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.
A little while back, Alexandra, Siobhan and I professed our love for Juice Beauty’s CC Cream. I’ve been into a couple of Juice’s other products for the past few months, too. The brand really seems to be rocking it this past year or so. Here are two current favorites…
Irresistible Glow Facial Highlighter: This is from the Alicia Silverstone collection (vegan), which has appeared on NMDL before. It’s a stick packaged in a sturdy paper tube, and there’s just one color, described as a universally flattering peachy-pink. I am not a big believer in one-color-fits-all products, and until I found this I’d never had any luck with such a thing. But I absolutely LOVE this! I use just a tiny bit on my cheeks, and it suits pale, olive me very well. It gives a little color, and a glow without being sparkly. It’s very subtle when applied lightly, though you can definitely layer it. It does last, I don’t think I can say quite all day, as is typical of creamy stick products, but I have never needed to reapply during a workday. I would love to see it on darker skin, as I do think it would work.
Conditioning Lip Color: This feels so wonderful on, and is probably the only lip color I’ve ever wanted to reapply just because it tastes good. It smells and tastes of vanilla with a little bit of fruitiness, and feels super creamy and nourishing, like a balm. It comes conveniently packaged in a skinny silver tube, and it’s not technically vegan as it does contain beeswax. The colors are limited to two, but against all odds they both work for me. The pink is a very sheer shimmery pink, not quite Bardot but approaching ice queen. I like to use RMS living luminizer on my lips, and the effect is a lot like that but with a touch of pink. The fig is aptly named, a nice deep shade with more pigment than the pink but barely any shimmer.
We’d love to hear from you if you’ve tried this limited color palette – are these shades really universal?
Check this out from Well+Good! A new clean beauty line getting all kinds of attention. With Mia Davis (formerly of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics) and Christy Coleman (clean makeup artist and bud) on board, we are more than intrigued. How about you? And what do you think of the Avon-like business model?
Beautycounter, which launched March 4, is the first beauty brand in a long time to eschew the traditional shopping method (read: Sephora) from the get-go. Instead, the company is grooming a new generation of chic, health-conscious Avon-ish ladies to sell its stylish, non-toxic products to their friends and family. (It’s a model used by Arbonne and even Neal’s Yard in the U.S.)
The brand is the brainchild of Los Angeles-based Gregg Renfrew (a New York expat), who became passionate about cleaner beauty products after watching a documentary and reading Stacy Malkan’s Not Just a Pretty Face.
“I became really focused on a personal level on the whole healthier, non-toxic movement. But I felt like I had to choose [between] chic products or products that were good for me,” she says. “Women shouldn’t have to compromise their health in the name of beauty.”
Beautycounter (which obviously has no counter, but does have a retail website) currently offers an essential skin-care line of seven products ($22–$42) plus three gorgeous facial oils ($175 for the set), and a body-care line that includes shampoo and conditioner ($18 and up). Makeup will debut in the fall, followed by an anti-aging collection by the end of the year.
“Our platform has been built on safety rather than natural or organic,” says Beautycounter CEO Gregg Renfrew.
Some brands go for organic seals. “Our platform has really been built on safety rather than natural or organic,” Renfrew says. To make the products as safe as possible, she hired Mia Davis, the former organizing director for the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
The team created a “comprehensive ingredient screen” that doesn’t necessarily ban chemicals, but that evaluates each one before determining whether to allow it. All of the chemicals banned in the EU (most of which are used in the U.S.), for example, were immediately off the list.
“It was a painstaking process going ingredient by ingredient, not just in isolation but in combination. And it’s an imperfect world with lots of data gaps,” she says. “We’re just trying to focus on the safety angle and marry that to performance.”
On that front, Renfrew brought in Christy Coleman, a clean makeup artist who has worked with celebs like Emmy Rossum and Heidi Klum, to help vouch for how well the products actually worked.
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.
So, right up front: in my opinion, there’s no such thing as a truly clean nail polish. Not even those water-based (and, in my opinion, entirely useless) polishes.
Fig + Sage wrote a great piece about this some time ago, and I don’t think I can really add anything to their points. That said, I love me some pretty nails, and after many years of going sans polish to keep away from toxins in the pregnancy/baby years, I found Zoya. This is in the category of “clean enough” for me* (remember this post?). Normally I won’t use anything on my body that I couldn’t eat, but there is something about nail polish I really love, so I break the rule occasionally. I’ve been “doing my nails” on a weekly basis since I was 11 years old, and it’s a very important ritual for me. It was the one girly thing I did as a youngster. It’s quite meditative, and I always do it myself – no salons. Sometimes it just means a nice file and buff routine, but these days it often includes Zoya. It’s the only brand I regularly use, and they have all the bases covered, including remover. The polishes are much less expensive than other clean-ish brands, typically $8-9.00 a bottle.
Their more recent collections are 5-Free (missing the five most toxic chemicals typically in polish) and wear like crazy. I have tried some of the older formulas, and the ones from the last couple years are definitely superior. If I use their “regular” shiny finish polishes, I always do the base/top coat to maximize wear. Some of the polishes, especially the ones with some sparkle, can go 5-7 days with only minimal tip wear. I love the new matte finish polish look, but until recently the wear time was only a few days. Well, no more! With this new collection, I have gone a SOLID WEEK with fabulous looking nails. That means dishes, laundry, brain dissections (hey, I’m a science teacher), and a generally active lifestyle without trying to be careful. Seriously. I’m in love.
Zoya PixieDust: They describe this line as textured, matte, and stunning. Agreed. The first group that came out was so tempting, I had to buy the full collection. When the summer palette debuted recently, I bought a few of those, too. They all look great with 2 coats, but 3 is better to give the full impact with saturated, rich color. There is no need for any base or top coat, and they dry super fast. Typical of my tastes, the black and grey are my favorites. But they are all beautiful. The finish is like sparkly colored sugar sprinkled on your nails. My favorite part is the layering of color. I almost never wear pink or red polish, but the red over the black is just so delicious. Really, any of the lighter colors layered over the darker ones look good. The pic above is one coat of Liberty over two coats of Dahlia (after 6 days of wear!), and the photo doesn’t do the color justice. I get tons of compliments when I use these polishes. My current obsession is with the beige shade (Godiva). My toes are sporting it right now, and they look like I dipped them in sparkly gold-beige sand. My first time removing the PixieDust polish involved a lot of rubbing (much more so than regular Zoya). But I figured out to pour a little remover in a tiny glass bowl and dip for just a minute, and it comes off fairly easily. Toes are harder to dip, so I just let the remover-soaked cotton pad sit on the nail for longer than I would with regular polish.
*I received a full list of polish ingredients from the company, and entered all the info at Skin Deep, including the “may contain” stuff. The polish rates a 5, the remover a 3. I tend to think the polish number is a bit high, because not all the “may contain” ingredients are in every polish.