Meet Tracy, a NMDL reader with a fierce love for Marie Veronique (us too!) and hot epsom salt baths (ditto again). This routine is short but sweet, and her morning sounds so peaceful. French press coffee, baby and kitties, eggs and veggies — a lovely scene. Read on for a glimpse into this clean beauty’s morning…

Name: Tracy
City: Los Angeles
Age: 35
Skin type: Fair and lightly freckled, normal/combination, clear but with super-annoying psoriasis on one eyelid.
Hair type: Dark brown and curly. It was very thick and frizz-prone until I had a baby. Now thanks to post-baby hormones, my curls are looser and shinier and not as thick, but I have little forehead wisps from post-partum regrowth.
Favorite Star From the Past: Madeline Kahn. My love for her started early when she dueted with Grover on Sesame Street, and then of course there’s Young Frankenstein and Clue.

I wake up each day at 6, make a pot of French Press coffee, feed my two kitties, and hopefully enjoy a bit of coffee before my baby wakes. I take him for a brisk walk and we eat breakfast together, usually eggs with veggies and maybe a bit of cheese for me. If I remember, I’ll take a multivitamin and a probiotic.

In the shower, I’ll use a konjac sponge and a natural shower gel like Acure Organics and then moisturize my body with jojoba oil. Every few days I’ll wash my hair with Acure Organics Moroccan Argan Stem Cell and condition with their Moisturizing Root Repair. I’ll add a few drops of Argan oil after towel-drying and lightly diffuse my curls or blow-dry straight if I feel like it.

For my face, I’m pretty devoted to Marie Veronique, which I discovered through this blog. My skin became so clear and glowing after I switched to her products. In the morning I splash my face with water and spritz her MV Mist, then follow with a few drops of MV Face Oil and Everyday Coverage tinted moisturizer. I’ve recently been trying Wild Naturals psoriasis cream on my problem spot.
I don’t wear makeup every day, but if I do, it’s mostly RMS Beauty and Tarte. I’ll use RMS Beauty Uncover-Up for casual days, and if I want to be more made up, I’ll use Tarte Amazonian Clay foundation, concealer, and bronzer. I add a touch of RMS Beauty cream blush in Smile. I curl my lashes and use whatever mascara my mom gave me from her department store gift-with-purchase, usually Lancôme. For a special occasion, I might swipe some RMS Beauty Living Luminizer on my browbones, cheekbones, and inner lids, and I’ll use RMS Beauty eyeshadow in Magnetic as liner and in the creases. I also use an eye primer by Too Faced under the shadow to prevent so much creasing. I never met a lipstick I liked until I tried Ilia Beauty Lip Conditioner. I love Nobody’s Baby, Dizzy, and Arabian Knights.

At night I remove makeup with jojoba oil and I wash with Marie Veronique cleanser. I use the MV Mist and Face Oil, and add an eye product from Dr. Alkaitis. I drink a big glass of water and use Weleda Skin Food on my hands whenever I think of it. I also love taking hot baths with epsom salts and oils and a good magazine, but with a baby, that’s more of a rare treat these days!

Lovely, right? Has anyone tried the Wild Naturals psoriasis cream or another option that has helped? Shout it out in the comments.

Fair-trade is near and dear to this reader’s heart. Anni has a no-frills routine that keeps her skin happy. She’s let’s you know where she’s shopping for fair-trade items, plus some great DIY tricks for self-care.

Name: Anni

Location: Chicago

Age: 29

Skin: Normal/combination on my face & very dry over the rest of my body, especially during the cold months

Hair: Short, thick, wavy, moderately oily

Favorite Star of the Past: I’m a huge fan of Audrey Hepburn, both because of her movies and the amazing humanitarian work she did later in life.

In the shower…

I suds up with Lime in the Coconut Vegan Soap from Greenheart Shop. I started using this a few years ago during the winter, and the sweet, tropical scent really perks me up in the morning. Most of the time, I also shampoo my hair with bar soap, but my husband just bought Acure Organics Argan Oil + Echinacea Shampoo (also from Greenheart Shop), so I sometimes use that on my hair. My legs are especially dry this time of year, so I shave them with a homemade soap that’s a mixture of Dr. Bronner’s liquid castile soap, Palestinian olive oil, raw honey, and water. It’s super moisturizing and smells amazing!

Out of the shower…

I’ve been obsessed with using food products on my body lately, so I moisturize all over with coconut oil. It doesn’t take long to absorb, and it smells fabulous! Coconut is one of my favorite scents, and really makes living so far north and enduring long winters more bearable for me.

I have a different routine for washing my face almost every day. Some days I massage in coconut oil, before gently wiping the excess off with a wet washcloth. Other days, I use an apple cider vinegar + water mixture as a clarifier. If I’m having a breakout, I put raw honey on the pimples and let it sit for 5 minutes before wiping it off. And once or twice a week, I’ll use an Aztec red clay mask just to clear everything out. I have a huge stack of washcloths under the bathroom sink that I normally go through every 2 weeks!

I buy most of my food/beauty products at Trader Joe’s, because they have a pretty large selection of organic and fair trade products at a good price point. I also recently discovered that you can buy fair trade certified coconut oil, so I’ll be making the switch soon.

Hair & Makeup…

I run my own business out of my home, so unless I have to go out to meetings or visit a client, I rarely fix my hair or wear makeup. But on days that I do…

My hair is naturally wavy and currently cut in a bob, which is a recipe for major frizz. On days when I go out into the world, I usually straighten it. I’ve recently decided to grow it out so I can wear it curly again on a regular basis, though, and I’m taking suggestions for natural products for curly haired girls!

I’m not sure my makeup routine is very natural, unfortunately. I like to keep it simple, and just use a swipe of mascara (I’m currently using Physician’s Formula Organic Wear Mascara from CVS, which screams of green-washing…) and some Burt’s Bees lip balm. In the wintertime, I wear blush or bronzer, too, but I haven’t bought any yet for this year. Any suggestions?

Let’s help Anni out with some suggestions in the comments. Also, we’re curious — do you go out of your way to make sure the food and products you buy are fair trade?

We love hearing from new moms! This routine comes from a reader in Canada who has this whole clean skincare thing down to an art. She has even managed to get her husband hooked on one of our favorite masks. Impressive!

Name: April 

Age: 27 

City: Peterborough, ON, Canada

Weather: It was cool and overcast over the last week, but summer has graced us with a comeback so I’m scrambling to pull back out some mild weather outfits to get me through these last blessed days of warmth. Looks like I get one more swim in the lake before winter.

Hair: Long, brown/blonde (I’ve been growing out my hair for two years, so it’s naturally ombre. Another few months and there will be no semblance of the blonde I used to be).

Skin: Sensitive with a normal consistency (not terribly dry, not terribly oily).

Star: Emma Watson

I’m currently on maternity, which means my morning skin care regiment has the pleasure of being an all-day event if I want it to. I wake up at 6:00 when my husband gets up to go to work, and make myself a green smoothie (lemon, greens, flax seeds and psyllium husk). I’ve done this every day for the last 3 years, so that is one thing that has stayed consistent. I wash my hair 1 or 2 times a week, when my mom can sit in and watch the baby, so I usually take my hair out of it’s high-bun and fluff it with a little Lulu Organics dry shampoo (I’ve tried making my own dry shampoo a few times, and even opted for straight up baby powder, but nothing comes close to Lulu). I use Lanvalin deodorant every other day (it’s supposed to last 72 hours, but I take my dog out for a good run at least 5x a week so 48 seems to be the limit). I sometimes mix it up with Crawford Street Lemon Deodorant cream which works well for me as well.

For my face, I use May Lindstrom’s Honey Mud with warm water, followed by splashing my skin with cool water. The Honey mud is expensive, but seems to keep my skin moisturized all day. If I’ve seen any flare ups coming the night before, I’m usually wiping off May Lindstrom’s Problem Solver Mask which I dab on the spots to heal overnight. The stuff is incredible (I use it as a mask once a week — even my husband is addicted to it.)  I follow with a spritz of Graydon Face Food Toner which is fresh and light and locks in the Honey mud moisture in really well (Graydon is a local luxe skincare company that I can’t rave enough about. I also use it as soon as I get in from my runs to keep the sweat at bay.) Then I follow with Morning Glory Serum from One Love Organics mixed with a drop or two of Pai Rosehip Seed Oil. I oil cleanse at night with the oil, so it feels good to keep it going in the morning as well. The Morning Glory Serum plumps up my skin and gives it a nice glow, even through my makeup.

I use Suntegrity’s Tinted Sunscreen and follow with Iilia Beauty’s Finishing Powder and another spritz of Graydon Face Food Toner to lock it in. I’m obsessed with the Kjaer Weis Highlighter for my cheeks and nose, along with Eminence Organics Pressed powder bronzer to highlight my cheek bones. I use an eyelash curler (heated with a lighter) and no mascara is necessary. When it comes to makeup, I like to keep it minimal. A swipe of Studio 78’s “Let’s get married” Liquid Lipstick in “Rose” and I’m ready to go for the day.

I’m an avid dry brush user. During my pregnancy I dry brushed every day, followed by Pai’s Pumpkin Seed Stretch Mark System and can happily vouch that I didn’t get a single stretch mark from my first pregnancy. Now I use Extra Virgin coconut oil daily after brushing.

The rest of my morning is a flurry of feedings, diaper changes and getting my hubby out the door — and to be honest, I rarely leave the house. But this routine is what makes me feel refreshed and alive.

Want to share your morning routine? Send it to us at!

We love how this mom-to-be is caring for herself with a mix of gorgeous clean products and lovely ingredients you can pull straight out of the kitchen cupboard. Anna’s routine is an inspiration for its simplicity, and her thoughtful preparations have us feeling vicarious anticipation for her little one to arrive. So sweet!

Name: Anna

Age: 24

City: Lynchburg, VA

Current Weather: Late summer humidity still hanging in the air.

Skin: Fair and dry.

Hair:  Growing out chemically dyed blonde

Favorite Star From the Past: Not from the past but I love Drew Barrymore’s spirit.

I am well into my third trimester expecting a little girl! Although my routine has been relatively clean prior to the pregnancy this transitional time has challenged my internal and external beauty routines even further. My hope is that my daughter will love herself for who she is inside and out and that starts with my example!

During this pregnancy I’ve tried to simplify my beauty routine and view it from the inside out. I kick start my day with oil pulling and dry brushing. While I’m still oil pulling I pour myself a huge glass of warm lemon water and start fixing breakfast. Our diet is focused on seasonal whole foods that are organically and locally grown. We subscribe to a CSA share that delivers right to our apartment door on a weekly basis and on Saturdays my husband and I walk to the farmers market together to fill in the gaps from our CSA share. I feel beautiful and energized when I am eating right and staying hydrated. My biggest beauty splurge has been a water filter for our city water. (We went with a Berkey.) I try to drink at least a gallon a day starting with warm lemon water. If I start my day this way my whole day feels more organized and purposed. It already seems like a lot but all of this takes 10-15 min tops!

I moisturize my face and growing belly in the morning with whatever oil strikes my fancy (macadamia nut oil is my favorite!) If I am feeling really indulgent I will use Lotus Wei Infinite Love Serum on my face and body. What ever oil I have left over on my hands is then distributed to the ends of my hair. My perfume is also Infinite Love by Lotus Wei. I don’t normally use a deodorant but if I am going to be in an extra sweaty situation Soapwalla does the trick! My makeup routine is my favorite clean beauty switch because it is so simple and I still feel like myself after! Three products and two min. and I am done! I use RMS un-coverup in 11 under my eyes and around my nose for redness (I am still in the same pot after about a year and still have more to use! My color is closer to 00 but RMS didn’t carry that shade when I purchased. Even though 11 is a little dark for me it blends really well and it is not a noticeable difference when it is all blended. Can’t wait to repurchase though!) I follow with RMS living luminizer down the center of my face and RMS lipshine in Bloom on my lips and cheeks. I don’t normally use mascara but when I do I like the RMS lengthening mascara.

During the day I carry around Bach’s Rescue Remedy Pastilles and have some stocked away in the diaper bag already! If I had some extra dough I would repurchase Lotus Wei’s Joy Juice Elixir — it is an AWESOME pick me up!

My night routine is much simpler — I only wash my hair once a week with either clay/ACV or egg whites so in the evening I will just hop in the shower or bath with a shower cap and use Dr. Bronners to wash off the day. (My husband likes the Peppermint and I like the Rose and we have the unscented for baby.) I brush in the evening with Toms of Maine Fluoride Free toothpaste but I am not fully satisfied with their ingredient list. Any suggestions for a cleaner toothpaste? I moisturize with a heavy organic shea butter for my face and body (remember I said I have dry skin!) and head towards bed where I mist with Lotus Wei Quiet Mind (which is my husbands favorite scent!).

​Growing out my chemically blonde hair has been a bummer but I have been tinting the length of my hair with black walnut powder from Mountain Rose Herbs to help darken the light blonde with success! I really wanted to avoid any red tones as I have a very light ash brown naturally and the Black Walnut tint has been wonderful.  This is a once a month treatment as the tint fades over time.

I am also planning on incorporating many of the items from my everyday routine into my (prayerfully) natural hospital birth. These items include: coconut oil (for massage, stretching, and for baby), camomile tea with Bach’s Rescue Remedy drops, and Lotus Wei Quiet mind spray.

Thanks for reading and for the great community here at NMDL! I am always learning and inspired by each one of you.

Thank you for sharing Anna! Wishing you and your new bundle health and happiness!


Say hello to Lydia and her lovely routine. Yesterday we talked about self-care rituals, and we see some great examples of that here. Magic herbal elixirs? Yes please!

Name: Lydia

Age: 24

City: Brooklyn, NY

Current Weather: Summer. Weirdly mild and pleasant!

Skin: Fair, sensitive. Way less temperamental since going clean!

Hair: Dark, thick, wavy, growing out a short pixie cut.

Favorite Star From the Past: Isabella Rosselini

I am a dance artist and writer with a wonderful day job supporting artists in New York. Some days I feel like I’ve cracked the artist-survival code and some days I want to hide under the bed. All days I am thankful for having found a non-toxic, gentle, pleasurable self-care routine, thanks in large part to the wonderful ladies of (and contributors to) NMDL!

In The Shower…

I am a dedicated lifelong night shower-er. I like going to bed clean and waking up still clean! I oil-cleanse nightly with No Evil, which is pure olive squalene, aka magic oil. It really sinks in and nourishes without ever feeling greasy. I rub it onto a dry, dirty face, leave it on while in the shower to let it sink in / protect my face from shampoo residue, then wipe it off with a warm washcloth. Getting used to cleansing without surfectants was an adjustment, but I’ve finally learned to trust that oil-cleansed skin is as clean as my skin needs to be! I shampoo about twice a week with Avalon Organics Tea Tree Shampoo and just rinse on the in-between days; this keeps my dry scalp happy and un-flaky. As body wash I use exclusively Dr. Bronners Shikakai soap in lavender. It is just the greatest daily non-drying cleanser I have found and can also be used as hand soap and shampoo in a pinch or while traveling! I love a good multitasker.

Outside the shower…

Night, continued: Every few days I follow up the oil cleansing with Sow Your Wild Oats, a powdered oats/milk cleanser, which dissolves as it gently removes dead skin. Sometimes I mix the powdered cleanser with honey and leave it on for awhile for extra antibacterial/humectant power. About once a week (on a different day) I’ll moisten a powdered charcoal/clay mixture, add one drop of essential oil (lavender or geranium) and rub it onto areas prone to inflammation as a mask (keeping it away from more delicate cheek, nose, temple areas). I moisturize with Nourish & Replenish oil (a blend of olive squalene, grapeseed, rosehips, jojoba, sesame, neem, carrot seed oils) mixed with spritzes of Holy Cow Mineral Mist which is holy basil-infused and full of dissolved minerals which can be absorbed through the skin, so it’s skincare+supplement!

I started working with herbalist Emma Graves (of Brooklyn Herborium) in the winter after experiencing some weird patchy rashy-ness, and all of my face stuff comes from her line Between You and the Moon. The things she makes are simple, carefully sourced, and lovingly handmade, but even more than beautiful products she has passed on invaluable knowledge of body systems, ancient and traditional healing methods, and herbal wisdom; she taught me to use few products (daily cleansing oil, moisturizing oil, and mist + occasional exfoliator and mask) and to be patient and consistent. She also gently broke the news to me that my strict and years-long veganism was not right for my constitution, and after reluctantly adding (ethically sourced) eggs, butter, and full-fat yogurt to my diet and committing to regular acupuncture appointments my health (and rashy-ness) experienced a serious transformation. My mindset about food and lifestyle became much more holistic and my understanding of body / energy systems deepened considerably. I cannot speak highly enough of herbalism and acupuncture for healing!

Back to the fun stuff:

I brush my teeth with Tom’s Botanically Bright toothpaste which is SLS and fluoride free (with all of the conflicting information I’m not sure how to feel about fluoride; does anyone have any knowledge to share?). If I’ve shampooed I’ll run a few drops of the same squalene through my hair and onto my scalp (in lieu of in-shower conditioning), and if I haven’t shampooed I’ll do absolutely nothing to my hair before crawling into bed. My nighttime routine takes about 7-10 minutes, tops.

In the morning, I simply splash my face and hair with water, moisturize again with the oil blend+mist, slick on some Tom’s Long Lasting Wild Lavender Deodorant (the only kind I’ve found that works and doesn’t irritate!), stick some combo of bobby pins into my growing-out hair to de-cockatoo it, and make breakfast. I am very attached to my sliced green apple + oatmeal routine, and make a hot lemon + tumeric + ginger concoction and a cup of green tea to go with it. I eat and sip while reading and listing to NPR.

Nightly, I’ll drink a glass of Red Clover infusion and a glass of Red Raspberry / Nettle infusion, which my boyfriend calls “magic elixirs” — I tend to agree. Delicious and easy-to-absorb minerals!


I am not really a makeup lady… I have very prominent eyes and lips and dark brows and lashes, and have never felt like my face takes makeup particularly well, so I stick with what works for me. Alima Pure Satin Matte Mineral Foundation in Beige 2 applied just on uneven spots with an Ecotools Airbrush Concealer Brush, combed-up brows, and a sheer layer of Fresh Sugar Balm in Cherry on lips and cheeks is my daily go-to. Occasionally I’ll go with Josie Maran Color Stick in Spice instead, or Alima Pure Mascara in Black, but these days are rare. I’ve never been particularly drawn to “statement” makeup versus makeup used just to feel more polished, but as I’ve moved from early to mid-twenties have started to understand the appeal of blush for looking awake.

Love it, Lydia! Hey NMDL readers, follow Lydia’s lead and send us your Morning Skin and Hair Routine. We want to know how you go about your business. Send to