Here’s a lovely routine from one of our readers, who also happens to have her own blog called Well Beauty. We love her range of choice and her description of the konjac sponge—like washing with fluffy clouds. Yes! Read on.
City: Phoenix, Arizona
Current Weather: warm and sunny, highs in the low to mid 80s
Skin: fair and neutral-toned. I’m dry in the winter and combo in the summer, so my skin is transitioning into being a little more oily but still pretty dry on my cheeks.
Hair: Naturally blond and curly. Since making the switch to let my curls run free, it is a lot healthier and softer!
Favorite star from the past: It has to be Marilyn Monroe, Some Like it Hot is one of my favorite movies
Every day starts with Greens First! While it’s not a beauty product, I believe that beauty starts from within and I have to start my day with a healthy drink. I just whisk it with some water, add a couple of ice cubes and its ready. For breakfast, it’s usually just two eggs.
After breakfast (and Greens First), I brush my teeth with Earthpaste in Cinnamon. I was hesitant to give up the traditional foaming toothpastes (even the all-natural kind), but I LOVE Earthpaste. I’m on my 4th or 5th tube of it. Since cinnamon oil is naturally antimicrobial, I have been sticking with it rather than the other flavors.
In the shower, I have been alternating between two shampoo/conditioner combos: Rahua and Surya Brasil Color Fixation line. They are both great, so I alternate back and forth to keep my hair from getting bored. After shampooing, I apply the conditioner and let it sit a few minutes while I finish the rest of my shower routine. While I’m a big fan of bar soap, lately I have been using Gabriel’s Seaweed Body Wash—it has a really clean, green smell to it (NOT seaweed-y at all). It cleanses well and doesn’t dry out my skin. It works really well for shaving too! Since discovering the Natural Konjac Sponge company, I’ve been loving body washes because I get a ton of suds and the konjac sponges are like washing my body with little puffy clouds. They are WAY better than the traditional plastic shower poofs (or whatever you call them). After rinsing out my conditioner, I wash my face with ARCONA’s berry bar and will use the face wash to also wash my neck, chest and upper back to prevent any breakouts. A few times a week, I’ll use the Clarisonic with the sensitive head on my nose, chin and forehead.
Once I’m out of the shower, I’ll towel dry my body but I use the DevaCurl towel to lightly dry my hair. Since going curly, I have to be sure to not be too rough with drying my hair. Using the DevaCurl will prevent it from being dripping wet, but not more than that. I then spray my hair with Surface’s Trinity Protein Cream and comb my hair with a wide toothcomb. I’ll then loosen it from my scalp a little with my fingers, being gentle not to disrupt my hair too much.
While my hair is air-drying, I apply Blissoma’s Smooth A+ serum all over my face and then ilike’s age defense bioflavanoid moisturizer, focusing on my drier parts of my face.
With my face taken care of, I apply Farmaesthetics Midnight Honey Oil to my arms and legs and anywhere else that needs some extra moisture. While it says midnight, I have been using this every morning and love it. The soft, rich honey scent is calming and not too heavy and the oil is really moisturizing and sinks in quickly. I then apply deodorant, which lately I have been alternating with Schmidt’s Lavender+Sage, Colorado’s Pit Stick or Primal Pit Paste in Thyme & Lemongrass, all three work great.With my hair having a little time to let the protein cream sink in, I gently scrunch it using the DevaCurl towel again and then don’t touch it until it is dry. I found that to be the best way to get great curls—touching my hair as little as possible.
Now for the makeup! I have to start with mascara because I make a complete mess with it! I like Jane Iredale’s Longest Lash mascara, it adds a lot of thickness to my lashes. After applying (and cleaning up) my mascara, I apply foundation. My go-to foundation is Jane Iredale’s BB Cream, I use BB3. I usually prep my skin with Jane Iredale’s Smooth Affair primer than apply the BB cream with a beauty blender sponge. The beauty blender sponge is seriously the best invention ever; it makes my makeup look flawless. With my fair skin, I need blush to put some color on my face. I really love Nvey Eco’s blush in 957—it’s a great neutral pink that gives me natural color.
If I’m in a hurry, I will just leave it at that, but if I have some extra time I will apply eye shadow and liner. If I do wear eye shadow, I apply Tarte’s Clean Slate eye primer. While not the most ‘green,’ it is better than some others and works really well (and if you have any recs for more natural eye primers—I’m all ears!). I’m always changing up which eye shadows I wear (because I own a LOT and am getting new ones all the time), but my go-to ones are Silk Naturals. My favorite colors are Purrr, Naughty and Fete. For eyeliner, I use Au Naturale’s in Coco if I want to use a brown or Living Nature’s midnight if I want a black. They are both great eye pencils.
I usually don’t wear lipstick to work, unless I have an important meeting, so I just swipe with some lip balm. I have been using MVO’s Pacific Lip Treatment and it is seriously amazing. Super moisturizing and I swear has even plumped up my lips a little too! For perfume, I have been reaching for Honore Des Pres Love Coconut lately. It’s a great scent for spring, very fresh with a true, just opened coconut—not the fake coconut smell like suntan lotions can have.
Then it’s off to work! Once I get to work, my hair is all dry so I use Max Green Alchemy Pomade to define my curls and add shine, and then spritz with Intelligent Nutrients Hairspray to keep my curls all day.And voila! I’m set for the day.
We enjoyed this routine so much, especially Michaelle’s alternate universe self. You’ll find so much to love, so read on!
Name: Michaelle (pronounced like the guy’s name Michael)
City: Whispering Pines, NC
Current Weather: Up and down — today high of 36*F with cold wind & rain all day but then the weekend is forecast for sunny and high 60’s. No humidity. Yet.
Skin: Pale & cool toned with some sun damage spots on forehead and sides of cheeks and some visible redness around nose. After years of battling a really oily complexion and always a blemish somewhere, the switch to green beauty back in ‘08 has steadily made a huge difference to now being fairly normal — oily thru t-zone in summer and then sometimes a few dry patches in winter.
Hair: Brown naturally curly, fine textured but a decent amount of it. As of last November, I stopped doing salon color and just did my first at home Henna color about 3 weeks ago.
Favorite star from the past: I’ve never watched too many old movies so I don’t think I have one. (We chose Lauren Bacall!)
I do the warm water and lemon thing and I also fill my tea tumbler with my Bija Body Daily Beauty tea. If any of you have yet to hear of or try this tea, ya need to get on that stat! It was created by Melissa Piccoli, an esthetician, specifically with skin in mind! After that, my routine can vary drastically. I’m a wife and mother of 2 small beautiful boys and the older one goes to preschool during the weekdays. I am not a morning person, so if I’m not going anywhere else after dropping him off then it’s just a quick swipe of Simply Divine Botanicals Gypsy Rose Tea Toner with an organic cotton pad and a quick brush with Periobrite toothpaste on my Sonicare toothbrush before we are all out the door by 8am! Once the little one and I are back home and I’ve finished my liquids, I do my best to follow Kimberly Snyder’s advice about easing your digestion into the day by eating light to heavy. I’ll have some fruit and perhaps a small bit of Purely Elizabeth oatmeal or some Ezekial toast with coconut oil and raw honey. I have an Omega juicer, so most days a green juice is a player as well! (sidenote: I would love for NMDL to request reader’s fav juice recipes! I thrive on inspiration!)
Now, if I do need to be somewhere… Holy Moly! Depending on how long I put off dragging myself out of bed, tea may come before or after I shower. If I have leftover juice or a Suja handy in the fridge, I may take one of those into the bathroom, but it’s always liquids first thing in the morning no matter what. Once or twice a week, I mix up a bit of May Lindstrom’s The Clean Dirt and gently work that over my face while the shower is warming up. In an alternate universe, I also dry brush my entire body, head to toe and apply a deeply stimulating body mask like Isun’s Himalayan Body Wrap then slowly sip my tea while that dries before gliding into the shower…
In the Shower…
I grab my Sonicare toothbrush and Periobrite and into the shower I go! I also often use EcoDent toothpowder on top of my Periobrite and I go ahead and brush while getting wet. Next I either exfoliate my Clean Dirt off, use my Clarisonic with Tata Harper’s Refreshing cleanser, or I rub some raw Buckwheat honey into my face to wash with. It just depends on my skin or what I feel like using. Then, if I’m shampooing that day, I’ll get a pump or two of my current brand, A’kin rosemary shampoo and work it in, rinse, then A’kin jojoba & lavender conditioner, and rinse. I use Eco Tools exfoliating gloves and The Body Deli Rose Absolute body wash on my body, but this also changes regularly between Osmia’s bar soaps (Zucca Spice & Chamomile Sun), Strange Invisible’s body washes, Red Flower’s Ocean body wash, or whatever else I’ve discovered. If I’m shaving, I use a Preserve razor along with whatever body cleanser and that works great for me. My alternate universe self works that awesome body mask deep into the skin then gives herself a nice long head massage while the conditioner is still on, then delicately combs it through as it detangles her hair. Ahh, that was great.
Out of the Shower…
Depending on whether or not I had one of my sweet peas in the shower with me, (hey, some days, if I want a shower, then at least one is coming in with me to ensure no cataclysmic disaster befalls before I get out) I try to rub in a body oil quickly before I’m dry. Right now, I have either May’s The Good Stuff or Osmia’s Stream. Next, I slap a cloth diaper on the youngest because past experience has taught me, unless you wish to be treading in a warm river on your bathroom floor then you best be wrapping that up pronto. Undies and Plum Pretty Sugar robe on, next I’ll spritz with a mist, and oh how I love a good mist! My go to is still Tata’s Hydrating Floral but I’m also rotating thru La Bella Figura’s Jardin de Fleurs, One Love’s Vitamin D, The Body Deli’s Cucumber Elixir or Rose Absolute mist, or a sample of R.L Linden’s Thousand Petal mist. I’ll immediately follow with either One Love’s Morning Glory (am) or La Bella Figura’s Modern Radiance Concentrate (pm). Originally, I used just LBF’s MRC day and night, but I found it to be so effective (like for reals, y’all) in fading my sun spots that I’ve started using it just at night most days to help it last longer since it is a bit pricey (but so, so worth it, I promise you!)
For my eyes, it’s either Simply Divine Botanical’s Pack Your Bags Eye Gel (am) or LBF’s Decouverte (pm). Next, I apply, what has got to be one of my all-time fav products, LBF’s Daily Elements Defense oil. The smell, the ingredients, the consistency — all fantastic! Love it, love it! For my hair, I spritz some Intelligent Nutrients Detangler into my palms and work that into my ends if it’s tangly and comb it out. Then I use IN’s hair gel mixed with a teeny bit of Dr. Bronner’s lavender hair cream and scrunch it in ends to roots (winter) or 2 sprays of IN’s volume spray into my palms with or without a bit of LBF’s Bohemia Verde and scrunch that in ends to roots (summer). I quickly apply Consonant The Perfect Sunscreen. I then get dressed, get the boys fed and dressed, and then back to bathroom to blow-dry with a diffuser. Alternate self is leisurely massaging her body oil, head to toe while sipping her second cup of Bija tea and listening to Adele on her iPhone. I think I hate her just a little.
I apply RMS Uncover Up in 11 to my inner and under eye area, around my nose, and my chin. Next, some Bare Escentuals liner powder that I’ve had for, like ever, to my outer brows. A bit of Alima Pure’s Milkshake eye shadow to my lids, and then I select a blush based on what I’m wearing from either Kjaer Weis Blossoming, RMS Sacred (which I prefer on my cheeks) Vapour multi in Intrigue, or Nvey Eco in 951 — one of the most flattering powder blushes I have ever used—gives a perfect fresh face glow!. If I have time, I’ll use some liner, either Dr.Hauschka kajal 03 eyeliner (neutral green-gold), Jane Iredale’s Mystikol in Dark Topaz, or Lily Lolo in khaki, all of which work well with my hazel eyes.
Next, the ever illusive, mascara! I use, and have been using Coleur Caramel’s Cils Long Mascara in black for quite some time and sincerely LOVE it! It can have a tendency to transfer at the outer corners, but I’ve mostly found that happens if I’m too oily there, either from too much concealer or face oil. When I remember to dab a bit of Alima’s finishing powder in Keiko there, then I’m good. Also, the positive effect it’s had on my lashes, as in they are thicker and longer the way they were when I was young, just can’t be beat. It has improved the natural state of my lashes. I also have Jane Iredale’s Pure Lash in black ice on hand when I want added drama. And, yes, I have tried Kjaer’s and Ilia’s mascaras and did not like them. At all. I think I’m old school when it comes to the wand.
Last touch is perfume and those pretty much have to take a number, because I love perfume, therefore I own enough to scent the entire British court. Tsi-la’s Saqui or Kesu, LBF’s Barcelona or Positano, Strange Invisible’s Magazine Street or Fire & Cream, Osmia’s Posso, Tata’s Love Potion or Stress, Red Flower’s Ambrette, Persephenie’s Kildren or Datura, In Fiore’s Ambre, Roots Rose Radish rose frankincense & patchouli… yeah, I know. It’s bad. My alternate universe self? Who knows. She’s probably doing trust-falls with her Yoga instructor or still in the bathroom applying self-tanner. I know this reads like a lengthy routine but typically I’m done in under 50 minutes from my fanny leaving the bed to walking out the door with both kids in tow. Also, I was an esthetician before my first son was born, so I’m never going to have a bare bones routine because I love the world of green beauty and all it has to offer!
We love our products, but this routine is almost entirely free of them and somehow that feels… blissful and exquisite. We can thank the resourceful Gayatri and her grandmother’s Ayurvedic wisdom for this one!
Age: 23 years
City: New Delhi
Weather: Delhi has two extremes – steaming summers and woeful winters. Currently, winter is rearing its chilly head.
Skin: Stubborn and flighty. My skin changes with seasons. I’m Vata and my skin is mostly dry, flaky and prone to premature ageing. During summers, it becomes quite oily for some days. It chills during monsoons in its usual dry state but winters, oh dear lord. My skin hates me during winters. My skin can also become extremely dull, and this happens in all seasons. It’s sallow, sad, miserable looking and more lackluster than the Joey-Rachel romance angle in Friends. But I still love my skin. When it wants to glow, it is luminescent. I don’t have blemishes, acne marks, nada. When I’m happy, it’s happy too.
Hair: Limp, fine and thin. Like my skin, when I’m happy, hair is happy but when I’m sad my hair is very very sad.
Star from the past: Maharani Gayatri Devi. Exquisite, just exquisite. And she was into heritage conservation.
Why did I go clean? Because I was tired. I was tired of wasting tons of money on products that didn’t work. I’m a consultant for a non-profit and earn quite well, but I can’t afford to either buy international brands or glitzy Ayurvedic brands like Forest Essentials for all my beauty products—mostly because I would rather use that money to buy books or be cheated at handicraft saree exhibitions. Very few Indian brands are completely clean. So, what could I do? I went back to my grandmother’s Ayurvedic secrets. I mostly put food on my face. It works brilliantly and is free (because I steal all my beauty supplies from when I visit my parents every weekend. I work for a non-profit. Stealing is allowed.) But I’m not a super-duper DIY-er. If I can’t put it in one jar and shake it up, I’m not making it.
In the morning…
I cleanse my face with raw milk and brush with a tooth powder from a brand called Nirvaaha. Actually, a twig from a Neem tree is supposed to be really good for cleaning teeth, but I’m too chicken for that. I’m mustering up the courage for oil pulling.
In the shower…
Sometimes, when I wake up early and have time, I do Abhyangha with either sesame or almond oil. During winters, I do it almost every day. I wash my body with an ubtan consisting of chickpea flour, wild turmeric, sandalwood, orange peel powder, mint powder, rice powder, neem powder, fuller’s earth and almond powder. This is an extremely gentle bath powder. Even natural soaps dry out my skin a lot and ubtan is super moisturizing when you mix it with milk. I wash my face with a mixture of oatmeal, neem powder, and almond powder. When I’m in the mood, I mix cane sugar, lemon juice, olive oil and exfoliate. On my lucky weekends, my mom gives me grated coconut. I eat half on my way back and the rest I use in a scrub.
My hair turns oily and limp very fast but I don’t want to shampoo it every morning so I clean it with an age-old recipe using amla, ritha and shikakai. If my hair feels dry, I mix in a little Vitamin E oil but otherwise I don’t really need to condition. I use boiled neem water as a hair rinse. I oil my hair at least twice a week and here’s where I have a problem. I can’t find a clean shampoo that lathers enough to remove the oil. I currently use Soultree’s Triphala shampoo but I need to wash my hair thrice to remove the oil. I really need recommendations for nice shampoos that lather. I don’t mind if it’s an expensive international brand because I save more than enough on beauty products. Sometimes I make a hair mask with hibiscus powder, brahmi, neem powder and mix it with yoghurt or egg. The egg stinks so make sure you don’t have a date that night.
Outside the shower…
I use rice water as a toner. During summer, I use coconut milk as a face and body moisturizer. In winters, I use milk cream on my face. It smells funny but it is the only thing that makes my skin fall back in love with me. And it gives an amazing glow. On my body, I use a mixture of oils—apricot kernel oil, rosehip seed oil and vitamin E oil. When I’m out, I use Forest Essentials Absolute Rose face mist. It’s my one indulgence. Did I tell you how puurtty the bottle is?
If my hair is frizzy, I use aloe vera gel to smooth it down. I buy Rustic Art’s Aloe Vera Gel which has green tea extracts and the packaging is so fancy. For my lips and eyes, I use ghee (clarified butter). It really has smoothed down the fine wrinkles I had and my lips are so soft. For dark circles, I dip cotton wool in rose water, cucumber juice and potato juice and use that as an eye mask. A traditional Ayurvedic mask I use includes saffron, majistha, lodhra, red sandalwood and licorice. I use egg white and tamarind pulp often. You may think that I’m smell like an Indian sweet shop but I don’t. I mix rose or lavender EO with all my concoctions so I smell more like a flowerbed. That’s what I think.
I don’t use a deodorant. I don’t sweat or stink much. Honestly. The EOs are more than well enough. But I do use a hair perfume. In a corner of one of Delhi’s prettiest markets, I found a lady who makes these cones with charcoal, myrhh, and essential oils of your choice. You light one of these cones and hold it under your hair and the smell is intoxicating. For sunscreen, I use Aroma Magic’s Sunblock SPF 30 PA+++.
I don’t use much makeup. I use Soultree’s kajal. I use beetroot juice as lip treatment so they’re a nice pink shade.
Thanks for sharing this inspiring routine, Gayatri! Have any of you tried similar Ayurvedic treatments? What are your favorites?
In the shower…
Outside the shower…
I then put on my cozy plaid robe and have some oatmeal and green tea while snuggling with my cat before doing my hair and makeup. It’s my time to relax before my hectic workday begins.
Thanks for sharing Ariel! Love the sound of the Midnight Honey Body Oil and cuddling with cats, too.
Burrrrr. Sounds cold up in Vermont. Warm up with this great routine from a lovely esthetician, Elizabeth. In addition to the Tata Harper products (Vermont love!), we’re intrigued by the other local items Elizabeth has found. Enjoy!
City: Montpelier, Vermont
Current Weather: Winter is setting in… below 30 degrees every day, windy, 5 in. of snow on the ground already
Skin: Combination, oily t-zone, dehydrated cheeks, sometimes hormonal breakouts, super sensitive!
Hair: Fine, straight, long…naturally ombre’d because I am growing out the bleach in the ends of my hair
Favorite Star: Cindy Crawford
Each Morning I begin each day by drinking as much water as I can. I fill up a 32oz glass milk bottle and carry it around with me while I get myself together for the day.
In the shower…
Generally, I shower in the morning but only wash my hair every few days. Every few washes I begin with a locally made, rose petal infused apple cider vinegar rinse that I pour through my wet hair and let sit for a few minutes to work it’s magic. This is clarifying, purifying and toning for the scalp…it also makes your shampoo work so much better! Next, I shampoo with either Phyto Volume Shampoo, Rahua Volumizing Shampoo or Pureology Volume Shampoo. When that is rinsed out I condition with either Pureology Hydrate Conditioner or John Masters Organics Lavender & Avocado Conditioner mixed with the John Masters Organics Citrus & Neroli Detangler. My hair is very fine but because the ends were bleached, they still need a super hydrating conditioner. I then twist my conditioner-hair on top of my head and clip it while I go through the rest of my routine.
Next I wash my body with either Dr. Hauschka’s Lemon Lemongrass Body Wash or Collective Well Being’s Charcoal Body Wash… and I ALWAYS use exfoliating gloves and scrub scrub scrub… I cannot seem to remember to use a body brush before showering, though I love the ritual, so instead I go to town with my exfoliating gloves! I rinse off, rinse out my conditioner, rinse my hands off and begin my facial cleanse. I use Dr. Hauschka’s Cleansing Cream on most days, occasionally I use May Lindstrom’s The Clean Dirt for when it is very cold outside and I feel that my skin needs the circulatory boost from May’s product. If I am having a hormonal breakout I will use Arcona’s Raspberry Gommage. Though I rotate cleansers, I always treat my skin in the same way. I am an esthetician and believe that we should treat our skin as if it is silk. I never ever scrub my face, I press my cleanser into my skin beginning at the forehead and working my way down with very gentle pressure. This stimulates the lymphatic system to begin to flow, thus purifying your skin from the inside while on the outside your skin is being cleansed without being irritated. I rinse off my cleanser and my shower is done.
Outside the shower…
While my hair is wrapped in a towel, I spritz a facial toner on. I LOVE to experiment here. I use Dr. Hauschka’s Clarifying toner, Tata Harper’s Hydrating Floral Essence, a locally made Raw Honey toner or Arcona’s Mineral Magic. If I am having a breakout, I will dab on Arcona’s Tabula Rasa. Works wonders! While my face is still damp, I go for a facial oil. Oil is FANTASTIC for oily skin. My favorite’s are Dr. Hauschka’s Normalizing Day Oil, May Lindstrom’s The Youth Dew and a locally made oil that is choc full of sea buckthorn, tamanu and so many floral essential oil’s it smells like you just stuck your head into a bouquet of jasmine blossoms. I apply a dab of Tata Harper’s Rejuvenating Serum around my eyes… if I use it all over my face I tend to breakout but it’s an incredible eye cream on its own. Because the weather in VT is so harsh, I use a day cream over my facial oil. In the winter I use Dr. Hauschka’s Rose Day Cream, amazing at soothing broken capillaries! In the summer I use Dr. Hauschka’s Melissa Day Cream (heavenly lemon balm scent) or Tata Harper’s Rebuilding Moisturizer. For the body I use Dr. Hauschka’s Lemon Lemongrass Body Oil (great for toning!) and then I use Lunaroma’s Bergamot Vetiver Body Butter where I tend to get extra dry…so arms, knees, feet, hands. Then I toss on a robe and do my hair, I put on a robe so that my hair doesn’t fall into my lemongrass oil on my back. I spritz Rahua’s Volumizing Spray into my roots, followed by John Masters Sea Salt Spray. In the winter I HAVE to blow dry or my hair would be icicles when I went outside so I do but in the summer it’s a benefit of fine hair that you can roll your windows down in your car on the way to work and your hair is dry in minutes!
For makeup I generally just curl my eyelashes with Trish McEvoy’s eyelash curler…its my absolute favorite! And then I use a few coats of Dr. Hauschka’s Volume Mascara. If I’m feeling fancy I will use Dr. Hauschka’s translucent bronze concentrate as an actual bronzer and swirl it onto cheekbones, forehead, nose, chin and neck with a stippling brush. I will follow with RMS Beauty lip2cheek in Smile on both lips and cheeks…and if I’m REALLY going for it I will use RMS Beauty eyeshadow in Seduce and Dr. Hauschka’s eyeliner pencil in 04 (charcoal brown)…smudging it right up into the upper lash line to make my eyelashes look super thick and dark.
Once all this is done, I try really hard to drink a green smoothie or a green juice. It’s incredible what it can do for your skin, especially if you are consistent! But if I don’t have the time, I’ll finish my morning routine with a giant cup of Teacup Botanicals’ Nourish vitamin and mineral tea. So delicious, so good for you and keeps me warm when I have to brave the blustery weather outside my door!