One of our readers has gone to Paris and wants to explore the clean beauty scene à la française. So help us out with this one because we know you’re worldly and well-informed, or maybe you are reading from Paris yourself and you know just where to send dear Paige. Here’s her request:

“I love your website and really value it as a site for shared experiences as well as a guide to different products/approaches/concerns. Thank you!

My husband and I just landed in Paris for a 3-month artist residency, and I’m wondering if you and your readers might have guidance about clean French brands to check out. My current routine includes Chidoriya, Evan Healy, EarthtuFace, Kahina, and 100% Pure, but I’d love to see what the French have! Would love any help from you and the NMDL community!”

We want to know what the French have, too! Tell us in the comments s’il te plaît. Merci et bisous!

There’s kind of an unspoken theme among clean beauty enthusiasts: wash your hair as infrequently as possible. It’s almost like it’s a goal we aspire to, something that earns you bragging rights if you can actually manage to get your hair and scalp to a happy place while only washing every few days. Of course, I speak from the perspective of a woman with fine hair that gets oily if you look at it the wrong way. Some of you, like Alexandra, have the kind of hair that begs not to be washed. (You lucky things!)

When we wash and how we wash ultimately depends on two factors: your hair type and the products you use. One of those is completely out of your control; the other is all about trial and error. This can be a slow, frustrating, and expensive process. That’s why we cherish this community and your comments on the subject! Help a sister out, right? We got an email from Leticia, a “confused reader” who has been following the blog, reading through all the advice on cleaning up your hair routine, and has a very valid question for us all: but why? Take a look at what she has to say:

I have been following your blog for a little while now… really wanting to move all of my products to “clean” ones but do it slowly and not break the bank! So I thought I’d look through your site and see what others are using. After reading through several routines, I started noticing that people aren’t shampooing very often; or they only shampoo their scalp and condition their ends; or they only condition every couple days; and what’s with the oils I’m seeing people putting in their hair and leaving overnight?? I love reading through the routines, but I guess I am just wishing they would say WHY they do what they do, you know?

I generally shampoo and condition every other day with dirty products… does this mean it will change as I use clean ones? How will I know? Why would you only shampoo your scalp and not the rest of your hair? And why not condition all of your hair? Doesn’t the conditioner replace what you stripped out with the shampoo? Or does the “stripping” not occur with clean products? Do you have a good resource that may talk about some of the why’s behind our products, not just products themselves?

Girl, we totally understand! You’re not the first reader to seek similar advice, but the whole question about why we do the things we do could be incredibly valuable in helping someone understand which advice might be best suited to their hair type and personal needs. And who better to explain than YOU, dear readers. So let’s hash it out in the comments, shall we?

What’s your hair routine? Do you shampoo? Condition? Apply oils? Let us know WHY your routine works for you!

We love that many of our clean beauty products are packaged in beautiful glass bottles. It adds a glamorous touch to our routines, but glass has its challenges—like breakage!

A dear reader named Katy asked us about traveling with glass bottles, so we wanted to kick it to you all, naturally! Here’s what Katy has to say…

As my clean product arsenal has increased, so has my collection of items glass containers.  How do you travel without your products breaking?  If possible I like to avoid decanting into plastic because a) its plastic and b) you always lose a little of your precious product when you do so.  I’ve done well so far, the only breaks have been unfortunate meetings with bottles and my tile bathroom floor, but I’m ever wary of traveling with my potions.  So far, I travel with a hard sided train case and I divide things up into little cosmetic bags. It limits the glass on glass connections (and looks beautiful on the vanity of anywhere I’m staying).  How do you travel?

Are most of your products in glass containers? How do you travel without busting those gorgeous glass bottles? Let us know!


Happy Friday Deal From Kahina Giving Beauty!

Aww, yeah!

Our old favorites are back in time for the holidays, and not a minute too late. I, for one, have simultaneously run out of my brightening serum, toning mist (more here), and cleanser, all of which I swear by for everyday use. And, really, I’m not sure there’s anything I want more for Christmas than the things I depend on daily to keep me feeling (and, OK, looking) my best.*

Some reasons we love the products, if you’re new to Kahina Giving Beauty: The line is incredible. Their products have been in my bathroom and on my vanity for more than three years now, and there are a few good reasons why. First, the products are gentle enough for my very sensitive skin. Second, they’re so full of natural actives that you get the satisfaction of knowing, because of what you see in the mirror and how your skin feels, that they work. Finally, they’re pleasant to share. Men like them because they’re unisex and unfussy but get the job done. Our moms like them because they’re appropriate for more mature skin, too. Our friends like them because they give them a taste of luxury and high-performance without being frou-frou or gimmicky.

Simply put: They work. And like a great friend or partner, they’re reliable and they make you feel good, day in, day out.

Without being over the top, I’d like to add: I’m also wild about the eye cream and the mask and the argan oil soap trio. They’re also selling these unpredictably chic pouf necklaces (I have one of those, too). They make boring outfits pop and attract compliments from the most unlikely people, like cranky strangers on the train.

So with that said, this Friday we’re delighted to share a very merry Kahina site-wide deal. It’s simple: A generous 15% off your purchase. The code is nondenominationally charming: HAPPYMERRY. And the deal lasts until next Thursday at midnight.

What are you getting? I hope my pals and mom aren’t reading this, because I think I just gave away what’s going in their stockings.

* K, maybe there are a few things, but they’re not the kind of things I would print here. Womp!


Five Foundations We Love, Part 4

Part four of our foundation series is here, and we think you’ll like this one a lot. To recap: We’ve already told you about a stick foundation that wears like real skin, our favorite loose powder and a liquid we find truly dreamy. Now we’re going to tell you about a tinted moisturizer (everyone loves tinted moisturizer!) from a brand that’s been something of a mainstay in the naturals world for some time: Suki!

Suki Tinted Active Moisturizer

Tinted moisturizer is a pretty genius invention—the perfect product for a girl who, like me, doesn’t like to wear a lot of makeup, cares about sun protection (not that it’s enough on its own…), and loves hydration. Now, I’ve been eying Suki foundation at Whole Foods for a couple of years so I was happy to finally get my paws on a bottle of this SPF 15 tinted lotion.

One pump from the bottle is actually more than enough, so I try to do a half-pump onto the back of my hand, and then apply it on top of, or mixed together with, a moisturizer, with my fingers. It disappears into the skin more than any other liquid I’ve used, but still has an evening-out effect that I like—so I know it’s doing something. I never reapply foundation throughout the day (concealer? another story) but I do think that if you’re someone looking for a lot of coverage that lasts, this probably isn’t for you.

For people looking to just add a little glow of hydration and some color, you’ll love it! Also, it contains a touch of willowbark, which is great for clogged pores. Oh, and it’s clean, of course. Here’s the ingredient list:

organic roses (rosa centifolia) infused in filtered water (aqua/eau), organic sunflower seed (helianthus annuus) oil, 100% natural beeswax (cera alba), organic grapeseed (vitis vinifera), jojoba seed (simmondsia chinensis), hazelnut (corylus americano) & borage (borago officinalis) oils, cetearyl alcohol, organic fair trade shea butter (butyrospermum parkii), standardized white willow bark (salix alba) extract, food-grade non-gmo lecithin (lecithin), natural vitamin c (magnesium ascorbyl phosphate) & retinol (polypeptide liposomes) polypeptide liposomes, organic rose (rosa caninca) extract, food-grade xanthan (xanthan) & arabic (acacia catechu) gums, aroma (pure steam distilled essential oils), geraniol, linalool [may contain: titanium dioxide, iron oxides]

It’s available at natural beauty shops Juju Salon and Future Natural and elsewhere online, too.

What’s your favorite tinted moisturizer?