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!
A few readers have requested more on this topic, and once I started reading about it I really wanted to find a solution. I can’t say I’ve found one, but I hope this helps and leads to some great comments that will help those suffering. Though I have not had the condition myself, I’ve had numerous skin issues in my life, including psoriasis on my face. Not pretty. Anything right out there, front and center on your face, can degrade quality of life. Let’s see if we can come up with a natural solution.
The good news is that there are stories out there of people who have significantly reduced or eliminated their PD. The bad news is many report it gets worse before it gets better. Anecdotally, natural treatments seem to take a few days to a few weeks to make a difference. So, how do you know if a new treatment is in the “worse-before-better” stage, or if it really is a bad idea? I have a hard time with that one, because my skin doesn’t really do “worse-before-better.” It does “hmm-I-think-this-is-working” or “OMG-my-skin-is-on-fire.” Can anyone help with how to know if you should tough it out, or move on?
Since there may be different triggers for PD in different people, there is no one solution. But a good place to start is to eliminate common triggers. Eliminate topical and nasal steroids, fluoride, SLS*, isopropyl myristate**, and petrolatum/paraffin based products. Try to eliminate ALL sources of these ingredients, not just from the obvious things like face cleanser and toothpaste. Your shampoo may get on your face, and anything you touch can spread around. Minimize exposure to UV light, wind and heat. Oral contraceptives and gastrointestinal issues may also be at the root of the problem for some. Whenever I see skin issues, the first things I think about are hormonal and digestive system imbalances. I’m not going to try to cover those aspects in this post, but look at those possibilities if topical treatments don’t help you.
Many people are prescribed antibiotics and/or antifungals for perioral dermatitis, and they seem to work for a while, though the problem typically returns. As I was reading about a potential fungal problem in PD, I immediately thought of my go-tos for yeast issues: dilute apple cider vinegar and coconut oil***. Turns out there are people out there using these successfully. I know what some of you are thinking – I’ve heard it advised not to use oils on PD, so perhaps it’s not the solution for everyone. Some people don’t like the ACV, but prefer a yogurt mask. Based on what I’ve read, if I had PD I’d be trying to eliminate the common triggers I mentioned above, eating healthy unprocessed foods and anti-inflammatory herbs/spices like turmeric and ginger, and experimenting with these topical treatments:
- ACV (experiment with the dilution, try something like 1 part ACV to 2-3 parts water)
- Coconut oil (unrefined and organic if possible)
- Calendula oil (here’s one from Mountain Rose Herbs)
- Zinc soap (here’s one to try that also contains calendula)
- Yogurt mask (leave on 15-20 minutes once or twice per day)
Have you successfully tried any of the above remedies for PD? What has worked for you?
*sodium lauryl sulfate, a surfactant, detergent and emulsifier commonly used in cosmetic products like shampoo and toothpaste
** a synthetic oil used in many cosmetics to create a slick, non-greasy feel and allow other ingredients to penetrate the skin
*** it might seem like antifungal creams would help, but those typically have a mineral oil/paraffin base and isopropyl myristate
Remember the whole lead in lipstick thing? It’s back.
Of course, it never really went away. We’re regularly consulted about cosmetics, and the question comes up pretty much every time we do an interview. It also pops up at cocktail parties, business meetings, and during first encounters with friends of friends. “Is it true there’s lead in lipstick?” Sure is.
It’s a sticky, clicky factoid that’s been around for years, and if I’m being honest, it kind of bugs me because I think it sort of distracts us from the bigger picture, which is that there’s all kinds of garbage in all kinds of other products, too.
And those other products are far less discretionary than lipstick (much as we love lipstick). Things like body lotion, which we slather on head to toe, and baby shampoo, which we use on our kids,* and shaving cream, which we rub onto our legs and nethers and god knows where else—and then we take a sharp blade to our skin, lucky if we only end up with a nick or two.
En tout cas, the entire personal care category is full of stuff we don’t want on our in our bodies, and yes, lead is one of them. The counterargument to “Wow, that’s so messed up” is usually along the lines of “The dose makes the poison; and there’s very little lead in lipstick, so you don’t need to worry.” That defense was upended this past week, thanks to a new report by—who else?—the Environmental Working Group.
The EWG’s researchers collected the lipsticks of young women and took them to the lab. They found not only dangerous amounts of lead, which is a neurotoxin, but also cadmium, which is a carcinogen, aluminum, chromium, and manganese.
Mother Jones did this nifty graph for their story listing the 20 most-lead-contaminated lipsticks of the 400 investigated by FDA last year:
More from Mother Jones on how much of these contaminants were found in the lipsticks:
Though metal content varied widely from brand to brand, they found that women who apply lipstick two to three times daily can ingest a significant amount—20 percent of the daily amount that’s considered safe in drinking water or more—of aluminum, cadmium, chromium, and manganese. Depending on the lipstick, in some cases women who slathered it on (14 times a day or more) were meeting or surpassing the daily recommended exposure to chromium, aluminum, and manganese. Lead, a metal that humans should avoid exposure to entirely, was detected in 75 percent of the samples.
So, there you have it. There’s lead, and other things, in your lipstick. Use nontoxic lipsticks (which, yes, can still be contaminated, if they use mineral-based pigments, which many do). Don’t eat it. Annnd the lady above looks like Jessica Paré.
Related: What lipsticks are you loving these days? I have a new obsession I’m saving for a review!
* Collective humankind “we” — neither of us has kids.
I’m about to write a pretty girly how-to makeup post. It would almost warrant a YouTube video—if it weren’t simple enough for a monkey!
Two completely random events conspired last week for me to come up with a whole new makeup look (just when I thought I’d tried it all). 1) A 100-degree heat wave hit Los Angeles for two days putting the entire city in a sweat. And 2) I ran out of my favorite dirty mascara.
And so, the look that I’m calling “night-for-day face” was born. All you need are two products that you likely already have: bronzer (or blush if you don’t do bronzer) and a pencil eyeliner. It’s night-for-day because I like to wear eyeliner (with mascara) and bronzer for evenings out in the summer. But, while the eyeliner gives this look a touch of evening edge, it’s so light that it passes as polished without being too much for daytime wear.
The absolute best part about this face though? It’s 100% weather-and-activity-proof. There’s no leaks or smudges or runs. And it’s really really easy to reapply during the day. Also, it’s super liberating to not wear mascara but still have a little eye happening! Here’s what I do.
Prep: I’ve been using the Marie Veronique face oil, which smells and feels amazing. (Would I pay the $110 for it? Nope, probably not, but I got this bottle gifted.) The oil really helps the bronzer apply nicely though your usual moisturizer will likely do the trick. My skin has been pretty clear lately so (knock on wood), I’ve been using minimal concealer.
Apply: Bronzer with my finger (love the studio 78 one) under my cheekbones and slightly up around the contour of the bone. A tiny bit along the bridge of my nose as well as my eyebrow bone. Then I very lightly line the inside of my eye with a black pencil (Jane Iredale or HoneyBee Gardens). Very very lightly though, so that it’s more of a translucent gray than black if that makes sense. If you go too dark without mascara your eye will look small, but somehow that doesn’t happen if you do the line barely there.
That’s it! You can add some lip gloss or a touch of color on the lip, but the trick is light touch with everything or else you just look made up.
What have you been doing with your makeup these days??
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.