In the shower…
Outside the shower…
I then put on my cozy plaid robe and have some oatmeal and green tea while snuggling with my cat before doing my hair and makeup. It’s my time to relax before my hectic workday begins.
Thanks for sharing Ariel! Love the sound of the Midnight Honey Body Oil and cuddling with cats, too.
I’ve always had trouble with mascara, though I don’t feel my needs are overly demanding. I have dark lashes, but I enjoy some additional volume. Plus, color that stands out all the way to the tips would be nice. I don’t want to look “made up,” but rather put together and polished. Maybe mascara is just a difficult cosmetic, or maybe it’s my inept application technique. In spite of having a mother and two older sisters who were very into makeup, I never received any instruction. I also seem to have a face that changes drastically as color is added. As a result, it’s easy to go too far, and in moments I can go from fresh-faced to Marge-Simpson-with-the-makeup-gun-set-on-whore*.
My misspent youth saw my lashes slathered in every dirty drugstore brand out there. There were a few years with no mascara, or a clear formula. Right before I went clean, my favorite was Bare Minerals Flawless Definition. Even that, though, I couldn’t wear on my bottom lashes without smudging or just looking silly. Add to this my sensitive nature. With many mascaras, even natural ones, my eyes burn. Or there’s an icky scent and I can literally smell my eyelashes all day. Then there’s that awful hyper-awareness of my lashes that happens with many brands. Plus, of course, the standard smudging/flaking/raccoon eyes thing (In spite of my dryish skin, I’m an oily lid girl).
For well over a year, I’ve been routinely going without mascara, except for some playing with a couple of newish colors from Real Purity. Violet lashes are not really an every day look, though.
Then this fall, Ilia launched a new phenoxyethanol-free formula, in four beautiful colors. Cut to me wearing mascara again.
What’s to love:
- Short length handle is easy to maneuver
- Rubbery brush gives easy, smooth application
- Brush has short bristles on one side and long on the other, so you can flip it around to reach different bits of lashes
- Dries fast and is layerable
- Lashes stay soft, not stiff (especially with only one coat)
- Nice balance of volume and length
- Insanely gorgeous and unique colors
- Essentially no scent
With Ilia mascara, I don’t look in the mirror and say, “Wow, look at those lashes.” I say, “Wow, my eyes look pretty.”
There’s enough volume to make it worthwhile even with one coat, and length as well, while still working for every day. Layering, while not usually my thing, will give you a more powerful and glamorous look. After some experimenting, two light coats on top lashes and one on the bottom is ideal for my tastes. I have not yet had a smudge, and learning to apply carefully has left me nearly flake free. At the end of a work day, it still looks good. There’s a flake or two if I rub my eyes a lot or take a nap in it. I have not had a good cry or a rainy day in it yet, but I do often mist Lotus Wei on my face with no problems.
Okay, so we have to talk about the colors. My hazel eyes LOVE Macao, which is a coppery shade that is so much more fun than a standard brown. It adds soft emphasis and brings out the green in my eyes. Asphalt Jungle is charcoal goodness, and simply THE perfect color for those like me who think true black is just too much, but are bored with brown/black shades. Nightfall is the blackest black I’ve ever used in a mascara, and surprisingly, I like its richness. This color is a one-coater for me, too intense for daytime with more coats. So you ladies looking for more va-va-voom may love it. I can wear all of these colors on my bottom lashes with no trouble, and they all wash off with my usual cleanser.
Who’s tried the new Ilia formula? From what I’ve heard, it’s quite different from the brand’s first shot at mascara.
*check this out about 45 seconds in for a classic Simpsons moment
Say hello to Jinna! Her routine includes some incredible goodies, but she relies first and foremost on a clean diet for glowing skin. Enjoy!
City: Los Angeles, CA
Current Weather: Sunny and dry, with a slight fall chill in the air
Skin: Combination, though my skin has stayed clear and glowing since I cut out dairy and meat from my diet (with the exception of 2-3 “treat’ meals per week). Starting to notice crows feet creeping up though!
Hair: black, long, straight, and fine
Favorite star from past: Jane Birkin. Love her effortless, natural look and Parisian chic.
I am a natural product skincare and makeup junkie and after years of rotating products I have found, for the most part, what consistently works for me (though I can’t resist trying a few new products here and there!)
In the shower…
I dry brush for 2-3 minutes (or even less if I’m in a rush!) before jumping in the shower. Before, I used to swear by dry shampoo and washing my hair every other day, but have since realized that my fine hair gets too oily, especially because I work out every day. I have yet to find a shampoo and conditioner that I’m in love with, and I’ve tried them all: Yarok, Phylia de M., John Masters Organics, Rahua, etc. I’m currently rotating between Rahua Voluminous Shampoo and Burdock and Neem Healthy Scalp shampoo. Both work fine for now, but I will definitely be on the lookout for something new once I use these up. Three times a week I do a pre ‘poo treatment of coconut or jojoba oil for 1 hour before shampooing out. I find that since I wash my hair daily, it does a good job of keeping it from getting too dry. On the days I don’t do the oil treatment, I rinse my hair with apple cider vinegar in the shower after shampooing and before conditioning. I’ve found that both have improved the overall health of my scalp and hair. For body wash, I use Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castille soap, which multitasks as hand soap and puppy shampoo! While my skin is slightly damp, I moisturize all over with One Love Organics Scented Body Serum in Lavender.
Outside the shower…
After brushing my teeth, I oil pull with a spoonful of coconut oil for about 10 minutes. I’ve read that the recommended time is 20 minutes, but I just can’t bring myself to do it for that long! While I’m swishing, I exfoliate my face every other morning with Tatcha Polishing Powder in Classic, though I have May Lindstrom’s Clean Dirt waiting as soon as I finish the Tatcha. On the mornings I don’t exfoliate I wipe my face with S.W. Basics cleanser and finish with a splash of cold water. Next, I dab a few drops of Intelligent Nutrients Spot Treatment over my face. After that’s dried, I use One Love Organics Active Moisture Vitamin C serum. This is a recent discovery and I absolutely love it. It makes my skin look dewy and glowing while keeping it moisturized. Since the weather has gotten much drier and as previously mentioned, I’ve started noticing unwanted wrinkles, I decided to bite the bullet and purchase 37 Extreme Actives cream. Yes it is obscenely expensive, which is why I use it only under my eyes and mouth, but as my mother always said, don’t feel too guilty about splurging on food or skincare since you will get a return on your investment. I haven’t been using it long enough to decide if it’s worth the price but so far, I love the feel of the cream on my skin and how hydrated it feels afterward. If I’m noticing my skin getting a little oily, I swipe Arcona’s Tabula Rasa pad over the area, which pretty much stops any pimples from forming.
I started using 100% Pure full coverage foundation (thanks for this website’s recommendation!) and I also love it. It’s the only product that provides sun protection and coverage without irritating my sensitive skin. If I’m especially tired that day, I will also use RMS “Un” Cover-Up under my eyes. I rotate among many blushes: Kjaer Weis in Sun Touched, Vapour in Spark, RMS in Modest, and Revolution Organics in Blushed, just to name a few. So far, my favorite is the Revolution Organics, as it leaves a nice pink flush to my cheeks. For eyeliner, I use an eyeliner brush and The All Natural Face’s Vegan Gel Pot in Black. I LOVE this product, as it’s the only eyeliner that doesn’t smudge and give me raccoon eyes. Once that’s dry, if I’m feeling fancy, I use either RMS in Solar or Magnetic on my lids. For mascara, I use (not in love with this and will be looking for alternatives once it runs out). For lips, I absolutely love Ilia and have 4 colors: Bang Bang, In My Room, Perfect Day, and Arabian Knights. All the colors are so different and equally great, but the only one I carry in my purse is Bang Bang. I set everything with RMS “Un” Powder and then swipe some RMS Living Luminizer (can you guess what my favorite makeup brand is?) on my brow bone, nose bridge, and cheeks. I also spritz my face with a spray before leaving. Right now, I’m using John Master Organics Bearberry Skin Balancing Toning Mist, but I have One Love Organics Vitamin D mist on standby once that’s used up.
Whew! I know it looks long, but by now I’ve got it down to a quick science. Coupled with a plant-based diet, I have seen such an improvement in the overall tone and texture of my skin. Thanks for letting me share!
This isn’t the first time these two brands have slugged it out on my vanity. Remember last summer’s highlighter battle? Now fall brings us a new reason to quibble over who’s more awesome. A deep berry/burgundy lip is very of-the-moment (or at least it was at the writing of this post). I was quite excited to see this seasonal trend, because I’m a tough nut when it comes to any color described as red or berry. Everything wants to be pink on this pale olive gal, and I’m not super fond of pink. But this time the craze is a shade I can wear. Look at me, following a trend! A rare event, indeed. I snapped up my fave brands’ versions and put them to the test.
Cost: $24 vs. $36
Packaging: Stick vs. Pot
Vegan? Both have bee products, but are otherwise vegan
Scent: Slightly fragranced (vanilla) vs. No discernable scent
For the coconut oil sensitive: None vs. It’s the first ingredient on the list
Color: Sheer yet buildable vs. Less sheer and still buildable
Type of pigment: A bit of synthetic pigment vs. Nothing synthetic
Texture/Finish: A little glossy vs. Velvety/matte, both reasonably moisturizing but a balm is a good idea over or under each
Lasting power: Good vs. A bit better (both wear to a pretty stain)
The verdict? Well, I’ve changed my mind about three times since I bought them. There are no losers here. In the swatch, it looks like Ilia has a bit more berry and RMS a bit more brick going on, but it really depends on the lighting. They are incredibly close in color, but on my lips, I feel like RMS is a touch more purple. Right now, I’m more into a matte finish, so RMS Diabolique has the edge. I think the RMS is also somewhat more versatile. The tiniest bit applied looks quite different from when it’s layered. I prefer both colors when pressed into the lips rather than swiped on. The RMS pot is convenient for this, but, hey, nobody’s stopping you from using your finger or a lip brush with Ilia’s stick.
Have you tried these colors? Is another brand helping you work this trend?
Gosh, we love you guys. You’re always giving back. Take, for example, this lovely routine from Alison, who reminds us that everyday should begin with kisses. Isn’t that just the sweetest thing?
Weather: Autumn in NY!
Skin: Combo, fragrance sensitive, thankfully generally clear, dark circles I’ve had my whole life
Hair: Long, wavy/curly, fine but tons of it, can get a bit dry
Star: Gena Rowlands. Badass, beautiful
I’m the queen of a million products that I alternate on a regular basis, but my everyday routine is quick and has to be because I’ve got two little girls and lots to do. I’ve tried so many things over the years (green and not-s0-green), and have locked in on some amazing reliables. That said, I’m always trying new things—W3ll People has recently overhauled my makeup bag, and I’ve incorporated some of the ED4OLO products in at night. (Next up: RL Linden and Osmia Organics…)
My love of products is married to my frugalness. Some of the products I use are super cheap. The more expensive items I’ve found are worth it as they are concentrated, have quality ingredients, last forever, and just work better than other products I’ve used (as well as being greener). Put it this way: if I’m repurchasing it, it’s worth it. I also keep a lot of multitaskers on hand (coconut oil, manuka honey, argan oil), and products my entire family can use. Having and relying on these cleaner—and better performing options, IMO—has also cut down on my wandering shopping eye.
I nurse my one-year old and kiss my three year old. I got involved with natural beauty many years ago but in earnest when I became pregnant with my elder daughter. I became increasingly aware of what I ate and what I put on my body—and theirs. They continue to be my inspiration for caring what goes in and on my body, and this extends to them as well. After nursing and kissing, it’s time for coffee making. Second to coffee is a daily green smoothie. I use whatever’s in the house—berries, greens, pears, bananas, avo, seeds (flax, chia).
In the shower…
Thanks to this tip from Sarah from Osmia Organics, I’ve been oil pulling. Hubs in on it too. I see and feel a big difference. I do this while I’m in getting in the shower. I also dry brush before getting in, then use a bar soap or body wash by Leap Organics. I keep a homemade scrub of turbinado sugar/coconut oil or sugar/lemon/honey around, and use that every few days. I take a natural pumice file to the harder edges on my feet. Most mornings, I use a Pai muslin face cloth with some water on my face, and that’s it. Sometimes, I use Kahina’s facial cleanser or wash with manuka honey before I get in the shower. I also love the One Love Organics Brand New Day scrub (I love this entire line). Sometimes that gets combined with the Kahina, or the honey. I like to mix it up.
I shampoo once or twice a week at most. I’ve tried many brands of shampoo but none have been equally liked by my hair and scalp as the Rahua line. With some experimentation, what works best for me is the Voluminous shampoo and original conditioner. It’s expensive but super-concentrated, so it lasts forever, and just works for my hair.
Outside the shower…
Spit out the oil, brush teeth and it’s Kahina toner time. Never in my life did I believe in toner until I started using this product, and I absolutely adore it. In summer, it is super refreshing, and in winter, it adds an extra bit of moisture. I keep a small bottle of it in my purse. I spritz it on after I put on my makeup. Anyway, multipurpose LOVE. Afterwards, I use a few drops of the Kahina argan oil and eye serum (great for contact wearers, doesn’t migrate or sting).
On hairwashing days, I use a few drops of the argan oil at the ends before I rough-dry it straight-ish. (Depends on how much time I have. There are also lots of top knots happening these days.) On non-washing days, if I need it, I use a bit of Lulu Organics Lavender and Clary Sage hair powder, but since switching up the frequency and the types of products I’m using, I rarely even need to do this. Despite much trial and mostly error, I haven’t found a product I really love for when I want to wear my hair curly (Thoughts welcome, #1…)
I’ve struggled with natural deodorants as I have a bad reaction to baking soda, which seems to be an active ingredient in many brands. Recently, I picked up one called I Love My Armpits, which doesn’t have any baking soda and comes in a variety of scents (I have Spicy Lemon). So far so good on the reaction and efficacy fronts. Coconut or grapeseed oil on arms, legs, hands and feet. Sunscreen myself and kids.
I don’t wear a ton of makeup but I love it, wear a little bit just about every day and have a lot of opinions about it. I use Suntegrity 5 in 1 on my face (another brand I adore). I fill my brows (pencil from Shobha), and use a bit of lip balm (SW Basics lemon or Suvana Organics Paw Paw and Honey). Most days, that’s the extent of it.
HOWEVER… I am having a moment with W3LL People. I recently had the opportunity to meet Shirley Pinkson from W3LL People, and now a good—and growing—number of their products reside next to old reliables RMS and Ilia in my makeup bag. I can’t say enough about a line that can get me to like powder products (loose ones at that), bronzer, and black eyeliner—historically, things I’ve abhorred and avoided. Total game changers.
So when I want to do it up a bit more, I use the W3ll People foundation stick under my eyes and around any spots; days when my skin feels a little drier, I use the RMS uncover up. I apply the W3LL People mineral foundation and bronzer with a kabuki brush. In the past, I’ve disliked powder products so much I avoided them entirely, especially as I’ve gotten older and my skin has gotten drier. Also, I’m a klutz. But these products somehow just make my skin look natural, luminous, glowy, and not cakey, chalky, or over the top. Sometimes I mix the minerals in with some Kahina facial lotion to make a liquid foundation. If I want more color, I’ll use a bit of the Universalist multi-use stick in 8 (the peachy pink one), or RMS lip2cheek in Promise (also nice on lips). The W3LL Pople eyeliner is a soft black, more like a charcoal, so it’s not harsh looking; it’s also soft in texture, but doesn’t smudge. I hardly ever do eyeshadow but when I do, I use the W3LL people taupe loose shadow, or RMS in Magnetic or Solar; I apply these with my finger. (Most importantly, none of these irritate my eyes.) I use the W3LL People nudist lip balm (#7), and/or the pink Paganist lipgloss. I also adore my Ilia (Karma Chameleon lip crayon, Love Buzz gloss, Bang Bang/Arabian Knights lip conditioners and Neon Angel lipstick), and the RMS living luminizer.
Like so many others, I’ve struggled to find a mascara that is natural, impactful, and contact-friendly (i.e. actually looks like something and doesn’t smudge or flake). Right now, I’m using a decidedly non-green option as I continue to survey the field on this one. (Thoughts welcome, #2.)
As an aside, not only are these some of the most effective products I’ve ever used, the idea of supporting smaller, independent, (largely) women-owned businesses really resonates with me. As my passion for greener products has deepened, I’ve had the opportunity to meet and interact with the powerful, informed, thoughtful, and genuinely warm women behind these brands. I find them inspiring, and I value supporting their passion and vision.
Thanks, too, to the NMDL gals and the community for so many good ideas, tips and inspiration!
We feel the same, Alison, and we love your practical yet glam taste in clean beauty! XO