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!
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 email@example.com
You may recognize Carol from the NMDL community. Her sweet and positive vibe in the comments section reminds us why we love doing what we do. Carol has some serious green beauty wisdom to share, so grab a cup of herbal tea and settle in for a lovely routine.
City: Indian Wells, CA
Current weather: Sunny & dry, dry, dry! Around 110 degrees daily with a/c running 24/7 (summer in the desert!)
Skin: Dry, Aging, Sensitive
Hair: Dry, Wavy/Curly, Shoulder-Length, Color my grey (with as chemical-free color as I can find)
Favorite Star From The Past: tie between Leslie Caron & Jaclyn Smith during her “Charlie’s Angels” era
How I start each day…
I start each day with equal measures of love & hydration. The love part is a generous misting of Lotus Wei Infinite Love Mist as soon as my eyes open, a big hug from my lovely daughter who runs in to greet me each morning, followed by giving our sweet golden retriever his morning Ark Natural dog treat — he gets SO excited about it (not realizing it’s really to clean his teeth) that it melts my heart, and I make my dear husband a big mug of coffee. The hydration part is brewing 2 cups of Organic India Tulsi Tea. (I have those big over-sized Fiestaware mugs in assorted cheerful colors to wake up to). I rotate between their Tulsi Vanilla (my favorite one) or Tulsi Cinnamon Rose or Tulsi Guta Kola and I make sure to let it seep for at least 10 minutes, all of which I learned from the lovely Susannah on NMDL. I also add 5 drops of Lotus Wei Joy Juice Elixer to my morning tea to help with being cheerful.
The hydration continues while I’m waiting for my Tulsi tea to brew, I hold a warm washcloth to my face and then follow with a generous mist of Kari Gran Hydrating Tonic in the rose scent (it’s so fresh, like sticking my face into a bouquet of fresh-cut roses from the garden) and I follow that with several pumps of her ah-mazing Serum which has this luscious ylang-ylang scent. I also hydrate my lips with Kari Gran cinnamon lip whip (shout out to Alexandra for mentioning this on NMDL — that’s how I discovered it). Back to the love part, I also swish my mouth with Tom’s of Maine natural mouth-wash and follow with a spritz of Lotus Wei Infinite Love perfume on my hair, wrists, and my heart (as Katie from Lotus Wei suggests) so that I smell nice for my family as we are preparing breakfast. While I drink my tea, I sit quietly for 20 minutes or so and read my favorite blogs, starting with NMDL.
After tea is finished, we always make healthy breakfast smoothies — sometimes green smoothies (lots of coconut water, baby spinach, frozen berries) and sometimes tropical (unsweetened coconut milk, fresh pineapple chunks, frozen banana, splash of orange juice). If anyone is being cranky, I keep a bottle of Lotus Wei Joy Juice Mist on the kitchen counter and mist it around to keep us cheerful (neither myself or my daughter are morning folk). I then fill a large glass with half Zico coconut water and half Perrier water. I find the straight coconut water a little hard to take, but I also desperately need the hydration while I exercise and feel so much better sipping coconut water throughout the day here in the desert. I add 5 more drops of Joy Juice Elixer to my water glass and walk for 30 minutes on my treadmill. I like to mist my face again with my Kari Gran Hydrating Tonic just before I step on the treadmill, it feels so refreshing.
In the Shower…
Right before I step in, I roll Tata Harper Automatic Stress all over my hands and do 8-10 slow deep breaths. The amazing combo of scents really calms me down. Then I wash my hair with Rahua Shampoo & Conditioner — the regular one. I much prefer the scent of their Volumizing shampoo & conditioner, but they make my scalp itch and dry out my hair too much. The regular Rahua combo makes me have perfect hair days so I hang in there with the scent. I know a lot of people love the Palo Santo scent, so I feel badly saying I don’t care for it, but I’m a fruity, floral or citrus gal. For body wash & shaving my legs I use John Masters Organics Bourbon Vanilla & Blood Orange body wash — it smells so fabulous. I exfoliate with an Osmia coffee & mint soap bar that I keep in the shower on their ingenious little soap saver stand. I step out of the shower and leave my skin dripping wet (as I learned from reading the Osmia blog) and slather my legs & arms with Osmia Body Oil in Sunset. I also wrap my hair up in an old t-shirt so it won’t drip down my back.
Out of the Shower…
For deodorant, I am now using and loving In Love With Body Care deodorant in unscented (I have my husband using their Morocco scent — spearmint) that I discovered thanks to the samples sent to me by the exceedingly kind Terri at Integrity Botanicals. Just upgraded to a full-size tube of it and love it so much more than my former deodorant — Nourish Organic — which worked but was scratchy feeling going on. This deodorant has coconut oil in it, so it is very creamy and feels very gentle on my skin. Love it! I mist my face with my Kari Gran rose mist again, followed by her glorious serum (side note: most normal people don’t have to apply Kari Gran mist & serum several times a day, but my skin is crazy dry with the desert air and a/c going so I do a mid-day hydration too). I brush my teeth with The Honest Company toothpaste in mint — it’s SLS & fluoride-free and the only mint toothpaste that doesn’t sting my tongue when I use it. I floss my teeth with Reach woven soft floss in mint. Now I unwrap my hair from the t-shirt and scrunch it all over with Rahua hair wax. This is a life-changing product that keeps my dry hair curly and not frizzy and has completely replaced my previous “cocktail” of multiple other products that drove me crazy.
Most days at home, I just opt for 3 things: combing my eyebrows with Jane Iredale clear brow gel, my Kjaer Weiss mascara & Osmia lip gloss in Whisper. If I’m headed into the California sunshine, I put John Masters Organics SPF 30 sunscreen all over my face & neck and top it off with RMS lip to cheek in Demure on the apples of my cheeks. I’ve read so much praise for the Josh Rosebrook SPF 30 day cream that I’ve gotten some samples and am considering the switch, the skin on my face is very dry and sensitive and the John Masters sunblock works well but tends to dry out my skin even more. I use Hurraw SPF 15 lip balm (love the tangerine/vanilla scent and it goes on clear!) then put my Osmia lip gloss over the top. On my arms & hands I slather on Erbaviva SPF 30 which smells so nice…. light lavender scent.
Throughout the Day…
Every time after washing my hands, I love putting on my Osmia Linden Rose Hand Cream (shout-out to Rebecca on NMDL for recommending) mixed with a few drops of Lotus Wei Infinite Love for a nice boost of rose and positive energy. I also try at least twice a day to take a mini-break by closing my eyes for 2 minutes and letting a Wei of Chocolate dark chocolate melt in my mouth. Heaven.
Just wanted to share that the ultimate de-stresser is taking a warm bath with Zoe Organic’s Mama’s Ritual Bath Salts. Even if you aren’t a mom, we all need to find healthy ways to relax and there is something magical in this mix that is so calming I almost pass out in the bathtub — it’s that relaxing. If I don’t have time for a bath, I agree 100% with a post on NMDL a few months ago that Susannah wrote about how the warm cloth & facial oil cleansing ritual (using Kari Gran cleansing oil) is as relaxing as a bath. The combo of the warm cloth and the lavender scent is an ultra-relaxing way to end the day. I also like rolling on Tsi-La Fleur Sauvage and breathing it in right after I finish caring for my face at bedtime. Tata Harper’s Bedtime aromatherapy and a big mug of Organic India Rose tea is a lovely way to end my day.
After writing all this out, I kinda feel like I use a lot of products (high-maintenance?) but I’ve come to learn that little bits of self-care scattered throughout the day culminates in feeling so much better and more calmer about life…
We want to hear from you! Leave comments below and send us your routine. firstname.lastname@example.org
Did you know that Marie Veronique Organics recently split into two companies? MVO’s Pacific line is now part of True Nature Botanicals, while the Everyday Essentials line remains with Marie Veronique Organics. Headed by the former CEO of Marie Veronique Organics, True Nature Botanicals will be at A Night For Green Beauty, tomorrow night in LA. We’re looking forward to trying TNB’s new solid perfumes in person!
Name: Hillary Peterson, CEO, True Nature Botanicals, formerly Marie Veronique Organics
City: Mill Valley, California
Current Weather: Hot or foggy — depending on the day!
Hair: Thick and Dry
Favorite Star From the Past: Audrey Hepburn
I am married with three kids, a dog and a full time job so simplicity is key for me. I start each day with a large glass of water with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and a tablespoon of meyer lemon juice from our tree, to hydrate, to support my internal ph balance and to detox. Most mornings, I run for a half hour. On the days that I wash my hair I apply a homemade pre wash hair oil before I run which gives the oil time to soak in and make a real difference post wash – my dry hair becomes silky.
After my run, I shower using a very gentle cleanser for my face, my favorite is Pacific Cleanser, and Rahua shampoo/conditioner for my hair. After my shower, I mist with Pacific Mist followed by Pacific Face Oil and Pacific Everyday Sheer Coverage. That’s it! I then pick greens from my garden and make a super fresh green drink that generally keeps me fueled until lunch. My favorite smoothie:
- 1 chunk fresh ginger
- 2 cups dino kale
- 1 cup frozen mango
- ¾ cup OJ
- 1 ½ cup H2O
- 3 ice cubes
- 3 TBS hemp seeds *
- 1 TBS coconut oil**
* Loaded with protein. 3 TBS of hemp seeds equals approximately 16 g protein.
** Raises the body’s metabolism, and acts as an antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial agent.
I grab a whole milk cappuccino on my way to work and savor my favorite morning moment while I dive into my e-mails. I have a friend who admitted that he sometimes thinks about how much he is going to enjoy his morning coffee before he goes to bed…that’s me! When I feel like it, I also add in a delicious pastry from my friend’s bakery, Beth’s Community Kitchen, because I think that it is important to indulge and enjoy.
We were introduced to Indie Lee through A Night For Green Beauty, and so far we love what we’ve tried from this sleek and mod brand. We’re sharing the founder’s routine with you, which will give you a great idea of what to look for from the line plus a simple DIY. We love these kind of shares!
Name: Indie Lee
City: South Salem, NY
Current Weather: Hot and humid (it’s not going to be a good hair day)
Skin: Pretty normal, especially since I’ve discovered the powers of squalane oil.
Hair: Long, light brown with highlights, and (finally!) healthy
Favorite Star from the Past: Ralph Waldo Emerson. His insight and inspirations make him a true star to me. One of my favorite quotes from him is “what you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.” It’s how I try and live my life.
Starting the Day with Gratitude…
I begin each day with a moment of solace. I’ve always been an optimist, but since surviving brain surgery in 2009, I wake up every morning grateful for the day ahead and the ability to start fresh. The most important part of my routine is to first send out gratitude into the world. My best friend and I also send each other a “Good Morning Sunshine” text every morning. She usually beats me to the punch! It’s just a silly thing we started a few years ago, but it always puts me in a good mood.
In the Shower…
After reading emails and checking in virtually, I take a quick morning shower to cleanse both body and face. It’s usually an exercise for efficiency (I save relaxing showers and baths for nighttime). I start by lathering on the Indie Lee Lemongrass Citrus Body Wash with a natural loofah that I grow in my garden. The wash protects with antiseptic properties while the lemongrass acts as an antioxidant.
When I found out that I had a brain tumor that was most likely derived from the environment, I had a hard time understanding the diagnosis because I considered myself to be healthy. My doctor helped me realize that the skin is the largest organ and can absorb up to 60% of what I put on it. It was a huge wakeup call for me that my choices could have affected my own well-being. Now I am extra careful about the products I am putting on my skin…especially something like a body wash that I am lathering all over. Plus, this one leaves an amazing lemony aroma behind. Twice a week I’ll follow up and exfoliate with my Coconut Citrus Body Scrub. It was the first product I launched after going through chemotherapy…at the time I needed a gentle formula to help with dryness so I created my own. The sugary blend just feels and smells so good — and it’s great before shaving.
I don’t wash my hair everyday. On the days that I do I use Intelligent Nutrients Pure Lux Shampoo and Conditioner. I love that it’s free of phthalates and other harmful ingredients. It’s hard to find a good shampoo that is as effective as it is natural. I’m a huge fan of Horst Rechelbacher and had the extreme pleasure and honor of meeting and speaking with him on a number of occasions. He truly changed the course of the natural beauty movement. On days that I don’t shampoo, I’ll use a dry shampoo that I make at home.
For my face, I switch between our two cleansers — Indie Lee’s Brightening Cleanser or Indie Lee’s Rosehip Cleanser - depending on what I have in the shower, or what scent I’m in the mood for. I love to use my Clarisonic Mia with the Brightening Cleanser. The strawberry oil in the brightening cleanser is an excellent brightener and fruit acid exfoliant. Once a week, I’ll also leave it on my face for ten minutes as a mask before rinsing. Gotta love that…
After the Shower…
I have a bamboo/cotton robe that I love to slip into daily. I don’t know why, but a white, fluffy robe always feels like a necessary indulgence, so why not wear it every day in the comfort of my home? I’ll use one of my body oils to moisturize all over, starting at my legs and moving up my body. My favorite body oil right now is our Vanilla Citrus Moisturizing Oil. The scent pairs great with my body wash and the citrus is a natural bug repellent, which comes in handy during the summer when I’m spending time outdoors or in my greenhouse. After I moisturize my body, I run my hands through the ends of my wet hair (instead of wiping them off on a towel). The oil is great for controlling humid hair and hydrating split ends.
On my face, I use a squirt of my CoQ-10 Toner to pH balance and even skin tone. Then, I’ll mix a drop of our Squalane Facial Oil and Swiss Apple Facial Serum together in the palm of my hand and apply as my moisturizer. I’m proud to say I don’t have to wear foundation any longer, which is something I celebrate daily. Before I switched to natural, my skin was one hot mess. They call me “Benjamin Button” in the office because I seriously look like a different, younger person than I looked five years ago. I reverse aged -— I swear. It’s crazy.
I always curl my lashes before applying mascara (right now I am loving ILIA Nightfall). I’ll also add a touch of eyeliner. I’ve only found one eyeliner that lasts on the bottom inner rim and it’s Sephora’s Waterproof Eyeliner in Matte Brown. Then I add a touch of RMS lip2cheek on both lips and cheeks. It’s all about moderation for me. A lot of people are surprised that my makeup routine isn’t natural. I’m all about choosing a lifestyle that fits for you, but understanding the choices you are making.
The last thing I do, if I’m spending the day in the office, is dab on the Indie Lee Calendula Eye Balm to work on those fine wrinkles and under eye circles while I’m at my desk. I originally grew my own calendula when I first started the company. This particular product came about because I accidentally grew too many of the edible flowers and needed another use for them. Ha! After much research, I learned how healing the oil is topically.
After that, bam, I’m ready for anything. Thanks for letting me share my morning story!
Have you tried anything from Indie Lee? Susannah loves the Clearing Mask. Tell us what you love!
Today we welcome Munemi, the founder of MUN and the superstar No.1 Aknari Brightening Youth Serum, which she developed to counteract the affects of sun and aging (holy cow it works!). Munemi is also a makeup artist and uses her gorgeous oil on set. Maybe you’ve seen her work in the likes of Vogue, Elle, or Harper’s Bazaar. When we meet her at ANFGB, she’s getting a big hug from us!
Name: Munemi Imai
City: New York City
Current Weather: Summer. Hot and humid.
Skin: Very sensitive. Combination. Dry with oily nose
Hair: Pretty full. Currently no hair dyes. Color – black.
Favorite Star From the Past: Audrey Hepburn
I am a freelance makeup artist in the fashion, beauty and entertainment industries. This allowed me to try out many beauty products over the course of my career. And I love and believe in juicing.
In The Shower…
I have a bit of problematic scalp that if I use just anything, I’d have to scratch my head like crazy later. So I am careful when I select my shampoo to make sure it is gentle enough. I’ve tried fair amount of shampoo in the past and currently I have two in my bathroom, John Master’s Organics Spearmint & Meadowsweet Scalp Stimulating Shampoo, which leaves my scalp very refreshing feeling, and Rahua Shampoo that is also very gentle for my scalp and do a good job. After rinsing off the shampoo, currently I am using John Master’s Organics Lavender & Avocado Intensive Conditioner and let it sit while I wash my body.
I use a loofah to wash my body. This is something I’ve always used since my childhood in Japan. I like that it’s natural, simple and gentle to skin. I love all the kind of natural soaps. I often buy them during my travels when I find something nice. Also I like Ayurvedic natural soaps too. Currently, I am being very basic and using Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap Lavender Castile Bar Soap. After rinsing off my body, I rinse lightly the hair conditioner. Once or twice a week, I use Tracie Martyn Enzyme Exfoliant to exfoliate my face, and about once a week a gommage from Morocco using an exfoliating glove for my body.
Outside the shower…
After I come out the shower and dry my skin with a towel, I use a testing formula of MUN face toner with an organic cotton pad to wipe all over my face then put MUN – No.1 Aknari Brightening Youth Serum as a moisturizer. I brush my teeth with natural toothpaste that doesn’t have fluoride in it. I’ve been using TheraNeem Organix Neem Toothpaste with Mint for sometime now.
Then I do skin brushing. I use a mitt from my aromatherapy teacher, Michael Scholes. I use a few drops of essential oils on the mitt. When I feel like focusing on detox then I like to use Juniper berry and Grapefruit mix, but during the summer time I’d be careful with Grapefruit due to photosensitivity. Other wise, mix of Lavender, Frankincense and Marjoram is fantastic for both calming mind and stimulating the cells. Most of my essential oils are from him as well. After that I put on a testing formula of body oil that I’ve been working on.
It’s summer time here and sun is strong, so if I am spending a good amount of time outside during a day, I use Suntegrity Natural Moisturizing Face Suncreen & Primer before putting base makeup on. I am not a fan of the scent this one but it gives skin nice matte finish for the humid summer and good base before your foundation. If I know I am going straight into an inside studio all day then I skip this. I use RMS Beauty “Un” Cover-up 22 all over my face as a light foundation then “Un” Cover-up 44 under the cheekbones as light shading. I don’t usually use face powder, as I like my skin with a healthy glow and shine, not matte. It’s more youthful looking.
I curl my eyelashes with shu uemula eyelash curler. This has been the best one for a long time. I recently started using Kjaer Weis Eye Shadows and on my upper lids, I mix Magnetic and Charmed, under-eye just Charmed using a small eye shadow brush. Then I use Tarte Skinny Smolder EYES Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner in Onyx to line upper lash line and outer corner of lower lash line and fade it with a cotton swab.
For mascara, I recently started using W3LL PEOPLE Expressionist Bio Extreme Mascara. It gives lashes a nice volume, length and separates the lashes well, but because I smile a lot, it smudges under my eyes and I could have panda eyes, so I still use this Japanese mascara Heat Jewel to coat this to prevent smudging. It’s a film type mascara to coat the lashes and comes off easily with lukewarm water.Then I fill out my eyebrow with Anastasia Perfect Brow Pencil in Taupe.
I put Bite Beauty Lush lip tint in Black Currant on my lips to give a hint of color and hydration. It’s a nice berry natural looking shade. I reapply as needed throughout the day.
Thank you Munemi! Ok everyone, raise your hand if you’ve tried MUN No.1 Aknari and share your thoughts about it or Munemi’s beauty routine in the comments.