We enjoyed this routine so much, especially Michaelle’s alternate universe self. You’ll find so much to love, so read on!
Name: Michaelle (pronounced like the guy’s name Michael)
City: Whispering Pines, NC
Current Weather: Up and down — today high of 36*F with cold wind & rain all day but then the weekend is forecast for sunny and high 60’s. No humidity. Yet.
Skin: Pale & cool toned with some sun damage spots on forehead and sides of cheeks and some visible redness around nose. After years of battling a really oily complexion and always a blemish somewhere, the switch to green beauty back in ‘08 has steadily made a huge difference to now being fairly normal — oily thru t-zone in summer and then sometimes a few dry patches in winter.
Hair: Brown naturally curly, fine textured but a decent amount of it. As of last November, I stopped doing salon color and just did my first at home Henna color about 3 weeks ago.
Favorite star from the past: I’ve never watched too many old movies so I don’t think I have one. (We chose Lauren Bacall!)
I do the warm water and lemon thing and I also fill my tea tumbler with my Bija Body Daily Beauty tea. If any of you have yet to hear of or try this tea, ya need to get on that stat! It was created by Melissa Piccoli, an esthetician, specifically with skin in mind! After that, my routine can vary drastically. I’m a wife and mother of 2 small beautiful boys and the older one goes to preschool during the weekdays. I am not a morning person, so if I’m not going anywhere else after dropping him off then it’s just a quick swipe of Simply Divine Botanicals Gypsy Rose Tea Toner with an organic cotton pad and a quick brush with Periobrite toothpaste on my Sonicare toothbrush before we are all out the door by 8am! Once the little one and I are back home and I’ve finished my liquids, I do my best to follow Kimberly Snyder’s advice about easing your digestion into the day by eating light to heavy. I’ll have some fruit and perhaps a small bit of Purely Elizabeth oatmeal or some Ezekial toast with coconut oil and raw honey. I have an Omega juicer, so most days a green juice is a player as well! (sidenote: I would love for NMDL to request reader’s fav juice recipes! I thrive on inspiration!)
Now, if I do need to be somewhere… Holy Moly! Depending on how long I put off dragging myself out of bed, tea may come before or after I shower. If I have leftover juice or a Suja handy in the fridge, I may take one of those into the bathroom, but it’s always liquids first thing in the morning no matter what. Once or twice a week, I mix up a bit of May Lindstrom’s The Clean Dirt and gently work that over my face while the shower is warming up. In an alternate universe, I also dry brush my entire body, head to toe and apply a deeply stimulating body mask like Isun’s Himalayan Body Wrap then slowly sip my tea while that dries before gliding into the shower…
In the Shower…
I grab my Sonicare toothbrush and Periobrite and into the shower I go! I also often use EcoDent toothpowder on top of my Periobrite and I go ahead and brush while getting wet. Next I either exfoliate my Clean Dirt off, use my Clarisonic with Tata Harper’s Refreshing cleanser, or I rub some raw Buckwheat honey into my face to wash with. It just depends on my skin or what I feel like using. Then, if I’m shampooing that day, I’ll get a pump or two of my current brand, A’kin rosemary shampoo and work it in, rinse, then A’kin jojoba & lavender conditioner, and rinse. I use Eco Tools exfoliating gloves and The Body Deli Rose Absolute body wash on my body, but this also changes regularly between Osmia’s bar soaps (Zucca Spice & Chamomile Sun), Strange Invisible’s body washes, Red Flower’s Ocean body wash, or whatever else I’ve discovered. If I’m shaving, I use a Preserve razor along with whatever body cleanser and that works great for me. My alternate universe self works that awesome body mask deep into the skin then gives herself a nice long head massage while the conditioner is still on, then delicately combs it through as it detangles her hair. Ahh, that was great.
Out of the Shower…
Depending on whether or not I had one of my sweet peas in the shower with me, (hey, some days, if I want a shower, then at least one is coming in with me to ensure no cataclysmic disaster befalls before I get out) I try to rub in a body oil quickly before I’m dry. Right now, I have either May’s The Good Stuff or Osmia’s Stream. Next, I slap a cloth diaper on the youngest because past experience has taught me, unless you wish to be treading in a warm river on your bathroom floor then you best be wrapping that up pronto. Undies and Plum Pretty Sugar robe on, next I’ll spritz with a mist, and oh how I love a good mist! My go to is still Tata’s Hydrating Floral but I’m also rotating thru La Bella Figura’s Jardin de Fleurs, One Love’s Vitamin D, The Body Deli’s Cucumber Elixir or Rose Absolute mist, or a sample of R.L Linden’s Thousand Petal mist. I’ll immediately follow with either One Love’s Morning Glory (am) or La Bella Figura’s Modern Radiance Concentrate (pm). Originally, I used just LBF’s MRC day and night, but I found it to be so effective (like for reals, y’all) in fading my sun spots that I’ve started using it just at night most days to help it last longer since it is a bit pricey (but so, so worth it, I promise you!)
For my eyes, it’s either Simply Divine Botanical’s Pack Your Bags Eye Gel (am) or LBF’s Decouverte (pm). Next, I apply, what has got to be one of my all-time fav products, LBF’s Daily Elements Defense oil. The smell, the ingredients, the consistency — all fantastic! Love it, love it! For my hair, I spritz some Intelligent Nutrients Detangler into my palms and work that into my ends if it’s tangly and comb it out. Then I use IN’s hair gel mixed with a teeny bit of Dr. Bronner’s lavender hair cream and scrunch it in ends to roots (winter) or 2 sprays of IN’s volume spray into my palms with or without a bit of LBF’s Bohemia Verde and scrunch that in ends to roots (summer). I quickly apply Consonant The Perfect Sunscreen. I then get dressed, get the boys fed and dressed, and then back to bathroom to blow-dry with a diffuser. Alternate self is leisurely massaging her body oil, head to toe while sipping her second cup of Bija tea and listening to Adele on her iPhone. I think I hate her just a little.
I apply RMS Uncover Up in 11 to my inner and under eye area, around my nose, and my chin. Next, some Bare Escentuals liner powder that I’ve had for, like ever, to my outer brows. A bit of Alima Pure’s Milkshake eye shadow to my lids, and then I select a blush based on what I’m wearing from either Kjaer Weis Blossoming, RMS Sacred (which I prefer on my cheeks) Vapour multi in Intrigue, or Nvey Eco in 951 — one of the most flattering powder blushes I have ever used—gives a perfect fresh face glow!. If I have time, I’ll use some liner, either Dr.Hauschka kajal 03 eyeliner (neutral green-gold), Jane Iredale’s Mystikol in Dark Topaz, or Lily Lolo in khaki, all of which work well with my hazel eyes.
Next, the ever illusive, mascara! I use, and have been using Coleur Caramel’s Cils Long Mascara in black for quite some time and sincerely LOVE it! It can have a tendency to transfer at the outer corners, but I’ve mostly found that happens if I’m too oily there, either from too much concealer or face oil. When I remember to dab a bit of Alima’s finishing powder in Keiko there, then I’m good. Also, the positive effect it’s had on my lashes, as in they are thicker and longer the way they were when I was young, just can’t be beat. It has improved the natural state of my lashes. I also have Jane Iredale’s Pure Lash in black ice on hand when I want added drama. And, yes, I have tried Kjaer’s and Ilia’s mascaras and did not like them. At all. I think I’m old school when it comes to the wand.
Last touch is perfume and those pretty much have to take a number, because I love perfume, therefore I own enough to scent the entire British court. Tsi-la’s Saqui or Kesu, LBF’s Barcelona or Positano, Strange Invisible’s Magazine Street or Fire & Cream, Osmia’s Posso, Tata’s Love Potion or Stress, Red Flower’s Ambrette, Persephenie’s Kildren or Datura, In Fiore’s Ambre, Roots Rose Radish rose frankincense & patchouli… yeah, I know. It’s bad. My alternate universe self? Who knows. She’s probably doing trust-falls with her Yoga instructor or still in the bathroom applying self-tanner. I know this reads like a lengthy routine but typically I’m done in under 50 minutes from my fanny leaving the bed to walking out the door with both kids in tow. Also, I was an esthetician before my first son was born, so I’m never going to have a bare bones routine because I love the world of green beauty and all it has to offer!
We’ve done a lot of complaining about the lack of good—nay, great—natural perfumes out there. But truth be told, there are a few on this list from Well+Good that we haven’t tried yet! Which of these have you tested out? And what’s your absolute favorite I’ll-never-stop-wearing-it perfume, natural or otherwise?
Perfume should be a pleasurable experience both for the wearer and those around her, not a toxic one. Which is why we’ve rounded up the best new natural ones.
Our perfume picks are mostly handcrafted in small batches with plant extracts, distilled flower essences, and essential oils. So giving or getting one feels luxurious and special. Here are our 9 favorites of the season…
1. A Perfume Organic Mejica
Perfumer Amanda Walker’s small batch, botanical blends are super desirable, and “Mejica,” might be the sexiest of her five USDA certified-organic scents. It’s a delicious blend of three vanillas, rare resins, and spices. The petite bottle is actually a roll-on and, extra charming, the flower seed-embedded box can be planted.
2. Red Flower Ambrette Roll-On Oil
Aside from making exquisite natural candles, Red Flower creates masterful fragrances, like “Ambrette.” It’s the name of a seed used in Indian culture to perfume the hair and burned as an offering. When blended here with patchouli, orange, and black pepper (all certified USDA organic), it’s both alluring and restoring. Wear it to yoga to lift stress-related fatigue or anoint your pulse points with it as an aphrodisiac.
3. Strange Invisible Perfumes Black Rosette
Perfumer Alexandra Balahoutis is all about luxury craftsmanship. Her forte is creating scents with certified organic, wildcrafted, and biodynamic ingredients that focus on “aroma profile, evocative narratives, and the beauty of scent.” Black Rosette eau de parfum, for example, tells a subtle story of seduction with roses, black tea, and spearmint with a hint of bad-boy leather.
4. Lurk RSW005 Fragrance
This carefully crafted new fragrance line oozes cool factor. Lurk is the brainchild of New Yorkers Anne Sanford and Kristi Head, who met at Red Flower and created packaging and beauty products for Anthropologie and other top brands before collaborating on a fragrance collection of their own. We’re smitten with RSW005, an androgynous essential-oil-based scent with warm sandalwood, earthy rose, and a crisp citrus finish. And since the line launched just last year, you won’t be wearing (or gifting) a scent that everyone else has. Yet.
5. Tsi La Fiori D’Arancio Organic Eau de Parfum
Tsi La is a little obsessed with fun, organic freshness—and natural decadence. The collection is crafted in artisan-size batches using essential oils, active plant botanicals, and rich exotic butters. Best-selling Fiori d’Arancio is a USDA-certified mist that’s like bottled sunshine—on vacation in Italy. Its notes of orange, tangerine, and neroli flowers mixed with vanilla orchids and honey give it a playful, mischievous appeal.
6. Honoré Des Prés Nu Green Verrine Eau de Toilette
Olivia Giacobetti is a legendary perfumer, who designed fragrances for prestigious houses like Diptyque and Guerlain, before creating Honoré Des Prés. It’s the first luxury certified-organic French fragrance brand. Nu Green conjures up the feel of a fresh spring morning with green mint leaves, dewy grass, Indian botanical musk, tarragon and cedar wood. And if it’s got Giacobetti’s signature on it, you know it has to be good.
7. Tallulah Jane Aiyana Eau de Parfum
Aiyana is a feminine (okay, super girly, super heart-warming) fragrance that mixes pure Moroccan rose with vanilla and a hint of Italian lemon that gives it a boost of happy effervescence. Like all of Tallulah Jane’s perfumes, it’s made with organic and wildcrafted oils, and based on the centuries-old tradition of Bourbon perfumeries.
As some of you have surely noticed, I like to stalk Elle Magazine. I do it because I love them (it’s the only women’s magazine I still like to buy now and again)—but also because sometimes they make me mad! Anyhoo, I’ve had my ear to the ground for some time now about this new spa they were planning to open at the Eden Roc in Miami (pictured above looking fabulous in the fifties), as part of a mega-million renovation. I’d heard some internet rumblings about organic facials and such, but nothing concrete enough to report on. Until now…
In the June issue of Elle (now on stands), the mag announced that their spa at Eden Roc has opened and that they’re offering—wait for it—Tammy Fender facials! They’re also boasting a “scrub bar” that uses organic oils, along with “biodynamic honey and sea salts” (yum!), as well as a signature Red Flower body treatment. So, from the sounds of it, this is a clean spa, people! (Even if it’s not being billed as such, per se, and even if Essie has created two new nail polish colors for them to celebrate.)
We spoke to Tammy’s people—because we’re obsessed with this line now—and word is that she has trained the team of facialists at the spa and will make herself available to clients who book well in advance.
Now, aside from the fact that Siobhan and I have long wanted to take a Miami trip together—and a Tammy Fender facial sounds like a wonderful excuse to do so (at least in our fantasy life where we hop planes for holistic facials)—here’s why I’m so hot under the collar about this. Elle Magazine is a beauty institution, and they could literally choose any products and treatments for their new spa. The fact that they’re going with largely organic and chemical-free ones, for us, is a pretty big vote of confidence for the clean movement and the effectiveness of these products that we so adore.
Wouldn’t you agree?