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!
Meet Ruby! Her skincare and hair routine is clean, but her makeup routine is… not so clean. We love her honesty, and we can all identify with her transition to clean products. That said, Ruby has some recommendations for clean products we’ve never even heard of! Go Girl!
Age: 21 as of October
Current weather: The cooler evenings of fall are approaching, along with what will soon be weeks of rainy winter in British Columbia!
Hair: Thick, wavy, oily
Skin: Fair, oily and blemish-prone; my pale complexion lends itself to some sensitivity and mild redness as well.
Favorite star from the past: Not necessarily a personal favorite, however, my mom says I can resemble a young Julie Christie and she’s a babe, so you won’t hear me arguing.
In the shower…
I wash my hair as infrequently as possible in a desperate attempt to get my scalp to regulate the amount of oil it produces—yet tragically, after over a year of doing so, I still cannot manage to do it less than twice a week. (And I’m still in the sad hair boat of having it fall almost completely limp the day after) I’m currently using up the last bit of my Intelligent Nutrients Harmonic duo, the minty scent is quite unisex, and the conditioner is absolutely divine—so luxurious in texture and moisturizing ability. After reading the most recent review on here for Rahua’s Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner, I ordered some samples from Spirit Beauty Lounge, and suspect it will be finding its way into my shower in the near future.
Every Saturday night, I apply coconut oil from mid-shaft down, twist in a braid, and sleep on a towel. After a double hair cleanse and a massage of conditioner into my ends the following morning, I grab a bar of natural soap and do a quick swipe over my pits and bits. I’ve been debating between opting for the body wash route or trying yet another brand of soap; does anyone else get that squeaky clean feeling? I’ve tried half a dozen different clean bars (Moksa, various Etsy retailers) and can’t seem to escape it. Not to mention scent selection! Maybe I want to lather myself up in jasmine instead of vetiver and patchouli… I’m far too lazy to apply body lotion outside of the shower, so if my skin feels like it’s getting on the drier side—I’ll just slather it in coconut oil before my final rinse. I also like to mix it with some form of grit (coarse salt, sugar, SNAP anyone?) whenever I want to scrub, it kills two birds with one stone and eliminates that itchy post-exfoliation sensation that I get.
Out of the shower…
I have forced myself to only splash my face with water in the morning; my skin doesn’t appear to be any worse off and it saves my cleanser! I do several mists of Evan Healy’s Lemon Thyme Hydrosol (I have decided to try Immortelle, however, after reading Kim’s experience) and follow with Jurlique’s Calendula Cream (I’ve re-purchased this over five times which is INCREDIBLE when you consider I am a complete and utter product junkie and am always hunting for that next best product). I’m fairly lucky when it comes to my hair in that it can air-dry, without product, into soft waves. (Which is darn lucky because if it didn’t, I would endure endless bad hair days since I’m inept in that department—there are three styles in my world: down, ponytail, and sock bun.) If any frizz does arise, I can usually quell it with the help of a boar bristle brush. (I just broke down and purchased a $100+ Mason Pearson brush and lemme tell you, ignore the seemingly endless blog posts that tell you it’s worth it, because it’s not.) My Nourish deodorant has run out and I’m waiting on my Living Libations order to come through and simultaneously hoping that I like it but also hoping that I won’t … over $55 after shipping for 5 ml of the stuff! The former was good but not great, I loved the femininity of the Almond + Vanilla scent but found it would take religious re-application. I tried Miessence prior to that and after developing a red rash on my underarms, realized that I have a sensitivity to baking soda!
My current night routine is in a bit of an upset at the moment; I ran out of Blissoma’s Mild Rice Cleanser, which was treating my skin pretty nicely, especially the congestion my forehead would experience. Despite this, it’s only natural that I would try a *different* cleanser because as all fellow product junkies know, what if something worked even better? I temporarily returned to the last remaining dribbles of Sunday Riley’s Ceramic Slip Cleanser (I didn’t love this as much as I hoped, too foamy, but your face indeed feels like marble afterwards) and now begins my foray into samples. My first was the Sevani Ageless Radiance Refining AHA Cleanser, which smells deliciously of citrus but was also possible for what may have been my worst breakout in months. I still can’t pin down if it was this product that caused such an upset as there’s nothing I can outright blame in the ingredient list, however, I’m also not itching to give it a second try anytime soon.
I’ve switched to a sample pot of Kahina’s Facial Cleanser and can’t find a single thing that I dislike! It possesses a lovely lotiony texture, removes makeup with ease, and doesn’t appear to be aggravating my acne-prone skin. I’m waiting for a sample of Aurelia’s Miracle Cleanser and then I’ll make the final cleanser call. (I’ve heard amazing things about Aurelia’s muslin clothes, so even if the product itself doesn’t work for me, I’ll probably end up grabbing a package of those—they have a set for Monday through Sunday, how cute is that?!) I bought Dr. Alkaitis’ Organic Soothing Gel a while back but it seems to have abruptly stopped doing anything for my face so now I apply ISUN’s Clarifying Serum most nights (if you haven’t tried this product and have a similar skintype to mine, DO SO, it helps to regulate sebum production and gently eases breakouts). I was hesitant about buying it at first considering there are virtually no online reviews but after loving the ingredient list and now on my second bottle, this seems to be an item that will be on my permanent regime. Every few nights I’ll use Arcona’s The Solution, which helps with any hyper pigmentation from leftover acne scars and helps give my pores that “refined” look. Whew, still with me?
Here is where it gets dirty; being fair-skinned with cool undertones means that I *never* have an even complexion without the aid of base makeup. There will always be a bit of redness everywhere—around the nose, lower cheeks, chin—you get it. This is the primary reason why I wear foundation. Every. Day. It’s horrible, I know and it’s not even *that* bad but I don’t feel confident without it. If I could only own one cosmetic item, it would be Estee Lauder’s Double Wear Foundation. It disguises redness exceptionally well, doesn’t slide off my face by the end of the day, and is easy to sheer out to lighter coverage when I use my beloved BeautyBlender sponge. I want to give RMS Uncover Up a solid try but the beeswax in it makes me nervous to use it on my whole face. I think that a non-clean foundation will be the hardest product for me to let go of in my beauty routine—even though I prefer the satin/dewy finish that comes with a lot of the natural ones, I want the staying power that comes with chemicals. *sigh*
I use a combination of Giorgio Armani’s High Precision Retouch with Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage for under eye darkness and then on any blemishes I mix the latter with some of the amazing MUFE Full Cover Concealer. I use Jane Iredale’s PurePressed Base to top it off with some MUFE HD Powder in my oilier areas. I’m still navigating the territory of blush—with natural rosy cheeks, I’m nervous about applying anything that could exacerbate this. I just tried a sample of “Spark” from Vapour and I’m waiting on a tester of “Modest” and “Smile” from RMS. Any other peachy-shade-of blush recommendations? For eye makeup, I pop some of RMS’ Living Luminizer along my brow bone and inner eye corner. I have decided that in the realm of eyeshadows, I could solely use UD’s Naked Palette and be happy (I just discovered that Silk Naturals has a dupe for the entire Naked 2 Palette, so be proud because I will be switching to that eventually!). I’m a big fan of the cat eye which I achieve with Bobbi Brown’s Gel Eyeliner and then finish it with a coat of Josie Maran’s mascara after a thorough curl with my shu uemura. And that’s pretty much it! I don’t tend to wear anything on my lips but lip balm unless I’m doing something dramatic in which case I love Aveda’s Rare Orchid or the dreaded Russian Red from MAC …
Everything is a process—I could be doing better but I could also be doing a lot worse. I’m confident that in the coming years, my entire beauty routine will be squeaky clean!
It’s true, Ruby. Everything is a process. Keep it up! We bet our readers will have some fun clean makeup recommendations for you, too.
Is there anything more exciting than discovering a new product you love?
The other day Siobhan, Susannah and I were talking about this electrifying process and we came to the conclusion that NMDL basically lives and breathes on discovering new brands and products. Even if we also like to write about random stuff like why meditation is going to make you a better person, and how chia seeds absolutely can go in your coffee… At the end of the day product recommendations are the bones of what we do.
Which is great because since writing the book the natch beauty biz has been BOOMING. I have more boxes sitting in my entrance than I know what to do with. It drives my husband up a wall, but I don’t even like opening them if I’m not ready to: smell, read ingredients, and decide if the product is worth of trying. Many don’t even make it past the nose test!
When I think about it, it’s actually kind of wild how many of our staples are still from the original tribe (you know, RMS, Kahina, Intelligent Nutrients…) There’s a special voodoo to creating the perfect product, something like creating the perfect dish—and it’s just not everyone who can cook. (Bless your hearts for trying, though.) Don’t even get us started on packaging.
Not that we haven’t made new incredible discoveries since then. I mean, Studio 78, Ilia, Acure, Marie Veronique Organics, and May Lindstrom (the last, PS, is cooking up a new product right now that you guys are gonna lose your freaking minds over).
But who else is out there, that we just don’t know about yet? Where’s the next Rosemarie Swift, making magic in her kitchen, or already selling her product overseas… We must find her!
That’s where you come in. So, two questions:
1. Other than popping by here, what’s your product discovery process?Friends, other blogs, a store in your city?
2. What products have you found and love—in any category—that we just aren’t talking about here? We take a lot of joy in introducing smaller brands to more folks, so don’t keep secrets.
Or maybe, gasp, you are making your own beauty products? Tell us about them, or email us and send some samples through…
I promise the boxes always get opened eventually! x
Meet Caitie, a natural beauty blogger who shares our passion for great clean products!
Hometown: Toronto, ON, Canada
Current Weather: Moody—hot and humid one day, cool the next.
Hair: Curly and very prone to frizz. I’ve happily found products that keep it under control, but when I deviate, bad, pouffy things happen!
Skin: Pretty normal. I struggled with acne until about 21, but since then, my skin has been fairly easygoing. It can be a little sensitive at times, but generally my biggest skin concerns are pores that I wish were less visible, and a couple fine lines on my forehead.
Icon: I’m not sure I have one! But, let’s go with Amanda Seyfried. I don’t see it, but ever since Mamma Mia came out, I regularly have strangers come up to me and tell me how much I look like her. It’s very strange…
The night before…
I take my makeup off with jojoba oil and then double cleanse with some kind of cleanser. I’ve been looking for a new one and trying out a few different ones in the meantime, but none seem quite right. I like Pretty’s Black Tea and Raw Cocoa Cleansing Grains and Weleda’s Soothing Almond Cleansing Lotion, but I’m not convinced either of them gets my skin clean enough to use just it, all the time. After cleansing, I use a homemade witch hazel toner, and follow with KYI’s Argan + Vitamin C Serum, which is a light oil, but still very hydrating. I’ve actually noticed an improvement in the lines on my forehead in the two months or so I’ve been using it. I also use Pure + Simple’s Eye Brightening Cream, which is great for dark circles, but not quite as effective for puffiness.
In the morning…
About once a week, I mix up a homemade clay mask and apply that about 10 minutes before jumping in the shower. When I remember, I’ll also do a quick dry brush. On days when I don’t do a mask, I like to use a face scrub in the shower – either Devita’s Gentle Aloe Scrub or Sukin’s Revitalizing Facial Scrub (which contains phenoxyethanol but is otherwise very clean). Next, I wash my hair with Acure’s Moroccan Argan Oil + Argan Stem Cell Shampoo and leave the matching conditioner on until the very end of my shower. I change body washes all the time, but right now I’m using Nourish’s Almond Vanilla, which is lovely and creamy, and smells like decadent cake batter. On shaving days, I use Desert Essence’s Fragrance Free Conditioner, which I hated on my hair, but which works surprisingly well as a shaving cream.
Outside of the shower…
If I don’t deal with my hair while it’s very wet, it frizzes up, so after quickly toweling off, the first thing I do is apply Aura Cacia’s Organic Argan Oil, focusing it mainly on my ends. Then, I scrunch with either Yarok’s Feed Your Roots Mousse or Intelligent Nutrients’ Styling Gel. Both control frizz and define my curls, without leaving my hair sticky or crunchy. Both also have mild scents, which I love since scented hair products usually start to drive me crazy midway through the day. The Intelligent Nutrients gives a little more hold and makes for better second day hair, but either one is fine day to day.
On my face, I use my homemade witch hazel toner again, followed by Skin Essence’s Nourish Serum/Moisturizer and Pure + Simple’s Eye Brightening Cream. I also moisturize my body with an unscented lotion. Right now I’m using Seed’s Nourishing Body Lotion, but my favorite is Acure’s Cocoa Butter + CoQ10.
I enjoy playing around with makeup, but my everyday look is pretty neutral. Eye shadow varies day to day, but it’s usually a light, shimmery beige or gold on the lid and a medium brown or plum in the crease. My favorite mascara is Zuzu Luxe’s Onyx, and while I don’t wear liner every day, when I do, it’s a pencil from either Honeybee Gardens or Benecos. Lips are usually pretty subtle. I like Badger’s lip balms (particularly the cocoa butter ones), Yes to Carrot’s Tinted Colorbalms, Vapour’s lip glosses, and a recent discovery, Ecco Bella’s FlowerColor lipsticks (Tuscany Rose is my favorite). Most days I wear a powder foundation, either Honeybee Gardens’ Pressed Mineral Foundation or Lucy Minerals’ Lucy Light Foundation. For a cream/liquid product, I’m a big fan of The All Natural Face’s Cream Foundation. I also use Une’s Skin Glow Pencil and Silk Naturals’ Sleep in a Jar Concealer under my eyes. My blush is usually from one of my homemade pressed palettes, which I made a couple months ago when I was feeling especially adventurous. I top everything off with Lucy Minerals’ Light Finishing Powder, which blurs fine lines and imperfections and helps my makeup last longer.
Whew, sounds like a lot when you write it all out! Overall, I’m pretty happy with my routine, but I’m still searching for a perfect cleanser and eye cream. Any suggestions are very welcome!
Young Lisette needs our help!
While we talk a lot about natural curls on this site, for obvious reasons we haven’t gotten into the specifics around African-American hair. So it’s time for our readers to step in here and talk about what you’ve tried.
That said, Lisette, here are three brands we think are worth testing out. All three smell good, and are super hydrating for thick/coarse/curly hair.
1. Andalou: We haven’t tried their shampoos, but the conditioners and the styling cream are great.
3. Intelligent Nutrients: And old favorite, the leave-in conditioner and volumizing spray are two great styling product for thick and/or curly hair. (Smell might take getting used to but it grows on you!)
What products would you recommend Lisette try?
Here’s her note.
My name is Lisette and I am an avid reader of your blog. I have learned so much from other readers input and have come to view your site as a resource for many of my clean questions. Ever since I learned about the types of chemicals that the beauty industry puts into our products I have been on a clean crusade. So here is my question. What products would you or your readers recommend for someone with ethnic hair.
I am a 19-year-old African American woman and I have thick natural hair. As much as I love clean products the one area that I have been struggling in is hair care. It has been so hard to find a shampoo and conditioner that works for my type of hair texture. I have being trying products left and right and I find that the ones that work decently smell terrible and the ones that do smell good don’t really work. I am desperately trying to find a set that not only smells decent but also works well. Price really isn’t an issue at this point because I am willing to try anything (I am that desperate).
Right now I wouldn’ say that I am at the point of giving up but if I can’t find something I fear I might have to resort back to conventional hair care products until this area develops for people with my type of hair.
I know that you guys have tons of expertise in the area and would really really appreciate any recommendations you or your readers could give to me.
Don’t give up! Natural products (and less frequent washing) can be a real boon for curls.
The above image is from this awesome photo series called The Coiffure Project.