Somehow we missed Mercedes’ first routine in our inbox (guh!). But like many a clean girl, hers keeps evolving and we’re thrilled she sent in this new one because, well, it’s awesome. Now, can someone tell us what “stippling with a beauty blender” is? Because this makeup technique sounds amazing!
Age: 30 (on the cusp of 31, Gemini love)
Current weather: New England spring – holding steady in the low 60s, not a ton of humidity yet.
Hair: Naturally wavy, relatively fine but I have a lot of it, past my shoulders, very dark brown. I wear it in loose waves (from a large barrel curling iron) all the time.
Favorite icon: Not from the past, but Kate Winslet has been one of my beauty icons since I was young. She is such a truly beautiful, real woman and she inspires me to accept my own natural beauty.
Skin: I’ve always had a problem with dryness, but since going natural it really is more towards the “normal” side of things. Occasional cycle-related pimples, and a bit of redness here and there, but overall no major skin complaints. I’m happy! I don’t really ever wash my face with cleanser – I either use Jane Iredale’s magic mitt with warm water, or an oil cleansing method with macadamia nut oil (what I use to take off my eye makeup) and a hot washcloth. A few time a week I exfoliate with May Lindstrom’s The Clean Dirt.
In the shower…
I usually shower in the evenings, and as much as I would like to was my hair infrequently, I cannot stand the smell of scalp and with hot yoga classes and the lack of fragrance potency of most green hair products, I end up washing every other day. Shampoo and condish are my one true love Yarok, sometimes switched up with John Master’s Organics Zinc and Sage, which my boyfriend says makes me smell like “swiss miss” (the marshmallow, I guess). I suds up with either Dr. Bronner’s (the baby formula one) or a charcoal shower gel, and have been using up old bottles of Acure shampoo and condish to shave with (didn’t like it for my hair). Also, I’ve been using Rare El’ements pre-shampoo treatment a few times a week before I wash. I’ll usually put in, go to a yoga class, and then wash out. Once a month I’ll do a coconut oil deep conditioning. This has all transformed the condition of my formally pretty fried hair. I also like to do face masks once a week or do – my fave is the Pangea Oraganics seaweed one.
Outside the shower…
On the face it’s a spritz of some kind of toner (right now it’s the Acure one for dry skin – meh about it, next up will be In Fiore which I’m dyyyyying to get my paws on), and argan oil all over, and Kahina eye cream. My newest find is Bija Body…and I.love.it. I use the daily serum and lotion all over. It smells divine and lasts for a good long while. Sometimes I use Chocolate Sun self tanning lotion on my legs. I try and let my hair air dry as much as possible, and use Intelligent Nutrients leave in condish as a heat protectant. Then I use a large barrel curling iron to create large waves, do a little backcombing for volume, and set with some Intelligent Nutrients hairspray.
I love love love makeup. I have a separate everyday routine, and weekend/going out routine (which unfortunately still utilizes some dirty stuff). My current go-to day routine includes a layer of Vive Sana sunscreen, and RMS un-cover up in 22 applied with a beauty blender. This is my new FAVORITE discovery. The un-cover up didn’t work for me as an undereye concealer and I was lamenting the money I spent on something I couldn’t use. But then, inspired by posts on here about different ways to use products, I started playing around. To use all over the face for light coverage I discovered I need to use some kind of primer (the sunscreen, or sometimes I’ll just Vapour’s Skin perfector if it’s going to be overcast all day), and stippling with a damp beauty blender makes it blend in so well. Then I use a very light shade of Jane Iredale’s concealer click pen under my eyes, a contour-ish dusting of Studio 78’s bronzing powder (new discovery, love! Almost a dupe for NARS Laguna), a dab on the cheeks of Revolution Organics cream blush (the hot pink one!), sometimes a bit of RMS living luminizer on the cheekbones and cupid’s bow, fill in the brows with Jane Iredale brow gel, even out the eyelids with Nvey Eco concealer, curl lashes, apply some Jane Iredale basic black eye pencil on my waterline (top and bottom), apply a coat of Tarte’s lash primer (also a relatively new discovery, and it noticeably prevents mascara from flaking), and a few coats of Josie Maran’s GoGo mascara. Lips right now is Ilia’s tinted lip conditioner in Blossom Lady. It may sound like a lot but this takes me less than 10 minutes and I feel like me but better. Now, going out makeup is another story! It tends to include lots of black liquid liner, fake lashes, and bright lips <3
So glad to be part of the NMDL community. Green beauty is a huge passion, and I learn so much constantly from all of you.
Right back at ya, Mercedes!
I’m about to write a pretty girly how-to makeup post. It would almost warrant a YouTube video—if it weren’t simple enough for a monkey!
Two completely random events conspired last week for me to come up with a whole new makeup look (just when I thought I’d tried it all). 1) A 100-degree heat wave hit Los Angeles for two days putting the entire city in a sweat. And 2) I ran out of my favorite dirty mascara.
And so, the look that I’m calling “night-for-day face” was born. All you need are two products that you likely already have: bronzer (or blush if you don’t do bronzer) and a pencil eyeliner. It’s night-for-day because I like to wear eyeliner (with mascara) and bronzer for evenings out in the summer. But, while the eyeliner gives this look a touch of evening edge, it’s so light that it passes as polished without being too much for daytime wear.
The absolute best part about this face though? It’s 100% weather-and-activity-proof. There’s no leaks or smudges or runs. And it’s really really easy to reapply during the day. Also, it’s super liberating to not wear mascara but still have a little eye happening! Here’s what I do.
Prep: I’ve been using the Marie Veronique face oil, which smells and feels amazing. (Would I pay the $110 for it? Nope, probably not, but I got this bottle gifted.) The oil really helps the bronzer apply nicely though your usual moisturizer will likely do the trick. My skin has been pretty clear lately so (knock on wood), I’ve been using minimal concealer.
Apply: Bronzer with my finger (love the studio 78 one) under my cheekbones and slightly up around the contour of the bone. A tiny bit along the bridge of my nose as well as my eyebrow bone. Then I very lightly line the inside of my eye with a black pencil (Jane Iredale or HoneyBee Gardens). Very very lightly though, so that it’s more of a translucent gray than black if that makes sense. If you go too dark without mascara your eye will look small, but somehow that doesn’t happen if you do the line barely there.
That’s it! You can add some lip gloss or a touch of color on the lip, but the trick is light touch with everything or else you just look made up.
What have you been doing with your makeup these days??
Hometown: Mountain View, CA (moved here 10 months back from Melbourne, Australia)
Current Weather: Cool, Sunny and Dry
Favorite Celebrity : Jessica Alba
Hair: Long, straight with little frizz
Skin: I am of Indian origin with all the skin problems associated with such skin tone. I tan even in the minimum sunlight and get brown spots that take ages to fade. I had really clear skin in my teens (may be because I never used any products on my skin except home remedies my mom made me use) but got my acne burst in my early 20s. I had acne on my entire face and I was very self-conscious. I tried everything but nothing worked. I finally went to a dermatologist who prescribed Accutane to me. At that time I did not care much about the side effects so I took the medicine. I did not get any side effects (that I know of) and it really worked. Within 3 months my skin was completely clear. I was so happy. For the next few years my skin remained clear until last couple of years. My breakouts returned. Not as bad but every 2 weeks I would have a pimple and post healing marks. As a result I have quite a few spots on my skin.
Honestly until 6 months back I did not really care about clean products. I thought all the department store products were decent and I had tried most of the popular brands (Clinique, Lancome, Chanel, Dermalogica etc.). I chanced upon Alexandra and Siobhan’s book while searching for a clean shampoo for my husband as he had constant itching in his scalp and I read in an article it could be due to SLS. Once I read the book I got really interested in clean products esp. considering I was always so particular about good and clean ingredients in our food. And me being the research oriented person I am, I went all out to find as much as I could about this topic. One thing I have realized over the years and something my mom has always followed (who is 60+ and has amazing skin) is product minimalism – clean or otherwise and let the skin heal itself. Honestly I have struggled with both in the past and I still do (the obsession of getting the pimple healed or dark spot faded !!!)
In the shower…
I have extremely oily scalp and since I do some sort of exercise daily I wash my hair everyday except on Sunday when I take it easy. I find that if I don’t wash my hair I can’t style it and I hate having a bad hair day while going to work. I am trying to become a bit more comfortable with pulling my hair into a bun and not worry about oiliness. But its just something I haven’t come to terms with. I use Acure Lemongrass shampoo and conditioner. I use Wholefoods soapbar or shower gel for my body and use REN ClearCalm 3 clarifying clay cleanser to wash my face. I also use REN’s Rose Otto Sugar body scrub once / twice a week. I got into REN in Australia without even realizing its a clean brand. It worked pretty well however I used it sparingly in Australia as it was very expensive.
Outside the Shower…
Before I went clean I used Body Shop body butter to moisturize but now I use some sort of oil. I had bought SANS body oil few months which is nearing its last drop.. So need to figure out what to replace it with. I alternate it with coconut oil at times but it can get too greasy and spots my clothes at times. I use a drop of Rodin’s Olio Lusso at the ends for my hair and then blow dry. Sometimes when I need more styling I use Aveda’s damage remedy styling cream. Its not the cleanest but its helps me hold my style. I wish I could air dry my hair but I have thick hair which take a long time to air dry (when I have tried up to 4-5 hours in summers). So when I am rushing to work a good blow dryer is my best friend.
My skin is usually dry with oiliness just on the nose. On my face I use Dr. Haushka’s Balancing Toner followed by Kahina’s Brightening Serum. I use couple of drops of Rose Hip Oil and then follow it with 100% natural coffee bean under eye cream. During winters and summers (when I am primarily indoors) I use Elta MD’s SPF 45 sunblock. Its one the few suncreams that I like and has worked for me. Its good for acne prone skin and semi-clean. As I mentioned that my skin is extremely prone to tanning. During summers I use another layer of sun protection by using Institut Esthedem’s Photo Reverse Fluid. Its formulated for skin prone to pigmentation and it works amazingly. I had tried every sun protection in the market before I found this and it really prevents tanning. Before using this, after coming back from swimming or just time spent outside during summer my skin would tan at least one shade. Its not entirely clean but not too bad. Its a bit pricey but totally worth it for me.
At night I remove my makeup, wash my face and then put oil followed by Marie Veronique Organics Pacific Skin Lightening Duet to fade the dark spots (I told you the obsession).
Twice a week I use some sort of mask. Either a home made one which I have been using since I was a child (combination of chickpea flour, turmeric, lemon juice and milk) or REN’s Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask.
I wear some makeup every day except when I am working from home or on weekends just running errands. I am a management consultant by profession and to be presentable is essential for my job. However my requirement for makeup has changed over the years, especially since my late twenties and since I have turned 30. I used make up earlier to cover things I thought were not good about my skin and face. Now I use make up to enhance what I have.
So firstly I am not obsessed by it and secondly I have learned to appreciate the art of putting make up properly so it’s undetectable. I had taken some beginner make up classes a year or so back. For everyday makeup,I am using 100% Pure primer and foundation now and RMS uncover concealer. During summers I use a powder foundation (Laura Mercier Mineral or Jane Iredale). Blush is my favorite make up product. I have 4 (2 from Kjaer Weiss, one from RMS and one from 100% pure). I also have a power blush from Korres. I used to love Nars and Chanel blushes but once I got clean I have discovered how great cream blushes are. I love to play around with them. When I want a subtle flush of color from within I use it as the first thing before I use my foundation and when I want more prominent color I use it on top of my foundation. I don’t wear much eye make up except mascara after curling my eyelashes. I use 100% Pure mascara on most days but some days when I know I have to be on the run I use Lancome doll eyes mascara. Lipstick is one area where I haven’t become completely clean. Usually I wear 100% Pure liglaze or Jane’s iredale’s but I also use my Dior Extreme Addict, Nars and Chanel lipsticks quite a bit as well. I hate putting my make up again during the day so I like the how long lasting the unclean lipsticks are.
On date nights or weekends I love experimenting with clean make up and create looks that look like the mainstream make up looks. When I wear eye make up I love using Kjaer Weis and RMS eyeshadows and stick shadow in black pearl from 100% pure. Its a great product and gives you the perfect smokey eye look.
Nutritionally I take Omega-3 and Vitamin D supplements. Omega 3 has really helped in calming my inflammations and reduced my breakout.
I think I have rambled on for quite a bit. I love reading this blog and am glad to share my routine with the readers.
A simple routine with some wonderfully specific makeup tips. Thanks Erica! What here have you tried?
Current weather: hot and humid
Hair: brown bob that has tendencies to wave and frizz
Skin: fair and sometimes breaks out on my cheeks and chin
Favorite star or icon from the past: Jean Seberg
In the shower…After hitting the alarm several times, I hop in the shower after drinking my cold brew coffee with almond coconut milk. I use the Acure shampoo in moroccan argan oil on my hair. I don’t follow with conditioner. I soap up everything with Zum soap in lemongrass. Sometimes I use a Clarisonic with Sunday Riley’s Ceramic Slip Cleanser. If I don’t have time to shower, I use Acure dry shampoo and pray it doesn’t look greasy.
Outside the shower…While my hair is still wet I scrunch in Devacurl Frizz Free Volumizing Foam then blot it dry and use a diffuser. I put skin and bones oil all over my face and body. If my skin is flaky, I use California Baby calendula cream on my body. I use Soapwalla deodorant to keep my sweating at bay.
Finishing touches…If I’m not working, I do not put on makeup except for Vapour Beauty Siren lipstick in Tryst. If I am working, I put on a coat of Hourglass Veil Primer followed by Vapour Beauty’s foundation stick and Jane Iredale pure pressed base. RMS living luminizer goes on my cheekbones and brow bones. I use Bobbi Brown’s Long Wear Gel Eyeliner in black and curl my lashes before putting on Jane Iredale’s Longest Lash mascara. For a bit of color, Vapour Beauty Mirage Bronzer and Jane Iredale’s lip and cheek stain go on last. I mix Ilia Beauty’s lipsticks in Funnel of Love and Wild Child for the best bright pink.
Before I head out the door, I spray on Lotus Wei quiet mind and Infinite Love energy mists. I keep Infinite Love in my purse and spray it on my coworkers before a long night at the restaurant. It keeps us all happy and full of smiles.
Meet Krystal, everybody. Full disclosure: I know this gal! But finding her routine in our inbox was a total surprise. See, a long time ago we worked for the same company, and I actually tried stealing her from another department to come help me with copy. They wouldn’t let her go—so I’m happy to finally be putting her writing skills to use. Plus, it’s a great routine—we’re clearly singing from the same songbook on favorite brands—with some stellar tips. Enjoy!
Current Weather: Coming out of California “June gloom.” Cool mornings, hot, dry days, and somewhat sticky nights.
Hair: Extremely fine and silky (with a few skin weft extensions – my one and only dirty secret!)
Skin: Prone to breakouts, larger pores around my nose.
Favourite star or icon from the past: Candice Bergen in the 60s
In the shower…
When I’m not half-asleep, I dry brush first. I use Bronner’s liquid almond soap on the areas that require de-funking, and Skin and Bones oil (smells SO good) on the rest of me. I wash and condition my hair with Acure Organics duo in Pure Mint and Echinacea (the volumizing one). I was on a baking soda, ACV and dry shampoo kick for a while, but even after a few months, my hair always looked wet or greasy, and smelled unpleasant. If I need to shave something, I use coconut oil, which is lovely, but you need to use really hot water when rinsing the razor to melt away any oil and hair caught in between the blades.
Outside the shower…
Before I blow dry or braid my hair, I mix a tiny amount of argan and jojoba oil in my palm to moisturize the ends. I spritz my face with the lovely aloe and rosewater concoction I whipped up after reading this DIY and dab a bit of jojoba oil around my eyes. While that’s soaking in, I spread a little Soapwalla on my pits. I was using Lavanila for many months, and ended up quitting it, not for the controversy, but because it stopped working. Soapwalla is working out quite nicely, though I do miss that super sweet Lavanila scent.
What some call finishing touches, I call the main show! I’ve always been one of those gals who likes to wear a lot of makeup, but look like she’s not wearing any at all. I start with some RMS un-cover up (the price tag kept me from trying it for some time, but a sample from Spirit Beauty Lounge persuaded me that the price is well worth it) around my eyes, and in the redder areas around my nose and chin. I then sweep on a light dusting of W3LL People’s altruist foundation, and set it with Lotus Wei’s Infinite Love Energy Mist. I sweep on 100% Pure’s Pot Rouge on my cheeks, their satin eye shadow on my lids (I try to use as few brushes as possible) and, if I’m feeling dramatic, their eye brow powdered gel on my dirty blonde brows. I finish off the eyes with Jane Iredale’s pencil eyeliner and Longest Lash mascara (which does require several passes to get the same volume and lengths as commercial mascaras). For my lips, I use Josie Maran’s Magic Marker Lip Stain with Argan Color Stick (it’s so easy to get nice, sharp lines with the marker end!) Of course, no natural makeup look would be complete without that subtle glow, best achieved with RMS’ Living Luminizer.
When I went clean, the absolute hardest thing to give up was my Burberry London perfume, which I had worn dutifully for years and it had become so identifying that when I stopped wearing it people immediately began telling me I smelled different (“Oh, no, no, no, not bad just…different”). I went through SO many different natural perfumes that just smelled like old ladies or cooking ingredients, I thought I’d never find a new signature scent, forever smelling “different.” Then, I tried out Tsi-la’s Fleur Sauvage. Floral and sweet, but with a woodsy quality that gives it substance and weight, I can’t smell my wrists without closing my eyes and smiling. It’s that good. Trapped-on-a-desert-island-and-can-only-bring-one-thing good.
That’s it! Thanks for letting me share! It’s been a long and crazy journey from dirty to clean, but after finding what product works best for me, I’m happier with the quality and performance of the products I use far more than I ever used to be with conventional junk.
A clean story after our own hearts. Just for fun, are there any readers out there who like their clean products less than the conventionals? Which ones, and why?