Guys! I have four new favorite makeup items!
I’m going to review them all at once, since they’re all from W3LL People.
1. Universalist 1 and 2 as a duo pot—or as separate sticks. I have the sticks, and I love them. Now, the internet has a serious makeup-color-showing problem (which is why we need more brick and mortars, please, especially in New York), so I’m going to politely ask you to ignore the colors you see on your screen and indulge me as I try to describe them instead.
The colored stick you see here on the left, Universalist 1, looks in person more like a bronzey, dusty rose. It’s got a lot of glow to it without being sparkly, and it has become my go-to everyday blush. It’s literally impossible to mess up, and it’s flattering on every skin color I’ve seen it on. You can dab it on lightly for a super subtle healthy glow or layer it on a little thicker for evening, if you want the color to pop more. Little trick Shirley from W3LL People taught me: Apply a tiny amount under the edge of your eyebrow arch—just a dab, guys—and you won’t really be able to see it, but it makes your eyes really pop!
The 2, meanwhile, is not a solid color at all, as it appears in some pictures. It’s actually a luminizer/highlighter, and it works great on cheekbones, cupids bow, eyelids and even under the outside edge off eye. Just be sure to blend it well. Looks so great! You can see me dorking out about it, and see Shirley explaining how to apply them in the video over here.
(Because we only hawk the stuff we love, you can also currently get both in our little deal. If you want.)
2. The black eyeliner. Also wild about their new eyeliner! Because it’s not technically waterproof I was warned against under eye lash lining but I find it works great and lasts—even at cry-inducing weddings and on hot days. At the same time, it washes off easily with my Kahina cleanser, which is a nice plus. I’ve been into tight-lining my upper lash line and the outside of my lower lash line with it for a nice sharp pop. Fun!
3. The shimmery eyeshadow. I have Elitist 814, which you can see over here. Shirley applied it on me when she did my makeup for that video (confidential to Shirley: Can you do my makeup every day? Thank you) and I’ve since been using it for day and night. For night I layer it with a darker browny bronze. For day I wear it solo when I’m feeling a little less than spiritely, like today! It doesn’t look cakey or teenybopper at all—it’s quite subtle, but makes a huge difference. The color, which is a warm salmony gold, is just so pretty.
Have you tried any new makeup you love?
[Ed's Note Don't worry, friends! Alexandra wrote this before she left. She is not blogging while honeymooning! Psssssh.]
As you read this post, I am hundreds of miles from home, sitting on a beach, doing a downward dog, or enjoying a fruity cocktail. In other words, I’m on vacation. Actually, I’m technically on my honeymoon; it just took us over a year to feel like we could leave. Which got me thinking…
I can’t remember the last time I took a real vacation. Not to visit my parents or go see friends for a weekend, but a proper checkout from the world. When I was little, it seems like folks took these trips all the time. But these days? Not so much.
Of course, like many people, one reason I’m not always flying the coop to some faraway islands is finances. Money’s been tight these past few years (I know I’m not alone there), and until recently I didn’t have the security of a steady income. And yet, still. I could have gone camping just up the coast, or found a cute little bed and breakfast for a long weekend and turned my phone off. In fact, my husband and I had a honeymoon fund instead of gifts, so the money for this trip has been there.
I think the real truth is, I always felt too guilty to take vacations. Either I didn’t have full time work and felt like I didn’t “deserve” one, or I worked around the clock and lived in fear of angry bosses. Anyone else feel like this?
We talk about stress a lot, but this is a bit of a weak spot for both of us. Siobhan even made “taking a real vacation” one of her New Year’s resolutions. (And I plan to hold her to it.) So what about you? When’s the last time you threw a bikini in a bag, took a road trip, or camped out somewhere with no cell reception? I’ll let you know if it’s as good as I remember.
Oh, and here are some handy natural-breauty tricks to take with you when you go.
When I was in Texas last month for SXSW Eco, I did all kinds of fun things: I ate tacos, visited our friends at W3LL People, met up with writer friends, stayed up way too late then woke early to attend some really interesting (and dismaying) discussions about our burning planet…
Being the natural beauty dork I am, though, another highlight was my impromptu visit to Whole Foods’ 80,000 square foot flagship near downtown Austin. This is not just a love letter to Whole Foods, though. Hear me out…
Anyone who’s read the book or the blog will know we love Whole Body, sure. We admire their tough organic standards, and how widely available they’ve made safe, high-quality beauty choices. We like their team, and their scale. But because Whole Bodys differ from region to region, and store to store, you sort of never know what you’re going to find when you visit one. Here in New York, the WB section at Columbus Circle, for instance, is gorgeously laid out, and there’s a nice selection of makeup to play with. At Union Square, my go-to because I tend to work out and play in the lower quadrants of the city, the makeup is crammed in hallway. I still love it, don’t get me wrong, but the shopping experience matters. And if we want to bring organic beauty out of the hippie fringes, nice-looking stores—like Evolue in Los Angeles, and the Apothecary at ABC Home here in New York—are a must.
Of course, small shops devoted to natural beauty are few and far between—and understandably. They’re expensive and the demand for organic beauty products in this kind of setting needs to catch up with the supply. We know that anyone who switches to natural beauty sees their life and their skin and their hair transform. It happened to us, and our friends, our moms and our boyfriends. And we get letters from people all the time telling us as much. Of course, spreading the message is hard—and changing people’s buying habits even harder.
There’s still so much the average American shampoo-buyer doesn’t know about her products—and it’s going to be hard for her to learn if her only options are the confusing, greenwashed aisles of pharmacies.
That’s why we think everyone should read our book, or books like it. And it’s also why we want to see natural beauty scaled way, way up.
When we were writing the book, we had fantasies about curating Sephora’s naturals section: How great would it be, we thought, if you could go in to any Sephora and know with confidence that the products with a green leaf on it (or whatever) had actually been vetted by people informed and passionate about ingredient safety—and effectiveness?
Of course we like the little guys best. We want to support small retailers, several of which are online, and are our favorites—there’s Spirit Beauty Lounge, Nubonau, Nature of Beauty and others. We will continue to support them first and foremost, but if this natural beauty thing is going to get really big, exposure is key. Call me pie-in-the-sky, but we want to see safe, effective and appealing options made available, at reasonable prices, to women and men all over the country, too.
Which bring me to Austin. What blew my mind, and I texted Alexandra as much when I was there, is that I finally saw in person the potential for this whole natural beauty thing—at scale. Here is a giant store (really, it’s almost obscenely big) with a zillion kinds of kale chips and organic quinoa and chickens who lived better lives than we do, and front and center—not as an afterthought, and not shoved in a corner—was a gigantic section, beautifully laid out, well lit with samples galore, teeming with natural and organic beauty products we can feel good about.
I’m not saying Whole Foods is the answer, though it’s certainly part of it. It showed me what was possible.
Now we’d like to hear from you. What do you think natural beauty movement needs in order to grow? More stores? More education? And if the latter, how do you propose we all go about it?
Sooooo. Routine. I’m kinda terrible at it! For those of you familiar with ayurveda, I have pretty typical vata tendencies (and just by the by, I’m meeting with an ayurvedic doc next week and planning to pick up some tips to share). What this means is that I don’t wake up or go to bed at the same time every day; I can go from being ravenous one week to skipping meals the next; sometimes I’m strong like an ox and full of energy, while others times I feel frail and sensitive. Needless to say when it comes to my beauty rituals I change my products with great, and erratic, frequency. This isn’t exactly the worst thing when your job is to try new stuff, but it’s not the best when you’re also trying to assess results. Just another reason me and the blondie make such a good team!
So here’s a current snapshot…
Age: Old enough to actually forget that I’m 32
Current weather: Dry, sunny, 80ish
Hair: Thick, coarse, curly, with lightened tips (that I still love!)
Skin: A little congested right now but pretty consistent these days, more dry than oily (was once the opposite)
In the shower…
I probably only shower about three times a week if I’m being honest. I also don’t wash my face most days—which is something I’ll get more into in another post. But generally, my transition to clean has ended up with me being, well, dirty. I love water but I don’t think that the stuff coming out of my shower head is necessarily doing me that many favors. I live in a super arid climate and as we’ve discussed in the past, some folks think water in and of itself can exacerbate dryness. I usually take off my makeup with some kind of oil or oil cleanser like this Spieza Organics one. And because I don’t wash my hair, every day is not a new battle to “reset” my curls as it once was—but enough excuses!
Outside the shower…
Hydration is my big move in the morning. Sometimes I spray myself with one of the wonderful hydrosols from Kahina or Tammy Fender and then I reach for the richest cream or oil I have on-hand. I’m out of Tammy Fender Repair Balm, which is nothing short of tragic. I also just finished this incredible eye cream from Odacite that I was using as an all-over face moisturizer—upon the founder’s recommendation—and LOVING (full review on this delicious line to come!). So this morning I opted for a sample of neroli oil from Hope Gillerman. Have you ever used neroli? It’s a new one to me, but it felt nice.
The finishing touches…
Probably the thing I do with the most consistency if I’m leaving the house is my makeup routine. Right now my skin is a little tanned so I’ve been trying to pull off a summery bronzed look. I am completely mad about the RMS Beauty lip shines, especially the “moment” one which I use as a cheek shine. I’ve run out of my beloved Jane Iredale concealer but I’m loving this new one I have (which I’ll tell you guys more about in another post) and use it under my eyes, around my nose and for any other discoloration. If I wear any I’m still partial to my Laura Mercier waterproof full-of-chems mascara. But my most exciting summer makeup discovery has been this Ilia lipstick called Bang Bang. On my lips it reads as a bright, almost electric pink—a color I never thought I could wear—and it’s a total revelation. It goes on all creamy but somehow the color actually holds, even after its wiped off a bit.
As far as my hair goes, you guys know the drill I think. Water and conditioner if I shower, and lately a little bit of this curl cream.
Finally, crucial for a girl who doesn’t wash that often is perfume! As of last week I’m using Honore Des Pres’s Chaman’s Party, which is this woodsy, earthy, spicy scent (with notes of clove and basil) that I simply can’t get enough of. And it’s Soapwalla all day for my pits.
There you have it. Keep sharing your routines in the comments—and by golly I hope to hear from my fellow non-washers!
Well, would you looky here: Siobhan is revealing her secrets on another site! That’s OK though, because it’s WellandGood, and we love them. While their post is geared at the NYC ladies, we all need to figure out how to pack our fave natch products, right? So here’s the post:
Labor Day Weekend is summer’s last call, when hoards of New Yorkers traditionally decamp for the beach.
Some hop a Jitney for the Hamptons or a ferry to the Jersey Shore. But plenty hit the airports—and it’s you we’re concerned about. Are you packing yoursunscreen? Will you remember your facial oil? Is your natural cleanser travel size?
To avoid long lines, baggage fees, and the apparently very-real threat of luggage theft, you need to be able to pack your natural beauty regimen into 3.4 ounce bottles in a quart-sized plastic bag—not an easy feat.
“I don’t check luggage, and I refuse to use conventional cosmetics, even when I’m out of town,” says No More Dirty Looks author Siobhan O’Connor. “So I have to get crafty with how I pack my products. It took some doing, but I finally have it down.”
What are O’Connor’s essentials? We asked her—and Well+Good’s own beauty guru, Melisse Gelula—to share their perfect all-natural beauty travel kit. Bon voyage!