Meet Tracy, a NMDL reader with a fierce love for Marie Veronique (us too!) and hot epsom salt baths (ditto again). This routine is short but sweet, and her morning sounds so peaceful. French press coffee, baby and kitties, eggs and veggies — a lovely scene. Read on for a glimpse into this clean beauty’s morning…
City: Los Angeles
Skin type: Fair and lightly freckled, normal/combination, clear but with super-annoying psoriasis on one eyelid.
Hair type: Dark brown and curly. It was very thick and frizz-prone until I had a baby. Now thanks to post-baby hormones, my curls are looser and shinier and not as thick, but I have little forehead wisps from post-partum regrowth.
Favorite Star From the Past: Madeline Kahn. My love for her started early when she dueted with Grover on Sesame Street, and then of course there’s Young Frankenstein and Clue.
I wake up each day at 6, make a pot of French Press coffee, feed my two kitties, and hopefully enjoy a bit of coffee before my baby wakes. I take him for a brisk walk and we eat breakfast together, usually eggs with veggies and maybe a bit of cheese for me. If I remember, I’ll take a multivitamin and a probiotic.
In the shower, I’ll use a konjac sponge and a natural shower gel like Acure Organics and then moisturize my body with jojoba oil. Every few days I’ll wash my hair with Acure Organics Moroccan Argan Stem Cell and condition with their Moisturizing Root Repair. I’ll add a few drops of Argan oil after towel-drying and lightly diffuse my curls or blow-dry straight if I feel like it.
For my face, I’m pretty devoted to Marie Veronique, which I discovered through this blog. My skin became so clear and glowing after I switched to her products. In the morning I splash my face with water and spritz her MV Mist, then follow with a few drops of MV Face Oil and Everyday Coverage tinted moisturizer. I’ve recently been trying Wild Naturals psoriasis cream on my problem spot.
I don’t wear makeup every day, but if I do, it’s mostly RMS Beauty and Tarte. I’ll use RMS Beauty Uncover-Up for casual days, and if I want to be more made up, I’ll use Tarte Amazonian Clay foundation, concealer, and bronzer. I add a touch of RMS Beauty cream blush in Smile. I curl my lashes and use whatever mascara my mom gave me from her department store gift-with-purchase, usually Lancôme. For a special occasion, I might swipe some RMS Beauty Living Luminizer on my browbones, cheekbones, and inner lids, and I’ll use RMS Beauty eyeshadow in Magnetic as liner and in the creases. I also use an eye primer by Too Faced under the shadow to prevent so much creasing. I never met a lipstick I liked until I tried Ilia Beauty Lip Conditioner. I love Nobody’s Baby, Dizzy, and Arabian Knights.
At night I remove makeup with jojoba oil and I wash with Marie Veronique cleanser. I use the MV Mist and Face Oil, and add an eye product from Dr. Alkaitis. I drink a big glass of water and use Weleda Skin Food on my hands whenever I think of it. I also love taking hot baths with epsom salts and oils and a good magazine, but with a baby, that’s more of a rare treat these days!
Lovely, right? Has anyone tried the Wild Naturals psoriasis cream or another option that has helped? Shout it out in the comments.
Say hello to Annable, a reader (she blogs, too!) with fantastic taste in natural skincare and makeup. Like the rest of us, she has her share of skincare issues that she’s doing her best to treat naturally. If you have suggestions, help her out! Otherwise, enjoy the suggestions she has for you.
City: Preston, England
Skin: Oh boy me and my skin are very much enemies, I cannot get a handle on that thing even though I treat it with such love! I suffer from milia and have never found anything to really, truly help them go away and also very painful deep hormonal blemishes just on my jaw that last weeks and scar my skin terribly.
Hair: My hair is not very thick and just above shoulder length but there is a LOT of it, my hairdresser always comments how long it takes to cut my hair because she has to create so many sections.
Favourite star from the past: She’s not from the past (I’m just a young bean, gosh!) but I love Maggie Smith.
I’m not a morning person in any way, shape or form. I prefer to shower at night, so first things first I oil pull with coconut oil a few times a week. I used to do it everyday but I admit I got a little bored of that or go straight into brushing my teeth with a regular store bought toothpaste. I haven’t yet found a natural toothpaste to take the pain away when my teeth are sensitive.
I don’t feel human until I’ve washed my face in a morning, I prefer gel cleansers but am without one at the minute (I’m thinking of trying Yuli Halycon) so I’ve been using the Mel Millis Phytonutri Qi Plankton Skin Remedy (quite the name), it’s a powder similar to May L, but not as gritty and feels very cooling with spirulina and hyaluronic acid. It really helps calm my skin when things aren’t going my way. Toning is my favourite step and I buy and go through them so quickly. At the moment I’m using the Zk’in Clear Skin Toner on a cotton pad followed by a spritz of Yuli Cocoon, a little birthday treat to myself that I hope never ends. I then follow with a simple moisturiser such as the Herbfarmacy Starweed Face Cream, I avoid anything too rich or with shea butter as this makes my milia worse. I let this sink in while I make a fresh juice and take a bunch of supplements for my skin and balancing hormones with a big glass of water.
I don’t wear makeup everyday as I work from home but I like to cover up my blemishes a little to feel better about myself. When I’m leaving the house I use a little more, I really like the Jane Iredale BB cream. The coverage is really good and the pale shades are perfect for me. You just have to remember to use a tiny amount and blend like crazy! I use the RMS Un Cover Up under my eyes and on scars or blemishes in 11 but I will purchase the new 00 next time, I also like the Vapour Illusionist Concealer or W3LL People’s stick foundation as a concealer. They don’t fully hide the marks but it’s better than nothing. I then set my makeup with a little mineral foundation from Jane Iredale or the RMS Un Powder. I like ILIA Tenderly as a blush or RMS Beloved, and ILIA Jump on my lips is a firm favourite. I wear glasses so I like to draw attention to my eyes with lots of Lily Lolo eyeliner and a smidge of RMS Defining Mascara. I skip eyeshadow 99% of the time and move to brows, I really like the 100% Pure Brow Gel as it’s a great colour match.
Skip to the evening and it’s time to take care of my skin! I remove makeup with the OLO Vitamin B Cleansing Oil and a warm flannel before jumping in the shower. I don’t wash my hair everyday but when I do I use Avalon Organics Scalp Shampoo or the Intelligent Nutrients Harmonic shampoo. I condition with 100% Pure Scalp Conditioner and also use this as a shaving cream occasionally. It’s so good. I wash my body with Dr. Bronners Almond Soap and wash my face again with The Body Deli Almond Milk Cleanser. It’s not my favourite but it smells like cake.
Out of the shower I apply either the Indie Lee Vanilla Citrus Body Oil or the Aurelia Skincare Firm & Revitalise Body Oil. I don’t always remember to do this but my skin thanks me when I do. I like to apply a facemask once or twice a week when I’ve just got out of the shower. My go-to is MLS The Problem Solver of course (but I have quite the collection). It really helps ease the pain of cystic acne. If you have any suggestions for clearing cystic blemishes with natural products, I’m all ears! Though my options are limited in the UK and I know you’ll all suggest some fab American brands I can’t get hold of without paying a fortune in shipping & customs. ;) I then apply Yarok Feed Your Ends and let my hair air dry right up until bed where I will blast it with a hairdryer on cool if it’s still damp.
I love facial oils at night, my favourites are Kahina Argan Oil — simple but so good — and the True Nature Botanicals Pacific Face Oil which I was lucky enough to be sent to review. This stuff leaves me glowing on good skin months! I’ve also been using the new Pai Blemish serum the past few weeks but it hasn’t helped my skin much at all which I’m very sad about. I also like the Odacite Pa + G serum which I apply just on my scars, I really notice a difference in them fading quicker.
Do you have a favorite product or DIY remedy for cystic acne or milia? Let us have it in the comments!
Green beauty has a way of making you feel very cared for, don’t you think? For example, skincare is Rebecca’s favorite part of her routine (and we can totally identify with that!). Honestly, though — skincare used to feel like a chore. We’re happy we’re not the only ones who take great delight in our clean routines.
City: Monterey, California
Skin: Light-medium, with yellow undertones. Combination, very acne-prone, and still recovering from a slew of breakouts from last summer.
Hair: Naturally dark blonde and wavy, but I’ve been dying it chestnut for a couple of years now thanks to Morrocco Method Henna.
Favorite star from the past: She isn’t from the past, but I have to pick Meryl Streep. I just watched August: Osage County recently, and my god she is an amazing actress. I know we already knew that, but it’s true. She carries herself so well, and is one of the few stars left that have built a career based on talent, not just looks.
First thing each morning, I put my contacts in (I am blind as a bat), do some stretches, then drink a glass of water with apple cider vinegar. For breakfast, I typically have a green or berry smoothie with tons of superfoods blended in, and I try to stick to a Paleo diet most days. After breakfast, I brush my teeth with Desert Essence Toothpaste in Wintergreen. Tastes perfectly minty, and so much better than the sweetened, chemical-laden stuff from the drugstore.
Before I shower, I dry body brush with the GingerChi Meridian Body Dry Brush. In the shower, I’ll shampoo with Desert Essence Coconut Shampoo (which lathers SO well for being so natural), and condition with either John Masters Organics Rosemary & Peppermint Detangler, or their Citrus & Neroli Detangler, which both smell amazing. I try to only wash my hair every three days, and I definitely recommend that for anyone. Many people say that their hair just gets greasy too fast, but I swear, once you go a couple times waiting between washes, it will balance out and stay clean much longer. I recently started using the Acure Organics Exfoliating Mint Body Wash too, and it’s super refreshing. After my shower, I just let my hair air dry and then straighten it. The one thing I haven’t found yet is a great all-natural heat protectant (or leave-in conditioner with the same effect), so if anyone has suggestions, I will love you.
Skincare is my favorite step. In the mornings when I haven’t been wearing makeup, I’ll steam my face with a hot washcloth, then use a combination of raw honey and Acure Organics Brightening Scrub to wash it. If I’ve been wearing makeup, I massage a mix of castor oil and jojoba oil into my skin for awhile, then gently scrub it away using the Acure Organics Cleansing Gel on a Konjac Sponge. I cannot believe how soft and clean my skin feels after this. Then, I’ll tone with some Thayer’s Rose Petal Witch Hazel and George’s Aloe Spray on a cotton pad. Lastly, I spot-treat with Desert Essence Lavender Tea Tree Oil, and use a combination of Origins Make A Difference Plus Rejuvenating Treatment and Antipodes Avocado Pear Night Cream for some moisture. When my skin is especially angry, I have a few facemasks on rotation. My favorites are Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask when my skin is dry and irritated, REN Invisible Pores Detox Mask when it’s clogged, and my own mask I mix using the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay, MSM, ACV, and yoghurt. I am always looking for new products that will heal my acne-prone skin without clogging my pores, as they clog super easily and my skin is quite sensitive. Even organic plant-based oils can give me lots of little under-the-skin bumps.
After my skincare has absorbed, I’ll apply some makeup. I absolutely hate wearing face makeup (aka foundation) and never really did until my skin flipped out last summer, so I try to get by with as little as possible. I use RMS Beauty Un-cover Up in the shade 33 under my eyes and I apply it like a foundation in problem areas. It’s slightly darker than my skin but it’s more yellow-toned than 22, so I let it melt into my skin and it looks fine. For my eyes, I’ll quickly swipe some bareMinerals Concealer over my eyelids to even them out and brighten the area, then lightly smudge a plum-y brown bareMinerals Eyeshadow along my top and bottom lash line to lengthen my eyes and thicken the look of my lashes.
I luckily have pretty long eyelashes but they stick straight out, so I’ll put about two swipes of Maybelline The Rocket Mascara on each eye, then comb that through with a dried out Maybelline One by One Mascara wand. It sounds strange, but this gives them the most natural and fluttery look, without looking wet or clumped at all. I know Maybelline is nowhere near natural, but I hardly use any and just love the wands. I have my eye on the W3LL People Expressionist Mascara, though. Lastly, I spritz the Caudalie Beauty Elixir all over my face, which gives it a fresh and dewy feel. I’m way too lazy to experiment and switch up my makeup look each day, so I stick to this routine pretty much every day.
Lastly, I just wear a clear lip balm most of the time because I haven’t ventured into the world of natural lipsticks much yet and I can’t stand dry lips. I’ll put on some Burt’s Bees Lip Balm or my EOS Lip Balm in Sweet Mint, then I’m done! I really want to try out the ILIA Beauty Lip Conditioners, and R.L. Linden & Co.’s La Balmba Rose Healing Balm sounds so lovely. Let me know if you’ve tried them!
Share your suggestions for a hair styling product that helps prevent heat damage or your favorite lipsticks in the comments! And hey, Rebecca, you’re in luck… we have a special Friday Deal with R.L. Linden & Co. this week, so you can check out La Balmba Rose Healing Balm for yourself!
No More Dirty Looks readers have gained quite the rep for giving good advice. Yes, you! We get emails asking us to crowd source skincare situations because you always have helpful suggestions, or at least a sympathetic “been there” attitude that makes dealing with troubling issues less isolating and unnerving. We’re thankful to be surrounded by caring, thoughtful people who share their insights and personal experiences. We’d love to tap your brains again to help this reader out. Here’s what she writes…
My doctor told me that I have dyshidrotic eczema, which has manifested itself as a dry and itchy rash on the backs of my hands. I was told to get religious about moisturizing and to use one of the following lotions: Cerave, Aquaphor, Eucerin, or Cetaphil.
I would really hate to go back to one of these dirty lotions, but I am at a loss as to how to find a clean product that will be equally moisturizing to address this extreme dryness situation. I have already tried aloe (straight from my house plant) and argan and coconut oils, but they are not enough.
We would really hate for this reader to have to go back to any of those petroleum-based options, too! What have you found that works for the dry, itchy rash that accompanies eczema? Would something like shea butter help?
Amy’s routine is full of clean goodies, and she’s one of the biggest May Lindstrom enthusiasts we’ve run across in a while. (We’re all wild for May L., but Amy knows how to get the most out of her products.) You’re going to love this one.
City: Washington, DC
Skin type: Every spring/summer, I think I have finally conquered my skin challenges and have normal skin. Then fall hits (like now), the forced heat comes on inside, and I am back to the dehydrated, sensitive, allergic and rosey complexion I know. It used to be year round so I have definitely learned to manage it, and also learned that I don’t think you ever really “change” it.
Hair type: Straight and long with good volume… easy. I brush when wet and let it air dry. It hasn’t been colored in almost 20 years and stays very healthy; it just gets a little oily about halfway through the day when I skip a shampoo.
Fave star from past: Natalie Wood
Depending on how many times I have hit snooze on my alarm in the morning, ideally I dry brush and massage in some coconut oil before my shower. Especially as we go into the colder months, the oil seems to help lock the moisture from the shower water in. I brush my teeth with Ascended Health Oralive Dental Elixir. It is definitely “earthy,” but I don’t think I could ever go back to anything else. While I believe that being almost 37 and cavity free is largely genetic, this stuff just makes my mouth feel so clean and fresh afterwards. The few times I have had to use a traditional toothpaste since trying Oralive, I felt like I was eating a sugary dessert. After brushing with Oralive, I let it swish around in my mouth for the duration of my shower. At some point when I remember I am still swishing afterwards, I swallow it (it is a nutritional supplement also).
In my shower, I have a T3 Inline Shower Filter installed on my shower head. I only started experiencing breakouts and similar when I moved to DC from NYC in 2008 and believe that environmental changes — water hardness and chemical makeup included — are absolutely a factor. (Anecdotally, when experiencing a breakout, 1-2 showers in NYC is all it takes to clear it up!)
I wash my hair with Acure Organics Mint Shampoo and condition with Tammy Fender Omega Rich Hair Moisturizer. This stuff is heaven — it controls frizz and flyaways, is lightweight and makes it so shiny. It came free with another Tammy Fender purchase that I bought in February, but retails for $55. I have hair down to the middle of my back, use it as regularly as my shampoo which I have refilled 3 times in the same period of time, and am still making my way through it 9 months later, so it has proven well worth it’s cost as far as I am concerned and I plan to replenish it when I use it up.
While the conditioner is in, I apply either May Lindstrom’s Honey Mud or Clean Dirt to my face and leave it for as long as the conditioner will stay in my hair. I wash with Dr Bronner’s Rose soap, exfoliate with K.Voss NYC’s Coconut Body Scrub, turn the water to cold … I mean, COLD … and rinse the conditioner and face wash off. I’ve read that the cold water along with dry brushing activates the lymphatic system, helps immunity against illness, tightens pores and helps with breakouts and also experienced that it helps with things like shiny hair. I also love how it feels and it helps wake me up (I’m pretty sure those Garfield the cat anti-morning comics were all actually written about me!)
After my shower, I apply either Plush Skin’s Body Oil Elixir or one of my favorite body lotions from K.Voss NYC’s line (which are all simple and effective perfection) while my skin is still damp. I air dry to keep all the hydration for myself, instead of giving it to a towel! For deodorant, I use Pit Putty’s Lavender Vanilla Stick — I find it much more effective than the cream, but it requires more time and management to get rubbed in before getting dressed, so it has to go on early. Yes, this paragraph means I spend a good part of my post-shower morning naked.
On my hydration-starved face, I customize depending on how it feels that day, always starting with May Lindstrom The Youth Dew, and then layering on The Blue Cocoon, also by May Lindstrom (I have seriously considered quitting my job just to stay home putting this on and smelling it all day. Is that unreasonable??). If after about 10 minutes I still feel dry and it’s time for the big guns, I spritz with Kahina Giving Beauty Toning Mist and apply Tammy Fender Intensive Repair Balm which I find goes furthest on damp skin. The balm is tacky so if used, makeup application needs to wait until it absorbs. Otherwise, I get right to it after putting on the Youth Dew and/or Blue Cocoon.
I blend Kjaer Weis Crème Foundation in Just Sheer and RMS Un-Cover Up 22 together with my fingers and apply sparingly to my rosy cheeks and any areas that need evening out. During summer, the Kjaer Weis alone is perfect, but when my skin gets drier, it starts to show fine lines more and the RMS balances that texture out. On the lower part of my cheeks, I use Kjaer Weis Crème Blush in Desired Glow or sometimes Joyful. (I actually use all of her colors interchangeably and these may also end up on my lips). I highlight my cheekbones with Kjaer Weis Radiance or W3LL People Universalist. I use a Laura Mercier liquid liner at my top and bottom and trace the line again with a Laura Mercier powder. At this point, I probably use a Christian Dior or other non-clean eye shadow or two. I have so many in so many colors… it will take years to replace this makeup arsenal, just as it took years to replace the haircare and skincare components. One in, one out for this product junkie! Finally, I use Josie Maran’s Argan Oil Mascara — it is the only mascara I have found that doesn’t irritate my eyes or give me raccoon circles by the end of the day. On my lips, I use Kjaer Weis Lip Tint in Passionate, Romance, or Goddess – or one of her crème blushes. I spray May Lindstrom’s Jasmine Garden Mist around my face, hair and general body space until I think maybe I will have the luxury of catching heavenly whiffs all day (I never do!), and am out the door.
At night, I wash my face again with The Honey Mud and apply The Blue Cocoon. At least once a week, I do a mask with May Lindstrom The Problem Solver, and I mix The Honey Mud into the compound for the epitome of luxury. I will also use The Problem Solver as a spot treatment, or The Honey Mud as a standalone mask or even overnight spot treatment when my skin is feeling super sensitive and just needs gentle but effective softening, hydration, or treatment. These products are the ultimate multi-taskers!
Raise your hand if Amy’s routine makes you happy. Raise your hand if you’re thinking about buying a shower filter now. Check and check.