A spring routine! This one makes us want to hop on a bike and let the breeze run through our hair. So fresh.
Name: Erin Gibbs
City: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Current Weather: Springy, mix of rain and beautiful sunny days with lots of pink cherry blossoms in bloom!
Skin: Fair, combination, oily and acne-prone during hormonal times, recurring eczema on my right eyelid
Hair: Fine, dry and curly, mousy brown with a few ‘natural highlights’, almost shoulder-length
Favourite Star from the past: Lillian Gish’s soft curls and fair skin are mesmerizing and any of the women from Rides are Bike are great:
Try to take a few deep breaths and will myself out from under the cosy covers.
In the shower…
From time to time I dry brush, but usually I just hop in the shower right away. I’m a pretty basic lady, so Dr. Bronners mint liquid soap and an exfoliating cloth for my body are my jam. I wash my hair fairly infrequently, alternating between shampooing with Dr. Bronners or using conditioner to clean my scalp. I rinse and then finger comb conditioner through my hair without rinsing. It’s either left to air dry or lightly diffused. I’m interested in trying henna to make my mousy hair colour a bit more rich—any suggestions are welcome.
I use a bulk conditioner from The Soap Dispensary, a wonderful natural personal care and home cleaning shop here in Vancouver. Conditioner doubles as shaving cream or I’ll sometimes swap in bulk coconut oil from The Soap Dispensary.
I’ve recently become hooked on Dr. Sponge konjac sponges and bring one into the shower with me each morning for a short but sweet spa-like face massage. My feet get a scrub with a dual sided pumice paddle thingy (technical term!).
Out of the shower…
If I’m feeling motivated, I moisturize my body either with some coconut oil, hemp seed oil, rosehip oil, shea butter or a mix (all bulk from The Soap Dispensary!). Most days I don’t bother as it’s quite humid in Vancouver. I do pay attention to my right hand that has a patch of eczema on the pinkie finger that just won’t quit. It gets special treatment with some Weleda Skin Food, Egyptian Magic or other concoction.
Deodorant has always been a challenge and my personal fave, Aromarant is now discontinued at Lush. I’ve been using the Aromaco solid deodorant, but I’m not a big fan of patchouli (despite living on the west coast) and I haven’t checked how green the ingredients are. Other deodorants give me the dreaded red, rashy pit!
Pearly whites get a brush with Jason Seafresh toothpaste. During my period I rely on the miraculous Diva Cup. It’s changed my life and I love it. Easy for everyday and great for travel. Discreet, clean and zero waste!
If I haven’t showered, I use one of several facial cleansers: Stark Skincare’s Grapefruit Balm, Antipodes Juliet Skin-Brightening cleanser, or rosehip/hemp oil. That’s followed up by a spritzing of homemade toner of alcohol-free witch hazel (from The Soap Dispensary), with a few drops of lavender and tea tree oil mixed into the bottle. I moisturize either with a few drops of the aforementioned rosehip or hemp seed oil.
Sunscreen seems silly for three-quarters of the year when it’s overcast and raining, however I recently picked up MyChelle Sun Shield Unscented SPF 28, so we’ll see how that goes once the sun makes an appearance.
Since going green and clean have accumulated a lot of makeup through the trials and tribulations shipping international items to Canada. My daily look is quite natural in any case.
I start out with Lavera Natural Liquid Foundation (Porcelain 01). I am trying out bareMinerals Original foundation (Light W15), but it seems to make my pores look bigger, my eczema show more and my skin itch! Any suggestions for a foundation/tinted moisturizer available in Canada with a bit more coverage than Lavera would be great.
For concealer, I was using Jose Maran Argan Creamy Concealer (Light 1) and have since stopped as it collected in the creases below my eyes. I just picked up the bareMinerals Stroke of Light Eye Brightener, and am underwhelmed with its ability to cover my very dark under eye circles. I would love some suggestions for a concealer that stays put, covers dark circles and is available in Canada. RMS “Un”coverup was a slippery mess on my face.
My brows are filled in with a sample of Capitalism 913 from W3ll People. Eyelids get a sweep of Sway from Ilia. Eyeliner like W3ll People Hypnotist tends to migrate under my eyes in no time, so often a bit of Capitalism 913 along my lash line applied with an angled brush is safer. I would love to achieve the cat eye look with a natural product.
For mascara, I’ve been pretty happy with Benecos Natural Mascara Maximum Volume in Deep Black. Cheeks get some love from RMS Lip2Cheek in Modest. Some experiments using beet root powder (from The Soap Dispensary, of course) to make cheek tint are in the works now. Brow bones, cheek bones and cupid’s bow get a dab of RMS Living Luminizer or W3ll People Universalist 2. My lips get a swipe of coconut oil or Arabian Nights by Ilia.
I try to drink a mug of warm water with lemon or apple cider vinegar each morning. For mental and physical health, I ride my bicycle for fun and to get around this beautiful city. Occasional Yamuna Body Rolling helps stretch out my muscles and keep chronic back issues at bay. Most importantly, I do my best to make time for my husband so we can laugh at/with each other, at a movie or out watching an improv show. We made 2014 The Year of Funny in our home and it has already made such a difference!
Green and Clean Focus…
My ongoing challenge with developing a green and clean beauty regime is packaging. As a designer, I LOVE pretty packaging. As a lover of the earth, I get huge pangs of guilt when buying new beauty and personal care products, even if the packaging is recyclable or reusable. Bea over at Zero Waste Home has her routine down pat, however I’m not quite ready to be as minimal as she is. I’m also quite inspired by Dawn Michelle of Minimalist Beauty. What I want to know is, how do NMDL community members deal physically (and emotionally!) with all of the containers and shipping materials from these wonderful, but waste-producing products? What mutli-use products do you use while maintaining your beauty routine and looking pulled together?
Great question, Erin! Let us know your favorite eco-friendly multi-use products in the comments.
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.
Lucky Ingrid founded one of our favorite kind of businesses… a natural beauty boutique! We love indie shops like hers. Ever wondered what someone with the best products at her fingertips would choose to use? Look no further than this routine.
Name: Ingrid Doucet
City: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Current Weather: Cold, Freezing, Chilly, Cold, etc. Make it stop!
Skin: Good when it’s good but very sensitive and reactive.
Hair: Fine and straight. I have been highlighting it for years but I have cut way down on how often and how many. I have had it darker a few times in the last few years but I always miss the blonde.
Favourite Star from the past: She’s not an old movie star but no less amazing. love love love Diane Keaton.
I splash my face with cold water and then spritz with CV Skinlabs Rescue and Relief Spray. Sometimes I wake up with a bit of redness and this spray always refreshes and calms my skin. I then drink a tall glass of water and then have warm lemon and water… and then it’s green tea. I am a manic hydrator; I notice a big difference in my skin when I am not drinking enough water so I am a bit obsessed!
In the shower…
I WANT to dry brush but I have been so cold recently that I usually jump in the shower before I can manage it. I love scrubs and lately I have been using Solas Orange and Ginger Sea Salt Body Scrub. The scent is invigorating and it’s extremely moisturizing. If it’s a shaving day I use Dr. Bonners Unscented Shaving Gel, it’s a bit runny but it does the trick. If I am washing my hair I use Yarok Shampoo and Conditioner, our whole little family uses this line and we all adore it. I know most of my gal pals can’t believe I do this but most of the time I wash my hair at night and go to bed with it wet!! Because my hair is fine I wake up with it kind of messy but with lots of body. I can usually go two or three days without washing my hair with the help of Lulu Organics Hair Powder.
Out of the shower…
I am a body oil fiend. I go between May Lindstrom, La Bella Figura and organic coconut oil. I am really digging the grassy, exotic scent of La Bella’s Skin Aficionado the last few weeks. It brings me back to running through fields in Nova Scotia when I was kid, and that makes me supremely happy.
If I have washed my hair I use Yarok Feed Your Ends as my hair tangles and then use a wide toothed comb to comb it out. I then blow dry my hair upside down, massaging my head in little circles, which helps to give my hair volume, it’s also great for your scalp.
My skin needs very gentle products, I was on a med a few years ago that really did a number on my skin and it hasn’t fully recovered. Subsequently, it has had a hard time this winter. I’ve been battling rosacea and dry patches. Cleansing wise, I love Pai’s Camellia and Rose Gentle Cleanser or raw honey. I alternate between the two.
I find changing up my oils, moisturizers and serums every few months really helps with my reactive skin. As long as they are gentle and very moisturizing my skin actually likes the change. I know it sounds counterintuitive, but it seems to keep my skin refreshed and happy. So lately I have been using La Bella Figura’s Barbary Fig Seed Oil and CV Skinlabs Calming Moisture. I also love One Love Organics Vitamin C Serum and always use it on my neck and chest. It leaves my skin with a beautiful sheen and it’s perfect for dehydrated, sensitive skin. Mask wise, I use One Love Organics Brand New Day and Osmia Detox Mask, both are gentle exfoliators and nourishing.
I am a bit of a makeup minimalist. I love being able to see healthy skin so I try to keep my skin as nourished and glowy as possible and hopefully use less makeup to look good! I use Kjaer Weis Paper Thin under my eyes and on any redness that needs covering and then Kjaer Weis Desired Glow on my cheeks. I love this color!! It gives my skin a ‘been to the beach look’, which kinda rocks. I use an eyelash curler and then a few coats of Ilia Nightfall. I then sweep Kjaer Weis Cloud Nine from lash to brow line. My eyebrows seem to grow downwards so I will put a bit of Yarok Feed Your Do paste on my fingers and push them upwards.
I do have a thing for lip colours, for day I go between Tata Harper Be Adored and Ilia Bang Bang, and if I am going out at night I use Kjaer Weis Goddess or Ilia Lip Crayon 99 Red Ballons. I love Osmia Honey Myrrh Lip Treatment and I always have it or a S.W. Basics lip balm on me.
I use a toner to set my makeup and to give my skin some added moisture. I find them to be a wonderful way to refresh my skin, calm any irritation and to give skin that ‘just went for a 15 minute run’ look, I especially find them great for midway though the day when my skin needs a boost. I am currently using Graydon’s Face Food Mist; this toner is unscented and wonderful for fighting blemishes.
Some Extras: I love aromatherapy and I find La Bella Figura’s Travel Therapy and Lotus Wei’s Quiet Mind very helpful. I am also an actress and I love using these at auditions or anytime I am feeling anxious.
Want to shop at Clementine Fields, too? Wait for our Friday Deal! Just two days away.
We often get questions from younger readers asking how to have a natural routine on a student budget. (We know some of the products we love cost a pretty penny!) Lucy shows us how it’s done.
Age: The ripe old age of 17
Hometown: A little town in Wales, UK
Weather: Winter/autumn: cold, windy & rainy. Spring/summer: rainy & warm
Hair: Mousy brown, dyed with henna to a delightful shade of orange. Normal/dry hair with a dry itchy, flaky scalp.
Skin: Very fair, combination. Dry cheeks & forehead, dehydrated oily nose & chin. Prone to acne.
Star of the past: From not so long ago, 90s Fairuza Balk
The night before…
I have a bath twice a week. I usually use add either Weleda’s Lavender Bath Milk or Dr. Bronner’s. Wash my hair with the same Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap (I’m using almond at the moment), I let that sit and shave with the same soap. Can you tell I love Dr. B’s? Anyway! Next I rinse and use an apple cider vinegar rinse. This routine is the best thing I’ve done for my scalp. In the past I have used everything under the sun from Head & Shoulders Sensitive (made my scalp burn) to E45 (left my hair feeling oily). If you have a scalp like mine, try it!
After I get out of the bath, I apply organic coconut oil to the areas I have shaved to reduce razor burn and moisturise everywhere else with organic sunflower oil. I always let my hair air dry, but if it’s still damp by the time I go do bed I use the hairdryer on its lowest, coolest setting.
Later on, I pin my hair out of my face and, if I’m wearing makeup I will take it off with organic sunflower oil. I then go on to cleanse my face with raw honey (works wonders for drying out pimples) and while that’s sitting I brush my teeth with the Weleda Rhatania toothpaste, since if it gets on your clothes, it will leave a pink chalky stain (trying to use this up). I rinse away the honey and clean my retainer that I wear at night with lavender Dr Bronner’s. I then go in with George’s Always Active Aloe Spray, then moisturise with the same sunflower oil as earlier.
In the morning…
I honestly don’t do much. I wake up, get dressed and have a cup of tea (us Brits love tea). After breakfast I brush my teeth with the Weleda Plant Gel toothpaste. If I’m wearing makeup (I rarely do since I like my skin how it is!), I will use The All Natural Face’s cream foundation in Medium Beige Pale as under eye concealer & set with Silk Naturals Untinted Oil Control Blur. I find it difficult to find products I can afford with my ‘pocket money’ that match my skin tone since I’m so pale.
If I’m wearing eyeliner, I use activated charcoal (finely ground) with George’s Aloe spray and apply with an old eyeliner wand. For mascara, I will use Lily Lolo’s Lash Alert mascara in brown, which is buildable, affordable and looks great! I love the Burts Bees lip shimmers. I have Plum, Rhubarb & Papaya. Plum is my favourite, it’s a lovely deep purple/pink/brown.
Short and sweet, I guess you could say!
Are you using single ingredients like honey, coconut oil, and sunflower oil in your routine? Tell us how!
We are feeling oh so international these days! This routine comes from a reader in Singapore. She’s got the clean beauty thing down but needs a little advice from you, so keep reading.
Name: Boiling Wok (My blogging identity)
Hometown: Hyderabad, India
Currently Staying in: Singapore
Weather: Hot & humid. Rains often.
Hair: Dark brown, fine, wavy & prone to frizziness. I have seborrheic dermatitis in my scalp.
Skin: Brownish. Tans easily. Oily due to the humidity. Prone to blackheads. Sensitive.
My first drink in the morning is a glass of warm water with the juice of half a lemon in it (a full lemon if I have a cold). That really makes a difference to my day and makes me feel so awake. I make it a point not to check any electronic devices the first thing in the morning.
In the shower…
I shower twice a day. I am usually rushing to work in the mornings, so my showers are short. I am constantly trying out various soaps. Currently, I am using Austin Natural Mountain Laurel soap and I love it. I also love Zum bars goat milk soaps. I dry brush using EcoTools, Sustainable Body Buff in the evenings as I found brushes too harsh for my skin.
For my face, I am using Acure Organics facial cleanser gel superfruit + chlorella growth factor currently. I use Konjac sponge for washing my face and neck and really love it. I can definitely see an increase in the blackheads on my nose when I am not using it.
I wash my hair alternate days. I mostly use Acure organics pure mint + echinacea stem cell volumizing shampoo. Sometimes, when my dermatitis is really bad, I use Selsun 2.5% but I try to use it as less as possible. I have tried several shampoos and definitely find Acure shampoo quite mild and not worsening my dermatitis. After washing my hair, most of the time, I try to rinse my hair with Bragg’s Apple cider vinegar and water.
Outside the shower…
I often use crystal deo on my underarms and spray not-clean body mists or perfumes on my clothes. I am trying to use them up before I switch to clean perfumes.
As it is very humid, I only use toner on my face and neck in the mornings—Avalon Organics, Essential Lift, Fortifying Toner and I like it so far.
I use a little of body moisturizer for my hands and legs. My skin does not get too dry out here due to the humidity. I use Deep Steep or EO or Acure depending on my mood.
I often mix my own essential oils and use them on my scalp or face when my skin feels bleh. I try to avoid bread, fried foods, junk food & milk as they worsen my dermatitis. The healthier I eat, the better my skin and scalp is. I would love to hear suggestions for dealing with SD from NMDL readers.
Send us your morning skin and hair routine! firstname.lastname@example.org