Meet Alex, a young teacher trying to make a clean routine work on her teacher’s salary. Sounds like she’s doing awesome. Thanks for this super candid and awesome routine!
Profession: Teacher (Fourth grade…an awesome age but not easy!)
Weather: Hot, humid Central Florida. We do experience a nice cold front or two in the winter.
Hair: Long, fairly thick, wavy…straight…wavy, depends on the day! Oh, and very oily. The humidity is not my friend but what can you do?
Skin: Fair and pinkish, on the oily side. I tend to break out occasionally in random areas (usually stress-related). These breakouts have diminished since I’ve cleaned up my routine. I still tend to get your standard tiny blemishes in and around my t-zone and anywhere I consistently touch my face (horrible, very bad, no-good habit!)
Favorite Star: Meryl Streep. She has such an interesting beauty and way about her!
In the shower…
I start my morning with a nice slathering of raw organic honey on my face. I started using it about six months ago and it has surpassed any store-bought face wash I’ve used! I’ll occasionally mix in a bit of turmeric for some extra anti-bacterial and skin-brightening oomph. I know there are many amazing natural face washes out there but I’m loving the honey a little too much to venture just yet. Whole Foods sells their own awesome organic Wildflower honey for a very reasonable price. I let it sit on my face for a bit and then hop in the shower (if I remember and have a dose of patience, I’ll dry brush as well). I am currently washing my hair about every other day with Aubrey Organics Blue Chamomile shampoo and Honeysuckle Rose conditioner (conditioner first, then shampoo). I’m trying to scale it down to once or twice a week but I’m struggling! The grease-ball feeling is holding me back. That and my inability to create a halfway neat-looking updo (any tips for the uncoordinated?) I’m really wanting to try the Yarok shampoos and conditioners but the price tag is slowing the process…oh, teacher’s salary! I soap up with a Zum Bar…frankincense and myrrh is daydream-inducing but I really enjoy most of their scents. I’ve yet to try them all. When I shave, I’ll spread some conditioner on my legs. I like coconut oil for shaving but do not love rinsing my razor constantly. If I’m feeling crafty and self-indulgent, I’ll use a homemade coconut oil (virgin and organic) brown sugar, and lemon essential oil scrub. It smells like cake and leaves my skin pretty soft! I love a nice, long shower but do feel guilty about wasting water…such problems I have ;) I usually keep it under ten minutes but I give myself a reprieve on the weekends…ya gotta live!
Outside the shower…
For my face, I moisturize with pure organic rosehip seed oil that I get from a shop back home and a drop or two of essential oil. The rosehip seed oil is great for healing some signs of aging (forehead wrinkles, anyone?) and leaves my skin soft and a little glowy. Depending on my mood, I might use a drop of lavender, pine, rosemary, or tea tree essential oil. They pretty much all have skin-clearing, anti-bacterial properties so I usually choose based on what I feel like breathing in that morning. Pine should be used very carefully (it needs to be very diluted) as it is very strong. I love the scent, though! It makes me think of living in a charming treehouse in the middle of a redwood forest (my little tree-hugging, hippie fantasy). In fact, I recommend researching any essential oils before they’re used on your skin or taken internally. They can be extremely powerful (I liken them to any topical or ingested medication). Again, if I have the patience, I’ll slather on some coconut oil but I’ve started to look for some clean body lotions that might make that part of my routine more enjoyable. Any suggestions for a truly clean and affordable brand? As you can tell, patience is not a virtue that I’ve yet to possess…I’m hoping a little bit of yoga and meditation might help but I don’t have the patience to start! ;) I’m in the market for a sunscreen…because I don’t use one…because I’m lazy! I want to break the cycle, so all recommendations are welcome. I’m willing to pay a decent price, I just worry about residue and pore-clogging. However, I’m ready to get serious about protection!
About a year ago, I noticed how dependent I was on make-up. I felt so incredibly insecure and unattractive when I didn’t wear it. After some self-reflection, I realized that this was unhealthy and decided to challenge myself to get the heck over it. So, I stopped wearing make-up…sorta. I continued to wear concealer to cover up blemishes and any darkness under my eyes. While I did feel a bit guilty about not fully going for the gold, I knew I was heading in the right direction. Eventually, I ran out of concealer and didn’t buy another! It’s been extremely liberating. I still love make-up but now I use it when I want something a little extra. I love a good cheek stain (I do not know of a clean one) and tinted lip balm! I currently use Burt’s Bees in Red Dahlia for a pop of color or Sprout’s peppermint balm for a bit of shine (it does not have a color). I’m looking forward to trying other tinted balms like Alima’s and Badger’s in the future. I’ll also get around to purchasing the RMS Living Luminizer (how could I not? You all rave!). I run a brush through my hair and walk out the door. Right now, I spritz on a bit of Lotus Wei’s Infinite Love before I get to work. I can’t say I always look put together but I also can’t say that I look too shabby! My students don’t seem to mind either way so, that’s a plus! It’s taken a while to accept my body and face as they are. Being kind to myself and discovering truly healthy and nurturing food, drink, and beauty care products brings me closer every day. I can’t say that I don’t want to crack my mirror in half on some mornings but, overall, I try to focus on all of the god-given beauty both inside and outside of me. There’s a lot to admire on this big, old planet and there’s nothing more gorgeous than a man, woman, or child who appreciates that with a big smile, a hearty laugh, and a good dose of compassion.
Meet Efe and her awesome and detailed morning routine! You had me at DIY flaxseed gel, Efe—a formula we wrote about in the book that I’ve always been meaning to try. Can you post your recipe in the comments? Also, any tips for hyperpigmentation? To the rest of you, we still have some awesome routines in our coffers, but we want moremoremore! If you’ve been meaning to send yours, get on it. xx
Hometown: New Jersey
Current weather: Sunny, bright and humid for the past couple of days.
Hair: My hair is jet-black, kinky coily/Afro-textured and 12 inches long.
Skin: My skin is dark brown with golden undertones. It is normal-to-dry and I rarely get any pimples (when I do they tend to lead to hyperpigmentation). I always get compliments on my radiant skin—some most decidedly awkward and some not.
Favorite star: Shingai Shoniwa
In the shower…
Every morning I hop into the shower, brush my teeth with Nature’s Gate Creme de Mint Natural Toothpaste and follow up with a bit of lip exfoliation. I cleanse my body with Dudu-Osun African black soap and an African net bath sponge. (My Grandmother brought for me from Nigeria. A similar bath sponge may possibly be purchased at an African grocery store). The Dudu-Osun soap smells awesome [citrus-y and fresh] and cleanses without stripping moisture away. The African net bath sponge exfoliates my skin gently and effectively (no body scrubs or loofahs for me!). I finish up my shower by thoroughly exfoliating the soles and heels of my feet with a pumice stone.
Outside the shower…
I massage unrefined shea butter or Shea Moisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Lotion into my damp skin. I love shea butter—the earthy smell, the feel of it, the way it makes my skin oh so soft, smooth and supple… *swoons.* I apply Crystal Essence Mineral Deodorant Roll-On in the Lavender and White Tea scent. Once a week, I shave my legs using Kiss My Face Fragrance-Free Moisture Shave and a Gillette Venus Sensitive Skin Disposable Women’s Razor. I can’t be bothered to do it more often…seriously. The shaving cream is quite nice–super creamy, extra moisturizing and little goes a long way. In the morning, I cleanse my face with Dudu-Osun soap, tone with my DIY Green Tea Toner (and a cotton pad) and moisturize with Aubrey Organics Rosa Mosqueta Rose Hip Moisturizing Cream. These products work perfectly for my skin. The Dudu-Osun soap is gentle and effective, my DIY Green Tea Toner works well (I even have some family members using it!) and the Aubrey Organics Moisturizing Cream makes my skin especially soft and smooth. At night, I repeat my morning routine and apply Now Foods Tea Tree Oil on any pimples with a cotton swab. Once a week I do a DIY Greek Yogurt Mask. It tightens, soothes and softens and my skin quite nicely. I don’t exfoliate as of right now but I’m looking into a soft yet effective facial brush for that purpose. I wash my hair every 5-7 days. On wash-and-style day I detangle/condition, cleanse, moisturize, set my hair in 16 braids, seal (apply oil to the ends of my braids and my hairline), air-dry for a day under a cute hat and style (braid-out, bun or updo). I wash-and-style my hair in the afternoon or at night and do everything except for outside of the shower. Here are a list of the hair care products I use— Shea Moisture Purification Masque, DIY Aloe Vera Gel/Castor Oil Hair Mask or Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (detangle/condition); Shea Moisture Moisture Retention Shampoo (cleanse); Alba Botanica Leave-In Conditioner + Shea Moisture Curl & Style Milk or Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque (moisturize); DIY Flax Seed Gel (for buns); Lily of the Dessert Aloe Vera Gel (detangle/condition) and Heritage Castor Oil (seal, detangle/condition). I love hair care and styling—it’s my favorite part of my “beauty” routine.
I wear very little make-up. First, I apply Burt’s Bees Lip Balm or EOS Sweet Mint Lip Balm to my lips. Then I fill in my eyebrows with Ecco Bella Soft Eyeliner Pencil in Velvet and apply Physician Formula Organic Wear Jumbo Lash Mascara in Ultra Black Organics. When I’m feeling extra glam, I do a cat eye eyeliner look using Suncoat Cosmetics Natural Liquid Eyeliner in Chic Black. I also sometimes use Alba Botanica Coconut Cream Clear Lip Gloss over my lip balm. I don’t wear perfume currently but I would like to. I’m looking into natural perfumes—I may try the vanilla extract tip that I read somewhere on this blog. As for nails, I always use a 3-free nail polish and an acetone-free nail polish remover for my weekly manicures. I am doing research into natural nail polishes. It’s a work in progress…much like everything in life.
Good morning everyone! Meet Andreína and her Alaffia…she is a huge fan of this brand! She also has some great tips–check out her DIY mask recipe. She’s a recent transplant to California, and is certainly making the coast even more lovely with her presence. Read on!
In the shower…
Outside the shower…
Thanks, Andre! Happy to hear you are happy :) Anyone else using Alaffia for the hair? Siobhan reviewed one of their conditioners awhile back here.
Happy Monday, everyone! Meet Stephanie and her sweet-as-honey routine. She swears by Manuka for her skin. She also has been getting a lot of mileage out of spiritbeautylounge sample items. Annnd..she makes her own (edible!) DIY brozer. Read on!
Current Weather: In the 70s-80s and humid-ish. I just moved home from the North so I am loving the warmer weather despite the humidity.
Hair: Long, brown, and sort of curly/wavy. Definitely not straight. The oiliness has become non-existent since my switch to natural products and reduction in showers. Which is great because it saves me a ton of time, I find showering to be a pretty grand and involved event in my life. 23 year old problems clearly.
Skin: I have always been acne prone :( I was on a strict regimen of prescription topical stuff which worked, but I got completely fed up with how dry they left my skin. Right now, I just got off birth control but things are still OK. Residual scarring and the odd small breakout are all I have to worry about now with no dryness!
Favorite Star: Miranda Kerr. Was she already chosen? I just love her values and personality! Image via
Before the shower…
I try to do oil pulling with coconut oil (I use the nutiva brand) which is an ayervedic technique that consists of swishing the oil in my mouth for twenty minutes then rinsing with warm salt water. It’s hard to last the full twenty, but I’ve found it is a great way to naturally whiten the teeth and make my whole mouth/gums feel supple and healthy. I will then usually eat breakfast and workout and also take some skin supplements which I thought could be applicable. I take fish oil or flax seed oil, black current oil and evening primrose oil which are GLAs which are supposed to be beneficial for skin and regulating female stuff as well as Indole-3-Carbinol which I saw was recommended in an article for women coming off the pill again to regulate hormones. I also only brush my hair before I shower with a wide toothed comb.
In the shower…
I’ve usually had a Wedderspoon Manuka Honey 16 strength mask on my face for at least half an hour before my shower and leave it on until the end (this was inspired by Siobhan) which I use as a facial cleanser. If I don’t have time to do a mask I will use the Tata Harper cleanser or the Dr Alkaitis cleanser I have from the samples I purchased on spiritbeautylounge. I like them both and find them super gentle, but prefer the manuka for its anti-acne fight. Manuka honey/honey in general for the face has been a godsend for my skin! Next I shampoo with either Desert Essences lemon and tee tree shampoo for oily hair or Alaffia neem shampoo (both of which I like and find wash away build-up, which was my biggest difficulty when looking for a natural shampoo) followed by either John Masters Lavender and Avocado Intensive Conditioner, the John Masters Honey and Hibiscus conditioner, or the Alaffia neem conditioner. I have recently begun washing my body and shaving with Moksa soap in Abbey Road. It smells amazing, is gentle (I loved Dr. Bronners tea tree bar soap, but then it become too harsh for my skin) and the company is amazing and donates to so many great charities! After that I may spray my hair with the Aubrey organics Nustyle Organic Detangler and Shine Booster (which smells like limes) as a heat protectant or Intelligent Nutrients leave-in conditioner which kind of makes me smell like a pizza, but I like it anyways. (Ed. Note: Pizza?!?!?! We need more info on this! Ha!) Then I wrap my hair up in a t-shirt which I’ve also heard is better to prevent frizz and keep curls intact.
Outside the shower I don’t really towel off because I find the extra moisture super beneficial for the rest of my routine. I spray my face with the Acure Organics Rose toner for oily skin which I LOVE it smells so good especially after reading that article about rose scents on here, then I mix my beloved Aubrey Organics aloe vera with whatever moisturizer is tickling my fancy. I use the aloe because it is such a great base to cut/preserve products which we know can be quite expensive. As I mentioned, I purchased the sample packs of Tata Harper and Dr Alkaitis so I basically pick and choose which moisturizer I feel like mixing in with my aloe. At the moment, I love the Tata Harper Serum and the Dr Alkaitis soothing gel and nourishing oil. Both companies products smells sooooo good and honestly make my skin look so plump and incredible. I never thought I would be able to treat myself to such luxurious moisturizers during my prescription days; it has been one of my greatest revelations of going natural! After that I spray my body with a DIY toner of Aloe Vera gel by Lily of the Valley (which is edible quality that I sometimes add to my drinks) and Witch Hazel followed by a DIY combination of coconut, argan, and jojoba oil, my Acure Organics unscented lotion, or my Bubble and Bee or Moksa body butter. I’m really into body moisturizers. Or moisturizing in general.
As far as makeup goes, I probably wear it once or twice a week and try to keep it really simple. Again, I am all about the samples! I recommend it because they are all quite sizable and I have yet to run out of one and repurchase. I use the Vapour organics concealer on my eyelids and the Alima Pure satin matte foundation on my under eyes and any other imperfections. I line my upper water line with Korres brown eyeliner, apply RMS living luminizer to my eyelids, brow bone, cheekbones, nose, and cupid’s bow and have been loving revolution organics in blush for my cheeks! I also love RMS lip2cheek in Modest. I sometimes finish that up with a DIY bronzer made of cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa powder, and some other stuff and 100% mascara in black tea as well as my Bubble and Bee lip balm in pomegranate or my Badger Organic cocoa butter lip balm in cocoa.
Thanks, Stephanie! I’m having a hard time not making a “good enough to eat” pun about this routine…
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?