Water Based Moisturizers

IMG_0518I’m the president of the fan club of face oils.  Since they are best applied on moist skin, my obsession for them matches well with my obsession for hydrosols.  But last winter I started needing some additional help with my dry skin, especially right around my lips.  Just like your lipstick rubs off in the course of the day, any product you’ve applied around the lip area can wear thin.  A sip of kombucha here, a mid-morning snack there, and even before lunch I’m unpleasantly dry.

I went searching for something I could dab on those especially dry spots throughout the day as needed, something quick and easy to apply that would sink right in.

These moisturizers all have a water and/or aloe base blended with very light oils, antioxidants, vitamins, various botanicals, etc.  They sink in fairly quickly, and work well applied alone, layered with an oil, or my favorite – mixed with a drop or two of oil first, then applied.  The method will all depend on your skin type and the season, of course.  Adjust as needed.

Blissoma Pure:  This “sensitive skin soothing complex” is my favorite.  It seems so quiet and unassuming with it’s simple name and unscented nature.  But the performance is impressive.  It’s got the perfect thick-but-not-too-thick texture, and is the best product I’ve tried for calming after hair removal.  Just a simple tweeze of the eyebrows can set my skin to complaining, never mind that darn upper lip area, and applying Pure lets me go on about my business without inflammation.  It mixes well with any oil for extra hydration, and won’t compete with other scents.  On its own, or mixed with an oil or balm, it is the best for moisturizing my extra dry spots.  I like the simple packaging – a glass bottle with a nice pump that lets you easily use just a bit if you don’t need a full pump.  ($25.99/oz)

Graydon:   This Canadian brand makes two of my honorable mention moisturizers.  The Putty is light in texture and lightly scented.  For this texture, it is remarkably moisturizing and reparative.  I recommend it if you want a light texture with a powerful anti-inflammatory punch, and enjoy just a suggestion of scent – from carrot seed, chamomile, and lavender EOs.  The Berry Rich Cream is more substantial in texture, but still doesn’t feel too heavy on the skin.  With no intentionally added scent, it gives one just a hint of berry from the blueberry and red raspberry seed oils. (each $29/1.7oz or 50ml)

Osmia Purely Simple Face Cream:  I’m not one for herbal generally, but this is nice – light and refreshing.  The texture is too light for my mature skin, but would be a great choice for normal to oily types, or those with issues of perioral dermatitis. ($60/1.7oz)

Have you tried these?  What’s your favorite water-based moisturizer?


Makeup Monday: How Does Fall Change Your Look?



Chunky sweaters and never-ending scarves are right around the corner. As wardrobes shift from summer to fall, I find myself reaching for deeper shades of lipstick, sultrier eye shadow colors, and mascara — something I often ditch in the summer. Though I can’t wait to revisit some of my favorite colors from last fall/winter, like RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek in Diabolique, I am equally excited about the barely there makeup looks that have been trending.

Do you reach for different makeup in the fall? What fall makeup looks are you excited about?

You can share with us in the comments, and we’d also love to feature your makeup bag in our Makeup Monday series. Just tell us what’s in your makeup bag and send a snapshot of your bag to nomoredirtylooks@gmail.com — here’s a fun throwback from the series.


Happy Friday Deal From Meow Meow Tweet!


Want to shake up your personal care collection? Maybe have a little fun while you’re at it? Then definitely, DEFINITELY check out Meow Meow Tweet. With the most free spirited and quirky packaging we’ve seen to date, Meow Meow Tweet will brighten up your vanity or bring giggles and smiles to whomever you gift it to. But darlings, what’s in the package is even more impressive. You’re going to love the formulas, especially if you’re in the less is more camp — simple, clean, and effective botanical ingredients. Nicolle fell hard for their vegan Lip Balm (the flavors!!) and the Deodorant Cream, both of which make serious waves in the Morning Routines. Bottom line: you gotta try Meow Meow Tweet.

So here’s the deal… Meow Meow Tweet is giving you 20% off your order from now through Sunday night. Just enter the code NOMOREDIRTYCATS at check out, and then do a little victory dance.

Have you seen the Meow Meow Tweet kits? There’s one for campers, gardeners, or even a travel kit that allows you to try it all. We’d also like to point out that Meow Meow Tweet loves dogs, too—or at least thinks they are stinky sweet enough to warrant their own Dog Shampoo Bar. Maybe they should throw a “bark” on the end of their name? Nah, it’s perfect the way it is.

Have you tried Meow Meow Tweet? Tell us what you love and what you’d like to try!

An Interview with Meow Meow Tweet's Co-Founder Tara Pelletier

You’ve heard me rave about small-batch, vegan apothecary Meow Meow Tweet before, and my love for their lip balm and other products has only grown in the last few months. Now, we’re getting a little peek inside the brand’s process and background from co-founder Tara Pelletier (keep reading for a sneak peek at a #FridayDeal too…).

How did you get interested in green beauty? 
I got interested in green beauty when I was living in Southern California between my undergraduate and graduate school years. I was cooking in restaurants and helped to open a restaurant that was based on farm-to-table food. It was the first time I’d ever been introduced to seasonal menus, ethical ingredient sourcing and the slow food movement. It made me question a lot of what I was doing and how I was participating in the world.

I wasn’t an especially beauty conscious kid. I barely wore makeup except for a few “gothic” years in high school. But maybe that was more like face paint? When I was little I liked to get dressed up in my mother’s clothes and pretend that I was a witch. We joke that I’m living that dream now with all of my potions.

What’s your superhero origin story?

I grew up in Northeastern Connecticut, in a then rural town (my house was on a  dirt road until I left for college). I went to art school in Baltimore and cooked in restaurants to pay my way through school. After graduating, I moved to San Diego and worked in a handful of restaurants there. When I got into grad school for art, I vowed never to cook in restaurants again. I thought that I couldn’t be an artist and have anything else that I was passionate about. Obviously I’ve learned that isn’t true, since I now run this business and also maintain a studio art practice.

How was MMT born?
Meow Meow Tweet was born out of a dissatisfaction with the part time work that Jeff and I were doing in the art industry. We wanted to have more control over our time and to feel like the work we were doing to sustain our lifestyle was important in some way. We were also urban homesteading, with an indoor garden and a vermicompost.

“When we made our first batch of bar soap and it was a success, we thought of this hare-brained idea that became MMT. I still can’t believe that a company called Meow Meow Tweet exists.”
Meow Meow Tweet Co-Founder Tara

MMT has become a successful cult favorite. What makes it unique?
Meow Meow Tweet’s uniqueness comes from its attitude. It’s fun and playful on the outside but serious about what’s on the inside. From the beginning, Jeff and I never wanted to follow design trends and approached the packaging like little gifts that we make for our customers. Additionally, we wanted to make a completely natural vegan line that was just as effective and pleasurable as other non-vegan natural brands. At the time we were having a hard time finding a company that made sophisticated products with all of our ideals. Also, as I mentioned, I’m a child of the slow food movement and so we’ve taken that approach to skincare and to how we function as a company. We believe in little gestures making a large impact.

What’s next for MMT?
We are in the process of developing a new product line which is almost finished and very exciting. Stay tuned for that next Spring! And more immediately, I’m coming out with a side project of my own natural perfumes under another name. You’ll see that later this Fall.

What are your current top five beauty must-haves that you use every day? Fashion/style pieces?
My top five beauty must-haves are my amazing partner, my cats, some leisure time, a good book and a gorgeous meal; because it doesn’t matter what amazing oils and creams I use, I’ll never feel beautiful if I don’t live a good life. In terms of fashion, a well-fitting pair of pants is very important, as many woman would probably agree.

I couldn’t be more excited about a perfume line from Tara, given how much thought goes into MMT. Haven’t tried the fab line yet? Come back tomorrow for a little Friday Deal incentive to stock up!

Today is Pratima’s 75th birthday! This woman is a true pioneer of Ayurvedic beauty. Her eponymous natural skincare line, NYC spa, and book Absolute Beauty are not to be missed. Anyone who appreciates the healing powers of herbs, wholesome botanical ingredients, and soothing self care practices could benefit from a dose of Pratima. In honor of her 75th birthday, we’re celebrating Pratima with this special Morning Routine feature. Enjoy!

Name: Pratima Raichur

Age: 75

City: NYC

Current Weather: We’re at the end of Pitta season heading into Vata, low 70’s a bit cooler and hazy.

Skin: Oily & smooth but now that I am a bit older its more combination

Hair: black and wavy

Favorite Star From the Past: Sophia Loren, she’s timeless. (Note: We love Sophia, too, but featured a photo of the beautiful Pratima instead!)

First thing in the morning upon waking…

I look at my hands, say thanks, and ask that whatever will be done through my hands on this day will only go towards helping and serving whomever comes into my life. I learned this from my mother and I’ve been doing it for 60 years. I finish my morning prayers by sending love to my children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, my entire staff, everyone I have known and have yet to meet. I send my unconditional love. loka samasta sukhino bhavantu

Next step in my morning is to clean all the 5 senses.

Mouth: Rinsing and washing mouth, I use Tates Organic Toothpaste and Healthy Gums powder.

Eyes: Splashing cold water at least 21 times with eyes open, this stimulates the optic nerve.

Nose: Neti pot (with warm water and a pinch of salt) I was recently introduced to this beautiful line from Pursoma, which has a great solution for this, sea spray nasal rinse.

Skin: Cleanse with fresh herbs & massage with oil. I use my Vata herbal cleanser and Vata Essential Oil, Age Delay Serum and Amla Collagen Cream.

Sound: I already cleansed by saying the mantras when I woke up.

Then I have black tea with a pinch of cinnamon and cardamom to awaken me.

Next, I perform breathing exercises. I start with kapalbhati for about 10 minutes. I have additional kriyas that I do. Then I always finish with alternate nostril breathing for about 10 minutes. I do about 5 sun salutations, then walk around my house gently singing my mantras. I walk and chant until I am ready to move on. If I have a really busy day and with not as much morning time, I sit on my favorite chair and do the alternate nostril breathing for 5 minutes, this helps to ground me so my mind remains strong and balanced throughout the day.  I never am hard on myself if the proper time doesn’t allow, I give myself the time I need. A lot of these things can also be performed throughout the day with just a few moments of alone time. Even closing the bathroom door in your office and breathing deeply for a few minutes can make a positive difference.

Then I take a shower and use my Organic Herbal Body Cleanser. After I step out of the shower I massage by entire body with Vata Rejuvenating Body Oil and add additional oils on my neck and décolletage for strength and nourishment. I love Shiva Rose’s Rose Face Oil for this, the smell of rose is so delicious on my pulse points in combination with my stress oil.  Its a lovely natural fragrance.

We’re so lucky now, when I was growing up and at the age to start wearing makeup, there were hardly any natural makeup companies. I actually have DIY makeup recipes that have been passed down to me from my grandmother that create natural pigment from herbs and roots. It has been wonderful to see such beautiful and innovative lines come into the market to give women small tools to help them look their best. I support all of them and am excited how the natural beauty industry has come alive especially in the past few years. My staff brings me different ones to try a lot from ABC Home, one of my favorite stores. Some of the brands I am using now and wear most days are, RMS Un-Coverup, in 44 to conceal. W3ll People Creamy Crimson Universalist and Bronzed Rose, such pretty colors! I love playing up the lips, so I use Ilia Lip Conditioner in Lust for Life and Vapour Bold, their Siren Lipsticks have such great pigment. For the eyes I use RMS mascara and just discovered W3ll People Hypnotist Eye Liner, which is beautiful.

I drink warm water and tea throughout the day to help with digestion, detoxify the body, and keep everything in a state of flow. I have fruits and nuts in afternoon for an energy boost.

For me, the most important beauty ritual is talking to people, listening to them, and trying to make a change in their life. Just knowing that I am still able to help people, the joy I get from that is the most important thing for beauty. A lot of people become very sad and stressed because they are unhappy at work; I am lucky that this is not my situation. I am very fulfilled at work, it gives me energy, which comes from joy. That’s what I am able to offer, I receive the grateful energy from other people and I give it right back. It rejuvenates me. It’s the purpose of my life. Before I know it, the day flies by.

In the evening…

I revisit the 5 senses ritual. First thing, I wash my face, cleanse with herbs, and massage my face with Rejuvenating Essential Oil, then apply my Rejuvenating Pearl Cream. I use organic castor oil almost nightly. It is an amazing eye treatment and really hydrates the eye area. I also apply it to my lashes, it helps them grow and become stronger. I then take my Vata Rejuvenating Body Oil and massage my feet, ears and hands. I also massage my scalp with Brahmi Oil to nourish my hair and calm my mind. Before I go to sleep, I boil some organic milk (about ¼ cup) and strain out the fat which is hard to digest and add ½  tsp of organic ghee (you can also substitute almond milk), and a pinch of cardamom powder. This beauty tonic is great for overall digestion, nourishment of the tissues and cells, helps calm the mind to promote deeper and reparative sleep.

When I get into bed, I take some time massaging the bottom of my feet with herbal oil which I keep next to the side of my bed,  which nurtures all the nerves in the body, gets rid of toxins, improves circulation, and is good for brain cells. This also helps me feel peaceful and sleep much better. I’ve been doing this for as long as I can remember. You can do this with any natural body oil you have at home.

Looking at my hands again, I say thank you and give gratitude. I try and let go of any worries in my mind as it is best not to carry burden with you at nightime. Sleeping is a sacred time for whole body rejuvenation — the more peaceful and calm you are, the better your body can repair itself. This is the most important step in true rejuvenation, take advantage of this precious time and give yourself the gift of self care.

These are all simple rituals that everyone can follow, in the beginning start with what resonates with you most and what your time allows.  As you start to implement and see positive changes both inside and out,  you will actually end up having more time as other pieces in your life start to shift and open.

Happy birthday Pratima, and thank you for your contributions to natural beauty and wellness!