Here’s a lovely routine from one of our readers, who also happens to have her own blog called Well Beauty. We love her range of choice and her description of the konjac sponge—like washing with fluffy clouds. Yes! Read on.

Name: Cori

Age: 30

City: Phoenix, Arizona

Current Weather: warm and sunny, highs in the low to mid 80s

Skin: fair and neutral-toned. I’m dry in the winter and combo in the summer, so my skin is transitioning into being a little more oily but still pretty dry on my cheeks.

Hair: Naturally blond and curly. Since making the switch to let my curls run free, it is a lot healthier and softer!

Favorite star from the past: It has to be Marilyn Monroe, Some Like it Hot is one of my favorite movies

Every day starts with Greens First! While it’s not a beauty product, I believe that beauty starts from within and I have to start my day with a healthy drink. I just whisk it with some water, add a couple of ice cubes and its ready. For breakfast, it’s usually just two eggs.

After breakfast (and Greens First), I brush my teeth with Earthpaste in Cinnamon. I was hesitant to give up the traditional foaming toothpastes (even the all-natural kind), but I LOVE Earthpaste. I’m on my 4th or 5th tube of it. Since cinnamon oil is naturally antimicrobial, I have been sticking with it rather than the other flavors.

In the shower, I have been alternating between two shampoo/conditioner combos: Rahua and Surya Brasil Color Fixation line. They are both great, so I alternate back and forth to keep my hair from getting bored. After shampooing, I apply the conditioner and let it sit a few minutes while I finish the rest of my shower routine. While I’m a big fan of bar soap, lately I have been using Gabriel’s Seaweed Body Wash—it has a really clean, green smell to it (NOT seaweed-y at all). It cleanses well and doesn’t dry out my skin. It works really well for shaving too! Since discovering the Natural Konjac Sponge company, I’ve been loving body washes because I get a ton of suds and the konjac sponges are like washing my body with little puffy clouds. They are WAY better than the traditional plastic shower poofs (or whatever you call them). After rinsing out my conditioner, I wash my face with ARCONA’s berry bar and will use the face wash to also wash my neck, chest and upper back to prevent any breakouts. A few times a week, I’ll use the Clarisonic with the sensitive head on my nose, chin and forehead.

Once I’m out of the shower, I’ll towel dry my body but I use the DevaCurl towel to lightly dry my hair. Since going curly, I have to be sure to not be too rough with drying my hair. Using the DevaCurl will prevent it from being dripping wet, but not more than that. I then spray my hair with Surface’s Trinity Protein Cream and comb my hair with a wide toothcomb. I’ll then loosen it from my scalp a little with my fingers, being gentle not to disrupt my hair too much.

While my hair is air-drying, I apply Blissoma’s Smooth A+ serum all over my face and then ilike’s age defense bioflavanoid moisturizer, focusing on my drier parts of my face.

With my face taken care of, I apply Farmaesthetics Midnight Honey Oil to my arms and legs and anywhere else that needs some extra moisture. While it says midnight, I have been using this every morning and love it. The soft, rich honey scent is calming and not too heavy and the oil is really moisturizing and sinks in quickly. I then apply deodorant, which lately I have been alternating with Schmidt’s Lavender+Sage, Colorado’s Pit Stick or Primal Pit Paste in Thyme & Lemongrass, all three work great.With my hair having a little time to let the protein cream sink in, I gently scrunch it using the DevaCurl towel again and then don’t touch it until it is dry. I found that to be the best way to get great curls—touching my hair as little as possible.

Now for the makeup! I have to start with mascara because I make a complete mess with it! I like Jane Iredale’s Longest Lash mascara, it adds a lot of thickness to my lashes. After applying (and cleaning up) my mascara, I apply foundation. My go-to foundation is Jane Iredale’s BB Cream, I use BB3. I usually prep my skin with Jane Iredale’s Smooth Affair primer than apply the BB cream with a beauty blender sponge. The beauty blender sponge is seriously the best invention ever; it makes my makeup look flawless. With my fair skin, I need blush to put some color on my face. I really love Nvey Eco’s blush in 957—it’s a great neutral pink that gives me natural color.

If I’m in a hurry, I will just leave it at that, but if I have some extra time I will apply eye shadow and liner. If I do wear eye shadow, I apply Tarte’s Clean Slate eye primer. While not the most ‘green,’ it is better than some others and works really well (and if you have any recs for more natural eye primers—I’m all ears!). I’m always changing up which eye shadows I wear (because I own a LOT and am getting new ones all the time), but my go-to ones are Silk Naturals. My favorite colors are Purrr, Naughty and Fete. For eyeliner, I use Au Naturale’s in Coco if I want to use a brown or Living Nature’s midnight if I want a black. They are both great eye pencils.

I usually don’t wear lipstick to work, unless I have an important meeting, so I just swipe with some lip balm. I have been using MVO’s Pacific Lip Treatment and it is seriously amazing. Super moisturizing and I swear has even plumped up my lips a little too! For perfume, I have been reaching for Honore Des Pres Love Coconut lately. It’s a great scent for spring, very fresh with a true, just opened coconut—not the fake coconut smell like suntan lotions can have.

Then it’s off to work! Once I get to work, my hair is all dry so I use Max Green Alchemy Pomade to define my curls and add shine, and then spritz with Intelligent Nutrients Hairspray to keep my curls all day.And voila! I’m set for the day.

Did you catch the total lunar eclipse last night? Technically, it eclipsed in the early morning hours today and peaked at around 3 a.m. ET. It’s called a blood moon because the of the coppery or red-orange color that’s produced when the earth’s shadow blocks the sun’s light from the moon while, at the same time, it reflects the sunrises and sunsets happening on the planet. If you missed the blood moon, don’t worry. This was the first of four back-to-back total lunar eclipses—known as an eclipse tetrad—scheduled to occur over the next 18 months, according to astronomers. Pretty cool.

The moon holds such a mystical place in the history of human culture, especially for women. So let’s get a little mystical, shall we? (Hey, if we’re gonna get a little woo woo, a blood moon is the perfect excuse.) This lunar eclipse takes place with the full moon in Libra. We turned to MysticMamma, who curates readings from astrologers, for some astral insights. Here are some that stand out:

“…Aries is the sign of the self and Libra is the sign of the other… If we overdo our Aries we are fiery, feisty, aggressive, conflictual, and selfish. If we overdo our Libra we are pacifist, have boundary issues, are codependent and cannot stand up for or take care of ourselves… This Full Moon Eclipse in Libra will definitely highlight any imbalances in relationships.

“Lunar Eclipse happens during a Full Moon phase and it symbolizes powerful endings, closure, clearing out, completion. It heralds a time of major transitions. It represents letting go, clearing out, purging and releasing especially on an emotional and psychological level…”

“Consider the Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse in Libra a time to restore the harmony and balance on many levels but especially the emotional… What a wonderful opportunity to clear away and heal the heart energy center.”

Sometimes, it’s necessary to just stop and take notice of the beauty above us, even if astral events don’t strike you as portentous. Did the blood moon speak to you in any way?

Here’s a fun makeup bag from a fellow blogger. She’s a lot like us (and you!) in her focus on a clean, healthy lifestyle. Enjoy!

Name: Sara Jane Mercer

Age: 32

Home: TriBeCa, New York City.

My relationship with makeup:

I have loved makeup since I was a pre-teen. I grew up in NYC and have vivid memories of going to the makeup counters at Bergdorfs and Barney’s and trying slews of products.  I have never been very good at doing my own makeup but have always loved having it done for me for events, parties and photo shoots for my website.  My products choices have evolved over the years and now I only use clean, non-toxic, safe products. There are so many amazing clean makeup brands now that there is no reason to compromise my health and safety.

Nowadays my everyday makeup routine is very, very simple. I have a baby daughter and spend my time either working from home or taking her to the playground and music classes so no need to “put my face on.” Plus I think I natural look, glowing look is much more appealing.

Baggu Pouch: My makeup bag is a Baggu black leather pouch that my amazing friend Stephanie had monogramed for me. I am more than slightly obsessed with it.

NveyEco Concealer: I have always had persistent dark circles under my eyes and having a baby has just exacerbated to the problem. This concealer makes me look more rested than I am!

RMS Living Luminzer: To be honest I have not really slept well since before I was pregnant. This is like 8 hours of sleep in a pretty little jar. A little on my cheekbones, under my eyebrows, and down the bridge of my nose makes me feel and look awake and alive.

JCrew Metallic Hair Tie: I am constantly pulling my hair pack so my daughter does not pull or chew on it. These super cute hair ties look much better on my wrist than a plain black one!

Givescent: I am not a scent person at all. I don’t burn candles in my house, or use any type of room spray. Also because I am still nursing my daughter I need to be super careful what is on my skin. Givescent is the only scent I like, ok love and because it is made from all essential oils I feel safe wearing it.

W3LL People Hypnotist Eyeliner: When I want a little more of a made up look for dinner with my hubby or drinks with friends I use a little of this eyeliner on my top and bottom lash line.

Ilia Lip Gloss in Peek-a Boo: I have basically no upper lip and have never really worn dark lip colors or lip stick. This super hydrating lip gloss  is the perfect everyday nude color.

Beautycounter Lip Shine: This ultra shiny clear gloss reminds me of a clean version of a certain sticky, shiny gloss that was uber popular when I was in college.

Beautycounter Lip Sheer in Petal: This lightly pigmented lip color works just as well on my cheeks as it does on my lips. I am all about multitasking!

Kjaer Weis Mascara: A few years ago it was almost impossible to find clean mascara that was also effective at darkening and lengthening lashes. I love Kjaer Weis’s mascara and their packaging is super gorgeous- an added bonus.

Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler: The only “conventional” brand in my makeup bag but no one makes a better eyelash curler.  Makes my eyes look huge!

What do you have in common with Sara’s makeup collection? Let us know!


Help! Steph’s Skincare Woes

We get it. Going clean is full of challenges. It can be frustrating and disheartening to have the best intentions but the worst results. Our hearts go out to Steph, a reader who wrote in seeking your advice. Take a look at her letter:

“I think I’m probably the only person in this community who, since going natural, organic, and “clean” with everything from diet to cosmetics and skincare products, has reacted badly and not actually seen an improvement. It leaves me feeling so deflated because in the beginning I was so excited to move into this world of clean beauty and sift through my products and routine to find better, healthier alternatives for myself.

I started by visiting a naturopath and then consequently, coming off of birth control (I’d been on Nuva Ring for the past couple of years) and even though I was never on birth control to help with acne, when I finally came off it, my skin went haywire. I got horrible cystic acne, redness and horrible inflammation—my skin was brutal.

Ever since then I’ve been fighting against my skin and my body and more symptoms have come up. I now have a near constant flaking scalp, flaking skin, itchiness, and my face is still a mess. I have lost so much confidence and feel myself getting more and more depressed over this.

I have pretty much tried everything—you name it—diet changes (gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, etc.); changing all my products—haircare, skincare, makeup, etc.; supplements (specialized for hormones, zinc, vitamins a-d, omega 3s); I’ve visited doctors, aestheticians, nutritionists, anything and everything! I’m now writing to you because as I said in the beginning of my email I feel like I’m the only person who since changing everything has gone from okay to worse!

I don’t want to go back to using items that have so many chemicals, so many things I cannot pronounce. Your book and the wonderful community at NMDL is so enlightening and amazing to read. I’m just hoping that maybe someone could offer any suggestions for anything else that I may not have heard or known about or have any similar situations they went through themselves. I would really appreciate any feedback you and this lovely community may have!”

We know that health and skin issues are very personal and it can be difficult to get to the root cause. We’re interested in knowing whether you’ve had a similar experience. What worked for you? Did you give up your clean routine? Let’s show Steph some love and support!

Wound Healers: Product reviews of PRATIMA and CV SkinlabsHard as we all may try, it’s impossible to avoid at least occasional blemishes, red spots and general skin wounds (unless you’re Blake Lively. Girl looks like she has perfect skin!). Some of us may fall more solidly into this category than others, but at some point, we all end up seeking relief.

I’ve been battling a small army of skin issues recently, and while nothing I’ve tried has been preventative in the least, I have found a few stand-out products that will gently boost my skin’s resolve, encouraging it to heal itself after a trauma has occurred. Let me tell you about them.

1. PRATIMA Skincare’s Sandalwood Soothing Lotion. All my tried-and-true blemish-fighters have failed me as of late. All the good oils and herbal combos I was using to clear my skin up are waving their white flags at the hormonal cysts, the resilient blackheads and regenerating whiteheads my face is throwing at them. Now, my current skin condition isn’t “acne,” per say—it’s more like my skin is being wounded from the inside out, thanks to some poor liver functioning and possible gluten cross contamination (anyone have any tips here? Me and my naturopath are at our wits end). So I stopped treating it like acne and started using this Sandalwood Soothing Lotion to calm it. Lo and behold, this natural calamine lotion keeps a cyst from coming to a head, relieves pain and itching and reduces redness. It treats bug bites and cuts and burns and makes you breakfast in bed (wouldn’t that be nice?). This is like a first aid kit in a bottle.

2. CV Skinlabs Rescue + Relief Spray. I got this a few months ago when I was looking for something to soothe the uber-dry, itchy skin on my face (thanks, #polarvortex). I kind of dismissed it at first because it doesn’t have an uplifting scent like most of the liquids I spray on my face. But then I tried it on a persistent scalp rash and haven’t looked back. It’s like souped-up pure aloe, with water lily, mushroom, turmeric and cucumber, so it calms inflammation, reduces redness and relieves itchiness. I also use it on razor burn and I just bet it would dominate as an after-sun spray.

3. PRATIMA Skincare’s Revitalizing Turmeric Cream. Seeing a trend here? Turmeric is killer at wound-healing, internally and externally. This suuuuper thick cream is a huge treat as an overall facial mask and if you use it as a moisturizer, it decreases redness and dryness over time. The ghee in it also boosts skin’s ability to heal. I’ve been using it as a treatment on popped (yes, I pick when there are whiteheads!) blemishes overnight and it speeds up healing time  by at least two days. Only sorta funky note: It’s intensely yellow and that color lingers on your face. I don’t use it in the morning, under makeup, for that reason. And it bled from my face to my comforter one night. Just use caution.

4. CV Skinlabs Body Repair Lotion. I didn’t mention this before, but this entire line was formulated for cancer/chemotherapy patients. After such treatments, skin is really sensitive and needs calming products that also don’t contain other harmful ingredients. Thus, CV Skinlabs. And thus why the line is so gentle and effective at healing and calming skin. The Body Repair Lotion is practically perfect for right after I’ve shaved my too-dry legs. It helps prevent razor burn + it doesn’t have a scent that requires all other fragrances bow to it. I love that for when I want to layer a body oil on top for an added boost, though the lotion itself is totally enough moisture. This would also dominate as an eczema or after-sun treatment.

So there you have it. When things get red, itchy and bumpy, I turn to these lovelies for some relief. Now tell me: What’s your first-aid-kit-in-a-bottle product?