Meet Alex, a young teacher trying to make a clean routine work on her teacher’s salary. Sounds like she’s doing awesome. Thanks for this super candid and awesome routine!
Profession: Teacher (Fourth grade…an awesome age but not easy!)
Weather: Hot, humid Central Florida. We do experience a nice cold front or two in the winter.
Hair: Long, fairly thick, wavy…straight…wavy, depends on the day! Oh, and very oily. The humidity is not my friend but what can you do?
Skin: Fair and pinkish, on the oily side. I tend to break out occasionally in random areas (usually stress-related). These breakouts have diminished since I’ve cleaned up my routine. I still tend to get your standard tiny blemishes in and around my t-zone and anywhere I consistently touch my face (horrible, very bad, no-good habit!)
Favorite Star: Meryl Streep. She has such an interesting beauty and way about her!
In the shower…
I start my morning with a nice slathering of raw organic honey on my face. I started using it about six months ago and it has surpassed any store-bought face wash I’ve used! I’ll occasionally mix in a bit of turmeric for some extra anti-bacterial and skin-brightening oomph. I know there are many amazing natural face washes out there but I’m loving the honey a little too much to venture just yet. Whole Foods sells their own awesome organic Wildflower honey for a very reasonable price. I let it sit on my face for a bit and then hop in the shower (if I remember and have a dose of patience, I’ll dry brush as well). I am currently washing my hair about every other day with Aubrey Organics Blue Chamomile shampoo and Honeysuckle Rose conditioner (conditioner first, then shampoo). I’m trying to scale it down to once or twice a week but I’m struggling! The grease-ball feeling is holding me back. That and my inability to create a halfway neat-looking updo (any tips for the uncoordinated?) I’m really wanting to try the Yarok shampoos and conditioners but the price tag is slowing the process…oh, teacher’s salary! I soap up with a Zum Bar…frankincense and myrrh is daydream-inducing but I really enjoy most of their scents. I’ve yet to try them all. When I shave, I’ll spread some conditioner on my legs. I like coconut oil for shaving but do not love rinsing my razor constantly. If I’m feeling crafty and self-indulgent, I’ll use a homemade coconut oil (virgin and organic) brown sugar, and lemon essential oil scrub. It smells like cake and leaves my skin pretty soft! I love a nice, long shower but do feel guilty about wasting water…such problems I have ;) I usually keep it under ten minutes but I give myself a reprieve on the weekends…ya gotta live!
Outside the shower…
For my face, I moisturize with pure organic rosehip seed oil that I get from a shop back home and a drop or two of essential oil. The rosehip seed oil is great for healing some signs of aging (forehead wrinkles, anyone?) and leaves my skin soft and a little glowy. Depending on my mood, I might use a drop of lavender, pine, rosemary, or tea tree essential oil. They pretty much all have skin-clearing, anti-bacterial properties so I usually choose based on what I feel like breathing in that morning. Pine should be used very carefully (it needs to be very diluted) as it is very strong. I love the scent, though! It makes me think of living in a charming treehouse in the middle of a redwood forest (my little tree-hugging, hippie fantasy). In fact, I recommend researching any essential oils before they’re used on your skin or taken internally. They can be extremely powerful (I liken them to any topical or ingested medication). Again, if I have the patience, I’ll slather on some coconut oil but I’ve started to look for some clean body lotions that might make that part of my routine more enjoyable. Any suggestions for a truly clean and affordable brand? As you can tell, patience is not a virtue that I’ve yet to possess…I’m hoping a little bit of yoga and meditation might help but I don’t have the patience to start! ;) I’m in the market for a sunscreen…because I don’t use one…because I’m lazy! I want to break the cycle, so all recommendations are welcome. I’m willing to pay a decent price, I just worry about residue and pore-clogging. However, I’m ready to get serious about protection!
About a year ago, I noticed how dependent I was on make-up. I felt so incredibly insecure and unattractive when I didn’t wear it. After some self-reflection, I realized that this was unhealthy and decided to challenge myself to get the heck over it. So, I stopped wearing make-up…sorta. I continued to wear concealer to cover up blemishes and any darkness under my eyes. While I did feel a bit guilty about not fully going for the gold, I knew I was heading in the right direction. Eventually, I ran out of concealer and didn’t buy another! It’s been extremely liberating. I still love make-up but now I use it when I want something a little extra. I love a good cheek stain (I do not know of a clean one) and tinted lip balm! I currently use Burt’s Bees in Red Dahlia for a pop of color or Sprout’s peppermint balm for a bit of shine (it does not have a color). I’m looking forward to trying other tinted balms like Alima’s and Badger’s in the future. I’ll also get around to purchasing the RMS Living Luminizer (how could I not? You all rave!). I run a brush through my hair and walk out the door. Right now, I spritz on a bit of Lotus Wei’s Infinite Love before I get to work. I can’t say I always look put together but I also can’t say that I look too shabby! My students don’t seem to mind either way so, that’s a plus! It’s taken a while to accept my body and face as they are. Being kind to myself and discovering truly healthy and nurturing food, drink, and beauty care products brings me closer every day. I can’t say that I don’t want to crack my mirror in half on some mornings but, overall, I try to focus on all of the god-given beauty both inside and outside of me. There’s a lot to admire on this big, old planet and there’s nothing more gorgeous than a man, woman, or child who appreciates that with a big smile, a hearty laugh, and a good dose of compassion.
Hometown: Mountain View, CA (moved here 10 months back from Melbourne, Australia)
Current Weather: Cool, Sunny and Dry
Favorite Celebrity : Jessica Alba
Hair: Long, straight with little frizz
Skin: I am of Indian origin with all the skin problems associated with such skin tone. I tan even in the minimum sunlight and get brown spots that take ages to fade. I had really clear skin in my teens (may be because I never used any products on my skin except home remedies my mom made me use) but got my acne burst in my early 20s. I had acne on my entire face and I was very self-conscious. I tried everything but nothing worked. I finally went to a dermatologist who prescribed Accutane to me. At that time I did not care much about the side effects so I took the medicine. I did not get any side effects (that I know of) and it really worked. Within 3 months my skin was completely clear. I was so happy. For the next few years my skin remained clear until last couple of years. My breakouts returned. Not as bad but every 2 weeks I would have a pimple and post healing marks. As a result I have quite a few spots on my skin.
Honestly until 6 months back I did not really care about clean products. I thought all the department store products were decent and I had tried most of the popular brands (Clinique, Lancome, Chanel, Dermalogica etc.). I chanced upon Alexandra and Siobhan’s book while searching for a clean shampoo for my husband as he had constant itching in his scalp and I read in an article it could be due to SLS. Once I read the book I got really interested in clean products esp. considering I was always so particular about good and clean ingredients in our food. And me being the research oriented person I am, I went all out to find as much as I could about this topic. One thing I have realized over the years and something my mom has always followed (who is 60+ and has amazing skin) is product minimalism – clean or otherwise and let the skin heal itself. Honestly I have struggled with both in the past and I still do (the obsession of getting the pimple healed or dark spot faded !!!)
In the shower…
I have extremely oily scalp and since I do some sort of exercise daily I wash my hair everyday except on Sunday when I take it easy. I find that if I don’t wash my hair I can’t style it and I hate having a bad hair day while going to work. I am trying to become a bit more comfortable with pulling my hair into a bun and not worry about oiliness. But its just something I haven’t come to terms with. I use Acure Lemongrass shampoo and conditioner. I use Wholefoods soapbar or shower gel for my body and use REN ClearCalm 3 clarifying clay cleanser to wash my face. I also use REN’s Rose Otto Sugar body scrub once / twice a week. I got into REN in Australia without even realizing its a clean brand. It worked pretty well however I used it sparingly in Australia as it was very expensive.
Outside the Shower…
Before I went clean I used Body Shop body butter to moisturize but now I use some sort of oil. I had bought SANS body oil few months which is nearing its last drop.. So need to figure out what to replace it with. I alternate it with coconut oil at times but it can get too greasy and spots my clothes at times. I use a drop of Rodin’s Olio Lusso at the ends for my hair and then blow dry. Sometimes when I need more styling I use Aveda’s damage remedy styling cream. Its not the cleanest but its helps me hold my style. I wish I could air dry my hair but I have thick hair which take a long time to air dry (when I have tried up to 4-5 hours in summers). So when I am rushing to work a good blow dryer is my best friend.
My skin is usually dry with oiliness just on the nose. On my face I use Dr. Haushka’s Balancing Toner followed by Kahina’s Brightening Serum. I use couple of drops of Rose Hip Oil and then follow it with 100% natural coffee bean under eye cream. During winters and summers (when I am primarily indoors) I use Elta MD’s SPF 45 sunblock. Its one the few suncreams that I like and has worked for me. Its good for acne prone skin and semi-clean. As I mentioned that my skin is extremely prone to tanning. During summers I use another layer of sun protection by using Institut Esthedem’s Photo Reverse Fluid. Its formulated for skin prone to pigmentation and it works amazingly. I had tried every sun protection in the market before I found this and it really prevents tanning. Before using this, after coming back from swimming or just time spent outside during summer my skin would tan at least one shade. Its not entirely clean but not too bad. Its a bit pricey but totally worth it for me.
At night I remove my makeup, wash my face and then put oil followed by Marie Veronique Organics Pacific Skin Lightening Duet to fade the dark spots (I told you the obsession).
Twice a week I use some sort of mask. Either a home made one which I have been using since I was a child (combination of chickpea flour, turmeric, lemon juice and milk) or REN’s Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask.
I wear some makeup every day except when I am working from home or on weekends just running errands. I am a management consultant by profession and to be presentable is essential for my job. However my requirement for makeup has changed over the years, especially since my late twenties and since I have turned 30. I used make up earlier to cover things I thought were not good about my skin and face. Now I use make up to enhance what I have.
So firstly I am not obsessed by it and secondly I have learned to appreciate the art of putting make up properly so it’s undetectable. I had taken some beginner make up classes a year or so back. For everyday makeup,I am using 100% Pure primer and foundation now and RMS uncover concealer. During summers I use a powder foundation (Laura Mercier Mineral or Jane Iredale). Blush is my favorite make up product. I have 4 (2 from Kjaer Weiss, one from RMS and one from 100% pure). I also have a power blush from Korres. I used to love Nars and Chanel blushes but once I got clean I have discovered how great cream blushes are. I love to play around with them. When I want a subtle flush of color from within I use it as the first thing before I use my foundation and when I want more prominent color I use it on top of my foundation. I don’t wear much eye make up except mascara after curling my eyelashes. I use 100% Pure mascara on most days but some days when I know I have to be on the run I use Lancome doll eyes mascara. Lipstick is one area where I haven’t become completely clean. Usually I wear 100% Pure liglaze or Jane’s iredale’s but I also use my Dior Extreme Addict, Nars and Chanel lipsticks quite a bit as well. I hate putting my make up again during the day so I like the how long lasting the unclean lipsticks are.
On date nights or weekends I love experimenting with clean make up and create looks that look like the mainstream make up looks. When I wear eye make up I love using Kjaer Weis and RMS eyeshadows and stick shadow in black pearl from 100% pure. Its a great product and gives you the perfect smokey eye look.
Nutritionally I take Omega-3 and Vitamin D supplements. Omega 3 has really helped in calming my inflammations and reduced my breakout.
I think I have rambled on for quite a bit. I love reading this blog and am glad to share my routine with the readers.
Meet Heather, a working mom with two daughters (and sensitive skin), she still manages to make some DIY products. We love it! We’ve included her inception story below—thanks for sharing it, Heather!
As a working mother with daughters aged 6 and 9, my morning routine is not very relaxing and is usually punctuated by packing lunches and trying to get them out the door to school. On the weekends, I try to take a little more time and like to mix up face and hair treatments in the kitchen. Sometimes my kids get into the act, too, but mostly they just think I’m weird for “putting all that gunk on my face!”
Hometown: New York City
Profession: Art Librarian and blogger at Domaphile.com
Skin: Fair and Sensitive. I have a bit of rosacea, which I control with diet and by using really mild products on my skin. Now that I am in my 40s, I am noticing some changes in my skin and am really glad I have discovered non-chemical ways to deal with them. I also think my daily smoothie habit has done wonders for my skin – you are what you eat, after all!
Hair: Dark, medium length. Straight and fine with very little body (sigh).
Star: Audrey Hepburn
In the shower…
Weekday mornings are a little crazy around here, trying to get everyone out the door, so I often do everything in a rush. I only wash and dry my hair every three days or so and it totally throws a wrench into my morning, so I have to make sure the hair washing falls on a day when I don’t have to take my kids to school. I’ve been experimenting with homemade shampoos, but I haven’t made anything I like as much as the John Master’s Zinc & Sage Shampoo with Conditioner, and I usually follow it up with the Rosemary & Peppermint Detangler, also by John Masters. For the body, I use the Dr. Bronner’s bar soap – usually Baby Mild or Peppermint – for both washing and shaving.
Outside the shower…
Once out of the shower, I wash my face. When I am out of Sow Your Wild Oats, I make my own basic face cleanser out of oat flour, almond meal and milk powder. During the week, I mix it into a paste with a little water (or rosewater) and on the weekends, I make a simple mask with raw honey and plain yogurt. I moisturize with a few drops of Nourish & Replenish oil mixed with a bit of water and I try to take a few extra moments to really massage the oil into my face. I then move on to the deodorant and body lotion which I make myself. Right now I am using a winter body cream that is a combination of coconut oil, almond oil and shea butter. I’ve gotten a lot of inspiration and recipes from Crunchy Betty – she has a great e-book for making products for acne-prone and sensitive skin.
On the days I wash my hair, I towel dry it as much as possible and add a few drops of argan oil. The thing I hate most is drying and styling my hair, but if I don’t I end up looking like Janice from the Electric Mayhem, which motivates me to pick up the hair dryer. My tresses are straight and fine, so I need to use some kind of product to give it a bit of extra body. I have experimented with making my own hair gel using flax seeds, but it is a messy business that involves straining them through a nylon sock, so I have given up on that and use the Giovanni Volumizing Styling Gel instead. I generally use Tom’s to brush my teeth, but have lately been experimenting with making my own toothpaste using baking soda, coconut oil and peppermint stevia. Still working on that one.
I don’t wear a lot of makeup, but I love RMS “un-cover up” (thanks to your book), and I like Annette’s practice of mixing her tinted cover-up with John Master’s SPF 30, so I’m going to try that. For my eyes, I use a tiny bit Josie Maran’s liquid liner and Dr. Hauschka’s mascara. I don’t wear shadow unless I am going out at night, and then use a basic palate from Josie Maran. For lips, I just use the Burt’s Bees tinted gloss – my favorite color right now is Fig. My entire makeup application routine takes less than five minutes.
I try to take off my makeup as soon as I get home from work in the evening. I use olive oil or almond oil to remove my eye make up, wash my face with the oat powder or just some plain, raw honey. To moisturize, I use about 6 drops of BYATM oil mixed with a little water. If I have the time, I will try to wash and dry my hair at night so I don’t have to deal with it in the morning.
Meet Eleanor the esthetician. After struggling with her skin for years she came to learn that some of the most effective brands were natural. She now puts Kahina to good use, along with other favorites like Dr Alkaitis, Dr Hauschka, Arcona and more. She’s also seriously piqued our interest in In Fiore (we’ve heard their scents are beautiful too)—who here has tried it?
Hometown: Oakland CA
Profession: Esthetician (at International Orange)
Weather: cold but sunny
Hair: long thick and wavy
Skin: I have battled with skin issues through out my life. Acne being the main domain of my problems—but as we know that causes many more issues like pigment, blotches, uneven texture and scarring. In tying to find the balance I experimented with many products and treatments. I never went as far as accutane but paid visits to the dermatologist and used products with benzoyl peroxide and went on antibiotics. Sorely disappointed I saw an Esthetician who helped get a proper routine and acne facials to help correct my skin. This intrigued me into the skin care world. I am a working Esthetician now and have finally found things that have worked for my skin. Pleasantly surprised I found most if these products I’ve used over the past 10 years have been natural/organic options.
Favorite star: Kate Moss
In the shower…
I flip flop between showering in the morning or evening. Most mornings I climb in the shower half awake, trying not to be indulgent as I have limited time before work or before my boyfriend kicks me out. I usually brush my teeth in the shower with my favorite hard-to-find toothpaste from France called Botot. It’s a fennel-flavored toothpaste. I like this because it’s different than your average toothpaste and makes brushing your teeth feel special. In the mornings I won’t wash my hair everyday I just rinse my wavy tresses and use a good amount of Kahina argan oil throughout my hair to seal and calm the frizz. When I do wash and condition I mix in up between Rare Elements (very natural) and Davines love line (not so natural) these keep my long hair in line. I always leave in my conditioner while shaving or washing my body and then comb through with a wide-tooth comb. This really ensures that the product reaches every strand and conditions deeply. While my conditioner is setting in I usually suds up with a sea sponge and body wash from Everyday Shea that has coconut oil and ahea butters as well coffee extracts for a little stimulation to hopefully prevent any unwanted dimpling down the line. If I shave I use pure coconut oil or Aveno shave cream. I know it’s not the best for you but I have very sensitive legs and this one creates a nice barrier. Always unscented! In the mornings I don’t like to use a harsh face wash. If my skin’s OK and I’ve cleansed your face at night already I don’t like to use anything too striping for day. I use In Fiores Treate cleanser that has pure Aloe Vera and Bulgarian rose waters. Smells divine! If I’m showering at night I like to throw in the works with a full dry brushing session and my favorite body scrub by Suki and even a nighttime facial mask. I like Kahina’s antioxidant mask because it’s purifying but also doubles over as a exfoliator with its micro silica particles. After that I use a gel face wash like Dr Alkaitis purifying cleanser to take off the day.
Outside the shower…
I usually finish off with an all over body balm like In Fiores Dayala filled with the aroma of jasmine and lemongrass. For the face it’s an application of Kahina’s argan oil mixed with their brightening serum. I also use a cooling depuffing eye gel from arcona that has anti-aging ingredients. In the mornings I am religious about using in Fiores vitale toner. Its not just a toner it’s really more like a serum that delivers nutrients and water to the skin. I always also always use a sunscreen mixed with Dr Hauschkas translucent bronze concentrate to blend my own tinted sunscreen. I have three different lip balms I cannot live without… Fresh lip care stick in honey, rms lip balm in vanilla and the Dr Hauschka lip care stick and a new favorite is the In Fiore velouté that comes in a beautiful brass compact with a mirror—you can’t go wrong!
I actually don’t wear makeup often. After battling with acne for so many years I pretty much wrote it off. I believe in a great pair of earrings, well groomed eyebrows, and I cannot live without an eye lash tint! If I have somewhere to go I usually give in to a little lip to cheek by rms because its so simple and fast and a little water to canvas highlighter by Vincent longo and my fresh lip balm with the tint honey. I also love Arcona’s mineral brushes for a quick all over fix. I regularly take vitamin c, probiotics and a herbal immune supplement to keep me healthy and happy. :)
I’ve never really liked eye shadow. It’s always made me think of either young girls trying to look older, or older women just trying to do too much. Because of this admittedly unfair Tammy-Faye-Baker bias, it’s the one product category I’ve never played with. Until now.
Call it the holidays, or boredom, or the fact that lately I only want to dress in black and white, but I’ve been feeling that familiar ache to change up, and amp up, my makeup look. So a few weeks ago I took a trip to my friend Jean’s store, Evolue—it had been ages since I made the journey across town for a visit—and had a little makeup shopping spree.
First I stocked up on old faves, like my Jane Iredale’s Active Light Concealer in both number 2 and 5. Then I decided to buy some brushes. Siobhan has one at her place that I use when we have sleepovers a few times a year—and because we usually stay up late into the night gabbing (OK, and drinking), I tend to need the extra concealing help. So I got one like hers: mid-size, a bit stiff, great for spot applying Laura Mercier mineral powder. Still a fave, as her new routine attests.
Then I surprised myself. For the first time ever I tried RMS’s karma shadow. I love RMS—who doesn’t here?—but I’d never given those eye pots a second glance despite the fact that S reviewed karma here, and many a Morning Routine has mentioned it.
At first I used it (with my other new small flat brush) more like a smokey eyeliner, which is no departure for me at all. But this past week I’ve been throwing caution to the wind and straight up covering my lid with it! And I love it. It’s more intense than what I’m used to, but it’s not in the least bit garish.
Are you adventurous with your eye makeup?
My next big move is going to be to try a cat eye with it—as demo’d here by Spirit of Spirit Beauty Lounge. I also came across this Refinery 29 video of Kate Moss’s makeup artist showing how to do a cat eye with a regular old pencil—has anyone tried this? Just as soon as I find a pencil sharpener I’m going to…