It’s been well over a year since we started the morning routine series. They began on a “really hot, muggy, humid, generally gross” August morning in 2011, because we thought it would be fun to share with all of you the products that we use every day before we leave the house. Now, you guys send us yours, and they’re consistently inspiring to this vibrant community of natural beauty lovers, am I right?
Since it’s December 2012, and my life, as well as my routine, has changed, I thought I’d give it another go. I’m a Scorpio, which, among other things, means I’m fiercely loyal and I like what I like. It’s fun, looking back, to see which products I’m still using. Still, some were traded out for products I like even better. (Warning: This post is long, because it’s doubling as a gang of new product reviews. You might want to skim—or grab a snack.)
Current weather: It’s been a mild, climate-changey winter so far, with some rare chillier days.
Hair: Blonde, long, wavy when air dried.
Skin: Irish. Which is to say, reactive, sensitive, pale, a little freckly, and pale. Did I mention pale? Oh, and reactive.
In the shower…
Most days, I shower rather speedily. Since I don’t typically wash my face in the morning, my shower routine is pretty straightforward: I dry brush before I get in the shower, then I wash my hair. My new go-tos are Intelligent Nutrients PureLuxe shampoo and conditioner. I’ve run out and repurchased them several times because they leave my hair super shiny, manageable and smelling great. I don’t have overly dry hair but I live in fear of it, and these two products give just the right amount of moisture, without feeling greasy. A couple of times a week, I swap out IN for the Seaweed Bath Company’s argan oil conditioner. It has wax pretty high up on the ingredient list, and I find it reliable on days when I want my hair to hold a style.
If I wash my face, I use Kahina’s or Marie Veronique Organics’ (new obsession—I love the whole line), which is slippery and cleansing without being overly drying. If I’m too lazy to make my own body scrub, which is most days, I use a squeaky-clean new one by the Brooklyn-based Metropolis Soap Company in honeysuckle and violet. My new go-to bar cleanser is the Activated Charcoal Soap by Soapwalla. It’s technically a face wash but I’ve been using it on my body. It contains activated charcoal and tea tree oil, and it’s also made in Brooklyn, which is neither here nor there, but kind of neat.
If I’m feeling under the weather or if I’m showering before bed, I massage my chest with Hope Gillerman’s Travel Remedy. The essential oils support immunity, promote restful sleep and make my tiny apartment smell like a spa. Which is nice.
Outside the shower…
Very few things I hate more than applying moisturizer on my body, but I do it almost every day. These days I alternate between Weleda’s New Rose Pampering Body Lotion (I love this stuff) and Vered’s Muscle Soothing Massage and Body Oil, which has been especially helpful since I bit it on the subway stairs the other night, had to get stitches, and seriously bruised up both my calves. (Pro tip: Don’t fall in the subway. It hurts.)
Once this tiresome step is done, I apply Soapwalla Deodorant, spray my face with either Kahina’s Toning Mist or Marie-Veronique Organic’s Anti-Aging Mist, and rub in a touch of Kahina’s Brightening Serum. Sometimes, I apply a dab of Tammy Fender Intensive Repair Balm, which I still swear by for night. If I look tired, I apply a Rejuvenating Eye Cream by Amala. It’s cocoa bean-based, which helps constrict blood vessels to reduce puffiness, and works almost as if by miracle to eliminate undereye bags. (Before bed it’s still La Bella Figura.)
Next, I apply Suntegrity Sunscreen, which got the #1 rating from the EWG this year for lotions with SPF. Who wants to shoot me first? Because the stuff contains (mineral-based) dimethicone. I have decided I can deal with it in this product because the ingredient deck is otherwise very clean, and because it’s the most effective, versatile and cosmetically appealing sunscreen I have ever tried. And I have tried many. It works kind of like a BB cream. I’ve finally found one I want to use every day, and this is it. You’re welcome? I’m sorry? Whatever? I love this product.
If I have meetings, which I usually do, I will follow with Suki Tinted Active Face Moisturizer in Porcelain, for an overall evening-out effect. I’ll set that with Laura Mercier loose minerals in Sand, line my eyes with Bare Minerals’ (unfortunately very messy) loose eyeliner in black, applied with a stiff damp brush. I keep my face simple for day, so that means I might swipe some RMS Beauty lip2cheek in Smile on cheeks and lips or some W3LL People Universalist in the peachy color, and dab on some Living Luminizer. I also love Ilia in a bunch of different colors. If I feel like a very bold lip, I’m probably cheating with non-naturals from Bite or Chanel.
For mascara, it’s either 100% Pure or the new thick-as-hell “Fake Out” one from Organic Wear (the pink tube) or both. Some days, I fill in my super-pale eyebrows with NVey Eco Eye Shadow Palette in No. 3. It’s not meant for brows, but it works. If I’m really going for it, I apply a touch of color to my lids, too. Makeup tends to scream on my face, though, so I use a light touch.
Finally, my perfumes of choice are still Lotus Wei Infinite Love or Tata Harper Irritability Treatment (as a perfume), or both!
Couple things, before I go: First, I don’t always follow all these steps. Second, I now fear I sound way more high-maintenance than I actually am. Any products here that you love too? Anything new to you?
Happy Friday everyone! Meet Catherine, who is a great example of someone who truly uses sunscreen like they should! More power to her. She spends her days working, chasing around her bulldog (awesome!), and training for a 1/2 marathon (double awesome!), and she keeps the sun off all the while. Read on!
In the shower…
Outside the shower…
So…Sunscreen queen! Is anyone else training for a race or otherwise spending a lot of time outside and have an active sunscreen that’s been working well?
Meet lovely Luna. She has lived in both the US and China, and currently calls the latter home. She does an amazing job at keeping her beauty products green by bringing them over when she travels back to the US. Read on for her efficient but inventive routine…
Current Weather: Beijing at its best! Warm, Spring breeze, Sunny
Hair: Black, straight, shoulder length – can’t hold a curl for longer than 10 minutes
Skin: Best defined as complicated: definitely combination, acne prone, dry on cheeks, oily around forehead and T-zones. Beijing water is very hard and the climate is dry which isn’t good for skin that is prone to breakouts since many moisturizers can clog my pores but not using any will leave my skin parched!
Favorite star/icon from the past: Anna May Wong
In China there isn’t a lot of focus on “clean” beauty products. There are some basic drug store staple brands like L’oreal and Nivea and their Chinese counterparts. On the other spectrum, the luxury skincare market is dominated by brands such as SKII, Lancome, Amorepacific, Clarins, and some Chinese ones like Yue-Sai. There’s really nothing in between and there are definitely no smaller, clean, indie labels like in the US. Sephora opened here a few years ago and some “cleaner” brands have started to trickle in such as Boscia and Ren. I grew up in the US and am now back in China working for a multinational corporation. I usually come to the US about three or four times a year for work and this is when I stock up on my beauty products. I would describe myself as loyal but adventurous – I have my “tried and true” products that I MUST restock every trip and then there are others I learn about through web research (such as your site!).
I usually start my day by just washing my face and doing my makeup, and save showering for night, so I will frame this as morning routine, makeup, night time.
In the morning I usually just wash my face with lukewarm water. If I want to really clear my skin for a meeting at work, I will use a cleanser – my favorite is Intelligent Nutrients Anti-Aging Cleanser. It smells a little strong but it’s nothing I can’t handle. After that I use Dr.Alkaitis Organic Herbal Toner, followed by 100% Pure Argan Oil Hydration SPF 30 (which I learned about from your site!). This combination keeps my skin very balanced and prepared for whatever Beijing throws my way: pollution, smog, etc.
I’m not a huge makeup girl so it doesn’t take me very long in the morning to get ready. Since I don’t use that much product, I have no problem with spending more for high quality products. I use Suki tinted moisturizer and Vapour Organic Aura blush in Courtesan which really wakes up my face. I use Lancome mascara because I can’t find a natural one that doesn’t give me racoon eyes by noon. For lips I use either raw shea butter or Dr. Bronner’s Naked lip balms, the one without a scent. If I’m feeling like wearing color, I’ll rotate between any of the Kjaer Weis Lip Tints or Ilia Tinted Lip Conditioner colors I have.
Before the shower, I take my makeup off with sweet almond oil or jojoba depending on which one I have available and then I dry brush myself.
I try to take the quickest showers possible because the water is really not ideal. You can’t drink it straight from the tap so I don’t really like to marinate in it at night. I wash my face with Intelligent Nutrients Anti-Aging Cleanser and use Dr. Bronner’s baby liquid castile soap for my bits and that’s it. My showers are literally 3 minutes long and if I wash my hair that takes it to about 8 minutes. I only shampoo my hair once a week and I use Intelligent Nutrients Harmonic shampoo. No conditioner. No blow dryer. My hair is not high maintenance at all so I’m totally grateful for that.
Out of the shower…
I tone again with Dr. Alkaitis and then do a few drops of YULI Skincare’s M.E. Skin Fuel serum on my face which is light but still hydrating. I never do anything thick or creme-like at night because I feel like that hinders with my skin’s ability to renew and push out impurities overnight. If I’ve washed my hair than I rub a few drops of the Skin Fuel over my head and comb through.
Thanks, Luna! Is there anyone who has any experience with naturals in China or elsewhere in Asia? If so, maybe you can suggest some new local brands?
While some of you could care less what models use on their skin—they’re just genetic jackpot winners, right?—I actually think these women have a lot of insight on the subject.
Models are the ultimate guinea pigs: Day in and out, products of all stripes are piled onto their hair and faces. This means several things: They get to test everything out; they have access to experts; and they actually have to work harder than most of us to try to maintain some kind of balance when they’re not shooting and strutting.
So I was not surprised to see that several of the models in a post from Elle about Model Skin Secrets sited naturals and oils as the ultimate in skincare.
Plant oils seem especially popular among this set. Are you a plant-oil convert yet? And if so, which do you use: argan, coconut, jojoba? See any other products you love here?
Without further ado, the natural picks of these natural-born beauties…
“I like Dr. Hauschka’s Rose Day Cream because it’s chemical-free—I think using clean, organic ingredients on your skin really helps it. The Cleansing Milk and Cleansing Cream are also very good. I’m a huge Dr. Hauschka fan; I’ve been using their products for a couple years
“I got really lucky with my skin—I don’t have to do a lot with it. But Caudalie has this Beauty Elixir—it’s just water with some essential oils mixed in—and it’s so nice.”
“During Fashion Week I use the Carrot Butter Cleanser from Organic Pharmacy to remove my makeup. It’s moisturizing and takes off everything, even waterproof mascara—it cleanses really deep.”
“For removing my mascara, I like using coconut oil. As a moisturizer, I like Dr. Alkaites’ cream or Bulgarian rose oil—you know, things that are organic and natural for the skin, and won’t just sit on it.” —Karolina Kurkova
Spoken like true clean girls! Do you share any favorites with these ladies?
Hey all! Hope you are still enjoying these AM routines as much as we are. Please keep submitting if you haven’t yet! Today’s comes to us from Naomi, who is still using a product from the Quarterly subscription (yay!) and lots of other fun ones too… Read on!
Age: 39 (ouch!)
Current weather: schizophrenic! NYC trying desperately to molt into spring
Hair: chin length, fine, fairly straight dirty blonde without highlights but currently sun-kissed blonde (with highlights)
Skin: Fair-to-medium complexion, pernickety temperament – still experiencing a dose of winter dryness but currently pretty clear and smooth, just needing extra care and moisturising
Naomi is a regular around these parts, and Siobhan even had the pleasure of meeting her once at an event in New York. Herewith, her awesome routine!
In the shower…
Quick hair wash with California Baby Tea Tree shampoo (every week or two I use Ctonics Tantra shampoo for flakes) followed by a light condition with Suki conditioner. I use Clarisonic on my face (and sometimes décolleté) with Wei Beauty Chinese Rose Foaming Cleanser. Pits & bits get a wash with soap, currently using the one that came in my first Quarterly box (one personal care item that’s soooo easy to keep clean!). Every couple of weeks I do a full body scrub with one of the 100% Pure scrubs (not a purchase, it was free when I bought products a while back). When I don’t have a body scrub product (which I don’t tend to buy, I only use them if they came with something else) I use a body brush or the equivalent with a bit of my soap
Outside the shower…
I use one of three serums: Suki targeted bio-brightening face serum; Kahina Giving Beauty serum (a fave!); or One Love Morning Glory (compliments of a recent NMDL Friday Deal – thanks!). Then I use either 100% Pure Organic Coffee Bean Caffeine eye cream or Origins GinZing Refreshing eye cream, depending on if I feel puffiness or dark circles are a problem. After that, I us either 100% Pure Organic Pomegranate Antioxidant Hydration SPF20 or (if I’m definitely not spending any time outside) Bee Yummy Skin Food. It’s Vive Sana Polar to Solar sunscreen if I’ll be spending any real time outside, like weekends. A couple of times I week I moisturise with either Evan Healy body oil or Acure Organics Cocoa Butter + CoQ10 body lotion. I put MJ’s Herbals arnica salve on any bruises, Kahina argan oil on any extra dry patches or eczema and every couple of weeks, on days I’m only running errands or not going out in public at all, I use Kahina argan oil as a treatment on my hair and leave it in until the next day’s shampoo. Every day in winter, or as little as possible in the good weather, I blow dry my hair.
I love RMS un-coverup. Sometimes, depending on how “good” my skin is, I use Vapour Organic Beauty Atmosphere Luminous Foundation. Then I like Revolution Organics Freedom Glow Beauty Balm as blush, RMS Beauty cream eye shadow in Solar or Lunar, Shu Uemura eyelash curler, Josie Maran mascara, Anastasia Perfect Brow pencil, Dior Lip Maximiser or RMS Beauty lip balm. Okay, so now I can really see why the Desert Island Challenge was too hard for me… :)
Ha! Is she awesome, or what?