Nicolle's Morning Skin and Hair Routine... Exposed!

Though I’ve been writing for NMDL for more than a year and a half, I have yet to submit my morning routine! It’s changed a lot in the last year, as I struggled with some health complications and skin reactions, but I’m happy to report that my current routine has my skin looking better than ever. Whoo!

Name: Nicolle

Age: 27

Current weather: Ha. It’s snowing, and the temperature is well below zero.

City: Minneapolis, #Minnesnowta

Hair: Long-ish, ombre light brown to blonde, dry and thin.

Skin: Sensitive and dry—I’m allergic to a multitude of things, including beeswax, which is in SO. MANY. THINGS. (can we stop with that, brands?), so I’m pretty careful about my choices.

Favorite star or icon from the past: I’ve loved Grace Kelly since I did a report on her in third grade.

I’m not a morning person nor a shower-lover, so I’m a night shower-er when at all possible and I only wash my hair twice a week (dry shampoo is my best friend and the one from Tabitha James Kraan is my current love). Before I get into my night shower, I remove my makeup with an e-cloth because too many products messes with my sensitive skin and this gives a gentle exfoliation + removes all my foundation and mascara. Then I use Absolution’s Cleansing Water, which is fab because it’s really gentle and removes any remnants of makeup.

In the shower…

I wash my hair with Avalon Organics’ Itch and Flake Therapy Shampoo, which is the only thing that’s helped rid my scalp of the dry skin I was left with after a bad infection last spring. Then I use Rare E’lements’ Lite Conditioner, which is more moisturizing and volume-boosting than any hair product I’ve ever used. While that’s in, I lather up the same shampoo to shave my legs, pits + bits—the salicylic acid in the shampoo has helped prevent ingrown hairs during the winter and the pH-balanced shampoo doesn’t dry out my sensitive areas.

Outside the shower…

When I step out of the shower, I drench my still-wet skin in body oil. Right now, I’m using FIG + YARROW’s Bath + Body Oil in Woods, African Botanics’ Marula Firming Botanical Body Oil or Skin & Bones’ Luxurious Moisturizer. They all have wintery scents (read: musky and deep and multi-faceted).

I spot treat any blemishes with Osmia Organics’ Spot Treatment (best EVER—this is a desert-island product for me), then spritz on Graydon Clinical Luxury’s Face Food Mineral Mist, with copper, zinc and colloidal silver, which I think has really helped my breakouts. ARCONA’s Chamomile Balm goes on while my face is still damp (read my full review to know how much I love this balm) and then ED4OLO’s Vitamin E Eye Balm gets gentle patter under my eyes (another desert-island product for me). Oh and every other night, I switch up my moisturizer, using ARCONA’s The Gentle Solution (the product I’d say has done the most to change my skin) and True Nature Botanicals’ Pacific Night Serum with Retinol (just on my forehead + neck) instead, as an overnight anti-aging and exfoliation treatment.

I detangle my hair with Acure Organics’ Leave-In Conditioner and a Tangle Teezer, which is genius if you haven’t heard of it, and great for kids’ long hair. Then I use Dr. Haushka’s Neem Hair Oil to further moisturizer my scalp and to help my hair grow back from when some of it fell out last spring. I love this dry oil that you can put on when your hair is wet or dry (it’s more of a liquid than an oil and there’s no grease) and I’ll be repurchasing—it’s helped heal my scalp immensely. Then I use YAROK Hair’s Volumizing Foam and Rahua’s Voluminous Spray to give my limp hair lift. If you’re a thin-haired gal like myself, I highly recommend these two products if you want thicker hair that lasts til your next shampoo. I rough blowdry (bad for my hair, I KNOW) and twist it into a high bun for sleeping (keeps that volume up! I do this every night, as it maintains my curling-wand waves so I don’t have to use heat on my hair daily).

In the morning…

I have a slew of supplements I take to help build my nutrient levels back up after my celiac disease went undiagnosed for so long, so I start with a big glass of room-temperature water and my probiotics before I do anything. Then a warm mug of lemon water and Hope Gillerman’s Sinus Remedy help me wake up for the day and I fill up a bkr water bottle with 15 drops of Lotus Wei’s Inner Peace Flower Elixir to sip on while I get ready.

On mornings after using the anti-aging treatments, I exfoliate with ARCONA’s Brightening Gommage or some kind of mask, like Osmia Organics’ Detox Exfoliating Mask mixed with Kahina Giving Beauty’s Toning Mist. I also love Laurel Skin’s and Dr. Alkaitis’ masks and The Problem Solver from May Lindstrom Skin. If I’ve not used my anti-aging treatment, then I just use the Absolution Cleansing Water again and repeat the spot-treat/mist/moisturize routine from the night before, minus the eye balm and plus the Skin Owl Eye Concentrate (great for depuffing, though it does have phenoxyethanol, so be aware).

Before I touch my hair or makeup, I dry brush with an essential oil lymph tonic that Susannah created. Part of my health complications have to do with my body not clearing infection properly, and Susannah’s tonic + dry brushing helps flush everything out—and prevent those ingrown hairs I mentioned.

Then I take my hair out of its high bun and use a curling wand on it to get some beachy waves while my skincare settles. I only have to do this the morning after I’ve showered, which is super nice and saves my ends from splitting. I finish with Onesta’s Finish Hair Spray.

Finishing touches…

I work from home or from a coffee shop most days, so if I don’t have meetings, I keep makeup to a minimum. HAUT Cosmetics’ Brightener concealer in pink is my favorite, vegan under-eye highlighter. If you haven’t tried this, you’re missing out. INIKA Cosmetics’ Mineral Foundation is my current everyday foundation—it’s so easy, covers blemishes and doesn’t require adding blush, highlighter or bronzer to my skin on top of it. Oh, and if you wear mineral foundation of any kind, you have to watch (or re-watch) this application video that Kim Wallace shared on her blog a few weeks ago—saves you product and gives you flawless skin.

Once foundation is done, I do my brows with Zuzu Luxe’s Cream Brow Pencil in Russet (vegan, again, because anything with beeswax gives me little whiteheads), swiping Zuzu Luxe’s Clear Mascara on top of the pencil to hold brows in place. Mascara is the last official step, and I rarely skip it. 100% Pure’s Dark Chocolate Mascara is great for daily use, but I also love RMS Beauty’s Defining Mascara and W3LL People’s Expressionist Bio Extreme Mascara. And I just got the Antonym Cosmetics Mascara, which is rivaling all of the above. Yes, I have four mascaras in my makeup bag—and I just gave away two.

While I don’t wear a lip color every day, I am obsessed with sticks, glosses, stains and balms (though finding vegan formulas in as many shades and finishes as their beeswax-filled counterparts has been more of a task than I anticipated…). ILIA Beauty’s Lip Crayons, in all colors, are fab, cream/satin finishes. Red Apple Lipstick in Audrey is a fave, as is local Aromi Beauty’s Poppy. I heart Gressa Skin’s Lip Boosts, all shades, and Beautycounter’s Lip Sheers are perfect for everyday wear (Petal is my go-to). Oh, and my all-time-favorite balm is S.W. Basics’ Vegan Lip Balm. Please, Adina, never stop making that.

You’ll notice that deodorant is missing… I’ve had the hardest time switching this over! Everything irritates my sensitive skin—and I’ve tried them all! Any tips? I’m also all ears for new, beeswax-free makeup… Share! Share!

introducingjupiter

I know you want to smell this picture.  And you can…

 

Recently I wrote about palo santo, and how much I adore that scent.  When I learned that May Lindstrom incorporates it into a limited edition fragrance, I had to try it.  May is one of green beauty’s goddess-geniuses of scent, and I would happily dip myself in a vat of anything she’s made so far.  NMDL readers loved her morning skin and hair routine, and I bet you’ll love this scent.

Not that her line is just about scent – she makes high performing skin care products that also smell amazing.  But I’m hoping she’ll keep creating these special treats, too.

Jupiter combines organic essential oils of cocoa, coffee, palo santo, sandalwood, vetiver, nutmeg and valerian into a base of macadamia nut oil.  It’s appropriate for any gender.  Right now, May has a few left as part of a limited edition collection that includes classic favorites The Problem Solver, The Clean Dirt, and The Treatment Brush (read the NMDL love here and here).  It’s billed as “For Him,” but trust me ladies, there’s a high probability you’ll want it for yourself.  Maybe you can share.  A little.  Oh, and if you note the $180 cost of the package, you are getting Jupiter for free, lucky you.

The Scent Experience:  The first thing I notice with Jupiter is the coffee, then the chocolate.  After several minutes on the skin it evolves into a deep, creamy coalescence of EOs.  I am a huge fan of vetiver and sandalwood, and while they don’t stand out individually in this scent, they really make it stick the landing.  The palo santo lightens it up a bit.  I’ve been keeping the perfect little black glass roller bottle next to my workspace, and it’s my energizing and spirit-lifting reward after a morning of work.  Ahhhhhhh.

The LE collection is an amazing deal, no code required.  And, the new May L website is lauching today (July 4th)!  I can’t wait to see what it holds for us.  The lady has a gift for visual treats as well.

Have you had a sniff of Jupiter yet?  What do you think?

Original artwork created by Alessandra Olanow (2014).

Lovelies, we have an exciting announcement (well, a few exciting announcements, actually): We (Susannah and Nicolle) are event ambassadors for this year’s A Night For Green Beauty!

So, you may be thinking, what does that mean? Well, it means you, our dear readers, are in luck! Because we’re event ambassadors, we get insider knowledge and access to the featured brands, the goodies and the deets. And then we’re going to give that insider info to you—our online friends, our green beauty community. That includes product reviews, morning routines, makeup bags and more, from some of the biggest brand founders in natural beauty. We kind of can’t wait.

The Event Details

What is A Night For Green Beauty (#ANFGB)? It’s an incredible evening of beauty, glamour and shopping from the best luxury natural brands on the market today, presented by La Bella Figura and sponsored by The Chalkboard, Pressed Juicery, Baby2Baby and Goodebox. Last year, the collaborative party debuted in New York City to more than 450 attendees and 17 luxury brands. This year, ANFGB moves to the ultra hip W Hotel Los Angeles-Westwood on Thursday, Aug. 7—and it’s bigger and better to highlight 22 very special niche brands. You will find the crème de la crème of green beauty at this intimate and delightful shopping experience you’re unlikely to forget.

The Next Surprise

Maybe you can’t make it to the event, but you can still be part of the action. This year A Night For Green Beauty partnered with Goodebox, purveyor of natural beauty monthly subscription boxes, to bring you the Limited Edition Deluxe Beauty Box. The box includes 5 full size products donated by the brands participating in A Night For Green Beauty. 100% of the proceeds from the box benefit the non-profit organization Baby2Baby, which supplies families in need with essential baby gear and clothing for children and reaches over 67,000 children per year.

There will be 4 versions of the Limited Edition Deluxe Beauty Box, and when we say limited edition, we’re not kidding! Only 200 boxes will be available for purchase, and with 5 full size products in each box and all proceeds going to a great charity, this is a win-win for everyone. We got a sneak peek at what’s going into the 4 Limited Edition Deluxe Beauty Boxes. Trust us, these will include some serious cult favorites in the green beauty world. It’s too good to pass up! Here are the details:

Cost: Each box will be $110 (shipping and handling included) for over $300 worth of gorgeous product.

When: The first box will be available for purchase on Monday, June 2nd, 2014.

So how can you score one of these boxes? We won’t let you forget that they are going on sale, but be sure to sign up to get FIRST DIBS on one of these boxes over at Goodebox. Just signing up enters you to win a free, 3 month subscription to Goodebox.

Green beauty has come a long way. There’s so much to celebrate! Will you attend A Night For Green Beauty? Please say yes!

This gorgeous spread comes from the founder of Embody Beauty, an online retailer we hadn’t heard of until Nicolle partnered with her for a little makeover (post coming later this week). We love her natural makeup picks!


Name:
Samjhana Shrestha

Age: 28

Where I live: Minneapolis, MN

Relationship with makeup: Soulmates :) I have loved makeup since I was far too young to be playing with it! Art class would have come much more naturally had the paint brush been a makeup brush instead. I learned how to apply makeup on my own because it flowed with ease, and the only rules I followed were that of my own based solely on what resonated with my skin. My morning beauty ritual is a cathartic moment alone, where I can simply relax with a calm mind and play with palettes of beautiful shades and textures. The element of time is completely lost while I channel my love for color and embody my personal spirit in every look. My routine is never complete without the lovely sounds of the French Cafe station on Pandora and the following essentials:

Moisturizer: My skin tends to call for deep hydration daily and has been especially delicate following the winter here in Minneapolis. Before applying a single thing, I always begin with a spritz of moisture. An all time favorite is the Vitamin D Moisture Mist by Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics. This light refreshing mist not only delivers active nutrients and hydration for hours but is a vital source of Vitamin D, which many of us are thirsting for this time of year! I then follow with a rich facial oil – the key to not only healthy skin but a supple, dewy glow. The Youth Dew by May Lindstrom Skin is an incomparable serum blending 20 rejuvenating oils with skin super food, avocado oil as its base. My skin is super quick to absorb both moisturizers and is left feeling lifted and subtly illuminated.

Foundation: The INIKA Mineral Foundation is beyond amazing. I have never discovered a foundation that offers the same level of flawless coverage and still appears as natural as skin. It is specially formulated to serve as the ultimate trifecta—foundation, concealer and powder in one. Any trace of redness or uneven skin tone is completely neutralized, yet the skin barely seems touched by an ounce of powder. It is pure perfection and always applied using the INIKA kabuki brush.  An incredibly silky, luxurious brush that masters the airbrushed effect like no other.

Concealer: Winter weather and late work nights have graced my skin with the presence of dullness and dark circles. Thankfully, Rose Marie Swift is a brilliant beautician who has created a second veil of skin for us all. The RMS “Un” Cover Up has secretly made up for those hours of sleep, and truthfully sheds years off my age while highlighting my inner youth. A few swipes of the creamy shade 22 from below both eyes to the corners of my nose and it looks as though I am 22 all over again.

Eyeliner: I love the versatility of Vapour Organic Beauty’s Mesmerize Eyeliner. It is so velvety smooth that it can glide like a gel liner, creating crisp dramatic lines or precisely define as a pencil liner.

Mascara: Although I was blessed with dark and long eyelashes, we all long for a mascara that can elevate our eyes with thickness and depth. The Nvey Eco Volumizing Mascara does exactly that. Its texture is creamy and rich enough to add visible thickness to each lash and the wand sculpts with serious definition.

Eyeshadow: Nothing compares in pigment quality, color variety and wear time like the INIKA Mineral Eyeshadows. They are the perfect replacement for bold brands like MAC and create unique finishing effects that happen to catch the light at every angle. Lily Lolo Mineral Eyeshadowsalso have an exquisite selection of shades that I often use for a daily dose of color.

Eyebrow Fill: I am a full blown eyebrow enthusiast…Cara Delelvigne style. Bold yet natural, which the Nvey Eco High Definition Eyeliner compact in Brown delivers. Using an angle liner brush this powder blends beautifully and lasts me all day/night.

Blush: I vary blush hues almost as often as lipstick, depending on the overall tone of my makeup. However, one of my utmost favorites is the Vapour Organic Beauty Multi-Use Blush in Spark. It is the perfect peachy-pink kiss on the cheeks that enhances my skin’s natural feminine charm.

Lipstick: When a lipstick not only draws high impact color but luscious moisture, I am hooked. Vapour Organic Beauty Siren Lipsticks are the rare balance of hydrating lip balm + bright rich color. My favorite daily dose of moisture and a mauvey chic pout is the shade Au Pair.

Bronzer: RMS Buriti Bronzer captures the beauty and grace of summertime skin into one extraordinary cream. Somehow this magical blend contours my cheekbones and adds sunkissed warmth all year round, beginning with light touches during the winter and building deeper coverage during summer.

Illuminator: The one and only time I experienced love at first sight…. was with the RMS Living Luminizer. When I search for a boost in radiance, I look to illuminate my natural skin rather than apply sparkle or glitter elements. This luxurious cream was the first illuminator I have found to softly glisten skin while remaining fairly sheer and solely enhance rather than distract from it. A true lit from within instead of outside in.

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!