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I’m not one of those girls who’s dreamed of getting married since she was old enough to understand the words “bride” and “groom.” I never fantasized wedding dresses or centerpieces. I didn’t wish for a Prince Charming to sweep me off my feet (sorry, fiancé, if you’re reading this).

But what I did dream about was a legit excuse to buy as many beauty products as I wanted. A reason to try 13 different eye shadows. An excuse to spend three hours searching the Internet for the perfect shade of lip gloss. A reason to splurge a little.

My pending nuptials seem like the perfect excuse. I gave myself a little longer of a leash than usual, and went all out. Here’s a few tips that I learned along the way, plus the products that I think will give me the natural-me-but-better look for my big day.


One thing I don’t want to have to worry about on my wedding day is my makeup melting. In order to stay off the sweaty train, two things are key: a good primer and a layering of different types of makeup.

I start with ARCONA’s Desert Mist, a daily primer and skin protectant. It seals in moisture and helps create a smooth base for all your subsequent blending. I’ve also heard Amala’s Purifying Mattifier is a good one.

  1. Liquid foundation: I already gave this puppy its due on the blog last week, but I can’t say enough how excited I am to have found 100% Pure Healthy Skin Foundation. It has silky coverage without making me look like I’m in a theatre production of “Cats,” it doesn’t melt off and it doesn’t give me too much of a “glow” (I’m not really a dewy-skin lover). I stipple it on with a Beauty Blender because it’s awesome and works better than a sponge or a brush or my fingers (I’ve tried them all, people) to get even, not-cakey coverage.
  2. Sticky-ish liquid concealer: I do this concealer from Mineral Fusion* (which comes with two colors so you can mix a custom for your skintone) OVER my foundation. Otherwise the stippling takes it all off.
  3. Mineral foundation: Something to remember, which will come up later when we talk about eyeshadow—you want to avoid shimmer and glitter and sparkly-ness on your wedding day. They create bounce-back when your photog snaps glamour shots of you and your S.O., which can wreck the images and make you look older than you actually are. And NO ONE wants that. So, the mineral foundation I use is a totally matte one that we’ve recommended on the blog before: Alima Pure. So many colors. So much lovely, soft coverage. It’s the The only thing I’ve ever loved as much as it was Jane Iredale’s PurePressed Foundation, which is a bit pricier.
  4. Blush: I am NOT a rosy girl. I much prefer a little color in the form of a bronzer (no shimmer) but for the wedding-day, I want to look more polished than usual. So, I went back a tried-and-true matte blush (remember how I said to avoid shimmer? Blush is included here.): Alima Pure Satin Matte Blush in Pink, a literally universally flattering shade.
  5. Luminizer: Now, I said before shimmer is baaaad. And I stand by that statement… until photos are through. Then I’m going to dab a little of (the best beauty product in the world) RMS’ Living Luminizer in the inner corners of my eyes, down the bridge of my nose and on my cupid’s bow. Glow-ing.


This was where most of my searching, researching and testing happened. I just had a tricky time finding a matte (are you sick of that word yet?) eyeshadow palette that was flattering and contouring enough. So, I mixed my own.

  1. Eyeshadow: I bought a load of samples from W3LL PEOPLE (thank you to any and all clean lines that offer this service—it is the best thing ever) and ended up finding my perfect shade in a slightly unlikely place—the mineral brow pigment. I use a medium shade on my lid (Matte Taupe) and a darker shade in my crease (Matte Espresso).
  2. Eyeliner: For all-day wear, liquid liner is your best bet. I haven’t found a clean one that I lurve, so I improvise by creating my own. I do a thin line on my top lid only (don’t want any bleeding under my eyes on my big day) of Jane Iredale’s Eye Pencil in Black Brown. Then, I dip a stiff eyeliner brush in water before dabbing it in Modern Minerals’ loose mineral eyeliner in Cocoa. I gently enhance the Jane Iredale line with this deep chocolate shade, thickening the line a bit.
  3. Mascara: I looove me some mascara. I already have long, curled lashes (my hair stylist asked me last week if I’d gotten eyelash extensions after I swiped on one coat of black-brown mascara) but I need some additional thickening. To get the look I want, I use two mascaras in sequence: a) 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Mascara in Dark Chocolate (it actually smells like I’m swiping melted dark chocolate on my lashes, which is just an added bonus to its lengthening power). b) Josie Maran GOGO Instant Natural Volume Argan Mascara in Pitch Black. This baby thickens and darkens, giving me almost-falsies.


My lips are SENSITIVE, so I’ve tried many a balm, stick, gloss and stain in order to find the perfect one that doesn’t make my lips swell and flake. I also didn’t want one with too much color, as I’m doing a heavier eye than I normally would. In order to get that my-lips-but-better look, I’m using two products:

  1. Dr. Hauschka’s Lip Liner in Soft, Muted Rose. It’s almost exactly the shade of my natural lips, so I’m only using it to help my real color stay on longer. Creating a base of a stickier substance, like the liner, helps hold color in place (since I’m not jumping on the 14-hour dirty lip color train).
  2. My holy grail of lip color and gloss: RMS Beauty’s Lip Shine in Bloom. Confession: I own ALL the colors of the Lip Shine. I love them so much – they go on sheer but can be layered for more color. They leave a light stain so even once the gloss wears off, I still have a little color. And Bloom is the perfect shade to make me look super put together on a no-makeup day or enhance my lips for a  special occasion (aka, my wedding).

That’s it peeps. Seems like a lot, but I think it’ll all help me feel confident about looking my best on wedding day (t minus three days…). What products did you use for your wedding? What did I miss?

We’ve talked about the 100% Pure line multiple times (here, here, here and here, for starters) and it shows up in many a morning routine. But we have yet to really cover one of their makeup standouts: the Healthy Skin Foundation with Super Fruits.

Now I know it’s summer and the last thing some of us are looking for is a full-coverage liquid foundation that adds dew to our already-sweaty faces and then melts off as the temperature rises. Good news: This one does neither of those things.

My love affair began as I searched for a full-coverage foundation for my wedding at the end of August (!). What my initial search revealed was that “full-coverage” to me means something completely different than it means to a makeup artist—or anyone who writes the copy on foundation descriptions. I was searching for something to even out my skin tone and significantly reduce the appearance of any blemishes I have (crossing my fingers that number is ZERO come the last weekend in August).

I was NOT looking for something that made my face look airbrushed, or covered my freckles. I did not realize how difficult a task this was. I also did not want something that would be dewy. I wanted matte. I wanted nothing to add to the greasiness I know will build over the course of my wedding day.

Apparently these two things in combination are really hard to come by in the clean beauty world. I tried samples of eight different clean brands—and even started considering going dirty, just this once.

Then I tried 100% Pure’s Healthy Skin Foundation. It touts that it has full-coverage and a “satin matte” finish, so I was simultaneously excited and skeptical, as I’d been burned by full-coverage friends before.

It was love at first blend. The foundation melted into my skin just the way I’d imagined. The finish was satin matte, just as promised. My blemishes were hidden. My skintone was evened. And my heart was happy.

But the best part is that it lasted. I really put it to the test by wearing it for my engagement pics, out in the unshaded meadows of a 97-degree, 80%-humidity evening. Two and half hours later, my face looked just as good as it had when I’d left my air-conditioned apartment. That’s staying power.

Have you tried 100% Pure’s foundation? Are there other makeup powerhouses out there that I need to know about before my wedding day? Share, please!

Ingredients: Ingredients: 15% Titanium Dioxide, 10% Zinc Oxide Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice1, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Starch, Pigmented Extracts of: Prunus Persica (Peach) Fruit, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Fruit, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa Bean) and Lycium Chinese (Goji Berry) Fruit, Euterpe Oleracea (Acai Berry) Fruit Oil, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Sodium Ascorbate (Vitamin C), Extracts of: Cerifera Cera (Candelilla Wax), Organic Camellia Sinensis (Ferment White Tea) Leaf2, Coffea Arabica (Coffee Cherry) Seed, Aristotelia Chilensis (Maqui Berry), Vitis Vinifera (Muscadine Grape) Skin, Garcinia Mangostana (Mangosteen) Peel, Malpighia Punicifolia (Acerola) Fruit, Sambucus Canadensis (Elderberry), Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed, Lonicera Caprifolium (Japanese Honeysuckle)

A few weeks ago, as I keep mentioning for no reason, I visited the great state of Texas for the very first time! Another fun thing I did?

Hung out with our old pals at W3LL People, a natural beauty brand we fell in love with when we were writing the book.

We figure everyone who’s read the book (and you’ve alllllll read it, right?) knows how much we love them, but just in case: We love them! W3LL People was created in Austin by three people with very different backgrounds a common desire to create high-quality super-pigmented cosmetics that wear like a dream. There’s Shirley, who used to work at NARS—known for its gorgeous colors, especially for face (Orgasm blush, anyone?). There’s James, a charming environmentalist with a marketing background. And there’s Renee, an MD who helps with their formulations.

From the line, I have three favorite go-tos:

1. First up is the Narcissist foundation sticks (I wear color #2), which offers amazing coverage that isn’t too shiny and which is not coconut-oil based, thank god for me. Coconut oil is amazing, but it breaks me out on my chin, so it’s verboten for spot coverage. This one works well for me on undereyes, on my nostrils and on any other spots that need evening out. I also have a friend who uses it, mixed with her face oil, for all-over coverage, and she always looks terrific. So there’s that. Plus, it comes in a stick, making it great for surreptitious, on-the-go application.

2. I also love love love the Universalist multi-use sticks, in matte. These are blush and lipsticks in one, and the color is so concentrated that one sweep provides a bright shock of pink on my lips. I wear #7, and have for years. It’s so freaking pretty! My preferred method of application is to literally kiss the top of the tub, then blend with my fingers. (No, I’m not kidding!) If you prefer a more subtle color, apply then put some gloss or balm on top to dilute it. I’ve also taken to wearing it as a blush. Now, I’m generally averse to wearing blush since I’m pink to begin with, but as Shirley has told me, pink people can benefit a lot from blush because it offsets the natural hue, actually minimizing it. Turns out, she’s right!

3. The Nudist lip tints are also amazing. We wrote in the book about #2, which reminds me of Clinique’s Almost Lipstick in Black Honey, but while I was there I also got my paws on #4, which is a matte, nude pink that I find really chic. The color looks just like Brigitte’s lips in this picture—what more could you want (other than BB’s actual lips)?

Have you ever tried W3LL People? Found any other makeup lines you love?

Oh, hey now, looks like it’s Friday again! That means it’s time for our second installment of Friday Deals. We’re so excited for today’s offer from Juice Beauty, but before we get into the details we want to tell you a bit more about why we chose to partner with them. For starters, 95% of the ingredients they use are organic. Many of you have probably heard about this company. That’s because they were one of the first natural brands to really penetrate the market. We see them as clean-beauty groundbreakers, and that’s why many of their products are featured in our book. Discovering Juice was a bit of a moment for us—it helped us realize that we were onto something with this clean beauty stuff…

But enough reminiscing! Here’s the deal: Juice Beauty is giving away a free Mineral Moisturizer with any purchase (this is not a sample, folks, it’s a full product valued at nearly 30 bucks)—and once again there is no minimum purchase here. So all you have to do is buy something (anything) and then enter the promo code at checkout for your free product. Not too shabby, yeah?

But the best part is this: You have the option to choose between the light, medium or sheer moisturizer (pictured above). Each has a different promo code—and you can only choose ONE with your order—so, pay attention: NMDL_light is for the light one, NMDL_med is for medium and NMDL_sheer is for, you guessed it, the sheer one.

Update: This deal is valid in the U.S. and Canada!

There was actually a fair amount of back-and-forth between us and the Juice team to decide on what the best product would be to offer. We pushed for this one for several reasons: 1. We’ve been dying to try it (and will now with you); 2. It’s won awards; 3. It has a five-star rating on their site; 4. We’ve been on a foundation kick, and if you choose one of the tinted ones this moisturizer will double as a light foundation; 5. It’s also a sunscreen (just in time for spring); and 6. It’s packed with skin-healthy ingredients.

Oh, and did we mention it was free? It looks like these companies are all starting their deals with a bang. Take advantage, and pass it on!

P.S. The deal expires next Friday.


Five Foundations We Love, Part 5

Welcome to the last of five posts about fabulous foundations! If you missed the others, check them out here, here, here, and here.

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?