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!
Current weather: Typical Sydney Autumn…freezing cold grey-sky days alternated with sunny, warm beachy ones! Can’t make up its mind…but on the sunny days, Sydney’s the most seductive, beautiful city in the world.
Hair: Chestnut brown, boob length (we’ve coined that as a technical term now, right? :) ), wavy with the odd actual ringlet, plagued by dry split ends, fine but a lot of it.
Skin: Combination in the extreme. My skin is probably my biggest trial and my biggest insecurity. My cheeks and forehead are clear and soft, my nose is oily, and my chin, lipline and jawline are dry and prone to huge, painful pimples and whiteheads. I’ve got some scarring there too, which isn’t helped by my extremely fair complexion. Oh, did I mention I have very sensitive skin, too?
Favourite icon or star from the past: Gina Lollobrigida…what a gorgeous badass! Image via
In the shower…
I tend to shower at night, just before bed. I start off by dry brushing
- something I picked up from reading this blog, and I’ve noticed it’s made a huge difference to how soft my skin is. I then apply my cleanser – either honey
, coconut oil
, or Stark Grapefruit Cleanse + Hydrate Balm
, which is lovely and healing. I only wash my hair once a week, so if it’s a washing day I shampoo with Miessence Desert Flower Shampoo
(Miessence is a fantastic Australian clean brand that makes everything from toothpaste to make-up…you guys should feature them, they have some great, dependable products!) which is super mild, and every few washes I alternate with a baking soda rinse
(thanks, Alexandra! I couldn’t believe how well it works). I’m experimenting with all-clean conditioners at the moment – John Masters Honey and Hibiscus Hair Reconstructor
makes my hair very full and soft, but also frizzes out my waves and curls, and every other one I’ve tried has either provided too much moisture or not nearly enough. The best conditioner I have ever used is an almost-clean one – Kinky Curly Knot Today (not available in Australia…damn you, isolated Southern Hemisphere! Thank you, eBay!). It has the dreaded phenoxy and also something listed mysteriously as ‘natural fragrance’ but the rest of the ingredients are clean and organic and SWOON it works wonders detangling my knot-prone hair. I leave it on for a few minutes under a shower cap while I wipe the cleanser of my face, shave my legs and pits with Dr Bronners Lavender Shave Gel
, then I rinse well with warm and then ice cold water (reduces frizz and makes my hair super shiny!) I don’t use soap or bodywash or anything because I just don’t need it.
Outside the shower…
I moisturise my damp body with either coconut oil
, Soapwalla’s Luxurious Moisturising Body Oil
(the smell is so amazing I want to drink the damn thing), or whatever 100% Pure
body cream I have available. I apply coconut oil to my armpits as a deodorant – I used to use Soapwalla which was seriously miraculous…until I developed angry red pits, noooo. I find that coconut oil works great though, even lasting overnight into the next day. I comb a little more Kinky Curly through my damp hair (it does double duty as a leave-in). Then I moisturise my face with either rosehip oil
, jojoba oil
, or Stark’s Cypress Purity + Defence Oil
, which makes my skin so matte and soft – but it’s so expensive for my uni budget, so I treat it like liquid gold and ration it out. If I have a huge blemish or three that I’ve naughtily popped, I’ll apply a small amount of anti-bacterial gel or powder
, just to keep it clean and dry it out. No blemish gel or tea tree oil or benzoyl peroxide has ever helped my acne, so I don’t bother anymore, and now my skin is so much less red, flaking and inflamed. My acne is mostly hormonal, anyway, so I try to work on eating clean and organic, and balancing my stress levels. And laughing a lot. I find my acne always clears up after I’ve had a good laugh.
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 Aubrey and her nifty routine. To help deal with the hard water on an Air Force base, she uses a cool lemon-juice wash for her hair. A lemony scent plus sandalwood soap… Judging from her routine, I have a feeling she smells amazing. Read on…
Current weather: Heavy, cool, just barely humid…and dusty. Not a normal combination, but it’s spring in Post-Flood Minot, North Dakota and the weather manages to be just humid enough to not be dry, just dry enough to not be humid, and as soon as the snow is melted, its always vaguely dusty.
Hair: babyfine, stick straight, light ash blonde, shoulder length, tendency to be greasy at the roots. Currently growing out years and years of heavily processed platinum highlights which were the last “unclean” beauty addiction I was clinging to. I took the plunge a few months back and did what will be my last salon dye-job EVER…all over, to my natural ash blonde. It’s been growing out natural ever since and love not having to touch up my roots with toxic chemicals every four weeks!
Skin: Fair (natural blonde), oily t-zone, incredibly acne-prone and moderately acne scarred.
In the shower…
First of all, I shower at night. I hate showering in the morning, because its really freeking cold here, and I don’t want to be cold and wet in the mornings. I wash my hair once a week with Aubrey Organics Swimmers Normalizing Shampoo. My husband is in the Air Force, and our last three bases have been in states with hard water… at least, I thought the water was hard…until we got to Minot. This place has some of the hardest water in the country. Think, ‘turning on the shower and getting hit in the head with bricks’ hard. My hair suffered badly until I figured out it just had to be clarified with a swimmer’s shampoo (removing chlorine, minerals, etc) once in a while. After shampooing, I rinse with 2 tablespoons of Volcano Lemon Juice mixed into two cups of very cold water mixed in an old conditioner bottle. The rest of the week when not shampooing, I just rinse my hair with the lemon juice mix sans shampoo. If it feel dry or intend to blowdry my hair, I deep condition the bottom 1/2 of my hair with John Masters Lavender and Avocado Conditioner after rinsing with lemon juice. And whether it’s marinating in lemon juice or conditioner, I pull it up in a bun and leave it while I shave my legs with a Preserve triple razor and the lather from my Zum Bar Goats Milk Soap by Indigo Wild in Sandalwood Citrus. I am in LOVE with this soap; the smell, the lather, the moisture. I don’t wash my face the ‘traditional’ way very often (washing daily just seems to exacerbate the acne I’ve had consistently since age 14), but if I’m exceptionally greasy that night, I use my Zum bar to wash my face, too. Then, I use my dreaded acne scrub. The only thing I’ve ever used that has worked on my acne is Carly’s Clear and Smooth Kickass Scrub (used daily), which is NOT 100% clean (germall preservative and benzoyl peroxide are the only two offenders). Carly’s was like a miracle for me; I’m acne free for the first time in over 10 years. It’s hard to give up something you know has some nasty chemicals in it when the alternative is the cysts and scars and I’ve battled before. However, recently, after much research, I’ve started taking 1000mgs daily of Pantothenic Acid (vitamin b5), and I’ve cut down to using the scrub only 3x a week, still no breakouts/cysts. I’m hoping I’ve finally found the clean answer, but I’m cutting down on my scrub slowly to allow my skin to adjust. (I’d be happy to update No More Dirty Looks on how this process goes and if Pantothenic Acid is a possible clean acne solution!) The last thing I always do is rinse my hair.
Outside the shower…
I use organic, unrefined coconut oil with a few drops of tea tree oil to moisturize my legs and body. I also rub a good amount into my armpits; it replaces deodorant for me 90% of the time.( I carry a Thai Crystal with me in my purse, so if things start to get swampy, I’m prepared.) For my face, I use the same coconut oil (MINUS THE TEA TREE OIL!) to remove my eye makeup…rub it in till you look like a zombie raccoon, then gently wipe away. After that, I adore John Masters Mandarin Maximum Moisture and John Masters Vitamin C Anti-Aging Serum. I apply a few drops of the serum, let it dry, then apply a few drops of moisturizer. The combination of these two has been plumping my few deeper scar pits and I have noticeably less dark marks after a few months of consistent use…it looks like my skin is healing (dare I say, thriving?), not just surviving. I dab it under my eyes, as well. Finally, I take 100% pure, cold pressed argan Oil and use it on the ends of my eyelashes. I try to take extra care of my eyelashes because I wear mascara pretty much every day.
When I wake up in the morning post-shower, I make myself a piping hot cup of green tea. When I take the tea bag out of the hot tea to drink it, I use the tea bag like most people use a toner-soaked cotton ball. It takes any greasy residue from the night off and wakes my skin up beautifully; no soap and scrubbing required. If it was a rough night, I use two tea bags and let them sit on my eyes for 10 minutes (steeping my swollen under eyes in hot, steamy, anti-oxidant goodness) before I pat my face dry and apply Vapour Atmosphere Luminous Foundation, shade 115. Then…my eyelashes. Now, I love my hair color; light natural blonde. I love not having to shave my legs, really, at all if I don’t want to. I love that I have no arm, knuckle, or upper lip hair to speak of. But this comes with a price; and that price is that I have no eyebrows or eyelashes unless I coat ‘em in makeup. So I use Dr. Hauschka Volumizing Mascara in Black and (and if I want to be able to demonstrate facial expression along with having eyelashes), I color in my eyebrows with Gabriel Cosmetics ZuZu Luxe Eybrow Pencil in Flax. If I’m feeling exceptionally vampish I’ll add Zuzu Luxe Liquid Eyeliner in Raven to the mix. Hair wise, it lives in a messy bun on top of my head most of the time; but if I happen to style it, I pat in some Aubrey Organics B-5 Design Gel before it gets the curling iron. I spray Indigo Wild’s Zum Spray in Sandalwood Citrus or Frankincense and Myrrh (both are orgasmic scents) or Pacifica Waikiki Pikake on my wrists and my hair, add some cat hair, and I’m good to go.
Thanks, Aubrey! Is anyone else dealing with especially hard water and have any tips?
Everybody, meet Greta, who may have created the word “glowifying” and definitely personifies it! Must be all the exfoliating and John Masters-ing she does. Read and enjoy (keep you eyes peeled for her tip for stopping scars before they start)!
Current weather: Coastal Northern California, so cool, foggy and breezy. Essentially jacket weather 24/7.
Hair: Dark blackish-brown, natural color (not dyed), thick, wavy, and slightly coarse. Boob-length (aka halfway between my armpit and elbow)
Skin: Pale, reddish, very sensitive and prone to sunburn. No acne but prone to roughness and bumpiness.
In the shower…
Pre-shower, I massage a generous blob of Burt’s Bees Avocado Butter Pre-Shampoo Hair Treatment (NB: contains fragrance) from the middle to the ends of my hair. This is my very favorite for softening my coarse and unruly hair—even better than the various oils I’ve tried. Then I wipe my face with a Seventh Generation baby wipe in preparation for slathering my face and neck with Fage 2% Greek Yogurt. The lactic acid in the yogurt is a great gentle exfoliant and I find this to be very smoothing and glowifying with no irritation. I leave it on until the yogurt is nearly dry—about 10-15 minutes. While I wait, I’ll putz around in the bathroom, occasionally dry brushing with a Hydrea London Body Brush or massaging a dropperful of John Masters Organics Pomegranate Facial Nourishing Oil into my nails and scalp. Once in the shower, I apply John Masters Zinc & Sage Shampoo with Conditioner followed by John Masters Organics Lavender & Avocado Intensive Conditioner. They both smell incredible and keep my pouffy waves in check. I’ve tried other lines but always come running back to John Masters for haircare. I can definitely see a difference in my smoother, healthier locks. I soap up my Hydrea London Carbonized Bamboo Exfoliating Gloves with whatever soap we have on hand. I’m always switching kinds. Right now I’m using Big Sur Country Soap, which is made locally and I picked up at the farmer’s market. I shave my pits, legs and bits with a Gillette Fusion razor, and I’m done!
Outside the shower…
I wash my face with Pai Camellia and Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser, and if it’s nighttime, I use my Clarisonic Mia with it. I follow with a couple spritzes of Pai BioAffinity Tonic in Lotus & Orange Blossom. Daytime, I smooth on Pai Chamomile & Rosehip Moisturizer or Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream Light. Nighttime, I massage in John Masters Organics Pomegranate Facial Nourishing Oil or Pai BioRegenerate Oil. Any extra oil goes on the ends of my hair. Obviously, I adore Pai—my sensitive skin responds beautifully to their gentle yet effective products. I recommend them to all my friends! My body gets a slather of Pai Comfrey and Calendula Calming Body Cream, and my abdominal incision from last month’s surgery gets a mini-massage with Jason 45,000 IU Vitamin E Oil. Floss and then brush my teeth with my Preserve toothbrush and The Natural Dentist Antigingivitis toothpaste and mouthwash.
I wear makeup maybe a handful of days per month, and when I do it’s Dr. Hauschka mascara in Black and Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Rose.
Soap & Paper Factory’s Bois de Cedrat Hand Cream is my favorite scent. I dab some on my neck and wrists like perfume. I’ve been stingy about using it as I don’t believe they make this fragrance anymore [Ed's note: they don't] and I want my tube to last!
I rub a smudge of John Masters Organics Hair Pomade between my hands and then smooth it on the bottom half of my hair. The last step is Soapwalla Deodorant Cream and I’m good to go.
John Masters and Pai: Hire this gal as your spokeswoman! The rest of you: What think you?
Image of Vivien Leigh via
Weekly! We said weekly! And we meant it. So now, here is the latest in our weekly series of women sharing exactly what products they use to start the day. This time, we asked the amazing Rebecca B. to share hers. You no doubt know her from the comments. She’s an early and loyal reader who shares her insane breadth of knowledge and experience with all of you, all the time. We learn from her, we think she’s sassy and funny, and we imagine you all do too. Also, she uses great products—and some we’ve never even heard of! Read on, read on…
Current weather: sunny, warm, dry
Hair: multi-texture, thick but not so much as it used to be, lots of grey covered with henna/indigo, growing out the toxic dye
Skin: pale, super sensitive and perimenopause ravaged, but pretty good with optimal care
Before the shower…
100% Pure Coffee Bean Eye Cream goes on first thing when I get out of bed if I have puffiness. The puffy is usually gone by the time I get into the shower. Every day there’s yoga, a healthy nutrient-packed but light breakfast, and add a walk, run or bike a few days a week.
I love my products, truly, but I know that my fitness and nutrition do more for beauty than anything else. I also love to dry brush my skin but lately it’s been sporadic.
In the shower…
I brush my teeth with Miessence toothpaste in anise or lemon (is it weird that I brush in the shower?). If it’s a shampoo day, I use Griffin Remedy Daily Shampoo and the matching conditioner, or Elava Botanik Avocado Shampoo (conditioner typically not needed with that one). Choice of soap for the essential-to-wash parts based on mood or need: Rose of Sharon Acres Coconut Milk Shampoo and Body Bar (great for shaving), skinnyskinny Organic Real Cocoa, One With Nature Dead Sea Mud Soap, or Dr. Bronner’s. Kahina Giving Beauty Facial Cleanser is my go-to, all time fave for face. Sometimes I use honey, and lately I’ve added some dead sea mud soap for the hormonal break-out areas (too drying for my whole face on a regular basis). For exfoliating, I use a Pai muslin cloth or gluten-free steel cut oats.
Outside the shower…
For my face/neck/chest, I pick a toner from my ever-expanding collection. Lately it’s likely to be John Masters Lavender Hydrating Mist or Evan Healy Immortelle Facial Tonic Hydrosol. I massage in Kahina Argan Oil with my DIY skin lightening actives mix. This has drastically helped my sun damaged areas, and the massaging part (I heard of it as “face yoga”) is to help with muscle tone—I think it’s working, but maybe that’s just wishful thinking. If my eyes need something extra, it’s more 100% Pure Coffee Bean, or Pai Rejuvenating Echium Eye Cream. Hair gets Kahina argan and/or John Masters Bourbon Vanilla and Tangerine Texturizer (oh, yeah, baby), usually after a blow-dry and sometimes a flat iron. If it’s a curly day I use a DIY sea salt spray. If I didn’t shampoo but need a refresher, I go for Lulu Organics Hair Powder. I use straight lavender essential oil patted all over my body (it’s the only thing that keeps me from getting daily bug bites). Lavender also goes on any inflamed face spots, and it’s a nice blast of fragrance for underarms too, on days I want scent. I love Soapwalla deodorant, but lately I’ve been using my own unscented mix of shea/arrowroot/kaolin/baking soda. I always have some sort of body butter for whatever needs it, like elbows or feet. Currently I’m using my favorite Sprout cream. My lips love Meadowlake Farm Hive Isolates Renewing Salve.
RMS Beauty uncover-up on spots, with Alima Pure Satin Matte Foundation over that and also under my eyes. My finishing powder is a DIY mix of my foundation with arrowroot, kaolin and rice powder. Sometimes I use Alima blush and Real Purity mascara. RMS Living Luminizer goes on upper lids, on lips and/or cupid’s bow, and whatever’s left I pat onto my collar bones. If it’s a no mascara day the luminizer goes on lashes too. Then body butter for hands and I’m out the door.
Boom! How’s that for a morning routine? Weigh in with your favorites from her routine, or what you learned about and can’t wait to try, in the comments.
Ayo! The series continues with a very exciting entry: Soapwalla’s very own Rachel has shared her routine with you guys…because you asked. Isn’t it cool, how that works? You asked us, so we asked her, and she said yes! Soapwalla is a brand that needs no introduction around these parts: We love her deodorant and her body oil, we love her vibe, we love that she sells her stuff on Etsy with a profile pic of her playing a violin, and we love that she makes her stuff by hand in Brooklyn. She’s just good peoples. Here’s how she starts her day. Not surprisingly, she gets crafty in her kitchen…
Current weather: Humid & 80s with a side of natural disaster.
Hair: Wavy, fine and often uncooperative
Skin: Insanely sensitive. Tends toward dry. My trademark lupus butterfly rash is almost always present at some level.
Before the shower…
I dry brush
my skin daily. It really wakes me up and makes my skin feel fantastic!
In the shower…
I’m like Siobhan
— I don’t wash my face in the mornings. I oscillate between a toning tea
I’m making (which I’m SUPER excited about! It’s in the final stages of perfection) and pure rose water
, which gently remove any nighttime oiliness without causing tightness or redness, but other than that I gently splash water on my face and air dry. Twice a week, I apply a mask
(one of several I’m researching for Soapwalla), the bases of which are either clay or oat powder. Sometimes I’ll add in mashed-up fruit
— papaya and avocado are favorites — but that depends on what I have in the fridge. I shampoo and condition only every third day — my scalp gets way too unhappy if I shampoo more frequently. Since I often have blisters on my scalp (thanks to the lupus), I have to be very careful about what I use. I currently switch up John Masters Zinc and Sage shampoo/conditioner
with my own concoctions. I’m also interested in trying Yarok
haircare products but haven’t yet.
Outside the shower…
I add a smidge of argan
oil to my damp hair and apply a volumizing sea salt-based spray
I’ve been working on. And I apply my luxurious body oil
and restorative face serum
before my skin is fully dry — I LOVE applying oil to slightly damp skin. I must admit that I rarely use sunscreen on my face. I have yet to find a natural one that doesn’t make my skin feel funky, although the closest I’ve found is Vive Sana
. A quick application of Soapwalla’s deodorant cream
, and a dab of one of the million lip balm samples I have spread around the apartment, and I’m ready to go!
After a quick spritz of an essential oil combination I created, I’m done. I rarely wear make-up — only if I have to. On occasions where I do need a little something, I swear by RMS living luminizer and Zuzu mascara.
More to come soon, people! Get excited, and feel free to comment on her awesome routine in below.