Good morning everyone! Meet Andreína and her Alaffia…she is a huge fan of this brand! She also has some great tips–check out her DIY mask recipe. She’s a recent transplant to California, and is certainly making the coast even more lovely with her presence. Read on!
Name: Andreína (but most people call me Andre)
Current weather: Port Hueneme, CA tends to have awesome breeze and chilly nights. It has not gotten too hot. Mostly fresh & easy (I’ve only been here for 2 1/2 months).
Hair: Dark brown, and a mix of 70% wavy, 15% kinky and 15% super-straight. Don’t ask me how I got there, I’m still trying to figure that out myself!
Skin: with a weird case of breakouts on my cheeks which I’m trying to control. It comes and goes. Used to be t-zone, all year round, and now I’m in a perfect medium.
Favorite star or icon from the past: Carolina Herrera, fashion designer with a super-simple style from my native country, Venezuela. She’s got everything I think of when it comes to elegance.
Also Diane Keaton. I just love her in every movie, I always like her jewelry (big rings!!!) and her style just comes across timeless. Image via
In the shower…
Baking soda and apple cider vinegar are my go-to soaps. Even though I do not shower every day, I’m always able to clean my underarms with a mix of these two to really kill the smell and, believe it or not, help me with perspiration. I might use a bit of baking soda all over my body once a month, but when it comes to cleaning just the bare-essentials, I find that B.S. is all I need.
One thing I do not see here very often is people talking about their shaving abilities, and same as everything else, only 2 things have worked like a charm! 1. Dr. Bronner’s all-in-one baby mild and citrus liquid soap
. I buy the 32 oz and dilute it 4 times, mix the two and keep it in the shower. I use this mix to shave my legs (warm or cold water) and the 2. preserve razor
. I have always had such sensitive legs, with ingrown hairs and my hair gets really upset when it gets all shaved, so it grows really fast! which can be an issue. I also do not shave all the time, at times I let my hair grow real long and then try and shave up. My legs are happy.
My hair LOVES to be dirty, so I wash my hair only once x week. It is actually the third day that it starts to look amazing. With my textures and changes in product I’ve found that less is always more, and my hair has never looked better! My shampoo of choice is Alaffia’s Everyday Shea shampoo
, unscented or in lavender (this is actually my 2nd bottle. They’re huge! one bottle went on for almost 2 years!). Right after I shampoo, I use Bragg’s apple cider vinegar
, which really helps me de-tangle my hair. I never brush it because I want to keep my curls intact, so this is the, by far, less painful and most effective way for me to really soften all my hair and prevent the crazy nots. I also love to use Alaffia’s coconut & shea daily conditioner
, and once a month I use Alaffia’s “beautiful curls” in Shea butter deep-conditioning treatment, super hydrating and gives my hair an extra shine that lasts long!
My face gets cleaned -almost- everyday. This might be the area I need improvement in, mostly because I hate keeping routines and I go as the day comes, so there are weeks that I’m really good at cleaning my face, and others not so much. I use a mix of almond, avocado, grapeseed, argan and tea tree oils and clean my face with a vegetable sponge
. It is so easy! and I give my face a real nice massage with the oil, which tends to be an extremely awesome combo when there’s steam in the bathroom because it really cleanses my pores deeply. I do not rinse my face with water, as I find the sponge to be really helpful. I use the bronner’s liquid soap to clean the sponge.
Outside the shower…
No Skincare here. Whenever I feel I need a bit more of a dewey-texture, I apply more oil (mostly during winter). The choice are either the mix from above, or my ojio coconut oil
. If there’s excess, I use the sponge to wipe it off. I also use these oils and sponge to wipe off any makeup too.
My hair gets more alaffia (I love this brand, can’t you tell? ;) with just a little bit of Beautiful Curls’ Curl activating cream and after their Curl Defining Gel. This is the perfect combo, and lasts me a whole week. My hair is also in love!
I also apply a mask about once a month that I make with my mix of oils, bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar. It is rather painful and takes a while to dry, but really revives my skin every time! Clean pores, outstanding radiance, ultra-soft surface,
Makeup yes, everyday no.
My makeup is not really clean, mostly because I became obsessed with Bare Mineral’s eyeshadows shortly after I came to this country. I spent about 3 years collecting and I still use them, still love them. I have a mix of Josie Maran’s eyeshadows, which I really enjoy too, and are the ones I take with me when I’m out of town. I use Jane Iredale’s Petal
or Lemon’s eyelid primers, and some eyeliners from Bare Minerals & Josie Maran. For my lips, when color comes, just get red. LOVE Josie Maran’s stains
(flamenco & fox trot).
Mascara, (which is often talked about here) is always a subject on is own. It is often a girl’s fav makeup item, and for some the only go-to to lighten up and refresh the face! I’ve had issues with natural mascaras, but I’ve also not tried a ton! My fav natural mascara is Josie Maran’s GOGO
, and I still use Bare Mineral’s flawless mascara because I’m a sucker for their brush!
I love larenim’s blushes, cherub and innocence. I also use Bare Minerals’ highlighter & well-rested eyeshadow, which I mix and place in the inner corner of my eye to illuminate. Again, part of a collection I’ve had for years.
I try to be real clean with my brushes, and clean then well with my all-in-one soap.
My nail’s preferences are a mix of NoMiss
& American Apparel Colors. I probably do my nails twice a week, remove with NoMiss’s polish remover, and finish cleaning up with Josie Maran’s Argan Oil. I do not go to salon’s to get my nails done, I do not like people touching my hands!
Needless to say, I spend about 1% a year of what I used to spend before in skincare & makeup. And I am 100% happier than before!
Thanks, Andre! Happy to hear you are happy :) Anyone else using Alaffia for the hair? Siobhan reviewed one of their conditioners awhile back here.
Good morning, everyone! Today, we have Alissa…from Australia! Not only is she automatically cool because she is an Aussie, but she is the type of girl with the attitude that positive thinking can help achieve positively lovely skin. How cool is that? She doesn’t forgo products, but I’m guessing she enhances their powers by smiling! Read on, you’ll see!
Current weather: Typical Sydney Autumn…freezing cold grey-sky days alternated with sunny, warm beachy ones! Can’t make up its mind…but on the sunny days, Sydney’s the most seductive, beautiful city in the world.
Hair: Chestnut brown, boob length (we’ve coined that as a technical term now, right? :) ), wavy with the odd actual ringlet, plagued by dry split ends, fine but a lot of it.
Skin: Combination in the extreme. My skin is probably my biggest trial and my biggest insecurity. My cheeks and forehead are clear and soft, my nose is oily, and my chin, lipline and jawline are dry and prone to huge, painful pimples and whiteheads. I’ve got some scarring there too, which isn’t helped by my extremely fair complexion. Oh, did I mention I have very sensitive skin, too?
Favourite icon or star from the past: Gina Lollobrigida…what a gorgeous badass! Image via
In the shower…
I tend to shower at night, just before bed. I start off by dry brushing
- something I picked up from reading this blog, and I’ve noticed it’s made a huge difference to how soft my skin is. I then apply my cleanser – either honey
, coconut oil
, or Stark Grapefruit Cleanse + Hydrate Balm
, which is lovely and healing. I only wash my hair once a week, so if it’s a washing day I shampoo with Miessence Desert Flower Shampoo
(Miessence is a fantastic Australian clean brand that makes everything from toothpaste to make-up…you guys should feature them, they have some great, dependable products!) which is super mild, and every few washes I alternate with a baking soda rinse
(thanks, Alexandra! I couldn’t believe how well it works). I’m experimenting with all-clean conditioners at the moment – John Masters Honey and Hibiscus Hair Reconstructor
makes my hair very full and soft, but also frizzes out my waves and curls, and every other one I’ve tried has either provided too much moisture or not nearly enough. The best conditioner I have ever used is an almost-clean one – Kinky Curly Knot Today (not available in Australia…damn you, isolated Southern Hemisphere! Thank you, eBay!). It has the dreaded phenoxy and also something listed mysteriously as ‘natural fragrance’ but the rest of the ingredients are clean and organic and SWOON it works wonders detangling my knot-prone hair. I leave it on for a few minutes under a shower cap while I wipe the cleanser of my face, shave my legs and pits with Dr Bronners Lavender Shave Gel
, then I rinse well with warm and then ice cold water (reduces frizz and makes my hair super shiny!) I don’t use soap or bodywash or anything because I just don’t need it.
Outside the shower…
I moisturise my damp body with either coconut oil
, Soapwalla’s Luxurious Moisturising Body Oil
(the smell is so amazing I want to drink the damn thing), or whatever 100% Pure
body cream I have available. I apply coconut oil to my armpits as a deodorant – I used to use Soapwalla which was seriously miraculous…until I developed angry red pits, noooo. I find that coconut oil works great though, even lasting overnight into the next day. I comb a little more Kinky Curly through my damp hair (it does double duty as a leave-in). Then I moisturise my face with either rosehip oil
, jojoba oil
, or Stark’s Cypress Purity + Defence Oil
, which makes my skin so matte and soft – but it’s so expensive for my uni budget, so I treat it like liquid gold and ration it out. If I have a huge blemish or three that I’ve naughtily popped, I’ll apply a small amount of anti-bacterial gel or powder
, just to keep it clean and dry it out. No blemish gel or tea tree oil or benzoyl peroxide has ever helped my acne, so I don’t bother anymore, and now my skin is so much less red, flaking and inflamed. My acne is mostly hormonal, anyway, so I try to work on eating clean and organic, and balancing my stress levels. And laughing a lot. I find my acne always clears up after I’ve had a good laugh.
Voilà, indeed! Thank you, Alissa! Any other Aussies out there who have some brands to recommend to readers in that hemisphere?
Hello everyone! Meet Lola and her lovely routine! She is a green juice, essential oil and Lotus Wei fan…aka a girl after our own hearts. Read on…
Current weather: The most bizarre NYC spring ever – too cold, too rainy, too gray, but seems to be getting better
Hair: pixy-short, super-fine, thin, oily.
Skin: Olive, combination (though tending towards very dry, especially during winter/spring), super-sensitive/eczema-y. It can be a source of annoyance, but also of many compliments due to nice texture and even tone (when not freaking out).
Favorite star or icon from the past: Jane Russell. Image via
In the shower…
A big part of my morning is not exactly skincare-related, but it has a huge impact on how I look and feel. I start every morning with a large green juice, full of gorgeous greens, ginger, lime and a green apple for a touch of sweetness. It makes me feel fantastic, gives a wonderful burst of energy and I always feel worse when I skip it for whatever reason. I have also been trying to embrace holistic wellness, so I take a whole bunch of herbs and supplements to help deal with my horrible, chronic migraines, give me energy and boost my immune system. Since I started doing this, my migraines got much better (and I am using a lot fewer drugs), I have much more energy, a better outlook and am able to fight off colds much, much better. I won’t mention the full list, but some of the herbals I would recommend for boosting energy and immunity and helping to deal with stress are Rhodiola Rosea, Astragalus and Ashwagandha. I use Gaia Herbs – they are organic and have very impressive quality controls (and their pills are small enough and easy to swallow). After my juice-n’-pills breakfast, I hop in the shower. I wash my face with the gentle Nude Cleansing Wash. It foams, but very little and I like the smell. A few times a week I use the One Love Organics Microderma scrub. It’s quite gentle, smells like oats (in a good way) and makes my skin silky-smooth. I wash my hair with the Acure Organics Shampoo and I alternate between Pure Mint + Echinacea and Argan and Lemongrass. I also brush my teeth in the shower (weird, I know!). I used to be a Tom’s of Maine fan, but I recently noticed that their toothpaste has sulfates. Even the kids’ version! Don’t know how I missed that, but it annoyed me enough to switch. I switched to the Melvita toothpaste for myself and my son. It’s organic and I really love it. I am a bit concerned about the lack of fluoride, but we’ll see how I get on. I use moisturizing Nubian Heritage soaps or 100% Pure Blood Orange Shower Gel only on the bits that need cleaning. When I have the time (so not often), I also use one of my DIY body scrubs. I combine organic, coarse brown sugar with honey and a mix of oils (I usually use jojoba and coconut) and add in essential oils. I tend to go citrus-heavy as that is my favorite scent. Another recipe I use is mixing old coffee grounds with coconut oil and orange essential oil. It smells heavenly and coffee is great for the skin. I usually make a batch of scrub and store it in the shower in sealable preserves jars.
Outside the shower…
I spray on my Thai Crystal deodorant
first thing out of the shower to give it chance to dry. I have tried other natural deodorants before, but Soapwalla gave me a wicked rash and other ones just didn’t work. TC seems to do the trick, though I am yet to test it in sweltering New York summer (should it ever come). I tend to skip body lotion unless I have lizard skin and if I do, it’s usually whatever is lying around. More often than not, I prefer to use body oils, as they smell lovely and tend to stay on my skin for much longer. My favorite right now is Tallulah Jane Halona
. It’s a gorgeous ginger-cintrus scent that doubles as a gentle perfume. For my face, I love oils and serums and am currently in love with the Dr. Alkaitis Organic Nourishing Treatment oil
and think this will be a lasting love affair. I have been testing the OLO Love Springs Eternal serum
, but I find that it’s not moisturing enough for my skin, so I usually layer it under the Dr. Alkaitis. If my skin is feeling extra-dry and flaky, I might use either the Dr. Alkaitis Skin Savior balm or the Dr. Alkaitis day cream
over the oil/serum. I rarely use eye cream (usually I just use the same oils on my eyes), but if I do, it’s either the Kahina
or Dr. Alkaitis eye creams.
Because my hair is so short, I never blow dry – I just run a wide-toothed comb though it to get it in place. I have a super-sensitive scalp and conventional styling products made it break out, itch and otherwise made my life a living hell. This was a huge problem because us, short-haired girls, really need product. I couldn’t use John Masters because it was far too greasy and heavy for my super-fine hair, but then I discovered Giovanni Wicked Texture. Initially I thought it was the answer to all my prayers, since it is free from the usual suspects like sulfates, phthalates, synthetic phragrances, parabens and, most importantly, petrochemicals (I found them to be the #1 culprit for scalp sensitivities), is vegan, organic and manages to provide the same kind of hold and definition as its conventional, nasty-toxy counterparts. I since realized that it does have silicone, so prolonged use can weigh down my hair, but I feel that it is definitely the best, mostly-clean hair product out there.
I don’t use makeup unless I go out at night and since I use makeup so rarely, I haven’t really bothered switching from my dirty make-up. That said, all my mascaras have run out, so I am going to try the Organic Glam mascara from Organic Pharmacy
. I am hoping it’ll work as well as my Chantecaille. I also recently started using RMS Un-covereup
and Living Luminizer
. I love them, my skin loves them, so if I am feeling splotchy, I sometimes use just the Un-coverup or both of them during the day. I also don’t believe in using perfume in the workplace – I am tremendously sensitive to smell, so I could never expose others to my scents, however lovely I might think they are. That said, if I am feeling headachy, I might roll on some 21 Drops Headache essential oil blend
. It smells lovely (while being thoroughly unobtrusive) and I find that it does actually kind of work. I also like the Lotus Wei
Inner Peace mist. It helps me chill if I am extra-stressed and the gentle scent lingers on my clothes and doubles as perfume.
Thanks, Lola! Has anyone else been enjoying greens in the AM and feeling the results like Lola? How about the amazing herbal supplement success for decreased migraines?!
Happy Monday, everyone! Meet Stephanie and her sweet-as-honey routine. She swears by Manuka for her skin. She also has been getting a lot of mileage out of spiritbeautylounge sample items. Annnd..she makes her own (edible!) DIY brozer. Read on!
Current Weather: In the 70s-80s and humid-ish. I just moved home from the North so I am loving the warmer weather despite the humidity.
Hair: Long, brown, and sort of curly/wavy. Definitely not straight. The oiliness has become non-existent since my switch to natural products and reduction in showers. Which is great because it saves me a ton of time, I find showering to be a pretty grand and involved event in my life. 23 year old problems clearly.
Skin: I have always been acne prone :( I was on a strict regimen of prescription topical stuff which worked, but I got completely fed up with how dry they left my skin. Right now, I just got off birth control but things are still OK. Residual scarring and the odd small breakout are all I have to worry about now with no dryness!
Favorite Star: Miranda Kerr. Was she already chosen? I just love her values and personality! Image via
Before the shower…
I try to do oil pulling with coconut oil (I use the nutiva brand) which is an ayervedic technique that consists of swishing the oil in my mouth for twenty minutes then rinsing with warm salt water. It’s hard to last the full twenty, but I’ve found it is a great way to naturally whiten the teeth and make my whole mouth/gums feel supple and healthy. I will then usually eat breakfast and workout and also take some skin supplements which I thought could be applicable. I take fish oil or flax seed oil, black current oil and evening primrose oil which are GLAs which are supposed to be beneficial for skin and regulating female stuff as well as Indole-3-Carbinol which I saw was recommended in an article for women coming off the pill again to regulate hormones. I also only brush my hair before I shower with a wide toothed comb.
In the shower…
I’ve usually had a Wedderspoon Manuka Honey 16 strength mask on my face for at least half an hour before my shower and leave it on until the end (this was inspired by Siobhan) which I use as a facial cleanser. If I don’t have time to do a mask I will use the Tata Harper cleanser or the Dr Alkaitis cleanser I have from the samples I purchased on spiritbeautylounge. I like them both and find them super gentle, but prefer the manuka for its anti-acne fight. Manuka honey/honey in general for the face has been a godsend for my skin! Next I shampoo with either Desert Essences lemon and tee tree shampoo for oily hair or Alaffia neem shampoo (both of which I like and find wash away build-up, which was my biggest difficulty when looking for a natural shampoo) followed by either John Masters Lavender and Avocado Intensive Conditioner, the John Masters Honey and Hibiscus conditioner, or the Alaffia neem conditioner. I have recently begun washing my body and shaving with Moksa soap in Abbey Road. It smells amazing, is gentle (I loved Dr. Bronners tea tree bar soap, but then it become too harsh for my skin) and the company is amazing and donates to so many great charities! After that I may spray my hair with the Aubrey organics Nustyle Organic Detangler and Shine Booster (which smells like limes) as a heat protectant or Intelligent Nutrients leave-in conditioner which kind of makes me smell like a pizza, but I like it anyways. (Ed. Note: Pizza?!?!?! We need more info on this! Ha!) Then I wrap my hair up in a t-shirt which I’ve also heard is better to prevent frizz and keep curls intact.
Outside the shower I don’t really towel off because I find the extra moisture super beneficial for the rest of my routine. I spray my face with the Acure Organics Rose toner for oily skin which I LOVE it smells so good especially after reading that article about rose scents on here, then I mix my beloved Aubrey Organics aloe vera with whatever moisturizer is tickling my fancy. I use the aloe because it is such a great base to cut/preserve products which we know can be quite expensive. As I mentioned, I purchased the sample packs of Tata Harper and Dr Alkaitis so I basically pick and choose which moisturizer I feel like mixing in with my aloe. At the moment, I love the Tata Harper Serum and the Dr Alkaitis soothing gel and nourishing oil. Both companies products smells sooooo good and honestly make my skin look so plump and incredible. I never thought I would be able to treat myself to such luxurious moisturizers during my prescription days; it has been one of my greatest revelations of going natural! After that I spray my body with a DIY toner of Aloe Vera gel by Lily of the Valley (which is edible quality that I sometimes add to my drinks) and Witch Hazel followed by a DIY combination of coconut, argan, and jojoba oil, my Acure Organics unscented lotion, or my Bubble and Bee or Moksa body butter. I’m really into body moisturizers. Or moisturizing in general.
As far as makeup goes, I probably wear it once or twice a week and try to keep it really simple. Again, I am all about the samples! I recommend it because they are all quite sizable and I have yet to run out of one and repurchase. I use the Vapour organics concealer on my eyelids and the Alima Pure satin matte foundation on my under eyes and any other imperfections. I line my upper water line with Korres brown eyeliner, apply RMS living luminizer to my eyelids, brow bone, cheekbones, nose, and cupid’s bow and have been loving revolution organics in blush for my cheeks! I also love RMS lip2cheek in Modest. I sometimes finish that up with a DIY bronzer made of cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa powder, and some other stuff and 100% mascara in black tea as well as my Bubble and Bee lip balm in pomegranate or my Badger Organic cocoa butter lip balm in cocoa.
Thanks, Stephanie! I’m having a hard time not making a “good enough to eat” pun about this routine…
Happy Friday everyone! Meet Catherine, who is a great example of someone who truly uses sunscreen like they should! More power to her. She spends her days working, chasing around her bulldog (awesome!), and training for a 1/2 marathon (double awesome!), and she keeps the sun off all the while. Read on!
Current Weather: I live in Chicago and it has been all over the place this Spring, currently in the upper 30s and sunny!
Hair: I have long, straight, dark brown hair. It’s very fine and gets very oily.
Skin: I have residual oiliness from my teens and twenties, but I’d say it’s combination now. I’m fair, I have good skin tone and few wrinkles from being extremely diligent about sunscreen use. If SPF 1,000 existed I would use it!
Favorite Star: Ursula Andress
In the shower…
Outside the shower…
If I don’t shampoo my hair in the shower (I shampoo every other day), I use Lush No Drought Dry Shampoo if I have to go somewhere and don’t want to be seen with oily roots! If I’m going to bed, I use Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid toner, followed by Jurlique Herbal Recovery Gel. For my eyes I use MyChelle Fabulous Eye Cream. I moisturize my body with Acure Mandarin Orange and Mango body lotion
So…Sunscreen queen! Is anyone else training for a race or otherwise spending a lot of time outside and have an active sunscreen that’s been working well?