Weekly! We said weekly! And we meant it. So now, here is the latest in our weekly series of women sharing exactly what products they use to start the day. This time, we asked the amazing Rebecca B. to share hers. You no doubt know her from the comments. She’s an early and loyal reader who shares her insane breadth of knowledge and experience with all of you, all the time. We learn from her, we think she’s sassy and funny, and we imagine you all do too. Also, she uses great products—and some we’ve never even heard of! Read on, read on…
Current weather: sunny, warm, dry
Hair: multi-texture, thick but not so much as it used to be, lots of grey covered with henna/indigo, growing out the toxic dye
Skin: pale, super sensitive and perimenopause ravaged, but pretty good with optimal care
Before the shower…
100% Pure Coffee Bean Eye Cream goes on first thing when I get out of bed if I have puffiness. The puffy is usually gone by the time I get into the shower. Every day there’s yoga, a healthy nutrient-packed but light breakfast, and add a walk, run or bike a few days a week.
I love my products, truly, but I know that my fitness and nutrition do more for beauty than anything else. I also love to dry brush my skin but lately it’s been sporadic.
In the shower…
I brush my teeth with Miessence toothpaste in anise or lemon (is it weird that I brush in the shower?). If it’s a shampoo day, I use Griffin Remedy Daily Shampoo and the matching conditioner, or Elava Botanik Avocado Shampoo (conditioner typically not needed with that one). Choice of soap for the essential-to-wash parts based on mood or need: Rose of Sharon Acres Coconut Milk Shampoo and Body Bar (great for shaving), skinnyskinny Organic Real Cocoa, One With Nature Dead Sea Mud Soap, or Dr. Bronner’s. Kahina Giving Beauty Facial Cleanser is my go-to, all time fave for face. Sometimes I use honey, and lately I’ve added some dead sea mud soap for the hormonal break-out areas (too drying for my whole face on a regular basis). For exfoliating, I use a Pai muslin cloth or gluten-free steel cut oats.
Outside the shower…
For my face/neck/chest, I pick a toner from my ever-expanding collection. Lately it’s likely to be John Masters Lavender Hydrating Mist or Evan Healy Immortelle Facial Tonic Hydrosol. I massage in Kahina Argan Oil with my DIY skin lightening actives mix. This has drastically helped my sun damaged areas, and the massaging part (I heard of it as “face yoga”) is to help with muscle tone—I think it’s working, but maybe that’s just wishful thinking. If my eyes need something extra, it’s more 100% Pure Coffee Bean, or Pai Rejuvenating Echium Eye Cream. Hair gets Kahina argan and/or John Masters Bourbon Vanilla and Tangerine Texturizer (oh, yeah, baby), usually after a blow-dry and sometimes a flat iron. If it’s a curly day I use a DIY sea salt spray. If I didn’t shampoo but need a refresher, I go for Lulu Organics Hair Powder. I use straight lavender essential oil patted all over my body (it’s the only thing that keeps me from getting daily bug bites). Lavender also goes on any inflamed face spots, and it’s a nice blast of fragrance for underarms too, on days I want scent. I love Soapwalla deodorant, but lately I’ve been using my own unscented mix of shea/arrowroot/kaolin/baking soda. I always have some sort of body butter for whatever needs it, like elbows or feet. Currently I’m using my favorite Sprout cream. My lips love Meadowlake Farm Hive Isolates Renewing Salve.
RMS Beauty uncover-up on spots, with Alima Pure Satin Matte Foundation over that and also under my eyes. My finishing powder is a DIY mix of my foundation with arrowroot, kaolin and rice powder. Sometimes I use Alima blush and Real Purity mascara. RMS Living Luminizer goes on upper lids, on lips and/or cupid’s bow, and whatever’s left I pat onto my collar bones. If it’s a no mascara day the luminizer goes on lashes too. Then body butter for hands and I’m out the door.
Boom! How’s that for a morning routine? Weigh in with your favorites from her routine, or what you learned about and can’t wait to try, in the comments.
Welcome to a new occasional series where we’ll share with you what products real people are using in their real lives at a given moment in time. (Routines are subject to change without notice! Heh.)
I’m going to go first ’cause I’m a trooper, but there will be more! And bear in mind, I think of cosmetics sort of like an outfit: I wear underwear (almost) every day, but on top on that, sometimes I feel like wearing a sundress, and other days I feel like wearing jeans and a T. I treat skincare the same way. There are a few everyday items, and then there are some I swap in and out depending on my mood or the mood of my skin.
Now, without further ado… Here’s my morning skin and haircare routine.
Age: How dare you! (32)
Current weather: Really hot, muggy, humid, northeast, generally gross
Hair: Mostly not dyed anymore, thick, wavy, long, occasionally frizzy
Skin: Pale, sensitive, Irish, burns easily, irritated easily
In the shower…
I don’t wash my face in the morning. I figure it can’t get that dirty between washing it right before bed and waking, and my skin seems to best tolerate a light hand, so I keep it simple. Instead of wash, I use a muslin cloth I got from Pai to wipe down my face. It’s gentle but still slightly scrubby, which feels great. In the tub, I use bar soap from Leap Organics, C Tonics Tantra shampoo, and C Tonics Milk conditioner. The soap is simple, and it’s from a brand I really love to support, but the hair stuff needs some ’splaining: This shampoo smells super intense, which Spirit Demerson warned me about, but it’s a treatment for “stressed scalps,” which mine certainly is right now, mainly because I got a trim the other week and with it, a really sweet rash. The rash comes and goes with stress, but there is no more extravagant a trigger than SLS/SLES-based shampoo. The conditioner, meanwhile, is the best-smelling conditioner I’ve tried in eons. It smells amazing! And it leaves my hair soft and shiny and not frizzy, even in August in New York.
Outside the shower…
I am using and loving Soapwalla’s body oil some days of the week (too lazy to moisturize daily) and depending on how many bruises I have, I also use Chocolate Sun self-tanner in light on my legs, and maybe my arms. I apply the fake-sunner before the oil, obviously. Then I apply Soapwalla deodorant.
For face, I spray Kahina Giving Beauty Toning Mist all over, then on the lower part of my face only—which is where I’m prone to spots—I use Organic Apoteke Active Face Gel, which I live and die by. [Now here's a problem: My bottle is half-empty and the line seems to be on hiatus or out of business. HELP!!!! I am freaking out on the inside about this. I have used this for three years, and I'm terrified about what is going to happen when I run out, so suggestions welcome.]
On the rest of my face, I use Tammy Fender Intensive Repair Balm. I’m not really repairing anything, but I freaking love this cream. A tiny amount goes such a long way, and it gives my skin a nice glow. If my skin feels really hydrated already, I use the much lighter Pai Chamomile and Rosehip Lotion. Then I roll on a Bella Figura eye treatment, which I am still experimenting with but will review soon, and finally, my 100% Pure Argan Oil Sunscreen follows.
I do not use leave-ins on my hair. I dry it with a sweet blowdryer if I have time, or let it go naturally wavy.
I still love Laura Mercier’s loose minerals and use it, applied with a clean finger, on places where I need it. I managed to find a color that matches my skin perfectly, so I can use it like a spot cover for the places that are a little uneven (nostrils, sometimes my undereyes, any spots I might have). Then I curl my lashes and apply some 100% Pure mascara in navy or black, really just depending on which one is closer to the top of my makeup bag. That’s basically it. If I’m feeling fancy, I might sweep on some NVey Eco or Josie Maran eyeliner on the corner of my eyes, and sometimes some lip color, too—usually Vapour or RMS these days, in pinky colors. And finally, a spritz of Honore des Pres perfume in Vamp, which I will also review soon.
And that’s it! We’ll do night routines too, but separately, since those are usually different from mornings.
So we ask you:
What on earth should I do when Organic Apoteke runs out? And second, whose routine (other than Alexandra’s, who I will strongarm into doing this, too) do you want to know about? We can’t promise anything, but we can try! If you’re a reader and you have a routine you want to share, please let us know in the comments.