Meet Ruby! Her skincare and hair routine is clean, but her makeup routine is… not so clean. We love her honesty, and we can all identify with her transition to clean products. That said, Ruby has some recommendations for clean products we’ve never even heard of! Go Girl!

Name: Ruby

Age: 21 as of October

Current weather: The cooler evenings of fall are approaching, along with what will soon be weeks of rainy winter in British Columbia!

Hair: Thick, wavy, oily

Skin: Fair, oily and blemish-prone; my pale complexion lends itself to some sensitivity and mild redness as well.

Favorite star from the past: Not necessarily a personal favorite, however, my mom says I can resemble a young Julie Christie and she’s a babe, so you won’t hear me arguing.

In the shower…

I wash my hair as infrequently as possible in a desperate attempt to get my scalp to regulate the amount of oil it produces—yet tragically, after over a year of doing so, I still cannot manage to do it less than twice a week. (And I’m still in the sad hair boat of having it fall almost completely limp the day after) I’m currently using up the last bit of my Intelligent Nutrients Harmonic duo, the minty scent is quite unisex, and the conditioner is absolutely divine—so luxurious in texture and moisturizing ability. After reading the most recent review on here for Rahua’s Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner, I ordered some samples from Spirit Beauty Lounge, and suspect it will be finding its way into my shower in the near future.

Every Saturday night, I apply coconut oil from mid-shaft down, twist in a braid, and sleep on a towel. After a double hair cleanse and a massage of conditioner into my ends the following morning, I grab a bar of natural soap and do a quick swipe over my pits and bits. I’ve been debating between opting for the body wash route or trying yet another brand of soap; does anyone else get that squeaky clean feeling? I’ve tried half a dozen different clean bars (Moksa, various Etsy retailers) and can’t seem to escape it. Not to mention scent selection! Maybe I want to lather myself up in jasmine instead of vetiver and patchouli… I’m far too lazy to apply body lotion outside of the shower, so if my skin feels like it’s getting on the drier side—I’ll just slather it in coconut oil before my final rinse. I also like to mix it with some form of grit (coarse salt, sugar, SNAP anyone?) whenever I want to scrub, it kills two birds with one stone and eliminates that itchy post-exfoliation sensation that I get.

Out of the shower…

I have forced myself to only splash my face with water in the morning; my skin doesn’t appear to be any worse off and it saves my cleanser! I do several mists of Evan Healy’s Lemon Thyme Hydrosol (I have decided to try Immortelle, however, after reading Kim’s experience) and follow with Jurlique’s Calendula Cream (I’ve re-purchased this over five times which is INCREDIBLE when you consider I am a complete and utter product junkie and am always hunting for that next best product). I’m fairly lucky when it comes to my hair in that it can air-dry, without product, into soft waves. (Which is darn lucky because if it didn’t, I would endure endless bad hair days since I’m inept in that department—there are three styles in my world: down, ponytail, and sock bun.) If any frizz does arise, I can usually quell it with the help of a boar bristle brush. (I just broke down and purchased a $100+ Mason Pearson brush and lemme tell you, ignore the seemingly endless blog posts that tell you it’s worth it, because it’s not.) My Nourish deodorant has run out and I’m waiting on my Living Libations order to come through and simultaneously hoping that I like it but also hoping that I won’t … over $55 after shipping for 5 ml of the stuff! The former was good but not great, I loved the femininity of the Almond + Vanilla scent but found it would take religious re-application. I tried Miessence prior to that and after developing a red rash on my underarms, realized that I have a sensitivity to baking soda!

My current night routine is in a bit of an upset at the moment; I ran out of Blissoma’s Mild Rice Cleanser, which was treating my skin pretty nicely, especially the congestion my forehead would experience. Despite this, it’s only natural that I would try a *different* cleanser because as all fellow product junkies know, what if something worked even better? I temporarily returned to the last remaining dribbles of Sunday Riley’s Ceramic Slip Cleanser (I didn’t love this as much as I hoped, too foamy, but your face indeed feels like marble afterwards) and now begins my foray into samples. My first was the Sevani Ageless Radiance Refining AHA Cleanser, which smells deliciously of citrus but was also possible for what may have been my worst breakout in months. I still can’t pin down if it was this product that caused such an upset as there’s nothing I can outright blame in the ingredient list, however, I’m also not itching to give it a second try anytime soon.

I’ve switched to a sample pot of Kahina’s Facial Cleanser and can’t find a single thing that I dislike! It possesses a lovely lotiony texture, removes makeup with ease, and doesn’t appear to be aggravating my acne-prone skin. I’m waiting for a sample of Aurelia’s Miracle Cleanser and then I’ll make the final cleanser call. (I’ve heard amazing things about Aurelia’s muslin clothes, so even if the product itself doesn’t work for me, I’ll probably end up grabbing a package of those—they have a set for Monday through Sunday, how cute is that?!) I bought Dr. Alkaitis’ Organic Soothing Gel a while back but it seems to have abruptly stopped doing anything for my face so now I apply ISUN’s Clarifying Serum most nights (if you haven’t tried this product and have a similar skintype to mine, DO SO, it helps to regulate sebum production and gently eases breakouts). I was hesitant about buying it at first considering there are virtually no online reviews but after loving the ingredient list and now on my second bottle, this seems to be an item that will be on my permanent regime. Every few nights I’ll use Arcona’s The Solution, which helps with any hyper pigmentation from leftover acne scars and helps give my pores that “refined” look. Whew, still with me?

Finishing touches…

Here is where it gets dirty; being fair-skinned with cool undertones means that I *never* have an even complexion without the aid of base makeup. There will always be a bit of redness everywhere—around the nose, lower cheeks, chin—you get it. This is the primary reason why I wear foundation. Every. Day. It’s horrible, I know and it’s not even *that* bad but I don’t feel confident without it. If I could only own one cosmetic item, it would be Estee Lauder’s Double Wear Foundation. It disguises redness exceptionally well, doesn’t slide off my face by the end of the day, and is easy to sheer out to lighter coverage when I use my beloved BeautyBlender sponge. I want to give RMS Uncover Up a solid try but the beeswax in it makes me nervous to use it on my whole face. I think that a non-clean foundation will be the hardest product for me to let go of in my beauty routine—even though I prefer the satin/dewy finish that comes with a lot of the natural ones, I want the staying power that comes with chemicals. *sigh*

I use a combination of Giorgio Armani’s High Precision Retouch with Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage for under eye darkness and then on any blemishes I mix the latter with some of the amazing MUFE Full Cover Concealer. I use Jane Iredale’s PurePressed Base to top it off with some MUFE HD Powder in my oilier areas. I’m still navigating the territory of blush—with natural rosy cheeks, I’m nervous about applying anything that could exacerbate this. I just tried a sample of “Spark” from Vapour and I’m waiting on a tester of “Modest” and “Smile” from RMS. Any other peachy-shade-of blush recommendations? For eye makeup, I pop some of RMS’ Living Luminizer along my brow bone and inner eye corner. I have decided that in the realm of eyeshadows, I could solely use UD’s Naked Palette and be happy (I just discovered that Silk Naturals has a dupe for the entire Naked 2 Palette, so be proud because I will be switching to that eventually!). I’m a big fan of the cat eye which I achieve with Bobbi Brown’s Gel Eyeliner and then finish it with a coat of Josie Maran’s mascara after a thorough curl with my shu uemura. And that’s pretty much it! I don’t tend to wear anything on my lips but lip balm unless I’m doing something dramatic in which case I love Aveda’s Rare Orchid or the dreaded Russian Red from MAC

Everything is a process—I could be doing better but I could also be doing a lot worse. I’m confident that in the coming years, my entire beauty routine will be squeaky clean!

It’s true, Ruby. Everything is a process. Keep it up! We bet our readers will have some fun clean makeup recommendations for you, too.

Meet Caitie, a natural beauty blogger who shares our passion for great clean products!

Name: Caitie

Age: 25

Hometown: Toronto, ON, Canada

Current Weather: Moody—hot and humid one day, cool the next.

Hair: Curly and very prone to frizz.  I’ve happily found products that keep it under control, but when I deviate, bad, pouffy things happen!

Skin: Pretty normal.  I struggled with acne until about 21, but since then, my skin has been fairly easygoing.  It can be a little sensitive at times, but generally my biggest skin concerns are pores that I wish were less visible, and a couple fine lines on my forehead.

Icon: I’m not sure I have one!  But, let’s go with Amanda Seyfried.  I don’t see it, but ever since Mamma Mia came out, I regularly have strangers come up to me and tell me how much I look like her.  It’s very strange…

The night before…

I take my makeup off with jojoba oil and then double cleanse with some kind of cleanser.  I’ve been looking for a new one and trying out a few different ones in the meantime, but none seem quite right.  I like Pretty’s Black Tea and Raw Cocoa Cleansing Grains and Weleda’s Soothing Almond Cleansing Lotion, but I’m not convinced either of them gets my skin clean enough to use just it, all the time.  After cleansing, I use a homemade witch hazel toner, and follow with KYI’s Argan + Vitamin C Serum, which is a light oil, but still very hydrating.  I’ve actually noticed an improvement in the lines on my forehead in the two months or so I’ve been using it.  I also use Pure + Simple’s Eye Brightening Cream, which is great for dark circles, but not quite as effective for puffiness.

In the morning…

About once a week, I mix up a homemade clay mask and apply that about 10 minutes before jumping in the shower.  When I remember, I’ll also do a quick dry brush.  On days when I don’t do a mask, I like to use a face scrub in the shower – either Devita’s Gentle Aloe Scrub or Sukin’s Revitalizing Facial Scrub (which contains phenoxyethanol but is otherwise very clean).  Next, I wash my hair with Acure’s Moroccan Argan Oil + Argan Stem Cell Shampoo and leave the matching conditioner on until the very end of my shower.  I change body washes all the time, but right now I’m using Nourish’s Almond Vanilla, which is lovely and creamy, and smells like decadent cake batter.  On shaving days, I use Desert Essence’s Fragrance Free Conditioner, which I hated on my hair, but which works surprisingly well as a shaving cream.

Outside of the shower…

If I don’t deal with my hair while it’s very wet, it frizzes up, so after quickly toweling off, the first thing I do is apply Aura Cacia’s Organic Argan Oil, focusing it mainly on my ends.  Then, I scrunch with either Yarok’s Feed Your Roots Mousse or Intelligent Nutrients’ Styling Gel.  Both control frizz and define my curls, without leaving my hair sticky or crunchy.  Both also have mild scents, which I love since scented hair products usually start to drive me crazy midway through the day.  The Intelligent Nutrients gives a little more hold and makes for better second day hair, but either one is fine day to day.

On my face, I use my homemade witch hazel toner again, followed by Skin Essence’s Nourish Serum/Moisturizer and Pure + Simple’s Eye Brightening Cream.  I also moisturize my body with an unscented lotion.  Right now I’m using Seed’s Nourishing Body Lotion, but my favorite is Acure’s Cocoa Butter + CoQ10.

Finishing Touches…

I enjoy playing around with makeup, but my everyday look is pretty neutral.  Eye shadow varies day to day, but it’s usually a light, shimmery beige or gold on the lid and a medium brown or plum in the crease.  My favorite mascara is Zuzu Luxe’s Onyx, and while I don’t wear liner every day, when I do, it’s a pencil from either Honeybee Gardens or Benecos.  Lips are usually pretty subtle.  I like Badger’s lip balms (particularly the cocoa butter ones), Yes to Carrot’s Tinted Colorbalms, Vapour’s lip glosses, and a recent discovery, Ecco Bella’s FlowerColor lipsticks (Tuscany Rose is my favorite).  Most days I wear a powder foundation, either Honeybee Gardens’ Pressed Mineral Foundation or Lucy Minerals’ Lucy Light Foundation.  For a cream/liquid product, I’m a big fan of The All Natural Face’s Cream Foundation.  I also use Une’s Skin Glow Pencil and Silk Naturals’ Sleep in a Jar Concealer under my eyes.  My blush is usually from one of my homemade pressed palettes, which I made a couple months ago when I was feeling especially adventurous.  I top everything off with Lucy Minerals’ Light Finishing Powder, which blurs fine lines and imperfections and helps my makeup last longer.

Whew, sounds like a lot when you write it all out!  Overall, I’m pretty happy with my routine, but I’m still searching for a perfect cleanser and eye cream.  Any suggestions are very welcome!

We love a good deodorant throwdown, and it’s been a LONG time since our last. Here’s the deal: Poor Emily can’t find a natch deodorant that doesn’t break her out in a rash. Let your favorite finds and DIY suggestions roll for this newly converted clean girl. Happy Friday!

Here’s a quick roundup of the ones we’ve tried and liked.

Lavanila: This used to be quite spency but on their site it’s only $14 (not cheap, but not the $20 it was at Sephora). It feels the most like a mainstream deodorant and works like a star. It used to have one slightly suspect ingredient but we haven’t revisited the list in some time. (Anyone know?)

Soapwalla: Absolutely love love love BUT don’t always love applying with a finger. Also many women (including Alexandra) have gotten rashy from it. For her it was just once right after shaving.

Nourish: Smells and feels really really good, functional for sure but not the most powerful we’ve tried.

Weleda: This sage one is one of the first naturals we tried, and it worked great. Until it didn’t. If memory serves the effect wore off after a little while. That sounds weird, but it happened to Siobhan, Alexandra + two friends.

Onto Emily’s email…

I’ve been cleaning up my beauty routine for the past few months, and so far haven’t had too much trouble finding clean versions of all the products I used to use – except for one:I can’t find a natural deodorant that doesn’t give me a painful, red, itchy rash.

I’ve tried just about every deodorant available at the health food store, I’ve tried Face Naturals, I’ve tried several from Etsy…everything works alright for about a week, and then comes the inevitable day when my armpits turn red and start to hurt.

The only one I’ve found that doesn’t give me the rash is the Crystal deodorant rock, but it’s not very effective against smell, for me.

So, after all this TMI, I was wondering whether you, or your readers, might have had similar problems and found a solution?  I really don’t like to feel like I stink, but I also really don’t want to go back to using Secret – besides the aluminum and other gunk I don’t want to put on myself, the fragrances now give me a headache!

Hoping you can help,

Emily