Thank you thank you! After last week’s post, we got a bunch of submissions from a variety of wonderful women. Don’t forget to send yours if you haven’t yet! Today meet Annette: She hates to shower, which kind of makes us love her. Enjoy her awesome routine!
Hometown: Manteca, CA
Current weather: Sunny, cold (for CA)
Hair: Chin length, colored, fine and wavy
Skin: Fair, freckled, “mature”
Favorite celebrity: Lauren Hutton. She just gets more badass the older she gets.
In the shower…
Full disclosure. I hate to shower. It takes too much time out of the morning; time I would rather be doing other things before I have to get to work. The warm water makes me itchy and my face gets flushed. I don’t sweat much and I’m not very hairy (thanks to getting rid of toxic products, I believe). Instead, I do what my mom calls a “bird bath.” I clean the pits, bits, and feet, dry brush the rest and apply oil. It’s Diva Wash on the bits and Whole Foods olive oil soap for the pits and feet. I use Tom’s deodorant. I will hop in the shower on the weekend or if I don’t have to work so as not to freak out the hubby. I wash my hair a couple times a week with Rahua volumizing shampoo. I condition every day with Yarok Feed Your Volume conditioner. I just recently switched to the Yarok and I’m happy with it. I’ve gotten second-day hair a few times, something that didn’t happen with what I was using before.
Outside the shower…
Whether I’ve showered or just dry brushed, I massage in argan oil. I’ve tried lots of lotions and other oils and the argan provides lasting moisture but is not at all greasy. It’s more expensive than other oils, but it’s so multi-purpose I feel like I cut down on multiple products. Kahina makes the best, but Mountain Rose Herbs has a good version for a lot less money. I wash my face at night. I oil up my face, neck and chest with argan oil, using it around my eyes to remove my eye makeup. While the oil sits I use a cotton ball dipped in witch hazel to remove the oil from around my eyes and some warm water and a washcloth to remove my mascara. I use a Pai muslin cloth and nice warm water to massage the makeup/oil off my face. I use a splash of witch hazel and a drop of carrot seed oil as toner. While my skin is still damp I rub in one squirt of the Kahina Brightening Serum and a couple drops of argan oil. In the morning I put some raw, organic honey on my chin, jawline and temples and let it sit while I get ready to wet my hair. I tend to get bumpy through those areas and the honey helps keep them clear. After I have washed and/or conditioned my hair I repeat the toner/serum/argan oil mixture from my night routine. This sets the stage for my SPF/foundation combination. I comb out my hair to let it air dry while I put on my makeup, making sure the insane cowlick at the crown of my head is covered and behaving itself.
I mix one squirt of John Masters SPF 30 Sunscreen and the same size dollop of Jane Iredale Dream Tint. I love the Dream Tint. There’s no mica so it isn’t at all shiny. I really dislike being shiny. I use a small angle brush to apply Jane Iredale PureMatte powder on my eyelids, under my eyes and around my nostrils. I plump up my brows with Jane Iredale Purebrow. I still need a little filling in so I use Cover Girl eyebrow pencil. I chose this one because it’s a nice taupe. Even though I have dark hair I don’t want a dark eyebrow pencil. It’s too severe. I line my upper lids and the outer half of the lower lids with Nuance by Salma Hayak in brown. On my lids I use Universalist 2 (from my Quarterly package). I’m surprised how much I like it. I didn’t like the RMS Living Luminizer all that much. In the crease it’s 100% Pure’s “Toffee.” I finish off the eyes with Nuance by Salma Hayak Ultra-Defining Mascara in black. I would LOVE to let my hair air dry but it’s too fine. It really needs some love from the blow dryer to help with volume. I also have to tame a few spots with a curling iron. It sounds like a lot but it’s really very fast. Once it’s dry I hit it with a few sprays of Intelligent Nutrients Volumizing Hairspray. That’s it. Pretty simple really. So much more simple than when I was “dirty.”
Thanks to Siobhan and Alexandra for this venue and to everyone who shares her wisdom. I have benefitted greatly from what I have learned here. I look forward to learning so much more!
Thank you too! And everyone who participates here. x
Meet our sweet friend, and loyal NMDL reader, Arianne Shaffer. When she offered to write a blog post about her bank-breaking obsession with Tammy Fender products, we knew it would be as great and hilarious as she is. Can you relate? :)
It was the summer of 2011 and I was nursing a touch of the heartbreak. I’d also turned 30 earlier that year. Lines were all of a sudden taking up permanent residency on my face and the odd grey hair was starting to yelp at me in the mirror (once I even spied one in my eyebrow!). I now needed more sleep and more kale than I wanted to admit. And my previously perfect skin was now just a little less perfect. Maybe it was the combination of humidity, heartbreak, Adele’s hit break-up single on repeat, and my daily NMDL blog habit, but with one fateful click of the mouse, my life and my skin were altered by a very expensive purchase.
In fact, I remember the night exactly. I should’ve been in New York City for a fabulous bachelorette weekend to celebrate my cousin’s soon-to-be wedding. But I’d been travelling a ton for work, was totally spent, and decided I couldn’t reasonably swing it. Plus a girls’ weekend in New York would likely set me back about $17,000. So I stayed home. With Adele. And my skin and my kale and maybe even a glass or two of scotch.
Enter Tammy Fender. The NMDL ladies had written a glorious review of her products, and since I know and trust this crew—heck, I was even supposed to be snacking on Magnolia cupcakes and tequila shots with them in NYC that very moment—I thought, “I’ve shown serious restraint. I owe it to myself.” This pity party logic + knowing your credit card number by heart so you don’t need to get off your bed + a drink + the internet = I’m going to treat myself goddamit!
And so I did it. I pressed “purchase” on everything trial-sized from the Tammy Fender site and that was that. A few weeks later a package arrived at my front door from Florida. I felt the old and familiar sick but sweet joy of retail therapy sweep over me. I knew I was about to develop an addiction to a drug I could not afford.
To be honest, it was the scrub that hooked me. I felt like Tammy could do things that literally made my skin look and feel happier. Granted, I’d also stopped listening to Adele. I was riding my bike for hours everyday. The touch of the heartbreak had faded and I was drinking my scotch with friends instead of alone. But I was convinced that Tammy had discovered a scrub that could literally slough away bad experiences. Too much faith in the power of the Fender? Maybe.
Just as my supplies were dwindling, I saw the NMDL ladies at my cousin’s wedding. I didn’t want to be that hideous fan-friend who only talked to these two about products and DIY mascara and the virtues of apple cider vinegar, but Alexandra and I had a moment. It went like this:
Me: I’m sorry to bring this up at brunch and all… But TAMMY FREAKING FENDER!!
Alexandra: I know right?! Amaazing. I love the balm!
Me: I’m all about the scrub. But lady, it’s sooo expensive!
Alexandra: Yeah, but worth it. It’s one of the few lines I let myself splurge on.
Me: I actually considered selling a kidney to afford her products.
We both return to our breakfasts and carry on.
But the truth was, I did try and think creatively about how I could afford these products. If they can reverse the signs of ageing, heartbreak, my nocturnal scotch habit, never mind the toll of urban pollution on my face, isn’t that something worth fighting for? I’m a resourceful and creative gal who can pretty much raise funds for any cause I believe in. However, I knew, deep inside, that this was not technically a cause. I couldn’t start a Kickstarter to support my exfoliator addiction. I couldn’t reasonably sell a kidney because then I’d have to take time off work. And sadly, I couldn’t afford to keep purchasing her products on the regular. I had to mourn the truth. I’d tasted the holy grail of clean beauty and knew nothing would be the same.
It’s like having the best sex of your life while on vacation—no emails, last names, or numbers will likely be exchanged, so you’ve just gotta enjoy the moment. That was me and the Fender.
And then, just when I was starting to jones real bad, the NMDL crew came to the rescue. Honey. All I needed was honey and sugar, and I could make my own scrub. No extra debt load. No crowd-funding. No organ selling. Just the grocery store and a spoon. In truth, it’s not the same as the Fender scrub, because let’s face it, that woman clearly has a direct line on some magical unicorn hair she crushes up and sprinkles into her elixirs. But good old honey and sugar—a close second.
Never mind that instead of succumbing to capitalist Jedi mind tricks, I actually made something with my own hands! Such a small thing, but so awesome and so effective. That, for me, is the great power of this NMDL blog/movement, which exposes us to different ways of caring for ourselves. Sure, sometimes it involves spending money (I confess to owning a solid little stack of RMS products), but sometimes it inspires potion-making in the kitchen, which is so gratifying and magical, even if it doesn’t involve unicorns.
This Xmas/Hanukah I’ll be making all my presents: sugar scrubs, hair spray (my own invention), and truffles. I make really great truffles.
Maybe if I send Tammy some truffles she’ll hook me up. Until then, it’s me and the honey and the sugar and the sweet wisdom from the NMDL blog.
Good morning, everyone! Today, we have Alissa…from Australia! Not only is she automatically cool because she is an Aussie, but she is the type of girl with the attitude that positive thinking can help achieve positively lovely skin. How cool is that? She doesn’t forgo products, but I’m guessing she enhances their powers by smiling! Read on, you’ll see!
In the shower…
Outside the shower…
Voilà, indeed! Thank you, Alissa! Any other Aussies out there who have some brands to recommend to readers in that hemisphere?
Happy Monday, everyone! Meet Stephanie and her sweet-as-honey routine. She swears by Manuka for her skin. She also has been getting a lot of mileage out of spiritbeautylounge sample items. Annnd..she makes her own (edible!) DIY brozer. Read on!
Current Weather: In the 70s-80s and humid-ish. I just moved home from the North so I am loving the warmer weather despite the humidity.
Hair: Long, brown, and sort of curly/wavy. Definitely not straight. The oiliness has become non-existent since my switch to natural products and reduction in showers. Which is great because it saves me a ton of time, I find showering to be a pretty grand and involved event in my life. 23 year old problems clearly.
Skin: I have always been acne prone :( I was on a strict regimen of prescription topical stuff which worked, but I got completely fed up with how dry they left my skin. Right now, I just got off birth control but things are still OK. Residual scarring and the odd small breakout are all I have to worry about now with no dryness!
Favorite Star: Miranda Kerr. Was she already chosen? I just love her values and personality! Image via
Before the shower…
I try to do oil pulling with coconut oil (I use the nutiva brand) which is an ayervedic technique that consists of swishing the oil in my mouth for twenty minutes then rinsing with warm salt water. It’s hard to last the full twenty, but I’ve found it is a great way to naturally whiten the teeth and make my whole mouth/gums feel supple and healthy. I will then usually eat breakfast and workout and also take some skin supplements which I thought could be applicable. I take fish oil or flax seed oil, black current oil and evening primrose oil which are GLAs which are supposed to be beneficial for skin and regulating female stuff as well as Indole-3-Carbinol which I saw was recommended in an article for women coming off the pill again to regulate hormones. I also only brush my hair before I shower with a wide toothed comb.
In the shower…
I’ve usually had a Wedderspoon Manuka Honey 16 strength mask on my face for at least half an hour before my shower and leave it on until the end (this was inspired by Siobhan) which I use as a facial cleanser. If I don’t have time to do a mask I will use the Tata Harper cleanser or the Dr Alkaitis cleanser I have from the samples I purchased on spiritbeautylounge. I like them both and find them super gentle, but prefer the manuka for its anti-acne fight. Manuka honey/honey in general for the face has been a godsend for my skin! Next I shampoo with either Desert Essences lemon and tee tree shampoo for oily hair or Alaffia neem shampoo (both of which I like and find wash away build-up, which was my biggest difficulty when looking for a natural shampoo) followed by either John Masters Lavender and Avocado Intensive Conditioner, the John Masters Honey and Hibiscus conditioner, or the Alaffia neem conditioner. I have recently begun washing my body and shaving with Moksa soap in Abbey Road. It smells amazing, is gentle (I loved Dr. Bronners tea tree bar soap, but then it become too harsh for my skin) and the company is amazing and donates to so many great charities! After that I may spray my hair with the Aubrey organics Nustyle Organic Detangler and Shine Booster (which smells like limes) as a heat protectant or Intelligent Nutrients leave-in conditioner which kind of makes me smell like a pizza, but I like it anyways. (Ed. Note: Pizza?!?!?! We need more info on this! Ha!) Then I wrap my hair up in a t-shirt which I’ve also heard is better to prevent frizz and keep curls intact.
Outside the shower I don’t really towel off because I find the extra moisture super beneficial for the rest of my routine. I spray my face with the Acure Organics Rose toner for oily skin which I LOVE it smells so good especially after reading that article about rose scents on here, then I mix my beloved Aubrey Organics aloe vera with whatever moisturizer is tickling my fancy. I use the aloe because it is such a great base to cut/preserve products which we know can be quite expensive. As I mentioned, I purchased the sample packs of Tata Harper and Dr Alkaitis so I basically pick and choose which moisturizer I feel like mixing in with my aloe. At the moment, I love the Tata Harper Serum and the Dr Alkaitis soothing gel and nourishing oil. Both companies products smells sooooo good and honestly make my skin look so plump and incredible. I never thought I would be able to treat myself to such luxurious moisturizers during my prescription days; it has been one of my greatest revelations of going natural! After that I spray my body with a DIY toner of Aloe Vera gel by Lily of the Valley (which is edible quality that I sometimes add to my drinks) and Witch Hazel followed by a DIY combination of coconut, argan, and jojoba oil, my Acure Organics unscented lotion, or my Bubble and Bee or Moksa body butter. I’m really into body moisturizers. Or moisturizing in general.
As far as makeup goes, I probably wear it once or twice a week and try to keep it really simple. Again, I am all about the samples! I recommend it because they are all quite sizable and I have yet to run out of one and repurchase. I use the Vapour organics concealer on my eyelids and the Alima Pure satin matte foundation on my under eyes and any other imperfections. I line my upper water line with Korres brown eyeliner, apply RMS living luminizer to my eyelids, brow bone, cheekbones, nose, and cupid’s bow and have been loving revolution organics in blush for my cheeks! I also love RMS lip2cheek in Modest. I sometimes finish that up with a DIY bronzer made of cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa powder, and some other stuff and 100% mascara in black tea as well as my Bubble and Bee lip balm in pomegranate or my Badger Organic cocoa butter lip balm in cocoa.
Thanks, Stephanie! I’m having a hard time not making a “good enough to eat” pun about this routine…
We present to you the gift that is Emma, whose routine is brilliant and stylish. Of course it is: she’s from Athens, Greece, and is clearly a clean, continental dream. Did you know you can use crushed strawberries to whiten you teeth? Apparently so! Read on:
Current weather: Sunny and dry, around 20 Celcius
Hair: Thin and naturally wavy, double processed with blonde highlights and dye to cover the grays. The waves have lost their vitality a couple of years ago (maternity hormones?), they are thinning, dried and parched. Curls now are really limp unless I revive them with a curling iron. Overall, my nightmare…
Skin: Normal to dry, very few wrinkles around the eyes when I squint. Clear with very few cystic acne outbreaks on the chin around my period sometimes. Overall I am blessed with nice skin, sometimes lacking glow – which is what I value most, since I think it makes us look fresher and younger!
In the shower…
I have stopped using soap all over my body, just on the armpits and legs. I use soap that I order from Aleppo, Syria that is all natural and contains only olive oil, laurel oil and sea salt. That’s what I use on my toddler son too and it never dries out our skin. I wash my hair with Faith in Nature Aloe Vera shampoo, followed by the Pomegranate and Rooibos conditioner. Sometimes I do a final rinse with unfiltered organic ACV and water. I leave it on for a few minutes and then rinse it out again—I can’t tolerate the vinegar smell too much. Once a week I dry brush my whole body before I get in the shower. I also try to do a weekly pure organic coconut oil hair mask—this seems to have helped restore moisture to my locks. I rub it all over my hair, put it in a low braid and then put a shower cap that I keep in place with a few pins. I then sleep on it and wash my hair in the morning.
In the shower I sometimes do a DIY sugar scrub, mixing brown sugar with vegetable glycerine or olive/jojoba/sweet almond oil.
Outside the shower…
After the shower I pat my skin dry and then put on a DIY moisturizing oil containing jojoba, argan and sweet almond oil, with a few drops of neroli and lavender essential oils. I have keratosis pilaris on some areas so I rub some pure shea butter (which is the only thing that helps). I also make a DIY whipped shea butter moisturizer that I put on at night during the cold months, and then sleep on it with cotton pajamas. It gets the skin really soft!
I wrap my hair in an old t-shirt to dry, which I found keeps the waves smoother and fights frizz. I pass a wide-toothed comb and then rub some argan oil on the ends. Sometimes I’ll spray some not so clean Bumble and Bumble Thickening spray to give some volume, but I also want to try a home made sea salt spray. I dry them using a diffuser, or if I don’t’ have the time, I’ll just quickly dry them, and put them up in a tight high ponytail, twirling the remaining hair in a bun and securing it tightly. In a few hours when I let the ponytail down, my hair is wavy and smooth. If I wash my hair at night, I put it in a low tight braid and sleep on it – in the morning I have new curls!
I have stopped using soap or cleansers for my face, and make my own using natural ingredients. My favourite’s (that I alternate according to what I feel my skin needs most) just pure oils that I rub in and then rinse with a washcloth, oat flour with ACV/water, raw honey or baby milk powder mixed with some water to make a paste. Sometimes I grind some almonds or rice with a few drops of oil if I want something with more “buffing” properties. I bought the Clarisonic but after reading many controversial reviews from experts that it relaxes face muscles, I’m a bit reluctant to use it again. So it just sits there and I’ll sometimes use it to scrub the remaining oat/honey from the cleansing.
At least once I week I do a green clay mask (I mix it with ACV or milk and add a few drops of lavender essential oil). It really clears up everything and I found I don’t need to use any scrubs as I did before. All the blackheads, impurities and dullness come right off. I try to spread it up to my collarbones to get some of that goodness on my neck, which seems so neglected! I recently also started using rhassoul clay from Morocco, which is packed with minerals and supposedly better than plain old bentonite (green clay). On the rare nights I have a lot of makeup on, I use Bioderma Crealine Lotion before my cleansers. It is very popular here in Europe and all the make up artists use it. You put it on with a cotton ball, it’s like water and it rinses out everything without leaving any residue. I found that the less abrasive and more respectful I am of my skin (after using chemical peels, Retin A, harsh scrubs) the better it looks.
Then I do a few warm water compresses with a washcloth and spray a DIY hydrosol. I make hydrosols myself with rose petals or lavender or rosemary leaves. Sounds complicated but it’s really easy! While the skin is still damp from the hydrosol, I put on a few drops of my DIY face serum, which I make with a mix of carrier oils and essential oils. I found that argan oil and rosehip seed oil and super moisturizing and make my skin glow. I also add geranium, helichryssum and frankinsence essential oils. In the winter my skin needs some more moisture, so I slab some Weleda Skin Food or Korres Wild Rose moisturizing cream. I confess that I don’t wear sunscreen all year, even though I live in a country with 300 days of sunshine/year! I only wear it in the summer and I use Avene Tres Haute Protection with 50SPF or La Roche Posay Anthelios lotion. It’s not easy to find a nice, clean sunscreen here in Europe that does not leave your face looking white like a kabuki character. When I have time, I make my own whipped shea and cocoa butter cream. It is especially great to rub generously on my feet before I put on any socks. Shea butter is what dancers use to help them heal their over-worked toes and it really takes all the dryness and roughness out.
It might sound complicated to do all these DIY beauty things, but it actually is easy. I just keep all the ingredients in used glass jars, along with some spatulas and small cups and mix on the spot as needed. It’s fun, natural and cheap! For the face oils and creams I make a batch to last me 2 months, which takes me 30mins to make, so it’s not a big hassle.
I use Soapwalla deodorant, although recently it seems that it stopped working and I’m getting nervous with the summer approaching. It’s weird because in the beginning it worked like magic—is it my idea or has this happened to anyone else? When it’s a hot day and I know I’ll be active, I use my old Neutrogena, but I’m not happy about it and desperately looking for a reliable clean deodorant. I tried Tom’s but I still felt stinky.
I brush my teeth with Korres toothpaste using the Sonicare toothbrush (same company that makes Clarisonic). I can’t recommend that thing enough. It works like magic! When you’re done you feel like you just came back from a dentist deep clean. Sometimes I’ll make a baking soda and water paste if I want some whitening action, or rub some mashed strawberries on my teeth. Strawberries contain malic acid, which when combined with baking soda, act as an stringent and a buffing agent.
Due to the intense sunlight and endless summers sunbathing (can I turn back time?) I have a major hyper pigmentation problem on my face. I think the argan and rosehip seed oils will help in time, but I am trying to find a more potent natural recipe without resorting to hydroquinone. I might try a spot laser treatment and then maintain the results with religious sunscreen application all year round!
If I have a cystic acne pimple brewing, I dab a bit of raw honey before bed and then cut the sticky part of a band aid in half and place two layers on the pimple. Something about the anti-inflammatory qualities of the honey with the pressure from the band aid I guess makes it look better the next morning!
I don’t do much for makeup, I like a fresh look. I have very sparse eyebrows and the one thing that makes my face more framed and put-together is filling them in with some eye shadow from the Body Shop special eyebrow kit. Don’t underestimate the power of eyebrows to make your face look more balanced. I only recently found out about that tip and it literally changed the way I look, judging from pictures – without looking made up or unnatural.
Then I use MAC eyeliner rubbed and smudged on the bottom lashes in Olive and some Guerlain Bronzing powder or Korres blush. I curl my lashes with the Shu Uemura curler and when I go out at night put on Blinc mascara (it’s great, goes on like tubes and does not smudge even if you cry!). If I feel I need some more coverage, I use Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer and in the summer the Body Shop gel bronzer for a hint of shimmer. On my lips I use Hurraw in Vanilla Bean or Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmers. I have thin lips and don’t like them colored. If I look especially tired I put on the YSL Touche Eclat under eye concealer, but I feel it draws more attention to the problem. It’s hard finding good clean makeup products in Europe, but since I don’t put too much on, it’s not that bad for me.
After a couple of years obsessed with weekly manicures, I go all natural, with very short clean nails, and just rub Egyptian Magic cream every night on my cuticles. I even keep a jar on my desk and rub some in during the day. I have super dry cuticles that look dry and white after one day if I don’t cut them. Now I have stopped cutting them completely (you must resist the temptation, but it’s the only way they will stop growing) and this cream is the only thing that makes them soft and invisible. I just push them back with a wooden stick with some wet cotton or argan oil once in a while.
Comments on the deodorant question? Maybe if we answer, she will grace us with another amazing food-as-beauty-product tip we never would have guessed!
Favorite star or icon from the past: Lauren Bacall (via)