Want to know something on our bucket list? Spending an afternoon blending essential oils with the perfumer behind LURK, Anne Nelson Sanford. LURK is one of those little luxuries that you never regret. Ultimately chic and collectable, we want everyone of these luscious, hand-crafted scents.

You can try LURK fragrance for yourself if you nab the last Deluxe Beauty Box from Goodebox + A Night For Green Beauty. Box #4 goes on sale today, and all proceeds benefit Baby2Baby.

Name: Anne Nelson Sanford… Perfumer, Natural Product Developer, Mama ;)

Age: 41

City: Sag Harbor, NY

Current Weather: 72 degrees, sunny, breezy, beautiful ;)

Skin: combination, break out prone, sometimes a bit frustrating

Hair: Shoulder length, curly (getting curlier as I get older), ashy dark blond and getting grey

Favorite Star from the Past: Kim Novak

How my day starts…

I wake up between 6:00 & 7:00 every morning and like a bit of quiet time before I get into full gear.  I would consider myself a morning person as I love the beginning of the day and I also really love to be able to grab just a few minutes to myself to get centered and start my day before my son wakes up. I shower at night before bed as I like to air dry my hair to prevent damage and it’s easier for me to get through my morning with a 4 year old without the added shower time. My go to shampoo is Josh Rosebrook Deep Nourishing Shampoo and I can’t live without John Masters Organics Lavender & Avocado Intensive Conditioner.

Popping into my son’s room to quietly check on him and making coffee are the first 2 things that I do every day. I also drink warm lemon water while my coffee brews to get my system going and to start hydrating. I love coffee and have “given up” trying to give it up so I take extra care to get a lot of water into my system.

Next I wash my face. It wakes me up and makes me feel refreshed. I literally don’t feel awake until I get cleanser on my face. I have a bit of a skincare addiction so I have several cleansing products that I rotate and that I love. To name a few: Meow Meow Tweet Facial Cleanser, Josh Rosebrook Moisturizing Cleanser and Dr. Alkaitis Organic Purifying Facial Cleanser. I also always use a Clarisonic as I love the results and it helps with my breakout prone skin. Next I use either a toner or a floral water and my faves are Herbivore Botanicals Balance Facial Toning Elixir or Marie Veronique Pacific Mist. I then apply a quick thin layer of treatment body oil as from the neck down I am super dry, I love May Lindstrom The Good Stuff Radiance Oil. It absorbs quickly and I have noticed a huge difference in my skin since I started using it.

I’m in the habit of leaving my face bare for a bit before I finish my product routine. I start breakfast for my son and I then I wake him up and the fun begins. We eat breakfast together and then we get dressed side by side which can be pretty hilarious as he seems to have a budding interest in fashion and likes to play with accessories. I finish my skin/hair routine while he plays or watches a bit of TV.

My dry hair requires a ton of extra love and I swear by John Masters Dry Hair Nourishment & Defrizzer as well as Aster + Bay Hair Oil. Both are light, incredibly effective and never weigh my hair down. They also do a killer job of keeping frizz at bay. I only wash my hair twice a week so a lightweight oil is key.

I prefer serums and oils (especially in the summer) so I wrap up my skincare routine with an antioxidant serum. I can’t live without La Bella Figura’s Modern Radiance Concentrate and I follow that up with an oil geared toward my skin type. I use Odacité Black Cumin/Cajeput if I’m breaking out or One Love Organics Morning Glory if I’m clear and in need of some brightening (in the winter months I need a bit more moisture and my go to crème to layer on top of the oil is Hana Organics Renew Creme) and I follow that up with Suntegrity 5 in 1 Sunscreen on my face, neck, decollete and arms.

My makeup routine is super quick for every day. Once the sunscreen has settled into my skin I apply Vapour Organics Stratus Soft Focus Instant Perfecter and then either Vapor Organics Atmosphere Soft Focus Foundation or Kjaer Weiss Foundation. I wrap it up with Meow Meow Tweet lip balm (this stuff is the best I’ve ever used) and Vapour Organics Aura Multi-Use Stain in Lure on both cheeks and lips. Its an amazing wash of color that helps me looks alive.

And that’s it, I feel really lucky to have found so many amazing products that help me manage my skin and help look and feel as good as I can. I also love getting the opportunity to share what works for me and to give a much-deserved shout out to all of these amazing brands and products… xxoo

Who has tried LURK natural perfumes? What’s your favorite?

COOLA Suncare MineralFace Lotion TInted Rose


Being halfway through summer (right? That’s what the Fourth of July basically means?) means one of two things: 1. You’ve nailed your summer skincare routine, including sunscreen, and you’re sticking to it to avoid sun spots, premature aging and wrinkles. 2. You’ve accidentally scorched your skin and are reformulating what it means to apply sunscreen daily, even if you’re not going sit by the beach or pool.

This is the first summer I’ve been in the former camp, thanks to Coola Suncare’s MineralFace Lotion Tinted Rose. I’ve always been a sunscreen user, but this is the first year I’ve been really deliberate about it, trying and testing out a few that aren’t just makeup-with-sunscreen. Coola’s mineral version is one of my favorites—it’s a tinted lotion, so it gives me a bit of skin-evening coverage without feeling heavy or sticky. It falls more in the category of tinted moisturizer than sunscreen, and it’s light enough to wear under my makeup daily, or on its own for a day by the pool.

Another great part of Coola’s MineralFace is that it uses physical/mineral sun blockers like Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide.  These are generally considered safer than chemical blockers like oxybenzone.  The physical blockers are perfect for daily wear because, unlike chemical sunscreens, I can go immediately out into the sun and be protected; chemical sunscreens require that I wait 20-30 minutes before sun exposure—and I’m not always a patient gal in the morning.

(Small sidenote/diatribe: Readers have commented on this before, and I just want to say again that calling something a “chemical” doesn’t mean it’s innately bad or harmful. Heck, coconut oil, one of our favorite ingredients can be referred to as a “chemical”—so can water! They all have “chemical” names. There IS a difference between toxic chemicals and non-toxic ones. So for added clarity: Don’t go buy Hawaiian Tropics sunscreen and think it’s filled with non-toxic chemical compounds. Confused? This chart can help you out—shout out to Rebecca for sending it my way.)

I also love the really subtle rose scent. It’s so gentle that I almost can’t smell it—and when I do, it’s a much-appreciated break from the pina-coloda-y scents of most sunscreens.

Convinced that you need to add Coola’s MineralFace Lotion Tinted Rose to your sunscreen collection? You’re in luck—our friends at Conscious Beauty are giving a full-sized bottle away! Deets: Enter below between now and 12 a.m. ET on Monday, July 14. Once the giveaway closes, we’ll announce the winner!



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Our love for Osmia Organics knows no end. Their body oils and hand-crafted soaps are some of the most gorgeous smelling goodies we know (don’t get us started on the perfumes!). Just about anything you try from Osmia is sure to please, as evidenced by some of our reviews here, here, and here. Needless to say, we were thrilled when we found out that Osmia is participating in A Night For Green Beauty. Though we hope you can join us at ANFGB, you can get to know Sarah via her Morning Routine below.

Name: Sarah Villafranco

Age: 41

City: Carbondale, CO

Current Weather: Blue skies, hot, and D.R.Y.

Skin: Fair to medium tone, very temperamental, with a history (and occasional flares) of perioral dermatitis.

Hair: Brown, course, long, and rather enormous.

Favorite Star From the Past: Lucille Ball – I don’t think anything makes a person more beautiful than deep, real laughter.

My morning routine?  Well, that phrase implies that my routine is the same every morning.  It isn’t.  If I wake up and my hair is so big that I can’t get a shirt on over it, then I have to wet it again.  If my husband is traveling and my daughters have started their “Mama, we need breakfast!” chorus, then I start the day making eggs with one eye open.  If one of our border collies stares at me intensely until I wake up, I begin the day feeling simultaneously paranoid and amused.  But, if someone brings me tea in bed, then I feel regal and leisurely, and how I savor my morning routine!

Most days start about 6:45.  I grab my phone while I stretch in bed a little, to see if any Osmia business needs my immediate attention.  Once in the bathroom, my routine depends on how much time I have that day.  Some days, I dry brush and oil-pull with coconut oil (there’s a blog post on our site with some thoughts about oil-pulling). During allergy season, I use a neti pot to clear my sinuses. If I can’t wake up, I drop a DIY blend of stimulating essential oils, like grapefruit and mint, on the floor of the shower, letting the warm water vaporize the oils.  I love our Lemon Basil Ginger and Evergreen Shea soaps in the morning – they perk me right up!  For my hair, I either nopoo with baking soda and rinse with ACV, or I use Desert Essence unscented shampoo and conditioner – about twice a week for each method.  I just wish I didn’t smell so salady after the nopoo method, even after my hair dries!  I use our Black Clay Facial Soap to cleanse my face.  This little bar is my very best (made-of-soap) friend.  (Note: most products I use are dictated by my history of perioral dermatitis. There’s an article on our site about my experience with this condition, so I will skip the details here!)

Out of the shower, I pat my face and neck dry, and wrap my hair in a towel, leaving my body completely wet.  If my face feels dehydrated, I apply a layer of our Active Gel Toner, which contains hyaluronic acid and niacinamide – both excellent for dry, troubled skin.  It also has neroli essential oil, which is a scent that makes me feel especially queenly.  I use Avene Thermal Water spray if my skin is extra dry or irritated – I keep one on my desk at work, too.  I follow with our Purely Simple Face Cream on my face and neck, applied after the toner or thermal water layer has dried.  And, I don’t break out frequently, but I always have a bottle of Spot Treatment at the ready.  If I’m going to be outside, I use Elta MD facial sunscreen, SPF 46.  It’s not as clean as I would like it to be, but it seems to irritate my skin the least, and it’s fragrance and paraben-free.  (Confession: I don’t wear sunscreen every day!  I only wear it if I’m headed out for a run or bike ride, or watching my daughter’s softball game!  Then, I wash it off as soon as I can.)

Next, I apply one of our body oils to my wet skin.  Forest is my favorite morning body oil, though – it’s like applying liquid Colorado.  By applying body oil to wet skin, you are effectively creating a lotion – oil plus water – without the additional ingredients like emulsifiers and preservatives that a lotion requires.  It’s such a simple and delightful little trick.  Sometimes, I scrunch the ends of my hair with the residual body oil on my hands – and that’s about the extent of my hair styling.  And, for my teeth, I use Jason Seafresh Deep Sea Spearmint toothpaste because it’s fluoride and SLS-free – both of those ingredients can make my PD symptoms appear.  While I’m brushing, I usually stand on the deck and soak in the splendor of these mountains where we live – I’ve been here nine years and still can’t get enough.

As for makeup, prepare to die of boredom.  I just don’t wear it.  I did some modeling when I was younger, and was slathered with foundation enough that I developed an aversion to the feeling of makeup on my skin.  Now, with PD in the picture, I find that it’s just not worth it.  Plus, I’m a crunchy, Colorado girl at heart!  But, on the four occasions per year when I do wear makeup (one will be ANFGB in August!!!), I love RMS Living Luminizer (who doesn’t?), and our Whisper Lip Gloss.  I always curl my stumpy little eyelashes, and am still in search of a natural mascara that doesn’t smudge.  It sounds like I need to try Kjaer Weis, according to NMDL readers! I’d love to play with more eye shadows (RMS?) and liners (suggestions?) – smoky eyes are super-sexy, as evidenced by saucy green beauty bloggers like Katie of The Green Product Junkie.

Finally, I take a few supplements with a green juice or smoothie in the morning, all of which are related to my skin care routine. I take Garden of Life Raw B-Complex: B vitamins are important in keeping skin and lips healthy, especially for a long-time vegetarian like me.  I have also noticed a very clear connection between my skin and my monthly cycle, so I take Barlean’s Evening Primrose Oil and Oona (Type 1) Herbal Supplement to soften those, um, hormonal fluctuations. (I have an advanced degree in euphemisms.)

And, then, it’s off to the best job in the world!  Thank you, NMDL, for all you do for Green Beauty, and for letting me share my morning routine!

Who wants to move to Colorado? Tell us about your favorite Osmia Organics product!




Raise your hand if you’ve tried Sheswai nail lacquer. No? Get on this polish! The formulas are free of formaldehyde, toluene, and dbp’s, and the color selection is too fun. Speaking of fun, you’re going to love this routine from the founder of Sheswai. We can’t wait to meet her at A Night For Green Beauty. Join us there!

Name: Debbie Leavitt
Age: 43
City: Los Angeles
Current Weather: sunny; perfect
Skin: clear for the most part, subtle suns spots,
Hair: dark, wavy, shoulder length, medium fine
Favorite Star From the Past: Angelica Houston

The night before…

I prefer to cleanse my skin at night before bed and keep it simple in the morning. A few nights a week I use my Clairsonic and mix up my cleansers from time to time, I’m currently using John Masters Rose Foaming Face Wash. The nights when I don’t use the Clairsonic, I like to use May Lindstroms Clean Dirt,  I dig the gritty-mouse texture.  Before applying moisturizer I do a spritz of toner and am currently using John Masters Rose & Aloe Hydrating Mist, the sweet scent is lovely.

While my skin is still damp I may use a bit of Lina Hansons face serum, and a moisturizer created by my nearly 90 year old friend from Russia; she calls it ‘rich cream’ and although it can leave a bit of a greasy sheen on the skin it absorbs quickly and leaves my skin truly soft & subtle with a glow.

Mind & Spirit…

I believe the most important way to start the day is with the thoughts you think. I’m an early riser and I love the stillness before the hustle begins. I like to take this time to count my blessings / meditate and create the tone for my day. I believe this all makes a difference in ones beauty.

Movin’ & Shakin’

I like to get the blood flowing and some fresh air in the morning… whether it’s a yoga class, circuit training, or a walk with Mick, my awesome dog. Before I head out the door, I’ll splash some cool water on my face, brush my teeth, apply a small amount of my ‘rich cream’, and drink a glass of water, (sometimes with lemon).

Body – Inside & Out…

My mornings can vary depending on my work schedule, but when I have time I like to have a soothing soak in the tub. A handful of Epsom salts and energizing essential oils like eucalyptus & ylang ylang, or a blend by Hope Gillerman makes for spa-like aromatherapy. Before I hop in the tub or shower I’ll do a quick dry-brush and swipe coconut oil from feet to neck.

About once a week I make a sugar scrub using organic sugar and olive oil with a few drops of lavender. Before entering the water I stand in the shower to scrub from the feet up. It’s a classic DIY that anyone can make for a simple exfoliation. I love the healing rituals of the Korean Spa and try to go every couple of months to soak and get scrubbed to a rosy glow.

I like to moisturize with a variety of oils and creams. I could spend hours in a natural food store just testing all the body products. I always have coconut and olive oils on hand; I prefer coconut oil in the spring/summer, and sesame or olive oil in the fall/winter. I use olive oil to remove eye make-up and to hydrate feet & hands.

The body moisturizers I use go through a steady rotation of “a little of this and a bit of that”…currently I’m using ‘The Super Salve Co – Combo Cream’, it’s a luscious mix of the last 2 inches remaining at the bottom of the barrels in 4 of their others products, I also like the sweet vanilla scent in John Masters Organics – blood orange & vanilla body milk,  and at times the rich earthy scent of Dr Hauschka – Lavendar Sandalwood body lotion. I really like pure shea butter and will use it at night before bed.

I prefer essential oils to perfumes and will combine a couple of different oils depending on what I’m feeling.  I LOVE patchouli but usually cut it with another oil so it’s not too potent.

I believe in the magic the earth provides and like to drink herbal brews and fresh pressed juices regularly. My preferred tea is the Detox Tea by Dr Schulze; it has cleansing herbs that heal from the inside out. It truly creates a glow and brightens the eyes. I always notice a difference when I drink this regularly.

Hair & Make-up…

I wash my hair a couple of times a week, usually at night to avoid using the hair dryer. I use a leave-in spray conditioner by ShiKai. For styling, I use a wide barrel curling iron to tame frizzes and create a smooth tousled bend in my hair.

I like to keep make-up to a minimum, so after my sunscreen and moisturizer settles in, I use a tinted foundation to even skin tone. I love a rosy glow and will use a lip/cheek stain lightly on my cheeks. I like lush lashes and will use mascara to open the eyes. For lips I could go anywhere from a bold bright fuchsia red, to a stain of barely there. I always have a few lip glosses & balms in my bag to freshen up.

Time for a mani-pedi! What Sheswai colors do you love or have on your wish list? We’re loving “So Cute”, because duh…

liza m


We love S.W. Basics for its uber simplicity and gorgeous ingredients. Hey, not all of us are divas when it comes to a beauty routine. It’s fun to see how much brand founders and their products are alike, and Adina’s morning routine is the perfect example of this. S.W. Basics will be bringing the best of Brooklyn to L.A. for A Night of Green Beauty one month from today!

Name: Adina Grigore
Age: 29
City: Brooklyn, NY
Current Weather: Global warming uber storm
Skin: Eastern European aka I blush and burn easily
Hair: Long, brown, and has a mind of its own. Some days curly, some days straight, some days both in different parts.
Favorite Star From the Past: Liza Minnelli

Let’s be real, I wouldn’t be the founder of the simplest skincare line in the universe if I had a really complicated morning routine. Wouldn’t that be kind of weird if I created a line of eight products, all with five ingredients or less, and then every morning I used and did fifty different things? It totally would. I’ve never really told anyone this, but the company was partly born out of my laziness. I just couldn’t bring myself to commit to multiple-step routines that seemed required to have really nice skin. I wanted to use one or two awesome ingredients every single day and be done with it. You heard that right, that’s what I wanted for the whole day.

So my morning routine is not super impressive. I wake up and double fist coffee or tea with a big glass of water, because I’m really bad about water intake, and as all good NMDL readers know, good skin comes from the inside out. Then I brush my teeth. I rotate between gross Sensodyne (I have super sensitive gums and still can’t make my mind up about flouride!) and super hippie toothpaste like Earth Paste, Tooth Soap, or one of my DIY concoctions. Sometimes I’ll even brush with just water or sea salt or a touch of baking soda, or I’ll spritz just a touch of Weleda Ratanhia mouthwash straight onto my brush. It’s super refreshing! For my face, I wash with water. I count out twenty splashes and then gently pat dry with a towel.

On my best mornings (2-3x per week), I work out before going into the S.W. office. These days I’m really into T25, and I love getting really mad and yelling at the host Shaun T a lot. It puts me in a great mood. I get drenched from the workout so I’ll shower, which currently includes a rotation of Acure Argan Oil shampoo, Goldie’s clary sage shampoo, and Aubrey Organics Green Tea Shampoo. I do not usually condition, that’s a once a month occasion and right now I like Acure’s mint conditioner. I use S.W. Basics body scrub and hibiscus mask about once a week, otherwise I just vigorously scrub my face and body down with… water.

When I get out, I tie my hair up into a bun, coat my face in S.W. cream, coat my legs in S.W. unscented body oil, or if I’m out I use plain olive oil, and that’s it! I am obsessed with Aubrey E plus high C deodorant, not the spray one, only the roll on. I swear by this deodorant. If I have a meeting I’ll use Maybelline mascara and I love Sumita eyeliner, but even that is pushing it.

Like I said, I am super low maintenance (don’t worry, I make up for it in a million other ways. My personality takes up too much space for my looks to get in the way). But with insanely sensitive skin, this super simple routine is what works for me. It’s the calmest and happiest my skin has ever been!

Have you tried S.W. Basics? Tell us what you love!