Ready for some new makeup recommendations? Check out this sweet little number from Erica in Portland. She has her own blog, too!

Name: Erica W.

Age: 31

Where I Live: Portland, Oregon

Relationship to Make-Up: Although I grew up with a fabulously made-up mother and her extensive make-up collection, I’ve kept it pretty simple most of my life—the biggest exception being an unfortunate year or two in middle school where I wore dark brown lipstick or lined my lips with dark brown lipliner and filled it in with frosty, nude lipstick. I’ve increasingly become a minimalist with age, though. I think moving to Portland eight years ago has probably influenced me, as women in general here tend to go with the understated look. Also, I realized that I have one of those faces that just can’t carry a great deal of make-up without looking garish! But I do have a tender spot in my heart for a good cat-eye and red and orange lipstick and wear it on occasion when I’m feeling bolder. Despite the fact I don’t use much make-up myself, I LOVE watching Lisa Eldrige videos, browsing through beauty stores and applying make-up on other people.

Face: I’m a fan Wild Carrot’s Borage Butter Cream in the winter. It’s pretty thick and luscious and has wonderfully clean ingredients. And it’s made here in Oregon. Sometimes, I’ll apply Josie Maran’s Argan Tinted Moisturizer where needed.

Cheeks: Blush is probably the one thing I have to wear everyday. All these dark, rainy days in Portland can really make you look equally dreary, so having a little pink or peach on my cheeks helps keep me looking like one of the living! My favorites are cream blushes: 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Lip and Cheek Tints in Cranberry Glow and Grapefruit Glow and Ilia’s I Put a Spell on You.

Lips: Everyone once in a while, I use some Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick in Tannin (my current favorite), Ilia Lipstick in Wild Child, or Obsessive Compulsive Lip Tar in Radiate (not the cleanest kid on the block, but significantly cleaner than most of the other brands at Sephora. It’s highly pigmented, so you only need a little, and it’s very long-lasting!). I also use Zuzu Luxe lipliner in Cherry. Not shown is my small collection of MAC and Nars lipsticks in the bathroom I use for special occasions!

Eyes: I’ve been using Organic Wear’s Fake Out mascara in Black, which has been pretty good to me, but I think I’m gonna try out Ilia’s mascara now. I just got reacquainted with Gabriel Color eyeliner in Chocolate Brown, and I think I’ll be upping my eyeliner use now. I also use it to fill out certain spots in my eyebrows.

Fragrances: I mostly wear Pacifica’s Tahitian Vanilla for casual, everyday use. And Chymia Moisturizing Body Spray in Soleil is a convenient little thing to carry around for freshening up clothing, coats and cars with a citrusy scent!

Snap a photo of your makeup bag and send it to us! Tell us what you use and why.

Say hello to Jinna! Her routine includes some incredible goodies, but she relies first and foremost on a clean diet for glowing skin. Enjoy!

Name: Jinna

Age: 31

City: Los Angeles, CA

Current Weather: Sunny and dry, with a slight fall chill in the air

Skin: Combination, though my skin has stayed clear and glowing since I cut out dairy and meat from my diet (with the exception of 2-3 “treat’ meals per week). Starting to notice crows feet creeping up though!

Hair: black, long, straight, and fine

Favorite star from past: Jane Birkin. Love her effortless, natural look and Parisian chic.

I am a natural product skincare and makeup junkie and after years of rotating products I have found, for the most part, what consistently works for me (though I can’t resist trying a few new products here and there!)

In the shower…

I dry brush for 2-3 minutes (or even less if I’m in a rush!) before jumping in the shower. Before, I used to swear by dry shampoo and washing my hair every other day, but have since realized that my fine hair gets too oily, especially because I work out every day. I have yet to find a shampoo and conditioner that I’m in love with, and I’ve tried them all: Yarok, Phylia de M., John Masters Organics, Rahua, etc. I’m currently rotating between Rahua Voluminous Shampoo and Burdock and Neem Healthy Scalp shampoo.  Both work fine for now, but I will definitely be on the lookout for something new once I use these up. Three times a week I do a pre ‘poo treatment of coconut or jojoba oil for 1 hour before shampooing out. I find that since I wash my hair daily, it does a good job of keeping it from getting too dry. On the days I don’t do the oil treatment, I rinse my hair with apple cider vinegar in the shower after shampooing and before conditioning. I’ve found that both have improved the overall health of my scalp and hair. For body wash, I use Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castille soap, which multitasks as hand soap and puppy shampoo!  While my skin is slightly damp, I moisturize all over with One Love Organics Scented Body Serum in Lavender.

Outside the shower…

After brushing my teeth, I oil pull with a spoonful of coconut oil for about 10 minutes. I’ve read that the recommended time is 20 minutes, but I just can’t bring myself to do it for that long! While I’m swishing, I exfoliate my face every other morning with Tatcha Polishing Powder in Classic, though I have May Lindstrom’s Clean Dirt waiting as soon as I finish the Tatcha. On the mornings I don’t exfoliate I wipe my face with S.W. Basics cleanser and finish with a splash of cold water. Next, I dab a few drops of Intelligent Nutrients Spot Treatment over my face. After that’s dried, I use One Love Organics Active Moisture Vitamin C serum. This is a recent discovery and I absolutely love it. It makes my skin look dewy and glowing while keeping it moisturized. Since the weather has gotten much drier and as previously mentioned, I’ve started noticing unwanted wrinkles, I decided to bite the bullet and purchase 37 Extreme Actives cream. Yes it is obscenely expensive, which is why I use it only under my eyes and mouth, but as my mother always said, don’t feel too guilty about splurging on food or skincare since you will get a return on your investment. I haven’t been using it long enough to decide if it’s worth the price but so far, I love the feel of the cream on my skin and how hydrated it feels afterward. If I’m noticing my skin getting a little oily, I swipe Arcona’s Tabula Rasa pad over the area, which pretty much stops any pimples from forming.


I started using 100% Pure full coverage foundation (thanks for this website’s recommendation!) and I also love it. It’s the only product that provides sun protection and coverage without irritating my sensitive skin. If I’m especially tired that day, I will also use RMS “Un” Cover-Up under my eyes. I rotate among many blushes: Kjaer Weis in Sun Touched, Vapour in Spark, RMS in Modest, and Revolution Organics in Blushed, just to name a few. So far, my favorite is the Revolution Organics, as it leaves a nice pink flush to my cheeks. For eyeliner, I use an eyeliner brush and The All Natural Face’s Vegan Gel Pot in Black. I LOVE this product, as it’s the only eyeliner that doesn’t smudge and give me raccoon eyes. Once that’s dry, if I’m feeling fancy, I use either RMS in Solar or Magnetic on my lids. For mascara, I use (not in love with this and will be looking for alternatives once it runs out).  For lips, I absolutely love Ilia and have 4 colors: Bang Bang, In My Room, Perfect Day, and Arabian Knights. All the colors are so different and equally great, but the only one I carry in my purse is Bang Bang.  I set everything with RMS “Un” Powder and then swipe some RMS Living Luminizer (can you guess what my favorite makeup brand is?) on my brow bone, nose bridge, and cheeks. I also spritz my face with a spray before leaving. Right now, I’m using John Master Organics Bearberry Skin Balancing Toning Mist, but I have One Love Organics Vitamin D mist on standby once that’s used up.

Whew!  I know it looks long, but by now I’ve got it down to a quick science.  Coupled with a plant-based diet, I have seen such an improvement in the overall tone and texture of my skin. Thanks for letting me share!

Nicolle's Makeup Bag

It’s Makeup Monday time again! This week, I reveal my lip color obsession to the world. Opening up my makeup bag feels a little like walking down a runway in my swim suit—what will people think of me? Thankfully, this loving community is the perfect place to spill the powder. Oh, and let me clarify: This is just my everyday makeup bag. I didn’t dig into special occasion shadows and liners.

Name: Nicolle Mackinnon (I just got married, y’all, so sorry if it’s been confusing on my last name—formerly Westlund)

Age: 26

Where I live: Minneapolis

My relationship with makeup: Consistent. I’ve been a makeup lover and hoarder since middle school when I started copying popular-girl Jamie’s white liner routine. In high school, I scoured beauty magazine lists for the best drugstore makeup (what ninth-grader can afford Dior unless their parents pay for it?) and matched my eyeliner to my outfit every day (no, I’m not exaggerating—I even had a lime-green liner for pairing with my favorite lime-green tee). Lipgloss has always been my jam and I had one makeup bag fully devoted to the colored stuff all through college. Now, I’ve refined my tastes and spend a little more dough on each product I use to ensure my face is as happy as I am. My magazine-editor-from-home work situation gives me flexibility to wear basically no makeup daily, though I rarely go anywhere without at least powder and mascara. I like to punch it up with liner and shadow for special occasions but mostly, I just want to look fresh-faced.

What’s in my makeup bag:

Tinted moisturizer: All the NMDL girls have raved about the Juice Beauty CC Cream and that’s my daily go-to because it works and it has sunscreen in it. I use my Jane Iredale The Handi brush for putting this on. On days when I’m feeling a little more blemish-y or am going out at night, I go with 100% Pure’s Healthy Skin Foundation.

Powder: I use Alima Pure Satin Matte Foundation (powder mineral) with a retractable EcoTools Kabuki Brush. Alima is the best I’ve found because of its many shades and tones and its coverage (plus, it’s got a lovely price point). I also top myself off with W3LL PEOPLE’s Realist X: HD Matte Mineral Setting powder when I’m feeling a little shiny (not every day).

Concealer: I use Jane Iredale Active Light Under-eye Concealer under my eyes every day. I love its smoothness and creaminess for that delicate area. I also use an old, too-light-for-my-whole-face Jane Iredale PurePressed Base Mineral Foundation as a powder concealer on any spots that stick out even after my tinted moisturizer (my old Bare Minerals Concealer Brush is perfect for those pesky guys).

Eyeliner: Jane Iredale strikes again—I use her liner in black/brown, topped off with an espresso-colored powder liner from Modern Minerals. That combo has been my go-to for about two years, but I recently bought RMS Beauty’s Cream Eyeshadown in Karma, and that, with a stiff liner brush from Sonja Kashuk, has usurped liner duty from Jane and Modern.

Eyeshadow: I don’t wear eyeshadow daily, but for special occasions, I was using a palette from Bobbi Brown (cheater!). I gave that up last month for RMS Beauty’s Solar+Karma Cream Eyeshadows and haven’t looked back.

Mascara: After mineral powder, this is probably what I’m most picky about. Yes, it was me who started the clean-mascara email chain a few weeks ago that led to a post on this site, and yes, since then, I’ve bought five new mascaras. Five. Gross. I have really long lashes already but need thickness, which clean mascaras have a hard time doing. I was loving 100% Pure’s Fruit Pigmented Mascara, but I was bored. I tried Zulu’s, Reviva Labs and ILIA Beauty’s, all which fell very short (too liquid-y or only barely boosted volume). Then I went back to 100% Pure, plus Josie Moran’s GOGO Argan Mascara. Still unhappy, I was ecstatic when Pure Anada’s mascara arrived in the mail the very next day (review to come!). It’s my new fave clean mascara with lots of volume-boosting power. It’s almost like it’s dirty.

Luminizer: Yep, I’m on the RMS Beauty bandwagon–nothing beats the Living Luminizer for me.

Lips: My babies. I loooove lip color. I love how you can enhance your look with just a touch of lippy—and I love not having to do up my eyes when I can swipe on a good red. My makeup bag carries three of RMS Beauty’s Lip Shines (Sacred, Sublime and Bloom); an ILIA Beauty Lip Crayon in Call Me, plus an ILIA Beauty Lip Conditioner in Nobody’s Baby (like my natural lip color but better); a Kajer Weis Lip Tint in Dream State (gorg nude); and Rodin Olio Lusso’s Lip Balm (it smells like roses).

Etc.: My actual makeup bag only carries one in this category (my others rest on my nightstand). Tatcha Blotting Papers saved my face from looking sweaty on my wedding day and now I use them a couple of times a week.

So, thoughts? Any new lip wear I need to try? Any favorites that overlap with yours?

Say hello to Cécille! We love the thoughtfulness behind her routine, as well as her strategy for shaving her legs. So smart!

Name: Cécille

Age: 33

Location: Seattle, Wa

Current Weather: Mid-70’s, 49% humidity and not a cloud in this beautiful sunny sky.

Hair: Raven/black, slightly wavy, thick and lots of it.  It’s layered with the longest layer about six inches past my shoulders with some copper and bronze highlights – some natural, some not-so-natural.  My hair is strong and healthy due to my schedule of no-poo every few days, brushing on rare occasions and staying away from the hairdryer whenever possible.

Skin: Light olive complexion that is oily during the summer months, combination during the winter months and suffers from the occasional eczema patch.  My skin is sensitive and I have several topical allergies which is why I cleaned up my routine in the first place.  I am prone to breakouts right around my period (who isn’t, honestly) and I have a few dark spots from breakouts past.  Overall, I have good skin that I credit to awesome genetics (Thanks, Mom & Dad), good diet choices and SPF.

Starlet from the past: Nancy Kwan.  Prior to the 1960’s, Hollywood casted white actors in Asian roles.  Kwan broke that barrier by becoming the first actor of Asian descent to play Asian roles on screen.  She is half Chinese and half English/Scottish.  Not only did she become a Hollywood sex symbol because of her exotic good looks, but she also earned an Academy Award nomination for her first silver screen appearance in The World of Suzie Wong (1960).  With that she forever changed the western views and stereotypes of American and European Asians.  As an Asian American woman (also of mixed heritage), I idolize Nancy Kwan and am grateful for what she has done for our community.

First thing…

I am a morning person and an early riser…I mean 4 am-early.  I make a conscious effort to smile when I first wake up in the morning as a way to celebrate having another 24 hours of life to live.  I have been doing this for about four years now and I honestly just like to do it.  (I highly recommend starting your day off with gratitude.  It makes the simplest of things absolutely delightful.)

Depending on the day, I either go for a run, meditate, do some yoga, or read before I start my regular morning beauty regime.  If I am going out, either for a run or for yoga class, I will just rinse my face off with warm water, pat it dry, spray on some Kahina Toning Mist and top it off with Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair CC Cream to moisturize, tint, and protect (SPF!).  I give my pits a little spray of Weleda Deodorant Spray and head out the door.  Otherwise, I prefer to just shower in the mornings.

In the shower…

I do not like to combine washing my hair and shaving my legs in the same shower because of how time consuming the process becomes.  Instead, I either wash my hair, shave my legs, or do neither.  Not only does this save time and money (using products less frequently means using less products overall), it saves on water and the energy it takes to heat up the water (great for the environment).

If I am washing my hair, it is usually the first thing I will do in the shower.  I will get my hair completely soaked through and run conditioner through only the ends.  With the conditioner still on my ends, I go right ahead and shampoo just my roots and then rinse it all out.  I find that with this method works well with my hair’s random washing schedule.  My hair has a lot of body, bounce and shine.  Right now, I am using BWC’s Aromatherapy Shampoo and Conditioner in Rosemary Mint Tea Tree.  I love that it leaves a clean smell and rinses out easily.  If I remember, I will turn the water off or switch over to the low-flow setting on my showerhead after I get my hair wet and then back on again when I rinse.

In every shower, I will cleanse my skin (neck to toes) with Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap (I love this stuff!).  The fragrance du jour is a mix of Peppermint and Lavender.  I usually do a 50/50 Bronner’s to water dilution into an old scotch bottle that I have repurposed into a soap dispenser.  I like the way this looks and it allows for me to buy the gallon-sized Bronner’s and save on the bulk price (as well as cut back on the plastic packaging).

I used to use Bronner’s on my face, but have since stopped because of how drying I found it to be (even after diluting).  Now, I cleanse my face with 100% Pure’s Organic Eucalyptus Seafoam Facial Cleanser.  It’s made with French Green Sea Clay, so it provides gentle exfoliation and removes impurities without leaving my face feeling stripped or dehydrated.

If I shave, it is the last thing I do in the shower and I do it with the water off (more for the fishies).  I will sit down at the bottom of my tub with my razor and a sugar scrub.  For this, I like a particularly oily sugar scrub, like 100% Pure, but I am currently using J.R. Watkins and it works fine.  I will scrub both my legs thoroughly and wipe off the excess sugar, leaving the oil behind.  From here, I take my razor and shave my legs.  Once I am all done, I will turn on the faucet and rinse off myself and the razor. (Warning: this process makes the tub and your hands very slippery. Proceed with caution. A quick clean of the tub with Bronner’s usually helps.)  I try to go as long as possible without shaving—once every two weeks or so.  When it comes to cleansing my skin on a regular basis, I do not use body puffs or cleaning cloths.  I find that the extra exfoliation promotes hair growth.  Since I am trying to go as long as possible between shaves, I just avoid exfoliating.

Out of the shower…

Once I’ve toweled off, I apply oil from neck to toes.  I am currently in mad love with Caudalie’s Divine Oil (although, Kahina’s Argan Oil still holds a dear place in my medicine cabinet).  It is just the right amount of moisture for my skin, has a beautifully light fragrance, does not leave my skin feeling tacky, plus it’s a spray!  In the winter, I will layer on body butters or creams when I get extremely dry (100% Pure Nourishing Body Cream).  If I shaved, I will skip applying anything to my legs.  The oil left over from the shave is more than enough moisture for my skin.

Face-wise, I spend quite a bit more time here.  I like to give my face a few sprays of Kahina Toning Mist and let it sit while I brush my teeth (Brush with Bamboo toothbrush and Jason Powersmile Whitening Toothpaste).  After that, I dab some Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S. Morning Eye Rescue around my peepers and treat the rest of my face to their Vinoperfect Radiance Serum (my effort to combating those dark spots).  While I wait for that to soak into my skin, I will apply a few pumps of Giovanni’s Frizz Be Gone to my still damp locks and let it air dry as well as spray my pits with Weleda Deodorant Spray.  Then I will apply Caudalie’s Vinoperfect Day Perfecting Fluid to my face.  It’s a light moisturizer (great on my oily skin) with SPF 15 and provides the perfect base for applying my makeup.  I also love that it does not have an overwhelming smell.

Finishing touches…

After I get dressed, I apply some Jane Iredale’s Purepressed Base Mineral Foundation (SPF 20!) to even out my skin tone and highlight my cheeks with Alima Pure’s Satin Matte Blush Powder.  If I am feeling up to it, I will fill in my brows with Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Waterproof Brow Mousse.  I give my lips a swipe with some Burt’s Bees’ Beeswax Lip Balm or Pacifica’s Color Quench Lip Tint (whichever I can find first) and finish off with a quick spray to my nape with TokyoMilk’s Tainted Love from their Dark Femme Fatale Collection (not entirely eco-friendly, but I love the play of vanilla and sandalwood fragrances).  All-in-all, my routine takes anywhere from 20 minutes to 45 minutes (depending on the day).

As complex as it all sounds, that is my morning routine.  Although I will probably discover other products in the future or little ways of tweaking my routine (Life is, after all, ever changing), I like being somewhere in between low and high-maintenance and the constant strive for balance.  It’s good practice.

BTW-If any NMDL users out there have any advice on taking care of my dark spots, please let me know.  I am open to suggestions.

Well, Cécille, we hear that people have beat dark spots with Yuli’s Cell Perfecto PM, and at least one of us at NMDL is currently trying it out, but we’ll have to wait for the results! What’s your go-to skin brightener?


Beauty Goodies to Transition to Fall

Unless you’re living under an Internet-free rock (which you aren’t since you read our blog!), you know that New York Fashion Week just wrapped up, leaving all fashion and beauty related bloggers and readers with tons of info on new trends and colors.

Interested in what the hot NYFW looks were, but don’t care to rummage through all the blogs and slideshows and tweets yourself? You’re in luck: We’ve got a quick summer-to-fall transitional beauty guide, complete with NYFW-approved trends and just generally good-to-know beauty info. Enjoy!

Lips: If summer was all about the fuschia matte look, fall deepens things with burgundy lips. You’ve probably already seen the glossy or matte versions of the deep red lip everywhere – time to try it yourself with Osmia Organics Luster gloss. With its color derived from beets, Luster’s burgundy gloss avoids dyes and scary ingredients to bring us a lovely red shade with moisturizing staying power.

Eyes: Colored eyeliner that throws back to the good ol’ 80s and 90s is all over the place for the fall. Bright teal, neon purple, electric blue – you name it, you can find it. Try picking a shade that complements your eye color (teal or emerald for greenies, purple for browns, bright blues for blues). I’m a big fan of Jane Iredale’s Mystikol liners (not too dry, not too smudgy) and her line has colors galore.

Eyebrows: Not a big colored-liner fan (or just not ready to bite the bullet on a color you’re not sure will be in next month)? Fall’s trend is leaning even more toward big brows with natural skin (we’ll get to the skin in a minute). I promise you, if there’s one of these transitions to try, enhancing your eyebrows is one of them. Defining your brows with a little powder can instantly change your face, and since your brows are naturally darker than your hair color, adding a little color to them doesn’t feel cray cray. Try W3LL PEOPLE’s Capitalist Versatile Mineral Brow Pigment with a short, flat brush for application. And trust me on this one: get a shade lighter than you think.

Skin: Clean, natural skin is the way to go this fall. For those of us who don’t have perfect, makeup free skin, a tinted moisturizer is key. We’ve raved about Juice Beauty’s CC Cream on the site before, and I’d definitely recommend it as a base for your face. If you’re looking for a little more coverage, try 100% Pure’s Healthy Skin Foundation. I used it for my wedding and I still couldn’t be happier with it. Top it off with a luminizer (RMS Beauty’s Living Luminizer is in all our makeup bags, but ILIA Beauty’s luminizers kill it too) to get the natural-glowing-skin that’s in.

Nails: Nail trends are going in two separate directions this fall. The first is natural nails, which gives us all a great reason to buy RGB’s nail foundation. It comes in an array of colors for all skin tones and it’s meant to give you polished look without color on your nails. If you’re looking for color, you’re going to want to check out a mossy gray-green, a grayish navy blue or a metallic silvery gray. Use any of these colors to do a solid base – or try out the half moon mani that was all over runways.

What trends did you see that you’re in love with? What other recs do you have for the fall season?