Q: “If I came to your house and looked through your medicine cabinet and makeup bag, what would I find that would shock me?”
We get this question a lot, and we are always more than happy to answer it with complete candor because our approach to clean beauty has always been one that is inclusive and with an understanding that we all come to naturals at our own pace. This isn’t some kind of deliberate strategy we decided on—it’s how we feel and it’s how we behave. And yet when we say that we prefer the completely clean products we’ve switched to, almost without any exceptions, we’re telling the absolute truth. We hope that is clear.
Still, there are a few things I keep lying around—which is not to say I use them much—and I’m going to tell you what mine are, and why I still use them. Alexandra is going to do the same early NEXT WEEK (that’s the update: she needed a little more time on this), and we want YOURS in the comments. One thing I’d like to point out, though: None of these are things I use very often or over a large surface area.
1. My Chanel Rouge Coco lipstick
Reason: Because it makes my eyes pop in a way that no other lipstick, natural or not, can. It’s an organgey red, but not too orange, and actually really quite red, with maybe a bit of blue? I don’t know. I just know it looks great—especially on days when the rest of me doesn’t.
How often I use it: I wear it once a month, I’d say.
2. My CVS-brand topical antibiotic ointment
Reason: What can I say? I’m attached! I used to put this on any broken skin to help it heal quickly, but these days I barely use it. I have tea tree, manuka honey, and neem—great natural antibacterials, all—but it seems prudent to keep it handy, lest a child come over and step on a rusty nail or something.
How often I use it: Every couple of months.
3. A Degree antiperspirant in Shower Clean
Reason: There is no reason for me to still own this. Once I discovered Soapwalla deodorant (read all about it here and here), I stopped needing to cheat with industrial-strength antiperspirant on those days when I need to feel sure. It’s just not necessary, because the Soapwalla OUTPERFORMS Degree. Shyeah. Still, it sits on my desk at work. I don’t know.
How often I use it: Once a month or less when I forget to put on my Soapwalla or—gasp—lose it/run out.
4. Nars cream blush in Cactus Flower, which I use as a lipstick
Reason: I actually looked up the ingredients to this thing once and it scared the living daylights out of me, but the color is wonderful, kind of like the color of poppies (or cactus flowers, apparently) and until I find a naturals substitute, I will keep it handy for those days when I want that kind of a pop(py) on my pale face.
5. Clinique Mascara
Reason: Habit, and the awesome wand. I lose sleep over the why-can’t-my-favorite-naturals-brands-make-a-freaking-mascara-that-doesn’t-suck question, but I currently use 100% Pure’s mascara in navy (by accident) and I love it. It doesn’t bleed down my face when I cry and it only moves if I touch my eyes when I’m really, really sweaty (like, Jivamukti-for-two-hours-in-the-summer sweaty).
How often I use it: Maybe once a month, probably less—especially since it’s not even waterproof.
6. Some cheap brand of hairspray so toxic it could choke a baby
How often I use it: See above.
I alllllso would like to point out that the ones here I actually use are not about function, so much as aesthetics, which further proves that naturals work better than conventionals—they just don’t always have the prettiest red lipsticks.
And now you know all my dirty little secrets. Your turn!
Happy earth week something-something-something-about-how-every-day-is-earth-day, yes? Sure. But here’s a question we have been wanting to ask for some time, and before you answer, a rule:
Chances are everyone is going to say “both” but let’s eliminate that as an option and go with: What FIRST made you go clean? That second when it clicked and you said to yourself: I gotta clean up my act: What was the trigger? Was it concern for your health? Or concern about the planet?
Here, we’ll go first: As careful and thoughtful as we’ve always been about the environmental impact of our own behavior, the truth is for us, it was health (with a dash of political rage).
Your turn. Go!
Image (don’t ask, I’m just in a good mood today) via
You didn’t think we’d forget to include our first love, RMS, did you? It’s funny now to remember just how scared we were to switch to clean makeup when we were first writing the book. In fact, we wrote the Face and Makeup chapters last just to postpone this transition!
But I remember talking to Siobhan right after she interviewed Rose Marie Swift (the company’s founder) in New York, discovering RMS for the first time. She was giddy with excitement on the phone, and it marked a pivotal moment for us: We finally understood that everything was going to be okay—nay, better! If this was what natural makeup felt and looked like, we were ready to throw out our Nars at last. (Okay, maybe I’m being hyperbolic for storytelling purposes, we held onto our Nars for a while yet.)
The ‘un’ cover up in particular was a revelation to me, and it still is. Up until that point I’d been wearing mineral powder—pouffing like the best of them, just how they’d shown me to in the Bare Escentuals how-to video. There wasn’t really anything wrong with those minerals (though the over-zealous poufing part is a bad idea because of inhalation risk)—but as my skin got a little dryer, as I got a little older, I was starting to look awfully masky.
I still use minerals (these ones) but mostly for spot concealing, while the ‘un’ cover up is my go-to foundation. Many people don’t realize that this product is not just a concealer (the small container and rich pigment is deceptive). My favorite way to use it is to dab it around the center of my face—around my nose, on my chin, under my eyes—and then spread it outward. It’s very spreadable and you can control how opaque or translucent you want it (on good skin days I apply with a bit of moisturizer). And while it does even out skin tone, you never feel like it’s hiding your skin either—a testament to the good clean ingredients they use. And speaking of ingredients, here they are:
*Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, *Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, *Cera Alba (Beeswax), *Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, *Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Tocopherol(non-GMO), *Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) Extract, and may contain: [+/- Titanium Dioxide CI 77891, Iron Oxides CI 77492, CI 77491, CI 77499]
It’s available at Nubonau, Future Natural, RMS’s site, Spirit Beauty Lounge and elsewhere.
See? Food for the skin. Have you tried this RMS product?
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]
What’s your favorite tinted moisturizer?
I haven’t exactly hidden my love of honey—I pretty much mention its antibacterial wound-healing powers every chance I get. But, truth is, I only got turned onto its magic in earnest a few months ago…
See, back in May the lovely Simone invited me to join her at a natural beauty house party—yes, this is how we roll in Los Angeles—where guest speaker Dae Williams sat at the center of our cross-legged lady circle, expounded on the many benefits of natural ingredients, made us laugh, and made us blush. For real. Dae is what you’d call a character, and she takes her act on the road, peddling her lovely clean products and educating women about their bodies. A hippie after my own heart.
That’s where I first tried Dae’s honey face wash, which I immediately bought and fell in love with. Now that my bottle has run out though, I’ve been playing with my own version.
It sounds weird but you can essentially just wash with honey if you’re very sensitive and looking for a really gentle cleanse. Lately I’ve been adding a little baking soda to the mix for a subtle scrub—as in helps with circulation but doesn’t tear off your top layer of skin. This is what I do:
—One tablespoon raw organic honey
—Combine with one teaspoon baking soda in palm
—Rub together and then massage gently in circular motions on face
—Let sit for a minute (or don’t) then rinse thoroughly with warm or even cold water
If this is all sounding a little crunchy, consider this: Last week we were guests on Dr. Doris Day’s Sirius XM radio show, and even she—dermatologist to the stars (and Siobhan)—was going on about the benefits of using honey topically. It’s also popping up in some of our new favorite natural brands, but more on that another time…