Meet Alexis! She’s a big fan of Tata Harper, Jane Iredale, 100% Pure, Ilia and other things we love (like coconut oil, mmm). She’s also an esthetician, so she knows what she’s talking about. Read on for what she does on the daily!
Age : 28
Current weather : Mostly warm and sunny. Ohio had a fickle spring but seems to be settling into more normal 70ish temperatures.
Hair : Shoulder-length, fine and pin straight. When it’s humid though I have all these fun “baby hairs” that stick straight up.
Skin : Very fair, doesn’t burn but doesn’t tan either. Combination, with a tendency to be oilier in the summer months. I thank my good complexion due to great genes from mom and dad!
Favorite star or icon from the past : Maureen O’Hara
In the shower…
Most days I usually just rinse. No soap or shampoo just plenty of water and a good scrubbing mitt. About 3 times a week I wash my hair, as we head into the warmer months that will probably go up to 4 just because my hair is so fine. I always use my Jane Iredale Magic Mitt wash my face. I love it because you just use it with water; no soap needed! When I do want some exfoliation I either use Tata Harper’s Regenerating Cleanser or apply a mask like the one from Kahina Giving beauty.
Outside the shower…
I moisturize my body with just coconut oil. I love the way it smells and it sinks into my skin quickly enough so that I don’t feel greasy when getting dressed. I use the famed Soapwalla deodorant. It’s pretty much the only natural deodorant that combats bot smell and moisture. Which to me is pretty much worth it’s weight it gold.
Being an Esthetician I am pretty passionate about skincare.
I always start with a refreshing mist of something. It was rose water but lately it’s my Tata Harper hydrating floral essence. I swear I’d wear this as perfume. Then I follow with some type of moisturizer. Since we’re heading into summer and I get oily I switched to using Tata Harper’s Rejuvenating Serum. It’s lightweight but moisturizing. I always use a sunscreen, right now it’s the 100% Pure Pomegranate Antioxidant SPF20. Last but not least- eye cream! This is also from 100% Pure – the Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream (longest name ever). It’s so good at combating dark circles even my boyfriend has started using it.
I start off my makeup routine with Jane Iredale’s Amazing Base (loose) in Bisque. I use the Jane Eyeshadow in Cappuccino for my brows and the move to my eyes. Most days it’s just a little mascara. The one I am using right now is from Josie Maran. On days I use eyeliner I reach for my trusty Jane Iredale ones (the midnight blue is awesome!) or I just got a Zosimos Botanical one that I really like as well. Cheeks are usually a cream blush, RMS beauty in Smile and Vapour’s Aura Multi-use in Torch are my go-to blushes. I finish with a little tinted lip balm or one of my Ilia Lip conditioners (Shell Shock is my current obsession).
For smells I like light during the summer. Orange Blossoms are a favorite scent of mine and the Tsi-La Fiori D’Arcancio is the epitome of all I ever wanted in a perfume.
Oh, we love that Tsi-La too! Did Alexis mention any of your faves?
Good morning, everyone! Today, we have Alissa…from Australia! Not only is she automatically cool because she is an Aussie, but she is the type of girl with the attitude that positive thinking can help achieve positively lovely skin. How cool is that? She doesn’t forgo products, but I’m guessing she enhances their powers by smiling! Read on, you’ll see!
Current weather: Typical Sydney Autumn…freezing cold grey-sky days alternated with sunny, warm beachy ones! Can’t make up its mind…but on the sunny days, Sydney’s the most seductive, beautiful city in the world.
Hair: Chestnut brown, boob length (we’ve coined that as a technical term now, right? :) ), wavy with the odd actual ringlet, plagued by dry split ends, fine but a lot of it.
Skin: Combination in the extreme. My skin is probably my biggest trial and my biggest insecurity. My cheeks and forehead are clear and soft, my nose is oily, and my chin, lipline and jawline are dry and prone to huge, painful pimples and whiteheads. I’ve got some scarring there too, which isn’t helped by my extremely fair complexion. Oh, did I mention I have very sensitive skin, too?
Favourite icon or star from the past: Gina Lollobrigida…what a gorgeous badass! Image via
In the shower…
I tend to shower at night, just before bed. I start off by dry brushing
- something I picked up from reading this blog, and I’ve noticed it’s made a huge difference to how soft my skin is. I then apply my cleanser – either honey
, coconut oil
, or Stark Grapefruit Cleanse + Hydrate Balm
, which is lovely and healing. I only wash my hair once a week, so if it’s a washing day I shampoo with Miessence Desert Flower Shampoo
(Miessence is a fantastic Australian clean brand that makes everything from toothpaste to make-up…you guys should feature them, they have some great, dependable products!) which is super mild, and every few washes I alternate with a baking soda rinse
(thanks, Alexandra! I couldn’t believe how well it works). I’m experimenting with all-clean conditioners at the moment – John Masters Honey and Hibiscus Hair Reconstructor
makes my hair very full and soft, but also frizzes out my waves and curls, and every other one I’ve tried has either provided too much moisture or not nearly enough. The best conditioner I have ever used is an almost-clean one – Kinky Curly Knot Today (not available in Australia…damn you, isolated Southern Hemisphere! Thank you, eBay!). It has the dreaded phenoxy and also something listed mysteriously as ‘natural fragrance’ but the rest of the ingredients are clean and organic and SWOON it works wonders detangling my knot-prone hair. I leave it on for a few minutes under a shower cap while I wipe the cleanser of my face, shave my legs and pits with Dr Bronners Lavender Shave Gel
, then I rinse well with warm and then ice cold water (reduces frizz and makes my hair super shiny!) I don’t use soap or bodywash or anything because I just don’t need it.
Outside the shower…
I moisturise my damp body with either coconut oil
, Soapwalla’s Luxurious Moisturising Body Oil
(the smell is so amazing I want to drink the damn thing), or whatever 100% Pure
body cream I have available. I apply coconut oil to my armpits as a deodorant – I used to use Soapwalla which was seriously miraculous…until I developed angry red pits, noooo. I find that coconut oil works great though, even lasting overnight into the next day. I comb a little more Kinky Curly through my damp hair (it does double duty as a leave-in). Then I moisturise my face with either rosehip oil
, jojoba oil
, or Stark’s Cypress Purity + Defence Oil
, which makes my skin so matte and soft – but it’s so expensive for my uni budget, so I treat it like liquid gold and ration it out. If I have a huge blemish or three that I’ve naughtily popped, I’ll apply a small amount of anti-bacterial gel or powder
, just to keep it clean and dry it out. No blemish gel or tea tree oil or benzoyl peroxide has ever helped my acne, so I don’t bother anymore, and now my skin is so much less red, flaking and inflamed. My acne is mostly hormonal, anyway, so I try to work on eating clean and organic, and balancing my stress levels. And laughing a lot. I find my acne always clears up after I’ve had a good laugh.
Voilà, indeed! Thank you, Alissa! Any other Aussies out there who have some brands to recommend to readers in that hemisphere?
Hello everyone! Meet Lola and her lovely routine! She is a green juice, essential oil and Lotus Wei fan…aka a girl after our own hearts. Read on…
Current weather: The most bizarre NYC spring ever – too cold, too rainy, too gray, but seems to be getting better
Hair: pixy-short, super-fine, thin, oily.
Skin: Olive, combination (though tending towards very dry, especially during winter/spring), super-sensitive/eczema-y. It can be a source of annoyance, but also of many compliments due to nice texture and even tone (when not freaking out).
Favorite star or icon from the past: Jane Russell. Image via
In the shower…
A big part of my morning is not exactly skincare-related, but it has a huge impact on how I look and feel. I start every morning with a large green juice, full of gorgeous greens, ginger, lime and a green apple for a touch of sweetness. It makes me feel fantastic, gives a wonderful burst of energy and I always feel worse when I skip it for whatever reason. I have also been trying to embrace holistic wellness, so I take a whole bunch of herbs and supplements to help deal with my horrible, chronic migraines, give me energy and boost my immune system. Since I started doing this, my migraines got much better (and I am using a lot fewer drugs), I have much more energy, a better outlook and am able to fight off colds much, much better. I won’t mention the full list, but some of the herbals I would recommend for boosting energy and immunity and helping to deal with stress are Rhodiola Rosea, Astragalus and Ashwagandha. I use Gaia Herbs – they are organic and have very impressive quality controls (and their pills are small enough and easy to swallow). After my juice-n’-pills breakfast, I hop in the shower. I wash my face with the gentle Nude Cleansing Wash. It foams, but very little and I like the smell. A few times a week I use the One Love Organics Microderma scrub. It’s quite gentle, smells like oats (in a good way) and makes my skin silky-smooth. I wash my hair with the Acure Organics Shampoo and I alternate between Pure Mint + Echinacea and Argan and Lemongrass. I also brush my teeth in the shower (weird, I know!). I used to be a Tom’s of Maine fan, but I recently noticed that their toothpaste has sulfates. Even the kids’ version! Don’t know how I missed that, but it annoyed me enough to switch. I switched to the Melvita toothpaste for myself and my son. It’s organic and I really love it. I am a bit concerned about the lack of fluoride, but we’ll see how I get on. I use moisturizing Nubian Heritage soaps or 100% Pure Blood Orange Shower Gel only on the bits that need cleaning. When I have the time (so not often), I also use one of my DIY body scrubs. I combine organic, coarse brown sugar with honey and a mix of oils (I usually use jojoba and coconut) and add in essential oils. I tend to go citrus-heavy as that is my favorite scent. Another recipe I use is mixing old coffee grounds with coconut oil and orange essential oil. It smells heavenly and coffee is great for the skin. I usually make a batch of scrub and store it in the shower in sealable preserves jars.
Outside the shower…
I spray on my Thai Crystal deodorant
first thing out of the shower to give it chance to dry. I have tried other natural deodorants before, but Soapwalla gave me a wicked rash and other ones just didn’t work. TC seems to do the trick, though I am yet to test it in sweltering New York summer (should it ever come). I tend to skip body lotion unless I have lizard skin and if I do, it’s usually whatever is lying around. More often than not, I prefer to use body oils, as they smell lovely and tend to stay on my skin for much longer. My favorite right now is Tallulah Jane Halona
. It’s a gorgeous ginger-cintrus scent that doubles as a gentle perfume. For my face, I love oils and serums and am currently in love with the Dr. Alkaitis Organic Nourishing Treatment oil
and think this will be a lasting love affair. I have been testing the OLO Love Springs Eternal serum
, but I find that it’s not moisturing enough for my skin, so I usually layer it under the Dr. Alkaitis. If my skin is feeling extra-dry and flaky, I might use either the Dr. Alkaitis Skin Savior balm or the Dr. Alkaitis day cream
over the oil/serum. I rarely use eye cream (usually I just use the same oils on my eyes), but if I do, it’s either the Kahina
or Dr. Alkaitis eye creams.
Because my hair is so short, I never blow dry – I just run a wide-toothed comb though it to get it in place. I have a super-sensitive scalp and conventional styling products made it break out, itch and otherwise made my life a living hell. This was a huge problem because us, short-haired girls, really need product. I couldn’t use John Masters because it was far too greasy and heavy for my super-fine hair, but then I discovered Giovanni Wicked Texture. Initially I thought it was the answer to all my prayers, since it is free from the usual suspects like sulfates, phthalates, synthetic phragrances, parabens and, most importantly, petrochemicals (I found them to be the #1 culprit for scalp sensitivities), is vegan, organic and manages to provide the same kind of hold and definition as its conventional, nasty-toxy counterparts. I since realized that it does have silicone, so prolonged use can weigh down my hair, but I feel that it is definitely the best, mostly-clean hair product out there.
I don’t use makeup unless I go out at night and since I use makeup so rarely, I haven’t really bothered switching from my dirty make-up. That said, all my mascaras have run out, so I am going to try the Organic Glam mascara from Organic Pharmacy
. I am hoping it’ll work as well as my Chantecaille. I also recently started using RMS Un-covereup
and Living Luminizer
. I love them, my skin loves them, so if I am feeling splotchy, I sometimes use just the Un-coverup or both of them during the day. I also don’t believe in using perfume in the workplace – I am tremendously sensitive to smell, so I could never expose others to my scents, however lovely I might think they are. That said, if I am feeling headachy, I might roll on some 21 Drops Headache essential oil blend
. It smells lovely (while being thoroughly unobtrusive) and I find that it does actually kind of work. I also like the Lotus Wei
Inner Peace mist. It helps me chill if I am extra-stressed and the gentle scent lingers on my clothes and doubles as perfume.
Thanks, Lola! Has anyone else been enjoying greens in the AM and feeling the results like Lola? How about the amazing herbal supplement success for decreased migraines?!
Happy Friday everyone! Meet Catherine, who is a great example of someone who truly uses sunscreen like they should! More power to her. She spends her days working, chasing around her bulldog (awesome!), and training for a 1/2 marathon (double awesome!), and she keeps the sun off all the while. Read on!
Current Weather: I live in Chicago and it has been all over the place this Spring, currently in the upper 30s and sunny!
Hair: I have long, straight, dark brown hair. It’s very fine and gets very oily.
Skin: I have residual oiliness from my teens and twenties, but I’d say it’s combination now. I’m fair, I have good skin tone and few wrinkles from being extremely diligent about sunscreen use. If SPF 1,000 existed I would use it!
Favorite Star: Ursula Andress
In the shower…
Outside the shower…
If I don’t shampoo my hair in the shower (I shampoo every other day), I use Lush No Drought Dry Shampoo if I have to go somewhere and don’t want to be seen with oily roots! If I’m going to bed, I use Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid toner, followed by Jurlique Herbal Recovery Gel. For my eyes I use MyChelle Fabulous Eye Cream. I moisturize my body with Acure Mandarin Orange and Mango body lotion
So…Sunscreen queen! Is anyone else training for a race or otherwise spending a lot of time outside and have an active sunscreen that’s been working well?
Meet lovely Luna. She has lived in both the US and China, and currently calls the latter home. She does an amazing job at keeping her beauty products green by bringing them over when she travels back to the US. Read on for her efficient but inventive routine…
Current Weather: Beijing at its best! Warm, Spring breeze, Sunny
Hair: Black, straight, shoulder length – can’t hold a curl for longer than 10 minutes
Skin: Best defined as complicated: definitely combination, acne prone, dry on cheeks, oily around forehead and T-zones. Beijing water is very hard and the climate is dry which isn’t good for skin that is prone to breakouts since many moisturizers can clog my pores but not using any will leave my skin parched!
Favorite star/icon from the past: Anna May Wong
In China there isn’t a lot of focus on “clean” beauty products. There are some basic drug store staple brands like L’oreal and Nivea and their Chinese counterparts. On the other spectrum, the luxury skincare market is dominated by brands such as SKII, Lancome, Amorepacific, Clarins, and some Chinese ones like Yue-Sai. There’s really nothing in between and there are definitely no smaller, clean, indie labels like in the US. Sephora opened here a few years ago and some “cleaner” brands have started to trickle in such as Boscia and Ren. I grew up in the US and am now back in China working for a multinational corporation. I usually come to the US about three or four times a year for work and this is when I stock up on my beauty products. I would describe myself as loyal but adventurous – I have my “tried and true” products that I MUST restock every trip and then there are others I learn about through web research (such as your site!).
I usually start my day by just washing my face and doing my makeup, and save showering for night, so I will frame this as morning routine, makeup, night time.
In the morning I usually just wash my face with lukewarm water. If I want to really clear my skin for a meeting at work, I will use a cleanser – my favorite is Intelligent Nutrients Anti-Aging Cleanser. It smells a little strong but it’s nothing I can’t handle. After that I use Dr.Alkaitis Organic Herbal Toner, followed by 100% Pure Argan Oil Hydration SPF 30 (which I learned about from your site!). This combination keeps my skin very balanced and prepared for whatever Beijing throws my way: pollution, smog, etc.
I’m not a huge makeup girl so it doesn’t take me very long in the morning to get ready. Since I don’t use that much product, I have no problem with spending more for high quality products. I use Suki tinted moisturizer and Vapour Organic Aura blush in Courtesan which really wakes up my face. I use Lancome mascara because I can’t find a natural one that doesn’t give me racoon eyes by noon. For lips I use either raw shea butter or Dr. Bronner’s Naked lip balms, the one without a scent. If I’m feeling like wearing color, I’ll rotate between any of the Kjaer Weis Lip Tints or Ilia Tinted Lip Conditioner colors I have.
Before the shower, I take my makeup off with sweet almond oil or jojoba depending on which one I have available and then I dry brush myself.
I try to take the quickest showers possible because the water is really not ideal. You can’t drink it straight from the tap so I don’t really like to marinate in it at night. I wash my face with Intelligent Nutrients Anti-Aging Cleanser and use Dr. Bronner’s baby liquid castile soap for my bits and that’s it. My showers are literally 3 minutes long and if I wash my hair that takes it to about 8 minutes. I only shampoo my hair once a week and I use Intelligent Nutrients Harmonic shampoo. No conditioner. No blow dryer. My hair is not high maintenance at all so I’m totally grateful for that.
Out of the shower…
I tone again with Dr. Alkaitis and then do a few drops of YULI Skincare’s M.E. Skin Fuel serum on my face which is light but still hydrating. I never do anything thick or creme-like at night because I feel like that hinders with my skin’s ability to renew and push out impurities overnight. If I’ve washed my hair than I rub a few drops of the Skin Fuel over my head and comb through.
Thanks, Luna! Is there anyone who has any experience with naturals in China or elsewhere in Asia? If so, maybe you can suggest some new local brands?