Meet Heather, a working mom with two daughters (and sensitive skin), she still manages to make some DIY products. We love it! We’ve included her inception story below—thanks for sharing it, Heather!
As a working mother with daughters aged 6 and 9, my morning routine is not very relaxing and is usually punctuated by packing lunches and trying to get them out the door to school. On the weekends, I try to take a little more time and like to mix up face and hair treatments in the kitchen. Sometimes my kids get into the act, too, but mostly they just think I’m weird for “putting all that gunk on my face!”
Hometown: New York City
Profession: Art Librarian and blogger at Domaphile.com
Skin: Fair and Sensitive. I have a bit of rosacea, which I control with diet and by using really mild products on my skin. Now that I am in my 40s, I am noticing some changes in my skin and am really glad I have discovered non-chemical ways to deal with them. I also think my daily smoothie habit has done wonders for my skin – you are what you eat, after all!
Hair: Dark, medium length. Straight and fine with very little body (sigh).
Star: Audrey Hepburn
In the shower…
Weekday mornings are a little crazy around here, trying to get everyone out the door, so I often do everything in a rush. I only wash and dry my hair every three days or so and it totally throws a wrench into my morning, so I have to make sure the hair washing falls on a day when I don’t have to take my kids to school. I’ve been experimenting with homemade shampoos, but I haven’t made anything I like as much as the John Master’s Zinc & Sage Shampoo with Conditioner, and I usually follow it up with the Rosemary & Peppermint Detangler, also by John Masters. For the body, I use the Dr. Bronner’s bar soap – usually Baby Mild or Peppermint – for both washing and shaving.
Outside the shower…
Once out of the shower, I wash my face. When I am out of Sow Your Wild Oats, I make my own basic face cleanser out of oat flour, almond meal and milk powder. During the week, I mix it into a paste with a little water (or rosewater) and on the weekends, I make a simple mask with raw honey and plain yogurt. I moisturize with a few drops of Nourish & Replenish oil mixed with a bit of water and I try to take a few extra moments to really massage the oil into my face. I then move on to the deodorant and body lotion which I make myself. Right now I am using a winter body cream that is a combination of coconut oil, almond oil and shea butter. I’ve gotten a lot of inspiration and recipes from Crunchy Betty – she has a great e-book for making products for acne-prone and sensitive skin.
On the days I wash my hair, I towel dry it as much as possible and add a few drops of argan oil. The thing I hate most is drying and styling my hair, but if I don’t I end up looking like Janice from the Electric Mayhem, which motivates me to pick up the hair dryer. My tresses are straight and fine, so I need to use some kind of product to give it a bit of extra body. I have experimented with making my own hair gel using flax seeds, but it is a messy business that involves straining them through a nylon sock, so I have given up on that and use the Giovanni Volumizing Styling Gel instead. I generally use Tom’s to brush my teeth, but have lately been experimenting with making my own toothpaste using baking soda, coconut oil and peppermint stevia. Still working on that one.
I don’t wear a lot of makeup, but I love RMS “un-cover up” (thanks to your book), and I like Annette’s practice of mixing her tinted cover-up with John Master’s SPF 30, so I’m going to try that. For my eyes, I use a tiny bit Josie Maran’s liquid liner and Dr. Hauschka’s mascara. I don’t wear shadow unless I am going out at night, and then use a basic palate from Josie Maran. For lips, I just use the Burt’s Bees tinted gloss – my favorite color right now is Fig. My entire makeup application routine takes less than five minutes.
I try to take off my makeup as soon as I get home from work in the evening. I use olive oil or almond oil to remove my eye make up, wash my face with the oat powder or just some plain, raw honey. To moisturize, I use about 6 drops of BYATM oil mixed with a little water. If I have the time, I will try to wash and dry my hair at night so I don’t have to deal with it in the morning.
Meet Crina, from across the pond! She’s got a simple and (mostly) clean routine, a super clean diet, and some lovely tips. (Also, Diane Keaton, be cooler in this pic. Impossible!)
Age: 27 (minus a couple of months, yikes!)
Current weather: Was quite summery up to around 23-25°C these past couple of weeks but currently going down a notch and a bit rainy. My skin spends a lot of time in Germany and England, and therefore on planes and trains.
Hair: Quite wavy-curly, naturally chestnutty, bit on the drier side, boob length and very much loved!
Skin: I love my skin. It earned me my family nickname of peachy (everyone in my family likes to repeatedly touch and stroke my face when they see me to make sure it’s still as soft and thus deserving of the name). I tan a lovely golden colour in the summer; may only suffer from dryness depending on the local water, but no breakouts to speak of unless I eat rubbish and/or get super stressed out, then go through intense health nut phases which will then provoke the odd cleansing symptom.
Favorite star or icon from the past: Oh, I do love Diane Keaton and Meryl Streep. They seem to have that graceful aging thing figured out rather well. (I so hope I’m not getting the wrong impression here, I mean who knows what they really have going on in their private lives beauty-army wise …)
In the shower…
Simple, really: I do shower nearly every day for several reasons: yoga, I work with animals (nearing the end of vet school), running, big city living. I don’t bother buying any shower gel (though I may use the occasional clean gift or sample), instead I just use the excess foam from whatever I put on my hair for shaving and cleaning. If I don’t shave or wash my hair I’ll only use water followed by a vigorous rub with my towel. Voilà.
Brands I currently use: Anything Neal’s Yard Remedies will make me happy, also the Avalon Organics Ylang Ylang is nice.
Outside the shower…
Face: Thanks to the book I have become a total oil convert!! Neal’s Yard Remedies facial oils in the morning, either Rose or Orange Flower. Neal’s Yard Jasmine cream during the day (if needed), and their night creams at, well, night. May I add I never wash my face with anything but water unless I’ve used make-up. I’m an evening showerer, so the way my make-up comes off is usually by way of shampoo and conditioner migrating from scalp to face, or the occasional Neal’s Yard facial polish.
Body: Daily body brushing followed by oils. Again, anything Neal’s Yard Remedies or John Masters is fantastic, though I am currently head over heels with the mama mio omega oil – it’s fabulously jojoba-almond-y. For deodorant I use a sort of wannabe clean L’Occitane one as well as a travel sized Salt of the Earth crystal deodorant. I use both at the same time when I go on dates, actually … which is paranoia more than anything else, I’d say.
I do really like Korres perfumes, but so far haven’t found any superb yet truly clean perfumes here in Europe. As far as make-up goes I will quite happily use anything Whole Foods-y. I like the Dr Hauschka concealer, I’ll use some black mascara (again often one by Hauschka), sparkly brown eyeliner, a pink and subtly glittery L’Occitane blush, perhaps some of the Dr Hauschka eye shadow in a golden or peachy hue. Guilty pleasure: Butter London nail polish. I love yummy mummy, jaffa, and pink ribbon.
Also, I always make sure to use a good hand cream (again, either Neal’s Yard Remedies or John Masters) or coconut oil throughout the day and especially before bed, since my job is pretty rough, requiring a lot of washing and the use of harsh antibacterials. And what about nutrition? Surely an important point worth mentioning as well? I do feel it’s as much part of my beauty regimen as the actual products I use. Long story short: I’m a high raw vegan loving her greens, healthy fats and plant proteins. Works excellently for me. :)
Sounds great! Has anyone else used Neal’s Yard Remedies? We’ve never heard of it—perhaps it’s strictly Euro—but interest is now piqued.
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!
John Masters and Pai: Hire this gal as your spokeswoman! The rest of you: What think you?
Image of Vivien Leigh via
This is another in our ongoing series—which will be around forever now, because you guys keep sending us your awesome routines. This one’s from a reader named Anna who lives in Brooklyn just like me (hi, Anna!). I love her mix of luxurious NMDL-approved clean products and DIY.
Anna seems to be one part no-fuss and one part kind of glam, which is basically our MO, too. Plus, she loves Joanne Woodward. What’s not to love? Let us know in the comments what you think of her routine!
Current weather: Flirting with Spring in Brooklyn. Cold, crisp and sunny today.
Hair: Shoulder-length, growing-out-phase, brown, thick, and wavy.
Skin: My forehead, chin, and nose are pretty awesome. My cheeks are where it gets dry, and also breaks out. I’m pretty fair-skinned, and get freckles in the summer, but tan pretty easily. Basically, if I could get this pesky cheek nonsense figured out, I’d be golden (adult onset acne, awesome).
In the shower…
I shower at night, always. If I go running in the morning, I’ll do an extra rinse-off afterward. Either way, I only use soap (Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint) on my feet, if at all. I only get my hair wet once a week, and either wash with John Masters Organics Bare shampoo and condition with Alaffia Coconut and Shea conditioner, or just do a manual scalp scrubbing with my fingers & follow up with a little ACV. I generally rinse my face with warm water instead of washing, though some days I’ll put some rosehip seed oil on my face and rub that in, then wipe it off with a hot washcloth. A few times a week I exfoliate my cheeks with Acure Organics Brightening Facial Scrub.
Outside the shower…
After spraying with Evan Healy’s Immortelle hydrosol and/or a quick wipe down with witch hazel, I immediately put on some argan oil (either Kahina or Acure), then follow up with Pai Chamomile & Rosehip moisturizer. I asked the folks over at Spirit Beauty Lounge what facial lotion they recommended for dry skin that is also acneic, and they recommended that. I’ve used it for a few months now and find that it hasn’t upset my skin at all, but moisturizes well. For extra dry days, I smear on some shea butter where it’s dry.
On my body, I use a homemade body oil (after I ran out of Evan Healy’s Sweet Blossom body oil, which I love so much. When I get in bed after putting it on, my boyfriend says, “you smell like pepper”—in a good way) with olive oil and vetiver & rose essential oils. The body oil is literally just olive oil (sometimes I’ll add in a little avocado oil) and several drops of rose essential oil and vetiver essential oil. The ratio of rose:vetiver is around 6:1 (vetiver is really strong). At night, several times a week I’ll buff some oil into my nails, wash ‘em off, and apply some Scotch Naturals nail polish.
I never use hair products. I find I don’t need them, plus I’m pretty easy-does-it about my hair. Most days, since I’m growing it out and that’s sorta painful, I’ll throw it up in a low side bun, or lately I’ve been doing a simple twisty updo thing with my hair that looks so elegant but is really, really easy.
I use RMS Lip-to-Cheek in Smile on my cheeks, and RMS “Un” Cover Up under my eyes and on any spots or pimples I have. I’ll either do a subtle winged eyeliner with Jane Iredale’s liquid eyeliner, or smear together some RMS blush and RMS Living Luminizer and put that on my eyelids—I love how this looks, and sometimes I don’t even put on mascara because I feel like it gives me that cool redheaded Scottish-gal-chic thing. Otherwise, I use Couleur Caramel mascara (the brush! The brush! It’s all about the brush. I used to be a Diorshow gal, obviously) on my top lashes.
No perfume, though sometimes I’ll dab some vetiver and rose oil on. I use homemade deodorant that has rose and vetiver in it, so sometimes that’s enough—I’m very sensitive to smells (especially post-nasty chemicals). The deodorant is equal parts arrowroot powder or corn starch and baking soda and enough shea butter to make the whole thing the texture of frosting. I add in vetiver and rose essential oils for my deodorant, and orange, lavender, and rosemary essential oils for my boyfriend’s mixture. I made the mistake this morning of putting it on after shaving; itchy all day.
Et voilà! On to coffee.
Image of Anna’s favorite star (“mainly because she married Paul Newman”) via
Jenna Hipp—green manicurist to the stars—is the founder of Nailing Hollywood with co-founder and BF Vanessa Gualy, and she’s the creator to the stunning, foundation-inspired, three-free polish line HIPPXRGB. When I met these girls for a vegan lunch in LA a few months ago, they became kind of insta clean-girl soul sisters. I know that sounds dorky, but it’s true. We could barely catch our breath we had so much to share with each other! Not to mention that they introduced me to of the magic Hope Gillerman. So let’s see what else Jenna uses…
Name: Jenna Hipp
Current Weather: A perfect fall morning, crip air, cool but not too cold. Perfect for walking the dogs.
Hair: It’s in the growing out stage. How much longer is this going to last?
Skin: Thankfully, it’s pretty balanced, however sometimes it’s a little on the dry side (which I blame on the dry California weather). Of course, I get a big one here and there just like the best of them, but it’s not very often. Thank God cause I’m a picker…I know, but I can’t help it! Anyone have any tips on how I can help control myself?
Before the shower…
I’m an early riser, probably because I love the mornings so much. I’m up super early and immediately go roll-on my H. GILLERMAN “JAW CLENCHING REMEDY” on my jawline and neck along with “MUSCLE REMEDY” on my shoulders and lower back. Then I take 10 deep breaths before I’m out the door walking or running my 2 dogs. I come home to a cup of milk thistle tea, check some emails, straighten the house, make a bite to eat, hang with my husband. All the things that make me happy to wake up every day.
In the shower…
Even though I don’t wash my hair every day, I found a fantastic shampoo and conditioner by GREEN BODY, GREEN BEAUTY that’s amazing. Also a huge fan of JOHN MASTERS ORGANICS and find I like to alternate the brands purely because I love how each of them smell!
COLLECTIVE WELLBEING HAS A CHARCOAL BODY WASH that is literally made of charcoal powder and the black color trips me out every time I use it. But I love it as charcoal is known to trap and remove environmental toxins and impurities. Every other shower, I exfoliate with SUKI EXFOLIATING BODY CLEANSER has hit the mark with their exfoliating body scrub. I literally feel like I’m at a luxurious Korean Spa, the way the coarse sugar granules slough away any trace of dead skin. They also make my favorite facial scrub of all time- SUKI SUGAR EXFOLIATING FOAMING FACE WASH which provides the same benefits. I usually follow up with Grade A extra Virgin Coconut Oil (find in the cooking isle of your health food store) on my still wet skin, and lightly pat dry with a towel instead of rinsing the oil off. This technique seems to lock in the moisture until my next shower (which in all honesty, I’ve been known to skip a day or two every now and again) lol.
I brush my teeth in the shower. I use TOM’s peppermint flavor.
Outside the shower…
If it’s one of those off shower days, I throw my hair back with the best headband of all time- VIOLET LOVE creates super soft headbands in ridiculously fun colors and patterns, and is printed with soy ink. If I’m wearing a tank top, I usually like to leave a lasting glowing sheen on my skin. The super emollient and yummy smelling JOHN MASTERS ORGANICS CACAO AND CUPUACU HAND AND BODY BUTTER does just the trick-without sparkles! (I also use on my clients, massaging it on my clients legs and arms before they go on set.)
Next up, I follow with SUKI Toner For Dry Skin (contains no alcohol). The cool, organic mist instantly wakes me up and refreshes me after the hot shower. Not to mention the toner prepares the skin for the next step- moisturizer. I appreciate using one brand at a time so all products work the best together, so I use the SUKI PURE FACIAL MOISTURE for dry skin. I love that rose petals are the first ingredient.
Call me weird, but I don’t wear deodorant. I haven’t gotten any complaints, so until I do, I’m just going to skip it.
To avoid the look of death, I apply a punchy pop of color for lips and cheeks called FREEDOM GLOW in “Blush” by REVOLUTION ORGANICS. I allow my hair to mostly air dry, only using a blow drier to add a little volume and height with INTELLIGENT NUTRIENTS CERTIFIED ORGANIC HAIRSPRAY.
Back to my H.GILLERMAN ORGANICS oils and a few more deep breaths. Between the brands “Muscle Remedy”, “Jaw Clenching Remedy”, “Chest Remedy”, “Travel Remedy” in rollerball form, she also offers a concentrated counterpart applied with drops to address “Tension”, “Sleep” , “Stress” and “Sinus.” I have the entire collection, so depending on how my body feels at the time, I’ll apply different combinations in the palms of my hands and take some more deep breaths before I run out the door.