like the effect of just putting on something so small on your lips. It really makes a big difference.
For special occasions I do like to make an effort; I will use a BB cream of Eborian (French/Korean brand), some eye shadow (Bobbi Brown, I know not green yet) and blush and I really like the way I look. But taking it off at the end of the day/evening makes me just as happy.
I like to use a perfume. I haven’t replaced them yet by a natural one because I love the ones that I have too much.
During winter I wear “Black jade” by Lubin (a small, very old, French perfume house) and during summer I love! Aqua Allegoria Herba Fresca by Guerlain.
It took me some years but I have finally found my signature perfumes. I don’t think that I will ever change them again.
During the year I usually take 2 detox cures from Arkofluide (French brand).This contains 20 ampoules which you take first thing in the morning with some water. I really feel the cleaning effect. I also belief that taking care of your body by being aware of what you eat is very important as well. I use less sugar and carbohydrates, soymilk products and more fruit and vegetables. With this routine I take care of my body and that shows on the outside as well.
Since I really choose for a more natural approach of my skincare and being aware of what I eat my skin never looked better than today.
I hope to be able to go to the US next year with my boyfriend for a 3 weeks holiday. I’m already looking forward of all the natural skincare products that I can shop for than :-)).
The wish list is getting longer each time I read your blog.
We’ve been talking a lot about eczema this past week, and Janine here is no stranger to it. In this great routine, she talks about keeping it at bay in sunny Miami, her love of Yarok, and a surprising reaction she had to… argan oil! Enjoy!
Before the shower…
In the shower…
Outside the shower…
We believe too! Thanks for sharing.
Meet Kayla—she’s always been a product enthusiast, only now she’s gone clean. Lucky for us, because she has a TON of great recs here including some makeup application tips. Enjoy!
Hometown: San Luis Obispo, CA
Current Weather: Sunny and cool.
Hair: Long, wavy, thick — I was a chronic hair-dyer but its mostly my natural color now.
Skin: I started getting acne in my early 20s, which was extremely frustrating after being blemish-free in my teen years, when I was expecting it! Guess I’m a late bloomer… Now I’m mostly clear with the occasional blemish or two, thanks to my mostly-clean beauty routine and avoidance of sugar.
Favorite star: Gwen Stefani
In the Shower…
In regards to my face, I’ve tried a few different products — including Proactiv which was DISASTROUS as one use made my face puff up like a blow fish. That was that! Now I use Dr. Alkaitis’ line of products – the cleanser, toner, soothing gel, nourishing treatment oil, and universal mask. The products are fantastic and my skin is much happier, but since the line is quite pricey I sometimes sub in plain ol’ Trader Joe’s tea tree cleanser, which seems to be working for me. On my body, I simply use Dr. Bronner’s Castille Soap (especially the mint or rose scents, yum!) and a nice scrub brush to exfoliate. I love how soft my skin feels from the brush and how sudsy Dr. B’s gets. For my hair, I try not to wash it too often, but I exercise and get sweaty almost every day, so every-other-day washing is the least I can do. It’s softest with the Acure argan shampoo and conditioner, but the waves form the best with Rahua’s volumizing shampoo and conditioner, so I go back and forth with those. I shave with Trader Joe’s shaving cream (again, it offsets the price of my Dr. Alkaitis loves, plus I it makes the razor glide smooth, but itsn’t too thick like some other shaving creams). Finally, I use a pumice stone to attack my feet. I’m a long-distance runner, so that skin can get extremely rough if not tended to!
Outside the Shower…
I moisturize my body with plain coconut oil, which has been affordable, great on my skin, and I LOVE the tropical scent (as does my boyfriend). Like I said, I Dr. Alkaitis’ toner, gel, and a TINY drop of the nourishing oil on my face. I use the Dr. Alkaitis eye cream as well (even though I’m only 25, I think about wrinkles a lot and am taking precautions). After the shower and throughout the day, I use Weleda’s pomegranite hand moisturizer – also delicious smelling. And finally, a spritz of Honoré de Pres perfume — either Love Coconut or Vamp à NY, if I’m feelin’ sexy.
I LOVE makeup. Putting it on is one of my favorite parts of the day, and I never run out of products I want to try. I’ve always been a product whore, but now I try my best to be a natural product whore ;). I usually wear makeup every day, so I try to keep the products as clean as possible. One of my favorite beauty looks is strong eyebrows — unfortunately, I was gifted with naturally sparse eyebrows. So I fill them in with a medium-brown powder eyeshadow from Alima Pure. For some reason, my eyelids can get VERY oily. I never put oil around my eyes, and the rest of my face will be fine throughout the day, but my eyelids….ugh. I’ve tried applying powder before eyeshadow, I’ve tried a natural oil-fighting white tea gel, I’ve tried just about every primer out there… the ONLY thing that’s worked for me at all is Too Faced Shadow Insurance. So I use that, and then either the Blonde shade of eyeshadow from Alima Pure, which is my “no-makeup” looking eyeshadow, or Onyx from Kjaer Weiss, which applied gently is a nice light grey, applied more heavily creates a sulty, smokey eye. I have an array of other shadows as well from Alima, Kjaer, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, Urban Decay…but those are the ones I use most frequently. I like Elizabeth Arden’s powder eyeliner, which I apply with small slanted brush. It goes on extremely black, and the powder stays on my eyes. With the brush, I can make the perfect kitten eye (like a cat eye, but less dramatic). I still use a dirty mascara… Cover Girl Lash Blast. I’ve tried many a natural mascara, but my eyelashes are about as sparse as my eyebrows, and I love a thick row of femme fatale lashes. For my face, I adore RMS un-cover up. It melts into the skin, and covers up red areas around my nose, small blemishes around my chin, and dark shades under my eyes wonderfully. However, if I get a REALLY scary blemish, which unfortunately does happen now and again….like when I visit my family for the holidays, of course…I use a tiny dab of Makeup Forever’s full cover concealer. After spot-correcting with concealer, I lightly buff on Alima Pure’s loose powder foundation. It evens out skin really well, but doesn’t have that I’m-wearing-foundation look and lets my freckles show. On my cheeks, I use either a tiny bit of Revolution Organic’s bright pink freedom glow beauty balm or RMS lip-to-cheek in smile. Then, on top of that, I might do a light dusting of Alima’s shimmering pink blush — but that’s only if I’m having a big night out, or if I know I’m going to have pictures taken of me, since powder blush is better for pictures than cream. Finally, I usually just use some natural balm on my lips, but every once in a while I’ll be feeling a Old Hollywood-style red lip. For that, I love Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetic’s lip tar in NSFW. It’s a great, neutral red that really stands out and stays put — but you have to use a TINY dab with a lip brush, otherwise it will bleed. Trust me, a little goes a long way. And I might do one more final touch – RMS living luminizer on the top of my cheeks, under the brow bone, and on my ‘cupid’s bow.’
For my hair, I again use Dr. Alkaitis’ nourishing oil – one little pump is enough to smooth and soften my abundant, long hair. Then, after years of fighting them with a straightening iron, I’ve fallen in love with my natural waves, so I lightly spritz on Josie Maran’s Bohemian Waves Argan Hair Mist for the perfect beach-y texture. I dry my roots with the diffuser on the blow dryer to keep my waves in tact while giving my hair a little lift. The rest of my hair air dries. I think letting my hair air dry, along with the bit of natural oil I use, has been the biggest difference in transforming my formerly dyed, dry, overprocessed hair into the soft, healthy hair I have now. My hair dresser is very impressed! (Seriously, between the bleaching and the straight iron, sections of my hair were downright CRISPY a few years ago). I pretty much try to touch my hair as little as possible: no dying, minimal products, minimal drying, and then I don’t brush it or really try to touch it at all during the day — which helps keep the waves nice.
…I think that’s it!
Yes, we have an MM today! A delicious and nutritious one from Silvia.
Monday morning I…
A few hours later…
Then for lunch…
For a mid-afternoon snack…
Then for dinner…