Good morning everybody–meet Alex! She tries to steer clear of perfumes, and is a pro with body oils. Right now she’s diggin’ the Yes To line, but she’s also interested in finding other brands, too. Her routine is no-fuss, but fun. Read on!
Name: Alex (la feminine)
Current weather: Unseasonably warm and sunny
Hair: Shoulder length and choppy, contains some lingering blue-green tones from last fall’s impulsive Manic Panic dye job, but otherwise dark brown.
Skin: Not too bad- forehead & nose tend to be slightly on the oily, break-out-y side, cheeks tend to be dry. I get those annoying zitty-things on my upper arms, but my feet/legs/hands tend to be dry.
Favorite star or icon from the past: Louise Brooks- I haven’t actually ever seen her movies, but I love her style.
In the shower…
I usually shower about midday, but I work at home so it’s really “whenever I feel like it.” I start with Giovanni shampoo (which one varies, I like to mix it up) and either Giovanni or YesTo Carrots conditioner. Sometimes I do it backwards, for a change of pace (but I can’t say I’ve noticed a real difference.) I like both brands because they work very much like conventional brands while still being pretty clean- Giovanni even smells delicious without making my head spin (I can’t really tolerate most smells.) YesTo still has a bit of fragrance but it’s so mild I don’t notice it (their shampoo has sulfates though, so watch out for that.) I later up everywhere with a soft natural sponge and Dr. Bronners (I like Eucalyptus, it really clears the sinuses…but I’ve been trying the other varieties too, lately.) For shaving, I use Alba Botanica’s Unscented Very Emollient Cream Shave. Most days I just rinse my face off in the warm water, but every few days (or if I’m broken out or feeling grimy) I use Evan Healy’s Rose Cleansing Milk. Finish off with a pumice stone to the heels.
Outside the shower…
If I used the Cleansing Milk, I skip right to the moisturizing, otherwise I use a little Kiss My Face Antioxidant Toner (I also use it on those little arm bumpies, or sometimes Witch Hazel.) If I’m going to be outside much that day, I use YesTo Blueberries Age Refresh Daily Facial Moisturizer with SPF 30 (it’s made for older folks, but it was the only variety with no artificial fragrance- unfortunately it doesn’t absorb very well, probably because of the physical sunscreens. I will probably try another brand when this runs out.) If I’m not going to be outside much, I use Acure Chamomile + Carrot Day Cream, which is great. The rest of my routine is a little greasy, so I save it for nighttime: my all-over body oil is a homemade concoction that is about two thirds grapeseed oil, one third jojoba oil, and a dash of argan oil (grapeseed and argan are Aura Cacia, jojoba is Desert Essence.) About every other night I use pure argan oil on my face and sometimes my arms in hopes of cheering up the pores and stopping breakouts, though to be honest I haven’t noticed it being much better than my body-oil concoction (and it’s expensive and stinky) so once it runs out I might try something else. Immediately before bed, my feet and hands get shea buttered (either pure, or Nubian Heritage with Goat’s Milk and Chai.) I wash my hands a lot so throughout the day I use Weleda Skin Food on them periodically- it’s a little pricy but pretty amazing.
I wear make up very, very (like, VERY) rarely, so I haven’t switched all of it over to clean brands yet. The only things I use regularly are Gabriel Color concealor and YesTo Carrots Berry lip butter. I’ve been sort of moving away from the YesTo products but I do love this stuff- it’s mostly coconut oil and it works (and smells and tastes) great. The only “perfume” I can tolerate is a little bit of vanilla mixed with jojoba oil. I haven’t found a clean deodorant that satisfies my intense desire not to sweat yet, so I’m still using an unscented conventional super-toxic brand :-( If I’m just staying at home all day, though, I’ll often skip it. I jumped on the nailpolish bandwagon last summer and have amassed quite a collection- I usually go for Zoya or OPI or another 3 (or 4)-free brand, though even then I have to paint ‘em outside because of the reek. I use Bee Naturals cuticle and nail oil to keep them from drying out. No hair products, I’m a wash & go kind of gal (on the rare occasion that I color it, I try to veer towards the less damaging semi-permanent conditioner-based stuff. Unfortunately it’s really hard to find natural colors. Henna & indigo may be in my future.)
Anybody else thinking henna this summer?
Happy Monday, everyone! Meet Aubrey and her nifty routine. To help deal with the hard water on an Air Force base, she uses a cool lemon-juice wash for her hair. A lemony scent plus sandalwood soap… Judging from her routine, I have a feeling she smells amazing. Read on…
In the shower…
Outside the shower…
Thanks, Aubrey! Is anyone else dealing with especially hard water and have any tips?
While some of you could care less what models use on their skin—they’re just genetic jackpot winners, right?—I actually think these women have a lot of insight on the subject.
Models are the ultimate guinea pigs: Day in and out, products of all stripes are piled onto their hair and faces. This means several things: They get to test everything out; they have access to experts; and they actually have to work harder than most of us to try to maintain some kind of balance when they’re not shooting and strutting.
So I was not surprised to see that several of the models in a post from Elle about Model Skin Secrets sited naturals and oils as the ultimate in skincare.
Plant oils seem especially popular among this set. Are you a plant-oil convert yet? And if so, which do you use: argan, coconut, jojoba? See any other products you love here?
Without further ado, the natural picks of these natural-born beauties…
“I like Dr. Hauschka’s Rose Day Cream because it’s chemical-free—I think using clean, organic ingredients on your skin really helps it. The Cleansing Milk and Cleansing Cream are also very good. I’m a huge Dr. Hauschka fan; I’ve been using their products for a couple years
“I got really lucky with my skin—I don’t have to do a lot with it. But Caudalie has this Beauty Elixir—it’s just water with some essential oils mixed in—and it’s so nice.”
“During Fashion Week I use the Carrot Butter Cleanser from Organic Pharmacy to remove my makeup. It’s moisturizing and takes off everything, even waterproof mascara—it cleanses really deep.”
“For removing my mascara, I like using coconut oil. As a moisturizer, I like Dr. Alkaites’ cream or Bulgarian rose oil—you know, things that are organic and natural for the skin, and won’t just sit on it.” —Karolina Kurkova
Spoken like true clean girls! Do you share any favorites with these ladies?
Meet Archana, a native of India who has been living in New Jersey for three years now. She says “I’ve seen my grand mom use only herbal and homemade products and she has great skin at 80!” Archana tries to incorporate a few of her grandmother’s routines into her busy schedule. Enjoy!
Hair: black, thick and wavy with an oily scalp
Skin: Olive skin tone. Fighting a bout of adult acne. Sensitive combination skin (sigh, I know!). I have been a vegetarian all my life and recently turned a vegan. I make sure I always eat healthy and eat only gluten free, diary free food. I eat only plant-based supplements.
In the shower…
I incoporate dry brushing for about 3 mins. I use the Body Shop brush. Before I step into the shower I always massage a tiny bit of sesame oil on my face and neck. This helps my skin to stay balanced and does not flake out. I use the Pangea Organics Canadian Pine With White Sage Body Wash for my body. For the face, I use my own mixture of ground green gram (Ed.: also called mung bean), a tiny bit of turmeric with enough rose water to make a paste. Green Gram is a natural substitute for soap. It removes the excess oil and leaves your skin fresh and even. You can use a coffee blender to grind, and you can store them for over 4 months in an air-tight container. Turmeric is a natural antispectic and it bans acne from its roots.) I gently scrub my face and neck in upward strokes with this paste and wash off with water.
Every weekend, I massage my skin with a mixture of butter (organic unsalted butter) and a pinch of turmeric and a little bit of greek yogurt. I blend all of them in with a hand blender and apply the mixture all over my body. I wash it off after 30 mins with the green gram mixture. This leaves my skin supple and silky smooth.
I never forget to apply castor oil on my eyelashes and eyebrows and under my eyes before going to bed every night. It promotes lash and brow growth.
For my hair, I wash it every other day with Himalayas Rejunivating Shampoo. I do not use a conditoner as it weighs my hair down. I apply few drops of Josie Maran’s argan oil on my ends. I never blow dry my hair and always let it air dry.
Outside the shower…
I usually leave my skin a little moist and use my own home made oil moisturizer. It is coconut oil, few drops of argan oil and jojoba oil. I use this like another other body lotion. I love Soapwalla deodarant. On weekends (usually on Saturdays) I sometimes pour few drops of khus oil (also called vetiver essential oil) on my filled tub. This gives a unique aroma and leaves your skin pleasntly smelling. I never step out without a suncreen and use Biotique Carrot Face & Body Sun Cream, which has carrots and natural oils, as my sun protector.
I apply few drops of argan oil as a primer and use the Vapour Organic Beauty Atmosphere Luminous Foundation and wear a kohl from Physicians Formula, which is organic. I use Josie Maran’s Color Stick on my lips and cheeks as blush. I do not use any styling products for my hair and never blow dry or iron it.
So, who’s game to try some crushed up green gram? And how about that turmeric trick?! Intrigued? Thank you for sharing, Archana!
Image of Gayatri Devi via. Devi was the princess of Jaipur and a successful politician too. “A perfect blend of beauty, class and brains!”
Hey all! Hope you are still enjoying these AM routines as much as we are. Please keep submitting if you haven’t yet! Today’s comes to us from Naomi, who is still using a product from the Quarterly subscription (yay!) and lots of other fun ones too… Read on!
Age: 39 (ouch!)
Current weather: schizophrenic! NYC trying desperately to molt into spring
Hair: chin length, fine, fairly straight dirty blonde without highlights but currently sun-kissed blonde (with highlights)
Skin: Fair-to-medium complexion, pernickety temperament – still experiencing a dose of winter dryness but currently pretty clear and smooth, just needing extra care and moisturising
Naomi is a regular around these parts, and Siobhan even had the pleasure of meeting her once at an event in New York. Herewith, her awesome routine!
In the shower…
Quick hair wash with California Baby Tea Tree shampoo (every week or two I use Ctonics Tantra shampoo for flakes) followed by a light condition with Suki conditioner. I use Clarisonic on my face (and sometimes décolleté) with Wei Beauty Chinese Rose Foaming Cleanser. Pits & bits get a wash with soap, currently using the one that came in my first Quarterly box (one personal care item that’s soooo easy to keep clean!). Every couple of weeks I do a full body scrub with one of the 100% Pure scrubs (not a purchase, it was free when I bought products a while back). When I don’t have a body scrub product (which I don’t tend to buy, I only use them if they came with something else) I use a body brush or the equivalent with a bit of my soap
Outside the shower…
I use one of three serums: Suki targeted bio-brightening face serum; Kahina Giving Beauty serum (a fave!); or One Love Morning Glory (compliments of a recent NMDL Friday Deal – thanks!). Then I use either 100% Pure Organic Coffee Bean Caffeine eye cream or Origins GinZing Refreshing eye cream, depending on if I feel puffiness or dark circles are a problem. After that, I us either 100% Pure Organic Pomegranate Antioxidant Hydration SPF20 or (if I’m definitely not spending any time outside) Bee Yummy Skin Food. It’s Vive Sana Polar to Solar sunscreen if I’ll be spending any real time outside, like weekends. A couple of times I week I moisturise with either Evan Healy body oil or Acure Organics Cocoa Butter + CoQ10 body lotion. I put MJ’s Herbals arnica salve on any bruises, Kahina argan oil on any extra dry patches or eczema and every couple of weeks, on days I’m only running errands or not going out in public at all, I use Kahina argan oil as a treatment on my hair and leave it in until the next day’s shampoo. Every day in winter, or as little as possible in the good weather, I blow dry my hair.
I love RMS un-coverup. Sometimes, depending on how “good” my skin is, I use Vapour Organic Beauty Atmosphere Luminous Foundation. Then I like Revolution Organics Freedom Glow Beauty Balm as blush, RMS Beauty cream eye shadow in Solar or Lunar, Shu Uemura eyelash curler, Josie Maran mascara, Anastasia Perfect Brow pencil, Dior Lip Maximiser or RMS Beauty lip balm. Okay, so now I can really see why the Desert Island Challenge was too hard for me… :)
Ha! Is she awesome, or what?