One of our readers recently included BijaBody’s Beauty Tea in her morning routine. Have you tried it? This line is new to us, and we’re excited to share the founder of BijaBody’s makeup bag with you. Here’s Melissa:

Please know I’m a “naturalish” girl. I go 80/20. 80% best I can, 20% when it’s something I think simply works better. I’m savvy enough that nothing is ever total crap, but I did want to be fully honest below. Also, I won’t touch products which contain Palm Oil, as I think it’s more destructive than synthetic counterparts on a social/environmental level, so it limits a lot of the make-up lines that are all natural. As long as decisions are made conscientiously, that still equals responsible and working towards change. Oh, TMI. Read on.

Name: Melissa Picoli

Age: 35

Home: Whitefish, Montana. I’m from Brazil, and spent most of my twenties traveling around the world before settling in lovely Montana.

Your relationship with makeup: I adore it. I use bits even when on crazy adventures and 19 day Grand Canyon river trips. It’s not so much a crutch for me as it is fun. I definitely claim being a woman and enjoy every bit of it. When I was younger, I thought being feminine made me somehow less badass. As I’ve grown into myself, I realize I’m as badass as I want to be, with or without lip gloss and mascara. And if that touch makes me feel prettier, well, more power to me! Oddly enough, a lot of people think I don’t really wear make-up. I rarely leave home without it.  Turns out, I rock at the natural look.

What’s in my makeup bag…

Worker-B Honey Face Wash: I love this product, and use it daily. I carry it with me in case I need to do a refresh in the afternoon. I’m less of a touch-up girl and more of a do-it-all-over type. With honey, you can wash your face as often as you want. You can easily make your own honey wash, or use just honey, but theirs is pretty amazing, and it’s an incredibly cool company.

DIY Face Oil: I combine Rosehip Seed, Rice Bran and Carrot Seed Oil with a touch of rose and geranium essential oil. Best face oil combination I’ve ever used, plus it contains naturally occurring sunscreen. These three botanical oils are some of the most researched and documented beauty oils. We use them in all BijaBody products.

Suntegrity Tinted Sunscreen: I have a really funky relationship with sunscreen, and usually don’t trust it, but I really like Suntegrity when the sun starts shining, trust these guys, and the coverage is perfect. Just enough. When I do want more coverage, and you’ll kind of hate me for this, but the best foundation I’ve ever found simply for the look/feel (not ingredients) is CoverGirl FitMe. It’s my going out foundation. 80/20 rule right? I’ve spent lots of money looking for foundation I really like. Somehow, I keep going back to that one. I do have my eye on W3LL People’s Stick Foundation….Tried it in their store in Austin, TX and I might end up really liking it.

Mineral Fusion Bronzer + Powder: Light coverage, not cakey. The bronzer has a non-glittery side that is perfect for contouring. I’m not a big powder girl, and the older I get the less I want it. But a touch seems pretty important. I definitely love bronzer. I live in Montana. We see sun for a few weeks a year. The rest of the time, we have to fake it.

Flower Makeup Mascara + Cream Blush in Primrose & Proper: I really like these two products from Flower. Got turned on to them by someone whose makeup always looks impeccable and now they’re go-tos. I hope Drew Barrymore cleans up the ingredients a bit. But hopefully, the color/texture remains similar. Their foundation is nice too, again, just on a look/feel level.

Osmosis Concealer in Silk: I have a tendency towards dark circles. Always have, since I was a kid. I put the tiniest dab of this just in the inner corners and on the little cupid’s bow spot above the lip, then foundation. It brightens everything up. I also have some hyper-pigmentation from a few past products that contained citrus oils that I strongly dislike so try to cover up.

Jane Iredale: Cake Liner in Dawn + Lip Gloss in Tourmaline: This shadow/cake liner stays put most of the day, and can be re-applied easily without caking. And I really like the lip gloss consistency. It layers perfectly over BijaBody’s BedsideManner.

Alima Pure Shadow in Prossecco: Just a hint of shimmer, and so pretty. I also dust a bit along my collarbone. This is a great company out of Oregon, and everything they make is lovely.

Bobbi Brown Liner: When I want a liquid liner look, this one does the job.

Random Eyebrow Pencil in Taupe: Rarely leave the house without filing in eyebrows a bit. I think it pulls everything together.

BijaBody: BedsideManner goes on lips every morning and night. I dab a bit of Daily Body Serum on upper cheek bones throughout the day to refresh and give skin a dewy finish, and always apply the Anti-Aging Body Treatment to my neck and decollate when I’m finishing my make-up, followed by a light touch of bronzer. I know I’m biased because I created these products. But it’s a very well earned bias.

Bag: I’m a bit spoiled because I have several of our Jet Set Bags. I use the ones that have little button/zipper issues that we can’t sell. One of my favorite make-up bag tricks is to have a strong magnet inside it. Anything metal clings to it so you never have to dig for bobby pins or tweezers. They all bunch up together.

Here’s your Makeup Monday fix, all the way from Oslo!

Name: Stine Storli
Age: 26
Where I live: Oslo, Norway
My relationship with makeup: Started at an early age. I’m a real makeup junkie and love to try out everything new. Therefore my routine changes pretty quickly, but now I’m trying to stick to what works for me. I have always struggled with acne but after a few rounds on accutane ( I know its horrible but I was young and didn’t know better) and changing to all natural skincare and makeup products my skin has transformed and is in much better condition.

Here’s what’s in my makeup bag…

Foundation: Jane Iredale full coverage bb cream. I think this works fine but I’m not 100% happy with it so I’m planning on buying the Jane Iredale liquid foundation to try out. If I’m going out I sometimes cheat by wearing the Giorgio Armani Luminous silk foundation but this rarely happens.

Powder: I love the Fedora minerals pressed powder and I use this as a foundation every day. I’m not a morning person so I need my make up routine in the mornings to be super quick and this powder even outs my skin so beautifully and it goes on easily. This make up brand is developed by the mineral guru herself Jane Iredale and if I’m not mistaken its currently only sold in Norway.

Concealer: I use the Bare Minerals  Correcting Concealer in SPF 20 it’s really creamy and I can use it both on spots and also under my eyes.

Eyeshadow: I have fallen in love with the  Dr. Hauschka eyeshadow palette. It has four colors that are perfect for everyday or when going out. I use the black color as an eyeliner.

Mascara: I’m a mascara cheater because I haven’t found a good long lasting natural mascara that stays on all day and doesn’t smudge off. I got a lot of tips out of the article No More Dirty Looks had on mascaras so I’m planing on starting the hunt for my perfect natural mascara but until then I’m using my Lancome Definicils mascara in black.

Cheeks: The blus from Nilens Jord a Danish brand is a really good blush. It gives a nice glow to my checks and a perfect peach color.

Lip: I really like the lip gloss from Bare Minerals Pretty Amazing in color Free Will. I think it is the perfect beige color. I also use the Juicy Beauty Lip Moisture in SPF 8 in the colors Joyful and Playful.

Etc: In my make up bag I also have Suki Concentrated Balancing Toner to refresh my skin after a long day in the dry office air or when I’m out and about and want to rehydrate my skin a bit. Badager Damascus Rose Face Sunscreen in SPF 16 is the sunscreen I swear by in the cooler months. Since the sun is barely out here in Norway during winter I don’t need a higher SPF. I also love the Fedora Foundation Primer that I tend to use if my skin is a bit on the dryer side. And at last but not least I use the LaVanillas Vanilla Blackberry rollerball perfume, perfect to keep in my handbag.

Thanks for sharing Stine! Send us your Makeup Monday post and don’t forget the photo!

Meet Tara! Love tea? She’s got you covered. Need some makeup application tips? Ditto.

Name: Tara

Age: 24

City: Colorado Springs

Current Weather: Sunny but in the mid 30s

Skin: Dry and acne prone- that lovely combination

Hair: Long, wavy brown and thankfully relatively stress free

Favorite Star: I couldn’t think of one from the past so can I say Shiva Rose? I absolutely love her site The Local Rose and think she’s such a lovely women and great role model.

I adore my skincare products. Nothing brightens up my day like receiving new beauty loot from one of my favorite brands. I am also always trying to find that next cure which I am sure is going to give me supple, flawless, glowing skin. While I haven’t found that product I have found a decadent routine that seems to suit my skin care needs.

First I begin with a cup of tea. I am a tea connoisseur and frequently switch my teas on taste and what I feel my body and skin “need”. Some days I need a clean energy kick I reach for Runa Tea, other days something more delicate like Rishi Wild Rose Tea, some days I love the fragrant punch and beauty of 2 Leaves and a Bud Green Tea Jasmine, and if I want a skin detox either Susan Kauffman Detox Tea (which I got on vacation in Munich and am kicking myself that I didn’t buy anymore because it is THAT GOOD). Anyway enough of the teas, moving on with my day I next try to fit in a ½ hr workout then get ready for a shower.

I dry brush for a couple of minutes before hopping in the shower. These days I cleanse with May Lindstrom’s heavenly Honey Mud (I got to try a sample with the NMDL promo and just received my full size version-yay!) I try and really pamper my skin with the cleanser using the technique Isabelle Bellis demonstrated on Into the Gloss. I alternate this with May’s Clean Dirt. For my body I keep it simple, I just use Hugo lavender body soap and shave when needed. I wash my hair a couple of times a week and when I do I rely on Rahua’s Shampoo and Conditioner. Once I’m out of the shower I spritz my face with Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Vitamin D Mist and then apply my oils. This is the part of my skincare that I experiment with the most. I have used May Lindstrom’s Youth Dew (gorgeous) and more recently Aster and Bay’s Purify (a little drying on my skin heading into winter, although really nice for summer), African Botanicals Marula Oil (nice richer oil although I think it breaks me out a bit so I only use it on areas I don’t get breakouts). Just today I order La Bella Figura’s Holiday Essentials Mini Set and can’t wait to try the Daily Elements Defense Oil and the Barbary Fig Renewal. After applying my face oils I rub some coconut oil and put deodorant on (another product which I switch- either from Meow Meow Tweet, Soapwalla or Lavanilla). For my hair I put on some Yarok’s Feed Your Roots and style. Once I’m done with styling I use John Masters Sea Mist. A couple of times a week I also May Lindstrom’s Problem Solver, amazing product, amazing women, really I am so in awe and in love with her line.

I next brush my teeth with Weleda’s salt toothpaste and head to the kitchen for breakfast. I am a green smoothie convert and love getting ideas off Pinterest. Two of my favorite recipes come from Foodtrainers, their “Thin Mint Smoothie” and Carrot Turmeric. Both so good and healthy! Days that I don’t make a smoothie I’ll have green juice and then a snack later on in the morning. This is the time I also take supplements. I use Synergy’s Womens Multivitamin, Garden of Life Raw Resveratrol, Garden of Life CoQ10, Gaia Turmeric and Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver oil. I also take two dropperfulls of tinctures my naturopath makes me- one if for stress/hormones and the other is for my skin.

Once I am done with breakfast I head back to the bathroom for my makeup. I use RMS Uncoverup under my eyes, Bareminerals mineral powder on spots and lightly all over, Jane Iredale’s Moonglow on my cheeks, temples, and chin making a “3” shape. Then I dab some RMS Luminizer on the upper cheeks, temples, eyebrow, inner eye, and cupid’s brow. I then use RMS in solar on my lids, Dr Hauschka Volumizer Mascara and finally some Baby Bear All The Better to Kiss You With Lip Balm.

Thanks for sharing Tara! Recognize similarities in your own routine? Share with us in the comments!

Name: Susannah Compton

Age: 33

Where I live: Washington, D.C.

My relationship with makeup: Complicated. I grew up in an area of the country (Texas and Oklahoma) where women wear a lot of makeup from a very young age. I remember a time when I wouldn’t be caught dead without mascara on my pale lashes. I’ve been on the east coast for nearly a decade now, where women have a very different relationship with makeup. I’ve worked with many women here who never wear it. I’ve reached a point where I’m very comfortable leaving the house bare-faced, but I love the clean, natural stuff I’ve discovered so much that I don’t want to be without some of it. I’m terrible at applying eye makeup, so I experiment more with my cheeks and most with my lips. I’ve always been drawn to the natural, beach babe look—glowing, minimal color in just the right places.

Here’s what’s currently in my makeup bag:

Complexion and SPF Protection: I use either Juice Beauty CC Cream (haven’t we said it all about this baby?) or Jane Iredale PurePressed Mineral Foundation in Warm Sienna. Both contain sunscreen. The Jane Iredale PurePressed Mineral Foundation is a bit more polished looking with better coverage, though not heavy. The color match is great for me and there are a lot of options. Before buying, I called Jane Iredale’s customer service and their lovely representative helped me select a few possible color matches and then sent me samples to try before deciding which to purchase. Amazing! For perfect coverage, I apply it with the flocked sponge, sold separately but completely worth it.  Setting the foundation with a hydrosol brings the finish to life, and it lasts all day.

Concealer: Sometimes I’m all like, yeah I’m gonna rock the dark circles under my eyes like it’s heroin chic and I don’t give a hoot…but really…I just look tired. I have mixed feelings about concealer. The thing is, I kind of want to break up with concealer altogether. I only need it under my eyes, but even my favorites settle into fine lines (looking at you RMS). More and more, wearing concealer just looks too obvious. Does anyone else feel this way? For now, I’m just dipping a small brush into Alima Pure Mineral Concealer in Sand, tapping off the excess powder, and swiping it directly under my lower lash line where my eyes are particularly red. It’s too dry of a look for the entire under eye area, but this little trick alone has done wonders to brighten my eyes.

Cheek Color: A few months ago I started using the ILIA multi-stick in tenderly. This pale pink is the most flattering shade of blush I’ve ever used, period. It’s the perfect tone—not too cool, not too warm. It looks incredibly natural on, and it lasts for most of the day. During the recent NMDL + Nubonau promotion I bought the new RMS Buriti Bronzer, but I regretted the purchase almost immediately. Cream bronzer? What was I thinking? When I opened the pot to find a color that looked more mauve than bronze, I felt certain it was a bad purchase. But then I tried it on. Hello new favorite thing in my makeup bag! The Buriti Bronzer gives the most natural sun-kissed glow. It blends in effortlessly, even on top of powder. Tenderly + Buriti together are a pretty magical combination.

Eyeshadow: Most often, I swipe some RMS in Solar on my lids and call it a day. This is the one RMS eyeshadow that stays put. I’m not sure why, but the texture is less oily than the others. I have big blue eyes, which sounds good on paper, but since they are such a prominent feature, it’s actually awkward to apply eye makeup without looking way overdone. Or perhaps it’s just that I never learned to create a “look” with eye makeup. Smoky eye? More like black eye.

Mascara: The good news—I found a clean mascara that performs like a dirty mascara on my lashes: Pure Anada Natural Mascara. It volumizes for real and lasts all day, no flakes or smudges. Seriously, this is the best clean mascara I’ve tried. The bad news—I’m really hooked on a dirty mascara: Clinique Lash Power Mascara. This is one of those “tubing” mascaras that looks fresh all day long, but the thing that keeps me coming back for more is the way it washes off. With warm water, it slides off your lashes in little strips rather than smearing all over your eye area like other mascaras. This means I don’t have to tug at delicate skin to remove all traces of makeup.

Lip color: Lately, my favorites are Tata Harper’s Be Adored tinted lip treatment, W3LL People Nudist Colorbalm Stick in #1, and ILIA Beauty lip gloss in Gypsy. Have you tried Tata Harper’s lip treatments? I love Be Adored for its effortless application, incredible moisture, and perfect rosy tint. It’s plumping and anti-aging, plus it leaves a nice stain of color that lasts. W3LL People’s Nudist #1 is a more subtle coral color that is hydrating and provides a barely-there, my lips but better look. ILIA’s lip gloss in Gypsy is very on trend this fall, but this one takes more effort. It’s a lovely deep color, and it isn’t sticky like some lip glosses. However, it’s so glossy that it tends to bleed. To help control the application and boost the color, I like to apply it over DeVita absolute LIPS in Sanguine Angel. I’ve been impressed with DeVita’s lipstick. Though I’ve only tried one, the texture, wear, and color are fantastic.

Etc: There are two things I also consider essential in my makeup bad—a natural perfume and a mutli-purpose balm. I am madly in love with Tsi-La Organics Kesu Perfume Oil. It’s warm and seductive, plus the tiny roll-on bottle travels well without leaking.  My go-to balm is Badger Organic Baby Balm with Chamomile and Calendula. This stuff makes a killer lip balm and soothes any dry spot on your body. Plus, the scent of chamomile is so relaxing.

That’s it! Now, anyone want to teach me how to apply eyeshadow?

Here’s a routine for all our sensitive-skinned readers. Christine has found a natural routine that relies on a good diet, gentle products, and of course some amazing natural makeup. Enjoy!

Name:  Christine

Age:  45 (seriously, where does the time go?)

Hometown:  Minneapolis, MN

Weather:  Cool, beautiful autumn weather.

Skin:  Fair and super sensitive.

Hair: Natural dark blonde, chin length, blunt cut and very, very, (very) fine.

Star:  Not from the past but Cate Blanchett.  She’s talented, beautiful, and I love her overall style.

I wanted to do a morning routine to share what is working for me and maybe help others who may be struggling with reallllly sensitive skin.  About 15 years ago, a dermatologist “diagnosed” me with rosacea and promptly handed me a prescription for antibiotics and Metrogel and sent me on my way.  I really did not think it was healthy to take antibiotics for 3 months (!) so I left the prescriptions unfilled and decided to try and fix my own skin.   I did a lot of research on skin care products and diet to find out what was going on with me.   Since my facial redness completely disappeared after switching to gentle skincare products, I don’t really think I ever had true rosacea.  I do have one or two broken capillaries around my nose, hereditary and probably age-related, but no more overall redness.

My skincare journey began by cutting out parabens and chemical sunscreens.  I saw improvement in my skin just getting rid of those.  Then I found that too many silicones and even titanium dioxide caused my skin to flake no matter how much I moisturized.  Alcohol, used to preserve some natural products (Dr. Hauschka, Lavera) also irritated my skin.  Finally, I found that all essential oils reddened my skin.  So my journey to more natural products has been quite difficult since so many natural products use essential oils.  I still try new products occasionally (and patch test of course), but I almost always react.

With my diet, I tried EVERYTHING to improve my skin and the ONLY thing that made a difference was getting rid of all added sugar (yes, even chocolate).  I tried going vegan for a year, a raw food diet, dairy-free, gluten-free, giving up nightshades, no coffee, eating alkalizing foods, etc.   Only cutting out sugar made any difference in my skin, and honestly, once it’s out of your diet you don’t miss it.   I’ve always eaten healthy whole foods (lots of fruits and vegetables, no processed foods) and I drink lots of water.  I still eat the occasional dessert on special occasions, but I usually see a slight reddening of my face the next day.  I also take a daily probiotic and Vitamin D (drops in a coconut oil base) during the winter.

Sorry for such a long intro, but I think there may be a few other sensitive NMDL readers out there who may be frustrated that the skincare products that work so well for others don’t work for them.  I love reading NMDL for information on healthy living, as well as skincare and makeup, and maybe my routine can help someone else.

In the shower…

I am not a morning person and I need my coffee to get going every day.  Daily morning showers also help wake me up.  Since I work out every day and am blessed with fine hair and an oily scalp, I need to wash it daily.  I’ve tried to wash it less often, but I’ve had no luck with any products or techniques.  My hair is shiny and healthy so I guess it is working for me.  I use the John Masters Bare shampoo.  Many natural shampoos are full of essential oils so I’m very careful as several have irritated my scalp (peppermint oil being the worst offender).  I also never use conditioner since they all weigh my hair down.  I wash my face with a glycerin soap (Whole Foods, unscented).   For the body, I use olive oil soap (right now, Sappo Hill).  My showers are short and I use only lukewarm water.

Outside the shower…

I apply Elave Intense Moisture Surge on my face.  This Irish moisturizer is free of parabens, alcohol, sulfates, dyes, phthalates, lanolin, and fragrance.  I let it sink in and then apply Burn Out sunscreen SPF 30 to my face and neck.   This sunscreen contains only zinc oxide and I love it: it’s moisturizing and I get no white residue from it.  That’s it!  I don’t exfoliate, or use eye creams or serums.  Occasionally though, I will use a few drops of Josie Maran Argan oil or Aura Cacia Macadamia Nut oil at night before I apply my moisturizer.  Although I always (always!) want to try out new products, I know that for me, less is more.   I’ve had this simple routine for years now and my skin looks really great.  It also gets me through Minnesota winters without dry, flaky skin.

On my body, I use the Whole Foods 365 Moisturizing Lotion which is fragrance free.   I’m still using LaVanila deodorant in Lavender Vanilla because it works and is not irritating.  I’d love to try another deodorant but all the essential oils kinda freak me out.   I leave my hair to air dry and spray on Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray.  It’s the only styling product I use and I keep rationalizing that since I spray it on my hair, my body’s not absorbing it.  I can’t find another product to give my hair the same texture and fullness that this does.  And since I can’t tolerate essential oils, the natural surf sprays have not worked for me.  (*Any recommendations to replace this would be appreciated!) When my hair is nearly dry, I blow dry upside down for a little more volume.

Finishing touches…

I love wearing makeup and, as a natural blonde, I feel like my features disappear without a little definition.   After my sunscreen, I apply RMS Un-Cover Up where I need it.  I actually mix 11 and 22 to get the right color: 11 on its own is way too yellow for my skin.  I wish RMS would make an “11-C” for cool-toned skin—not everybody has yellow undertones!  I also use the RMS Living Luminizer and RMS in Demure on cheeks.  As much as I love RMS and their minimal ingredients, I can’t use their eyeshadows.  Not only do they not last on me, but they somehow seep into my eyes and then my eyes water all day long.

On my eyelids, I use Mineral Fusion’s Concealer Duo in Cool as a primer.  Then, I line my eyes with Inika’s eyeliner in Graphite, a nice soft pencil which lasts all day on me.  I also use Jane Iredale eyeshadow in Taupe.  It is the best color I’ve found for my green eyes.  I’m still looking for a great natural mascara (isn’t everybody?).  Next up to try is Honeybee Gardens since I like their lipliner.

On my lips, I love Honeybee Gardens lipliner in Zen and RMS Lipshine in Bloom.  Also in rotation are Hurraw’s Coconut lip balm, Hurraw’s Black Cherry Tinted Lip Balm, Lily Lolo lipstick in Love Affair, Suvana Paw Paw and Honey Balm, and Great Barrier Island Bee Co. Manuka Honey Lip Balm.

Luckily, most natural makeup has worked well for me because I am an avid reader of ingredient lists.  I also try to sample everything before I buy it.

Thanks for reading!!