And we’re back after a lovely holiday weekend! Did you take advantage of the CV Skinlabs Friday Deal? Let me tell you, I inadvertently got a little too much sun yesterday and found myself with sunburned limbs. I applied CV Skinlabs Rescue + Relief Spray and this morning the burn is GONE and my skin is even-toned—no awkward tan lines! Their products are going to be a summer staple. I just had to share because I love when a product does exactly what it promises to do. Back to the task at hand. Makeup!

A reader named Aneta wrote in with a question we’ve often pondered ourselves: Can you suggest a natural eyeshadow primer for oily lids that actually works?

For real, though. Some of my favorite clean eyeshadows seem to just slide around and settle in creases or melt away altogether, and I know Aneta and I are not alone here. Before going clean, I personally used Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer. Not so clean, but boy did it work. I threw the darn thing out just so I wouldn’t be tempted by its magic fixing abilities.

My current method is to apply foundation or concealer to my eyelids first. A mineral powder foundation is great for this, and right now I’m having a love affair with W3ll People Altruist Mineral Foundation applied with their Foundation and Concealer Brush. Then I apply whatever shadow I’m using, and dust a fine layer of RMS Beauty Un-Powder on top.

Have you found a natural eyeshadow primer that works? If not, what tricks do you use to keep your eyeshadow in tact and fresh? Let us know!

Skin tones. There are so many shades of human. Sometimes you find the perfect makeup formulation for whatever reason—dry skin, sensitive skin, it has SPF, it doesn’t have a certain ingredient—but it only comes in three shades. Or it only comes in shades that err toward pink. Or orange. You name it. We’re all individuals with our own cosmic make-up, preferences, needs… and color. We can find 50 shades of red in a lipstick but the foundation, concealer, and powders are limited beyond belief.  A recent email from a reader struck a similar chord and we wanted to pitch it to you. Take a look…

“I’m a recent convert to natural beauty products, taking the approach of just replacing my old dirty products as they run out or after I’m fed up. I love your blog but I was wondering if you’ve ever featured a black girl. I would love advice on finding natural makeup that covers the full range of skin tones without making chocolate skin look ashy.”

Let’s hear it ladies. What’s up with the limited color range in makeup and what makeup lines have deeper colors that meet all our expectations for natural and effective makeup?

Apparently, it’s time to start planning summer activities! One of our readers wrote in with a great question about skin maintenance while road tripping. We love that Kaitlin is factoring in skincare while venturing out into nature. Here is her letter:

“This may be a hard question to answer, but I am going on a road trip/camping adventure across the US in August, and I’m on the hunt for a great “one step” skin regimen. I’m looking for something I would be able to use without water, such as facial wipes. I also am up for tinted moisturizer suggestions with SPF in it. I will not be wearing much makeup on this trip so makeup removal is not a concern of mine. I really do need help with this. I want to treat my skin well, even though the rest of me may get a little…. dirty? Haha! Please let me know. I would really appreciate all the help I can get.”

For a minimalist routine, Kaitlin has the right products in mind. Here are my suggestions:

Kaia Naturals Juicy Bamboo Facial Cleansing Cloths: These wipes are a cleanser, toner, and eye makeup remover in one! They are made from 100% biodegradable, unbleached bamboo cloth. This is probably the cleanest, most natural facial wipe you will find on the market. The ingredients are full of goodness like organic honey, sunflower oil, and antibacterial essential oils. You can purchase as individually wrapped travel packs, or a full size box. I took these to the beach last summer and loved being able to wipe the sweat and sunscreen off quickly at the end of the day. So refreshing! They are effective but gentle (no alcohol, sulfates, parabens, or synthetic fragrance), and the cloth is super soft. Consider this the “Swiss army knife” of your skincare routine on-the-go.

Suntegrity “5 in 1” Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen (Tinted, Spf 30): This chemical-free tinted sunscreen relies on zinc-oxide to protect your skin from harmful rays. Zinc not only protects, it is anti-inflammatory and helps problematic skin conditions like acne and rosacea. Win! This sunscreen contains some serious skin boosting ingredients like plant-derived hyaluronic acid, astaxanthin, red algae and certified organic aloe vera, jojoba, sunflower, pomegranate, cucumber, and green tea. There are a couple of ingredients I am not a huge fan of (namely, dimethicone), but the formulation is cosmetically elegant — it blends into skin effortlessly — and it has been featured as one of the best sunscreens in the Environmental Working Group’s sunscreen guide for the last two years. You can order trial sizes to figure out the best tint for your skin tone and see whether you like the finish.

One more thing, Kaitlin. Consider taking a light facial oil with you to apply at night and recharge your skin after a full day of outdoor activity. Not knowing your skin type, a safe bet is Lina Hanson Global Face Serum. This blend sinks in quickly and leaves a velvet finish. Plus it’s full of restorative, nutrient dense oils like baobab, argan, and marula. It also smells gorgeous and relaxing thanks to the neroli and frankincense oils.

Now, let’s hear your thoughts and suggestions for Kaitlin in the comments. Happy camping, Kaitlin!

One of our readers has gone to Paris and wants to explore the clean beauty scene à la française. So help us out with this one because we know you’re worldly and well-informed, or maybe you are reading from Paris yourself and you know just where to send dear Paige. Here’s her request:

“I love your website and really value it as a site for shared experiences as well as a guide to different products/approaches/concerns. Thank you!

My husband and I just landed in Paris for a 3-month artist residency, and I’m wondering if you and your readers might have guidance about clean French brands to check out. My current routine includes Chidoriya, Evan Healy, EarthtuFace, Kahina, and 100% Pure, but I’d love to see what the French have! Would love any help from you and the NMDL community!”

We want to know what the French have, too! Tell us in the comments s’il te plaît. Merci et bisous!

Hair is the theme for reader questions this week (and it gives us an excuse to feature Jared Leto’s locks—so pretty, right?). Sarah wrote in with a question about finding the right shampoo to treat her sensitive scalp (thanks Accutane!) and we’re certain some of you can point her in the right direction. Here’s what she has to say:

“Hi there! I need some NMDL community advice. I finished the book in November and was SO excited to begin switching out my products for clean ones. After a six-month stint of Accutane (eek, I know!) almost 2 years ago, I was left with an extremely dry, flaky and irritated scalp. I was sure dirty shampoos were not helping my problem, and clean ones would finally give me some relief. Oh girl. I had the same problem even with clean shampoos (Yarok, Acure, Avalon). It seems that coconut-derived shampoos irritate it even more! Still on the hunt for a clean, coconut-free shampoo. Has anyone else experienced this? If anyone has suggestions, they’d be much appreciated! It’s definitely no fun to have a flaky scalp. Also, I have very fine, oil-prone curly hair, so skipping washes/not washing does not work well. Thank you so much!”

We agree, it’s definitely no fun to have a flaky scalp. Help a girl out? Let Sarah know your thoughts in the comments.

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