Meet Carla! She has a lovely routine, but got there the hard way. Can anyone relate to her experience with facials? We love her tips, especially her lazy girl version of oil cleansing—sounds so relaxing!

Name: Carla

Age: 30

Hometown: San Jose, California

Weather: Crisp, dry and sunny

Skin: Pale with yellow undertones

Hair: Thick, long and brown

Starlet: Lupe Vélez – the Mexican spitfire

I became obsessed with skincare when I had a bout of hormonal acne after getting on and off the pill in college. I tried everything from micro-dermabrasion to eating salmon everyday all in hopes of having clear skin. The more I visited my esthetician for glycolic acid peels and deep pore facials the worse my skin looked. I always felt horrible after a facial and resigned myself to hide for a week in its aftermath. There had to be a better, cheaper and more natural way.

The silver lining of unemployment is how inventive one can get on a budget. I ditched all the products with harsh, stripping ingredients, sugar and dairy and embraced simple skincare products and vegetables. My skin has never looked better. It’s been six years now but I no longer get facials or peels, use face wash or hide because of a break out. So for any girl out there suffering with hormonal acne, I hope my daily routine helps.

On a winter morning, I splash my face with lemon water. I found that using filtered water on my face has made it smoother and less dry. Then I spray it with some Evan Healy rose water tonic and apply DeVita Solar Protective in SPF 30 with Hyaluronic Acid on my face and neck. This brand is light, doesn’t leave a white mask and keeps skin plump and moist. If the weather is very dry, I use a moisturizer as well. I still haven’t found an ultimate winner but my fall back is MyChelle’s Unscented Pumpkin Renew Cream. It leaves skin moisturized all day and absorbs well for make up. Finally I apply MyChelle Magnolia Fresh Eyes. It’s more for those with puffy eyes than those who need something to combat wrinkles. After I have a warm cup of lemon water with a bit of cayenne. I make some blend of green juice like celery, cucumber, beet, lemon, fennel and cilantro. I also take Udo’s Choice probiotic and Green Pasture Blue Ice Fermented Cod Liver Oil/Butter Blend capsule. In combination, both have done wonders for my skin tone and healing of old scars.

I don’t use make up everyday but when I do I use Well People Foundation Concealer around the eyes and nose, very natural coverage that blends easily. Then I apply Mineral Fusion Loose powder. It does have Phenoxyethanol but it has such a beautiful creamy coverage, so I use it anyway. I use Alima loose matte blush in Mimosa year round, a lovely pink that brings a natural flush to your cheeks. Alima makes the nicest make up brushes too. My favorite black eye pencil is Mineral Fusion in Coal. It goes on smoothly and is super dark. Most days I just curl my lashes and leave it at that but when I want to be fancy I use the Kjaer Weis mascara. I also use Kjaer Weis Cloud Nine as an eyeshadow base and am very happy with the subtle sparkle. Finally for lips, my new favorite color is Well People Universalist multi-use colorstick in No.6. It’s a golden red and looks perfect topped with Well People Paganist 2 Gold Twinkle. My lip balm is Acure Dark Chocolate and Mint argan oil lip balm, it does its job, is affordable and clean.

I never got into bathing in the morning so when my day is over I dry brush. Then I take a mineral bath with Dead Sea salt for magnesium and Aztec Secret Healing bentonite clay. These ingredients balance the tap water so it is not so harsh on the skin. I use a very diluted mixture of Dr. Bronners soap and wash with an Ayate fiber body cloth. I have skin that likes to be exfoliated often because I have keratosis pilaris on the back my arms and legs. I wash my hair 1 to 2 times a week with Acure Argan oil Shampoo and Conditioner. I’ve tried other expensive brands and this one is still the best for my thick and wavy hair that tangles easily. If I have had a pretty chill day, I don’t shower or bathe save the necessary places, a whore bath they call it. It has helped my skin retain moisture.

I do a lazy girl version of oil cleansing. I pour some olive or coconut oil in my hands and massage my face while filtered water is boiling in the kettle. Sometimes I add lemon juice or baking soda to the oil for gentle exfoliation. Then I pour the water onto a face towel and steam twice then wipe off the excess. I leave a little to moisturize and I am done. If I don’t use make up I sometimes don’t wash my face at all. Since I fuss with my skin less it’s clearer and calmer than it has ever been. About three times a week I massage a jojoba oil frankincense blend or Evan Healy Pomegranate Repair Serum with Sea Buckthorn oil. Always making sure to massage up and out and a circular motion around my mouth. When I camp or go on a trip I only take coconut oil for my beauty needs. A miracle.

Thank you Carla and everyone else who submitted routines over the last week! We can’t wait to share them all!

Name: Susannah Compton

Age: 33

Where I live: Washington, D.C.

My relationship with makeup: Complicated. I grew up in an area of the country (Texas and Oklahoma) where women wear a lot of makeup from a very young age. I remember a time when I wouldn’t be caught dead without mascara on my pale lashes. I’ve been on the east coast for nearly a decade now, where women have a very different relationship with makeup. I’ve worked with many women here who never wear it. I’ve reached a point where I’m very comfortable leaving the house bare-faced, but I love the clean, natural stuff I’ve discovered so much that I don’t want to be without some of it. I’m terrible at applying eye makeup, so I experiment more with my cheeks and most with my lips. I’ve always been drawn to the natural, beach babe look—glowing, minimal color in just the right places.

Here’s what’s currently in my makeup bag:

Complexion and SPF Protection: I use either Juice Beauty CC Cream (haven’t we said it all about this baby?) or Jane Iredale PurePressed Mineral Foundation in Warm Sienna. Both contain sunscreen. The Jane Iredale PurePressed Mineral Foundation is a bit more polished looking with better coverage, though not heavy. The color match is great for me and there are a lot of options. Before buying, I called Jane Iredale’s customer service and their lovely representative helped me select a few possible color matches and then sent me samples to try before deciding which to purchase. Amazing! For perfect coverage, I apply it with the flocked sponge, sold separately but completely worth it.  Setting the foundation with a hydrosol brings the finish to life, and it lasts all day.

Concealer: Sometimes I’m all like, yeah I’m gonna rock the dark circles under my eyes like it’s heroin chic and I don’t give a hoot…but really…I just look tired. I have mixed feelings about concealer. The thing is, I kind of want to break up with concealer altogether. I only need it under my eyes, but even my favorites settle into fine lines (looking at you RMS). More and more, wearing concealer just looks too obvious. Does anyone else feel this way? For now, I’m just dipping a small brush into Alima Pure Mineral Concealer in Sand, tapping off the excess powder, and swiping it directly under my lower lash line where my eyes are particularly red. It’s too dry of a look for the entire under eye area, but this little trick alone has done wonders to brighten my eyes.

Cheek Color: A few months ago I started using the ILIA multi-stick in tenderly. This pale pink is the most flattering shade of blush I’ve ever used, period. It’s the perfect tone—not too cool, not too warm. It looks incredibly natural on, and it lasts for most of the day. During the recent NMDL + Nubonau promotion I bought the new RMS Buriti Bronzer, but I regretted the purchase almost immediately. Cream bronzer? What was I thinking? When I opened the pot to find a color that looked more mauve than bronze, I felt certain it was a bad purchase. But then I tried it on. Hello new favorite thing in my makeup bag! The Buriti Bronzer gives the most natural sun-kissed glow. It blends in effortlessly, even on top of powder. Tenderly + Buriti together are a pretty magical combination.

Eyeshadow: Most often, I swipe some RMS in Solar on my lids and call it a day. This is the one RMS eyeshadow that stays put. I’m not sure why, but the texture is less oily than the others. I have big blue eyes, which sounds good on paper, but since they are such a prominent feature, it’s actually awkward to apply eye makeup without looking way overdone. Or perhaps it’s just that I never learned to create a “look” with eye makeup. Smoky eye? More like black eye.

Mascara: The good news—I found a clean mascara that performs like a dirty mascara on my lashes: Pure Anada Natural Mascara. It volumizes for real and lasts all day, no flakes or smudges. Seriously, this is the best clean mascara I’ve tried. The bad news—I’m really hooked on a dirty mascara: Clinique Lash Power Mascara. This is one of those “tubing” mascaras that looks fresh all day long, but the thing that keeps me coming back for more is the way it washes off. With warm water, it slides off your lashes in little strips rather than smearing all over your eye area like other mascaras. This means I don’t have to tug at delicate skin to remove all traces of makeup.

Lip color: Lately, my favorites are Tata Harper’s Be Adored tinted lip treatment, W3LL People Nudist Colorbalm Stick in #1, and ILIA Beauty lip gloss in Gypsy. Have you tried Tata Harper’s lip treatments? I love Be Adored for its effortless application, incredible moisture, and perfect rosy tint. It’s plumping and anti-aging, plus it leaves a nice stain of color that lasts. W3LL People’s Nudist #1 is a more subtle coral color that is hydrating and provides a barely-there, my lips but better look. ILIA’s lip gloss in Gypsy is very on trend this fall, but this one takes more effort. It’s a lovely deep color, and it isn’t sticky like some lip glosses. However, it’s so glossy that it tends to bleed. To help control the application and boost the color, I like to apply it over DeVita absolute LIPS in Sanguine Angel. I’ve been impressed with DeVita’s lipstick. Though I’ve only tried one, the texture, wear, and color are fantastic.

Etc: There are two things I also consider essential in my makeup bad—a natural perfume and a mutli-purpose balm. I am madly in love with Tsi-La Organics Kesu Perfume Oil. It’s warm and seductive, plus the tiny roll-on bottle travels well without leaking.  My go-to balm is Badger Organic Baby Balm with Chamomile and Calendula. This stuff makes a killer lip balm and soothes any dry spot on your body. Plus, the scent of chamomile is so relaxing.

That’s it! Now, anyone want to teach me how to apply eyeshadow?

Meet Caitie, a natural beauty blogger who shares our passion for great clean products!

Name: Caitie

Age: 25

Hometown: Toronto, ON, Canada

Current Weather: Moody—hot and humid one day, cool the next.

Hair: Curly and very prone to frizz.  I’ve happily found products that keep it under control, but when I deviate, bad, pouffy things happen!

Skin: Pretty normal.  I struggled with acne until about 21, but since then, my skin has been fairly easygoing.  It can be a little sensitive at times, but generally my biggest skin concerns are pores that I wish were less visible, and a couple fine lines on my forehead.

Icon: I’m not sure I have one!  But, let’s go with Amanda Seyfried.  I don’t see it, but ever since Mamma Mia came out, I regularly have strangers come up to me and tell me how much I look like her.  It’s very strange…

The night before…

I take my makeup off with jojoba oil and then double cleanse with some kind of cleanser.  I’ve been looking for a new one and trying out a few different ones in the meantime, but none seem quite right.  I like Pretty’s Black Tea and Raw Cocoa Cleansing Grains and Weleda’s Soothing Almond Cleansing Lotion, but I’m not convinced either of them gets my skin clean enough to use just it, all the time.  After cleansing, I use a homemade witch hazel toner, and follow with KYI’s Argan + Vitamin C Serum, which is a light oil, but still very hydrating.  I’ve actually noticed an improvement in the lines on my forehead in the two months or so I’ve been using it.  I also use Pure + Simple’s Eye Brightening Cream, which is great for dark circles, but not quite as effective for puffiness.

In the morning…

About once a week, I mix up a homemade clay mask and apply that about 10 minutes before jumping in the shower.  When I remember, I’ll also do a quick dry brush.  On days when I don’t do a mask, I like to use a face scrub in the shower – either Devita’s Gentle Aloe Scrub or Sukin’s Revitalizing Facial Scrub (which contains phenoxyethanol but is otherwise very clean).  Next, I wash my hair with Acure’s Moroccan Argan Oil + Argan Stem Cell Shampoo and leave the matching conditioner on until the very end of my shower.  I change body washes all the time, but right now I’m using Nourish’s Almond Vanilla, which is lovely and creamy, and smells like decadent cake batter.  On shaving days, I use Desert Essence’s Fragrance Free Conditioner, which I hated on my hair, but which works surprisingly well as a shaving cream.

Outside of the shower…

If I don’t deal with my hair while it’s very wet, it frizzes up, so after quickly toweling off, the first thing I do is apply Aura Cacia’s Organic Argan Oil, focusing it mainly on my ends.  Then, I scrunch with either Yarok’s Feed Your Roots Mousse or Intelligent Nutrients’ Styling Gel.  Both control frizz and define my curls, without leaving my hair sticky or crunchy.  Both also have mild scents, which I love since scented hair products usually start to drive me crazy midway through the day.  The Intelligent Nutrients gives a little more hold and makes for better second day hair, but either one is fine day to day.

On my face, I use my homemade witch hazel toner again, followed by Skin Essence’s Nourish Serum/Moisturizer and Pure + Simple’s Eye Brightening Cream.  I also moisturize my body with an unscented lotion.  Right now I’m using Seed’s Nourishing Body Lotion, but my favorite is Acure’s Cocoa Butter + CoQ10.

Finishing Touches…

I enjoy playing around with makeup, but my everyday look is pretty neutral.  Eye shadow varies day to day, but it’s usually a light, shimmery beige or gold on the lid and a medium brown or plum in the crease.  My favorite mascara is Zuzu Luxe’s Onyx, and while I don’t wear liner every day, when I do, it’s a pencil from either Honeybee Gardens or Benecos.  Lips are usually pretty subtle.  I like Badger’s lip balms (particularly the cocoa butter ones), Yes to Carrot’s Tinted Colorbalms, Vapour’s lip glosses, and a recent discovery, Ecco Bella’s FlowerColor lipsticks (Tuscany Rose is my favorite).  Most days I wear a powder foundation, either Honeybee Gardens’ Pressed Mineral Foundation or Lucy Minerals’ Lucy Light Foundation.  For a cream/liquid product, I’m a big fan of The All Natural Face’s Cream Foundation.  I also use Une’s Skin Glow Pencil and Silk Naturals’ Sleep in a Jar Concealer under my eyes.  My blush is usually from one of my homemade pressed palettes, which I made a couple months ago when I was feeling especially adventurous.  I top everything off with Lucy Minerals’ Light Finishing Powder, which blurs fine lines and imperfections and helps my makeup last longer.

Whew, sounds like a lot when you write it all out!  Overall, I’m pretty happy with my routine, but I’m still searching for a perfect cleanser and eye cream.  Any suggestions are very welcome!

Meet fellow clean beauty blogger, Cindy! We bet she smells really nice thanks to the essential oil based products she likes and her cool deodorant trick.

Name: Cindy

Age: 41

Hometown: Midland Park, NJ but currently in southern California

Hair: shoulder length, naturally wavy but frizzy, color treated blonde.

Skin: aging, combination

Starlet: When I was not into toxic free beauty it was Marilyn Monroe. Now that I am into healthy products, I love Francoise Hardy for her simple style and seemingly effortless beauty. She’s gorgeous as a young woman and has aged well.

First thing…

Brush teeth with Tom’s of Maine whitening toothpaste. Some gentle stretches, coffee with coconut milk, Brown Rice bread with coconut oil and a little organic Peanut Butter. If I have time I drink my coffee while watching the previous nights BRAVO TV show. I have to ease into my day, I’m not a morning person. If I have pimples, I apply May Lindstrom’s The Problem Solver and leave it on for forty minutes.

In the shower…

Oh how times have changed. Before going natural, I was using all kinds of random products that I received to review on my beauty site Hello Dollface. Now I keep it super simple with Osmia Organics Black Clay facial soap for my face. I use a muslin cloth sprinkled with lavender oil to gently remove the face oil or serum from the night before. On my body I either use Osmia Organics Milky Rose soap, or Dr. Woods black soap. I wash my hair with Acure Organics Shampoo and follow up with their conditioner.

Out of the shower…

I apply Skin & Bones Luxurious Moisturizer. I love the scent of this and use it sparingly! I apply The Honest Company sunscreen on my arms, neck and chest. For the face, I use Marie Veronique’s Everyday Coverage Spf 30, followed by Pur Minerals Dark Spot Corrector and if I need extra help, I dab on Vapour Organic foundation (I like the liquid one). I cover dark eye circles with Afterglow Eye Treatment Concealer. Additional eye cream (from Acure Organics) as needed.

For blush, I love W3ll People Universalist color stick and RMS Beauty Lip 2 Cheek. Sometimes I use one from Tarte but that’s not as clean as I’d like it to be. Eyes are lined with W3ll People black eyeliner. Eyeshadow is BareMinerals—recently I’ve been using their new READY palette. I never leave home without mascara! A good natural one is Zuzu Luxe, it works so well! So does 100% Pure.

For lips, I like the strawberry gloss from Bee Naturals or lipstick from DeVita, Red Apple or Afterglow.

I use Trader Joe’s deodorant with a little baking soda over my arm pits which do an A+ job of keeping me sweat and smell free. I keep the baking soda in a round container, sprinkle in lavender or rose essential oil and apply with a kabuki brush.

Back when I was oblivious to the toxins in personal care products, I’d liberally spray perfume. Now I have a natural sandalwood fragrance I dab on pulse points. I also like Ava Anderson’s perfume oil, Joy.

I use the curly girl method of doing my hair—dab with a cotton tee shirt, allow to air dry a little. I spray in some Acure Leave-in Conditioner, blow dry a little then add John Masters Dry Hair Nourisher and De-frizzer. I haven’t found an all natural hairspray yet so I use Redken.

It sounds like a lot but I can be out the door in about thirty minutes! You should see my night time routine…

Thank you Cindy and thank you readers for responding to our call for more routines! We have more great ones the way!

Happy Friday, everyone! Meet Elena, whose nice-and-simple routine kind of made me feel a little bit calmer just by reading it. She would kick ass at the desert island challenge. Her routine strikes a great balance between using fun, clean products, and still keeping it fairly simple. Awesome!

Name: Elena
Age
: 25
Current weather
: Currently in Toronto, Canada (cold humid winters, hot humid summers). In the past year lived in Thailand, Haiti, New York – this rocked my world, but my skin was not too pleased.
Hair
: Baby fine and pretty greasy
Skin
: Really fair, no freckles, burns semi-easily then tans. Lately my skin has become super dry. I actually don’t think this is the fault of the harsh winter, but (gasp) of aging :(

In the shower…

Not much.

I just started my second attempt at going shampoo free. Last summer I cleaned my hair with baking soda for about a month, but then gave up. I am giving this another go because I find that my fine hair gets weighed down by even the cleanest shampoos. This time around, I will be trying to do the baking soda thing at much longer intervals (I used it every three days in the summer), hoping that this will restore the oil balance of my scalp. Fingers crossed. For now, my hair so greasy that my father asked me at the dinner table why I hadn’t blow dried my hair!

Otherwise, a razor and Dr. Bonner’s for basic hygiene. Rarely any shower gel on my body. Ditto for moisturizer, except for my hands in the winter. Right now I am using a hand cream from Japan. I am pretty sure it’s not clean, but it’s Japanese and I love almost everything from that land! (OK, I got to admit that I am transitioning to a green routine so I still use some not clean products. However, I vow to purchase a clean hand salve for next winter. I used to use L’Occitane in the past—I think it’s semi-green?)

Outside the shower…

I don’t wash my face in the morning. Sometimes a splash of water, sometimes not. At night I cleanse my face with an oil. Right now I am using almond oil, but I’ve used avocado in the past. Sometimes I use the oil as a moisturizer for my face as well. My non-clean moisturizer is Avene Hydrance Optimale Riche (5 on EWG scale). I will be tossing it once it is finished. And I have already started exploring green options. I already zeroed in on some Weleda creams. I love Weleda! It reminds me of the European products we had in our bathroom growing up.

I always, always wear sunscreen! This has been the one constant in my skincare routine for 6-8+ years now. Unfortunately, like the rest of my routine, I have only recently realized that La Roche Posay SPF 60 I was using might have been doing more harm than good. I would always break out on my forehead from all of the sunscreens I have ever tried. And let me tell you, I have gone through my fair share of them. I discarded American drugstore ones a long time ago and have stuck with French Lab picks from Vichy, Avene, and the aforementioned La Roche Posay. While I would always start out loving the product, I would inevitably break out on my forehead a few weeks down the road. I started doing my research and realized that this might be a result of all the chemicals in my sunscreen. So I went physical and I love it! Current sunscreen is from DeVita. It’s an SPF 30 (19% zinc oxide) with hyaluronic acid. It is supposed to be quite moisturizing, but the cream’s texture is actually very light and airy. It seeps into my skin like a dream and makes it velvety smooth. I think that it is light enough to use for combination skin as well. It also doesn’t smell at all like a sunscreen, which is a plus for me. Hey, smell is important!

Depending on the season and the current condition of my skin I will use the Lavera Wild Rose moisture mask once/several times a week. I am not a rose person, so I find the scent quite strong, but the mask does a great job at bringing hydration back to my skin.

Finishing touches…

No leave-ins or other styling products for my hair. I usually let it air dry. It’s pretty-low maintenance (except for the greasy-part that seriously gives me the urge to shampoo every night)—no fly aways, no frizz.

Deodorant, currently Green Beaver in Citrus. Green Beaver is great Canadian brand. Their body sunblock is amazing and cheap!  This deodorant smells really good, if you are into citrusy smells, that is. I also have the Soapwalla one. While I prefer the latter, when I am in a rush and don’t want to get my fingers dirty I just use the Green Beaver stick.

Makeup-wise, it varies a lot. Most of the days it’s just a slick of lipstick (100% Pure in Seduce is a nice neutral coral color for light-skinned girls). I also like the Josie Maran argan oil multipurpose color stick. I use it on lips, cheeks and lids. Yes, a pinkish hue looks amazing with hazel eyes. I actually got mine in a trial pack a few years ago, but I still have plenty of product left.

I have a non-clean mascara that I swear by: Lancome Hypnose. I haven’t even attempted to find a green version because it took me ages to find a chemically infused one that curled and lengthened while staying on for a full day without being a waterproof formula.

The few times that I do use makeup I turn to very dirty products. I know! And by makeup I mean some eyeliner and dusting of shadow. No powder, no foundation, no bronzer—I like the pale look. Perfume? Well I do use a green tea body spray from a french brand, doubt it’s clean, but it’s running out, so will probably go perfume free when that happens.

Overall, my routine is semi-green but I am committed to going green all the way. The items I look forward to trying next: Ilia lipsticks, green green tea perfume (haha!), and RMS uncover-up!

Three cheers! Thanks, Elena!

Image of Anna Karina via (Jean-Luc Godard’s wife and the star of many of his films)