Since you’re here, I’m going to go ahead and assume that you probably like talking beauty—whether you’re fully clean or not.
From a very young age I was always obsessed with products and beauty rituals, and consumed women’s magazines with questionable gusto—from Sassy and Seventeen, to Allure, Harper’s Bazaar and Elle. I relished reading the beauty advice from the editors, as well as from the supermodels—I’m talking Linda, Naomi, and Christy days here—and celebrities they interviewed.
But the magazines have changed, haven’t they? And so have the celebs. It just feels harder and harder to buy that they’re ever offering up an unbiased review, and not just helping sell something. That one time Gisele called sunscreen poison she had to put on her best PR face and eat her words.
Lucky for us, beauty blogs have definitely helped fill the vacuum that good magazines have left. And not every magazine article—I still read Elle and Bazaar with the same excitement—is written to appease some advertiser. But it’s not always easy to tell the difference.
So I’m wondering who women rely on most heavily now for their beauty advice. Is it the customer reviews you read on sites; is it what your friends or sister or mom say that sways you; is it Morning Routines; is it Gwyneth Paltrow? Do you still turn to mags?
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?
Elle Magazine has named five newish beautry trends that they believe are here to stay, or in their words:
“Looks that hadn’t been invented—or weren’t possible—25 years ago are now part of today’s beauty lexicon”
I love this idea! But more than that I love the challenge of finding ways to do these looks without breaking the bank or busting out the chemicals. So here are my clean-girl takes on these new modern classics.
Beachy Hair: Easy. This is basically the Summer Hair Challenge. The best way to achieve this look is not by crunching your hair with some chemy spray, but by using a natural shampoo and conditioner (or no shampoo at all) and letter your hair air dry. Not always the easiest thing to pull off in the winter, to be sure, but I guess that’s why they call it Beach Hair.
The Stained Lip: Beets, beets, beets. If you want to be an extra clean girl, revisit the book and discover that beets are nature’s answer to Benetint. A little juice from a beet (rubbed right off a sliver) makes a great lip and cheek tint, and you can control the intensity with the amount.
Flatironed Hair: Did you notice they didn’t mention the Brazilian Blowout here? We did! Flatironed hair is always a good look, one that’s easier to achieve when you don’t use sulfates on your hair and can work with your natural oils (a little argan doesn’t hurt either). We love to maintain straight hair with natural dry shampoos.
Which of these looks do you do like to do?
Life got a little bit better a few weeks ago when I noticed that Mad Men had become available on Netflix Instant. I love television. From Breaking Bad to Boardwalk Empire, I think that the little box often has movies beat these days. But nothing is as close to my heart as Mad Men.
Part of it is that I’m an ad gal myself, so I get excited around that creation process. But what gets me even more is the women: Joan, Betty, and Peggy, in all of their outward beauty and inner suffering. As I rewatch the early seasons I catch myself constantly pausing to take a picture of the screen to capture a look, a moment, a color—all of my senses being satisfied at once.
This gave me an idea:
What if we tried to recreate three big beauty trends from that time—with natural products, of course—that also happen to be hot right now?
A quick cross reference with Elle’s Spring Beauty Preview proved very fruitful indeed, so here goes…
1. Top lining: I’ve always loved heavily lined eyes, but as I get a little bit more mature I’ve become a bigger fan of the top-only line. There’s something classy and clean about it, though a lot of women are intimidated because the mags make it look like this. If you look at Betty’s eyes here though, you can see that there’s a much more subtle version of this style—one that doesn’t even require using that pesky liquid liner! Instead I use my basic Jane Iredale Eye Pencil in black, which is way more forgiving if you don’t have a steady hand. The trick is running the pencil right at the lash line. I start toward the middle, getting thicker as I go.
2. Bold lips: Still in in a big way: Elle may be calling it red, but really the word for lips is bold (whatever your color choice is).
Since nobody needs a lesson in lipstick application, I’ll just say that if you have yet to try the pretty and poppy hues from Ilia, or the seriously strong colors from W3LL People, you are missing out. Find our full favorite lipstick recap here, then share your own in the comments.
3. Hair with height: High retro hair has definitely gotten a modern makeover. I told you a few weeks ago how I made a blowout last for days with dry shampoo, but the best kept secret about this stuff is the height it can give to hair. It’s so easy too: Simply shake a little bit onto the area you plan to raise, and then fluff and move it around with your fingers at the root until you can’t see the powder (you’ll start seeing volume immediately). Then, using a comb, tease the spot just a tiny bit and see it rise to the next level. Now take the piece of hair right in front and smooth it over the little mound for a more finished Joan-type look.
Questions? Comments? You know what to do!
Mark another one on the chalk board for team oils, girls! In the September issue of Elle there’s a whole feature devoted to revealing to the readers that oils (oils!) can actually reverse the excesses of, you know, excessive skin care.
The piece’s author is one of those product junkies—hey, we can relate—whose multi-layered, supposedly multitasking, 100-step skin care routine has left her skin worse for wear: red, irritated, and congested beyond belief. So she heads to a derm in search of help. From the piece:
She basically goes on a major product detox, replacing her chem-laden crap with gentle, skin-friendly oils instead. And guess what? Her skin calms down. Ahhh.
This article reminded me of some very stupid behavior of my own back when I was a product hound. I must have been 26 or 27 when a very old woman (who’d clearly had several facelifts) working at a fancy beauty store convinced me and my even younger, baby-faced, wrinkle-free friend that we must—MUST—start using glycolic acid NOW. In our twenties. Otherwise, we would be in big trouble. We should also never, ever, under any circumstances go in the sun. And we should change our pillowcases every night and wash them after one use (with toxic laundry detergent, no doubt). Of course, I ate up this advice.
I applied the glycolic acid as instructed, slowly building up my tolerance to several applications a week. My skin looked… dewy, I thought. Definitely my pores were smaller. At any rate it would prevent me from aging, I told myself. Then I went snowboarding one weekend and my skin turned a color of tomato red I’d never seen before on a face. I kept using the glycolic though. Duh, it was making me younger. But before long, I had—rosacea maybe? Hard to say, but my skin was angry and irritated and red and bumpy, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that it took years (and a whole lot of natural oils) to reverse the damage I’d done.
Needless to say I’m thrilled to see Elle telling this skin detox story. The whole article isn’t online, but I did find this link to product recs.
Did any of you engage is these charming burn methods? Were the results fab or frightening?