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This routine has the perfect mix of DIY and single ingredient treatments in addition to lovely natural brands. Walnut oil has never sounded so good!

Name: Alison

Age: 27

Location: Currently living in Jordan

Current Weather: Hot and sunny

Hair:  wavy, dark brown

Skin: I used to have loads of problems with rashes, acne, and sensitivity before switching to natural skincare and finding the right balance for my skin (took almost ten years to figure out though). I think my skin is normal now? Every once in a while it acts up when I eat unhealthy (but delicious) food.

Favorite star from the past: Can I choose Eve Libertine from the band Crass? If not, I also love Anouk Aimee!

First thing…

After I begrudgingly get outta bed, I drink some tea I make with lemon, thyme and orange blossom water while I get ready for the day. The smell just makes me so happy. I have never been good with morning routines so I just spray my face with rose water mixed with aloe and glycerin and then put on Burt’s Bees Brightening eye cream. Puffy eyes from allergies are an everyday battle (I hate to complain because my village is green and beautiful—though I have been exposed to all kinds of new pollen—olives, pomegranates, figs, lemons, limes, etc.) but this cream has been doing a pretty good job. Afterwards, I eat breakfast, drink coffee, then head to work! 

In the shower…

I always shower at night and although my village is lush and green, Jordan is one of the most water-scarce countries in the world so we have to be careful about our water usage. I only use water to shampoo my hair and soap up the areas that smell. I use Himalaya Herbals Gentle Baby Shampoo (I’m just trusting that they are natural because they don’t list the ingredients! Drives me crazy but it’s the only really ‘natural’ brand here) and olive oil/ bay leaves soap that is made locally. Afterwards, I dump a concoction of ACV and sage tea on my head, comb it through and leave it in. This is my conditioner and the sage is supposed to gradually darken your hair but I haven’t noticed that, my hair is just shiny and soft! Also, the vinegar smell goes away really quickly, don’t worry! When I start to notice all the grit and grime building up, I use powdered milk and nutmeg as a body scrub.

Out of the shower…

To wash my face, I spray rosewater on a cotton pad, dab some walnut oil on top, and swipe it over my face (I think I got this idea from NMDL?). I have been doing this for almost two years now and my skin has never looked and acted better. The walnut oil I use is made locally here, inexpensive, smells good, absorbs fast, and is just amazing for your skin and hair. It’s so great I use it for an all-around moisturizer! Once a week, I steam my face (with sage or bay leaves) and then use Evan Healy French Rose Clay mask and some walnut oil after I wash off the mask. Just magical. I use Kiss My Face Liquid Rock roll-on in Peaceful Patchouli but I am always switching deodorants to find the perfect one.

Finishing Touches…

I waste a lot of money on makeup for someone who doesn’t wear it that often (I don’t wear it to work). I have been using Alima Satin Matte foundation for a few years now because it’s great and Olive 1 is the perfect shade for my skin. I also really like Dr. Hauschka Silk body powder for the face, as a hair powder (between washing), and sometimes as a deodorant. I am still searching for the perfect brown eyeliner that I can use on the water line. Right now, I am using Dr. Hauschka Eye Kajal in Soft Brown. To line my upper eyelids, I love Nvey Eco Cake Eyeliner in Brown. I smudge Kjaer Weis eye shadow in Earthy Calm or Alima Matte eyeshadow in Raven around my eyes, curl my lashes, and then use 100% Pure mascara in Black Tea.

I am definitely less rigid about using natural products these days (I used to be crazy about reading labels, avoiding ANY unnatural ingredients, hence most of my products were DIY) but I’m starting to wonder if I have just given up on certain things because I recently bought NARS Satin lip pencil in Het Loo… I can’t find this color in any natural brand! RMS Lip Shine in Moment is close (and really nice and moisturizing) but sheer. Aside from that, I like W3LL People Universalist Multi Stick in #6 and Bite Luminous Crème Lipstick in Cassis.

I love perfume and I still have a hard time parting from the chemical ones because they bring me so many different memories (Crabtree & Evelyn Nadira / Azzemour has been my favorite since high school) but now I like to buy different essential oils and mix them. My favorite mixture so far is Jasmine and Neroli. The Jasmine by Intelligent Nutrients is really true to the flower and not too heavy and sweet!