Happy Tuesday! Here’s another product review from commenter-cum-contributor Rebecca Bailey! Check out last week’s review of 5 Clean Lipsticks for Super-Sensitive Lips, too.
As we’ve talked about here plenty, the first thing in beauty is taking care of the inside—but I’m always happy to find a standout product that enhances beauty from the outside, too. I’m a big fan of Evan Healy (see my morning skin and hair routine over here) and this is my current favorite in her line…
Evan Healy Sea Algae Serum: I first used this a year or two ago, and somehow got off it. I think I was preoccupied with my DIY experiments, and in the colder seasons I wanted something a little heavier. But in these last couple weeks I felt like I needed something light. I’m in love all over again!
It has everything I want in a skincare product. It gives a full sensory experience of great scent and texture, comes in a cute and convenient pump, is a pleasure to put on, and has top-notch performance. Remember that Seinfeld episode with the beachy-smelling perfume? This is what I imagine that was supposed to smell like. The clean ocean smell quickly fades to neutral though, which I appreciate. It feels light and spreads perfectly applied over a hydrosol. Two pumps cover my face, neck and a bit of upper chest. I’m glad it doesn’t take much, because this is on the pricier side, about $37 for a ½ ounce bottle. OK, here’s the important part:
It is the only product I’ve ever tried that actually does some firming.
I’m no spring chicken, and I have this jowl and neck thing going on lately. I don’t think it’s my imagination: My skin looks firmer after using this serum. I can’t speak to the long-term effects yet, but in the short term at least, I’m impressed (and glowing). Super clean with lots of organic ingredients—sea buckthorn is high on the list and it’s intended to repair damage caused by the environment and aging—and it’s anti-inflammatory. I usually prefer a short list of ingredients, but Evan Healy is like an old-school alchemist, really working the magic into her products. This can be used along with your regular moisturizer, or on its own if you just want super-light, healing moisture.
Have you tried this serum, or anything else from this line?
Happy Friday everyone! Meet Catherine, who is a great example of someone who truly uses sunscreen like they should! More power to her. She spends her days working, chasing around her bulldog (awesome!), and training for a 1/2 marathon (double awesome!), and she keeps the sun off all the while. Read on!
In the shower…
Outside the shower…
So…Sunscreen queen! Is anyone else training for a race or otherwise spending a lot of time outside and have an active sunscreen that’s been working well?
Good morning everybody–meet Alex! She tries to steer clear of perfumes, and is a pro with body oils. Right now she’s diggin’ the Yes To line, but she’s also interested in finding other brands, too. Her routine is no-fuss, but fun. Read on!
Name: Alex (la feminine)
Current weather: Unseasonably warm and sunny
Hair: Shoulder length and choppy, contains some lingering blue-green tones from last fall’s impulsive Manic Panic dye job, but otherwise dark brown.
Skin: Not too bad- forehead & nose tend to be slightly on the oily, break-out-y side, cheeks tend to be dry. I get those annoying zitty-things on my upper arms, but my feet/legs/hands tend to be dry.
Favorite star or icon from the past: Louise Brooks- I haven’t actually ever seen her movies, but I love her style.
In the shower…
I usually shower about midday, but I work at home so it’s really “whenever I feel like it.” I start with Giovanni shampoo (which one varies, I like to mix it up) and either Giovanni or YesTo Carrots conditioner. Sometimes I do it backwards, for a change of pace (but I can’t say I’ve noticed a real difference.) I like both brands because they work very much like conventional brands while still being pretty clean- Giovanni even smells delicious without making my head spin (I can’t really tolerate most smells.) YesTo still has a bit of fragrance but it’s so mild I don’t notice it (their shampoo has sulfates though, so watch out for that.) I later up everywhere with a soft natural sponge and Dr. Bronners (I like Eucalyptus, it really clears the sinuses…but I’ve been trying the other varieties too, lately.) For shaving, I use Alba Botanica’s Unscented Very Emollient Cream Shave. Most days I just rinse my face off in the warm water, but every few days (or if I’m broken out or feeling grimy) I use Evan Healy’s Rose Cleansing Milk. Finish off with a pumice stone to the heels.
Outside the shower…
If I used the Cleansing Milk, I skip right to the moisturizing, otherwise I use a little Kiss My Face Antioxidant Toner (I also use it on those little arm bumpies, or sometimes Witch Hazel.) If I’m going to be outside much that day, I use YesTo Blueberries Age Refresh Daily Facial Moisturizer with SPF 30 (it’s made for older folks, but it was the only variety with no artificial fragrance- unfortunately it doesn’t absorb very well, probably because of the physical sunscreens. I will probably try another brand when this runs out.) If I’m not going to be outside much, I use Acure Chamomile + Carrot Day Cream, which is great. The rest of my routine is a little greasy, so I save it for nighttime: my all-over body oil is a homemade concoction that is about two thirds grapeseed oil, one third jojoba oil, and a dash of argan oil (grapeseed and argan are Aura Cacia, jojoba is Desert Essence.) About every other night I use pure argan oil on my face and sometimes my arms in hopes of cheering up the pores and stopping breakouts, though to be honest I haven’t noticed it being much better than my body-oil concoction (and it’s expensive and stinky) so once it runs out I might try something else. Immediately before bed, my feet and hands get shea buttered (either pure, or Nubian Heritage with Goat’s Milk and Chai.) I wash my hands a lot so throughout the day I use Weleda Skin Food on them periodically- it’s a little pricy but pretty amazing.
I wear make up very, very (like, VERY) rarely, so I haven’t switched all of it over to clean brands yet. The only things I use regularly are Gabriel Color concealor and YesTo Carrots Berry lip butter. I’ve been sort of moving away from the YesTo products but I do love this stuff- it’s mostly coconut oil and it works (and smells and tastes) great. The only “perfume” I can tolerate is a little bit of vanilla mixed with jojoba oil. I haven’t found a clean deodorant that satisfies my intense desire not to sweat yet, so I’m still using an unscented conventional super-toxic brand :-( If I’m just staying at home all day, though, I’ll often skip it. I jumped on the nailpolish bandwagon last summer and have amassed quite a collection- I usually go for Zoya or OPI or another 3 (or 4)-free brand, though even then I have to paint ‘em outside because of the reek. I use Bee Naturals cuticle and nail oil to keep them from drying out. No hair products, I’m a wash & go kind of gal (on the rare occasion that I color it, I try to veer towards the less damaging semi-permanent conditioner-based stuff. Unfortunately it’s really hard to find natural colors. Henna & indigo may be in my future.)
Anybody else thinking henna this summer?
Hey all! Hope you are still enjoying these AM routines as much as we are. Please keep submitting if you haven’t yet! Today’s comes to us from Naomi, who is still using a product from the Quarterly subscription (yay!) and lots of other fun ones too… Read on!
Age: 39 (ouch!)
Current weather: schizophrenic! NYC trying desperately to molt into spring
Hair: chin length, fine, fairly straight dirty blonde without highlights but currently sun-kissed blonde (with highlights)
Skin: Fair-to-medium complexion, pernickety temperament – still experiencing a dose of winter dryness but currently pretty clear and smooth, just needing extra care and moisturising
Naomi is a regular around these parts, and Siobhan even had the pleasure of meeting her once at an event in New York. Herewith, her awesome routine!
In the shower…
Quick hair wash with California Baby Tea Tree shampoo (every week or two I use Ctonics Tantra shampoo for flakes) followed by a light condition with Suki conditioner. I use Clarisonic on my face (and sometimes décolleté) with Wei Beauty Chinese Rose Foaming Cleanser. Pits & bits get a wash with soap, currently using the one that came in my first Quarterly box (one personal care item that’s soooo easy to keep clean!). Every couple of weeks I do a full body scrub with one of the 100% Pure scrubs (not a purchase, it was free when I bought products a while back). When I don’t have a body scrub product (which I don’t tend to buy, I only use them if they came with something else) I use a body brush or the equivalent with a bit of my soap
Outside the shower…
I use one of three serums: Suki targeted bio-brightening face serum; Kahina Giving Beauty serum (a fave!); or One Love Morning Glory (compliments of a recent NMDL Friday Deal – thanks!). Then I use either 100% Pure Organic Coffee Bean Caffeine eye cream or Origins GinZing Refreshing eye cream, depending on if I feel puffiness or dark circles are a problem. After that, I us either 100% Pure Organic Pomegranate Antioxidant Hydration SPF20 or (if I’m definitely not spending any time outside) Bee Yummy Skin Food. It’s Vive Sana Polar to Solar sunscreen if I’ll be spending any real time outside, like weekends. A couple of times I week I moisturise with either Evan Healy body oil or Acure Organics Cocoa Butter + CoQ10 body lotion. I put MJ’s Herbals arnica salve on any bruises, Kahina argan oil on any extra dry patches or eczema and every couple of weeks, on days I’m only running errands or not going out in public at all, I use Kahina argan oil as a treatment on my hair and leave it in until the next day’s shampoo. Every day in winter, or as little as possible in the good weather, I blow dry my hair.
I love RMS un-coverup. Sometimes, depending on how “good” my skin is, I use Vapour Organic Beauty Atmosphere Luminous Foundation. Then I like Revolution Organics Freedom Glow Beauty Balm as blush, RMS Beauty cream eye shadow in Solar or Lunar, Shu Uemura eyelash curler, Josie Maran mascara, Anastasia Perfect Brow pencil, Dior Lip Maximiser or RMS Beauty lip balm. Okay, so now I can really see why the Desert Island Challenge was too hard for me… :)
Ha! Is she awesome, or what?
Meet Shentel, everybody. She’s in the Navy. She’s in some rough weather, eating even rougher food, and she’s clearly pretty rad. If this girl can manage to keep a clean routine, nobody has any excuses anymore. Thank you so much for sending this in Shentel!
Current weather: Hot, dry, and definitely sandy. (Yes, there are still sand storms in the middle of the ocean. Don’t ask me how it happens, but it does.)
Hair: Brown, fine, and a bit curly. It’s almost all down to my chin. (I’m growing it out after spending 3 years with a pixie cut, and have officially hit the “Awkward Middle Stage” where I can’t pull it up.)
Skin: My skin has always been prone to acne, but since I’ve gone all organic, it’s been better. Since I’m deployed on an aircraft carrier, I’m stressed out, the food is horrible for me, and the water is super hard (since, you know, we boil the salt water to make it useable), and it definitely doesn’t help my skin.
Favorite star or icon from the past: Paintings of Ophelia or the Lady of Shallott are always pretty.
In the shower…
Let’s explain a few things before I start- I’m in the U.S. Navy… and I’m deployed. I’ll explain a little about ship life for people who don’t know- I have a small, 1 foot deep locker beneath my bed. The mattress flips up so you can stow things in there, and that’s all the space I have for everything I need for 6+ months. When I shower, I have to carry everything with me to the bathroom. So I don’t like having a ton of things to lug to the shower with me.
I usually end up with only 4 things in the shower with me. Some Pacifica body wash or Dr. Bronner’s bar soap, Intelligent Nutrients Harmonic shampoo and conditioner, and Kahina Giving Beauty face wash. I lather up my hair with the shampoo, and wash my face with it to open my pores a little bit. Rinse the shampoo and condition my hair- I let it sit while I wash my face and body. I soap up my face with the Kahina Giving Beauty face cleanser, and then wash my body with whatever soap I lugged in with me, and then I rinse everything off and climb out of the shower.
Outside the shower…
I go brush my teeth (I know it’s bad, but I still use Crest, since I haven’t found any decent natural toothpastes. Any suggestions would rock.) I usually take some coconut oil and spread it over my body, legs, and arms. I use Soapwalla’s deodorant- it’s the one thing I NEVER GO WITHOUT. (I’m in the Arabian Gulf right now… It’s freaking hot, and I stink by the time my 12-14 hour shift is done if I don’t use deodorant.) Get into my uniform, and then put Intelligent Nutrients leave in conditioner in my hair, and let it air dry. Then I use Kahina’s Toning Mist and Argan Oil on my face, though occasionally I’ll opt for just coconut oil, or maybe some of Evan Healy’s Sea Buckthorn Oil. (Basically, whatever I’m in the mood for.) I have some Pangea Organics Rosmary and Argan face lotion that I use instead of oil when I feel like wearing a little makeup, too.
I almost always put Joy Juice Serum from Lotus Wei on my wrists and neck and chest before I leave my berthing. Then I spray some French Lilac perfume from Pacifica on my uniform. (Though recently it’s been Malibu Lemon Blossom.) I use RMS Beauty’s Living Luminizer most days on my eyes and under them, and it makes me look like I’m glowing, which I love. Sometimes I end up putting some Modest Lip2Cheek (Also by RMS Beauty) on my lips, too. I pull my bangs to the side with a hair pin that’s the same color as my brown hair, and spray it with Intelligent Nutrients Perfect Hold Hair Spray. Voila!
Awesome sauce, we love your routine.