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!
Here’s the rub with natural face care lines: They can feel a bit samesame after a while. A non-foaming cleanser, an amazing oil, and maybe a lovely hydrosal toner or spray…
Don’t get me wrong, we love this formula—less is more, and it’s precisely this simple well-executed combination of pure ingredients that made us first fall for the likes of Kahina, Stark, and Evan Healy. But once you have your faves, it’s hard to justify trying 20 other brands that offer something similar. That’s why this May Lindstrom line jumped out at me on first use.
My intro to the line came from natch beauty glamour girl Spirit Beauty. “You have to try it,” she said in a Facebook message. And within a month of her sending it my way, I got an email from Evolue inviting me by for a facial with May. Hmm, a new line so quickly available at two of our favorite retailers? This was boding well.
The products are really special, in many ways. First the packaging: Done in a beautiful black glass with gold lettering, it brings all kinds of glamour to this line, that could easily have felt a bit crunchy given its ingredients. Instead, really beautiful. May herself is also a vision. At the risk of sounding like some silly magazine article about a celebrity, I will anyways: This woman is gorgeous, with the kind of skin so impeccable and glowy that it’s almost hard to look at. Like the sun!
But looks can be deceiving. When May and I met she described the horror stories of her various environmental sensitivities and the problem skin she had. A country girl at heart—who’s been mixing her own products since childhood—when she first came to LA (to be a chef) the city wreaked a debilitating havoc on her skin from head to toe. Through diet and natural products (and fewer products), she eventually found her way, and ended up reticently becoming a model. It was on set one day that she had her a-ha moment to start her own brand.
“I’d very quickly mixed an oil one morning to bring to the shoot,” she told me. And lo, everyone there was trying it and begging her to make them some.
So the line. I’ve tried everything at this point other than the body oil, and there’s nothing I don’t like. Her Youth Dew serum is a beautiful oil blend that competes with faves and smells amazing—I’m a sucker for geranium I’ve come to learn. Here are the ingredients:
persea americana (avocado) oil*, limnanthes alba (meadowfoam seed) oil*, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) oil*, olea europaea (olive) oil*, prunus spp (plum kernel) oil, hippophae rhamnoides (sea buckthorn) oil*, rosa rubiginosa (rosehip seed) oil*, punica granatum (pomegranate) oil*, calophyllum inophyllum (tamanu) oil*, borago officinalis (borage seed) oil*, aleurites moluccans (kukui nut) oil, oenothera biennis (evening primrose) oil*, pelargonium graveolens (geranium rose) essential oil*, citrus paradisi (grapefruit) essential oil*, citrus sinensis (sweet orange) essential oil*, citrus limon (lemon) essential oil*, rosa damascena (rose absolute) essential oil*, rosa damascena (bulgarian rose) essential oil*, citrus aurantium (neroli) essential oil*, daucus carota (carrot seed) essential oil***, ubiquinone (coenzyme q10).
But for me the standouts are The Clean Dirt “cleanser” and The Problem Solver mask.
The Clean Dirt: This cleansing clay comes dry, which I love because it never goes bad. You pour a little into the palm of your hand and add a few drops of water then begin mixing. You can also mix it with a brush, as May did when she gave me my facial. It’s hard to describe this stuff, it doesn’t actually foam but science happens and the mixture expands into an airy kind of paste. It’s consistency is definitely exfoliating by nature so you don’t need to scrub it too much. Just smooth it over your face, let it sit for a minute and then rinse. It feels great, and gives an instant glow. Here are the ingredients:
white halloysite clay, red moroccan rhassoul clay, red alaea sea salt, ascorbic acid (vitamin c), sodium bicarbonate, althaea officinalis (marshmallow) root*,rosa centifolia (pink rose)*, calendula officinalis (calendula) flower*, cinnamomum zeylanicum (cinnamon)*, myristica fragans (nutmeg)*, syzygium aromaticum (clove)*, curcuma longa (turmeric)*, zingiber officinale (ginger)*, vanilla planifolia bean*, theobroma cacao (raw cacao)**.
The Problem Solver: This product feels like the cleanser’s more intense cousin. The process is the same, but the idea is to leave on this jet-black clay mask for up to 45 minutes (I personally don’t go that long though, 15 is fine by me). Note: This product feels very active, and sting-tingles a little on the skin. But I’ve done it numerous times and the flush only lasts a few minutes for me, and it really feels like it’s jump-starting my circulation. I don’t use it that often, but when I do I feel like my skin has a new lease on life. I also use it to spot treat incoming pimples. Here are the ingredients:
fuller’s earth clay, red moroccan rhassoul clay, theobroma cacao (raw cacao)**, red alaea sea salt, ascorbic acid (vitamin c), sodium bicarbonate, bamboo carbon charcoal powder, vanilla planifolia bean*, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) flower*, althaea officinalis (marshmallow) root*, boswellia carteri (frankincense)***, centella asiatica (gotu kola)*, archangelica (angelica) root*, cinnamomum zeylanicum (cinnamon)*, myristica fragans (nutmeg)*, syzygium aromaticum (clove)*, curcuma longa (turmeric)*, capsicum annuum (cayenne) pepper*.
One note that I failed to mention in the first draft of this post: These two products come in HUGE containers. The cleanser is nearly 7 oz. and the mask is over 8 oz., which is about 4x the size of comparable products. Just wanted to clear that up since there have been many comments around price. At $60, the cleanser is actually on the more reasonable side at that size.
May herself is a major product minimalist, so she says some people use the cleanser every day, while others only use it a few times a week. I’m in the second camp, and I have a feeling she might be too. That’s another thing I really love about these two products: While they’re not inexpensive, they will probably last me for close to a year. And if there’s any confusion about how to use, you can watch May’s videos on her site and on the sites that carry the line.
Have you tried this line? What do you think??